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Topic: Best Software for Big Band Arranging

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  1. #1

    Best Software for Big Band Arranging

    I am looking at getting into big band arranging after a long time off, in fact the last time I wrote a chart was before the days of arranging software.

    When I look at Sibelius or Finale I notice they have a premium version and other lesser versions. For big band arranging is it necessary to get the premium version or would lesser versions do as well?

    Thanks.

  2. #2

    Re: Best Software for Big Band Arranging

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken.
    When I look at Sibelius or Finale I notice they have a premium version and other lesser versions. For big band arranging is it necessary to get the premium version or would lesser versions do as well?

    Thanks.
    Those junior models may well work perfectly for you. Lesser versions are usually limited in the number of parts they will handle. Often, the cheapest version can do 16 parts for a standard dance band. So there you go.

    I have Finale Songwriter now, and I can't remember how many parts it will chart, since I never produce anything bigger than a one-page leadsheet
    anyway. So even such a limited edition is wasted on me.

    Just check for limitations and get what seems like it will handle your jobs.


    Larry

    EDIT: Turns out Finale Songwriter can handle ony 8 parts, but Finale Printmusic can do 24 staves of instruments.

  3. #3

    Re: Best Software for Big Band Arranging

    Thanks. I just checked the Finale site and even if I go to the next one up from PrintMusic, Allegro it is still just 1/3 the cost of the premium version and it gives you unlimited staves. Unless there is something about the premium version that makes it a must-have for Big Band arranging I can't see myself paying $600 for it.

  4. #4

    Re: Best Software for Big Band Arranging

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken.
    TUnless there is something about the premium version that makes it a must-have for Big Band arranging I can't see myself paying $600 for it.

    Sound observation.

    There are several other worthy notation programs, of course. Most seem to follow similar pricing structures in principle. so if you have any other preference, Makemusic programs are not the only game.

    As you visit software sites, they usually have the charts that compare the versions in some detail. Those repay study, since you may see something unforeseen there. For example, scanning in a printed chart is oftenfeasible in a high-level version, not a feature in the lesser ones. Should that be useful to you, it could justify the higher price.

    I always liked the idea of Allegro myself. I owned it years ago, but finally had to admit I was wasting its features with my extremely limited needs.

    Good luck,

    Larry

  5. #5

    Re: Best Software for Big Band Arranging

    Ken,

    I just thought how the notation programs are doing more ambitious MIDI and sound implementations all the time. For some purposes, it might be worth paying to have that extra-good sound in a premium program.

    At least it's another thing to drive yourself crazy about, which is half the fun of getting this stuff.

    OK, maybe one third.

    Larry

  6. #6

    Re: Best Software for Big Band Arranging

    Yes. Comparing the different versions of Finale I noticed that the premium version lets you use Garritan libraries for playback, which could be nice to have. Also you can use plug-ins like Range Checker which I assume checks your charts are within the instruments range, also nice to have I guess.

  7. #7

    Re: Best Software for Big Band Arranging

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken.
    Yes. Comparing the different versions of Finale I noticed that the premium version lets you use Garritan libraries for playback, which could be nice to have. Also you can use plug-ins like Range Checker which I assume checks your charts are within the instruments range, also nice to have I guess.
    The "Premium" version of Sibelius lets you use any library for playback.

    D

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