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Topic: Finale-to-Sonar Questions

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  1. #1

    Finale-to-Sonar Questions

    I've begun to work in Sonar X2 Essentials. I've just begun to dip my toes into this water. No back flips off the high board yet. As first steps, I'm trying only to learn a few procedures specific to improving my Finale files' playback--while experimenting. Just some questions that to some might seem pretty basic. Nevertheless:

    1. To create individual midi tracks in Finale and import them into Sonar, in Finale I just click "Format 1 - all instruments saved to separate tracks" in the "Export MIDI File Options" window. Correct?

    2. Do I need to reload Garritan instruments for each track in Sonar?

    3. Which tool and adjustment in Sonar's PRV would I use to stagger the start and stop times of notes--ever so slightly, of course? In Finale, this adjustment is made with the midi tool's note durations. Same deal in Sonar?

    4. Which tool and adjustments in Sonar's PRV would I use to soften the attack of some notes' "blippiness"? In Finale, this adjustment is made with the midi tool's key velocity. Same deal in Sonar?

    5. Cakewalk offers general Sonar tutorials. But I've found nothing searching for Finale-to-Sonar tutorials. Are such tutorials available somewhere?

    Thanks!
    Arthur J. Michaels
    https://www.facebook.com/composerarthurjmichaels

    Finale 2000 through Finales 25.4 (currently using Finale 25.4)
    Garritan COMB2, GPO4, GPO5, Audacity 2.1.3
    Core i7 860 @ 2.80 GHz, 8.0 GB RAM, Windows 10 Home Premium x64
    Dell 2408 WFP, 1920x1200
    M-Audio Delta Audiophile 2496
    M-Audio AV-40 monitors

  2. #2

    Re: Finale-to-Sonar Questions

    Great, Art - I think this is a good move. Here - I'll answer what I can, but of course you need input from a gen-u-wine Finale user also:

    1) Yes - MIDI Format 1 for a file with individual tracks.

    2) Yes - You're starting from scratch in Sonar, you're just importing the MIDI file, but otherwise, you'll load up ARIAs as per your needs.

    3) Well, there are several ways to mess up the timing. In the PRV you can grab individual notes and move them, with the GRID OFF, otherwise the notes will only snap to a quantization setting. Note Length is entirely different - You can grab notes and shorten or lengthen them as you want.

    But it's helpful to do some randomization of start times to large groups of notes at a time. Make a selection in the Time Line, then by holding down CTRL+F1, you'll open up the CAL folders. You'll fine one or two labeled "Random Time" - Follow the instructions in the pop up, and all the notes in that selected section will be moved randomly forwards or backwards. Experiment with that.

    4) Yes, Velocity controls how fast the attack of a note is. The lower the value, the softer the onset of the note. You can go through the Velocity Pane in the PRV and with the main tool you can edit individual notes, or large sections at a time by sweeping through. You'll feel it out by experimenting.

    5) Hmmm. Tutorials. Really what you'll be dealing with is how to use Sonar - Use it's Help files. Otherwise there's nothing to learn about going from Finale to Sonar - You simply export the MIDI. So what you want are Sonar tutorials - take a look at that large Help file, use its Search, go through tutes in there etc.

    Randy

  3. #3
    Senior Member Frank D's Avatar
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    Re: Finale-to-Sonar Questions

    Hi Art,

    Welcome to the dark side of virtual ensemble creation! Only kidding, but you will find for every hour you spend on the creative, you'll more than likely spend double that again in the editing and enhancing that a DAW affords you. I believe once you get the hang of it and hear the results, you'll also feel it's time well spent.

    Randy has started you down the path, and for now, I would also suggest just exporting a simple, 24-32 measure, 4-6 instrument/track example from Finale, and just get the feel of the thing (Possibly just the "A" section and only the reeds from a complete score). I think trying to polish-up a 30-instrument/5-minute concert score is overwhelming when you are trying to learn what's ahead for you.

    Once you begin feeling comfortable with the actual processes and editing, I would then highly recommend creating a good Sonar template file, one that has your typical concert instrumentation all set-up ... instrument, MIDI, and Audio host tracks, a bunch of Aria instances all pre-loaded, busses, final out-puts, etc. This will save you oddles of time with your productions. As you see the need for a different instrumentation, copy your template, re-name it, and edit it for the new stuff. After the holidays, I was thinking of drafting a brief write-up/tutorial on the benefits of using templates and I will post it and give you a heads-up.

    Always remember: You can learn in a few weeks/months what you need to learn to improve the computer side of things ... but it would take a lifetime to teach someone all you know about music. IOW, you already have the hardest (and most time consuming) aspect under control!

    Good luck, Art!

    Frank

  4. #4

    Re: Finale-to-Sonar Questions

    Thanks, Randy and Frank! I appreciate your help!

    Really what you'll be dealing with is how to use Sonar - Use it's Help files. Otherwise there's nothing to learn about going from Finale to Sonar - You simply export the MIDI. So what you want are Sonar tutorials - take a look at that large Help file, use its Search, go through tutes in there etc.
    Yes! From what I've seen so far, Sonar help is actually helpful. What I mean is a tutorial from MM on common adjustments in Sonar with imported Finale files--if there is any commonality there.

    Randy has started you down the path, and for now, I would also suggest just exporting a simple, 24-32 measure, 4-6 instrument/track example from Finale, and just get the feel of the thing (Possibly just the "A" section and only the reeds from a complete score). I think trying to polish-up a 30-instrument/5-minute concert score is overwhelming when you are trying to learn what's ahead for you.
    Yeah. Once I made up my mind as I have, I tend to dive in head first to a project without regard to whether the pool has water. Nevertheless, I'm working on a saxophone quartet and a concert band score.

    Thanks again!

    Art
    Arthur J. Michaels
    https://www.facebook.com/composerarthurjmichaels

    Finale 2000 through Finales 25.4 (currently using Finale 25.4)
    Garritan COMB2, GPO4, GPO5, Audacity 2.1.3
    Core i7 860 @ 2.80 GHz, 8.0 GB RAM, Windows 10 Home Premium x64
    Dell 2408 WFP, 1920x1200
    M-Audio Delta Audiophile 2496
    M-Audio AV-40 monitors

  5. #5

    Re: Finale-to-Sonar Questions

    Once you begin feeling comfortable with the actual processes and editing, I would then highly recommend creating a good Sonar template file, one that has your typical concert instrumentation all set-up ... instrument, MIDI, and Audio host tracks, a bunch of Aria instances all pre-loaded, busses, final out-puts, etc. This will save you oddles of time with your productions. As you see the need for a different instrumentation, copy your template, re-name it, and edit it for the new stuff. After the holidays, I was thinking of drafting a brief write-up/tutorial on the benefits of using templates and I will post it and give you a heads-up.
    Frank, a template is a great idea. Thanks! Also, a tutorial on this would be great! How would I use this template in Sonar? Would I just import a midi file from Finale into the template? Or does the template require my beginning a project in Sonar?

    Thanks!

    Art
    Arthur J. Michaels
    https://www.facebook.com/composerarthurjmichaels

    Finale 2000 through Finales 25.4 (currently using Finale 25.4)
    Garritan COMB2, GPO4, GPO5, Audacity 2.1.3
    Core i7 860 @ 2.80 GHz, 8.0 GB RAM, Windows 10 Home Premium x64
    Dell 2408 WFP, 1920x1200
    M-Audio Delta Audiophile 2496
    M-Audio AV-40 monitors

  6. #6
    Senior Member Frank D's Avatar
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    Re: Finale-to-Sonar Questions

    Hi Art,

    Glad to hear the template idea resonated with you! I've found them to be invaluable. This is all probably grounded in all the years I spent in design engineering managing CAD projects where templates were a must to have everyone's final drawings have the same look and settings before forwarding them to the clients.

    To answer your question, I have found it easier and faster to just open-up in Sonar the MIDI file you exported from Finale, as-is. I have Windows 7 set-up to automatically open-up MIDI files with Sonar (If you don't, simply select the MIDI file and use the right-mouse selection of "Open With" Sonar. I then open-up my template file and save it as a Sonar project file (cwp file) with an appropriate name. Then I just cut and paste the various tracks into the new "Master" Sonar project. I just close and keep that MIDI file in case I screwed-up something in the set-up process, but essentially I should never need it again.

    I actually work the opposite way of most here ... I create and publish the audio directly from Sonar, but then export to Finale a MIDI file when I need notation for singers or live-performance instrumentals. And I do the same thing in reverse ... I find it easier to do a "save-as" in Sonar and create a intermediate MIDI file (and delete all those tracks not used!), then import that cleaned-up MIDI file into FInale.

    And, no, the project needn't be originated in Sonar to use template files.

    I'll get to the tutorial in the New Year (next week), and give you some ideas and examples of Sonar template files.

    Good luck and Happy New Year!

    Frank

  7. #7

    Re: Finale-to-Sonar Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank D View Post
    ...I have found it easier and faster to just open-up in Sonar the MIDI file you exported from Finale...I then open-up my template file and save it as a Sonar project file (cwp file) with an appropriate name. Then I just cut and paste the various tracks into the new "Master" Sonar project.
    Excellent, Frank. I was hoping this is the way you'd describe using a Sonar template. If you just import the MIDI file inside the template file, so the tracks pile up underneath, you would lose the tempo data. Opening a MIDI file in Sonar retains all data, including tempo. But importing MIDI into an existing project has the tempo ignored, since the tempo of the file already open will take precedence.

    What you've described works perfectly. Click the view option so the screen is split, one project open above, one below, then just copy and paste the Finale MIDI tracks into the appropriate empty MIDI tracks in the template.

    I'm like you, working mostly in the other direction, Sonar, then Finale. One thing about working in that direction is that you can create much more sophisticated tempo maps in Sonar. Once in notation, I stay with the option to have original MIDI data play, so the tempo map is faithfully the same.

    Great stuff, Frank!

    Randy

  8. #8
    Senior Member Frank D's Avatar
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    Re: Finale-to-Sonar Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser- View Post
    Excellent, Frank. I was hoping this is the way you'd describe using a Sonar template.

    ... Randy
    Thanks Randy! Much appreciated that you reviewed and expanded on my advice to Art. It's always exciting to hear that a seasoned musician like Art is taking this big step to improve his audio renderings.

    Oh Guru of Tutorials: I need a few pointers before I embark on said template tutorial!

    If you get some time next year (OK, next year = next week ), I would appreciate a brief "Tutorial Tutorial"! Actually, I just need some help with what you use to capture screen images beyond just <control Prt Scr> and what s/w do you draw your lines/arrows with ... Photoshop? And also, do you have to mock the whole thing up (text and images) in the NS comments window directly, or can you create the tutorial in Word and then just imbed (or copy/paste) it into the forum comments window? I have a Box.net account, but apparently it won't work for images? Is there an equivalent site you use for images?

    Any software or pointers you can point me to would be greatly appreciated!

    Happy New Year, Randy! (and to you too, Art ... thanks for letting me borrow your thread here!)

    Frank

  9. #9

    Re: Finale-to-Sonar Questions

    A Tute on Tutes - OK, Frank! I'll try to remember to do that within the week - I'm just running through at the moment.

    HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!

    Randy

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