- 1 Production tools
- 2 Files and formats
- 3 Collections
- 4 Converting files
- 5 Editing in MuseScore
- 6 Production tool how to use
- 7 Advice on choosing the audio files
- 8 Adding Sections
- 9 Editing and repairing existing exercises
- 10 Documentation and archiving
- 11 Old production guide (may still have some useful information)
In addition to the MMS Production Tool you will need some or all of the following:
Google Chrome (free). All MMS products are optimized for Google Chrome. You have no reason to use any other browser.
MuseScore (free). Get our version here: Win: . Mac: . Our version has an important extra feature - Linearization.
Sibelius (not free, MMS has a licence)
PhotoScore or PhotoScore Lite which comes for free with the Sibelius license.
Finale (not free, MMS has a licence. Finale Notepad is free and does most of the things you need). 
Audacity (free). You will occasionally need to edit some audio files. 
Google account For MMS/PF and for accessing the metadata on Drive
Files and formats
For making a MatchMySound exercise following files are needed (everything that does not have the comment OPTIONAL are needed):
- The notation file. MMS graphics are based on MuseScore and it can import MusicXML. So either .mscz or .xml files are welcome. We can work with Sibelius and Finale files (.sib and .mus) as well by converting them into MuseScore format via the XML export. Note! XML export almost never works perfectly and many details will be lost or replaced.
- A PDF for reference (sometimes the XML import goes wrong and then we need to see how the original looked like). Note! for pieces with Replaced graphics we need a vector graphic PDFs (or other vector formats).
- Audio files:
1) for the reference track (has to be exactly what you expect the student to play, it's the basis of the comparison and feedback. Can be synthesized from the notation file)
2) for the demo track (if for some reason you don't want the students to hear the reference track). OPTIONAL
3) for the backing track (to let the students hear a band to earphones while playing). Note! The backing track must not include the reference track. OPTIONAL
All the audio files have to originate from the same mix, i.e. have same tempo. The ends and beginnings do not have to be cut equally, we'll sync them up. Supported audio file formats include .wav, .mp3, .ogg
- Youtube link of the video of the piece (either unlisted or public, not private) that has the same audio track as you want to use for the demo audio track. OPTIONAL
All MMS exercises have the following metadata fields (everything that does not have the comment OPTIONAL are needed):
1) Title. It's taken from the score file but can be edited anytime
2) Author. It's taken from the score file but can be edited anytime
3) Exercise description. OPTIONAL. This can be used for copyright, arranger etc. It can be set separately for each exercise or for the whole collection
4) Instrument. Taken from the score file. When set to 'multiple' then the recording option disappears.
5) Default score goal. 80% by default. Can be changed later and set separately for each assignment
6) An exercise can also have an attachment (a PDF or other image).
7) Tempo. Taken from the score file but can be changed at the first stage of exercise production. Cannot be changed once the exercise is finalized.
The MMS exercises are organized into collections. All MMS collections have the following metadata fields:
1) Title. It's the only obligatory field.
3) Instrument Use the help of autofill
4) Cover art
5) Type (method books, choral music, brass etc)
6) Series (Standard of Excellence, Absolute Beginners, A New Tune a Day, etc)
7) Order. You can occasionally bring up some collections by writing a small number into this field (-99 for example). Don't forget to change it back or you will have to use even smaller numbers next time.
8) Collection description. This is important - here goes the main copy that is displayed next to the cover art in a list of collections
9) Exercise description. If all exercises in the collection need to have a certain piece of text such as copyright or the arranger then this is the place. However, it has to be set before the exercises are created into this collection
Collections can be created and edited by a user who has the Collections role.
- One way of creating a new collection is by loading the URL /comp.html#/edit_collection/ At least title field has to be filled under the metadata tab. Don't forget to 'Save'.
- The other way is Cloning an existing collection (only metadata will be copied). Do it on the Edit Collection page.
Naming and publishing collections
If 'Publish this collection (ready)' is checked then it will show up under the set Collection package to the Consumer group that has the rights to see that package. Fresh collections are automatically not included in any package. You'll have to go to /collections/packages to add the collection to an existing package or to create a new package. If you create a new package then you will also need to add it to a consumer who is meant to have access to it. Do it at /collections/consumers
The design works best with portrait oriented images. Do not upload big image files, 100 kb is enough.
Adding exercises to a collection
- Existing exercises can be added on the Edit Collection page's Actions menu. The exercise list in the drop-down includes exercises from the user's collections 'Favorite Exercises' and 'My Exercises'. It is a non-preferred use case.
- When creating an exercise through the MMS production tool a collection can be chosen from the drop-down. It's the preferred use case but unavailable through the public exercise creation flow.
In the Actions menu on the Edit Collection page, one can add subdivisions. Those will appear at the bottom of the exercise list and can be dragged into the correct position (use scroll wheel and PgUp). Subdivisions have two functions: 1) they help to group the exercises and will divide content into two columns 2) they allow assigning the full content of a subdivision to students (for example, name it Lesson 1, drag appropriate exercises under that division and later assign the whole lesson at once). The subdivisions are designed to be added after exercises. To navigate the subtitles into their correct places use left click+scroll (or PgUp, Home buttons).
- When creating an exercise through the MMS public exercise creation flow the following URL can be used to automatically include the exercise into a collection /comp.html#/create_notes?to_collection=<collection id>
From .mus to MusicXML - Use Finale's default Export to MusicXML tool or Finale Dolet plugin
From .sib to MusicXML - Use Sibelius's Export to MusicXML too
From XML to .mscz - Open directly in MuseScore
From Guitar Pro to .mscz - Open directly in Musescore (supported since .gp3)
From .pdf to .mscz - Use PhotoScore
Editing in MuseScore
- Keep in mind the context of use (sufficient space for feedback)
- Does not have to be a clone of print music
- Moving and defining elements (select all, styles): Make sure all elements are designated and styled properly, do not use wrong styles (e.g. do not designate ritenuto as free text, make it dynamics). Same goes for placement - do not just drag elements around, use their default positions if possible.
- Export the parts before leaving MuseScore. (Inside MuseScore, the parts are called Excerpts. An excerpt can be a combination of parts).
- You cannot optimize for both page and scroll view, choose one (depends on the use case, when in doubt, make page view look good).
Production tool how to use
Note! The MMS Production tool is separate from the public exercise creation flow. It can only be accessed by MatchMySound's own production team or the partners who specifically license that from us.
Step 1: Upload score file
The file should be previously checked in the same MuseScore version that we currently have on the server side (Usually the latest stable version). All parts have to be generated in local MuseScore and the same goes for line breaks and other visuals. Linearization has to be done in advance, too. Although MMS detects and separates the parts and tries to linearize the music, often the result is not sufficient.
Step 2: Audio files and parts
- Choose collection. The collection has to be created in advance, see above.
- Upload audio files .ogg is the best since everything gets converted into .ogg anyway. Choose all needed audio files at once and make sure that their order is always the same (e.g. demo track, reference track, backing track) to avoid problems in next phases where file names cannot always be seen.
- Add Youtube video link (just the 8-10 last characters of the YT URL). The video must have exactly the same audio file that you plan to use as the reference track.
- Choose tempo for MIDI. It is taken from the MuseScore file, change it if you need. If you are using real audio files then make the MIDI tempo match the audio recording (loosely).
- Choose Full audio track. It is the track which will be accessible from all the individual parts. Different products may use it differently.
- Exercise parts configuration. Click on a part to open its settings and set the Name, Instrument (always choose from what the autocomplete suggests) Etalon (alias for the reference track), Audio (alias for the demo track), and the Backing track. Lastly, set the Score visual (can be any of the individual parts or the full score). Percussion track means that the Recording option will be turned off (use it for drums).
- If you don't need all the excerpts/parts, then you can delete some. It's also possible to add them back by clicking the '+Add new part' button below.
- If you are not using real audio files, you will see a button labelled 'Create MIDI only exercise'. If you are using at least one audio file, you need to proceed to the mapping phase (see next step).
Step 3: Map audio to score
Click on the 'i' next to the title Map audio to score in order to see the keyboard bindings.
- In tempo mode (when to use)
- Matching mode (when to use)
- ‘Save and Load’, how to use
- The grid. What it is, why two?
Level of the accuracy of the alignment always depends on the context - if the reference track is real audio then it just has to look good.
Step 4: Align audio files
Step 5: Verification
Go to the Playback menu and listen to 'All audio tracks' as well as all the individual tracks and Metronome. Compare each audio file playback to the musical score and verify that they are perfectly synchronized
Advice on choosing the audio files
- Backing track. The rule of thumb is that it must not contain the reference track. If this is not possible then there will be no backing track at all. Most users never hear that track because they either don't hit 'Record' and are just browsing or they use the other recording options.
- Reference track (internally called 'etalon'). Best if we have a real instrument track from the publisher. If not then it is worth checking if the existing audio tracks have panned the material into separate stereo channels. Then we can form two different mono tracks. One of them will work as reference audio. For instance, see collection 452. If there is no way of doing that then we use MIDI. NB! This track is not audible to users.
- Demo track. The audio track that comes with the book. It usually gives the student an idea how everything should sound. MIDI is our choice only if we have no real audio tracks. Guitar chords played with MIDI sound awful and should only be used in the audio layer where nobody can hear them (the reference track). This is the track that is played the most.
Normal section Impro section
Editing and repairing existing exercises
Replacing the MuseScore file Replacing the audio files Repairing the sync
Documentation and archiving
Track your production activities so that you and other people could understand what (when, why, who) have you done even after you have forgotten everything.
Naming and storing files
Organize the files so that you can always get them in case you need to redo an exercise. A sample folder structure: main catalogue is 'Book Title With All Numbers' in which you have 'mscz' for MuseScore files, 'sib' for Sibelius files, 'mus' for Finale files, 'xml' for MusicXML files, 'art' for cover art and pdf files.
The 2017 version of the MMS allows some user groups to download the score and audio files from the existing exercises. It is meant for making the repairing work easier. Still, keeping a well-organized archive of all the relevant files is strongly recommended.
Old production guide (may still have some useful information)
What is MMS/PF and how it works Functionality Student view Teacher view Who is the user, what is the context
Tools Chrome MuseScore Sibelius Finale (Notepad) Audacity Google account For MMS/PF For accessing the metadata on Drive
Collections Adding collections (URLs) Naming and publishing collections Cover art (where to link, which formats and sizes to use) Adding an existing exercise to a collection (non-preferred use case)
Converting files From .mus to MusicXML From .sib to MusicXML From XML to .mscz
Editing on MuseScore
The principles Keep in mind the context of use (sufficient space for feedback) Does not have to be a clone of print music Moving and defining elements (select all, styles) Excerpts/parts Exporting selections from one big file
Produce_exercise how to use Step 1: Upload .mscz file
Step 2: Collection and audio files Choose collection Upload audio files
Step 3: Which parts to keep which to delete? Naming the instruments Checking the boxes Backing track Choosing the reference track(etalon) Choosing the Demo track Advanced view Add new excerpt
Step 4: Aligning In tempo mode (when to use) Matching mode (when to use) ‘Save and Load’, how to use The grid What it is, why two? Moving and navigating (Home, End, Spacebar, PgUp, PgDn, Level of accuracy (depends on the context - if etalon is real audio then it just has to look good)
Step 5: Aligning the MIDI and real audio
Step 6: Play all Play individual files Review the sync Move with shift+click
Edit exercise page Review the sync and look Naming the exercise Default score goal Public vs not public Exercise description Attachments Sections Adding Youtube video Exercise page for admin Play all Play backing Play etalon Play demo audio
Documenting your things on Source Package Metadata spreadsheet General sfuff Create and use shortcuts Track time, avoid wasting it Use Google, read forums. If nothing helps, ask Kristo
Installing plugins in Sibelius:
We need 3 plugins: Convert Folder of Scores to Current Sibelius Version Batch transpose Convert folder to Music XML (preinstalled on Sibelius 7.5)
First two can be downloaded from here:
If transposing instrument (Trumpet Bb, Clarinet Bb, Alto sax Eb) but written as piano (make sure by listening and using a chromatic tuner): Use plugin Convert Folder of Scores to Current Sibelius Version to batch convert everything to current version. use plugin Batch Transpose to transpose everything (maj. 2 down in case of Bb instruments, Alto sax is in Eb, e.g. maj. 6 lower). Choose ‘Transpose by Interval’, ‘Save and close’ (see also the complete list of transposing instruments http://www.secretcomposer.com/Secret_Composer_Blog_Demo/Concert_Pitch_-_Instrument_Transposition_chart.htm ) continue with Batch Transpose and do an instrument change Batch convert to xml with the Dolet plugin
NB! You may need to use a separate computer for batch conversions. Sibelius windows will automatically open and close during conversions and it is easy to interrupt the process or crash the Sibelius. While the conversion is in progress, continue with already converted files in MuseScore. In MuseScore:
Drag all xml files to MScore window Open corresponding pdf Make all notes that have an audio sample (see from pdf) look the same as pdf. (Close the other files without saving) Fingerings> Select all similar elements, open inspector F8, offset so that visible, then adjust manually. Texts like ‘Count 1 2 3’ etc. delete! They will be misplaced in final exercise. Leave bar numbers as they are Adjust phrasing lines as needed Linearize (custom option from File menu) After linearizing, add line breaks as needed (usually 4-5 bars in a row). Breaks do not have to be in same places as in pdf, the point is to have enough space for our feedback colors. If it says “swing” then click on first note, then double click on Swing in text palette. Check playback sound. If not correct then F10 and change. If done, ctrl+S to a new catalogue (name it mscz)
Known MScore problems
Will not use correct playback instrument. E.g. if the xml says it’s a trumpet then transposition is correct (Bb) but playback instrument is Yamaha Grand Piano (default midi instrument). It has to be changed manually before saving the file. (this happens if the soundfont does not have same instrument as the source file asks for) Linearize has to be done in MScore because of line breaks - if linearize is done in server it will accommodate too many bars to one line. Linearize fails if D.C al Fine is at the repeat sign. Then only D.C a. F is done, not repeat. Linearize fails if D.C. al Coda. Goes straight to coda, ignores da capo. Swing playback can be started but not ended.
- Fine ei ole seotud konkreetse noodiga, vaid kogu taktiga (clarinet 15-p04_v6 ehk siis audio 82 Mango Walk.) MScore tips:
Beams: Ctrl+A and “auto”
Notation mistakes and problems that we discover
Chord symbols done as general text Instruments are almost never set correctly, e.g. Cello book: instrument was set as alto sax (partly as piano) Improvised bars - nothing is notated