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Sinfonia Manual


Suggestions for Playing a Perfect Show

Remember to use the STOP key. The mode description on the screen is a big aid for making sure you know that you have actually stopped and aren't continuing in a play mode (either PLAY or GO).


Take some time to rehearse and familiarize yourself with Sinfonia ® before you get together with the conductor, pit musicians or performers. You have to become familiar with the system and also with the score to the show. In addition, you will want to be familiar with how the score and the system work together. A good way to do that is to take the score and go through each song, marking what the play duration is throughout each song and thinking of places where you think you will need to tap, versus setting a tempo and letting Sinfonia ® run. REMEMBER: If you are working through the score and stopping to make notes, be sure to hit the STOP key when you pause to make a note - otherwise the system will CRASH!


If you are following a singer (versus following a conductor) remember that some singers like to backphrase, or sing slightly behind the beat, especially on ballads. You will have the most success if you help set the beat and let it remain constant, rather than trying to PLAY exactly with the singer. What can happen when you do that is that the singer will try and sing slightly behind the beat, but you'll be slowing the song down. The singer will slow down further, and you will try and follow and soon the song will be crawling along and everyone will be extremely unhappy!


Make sure to download and print a set of Sinfonia ® keyboard labels You can attach these to the corresponding keys on your MIDI keyboard, making it easy to identify Sinfonia ® functions at a glance.

Emergency Navigation

Arbitrary Vamp

The arbitrary vamp button can be very useful if there's an emergency onstage. Let's say that an actor misses an entrance, or your set isn't quite in the right spot and you need to fill time. The arbitrary vamp button will create an on-the-fly vamp for you! If you hit it once, it will create a 1-bar vamp. If you hit it twice, it will create a 2-bar vamp and so forth. Keep in mind, this button sets the beginning of the vamp to the current bar.

Arbitrary Relocate

What happens if you're in the middle of a performance and the singer skips three stanzas of the song, or your dancers lose their place and start over again? If you find yourself in one of these situations and need to jump to a specific measure, the "Go to..." function can be your friend. All you need to do is type the measure number on your keyboard or number pad, hit return to arm the measure, and then hit return again to navigate to the measure indicated. You can also create a marker ahead of time and use this function to jump to that spot whenever you need to.

Sinfonia ® Pre-Show Checklist

It is a good idea to run through this checklist before each show. For you convenience, you can download and print this checklist in both .DOC and .PDF format.

  • The computer running Sinfonia ® is plugged into a clean, dedicated power line.

  • No other devices, particularly stand lights, mixers, or anything on a dimmer, plugged into the same power circuit. You may need to check with your theater electrician to ensure that this is the case, as circuits may have more than one set of outlets.

  • Sinfonia ® is on a clean and stable work surface.

  • All applicable Sinfonia ® devices (e.g. USB Keypad, MIDI Keyboard, Firewire 410 or Profire 610) securely connected and powered.

  • The computer running Sinfonia ® is plugged in and not running on battery power.

  • No USB devices (other than those being used to operate the program) plugged into the Sinfonia ® computer.

  • Volume: be sure that the volume slider of the computer is at the proper level for your show.

  • Run Output Test.

  • Play through a few different sections in both acts to confirm that Sinfonia ® is at the proper level and is playing back at the correct pitch.

  • Be sure that you have rewound to the beginning of the first song of Act I before you start the show

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  • Have a great performance!

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