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Topic: Using Finale for Playback: Experiement

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  1. #1

    Question Using Finale for Playback: Experiement

    I have been using Finale since 1999. Since then, I 've always used Finale's Hyperscribe feature to enter in notes by playing a midi keyboard to a metronome. Over the years I have become quite consistent playing on the beat almost producing a perfect looking score in just one take but when I hit playback, even with the human playback on, the music has always sounded like Finale's interruption of my piece and not my own. So this weekend I tried an experiment. I simply removed the human playback, took out the metronome, and simply performed a short 30 measured, single-lined melody using Hyperscribe and the midi keyboard's modulation wheel for expression. Then I was very surprised what happened next, the score looked awful, but the playback sounded almost like I was performing live.

    So what does this mean? Maybe Finale can do more than what we think it can do, or maybe this means absolutely nothing at all because a full out recording of an entire piece by performing every note might not be feasible at all in Finale. I was hoping others might share their thoughts on playback and Finale, and offer some tips of their own too.


    MP3 using 6 horn ensemble true legato, trumpet ensemble true legato, trombone ensemble, and trumpet solo true legato from CineBrass and my new Micro Choir that I was thrilled to win from our earlier contest. All audio was recorded just using Finale. https://app.box.com/s/o4ok1wy0uhgt789dma60

    Polished, printable score on how it should look: https://app.box.com/s/t3deyw9gepr8bkiz8v6u

    How the score looked just by me playing into Finale. I needed to tell Finale in a few places what dynamic level I needed the performance to start at, then I could use the mod. wheel for the rest of the expression throughout the phrases. That's why you see some dynamic markings, and the empty measure at the end is so the music would not be cut off abruptly but diminish naturally. https://app.box.com/s/e5m288w4o8c1ev7qcpn4
    ~Rod

  2. #2

    Re: Using Finale for Playback: Experiement

    Hi Rod,


    I've been working with Finale since 1998, but nowadays, I rarely do. I'm sure you're right, more is possible with Finale than most of us are aware of, but it has become such a large and complicated notation program that it is difficult to master every detail of it. That doesn't say anything about its possibilities and finesses of course!
    To me, it is a great tool to engrave scores and parts. I don't know any better one for that purpose. To work in a performance environment, it's too complicated and sometimes unwieldy - for specialists let's say. We've been hearing lots of very good Finale performances here on the forum, which proves that it is quite well possible to realise excellent recordings and renditions. You've produced with your example a proof of it. So let's be positive about Finale and hope that one day an update appears which surprises us all.

    Max

  3. #3
    Senior Member Tom_Davis's Avatar
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    Re: Using Finale for Playback: Experiement

    I do all of my music with the mouse - never was much of a keyboard player due to an injury, so without Finale or something similar, I would be back to pencil and paper. I also have Sibelius7, but find it user unfriendly. Also read on a blog last week that Sibelius notation software is being discontinued.

    I have Finale 2014, Kontakt 5 (full version) and Cubase. I simply cannot get any results from Cubase, and Kontakt is used just for Symphonic Choir and choir word builder.

    Tom

  4. #4

    Re: Using Finale for Playback: Experiement

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom_Davis View Post
    I do all of my music with the mouse - never was much of a keyboard player due to an injury, so without Finale or something similar, I would be back to pencil and paper. I also have Sibelius7, but find it user unfriendly. Also read on a blog last week that Sibelius notation software is being discontinued.

    I have Finale 2014, Kontakt 5 (full version) and Cubase. I simply cannot get any results from Cubase, and Kontakt is used just for Symphonic Choir and choir word builder.

    Tom
    So, I know that you can just play sounds on Kontakt, does that mean you have never recorded anything with SC and its word builder?

  5. #5
    Senior Member Tom_Davis's Avatar
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    Re: Using Finale for Playback: Experiement

    Quote Originally Posted by composingatnight View Post
    So, I know that you can just play sounds on Kontakt, does that mean you have never recorded anything with SC and its word builder?
    Not at all. I compose in Finale then export it to Kontakt 5 where I add the instruments (including Symphonic Choir). I am reportedly told that to get as "real" or professional sound I must then export the project to a DAW. I have tried, but never have been successful.

    So far (knocking resoundingly on wood) the projects have been good enough to convince publishers and clients to pay for them.

  6. #6

    Re: Using Finale for Playback: Experiement

    Hi Rod,

    This is a subject -- notation versus DAW -- that has been hotly debated many times in the past in this forum.

    My own experience with Finale over the years -- many years -- has been quite favorable.

    I've always used Finale exclusively for rendering; have never owned a DAW; and neither write with nor use a keyboard of any kind for note entry -- strictly manual notation in Finale.

    While it certainly may reasonably be argued that a DAW does give you the possibility of more control than any current notation program does, I think an experienced Finale user can, with care, achieve comparable results.

    The key, here, is detail. Remember you're working with a box full of wires, dumb as a bag of dead flies. You have to tell Finale (or a DAW, for that matter) everything. That means extensive markup: every dynamic, every hairpin, every tempo, every phrase, every articulation. And I do mean everything.

    Where most notation users fall short is expecting the software to somehow "know" what you want -- when there's no way it can unless you tell it.

    The scores on my site are those I actually use for rendering in Finale. While I don't pretend to be among the best technical talents on the forum by any stretch of the imagination... lol -- you might be able to pick up a few pointers looking them over.

    All best,


    David
    ------
    David Sosnowski
    www.DavidSosnowski.com

  7. #7

    Re: Using Finale for Playback: Experiement

    Quote Originally Posted by etLux View Post
    Hi Rod,

    This is a subject -- notation versus DAW --

    The key, here, is detail. Remember you're working with a box full of wires, dumb as a bag of dead flies. You have to tell Finale (or a DAW, for that matter) everything. That means extensive markup: every dynamic, every hairpin, every tempo, every phrase, every articulation. And I do mean everything.
    David
    ------
    David Sosnowski
    www.DavidSosnowski.com
    Hey David,

    Thank you for responding, and sorry for the delay. I have been performing in concerts. I have heard that you need to do extensive markup in Finale, but here in my little melodic experiment I tried to show that one could possibly play how they wanted the score to sound using very little markup with similar results from a DAW. I've never heard of anyone trying this before, and was wondering do y'all think it's possible to perform an entire rendering in this sort of fashion in Finale? It took less time also, and all I had to put down was starting dynamics on each phrase. To me, finding this by accidentally, was quite fascinating. One of the issues is that the rendering score would look nothing like the finished score including rhythms. What are y'all's thoughts?

  8. #8

    Re: Using Finale for Playback: Experiement

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom_Davis View Post
    Not at all. I compose in Finale then export it to Kontakt 5 where I add the instruments (including Symphonic Choir). I am reportedly told that to get as "real" or professional sound I must then export the project to a DAW. I have tried, but never have been successful.

    So far (knocking resoundingly on wood) the projects have been good enough to convince publishers and clients to pay for them.
    Do you have any audio with the symphonic choir with Finale?

  9. #9

    Re: Using Finale for Playback: Experiement

    Quote Originally Posted by composingatnight View Post
    Hey David,

    ... do y'all think it's possible to perform an entire rendering in this sort of fashion in Finale? It took less time also, and all I had to put down was starting dynamics on each phrase.
    Yes, surely, it's possible on smaller, simpler pieces -- but the results are rather bland, as Human Playback has very limited interpretive power.

    On larger, more complex pieces, though, no. I think you'd find the results unacceptable.

    This is one of those things -- interpreting a piece of music -- that will not readily fall to the blandishments of facile automation. Nor, as capable as the underlying programming of it is, is Human Playback intended to supplant markup; but, rather, to be an adjunct to it.

    All best,



    David
    ------
    David Sosnowski
    www.DavidSosnowski.com

  10. #10

    Re: Using Finale for Playback: Experiement

    Quote Originally Posted by etLux View Post
    Yes, surely, it's possible on smaller, simpler pieces -- but the results are rather bland, as Human Playback has very limited interpretive power.

    On larger, more complex pieces, though, no. I think you'd find the results unacceptable.

    This is one of those things -- interpreting a piece of music -- that will not readily fall to the blandishments of facile automation. Nor, as capable as the underlying programming of it is, is Human Playback intended to supplant markup; but, rather, to be an adjunct to it.

    All best,



    David
    ------
    David Sosnowski
    www.DavidSosnowski.com
    Oh, I'm not talking about using human playback. I am talking about playing everything into Finale with a midi keyboard with the human playback off so the hyperscribe will capture everything I play without a metronome producing a DAW like human performance without using a million markings. This is what I did in my demo above but just using one line.

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