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Topic: Notion vs. other samplers and programs?

  1. #1

    Question Notion vs. other samplers and programs?

    I just looked at the website for Notion, a software product that appears to combine music notation (ala Sibelius, Finale, etc.) with a built-in sample library (recorded by the LSO). I was wondering if anyone out there has tried or is working with Notion. And if so, can you answer a few questions? First, how would you compare the quality of the instrument sounds in Notion to those of GPO, Miroslav, and other good samplers? The demo on the Notion site (an excerpt from the Nutcracker Suite) sounds very nice. But it's the only demo they offer, and I'm not sure that it is really representative. Also, how do you think the quality of the notation (including extracting parts) compares in quality with Sibelius (which I presently use)? Any other information you can offer about Notion would be much appreciated. Notion is fairly expensive ($599) and I want to be sure it is worth the money before I seriously think about investing in it. Thanks much, Plutarch

  2. #2

    Re: Notion vs. other samplers and programs?

    The Notion site offers 4 audio samples now, some are better than others. I haven't tried Notion yet. One thing that disturbs me about the features is that there doesn't seem to be a qwerty only entry method. It's either mouse + querty of MIDI. That could slow one down, especially if they are mobile and trying to use a laptop to notate. Maybe it just isn't listed yet, though.

    If you don't have Sibelius 4 yet, check it out. The new dynamic parts feature is brilliant! No more multiple extrations or fixing the score but forgetting to do the fix in the part. It makes having to make score alterations not so painful. Also the new sync to video and add hits features are helpful for scoring to picture. I wasn't going to upgrade, but when I read about these features I had to.

    It still is time consuming to make external MIDI assignments to GPO and render the plug-ins for hairpins to make the playback sound correct. It sounds like Notion may have this part of it figured out.

  3. #3

    Re: Notion vs. other samplers and programs?

    I'd not worry about getting it just yet. Everything about it is pretty amaturish.

    Every demo I've heard the sound quality is below average and every notated page I've seen has serious flaws which are unprofessional. I've seen slurs printed over accent marks and uneven slurring just to name a few.

    Just take a close look. This is on the first page of there websight. The slur is lopsided and doesn't go from the top of the note to the top of the next note and the stacc are off center. Especially over the "A".

    The first music-minded composition interface. http://www.notionmusic.com/pressdownloads.cfm

    Take a look at this page and download the link to the score. You'll see that the parts are practically unreadable at a glance. The notes are too crowded. The symbols run into eachother. It's a mess.

    If that's the best they can do then no thanks.


  4. #4

    Re: Notion vs. other samplers and programs?

    I wouldn't fool with it.

    Like ArsNova (as opposed to ArsSubtilior ) said - its notation capabilities appear to be well behind the other leaders in the field - Finale, Sibelius. They are the 'leaders' for a reason, they are the best. Notion has great marketing, but notice that there aren't a lot of screenshots of the notation! And I am underwhelmed by the audio demos.

    For strictly notation, I would go with Finale or Sibelius. Tremendously rich programs, both of them. Comes down to preference/work style when making your choice. You might want to take a look at Overture 4 as they have implemented some exciting integration parameters for people 'like us'. Having said that, Finale 2006 and Sibelius 4 offer similar features with (IMO) superior notation capabilities.

    Just like so many things, my hunch is that any program that claims to be the 'swiss army knife' answer to notation/sequencing probably has some shortcomings in some area (like a VCR/DVD combo). I prefer to keep them seperate and get the best out of each one individually!


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