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Topic: Mac compatible notation software with multicore support?

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Sonare Coeli's Avatar
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    Mac compatible notation software with multicore support?

    Hello everyone,
    I've run into a bit of an annoying snag and I'd really like to get it resolved as soon as possible. I'm running a bit of a Frankensteined setup using Finale 2006 sending its midi output through Apple's IAC buses to the Kontakt Player 2 version of GPO (Finale 2006 and earlier are not able to integrate the KP2 version of GPO internally, so I have to connect them this way), then I use WireTap Studio to record the output from GPO Kontakt Player 2.

    Here's where my problem comes in. I get a lot of that stopping, sputtering, distorting, and other problems in my recordings.

    I'm running a MacBook Pro with Leopard, 2 GB of RAM, a 2.4 Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo Processor, and a 200 GB HD, so my system is certainly powerful enough to run all of these programs side by side by side.

    I downloaded a little widget to check my processor usage, and it seems like Finale 2006 is causing an interesting issue. The widget shows my A processing core as being fully loaded, and my B processing core as being used very little when Finale 2006 is running alone. I remembered that Finale 2006, and later versions, if I am not mistaken, do not support multi-core processing.

    My guess is that Finale 2006 is causing a processing power distribution imbalance, hogging the A processor for itself, and forcing KP2 GPO and WireTap Studio to both be run from the B processing core, instead of the two cores running in tandem and intelligently sharing processing responsibilities of the three programs equally, more or less.

    OR it could be another problem:

    Finale 2006 was not written for Intel Macs, but it is compatible with them. One of the known issues is that there is a reduction of quality in GPO playback in the form of stopping, sputtering, and distortion, as the website said. However, that is speaking of the integrated Finale 2006 edition of GPO. The KP2 version of GPO that I am using is run in its standalone version, and really has nothing to do with the Finale program itself, only Finale's midi output.

    I think it is the first problem, but I could be mistaken. I've run the integrated Finale 2006 GPO, and there is a large amount of sputtering when there are larger numbers of instruments playing. When I run the standalone KP2 version of the full GPO, there is much less, even when there are twice as many instruments. I get the most sputtering and cut out notes (notes not holding as long as they should), when there are a lot of notes being played, or when there is more complex (and/or faster) polyphony. That appears to me to point to the first problem, but again I could be wrong and it could be something entirely different.


    Is there a notation program out there currently that supports multi-core processing? I'm very reluctant to switch from Finale, because I really like the human playback, but I can't have all kinds of distortion in recordings. I sent a recording and score off for an audition yesterday, and I had to send it with the distortions, because there was no other way, and it wouldn't stop entirely.

    Does anyone have the same issue, or any solutions?

    Thank you so very much in advance.

    May God bless you!

    Tyler

  2. #2
    Senior Member rpearl's Avatar
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    Re: Mac compatible notation software with multicore support?

    I can't speak for how Sibelius utilizes the dual-core technology, but for exporting audio, it has a very great feature: it will take as long as needed to make a clear recording. It does not record in real time - if it can process a score more quickly, it will; if it is overloading the cpu, it will take longer, but you end up with an audio file without distortions. Check over at Sibelius to see how the dual-core support is handled.

    Hope this helps.
    Ron Pearl

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  3. #3
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    Re: Mac compatible notation software with multicore support?

    If you're having problems with spluttering etc on playback, try using some other software to do the actual recording.

    That is, do your notation etc in Finale.
    When the score is to your liking, save the file as midi.
    Load that midi file into a midi sequencer, such as sonar (if you have it) or some other midi app (mulab is quite good, and is also relatively cheap. http://www.mutools.com/, I've also heard good things about reaper http://www.cockos.com/reaper/ which I believe has an OSX version coming out)

    Cheers...

    Daz :0)

  4. #4
    Senior Member Sonare Coeli's Avatar
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    Re: Mac compatible notation software with multicore support?

    Thank you both. When Finale 2006 exports a MIDI file does it incorporate the human playback data into it? If it does I would gladly export it and sequence in a separate program.

  5. #5
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    Re: Mac compatible notation software with multicore support?

    Hi

    I'm reasonably certain that it does.

    To make sure, you can use the "Apply HP" Plugin to the piece, then save as midi. The plugin is reached from the menu, Plugins->Playback->Apply HP

    Cheers...

    Daz :0)

  6. #6

    Re: Mac compatible notation software with multicore support?

    You don't have to "Apply HP". If you enable HP, it's data will be saved in the MIDI file.

    But, why don't you download the Finale 2008 demo and give it a try. F08 is written for Intel Mac, and while you may not be able to use GPO as a plugin, you can certainly test it with your current setup and get an idea if it behaves any better than F06. It is still not multi core capable, though.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Sonare Coeli's Avatar
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    Re: Mac compatible notation software with multicore support?

    I'm afraid of the same thing happening with Finale 2008 because of it not being multi-core friendly. I've heard there are also a lot of bugs with Finale 2008 currently. I'll still give it a try though.

    Are there any other good free midi sequencers for Mac OS X? The two that you named are either not OS X compatible or not Leopard Compatible. Is there anything else?

  8. #8
    Senior Member Sonare Coeli's Avatar
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    Re: Mac compatible notation software with multicore support?

    Do any of you think that GarageBand would be a good route? I would have to export individual midi files for each instrument (which I actually think that Finale can automatically do by selecting an option) and then set up each GPO instrument in GarageBand one after another.

    I suppose I wouldn't mind doing this, but it seems a little unnecessary considering that I already have KP2 GPO ready to receive MIDI output on certain channels. With a sequencer I wouldn't have to change a thing.

  9. #9
    Senior Member rpearl's Avatar
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    Re: Mac compatible notation software with multicore support?

    I can't say how well G-Band will import MIDI (with Human Playback data, for instance), but it is something of a resource hog; maybe it is better in '08, but I can run a lot more instruments via Sib 5/KP2 than I can in G-Band.
    Ron Pearl

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