How do I use the Lyric editing feature?

You can create and edit the lyrics in the lyric window any way you choose. If you have created custom content, you will most likely need to add, and edit the lyrics so that they match the corresponding MIDI notes in the midi sequence. Here's a tutorial on how to do that:

Basic Lyric Input:

Enter edit mode, and observe the quill icon that appears to the right of each part’s name. Click on this icon to open the lyric window. Click into the lyric window, and begin typing lyrics. Caution: Be aware that in order for the typed words to be preserved, the user must select “save” from the file menu immediately when complete. If the user leaves edit mode, or changes songs before saving, your changes will be discarded.


When lyrics exist in the lyric window, every MIDI note in the MIDI track pertaining to that part will highlight the lyrics chronologically.

Special Characters:

In most cases, lyrics will require special techniques to properly reflect the unique needs of music. Examples might include melismas, different verses for repeats, etc. For this purpose, we have created special characters that perform various functions in the lyrics window. Here is a guide to those characters and their functions:

  • a hyphen [-] connecting two syllables will allow for each syllable to apply respectively to two midi notes in the sequence.

  • an underscore [_] appended to the end of a lyric will permit the very next midi note to repeat that lyric. This character allows for melismas, where multiple sung notes apply to a single lyric.

When there are repeated verses (using repeats in RMS Coach, where the same midi notes are triggered an additional time), and different lyrics are required for each verse, the user may use bracket/number combos that tell the software to use some lyrics for the first time, and new lyrics for the repeat. This is achieved in the following example:

[1 Ev’-ry-thin’s up to date in kan-sas cit-y

They’ve gone a-bout as fur as they c’n go

They went and built a sky-scrap-er sev-en stor-ies high

a-bout as high as a build-in’ or-ta grow]

[2 Ev’-ry-thin’s up to date in kan-sas cit-y

They’ve gone a-bout as fur as they c’n go

They got a big the-ay-ter they call a bur-lee-kew

Fer fif-ty cents you c’n see a dan-dy show]

This example from the song “Kansas City” in the show Oklahoma was truncated for brevity. Notice that each verse is contained within square brackets, and each opening bracket is appended with a number pertaining to the verse. Observe that the third and forth lines in each verse are different, but they highlight correctly in the context of playback in Coach.

Curly Brackets:

The following curly-bracket commands allow for other special behaviors:

  • {*hide or {*h – any syllables contained within this and the close brace will be assigned to notes, but will not actually display in the performance mode lyric window. It’s an alternative way to create a spacer.

  • {*group or {*g – the bracketed text will be grouped together and assigned to a single note. The entire group would highlight for the duration of the single note-on event.

  • {*float or {*f – the bracketed text would display at the given location, but would not be assigned to notes. The MIDI notes will skip over it.

  • {*direction or {*d – same as float, but intended for stage directions or miscellaneous notes.

Additional notes:

In advanced scenarios, using the proper special characters to achieve the desired goal can be a challenge. The best way to troubleshoot is to work chronologically, and attempt to pinpoint when an issue arises. Then look at the midi file to see if there are mistakes there (such as extra notes for a single lyric). In many cases, adding special characters or removing them is the easiest way to get the desired behavior.

Copying lyrics from the lyric window is not permitted. While you may paste words from your clipboard into the lyric window, copying from the lyric window does not copy the lyrics to the computer’s clipboard.