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Topic: Finale Human Playback & GPO (Was "For Adam and any other Finale Whizzes")

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  1. #1

    Finale Human Playback & GPO (Was "For Adam and any other Finale Whizzes")

    Quote Originally Posted by snorlax
    Finally, if you use Fin2005, human playback has a GPO option, but I don't like HP.
    Hi Jim,

    What is wrong with Human Playback? I have not yet upgraded to Fin2005, but human playback was one of the main reasons I was just about to upgrade.

    I tried using expressions for dynamics a few years ago, but it was way too clumsy. Perhaps it has gotten better with the later releases of Finale, but atleast with my version it was a real pain in the butt. And even if it did work properly, there is the added trouble of having one expression for playback and another to get the visual symbol. As I understand, HP will playback the ordinary dynamics markings - and should solve the problem.

    Therefore my question is, does it work? Or why do you not like it?

    Thanks,
    Juuso

  2. #2
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    Re: For Adam and any other Finale whizzes...

    Juuso,

    First off my comments are based on Finale 2004's human playback, I have not upgraded yet. I disliked the fact that too many of the human playback parameters were handled automatically, it didn't give me enough control over the output. The output varied also, things didn't seem consistent from piece to piece. The midi files that it generated I thought were awful. Maybe everything is perfect in 2005, maybe.

    Why not experiment with Overture LE that came with GPO? You've got it now, costs nothing but time. That has the best playback integration with GPO. You'll spend a few hours getting aquainted with the program, but playback should be much smoother.

    Jeff

  3. #3

    Re: For Adam and any other Finale whizzes...

    For the most part, Human Playback in Finale 2004 was customizable. You could go into the options and make it so that for example it only played back the trills and ornaments. There was a decent list of options that could be turned on or off or varied to get nice playback.

    However, it could not pay attention to any existing MIDI data in the score, other than data specified via expressions. So if you used the MIDI tool to shorten the durations of notes in an area, HP would not let you hear it. If you recorded in a performance using HyperScribe, HP would not let you hear the recorded note durations or key velocities.

    This is no longer true in Finale 2005. In 2005 you can tell HP to either not touch your volume, tempo, key velocity, and note duration changes, or it can incorporate them so that it uses your data as a building block.

    The HP options are a lot more customizable, and the playback of various markings is more intelligent.

    But the biggest thing for people who want to tweak MIDI output is that you can use the Apply Human Playback plugin to make Human Playback actually make physical changes to a section of the score which you specify, and then you can go back and edit that with the MIDI Tool (so HP isn't even on any more - the data is set in the file).

    I should also point out that in Finale 2005, HyperScribe now records continuous data.

    I suggest trying the Finale 2005 demo if you're curious.

  4. #4

    Re: For Adam and any other Finale whizzes...

    Quote Originally Posted by astrt4
    The HP options are a lot more customizable, and the playback of various markings is more intelligent.
    I have tried the 2005 demo and at first it seemed it was completely customizable so that I could tell HP to change certain parameters and leave others alone for example. But when I started testing it, I wasn't so impressed anymore.

    Currently I am a bit puzzled as to how the whole thing should be set up, because there are two things to consider - key velocities and volume. Both are different and still have an effect on the audible overall "volume".

    I am going to do some consistent testing and report my findings and questions.

    As for the suggestion to start using Overture, well, getting music to print exactly as I want is my number one concern. I don't care how difficult a program is to use as long as it can do what I need it to do. I have understood that Overture lacks many features in this department. I haven't used Overture myself, but this is what I have heard.

    Juuso

  5. #5

    Re: For Adam and any other Finale whizzes...

    Ok now, I have completed my tests for human playback and here are my results.

    First of all, in order to make a crescendo on a sustained note, you obviously must use the volume controller (because key velocity will stay the same for the whole duration of the note). With this in mind I started my first test, which included only whole notes and the first measure had a crescendo the second one a diminuendo and so on. Human Playback plays these measures ok, but the last measure did not have any dynamic markings at all, and Human Playback insisted on making a crescendo-diminuendo on that measure as well. Not good.

    I tried all kinds of settings for HP, but either it did not play the dynamic markings at all, or it included it's own "dynamics" to the last measure, which should have had a constant volume.

    Unless someone can show me where I can turn of those HP's own interpretations and still play my own dynamic markings, my conclusion is that HP really sucks.

    And this is before I even added any other dynamics apart from the crescendos and diminuendos. For example I added a modified pp sign, which was set to control the volume (and set it to 32), to the beginning of the measure with a crescendo. It was should have played a crescendo from 32 upwards, but no! It again played the crescendo starting from around 73 and did not take into account this marking at all - and yes, I did try it with both "ignore" and "incorporate" settings for HP.

    So all in all, HP is still far from being a tool to be taken seriously.

    I suppose it is back to square one for me. If I want those crescendos and diminuendos to playback, I must disable HP and make my own dynamic markings. This is a real pain in the ~~~, but it seems to be the only way to do it in Finale.

    If someone has a better solution, I am all ears.


    Juuso

    P.S. I would also be interested in those expression libraries if someone has them.

  6. #6

    Re: For Adam and any other Finale whizzes...

    Quote Originally Posted by juuso
    Ok now, I have completed my tests for human playback and here are my results.

    First of all, in order to make a crescendo on a sustained note, you obviously must use the volume controller (because key velocity will stay the same for the whole duration of the note). With this in mind I started my first test, which included only whole notes and the first measure had a crescendo the second one a diminuendo and so on. Human Playback plays these measures ok, but the last measure did not have any dynamic markings at all, and Human Playback insisted on making a crescendo-diminuendo on that measure as well. Not good.

    I tried all kinds of settings for HP, but either it did not play the dynamic markings at all, or it included it's own "dynamics" to the last measure, which should have had a constant volume.

    Unless someone can show me where I can turn of those HP's own interpretations and still play my own dynamic markings, my conclusion is that HP really sucks.

    And this is before I even added any other dynamics apart from the crescendos and diminuendos. For example I added a modified pp sign, which was set to control the volume (and set it to 32), to the beginning of the measure with a crescendo. It was should have played a crescendo from 32 upwards, but no! It again played the crescendo starting from around 73 and did not take into account this marking at all - and yes, I did try it with both "ignore" and "incorporate" settings for HP.

    So all in all, HP is still far from being a tool to be taken seriously.

    I suppose it is back to square one for me. If I want those crescendos and diminuendos to playback, I must disable HP and make my own dynamic markings. This is a real pain in the ~~~, but it seems to be the only way to do it in Finale.

    If someone has a better solution, I am all ears.


    Juuso

    P.S. I would also be interested in those expression libraries if someone has them.
    1. Regarding the automatic crescendo/decrescendo on long notes, that's a feature you can turn on or off. Choose a custom HP style and uncheck Automatic Expression.

    2. I can not duplicate the problem with the pp marking. I entered a passage in a new default file, added a pp followed by a crescendo. HP used whatever value I assigned for the pp (which was defined to control key velocity - HP takes care of the conversion to volume). Perhaps there was other data in the file that was controlling the crescendo? I also am not having trouble getting HP to play any of the dynamic markings I have written in. If you have a way of posting a file, I'd be happy to take a look for you and see what I can find.

  7. #7

    Re: For Adam and any other Finale whizzes...

    Quote Originally Posted by astrt4
    1. Regarding the automatic crescendo/decrescendo on long notes, that's a feature you can turn on or off. Choose a custom HP style and uncheck Automatic Expression.
    Thanks, that solved the first problem! Great. (I just love these hidden settings in Finale...)

    But the second problem remains. I started playback with Finale and watched the faders in GigaStudio to see what happens. When I get to the bar with pp marking, the fader goes down to around 32 just as it is supposed to, but jumps back up to 78 right away. The crescendo then starts from this 78 again and not from 32.

    Here is the Finale file I used to do the test:
    http://www.easydonations.net/hp_test.MUS

    If you can take a look at that, I'd really appreciate it.

    Juuso

  8. #8
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    Re: For Adam and any other Finale whizzes...

    Juuso,

    I played around with your file a little. The "pp" expression was defined having midi playback using the volume control. I took that "pp" out and replaced it with the default dynamic "pp" using velocity control information. Then I made sure that human playback had "optimized for GPO" checked. Then it played perfect for me with GPO.

    Jeff

  9. #9
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    Re: For Adam and any other Finale whizzes...

    Jeff and Juuso,

    Thanks for your testing.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Turner
    The "pp" expression was defined having midi playback using the volume control. I took that "pp" out and replaced it with the default dynamic "pp" using velocity control information. Then I made sure that human playback had "optimized for GPO" checked. Then it played perfect for me with GPO.
    Indeed, if you have a dynamic in mind, Volume-defined expressions are not the right way to go, (for a balance, this is OK). Rather use Modulation- and Velocity-defined expressions (you can mix them, this is fine with HP), and HP will convert everything on-the-fly in the case of sustained instruments.

    Robert (designer of HP)

  10. #10
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    Re: For Adam and any other Finale whizzes...

    Robert,

    Welcome to this forum. Your recent improvements to HP are making the Finale/GPO combination much more palatable. You 'da man!

    Jeff

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