Using LivePrompter for Multiple Musicians

Custom Content – Comments and Pictures

LivePrompter can be very powerful when sharing the same song files for multiple musicians in a band. In this scenario, song files are shared e.g. via cloud storage like Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive etc. Or you can go old-school, just copying song files across all devices via USB sticks – but that gets tedious very soon, when you make frequent changes to your songs…

The advantage of this is that all musicians have the same version of the song on their LivePrompters, which is definitely a plus, compared to all the loose-leaf collections in ring binders (“hey, this is not how this song is played in MY book…”). But you may want to have some specific information for individual musicians that isn’t really relevant for the rest of the band, e.g. a reminder for the guitarist to turn the amp reeeeally loud for the solo, or for the keyboarder to switch to the right sound for his famous Hammond lick, etc.

For this, LivePrompter provides the “custom comment” feature, which allows you to have comment lines that only get shown to a specific musicians. So you would write in your song file:

{customcomment5:turn amp up very loud}
{customcomment7:switch upper keyboard to Hammond 3}
... this is where the epic guitar/hammond duel is played...

Now your guitarist puts the ShowCustomComments=5 in his LivePrompter.ini, while the keyboarder uses ShowCustomComments=7. As a result, the guitarist will only see the comment “turn amp up very loud”, where the keyboarder sees “switch upper keyboard to Hammond 3”.

So go and sprinkle your song files with custom comments for every band member, and things become pretty manageable!

There are two more custom elements: pictures and skips:

Custom pictures allow you to show an embedded picture only to a specific musician. So you’d use

{custompicture7:my song - keyboard intro.png}

to show a picture only to the keyboarder.

In combination with this, it may be useful to skip some content for a specific musician, e.g. if the keyboarder has the intro of the song completely notated in a picture, it is unnecessary to also see the chords that the rest of the band are seeing, so we can have something like this

{custompicture7:my song - keyboard intro.png}

This means that for the keyboarder, everything between the {ignore7} and the {ignoreoff7} tag isn’t shown – nifty, huh?

Custom Transposition

Using the {customtransposeX:...} tag, you can transpose the chords in a song specifically for an individual musician. This can be helpful for brass and reed instruments that sound in a different key. Or your keyboarder may transpose a song that’s in a hard-to-play key a half note up and transpose his master keyboard a half note down – I know, that’s cheating, but I’m not telling 😉 …

For the guitarists among you, the {customcapoX:...} tag can be helpful – using this means that the chords in the song will be adjusted for a capo on the respective fret for the specific musician, while the rest of the band see the song in its normal key.

To use these tags, you set the UseCustomTranspose=X tag in your LivePrompter.ini, with X being the specific number for the musician.

BTW: There is a reason why LivePrompter has different settings for ShowCustomComments and UseCustomTranspose: ShowCustomComments allows you to choose multiple numbers for comments to be displayed, so one musician can see all custom comments marked 0,1 and 9, which is perfectly feasible.

But transposing and setting capo can only allow one setting – now useful way to transpose both 1 up and 3 down or to set a capo both on the 3rd and the 5th fret…

Have fun going wild with capo and transposition!