I've been playing around with the demo of Notion 1.5 for a week now and have decided to order it because I find it to be a really great notation/composition program. Perhaps it's not in the league of Sibelius or Finale regarding its output and myriad of features, but I really do like the fact that if I put a staccato marking above a violin part, I hear the staccato rather than spending time searching for a good staccato patch from one of my many orchestral libraries.
does this mean I'm going to trash EWQLSO, VSL, Miroslav, Project SAM and the rest of my libs? Well, no. I'll keep using them for times when I need ultra realistic mock-ups. But I think I'll be doing the bulk of my composing on Notion because it's technology is so transparent. It doesn't get in the way of working out and developing ideas quickly.
At this point, Notion doesn't have realtime audition nor the ability to compose in a C concert pitch conductor's score or else switch between that and the transposed score. At first I hated that. But the more I played with the program, the more my old music skills came back. So I have to tranpose up a 5th when writing for F horns or a 2nd up for Bb clarinets or trumpets. Heck, I used to do the same thing when I was in composition class with paper and pencil. and even then, I couldn't hit a button and print all of the parts out.
Using Notion made me aware of how out of touch I'd gotten from music theory. Now, I'm not trying to preach to everyone. Notating music is a slower more painstaking process. I understand that modern film composers or guys doing jingles just don't have the luxury of time to fiddle with programs like this. Heck, I'd turn to Sonar or Overture with EWQLSO for a project if I needed to bang out something quickly.
But I do like Notion's streamlined, sensibile interface as far as concert composing is concerned.
Does anyone have this full program? what do they think? I simply love being able to add any coloristic ornament by simply putting the marking above the note. Bloody brilliant! And Notion has expansion packs (pretty reasonably priced) that add sounds and articulations to its sample base. I think they re-recorded some instruments that initial users found less than adequate.