Interpretation Settings


Form settings control the transformation and rendering of Figure segments.

How the pitch of an Anchor is influenced by the previous anchor:
  • Independent: Anchors don't influence each other.
  • Linked within 1/8: If the previous anchor is within this distance, an attempt is made to map the current anchor relative to that.
Only anchors of the same symbol type can influence each other, where a chord change falls between them and the resulting difference to the notated pitch is not too extreme.
How to deal with segments that happen to reach outside their assigned playing range:
  • Open: Keep a segment as rendered and let all notes pass through. This may produce notes outside the assigned playing range and even outside the total pitch range of the instrument.
  • Clip: Keep a segment as rendered and drop any notes that fall outside the total pitch range of the instrument.
  • Shift: Transpose segments as a whole in an attempt to make them fit into their assigned playing range. Large segments may reach outside that range, but notes that fall outside the total pitch range of the instrument are dropped.
  • Fold: Similar to Shift, but instead of dropping notes outside the total pitch range of the instrument, the segment is broken down into smaller parts to avoid that. While this protects against violating the total pitch range, some notes may still reach outside the assigned playing range.
When shifting or folding segments, do so in increments of octaves rather than scale steps. This is useful where a particular pitch class (note) is more important than relative melodic movement.
Strictly enforce the playing range assigned to a segment (lower, middle, upper) even if the total pitch range is wider than that. Depending on the individual range, this can considerably compress the output of segments.
Select a particular tuning for a string instrument. The tuning controls how segments of type Chord are rendered.
Divide and transpose long sustained notes that create unwanted dissonances by violating the Harmonic Context. Consider only notes that overlap into the dissonant context by at least this set length.
Limit output to a single voice.
Stretch successive notes to close gaps between them. Notes farther away than two bars away not considered.
Tie Notes
Merge successive notes of the same pitch into a single note.
Enable Voicing
Allow individual chord segments in the Figure parameter to override the default voicing suggested by the Harmony parameter.
Enable Inversions
Allow individual chord segments in the Figure parameter to override the default inversion suggested by the Harmony parameter.
Enable Alignment
If disabled, all chords will ignore the previous chord when selecting an inversion or voicing automatically.
Enable Dissonance
If disabled, all minor seconds will be inverted to avoid dissonances.
Automatically generate a sustained chord for every harmonic context in Harmony.
Automatically generate a sustained bass note for every harmonic context in Harmony.

Voice Leading

Voice leading determines how melodies are supposed to be carried across chord changes.

Limits the set of notes that can be used. Rhythm guitar, for example, benefits from playing only chord notes.
Look Ahead
How much earlier a voice is supposed to respond to the next Harmonic Context before the actual change. With a positive value, the next chord and scale are picked up earlier, with a negative one they are delayed.
The choice largely depends on rhythm and the sound envelope of an instrument. A phrase that pushes ahead benefits from an early response. Different settings for multiple instruments can create dissonances and blurring effects.
  1. None: Disables voice leading.
  2. Default: A balanced all-purpose setting.
  3. Adaptive: Adapts to the figure automatically by forcing rhythmically more significant notes to be harmonically stronger.
  4. Adaptive (dynamic): Notes with higher velocity are forced to be harmonically stronger.
  5. Adaptive (dynamic and rhythmic): Notes with higher velocity or longer duration are forced to be harmonically stronger.
  6. Stabilizing: Starts with a full scale and continually increases emphasis on the chord as the measure proceeds. Obfuscates chord changes to some extent.
  7. Solo: Affords extra leeway for melodic nuance.

  8. Strong: Strong emphasis on chords with only few scale tones in between.
  9. Medium: Allows more scale tones between chords.

  10. Weak: Full scale allowed between chords. Can lead to interesting results, but may sound indifferent or dissonant at times.
Follow a stricter policy to avoid conflicts with other instruments. Disable this for more dissonance and variety.

Rendering Of Anchors

Where two anchors follow each other very closely, Synfire attempts to keep the visual pitch leap between them, no matter what the next harmonic context suggests. This influence gets weaker with increasing distance between anchors.


Synfire offers an array of templates for different instruments and uses that you can recall here.

Select a predefined preset from the drop-down menu.
Let Synfire examine the Figure and suggest a preset.
Save current settings as a new preset. It will appear in the menu Parameter > Insert Template.
Generate Pedal
Estimate sustain pedal action from Figure and Scheme. Very good for melodic piano phrases and brass solos.
Interpretation and voice leading are completely disabled. Symbols are rendered literally, consequences be damned.
Note: The Express and Pro editions allow for much more detailed control of voice leading, how an instrument is supposed to respond to harmony changes, the amount of dissonance that is allowed and how to deal with an instrument's playing ranges.