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Topic: "Human" playback sib/fin

  1. #1

    "Human" playback sib/fin

    I don't wish to start a new Sibelius/Finale war, but I have tried to find out which program of (sibelius or finale), is best for playback? I know Finale best, and they have HP, which plays back a lot of articulations, accents, tremolos, dynamics etc. I had also tried Sibelius (5), but I seems to me that they don't even playback staccato etc. Is Finale best in human playback? Or are Sibelius 6 better in playback?

    Finale 2008, GPO, JABB, C&MB, Strad, Gofriller, Kontakt 3

  2. #2
    New Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Bergen, Norway

    Re: "Human" playback sib/fin

    I have never tried Finale, so I could not tell which is best. But I know one thing about Sibelius : You must look into Play/live playback. The so-called "live playback" is marked by default, and does not make the rendering alive at all. If you unmark it, you will get the program to follow your instructions for volume, ritardando and a lot of other things. Take a look at Play / performance .
    I have not yet tried version 6 of Sibelius, perhaps you would like to read about the features there as well. Oyvind

  3. #3

    Re: "Human" playback sib/fin

    Jon, you are the Sib Meister--as I can testify since you've helped me out with the program. So thanks for the good explanation of things on this thread.

    When Oyvind said, "...The so-called "live playback" is marked by default, and does not make the rendering alive at all..." I was ready to jump in since that's at least One thing I get about Sib. So it was especially helpful when you corrected that misunderstanding about what Live Playback does.

    If someone hasn't played their instruments to generate MIDI tracks, then the Live Playback isn't going to make any sense. But as I know from experience, if I want to hear playback which retains all the huge variety of velocity values that really make a natural MIDI recording, then I need that on. It's a well named function, and thanks for explaining that it's not doing what Finale's "Human Playback" is doing - since that utility is for introducing random elements in an attempt to make notated, quantized files sound more naturally sloppy.


  4. #4

    Re: "Human" playback sib/fin

    in Finale, HumanPlayback does a whole lot of things (more than just "make it sloppy"). And HP has improved by leaps and bounds since Finale 2003.

    I does randomize some note events.
    However, it also creates swells and decrescendos on long notes, it tapers off phrases, it abbreviates notes (breathes) between phrases, it also correctly interprets all dynamics and most articulations as well as text expressions for keyswitching and expressive text, as well as all tempo marking including rit., accel., and a tempo.

    I believe HP is also responsible for recognizing that when music is détaché at certain tempos it should use certain keyswitched sounds or attacks.

    HP rolls chords when the articulation is placed, but will also automatically roll a chord for certain instruments - like harp, for instance, or harpsichord (when set to "Baroque" style).

    HP also recognizes the word "solo" and will boost the volume on that instrument ever so slightly.

    HP recognizes instrument names and will apply techniques to those instruments where applicable.

    The advantage to HP, of course, is that you do not need to "play in" an interpretation to have Finale perform your score expressively.

    Finale also allows you to include "invisible" indications (both articulations and expressions) where you can fine-tune the performance more to your liking. HP will recognize those and play them back.

    This means that in the vast majority of cases, Finale is capable of expressively playing back a score that is ALSO of a high enough quality to satisfy any nit-picky engraver.

    With a library of expressions and articulations (including your own added invisible or custom articulations and expressions), it then becomes easy to immediately create an expressive score in Finale.

  5. #5

    Re: "Human" playback sib/fin

    not meaning to toss oil on the proverbial fire... but I have yet to hear as expressive a rendering performed by Sibelius as one done in Finale. Which I guess means kudos to Robert Piechaud who designed Finale's HumanPlayback plugin. Speaking of whom, we haven't heard much from him in many moons now... anyone know how he's doing?

  6. #6

    Re: "Human" playback sib/fin

    well, to be quite honest, while I'm a die-hard Finale user (since version 3 - that's a LONG time), I have always advocated, when asked about the difference between Finale and Sibelius, that people TRY each program.

    I believe both have flaws and strengths, unique to each one, and which will - in time - be fixed (the flaws I mean ).

    Speaking only for myself, I am not an advocate of "letting the program decide what is right", so Sibelius, in that sense, appeals less to me (I feel the same way about Macs in general). I also just can't seem to wrap my mind around Sibelius' note entry methods. So, that's me.

    I believe that as long as each program exists, it will keep BOTH companies on their toes and fighting to keep their market share. Which will translate to improvements on both sides, and advantages to us, the end users.

    I say "long live both Finale AND Sibelius!" the others can go to hell...

  7. #7

    Re: "Human" playback sib/fin

    I can't believe I'm going to say this...but I agree with Michel!

    In my limited experience, most Sibelius users are casual or entry-level users that when, after a couple of years, things "get serious" move to Finale anyway. Please, I don't intend this as a flame or trying to start anything. I am just stating my experience.

    I agree that competition is a very healthy thing and that rivalries such as this serve to strengthen both programs.

    But I'm sticking with Finale.
    In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is.

    http://reberclark.blogspot.com http://reberclark.bandcamp.com http://www.youtube.com/reberclark

  8. #8

    Re: "Human" playback sib/fin

    It's an interesting thread.

    I've noticed at Sib's site that they offer a significant discount for Finale users who want to switch - I wonder how many people take them up on the offer?

    I think it's wild supposition to say Sib users are generally more entry level amateurs than Finale users--Don't see how that can be said, be that as it may.

    I've had Sib for a year now, and long ago gave up on trying to get acceptable recordings from it. I'm sure it's possible, but way beyond the time and effort I'm willing to spend mastering it. For me it's strictly for getting printed scores when I need them - and I have a hard time grinning and bearing the pain of getting That right.

    You all know me - I'm a sequencer guy, Sonar to be specific. Why I'd want to go through a process which seems like funneling down wide open sonic possibilities in a program like Sonar, so its coming out in the cramped, clumsy tools in a notation program like Sib--well, it's just not for me. It feels like using some gigantic, unwieldy Rube Goldberg machine to move a paint brush for me--when I'd much rather just grab the brush and paint!--ya know?

    Very happy with the hard copies from Sib--Isn't that really what notation programs are for, but the companies are spending more and more time to satisfy people who want recordings also?--which is fine - but I think people interested in making solid recordings should just use the programs designed for that.


  9. #9

    Re: "Human" playback sib/fin

    Well, the same discussion is in the other side: users asking for notation in the recording programs.
    I understand your point to use each thing for what is intended: Fin/Sib for print, Sonar/Cubase/etc for record.
    But i like the efforts to have all in one place, since, after all, recording-notating is resumed in "make music". The Cubase score advances in this aspects has make me think about this again. And also Pro-tools integrating Sibelius in their software...
    Marcelo Colina

  10. #10

    Re: "Human" playback sib/fin

    I love you guys!
    In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is.

    http://reberclark.blogspot.com http://reberclark.bandcamp.com http://www.youtube.com/reberclark

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