Barbershop learning tracks

I am really impressed with Synth V! I have used the “Kevin” voice now to create 4 part “learning tracks” for a barbershop arrangement I did in MuseScore. I exported MusicXML, wrote a custom piece of software to manipulate it to duplicate the lyrics onto the other 3 parts (from the Lead) except where they had different lyrics, then exported the result as Midi with lyrics, and imported to Synth V. Results are quite good.

My feedback:

  1. I wish I could disable even more of the stylizing at the start of each note. I turned it all the way down on the slider, but there is still a noticeable swooping / swiping at the start of each note.
  2. Is there a way to make it interpret midi with a “swing” tempo, by artificially lengthening and shortening alternate notes? I can do that in my middleware script I guess…
  3. I would like more control over ensuring that the vowel sound starts right on each downbeat, and control over what % of the prior note is held on the vowel compared to converting to the initial consonant of the next note. In barbershop we talk about 75/25 or 90/10 as the preferred “ratios” of the prior vowel compared to the singable consonant of the next note. Is there a way to let me control that globally for a score in Synth V ?

If we could get these changes, it would make it possible to use Synth V to make draft learning tracks for the whole Barbershop hobby, and I think it could be useful to very many people. Happy to advocate for the use of the software, and to open-source my converter script soon.

If you want completely flattened pitch curves, set the notes to Manual pitch mode and delete any pitch deviations from the Parameters panel. Sing mode adds expressive pitch patterns more suited to a lead vocal, so if you don’t want this behavior you’ll likely want to disable it.

Once you have the notes in Manual mode and you’ve deleted the parameter curve, you can even further flatten the curves by adjusting the transition sliders to zero.

You can see in this example I’ve followed this process for two notes and they have an extreme “auto-tune” or “pitch-snap” effect. (in the first screenshot I only show one note selected, but you can press ctrl+A to select all the notes in the current track/group)

You can change the default pitch mode to Manual in the Settings panel, which will save the cleanup work in the future.

Regarding the timing, you may find more success using the offset sliders under Note Properties to get more fine control over the start of a note. There are two offsets; one for the pitch transition (pictured above), and one for phoneme timing.

If you’re comfortable with LUA or JavaScript scripting, you can also access and change these offsets via a script: Note - Synthesizer V Studio Scripting Manual (

Hi Mark,

I also just started looking into SynthV for creating vocal rehearsal tracks (mostly SATB pop/jazz arrangements).

I’m using Dorico (notation program) and it can playback swing and the timing of the swing notes also gets exported to midi. Can MuseScore playback/export swing notes to midi?

I also joined the facebook SynthV group and shared my observations after my first experiment (on an arrangement of Shower The People) and am also wondering what/if some of the things I’m manually adjusting can be automated. But I probably need to get a little bit more experience with working with SynthV.

My guess is that especially around start/ending of the notes we are looking at the same manual corrections to be done.

Best regards,