Notessimo V3 Tutorial [2024 Edition]

Previously, we’d refer to Hellstick’s version for a detailed walkthrough, but all the images are now dead in a fire. This is a more up-to-date, much-needed walkthrough of Notessimo V3’s interface.

Sheets Tab [F2]

This tab will be your main work area, where you place your instruments and notation on the staff.
On the left-hand side is a list of cursor tools and basic functions you can use:

  1. Hand tool [H] - Move the camera view of the staff
  2. Select tool [S] - Select individual notes or drag-select multiple notes
  3. Pencil tool [D] - Place new notes on the staff; hold [Ctrl] for sharp notes, [Shift] for flat notes
  4. Paintbrush tool [F] - Click and drag to place multiple notes on the staff at once
  5. Eyedropper tool [I] - Pick an already placed instrument on the staff; this becomes your current instrument
  6. Eraser tool [E] - Erase a note from the staff
  7. Cut [Ctrl+X] - Remove a selection from the staff; this becomes your current instrument
  8. Copy [Ctrl+C] - Copy a selection from the staff; this becomes your current instrument
  9. Paste [Ctrl+V] - A previously copied selection from the staff becomes your current instrument
  10. Zoom in [+]
  11. Zoom out [-]
  12. Default zoom level [Ctrl+1]

Just below the staff is a set of playback options, sheet navigation buttons and more:

  1. Play in cinematic mode [Shift+Enter]
  2. Play in edit mode [Enter]
  3. Stop [Shift+Enter]
  4. Pause [Enter]
  5. Select next top layer [Q]
  6. Select next bottom layer [W]
  7. Select on all layers [L][Toggle]
  8. View current layer only [J][Toggle]
  9. Select visible instead of duration [K][Toggle]
  10. Clear selection [Esc]
  11. Edit selection [Double-click][Opens an in-app window]
  12. Lock position of selection [L][Toggle]
  13. Change note length of current instrument
  14. Add/remove dots to current instrument - dotted notes extend the note length by half, additional dots further extend the note by half the value of the last dot
  15. Set the volume gain of the current instrument in dB
  16. Pan the current instrument [-1 = left ear, 1 = right ear]
  17. Edit default instrument values [Opens an in-app window]

You can find a sidebar on the right that provides additional tools to help you with your workflow. Click and drag the three little lines to hide the sidebar at any time.

Sidebar – Sheets [F9]
Create, organize, duplicate and rename your sheets here. Selecting a sheet will bring it up on the staff to edit.

Sidebar – Notation [F10]
Select instruments, brushes, and samples here. Clicking an instrument will set it on your cursor for you to place on the staff. Dragging is optional.

Sidebar – Properties [F11]
Officially named “Settings” in V3, here you can change the properties of the current sheet you’re working on.

Sidebar – Layers [F12]
Edit, organize, and rename your current sheet’s layers here.

At the bottom of the window is the sheet roll, or what I like to affectionately call the railyard. Here, you can drag-and-drop sheets from the sidebar and rearrange them on the fly. The sheet roll also has its own playback settings and volume slider on the right. Click and drag the three little lines to hide the sheet roll at any time.
Don’t bother with the headphones icon, that doesn’t work.

Brushes Tab [F3]

This tab is functionally similar to the Sheets tab, with one key difference – here, you can place multiple notes and instruments to be saved and collectively used as one brush.
Brushes function much like Instruments in the way you place them on the staff, with the added benefit of playing multiple instruments at once.

Instruments Tab [F4]

Here you can create and edit instruments based on uploaded samples. The keyboard is interactable.
Below the keyboard is an area where you can fine-tune your instrument.

Subtab: Base
Select your base sample here. This is the main sample for your current instrument. You can also choose an icon for your instrument here. The Scale value determines how high/low your instrument shifts in pitch from its root. You can also change your instrument’s base volume, pan, and fade values.

Subtab: Samples
Here you can insert additional samples within select ranges of pitch and adjust each sample accordingly. Changing the Set values allows you to adjust the number of samples you have on this instrument.

Subtab: Effects
You can apply a simple biquad filter to your instrument for added effect. Frequency affects the speed of the pass, while Resonance affects the loudness of the pass.
Pitch Modulation changes the high and low points of the resonance. Pretty cool as its own effect, but it does leave much to be desired.

Subtab: Utilities
You can set the default note of the instrument that plays upon selection, but other than that, this tab doesn’t see much use.

Subtab: Info
Describe your instrument here. Again, not much use here.

Songs Tab [F1]

You can add, remove, and rearrange your sheets and songs here. An often overlooked feature of this tab is the “song” function itself: on a technical level, a “song” behaves very much like a sheet, and is essentially a sheet of sheets. And so, V3 lets you place songs within existing songs, as if they were sheets, giving you new ways to organize your music.

Side note: song-within-song playback may not accurately reflect your composition

Samples Tab [F5]

Upload and edit custom samples here.

Subtab: Base
Upload your sample here. You can adjust your sample’s rate (in Hz), volume gain, and pan. V3 has no way to detect the pitch of the sample you upload, so you’ll have to define the note manually. You can also set an icon for your sample.
If you have a mic connected, you can also record a live sample.

Subtab: Marker
Lets you set samples to loop at a custom interval. Red lines denote the Begin/Stop values, while black lines denote the Start/End values. For loops, it is recommended to adjust the black lines.

Icons Tab [F6]

Here you can upload and edit icons for samples and instruments. Adjust the center of the icon by changing the X and Y values.

Info Tab [F7]

A form for you to put in relevant information to your song. Mostly irrelevant to the rest of the app.

Render Tab [F8]

This is where you can preview your song as it would’ve appeared in V3’s old (now defunct) online player on the website. A convenient way to view your current progress, spot any loose ends that need tying, or just enjoy your hard work.

Instrument Properties
Double-clicking a selection on the staff will open up a window showing you the selection’s current properties. Any values changed here will apply to all selected instruments on the staff.


General Properties
Change the volume, pan, and fade values of the selection here.

Type in anything in the form here, and it will appear at the bottom in cinematic mode as the instrument(s) play. For additional flair, change the font size, color, alignment, and fade properties. Don’t ask me about the URL, I don’t understand it either.

Here you can change the note, length, and position of the selection on the staff, as well as the layer it is currently on. You can also replace the selection with a different instrument entirely.

Jot some notes down.

Sheet Properties
Double-clicking a selection of sheets in the Songs tab [F1] will open up a window showing the sheets’ current properties. Any values changed here will apply to all sheets selected.

General Properties
Change the volume and pan values of the selection here.

Here you can change the layer the selection is currently on, as well as their current position in the sheet roll. Useful for when there’s a lot of empty space in between sheets.

Jot some notes down.

And there you have it. If you forget any of the above information, remember V3 displays tooltips for you when you hover over a button. Some tooltips are more detailed than what I explained here.
If all this seems like information overload, my advice is to stick to the Sheets tab and not worry about the other features.

Happy composing!