FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What are the computer system requirements to run Sinfonia?

To run Sinfonia, you'll need a Windows or Macintosh computer with at least 4GB of RAM, a sound card and a relatively recent operating system (Windows 7 or later; Macintosh OSX 10.6 or later).

You will also need about 8GB of hard drive space to store the sounds required by the various shows.

For more detailed equipment information, please visit this article.

Our firewall won't allow Show Delivery or SampleSync to function. What should I do?

Some organizations place restrictions on their networks that prevent Show Delivery Utility and RMS SampleSync (our sound library delivery utility) from running. Here are a few things you can try to work around this:

  1. Ask your Network Administrator to open port 873 for traffic, at least temporarily while you download the files.
  2. Try downloading the show/samples at home or from an alternate network outside the firewall. Once you have all of the content, you can export them within the Show Delivery/SampleSync utilities to a memory stick or external hard drive. You can then use that to load the content onto computers behind the firewall, bypassing the network.
Can I install your software on a computer without internet?

Yes you can!

 

We’ll break this down into two parts, A (backing up) and B (loading).

 

A

1.  Using another computer connected to the internet, download your particular product from our website.

2.  Stick the installer onto your desktop (we’ll need it later).  

3.  Run the installer package.

4.  After the install is completed, you will be prompted to sync your show (Show Delivery) and your samples (Samplesync).  Follow through both process’, selecting "download from internet" and then select "sync selected show."  This process can take some time complete.  

5.  Once you’ve succesfully downloaded both show and sounds, reopen Show Delivery (you can search for it on your computer).

6.  This time, instead of download from internet, do “Backup Show Delivery Data”; once again, just select the desktop.  The file created will have a tag .rmssdu

7.  Run Samplesync, and instead of download from internet, you will “Export to other Media”.  Once again, select the desktop.  The file created will be called RMS Sampler

8.  Now, move these 3 files (the installer, the .rmssdu and the RMS Sampler folder) to a thumb stick.  Bear in mind, the RMS Sampler folder can be quite large.

 

B

9.  Insert the flash drive into the computer without internet and move the files to the desktop.

10.  Install the software as you did in step 3.

11.  After the installation, you will be prompted to run Show Delivery.

12.  This time, instead of Download from Internet, you will select “Restore from Backup” and select the .rmssdu file.

13.  Now Samplesync will run.  Instead of Download from Internet, select “Import from Other Media” and select the RMS Sampler folder.

 

You can now open and run the software on the 2nd computer!

My Windows computer has 4GB RAM installed. But I'm getting a message that I don't have enough. What's going on?

Sinfonia requires a minimum 4GB of available memory. However, even if you have 4GB of physical RAM installed, the amount of memory you have to work with may be substatantially less, depending on the way your computer is configured. Many factors, including other programs, number of user accounts, network protocols, etc. can eat away at available memory.

Here's a link to determining the amount of RAM that is available for use.

 

Recommendations to resolve:

  • Try stripping away extra user accounts and background processes. Quit all other programs. This will free up more available memory and may be enough to get you going.
  • Install more RAM. This is usually an inexpensive proposition. RAM prices fluctuate, but at last check you could double from 4GB to 8GB for about $30. And on many computers, installation is easy.
  • Try a different computer with more RAM. 4GB is our minimum spec, but more is better.
My previously-unlocked computer reverted to trial mode, what do i do?

You can re-authenticate using your existing authentication code, but before you use it be sure to re-enter your personal information again via the “Purchase/Request Code” tab. Once you’ve successfully submitted a request, click the “Unlock” tab and paste your authentication code to unlock the software.

Are there any settings I can adjust to get the best performance from my Windows computer?

To ensure you are getting the best performance for RMS applications on your Windows computer, click on the ‘Power Options’ setting in the Control Panel and select “High Performance”.

Do you have any performance advice?

Yes we do!  In fact, we have a whole pre-show checklist you can print out to help you achieve the best results possible! Please see below.

Can I run more than one Sinfonia show on my computer at a time?

Yes, you can!

Make sure you have the latest version of Sinfoina.

During installation, you will run the program 'Show Delivery' and select your first show.  After the show is downloaded, you can run Show Delivery again (either by finding the application on your computer, or by opening Sinfonia and clicking “Tools > Get Shows”) and select the other show.
After you've downloaded your second show, you can switch between them by opening Sinfonia, and clicking “File > Open”.

Feel free to call us at 212/620-0774 if we can be of further assistance.
My Oxygen 25 midi keyboard stopped controlling Sinfonia. How can I fix this?

There are several possible reasons why midi control of sinfonia might be lost (such as a wrong button being hit), but performing a factory reset typically restores proper functionality.  Try following these steps:

1. Just above middle C on the keyboard, there are 2 buttons labeled "+" and "-" Hold these buttons down while turning the keyboard off, and then back on (The power switch is on the back of the keyboard).  You may let go of the + and - buttons only after the keyboard has been turrned back on.  Doing this restores the keyboard to factory settings.  (see below picture) 

Oxygen 25 Reset

2.   Then, simply reselect the keyboard in the Setup Wizard.  You can find the option to run the setup wizard in the tools menu.

 

I have already purchased Sinfonia and want to install it on another computer. What do I do?

Each Sinfonia computer needs its own unlock code. To request an unlock code for an additional computer:

  1. Download and install the appropriate show from our website on the computer you want to use.
  2. When the program launches, click on the 'Request Authentication Code' button.
  3. Fill out the appropriate information and click on "submit." To save time, please enter your Sinfonia license number (SNF-xxxxxx) where indicated. This will make it easier and faster to locate your booking.
  4. Allow up to one business day for us to process a new code.
  5. We will email you the unlock code that can be pasted into the program.
What does Sinfonia sound like?

The RMS team has created sample banks that replicate the sound of each show in our catalogue. Every single line of the original orchestration is accounted for and you can use the instrument to support a variety of acoustic combinations.

The best way to get a sense of it is download the free trial. This way you can hear things through your theatre's sound system if you want, as well as experience how powerfully and flexibly you can control the music.

Click here to listen to a quick audio example.

How do I order Sinfonia for my production?

Purchasing of Sinfonia is done through the trial version of the program itself.

  1. Download the trial version for your specific show.
  2. Install onto the computer you intend to use in performance.
  3. When you run the program, click on the "purchase" button.
  4. Fill out the requested information and hit the "submit" button.
  5. We will confirm your rights and send you an invoice that can be paid by check or credit card.
  6. Once payment has been received, we will send you an unlock code for the program.

 

 

What equipment do I need to run Sinfonia?

Please click here for a detailed list of our equipment recommendations.

What if I order Sinfonia for my production and don't like it? Can I get a refund?

We offer a free trial version for each of our products so that you can fully evaluate them prior to purchase.

Our free trial is completely functional and contains all the features and sounds you'll find in the full version; the only difference is that the trial limits you to the first few songs.

We want you to be completely satisfied with our products and that is why we offer a free trial. Please take the opportunity to fully test out the software on your equipment prior to purchase. Due to the nature of the product, we cannot offer any refunds on software purchases.

How does it work?

Keep in mind, Sinfonia is an instrument. It is meant to be played and performed over the course of the show. It is not a playback device like a tape deck or CD player. The most basic way to play Sinfonia is through the "Play" keys. By fingering the play keys, as you would a piano, at your desired tempo, you propel the song according to your individual interpretation. The process is analogous to conducting in the traditional sense; as you beat time, Sinfonia responds. You can speed up and slow down to follow the performance, moreover, you can create deep rubato passages or taut accelerandos. 'Playing' is the essential way to breath life into Sinfonia. So for starters, try using the play keys to perform some songs.

What’s the difference between Sinfonia, OrchExtra and InstrumentalEase?

For all intents and purposes, they are the same. Sinfonia is our patented software that powers InstrumentalEase and Orchextra. InstrumentalEase is the brand Rodgers and Hammerstein licensed titles. Orchextra is the brand for titles licensed by Music Theatre International. In all cases, the technology under the hood is identical.

Is Sinfonia like a click track?

Absolutely not. Sinfonia is a fully functional instrument that is to be played at all times by a musician. There may be sections in rehearsal where the player can hit "Go" and have it play by itself according to the tempo set in the tempo map. This is not how the instrument was intended to be played.

Do I need to be a musician or a computer whiz to use the system?

Sinfonia is a new musical instrument. While it does not require the years of training for mastery that, say, a piano or violin demands, you should be familiar with the basic vocabulary of music. You should be able to follow along with a musical score and understand the concepts of meter and tempo. Sinfonia does not require computer or related technology experience. You simply need a willingness to learn and work with things that are new and on the cutting edge. Those with prior technology experience tend to embrace the potential more readily, and therefore may pick it up faster. But, if you have never touched a computer before, don’t be intimidated by Sinfonia. Go at it with a sense of adventure, invest some time, and you’ll be a pro before you know it.

How much time does it take to learn Sinfonia?

You don’t need a lot of time, but there should be at least a few days away from the pressures of rehearsal for the Sinfonia player to familiarize him or herself with how it works. With anything new, there may be some initial confusions. The player needs some quiet time and space to get a basic understanding of the instrument. Once the foundation is there, the more time spent practicing Sinfonia, the better.

How much does Sinfonia cost?

Sinfonia's cost depends on a few parameters, basically reflecting your performance license. If you contact us, we can generate a specific quote.

Do you accept POs (Purchase Orders)?

 

 

Unfortunately, we cannot accept PO's at this time.

We recognize that some organizations find this burdensome and we regret the inconvenience.  We are a very small company. If we were to commit the necessary manpower to PO administration and accounts receivable follow through, it would diminish our capacity to develop new products, features, shows, etc. In time, we may very well change our policy. But at this stage in our growth, we believe our customers are better served by focusing on the latter. 

Payment can be made by check (paper or electronic) and credit card.

 

 

How long can I use Sinfonia prior to my opening?

There is technically no limit to your rehearsal time. Your fee is based on your performance run - and as long as you have a valid performance license, you can use it as long as you want beforehand. Depending on the show, you may need to make special arangements with the license house if you want to rehearse with Sinfonia for a very long time (e.g. a year+ in advance). But all of this is possible at no additional charge from us. And in any event, you can count on at least 10 weeks of rehearsal time, if you order accordingly.

How do I connect Sinfonia to my theater’s sound system?

Sinfonia is designed to accomodate almost any internal and external audio soundcard. For an economical treatment, you can use your computer's internal audiocard, and connect to your theater's sound system via the headphone jack or built in audio output for a simple stereo mix. 

We recommend utilizing an external audio interface in addition to your computer. External audio interfaces are designed to achieve a bigger and deeper dynamic range and will also offload some processing power so your computer has more breathing room. Another advantage is flexibility in audio routing. More sophisticated audio interfaces have multiple audio outputs, which allow you to route a single instrument or group of instruments (ie. strings or woodwinds) to your house sound system for dynamic control of sound quality.

What if I only have one 1/4" cable? Will that work?

Sinfonia’s default setting is to produce the music in stereo: the left side comes out of Output 1 and the right side out of Output 2 (called output "A" in Sinfonia). If you use only one cable, you will just be getting 1/2 of the audio signal, and you will lose a lot of the richness and depth of Sinfonia’s sound.

1/4" cables can be bought at any store that carries audio equipment, and are relatively inexpensive.

What if I have more than two 1/4" cables?

Sinfonia’s default is to have just Outputs 1 and 2 designated for playback, but you can always change this to have a multi-channel set-up (for example, having the strings come out of Outputs B and the drums coming out of C). You can have up to 8 different 1/4" audio outputs with Sinfonia.

Can I download the Sinfonia keyboard labels to use on my own MIDI keyboard?

Yes, please click here to download a PDF of the keyboard labels.

When trying to install Sinfonia, I get an error message that I need at least Windows XP Service Pack 3, even though I'm using a more recent Windows version. What's going on?

From time-to-time, this false error message comes up for some Windows users. It's a minor bug in the installation software we use. The real issue that triggers this is insufficient available RAM on your computer.

  • First confirm that your computer has at least 4GB of installed, physical RAM.
  • If you're experiencing this despite having 4GB RAM, please visit this FAQ article for more information.
I can't run RMS applications on OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard). What should I do?

We recently discovered an incomptability between OS X 10.6.x (Snow Leopard) and some of the library files used in our latest software releases.  However, we will continue to offer a slightly older set of versions that still runs on Snow Leopard. You can find these at the following links:

It's worth noting that Snow Leopard is many years old and is no longer offered or supported by Apple. We urge you to consider upgrading to a more recent operating system so you can take advantage of our latest features and technology.

Can I control the tempo of Sinfonia? How?

By playing a number of different "Play" keys at your disposal you can perform the instrument at whatever tempo is required by the conductor. The musicality and nuance of every song can be expressed in this way.

When I play Sinfonia do I play the same rhythm all of the time?

Absolutely not. Our editor allows you to choose from a multitude of rhythms so every gesture in the music can be played with the organic nuance it requires. 

We have already gone through the score and put in rhythmic "tapping patterns" that we think are appropriate. By no means are you limited to the pre-programmed values, however! You can easily change the patterns to best fit your production.

I’m not hearing sound from Sinfonia.

The cause for why you may not be hearing sound could be anywhere in your signal chain. Here are some troubleshooting tips for testing sound in and out of the software:

  • First check to ensure Sinfonia/Keyboards is playing through a valid audio output. You can select an appropriate audio output via the 'Preferences' or 'Setup Wizard' menu options.
  • Mac Users should note that sometimes the audio output defaults to the "Airplay" audio output, which causes silence. Please select "Built In Output" or your external audio card (if one is connected) in order to make a valid audio connection.
  • Sinfonia and Keyboards have a built in test signal which you can use to troubleshoot your signal chain effectively. In edit mode, click the headphone icon above one of the faders in the output mixer window to trigger a continuous sine wave. If you see an energy level in the fader, you will know that Sinfonia/Keyboards is able to produce sound and the problem exists further down your signal chain outside of the software.
  • If the exists outside of the software, make sure to test all areas of your signal chain from the computer all the way to the theater's sound system, including cables, speakers and mixing board settings that could be cutting off the sound output.

Sinfonia sounds out of tune. What what should I do?

Sinfonia uses hundreds of thousands of expressive parameters in the course of a given show. If you're jumping around sections in rehearsal, it's possible you might stop mid-song where pitch-bend is engaged. If you then relocate to a different part of the song, the effect might remain in place, causing things to sound out of tune. Use the MIDI Reset button to set things right.

Do I need to have headphones to play Sinfonia?

While you don’t need to plug in headphones for Sinfonia to work, we highly recommend having headphones near the system for practicing and troubleshooting. Note that the headphones to be used with Sinfonia should have a 1/4" plug (which is bigger than the 1/8" plug found on the headphones which come with most portable music players). Most electronics stores sell inexpensive 1/8" to 1/4" plug adaptors.

Can I use headphones and have Sinfonia come out of my theater’s sound system?

Yes. In our rented system, the firewire audio device we include with Sinfonia has a headphone jack in the front and the two (or more) outputs in the back. The headphone and rear outputs have separate knobs which control their levels, and you can have sound coming out of the rear outputs while you have headphones plugged into the front.

Can I use my own MIDI keyboard with Sinfonia?

Absolutely. Any keyboard that supports MIDI will work with Sinfonia. Newer MIDI keyboards allow you to connect to your computer via USB. Older keyboards only have MIDI port connectors, and in order to connect these devices to your computer, you will need to purchase a USB/MIDI interface. If you are using an external audio interface, check this device as some models support MIDI input.

Once you have connected to the computer, you can confirm Sinfonia recognizes the keyboard through the Setup Wizard (Tools Menu --> Setup Wizard) and then customize the real time functions ('Vamp', 'Play', 'Stop', etc.) via the keyboard window (Windows Menu --> Keyboard Window)

I am getting sound, but the music seems to be 1/2 step higher in pitch!

There is a known bug relating to the operation of Firewire 410 devices and how they communicates with the Apple operating system. Occasionally, the internal settings of the Firewire 410 may change so that the music it plays back appears to be a little more than a 1/2 step higher in pitch from how the music should normally sound. If you discover this to be happening, do the following:

  1. From the player window of the laptop: hold down the Command key on the Apple keyboard and press and release the Tab key until Terminal is the highlighted option. (The Command Key also sometimes has a clover symbol and/or an Apple symbol.)
  2. Hold down the Command key and press Q to quit the Terminal. You will be prompted with a box asking if you want to close the session; click "close".
  3. Move the mouse down to the bottom of the screen and click on the icon "Audio MIDI Setup". When the Audio MIDI Setup window opens, click on the tab labeled "Audio Devices".
  4. Be sure that in the Audio MIDI Setup window, the "Properties For" selection is set to "Firewire 410".
  5. Towards the bottom of the Audio MIDI Setup window (in the section labeled Audio Output) is a setting labeled "Format". The current setting for 
Format may be "48000.0 Hz". This is incorrect. Click on that box and select "44100.0 Hz" to be the Audio Format.
  6. Click the red button on the top right corner of the Audio MIDI Setup window to close the window.
  7. Move the mouse down to the bottom of the screen and click on the icon "sinfonia script". Sinfonia should relaunch, and it should play back at the correct pitch and sample rate.
  8. The issue here is that the sample rate can sometimes change by itself, possibly related to a power surge or similar event. Make sure to test your 
system before starting rehearsal (and especially before starting a 
performance!). If you notice the same half step discrepancy, repeat the steps above.
I hit buttons on the MIDI keyboard but I don’t see anything happening on the screen.

The following steps will reset the MIDI keyboard and get it working for you again:

  1. Be sure the MIDI keyboard is turned on and plugged in. If you do not see any lights on the MIDI keyboard, check the USB cable which connects the the back of the MIDI keyboard. Next to the USB cable will be a power switch, be sure the power switch is set to the “On” or “USB” position.
  2. Unplug the USB cable from the MIDI keyboard. Hold down both the + and – buttons on the MIDI Keyboard (not the Transpose Up and Down buttons), and while holding the + and – buttons down, plug the USB cable back in.
  3. After the MIDI Keyboard lights up, you can release the + and – buttons.
  4. To confirm the Keyboard is working, go to the Sinfonia editor. Click on the tab labeled MIDI. The first drop-down menu in that tab is for MIDI Input, and it should show the MIDI Keyboard you are using as the default MIDI input. If it does not, select the MIDI Keyboard you are using from the drop-down menu.
  5. Click the Player button to return to the player. Your MIDI Keyboard should work as normal.
I hit buttons on the MIDI Keyboard, but they are doing different things than what is indicated on the Keyboard.

Your Keyboard probably got transposed by one or more octaves. Hit both Transpose Octave buttons at the same time; this should reset the Keyboard into the proper position. If this hasn’t solved the problem, do the steps in the post above to reset the MIDI keyboard.

The set-up guide says we need dedicated power. What is dedicated power?

Dedicated power means that the Sinfonia system is plugged into a power circuit that is providing power to no other devices. This means more than just having Sinfonia plugged into a wall outlet (with nothing else plugged into that outlet). Wall outlets will often be on the same circuit as other wall outlets in different parts of the room. It doesn’t help to have Sinfonia plugged into a wall outlet if that outlet is also on the same circuit as the light board and the popcorn maker! If you have any questions about whether an outlet is capable of providing dedicated power, please consult your school or theater electrician.

Does Sinfonia have sound effects cues built into it?

All sound effects cues which are meant to be played from within the orchestra (such as sound effects triggered by a keyboard player or percussionist) are covered. We do not include sound effects which are only indicated in the script.

Can I hook up my own sound module to Sinfonia?

RMS has carefully developed each show with its own specially-developed sound set using a very strict protocol of patch changes and patch select hierarchy. As a result, non-RMS sound modules will not be compatible with Sinfonia.

How do I back up my show?

You may backup your showfiles to any directory on your computer or external hard drive.

To backup your show files:

  1. Within Sinfonia, select "Backup" from the Tools Menu
  2. Save the backup file with a unique name to your desired directory.

If you need to restore your show files from a backup:

  1. Within Sinfonia, select "Load" from the Tools Menu
  2. Locate the backup file and load your saved show file.
Why do I need to use "Save As" from the file menu?

"Save As" allows you to create a copy of the showfile you are working with. This is important to use when you are making edits so that you have a version of the showfile to revert back to if mistakes are made and saved in editing functions like tempo or other parameters. Be sure to name your showfiles uniquely, preferably using the show name and date of modification so that files are organized. 

It if you wish to generate a new showfile with default actions in place, simply go to the File Menu and select "New"

Why do my instruments sound too loud or too soft in my sound system?

Sinfonia is programmed so there is a wide dynamic range between loud and soft sections: Sinfonia is designed to be playing along with traditional acoustic instruments like trumpets and violins who are reacting accordingly to passages marked "ff" or "pp" in the score. However, this contrast may come across as too much (or not enough) for you depending upon the acoustics of your venue and whether the singers are using microphones. As a suggestion for helping to balance Sinfonia's overall level, choose a loud moment in the show and set your trim and fader levels on the mixing board to that level. This should allow you to level out the mix (giving you room to increase it or decrease it as necessary) and offer headroom if adjustments are desirable during the show.

As an alternative, you can add an external "compressor/limiter" to the audio coming out of the Sinfonia system. Speak to your sound technician about the best way to go about doing this.

How do I use the Output Test?

The Output Test is one of the most important components of introducing Sinfonia to your pit/sound environment. To use the output test, put the instrument mixer window in focus and go into edit mode. Click the small headphone icon above each channel strip to audition that particular instrument. At this time you audition all channels to prove it is sounding and heard in the mixing board.

Can I plug my speakers into the headphone jack in the front of my audio interface?

A headphone jack is attenuated to work specifically with headphones. Plugging your speakers into that jack could result in blowing your speakers. Your sound technician should be able to provide you with the necessary tools to have a pit monitoring system and proper stage monitoring from the mix you are sending via Main L and R outputs.

How do I make my screen dimmer?

Please consult your computer's display preferences to adjust the screen brightness.

What does 'tick' mean in the Editor asking for 'measure', 'beat' and 'tick'?

In MIDI, each quarter note is broken up into 480 ticks. As a result, an eigth note is 240 ticks and a sixteenth is 120 ticks. You may want to add a meta-event such as "Atempo" or a "Rhythm" change in the middle of a beat for added nuances, so understanding which tick you want those changes allows you more control beyond the beats. Note that the first tick of a measure will always be tick 0 (the last tick will be tick 479 in 4/4, tick 239 in 6/8, etc.)

How do I remap realtime functions on my MIDI Keyboard?

Sinfonia is packaged with a default preset for all realtime actions. You may edit the preset or create your own presets to accomodate your midi keyboard. To assign or clear a key mapping, click-and-hold the desire key and map the desired function, or choose 'clear' to unassign a function from that key.

On a laptop system, can I forego corded power and use the battery?

The danger of relying on battery use is that you don't know exactly when the battery will run out. And you probably would be unhappy if it ran out in the middle of a show. Therefore we stongly urge that Sinfonia always be plugged into good, clean dedicated power (without sharing the power with any non-Sinfonia electrical devices).

For some useful information about MacBook power adapters, CLICK HERE.

Sinfonia was working fine during rehearsals, but in the theatre during tech/dress, it started crashing.

One of the biggest factors in computer crashes is power fluctuations. Here are some rules to follow for setting up a computer in a theater:

  1. Computers should always be on dedicated power. This means that you should not have the Sinfonia computer connected to the same outlet as any other pit or theater devices, including stand lights.
  2. If the computer is plugged into a power strip, do not have any other devices plugged into the same power strip.
  3. NEVER plug the computer into the same circuit as any lighting or other devices controlled by a dimmer. If you do, you can destroy the computer equipment.
  4. Dedicated power means more than just an outlet in the wall with nothing else plugged into it. That wall outlet may be part of the same circuit as your lighting (or other) devices, in which case you will not have remedied the above problem.
  5. When in doubt, speak to your theater's electricians before plugging things in.