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Topic: Amazing Human Playback Harp

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  1. #1
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    Cool Amazing Human Playback Harp

    The Human Playback feature in Finale 2005 is quite remarkable. Scoring in a notation program can be very mechanical and often lacks the feeling, phrasing and nuance of music that is performed. But Human Playback takes notation and imparts a human dimension to it. With Finale version 2005, Human Playback is now GPO compatible.

    HP harp features are largely unknown but are unique. I was impressed with what the Human Playback can do with notated harp parts. Below are some examples:

    Here is the Intro to Waltz of the Flowers:
    http://www.garritan.com/mp3/waltz2.mp3

    And a part of a Bartok and Debussy peice.
    http://www.garritan.com/mp3/bartok.mp3

    What you have heard has been notated in Finale where the notes were drawn in with a mouse -this was not played in with a keyboard.

    Here is the Finale score of the Bartok:



    Here is the Finale 2005 File of Waltz of the Flowers if you have Finale 2005 and want to try it.

    http://www.garritan.com/mp3/FlowerWaltz.mus

    Robert Piéchaud has also written a tutorial for Using GPO and Human Playback.

    http://www.garritan.com/tutorial/Hum..._Tutorial.html

    Thanks to Robert Piéchaud, the developer/programmer of Human Playback, for providing these files and for developing such an amzing program.


    Gary Garritan

  2. #2

    Re: Amazing Human Playback Harp

    Hi Gary, that sounds really cool! In fact, I should be ashamed the next time I use a harp in a piece, and play mostly glissandi. I have used fingered chords also in some of my pieces, but I am guilty of using glissandos mainly.
    I am curious what exactly human playback does. I think it sounds as though it shifts time randomly to keep the programming from sounding quantized, especially if the notes are entered via a mouse in a notation program. Some folks probably get tired of me mentioning DP so forgive me for always bringing up Digital Performer, but, it does of course have a ton of features, one of which is "humanize". It is a dialoge box that allows the user to select what he/she wants to humanize,.... ie. on set, note attack, note duration, modulation, pitch and other things that I can't remember right now, it's not in front of me. All of these, or any of them, can be selected and adjusted by set amounts, plus or minus, or a percentage thereof. My guess is that this human playback feature is new to Finale, but not good ol' DP.
    I just finished the strings for a Christmas song that I am doing and played in the first violin part, and then duplicated that track 12 times. I then altered each of the tracks with "humanize" and set them each to a different violin. I am familiar with both of these pieces, and there are places where it appears as though the harpist has pretty bad time IMO. Is it that the human playback was excessively adjusted to create an un-programmed computer result for this demo? In particular, a few of the lulls in time that I heard in the Waltz is at.....
    :05
    :08
    :13
    :15

    It does indeed sound like a real human playing the part though, of course I'm super picky, but that's just me.
    It actully sounds like a pianist's lull in time, as the player turns pages of the music, not paying close enough attention to not drag the tempo.
    I'm in big trouble if I find out that you played this
    All too often, I hear midi stuff where the programmer has overused a feature like pitch bend and dynamics to try to create a realistic rendition of a piece. Listening to real good musicians and orchestral recordings often makes me say to myself, gee, the time of these players is great. We midi nuts are probably all guilty of using either too little, or too much humanistic features sometimes.

    Picky DPDan

  3. #3
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
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    Re: Amazing Human Playback Harp

    Wow, that is rather realistic for a notational program. Is one able to adjust human playback as an edit feature or are there just a set of presets you choose from?
    Styxx

  4. #4

    Re: Amazing Human Playback Harp

    Quote Originally Posted by Styxx
    Wow, that is rather realistic for a notational program. Is one able to adjust human playback as an edit feature or are there just a set of presets you choose from?
    There are a set of presets, but you can also create a Custom style by importing settings from a preset, then changing certain aspects.

    For example, I'm still working on my piano concerto. At first I applied the "Romantic" preset to Human Playback, but found that there was too much rubato to suit me. So I created a custom preset using the Romantic settings, but reduced the rubato slider to 5 percent (I don't remember what it was on before).

    I'm nearly done with the first movement at this point. Once it's done, I plan to use GPO and Finale's Human Playback to create a "practice tape" for Martha (my wife, who's playing the solo part). I'll let you know how it goes.
    Dan Powers
    www.danielpowers.info

    "It's easier to be a composer than it is to compose."
    --Ray Luke (1928-2010)

  5. #5
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
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    Re: Amazing Human Playback Harp

    Oh, now that sounds useful. And I gather you can save it to use on another composition if you wish? This is beginning to sound very interesting.
    Thanks
    Styxx

  6. #6

    Re: Amazing Human Playback Harp

    Quote Originally Posted by Styxx
    And I gather you can save it to use on another composition if you wish?
    Actually, no. Which I think is kind of weird. It seems like an obvious feature to include.
    Dan Powers
    www.danielpowers.info

    "It's easier to be a composer than it is to compose."
    --Ray Luke (1928-2010)

  7. #7
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
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    Re: Amazing Human Playback Harp

    You're kidding! What do these developers do, write a parameter than forget to follow up? Time to sit these guys down and show them a thing or six! That has got to be a pain in the wazoo everytime you need to do the same again!
    Bummer.
    Styxx

  8. #8

    Re: Amazing Human Playback Harp

    Quote Originally Posted by Styxx
    You're kidding! What do these developers do, write a parameter than forget to follow up? Time to sit these guys down and show them a thing or six! That has got to be a pain in the wazoo everytime you need to do the same again!
    Bummer.
    I just raised this topic on the Finale forum. Maybe there's an answer somewhere.
    Dan Powers
    www.danielpowers.info

    "It's easier to be a composer than it is to compose."
    --Ray Luke (1928-2010)

  9. #9
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    Re: Amazing Human Playback Harp

    Hi guys,

    First, thanks to Gary for posting these HP examples!

    And I gather you can save it to use on another composition if you wish?

    Is one able to adjust human playback as an edit feature or are there just a set of presets you choose from?
    A few answers:

    * You can export your HP custom style to other documents using FinaleScript (which I happen to be also the developper/programmer of) - built-in Finale 2004-2005. You can create a script saying:
    batch process folder
    import human playback style from active doc
    save
    close


    *New to Finale 2005, you can use the 'Apply Human Playback' plug-in to actually write the HP performance MIDI data to the file, so to edit them if necessary.

    Best,
    Robert

  10. #10

    Re: Amazing Human Playback Harp

    Is there an inexpensive upgrade path from Finale 2004 to 2005? After shelling out for 2004 I really, really, really don't want to do it again just for this feature that really should have been there from day one. Really.

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