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Topic: This is NOT OT -at least not for me

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  1. #1

    This is NOT OT -at least not for me

    I am looking for a method to make my life easier, using the combination of a notation program and Sonar. At present I am using Overture. Quite good program with some nasty bugs and some very, very strange habits.

    What I found out in Overture: (I take the flute as an example)

    making parts of monophonic instruments, like flutes, doesn't give me two separate parts when " divisi" is involved. OK, there are some settings to get it, but those don't work and will exit the program with an error

    exporting the flutes to midi will not result in two channels, as if a flute is a polyphonic instrument, in spite of the fact that the OVerture setup was told that this instrument has more voices


    This results in almost endless editing in Sonar when importing those midi files, in particular when playing "unisono". And all before I can start the sequencing/rendering.

    What I found out in Garritan libs - at least the GPO:

    there are less keyswitches than occurences of instruments. E.g. the violins. There are a lot of layers, called by keyswitches, but not the aggressive ones, these have separate keyswitched samples. That applies also for e.g. brass. Why not a keyswitch for the f Overlay layer?

    Wouldn't it easier for us users, to call one instrument and apply all sorts of things with one an only one keyswitch? This lessens the need for the now necessary multitude of called VST instruments in any sequencer. For the notation part in this message, how is Finale doing? Can I be certain that monophonic instruments, - in particular when I have Flutes as a combined staff (2 voices), for playing "divisi" as well as "unison" - gives me at least two parts (extracting process) and two midi channels (exporting to midi)?

    When this is true, it saves me at least half the efforts I have to put in at present? About that GPO thing, that's up to Gary to consider. I don't want any advices for Overture that there are tricks to do it, I know them all, I tried them all. Work around bugs is not my problem. The program has to be good enough (and then I am not talking about corrupted notation files, which I've got, due to some errors Overture made).

    And don't tell me that there is a Finale demo. I tried that already. This demo has too many limitations to get the overall idea. I am certain that what I am doing now is just a waste of time. I can spend my time more useful. Please advice me on the workflow, possible scripts to automate things, or whatever you guys are doing.

    Raymond

  2. #2

    Re: This is NOT OT -at least not for me

    Hi Raymond,

    I sense your frustration. Things have come so far, but there is always room for improvement, especially in the area of workflow. I won't try to convince you any one piece of software is better than another or offer and specific advice, but I'll give you a picture of how I work.

    I am very anal when it comes to both sequencing and notation. I do not trust one package to do both of these well, so I do the extra work of keeping these tasks separate.

    I always start in Sonar, and work until a piece is complete before I give a single thought to notation. I do this because the way a piece sounds is of prime importance, so I want it to be perfect and finished before I procede.

    The next thing I do is save the entire Sonar file as a MIDI file under a new name. I then close and reopen the file, so that Sonar empties out all the VSTs and somewhat simplifies the track information. I then get rid of any extraneous tracks, including empty plug-in placeholders, duplicated tracks (brass overlays, extra string patch doublings, etc.)

    The next thing I do is open up all tracks simultaneously in Event View mode. Using the display filter, I view everything except for the notes themselves--all MIDI control messages should be displayed. I select the entire list and hit delete. I am now left with notes only (save the file now!)

    Here is when the most work-intensive part begins.

    I close the event view, highlight all tracks, and open them in piano roll view. I like to keep only a few tracks visible at a time, depending on the nature of the music. I may decide to work on flutes and oboes together, or all woodwinds at once. This is mostly determined by how similar the parts are rhythmically. The idea here is to simplify the parts as much as is possible. I highlight large blocks of notes that have the same rhythmic subdivisions, and begin to quantize 100% beginnings and endings of notes, making sure I don't destroy any tuplets. I remove any overlap between notes.

    I also combine tracks that will appear on a single staff. So if I have two tracks for the two clarinets, I will move the second part on top of the first, and delete the now blank track.

    Once I've simplified all the parts as best I can, I save the file again. Now I have a notation-friendly version of my music.

    The rest of the work I do in Sibelius. I like to set up an orchestra template that contains all the instruments in the piece before I import the MIDI file. This is because it's easier to set it all up myself rather than to fix the guesses Sibelius makes. Depending on the complexity of a score, Sibelius may do pretty well here, but my scores get fairly complex.

    Now it's time to import the MIDI file into Sibelius. I like to keep my template and the imported score open at the same time, then I copy and paste entire instrument sections from the imported file to the template.

    The rest of my time is spent cleaning up the score. The big things are remembering to enter pizz/arco markings, dynamics, and re-notating percussion to work on standard percussion staves. Then I examine all the accidentals and note spellings to see if they can be improved (there are some great Sibelius plug-ins for this). The last step is working on cleanliness, pagination, etc.

    After I think everything is in order, I print out a draft so I can see how it really looks on paper. Many things I won't notice on the screen, but are very obvious printed out. I mark everything with a red pen, and go back to clean it up. I usually have to do this several times.

    At this point I am also listening to the work on my iPod while following the score to find anything that got missed. I sometimes also find a few things I want to change about the piece itself at this point, and mark them as such (a new doubling, changed articulation, etc). If I change something like that, I have to go back to the Sonar file to bring it up to date as well.

    I have a feeling that this is much more work than most people here are doing, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I have complete control over every single aspect of my music both as it is rendered and as it is displayed. It is a boatload of work, but worth every minute in my opinion. I am always looking for ways to speed up my workflow, but never at a cost to the final output.

    I hope this has given you some ideas.
    - Jamie Kowalski

    All Hands Music - Kowalski on the web
    The Ear Is Always Correct - Writings on composition

  3. #3

    Re: This is NOT OT -at least not for me

    I also use Sonar and Overture for obtaining good score (partitur). For good audio product I would recommend Harmony Assistant by Myriad, which enables GPO instruments and own Virtual Singer for Choirs.
    Regards,
    AlexBG

  4. #4
    Senior Member bigears's Avatar
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    Re: This is NOT OT -at least not for me

    Hello Raymond, I have a couple of questions for you. When you use GPO in Sonar, do you insert it using the old original player, or the Kontakt Player 2 , or in the full Kontakt 2 or 3? Are you currently making use of any scripting? There may be ways of simplying the process depending on how you use GPO and other VST's. Regards, John (bigears)

  5. #5

    Re: This is NOT OT -at least not for me

    Hello Raymond:
    My work flow is like this: I write sketches using Finale 2008a transcription tool and a kurzweil k2600x keyboard. I label the sketches according to idea or idiom of use. I copy those sketches into various instruments (channelized) in Finale and make transitions from one to another. (I start with a large score and remove unused instruments as necessary) I always use hp to playback the score. Once the overall piece is more or less completed, I import it into Sonar 7 pe and adjust the nuances playing in changes with mod wheel, and cc7 assigned slider. pitch bend is also done with slider and vibrato is done with aftertouch (all played in) and when the piece is ready I eq and reverb ea. track. When the piece sounds as good as I can make it sound, I print the score of Finale and make the nuance corrections and verify that I haven't missed any and make the final corrections to the score. I understand your frustrations especially with kp2 and Finale. Like everyone else, I am anxiously awaiting Aria release for GPOA etc. in order to hopefully arrive at a more effective means of recording what I write. Good luck and best wishes.
    John

  6. #6

    Re: This is NOT OT -at least not for me

    Quote Originally Posted by jjloving View Post
    My approach is more or less the exact opposite of Jamie's (iPod not included).
    Trying to imagine what the opposite of listening to an iPod is...
    - Jamie Kowalski

    All Hands Music - Kowalski on the web
    The Ear Is Always Correct - Writings on composition

  7. #7

    Re: This is NOT OT -at least not for me

    Quote Originally Posted by Skysaw View Post
    Trying to imagine what the opposite of listening to an iPod is...
    Heavenly silence.

    Raymond
    [I'll come back to your answer, soon]

  8. #8

    Re: This is NOT OT -at least not for me

    Quote Originally Posted by Skysaw View Post
    Trying to imagine what the opposite of listening to an iPod is...
    Talking to an iPod.

  9. #9

    Re: This is NOT OT -at least not for me

    To all repliers,

    I summarize:

    is Finale outputting (export) to MIDI a two-voiced monophonic instrument, notated in a combined staff (i.e. two voices on one single staff), to one or two channels? Answer is: One/Two - just underline the right answer.

    is Finale outputting the same as above but now we are talking about extracted parts? Answer is: One/Two - just underline the right answer.

    This is important for me. Especially those unisono (=two the same instruments are playing the same notes) parts drive me crazy, because SONAR displays them nicely with two stems, but it is hard to split them/copy/move to another track of the same instrument (Fluteplr 1 to Fluteplr2).

    Raymond

  10. #10

    Re: This is NOT OT -at least not for me

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond62 View Post
    is Finale outputting (export) to MIDI a two-voiced monophonic instrument, notated in a combined staff (i.e. two voices on one single staff), to one or two channels? Answer is: One/Two - just underline the right answer.


    is Finale outputting the same as above but now we are talking about extracted parts? Answer is: One/Two - just underline the right answer.
    The answer in both cases is "it can, if you set it up right."

    Each staff in Finale can have up to four layers, and each layer can be it's own MIDI channel. However, you cannot have a single note output on two MIDI channels simultaineously (I'm pretty sure - someone can correct me if I'm wrong).

    Here's probably the easiest way to do this - write out all of your music for Player 1. Then highlight the whole shebang (the selector in 2008, Massedit in earlier versions) and right-click, choosing "Move/Copy Layers".

    This will give you the option of copying everything you just did to another layer. Then you go in and change the divisi notes in Layer 2.

    All the stems will be flipped, but that's easy enough (if tedious) to change in Speedy Entry mode.

    Lastly, in your instrument dialog, choose your flute staff and assign Layers 1 and 2 to the appropriate channels.

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