• Register
  • Help
Results 1 to 6 of 6

Topic: Composing music on finale and the end result=dissapointment

  1. #1

    Composing music on finale and the end result=dissapointment

    Hello everyone,

    I have noticed that whenever I export a midi file from an orchestral composition done on finale, the sound I get from whatever VST I am using is completely different to that I get from Finale. What I mean is, the dynamics are different and some instruments are barely hearable (like the Piccolo or the oboe).

    I think I am expecting too much from EWQL gold. Is there anyone here who composes with finale and get good results when he mocks his stuff up?

    Thanks for the answer!
    Check out my music for free on myspace


  2. #2

    Re: Composing music on finale and the end result=dissapointment

    FInale is a notation program. If you want good mock-ups, you're looking for DAW such as Cakewalk, Cubase, Logic Studio, Pro-Tools, etc. By then you can control MIDI parameters, dynamics, and velocities.

  3. #3

    Re: Composing music on finale and the end result=dissapointment

    Quote Originally Posted by DeltaRomeo View Post
    FInale is a notation program. If you want good mock-ups, you're looking for DAW such as Cakewalk, Cubase, Logic Studio, Pro-Tools, etc. By then you can control MIDI parameters, dynamics, and velocities.

    That's a frequently expressed view - but not one I fully agree with. Infact, some of the most exressive and realistic mock ups I've heard have been made with Finale and there's a variety of reasons for that, not least the fact that Finale encourages compositional skills rather than keyboard orientated composition. Properly set up, Finale allows you to tweak every note and phrase for dynamics and tempo variation. And that's before we go into it's human playback capabilities that (again, if set up properly) is an invaluable tool.

    The original poster will need advice about the correct settings to ensure that cross fade instruments are being used and cc11, cc1 and key vel are being used in the correct manner. Also, decent libraries are essential - and EWQL Gold is not necessarily the best choice these days. It's imperfect and now quite outdated.

    I do agree however, that a DAW is very useful for final edits - although I have never found the need to use one.

    Must dash, but I'm happy to assist the op later in getting things set up so that Finale and Gold can produce acceptable results.

    Regards, Graham


  4. #4

    Re: Composing music on finale and the end result=dissapointment

    Try applying Human Playback to the piece before exporting the MIDI file. You can do this by Selecting All, then going to Plug-ins Menu > Playback > Apply Human Playback.
    Justin Phillips
    Senior Product Manager
    MakeMusic, Inc

  5. #5

    Re: Composing music on finale and the end result=dissapointment

    First of all the reason for that is with Finale, your dynamics are handled by the standard MIDI controllers of CC1, velocity, etc. In EWQL, you're dealing with CC7 for overall volume, then all the magic happens with CC11. You can't rely on the crecendo, accents etc to give you the right sound - you have to be able to manually draw 'hills', edit each velocity manually etc to get a good performance.

    With EWQL, especially gold etc, it's going to sound rubbish if you don't really beat the hell out of the mod wheel, use all sorts of different articulations, layer patches, overlap parts -- just some of the reasons why people use a DAW for mockups.

    So it is not that you are expecting too much out of Gold, you just haven't learned how to properly use it. It is not as out of the box as people make it out to be if you want good sound.

    Whilst you may be able to fiddle around in Finale to get realistic mockups, I know for a fact that I have never once heard one in Finale that sounds remotely as good as the best ones you can get out of a Sequencer. I'm not saying you can't get a great mockup out of finale, but it will be harder than in a DAW.

    The reason is, performance scores look far different than playable scores, even with the humanizer thing which in general I find to be extremely annoying anyway. Overlapping notes, multitracking layers and having them come in and out of 'focus' is so annoying in a notation program, you just wouldn't do it.

    When you do a mockup in a DAW, you could easily have 200+ tracks for orchestra with all sorts of overlapping notes, clever tricks, different reverbs, there's no way you could achieve the same result in finale by design. Maybe you could do it if you spent a long time, but in a DAW it is very quick.

    I use a DAW and I have never once used a keyboard to enter notes, many users like myself do it via notation and then do the fixing up in Finale or Sibelius.

    So I am not saying you can't have a good mockup in Finale, but there's no way you get the same amount of control for somebody who is very serious about getting a good sound. That said - these days many of the samples are better with legato, so it is becoming less and less essential to overlap all your notes and things like that.

    In a DAW, your piano roll is essential for getting the dynamics, giving you full control of CC data. As John Powell said once in an interview...to the effect of - if your midi cc11/1 data doesn't look like the alpls, it's gonna sound lifeless.

    Also when dealing with things like a phrase on the horns that goes legato then has some staccato notes- in Finale you might use keyswitches, or double a track, in DAW you will probably double that track 3 or 4 times, maybe layer a solo patch of the horns over the top, maybe a slightly different articulation, you'll have your 'stac' patch on a different track entirely to give you full control over when it comes in to blend it far better...When you do this with big scores I can't imagine how difficult it would be working with so many tracks in Finale. The benifit in a DAW is I can just select three staff tracks at a time and edit those with my mind totally focused on the performance of that instrument, nothing else. No other distractions in the way. It is a totally different process to pen and paper or finale in terms of the perfomance aspect, not so much the 'notation' itself.

    Again I'm not saying you couldn't get an above average mockup done in Finale, but there's no way you have the same amount of control in there. Finale may encourage compositional skill, but if you're a composer already what difference does it make? pen, paper, finale, cubase? It's all the same.

    Of course at the end of the day it also comes down to how far you want to go in trying to suck the power out of the sample libraries. If you're not too concerned about spending hours fine tuning details, using clever tricks etc to get a really realistic mockup, and you really want to produce a score for players every time - then Finale would be ideal for you. Personally when dealing with samples I see no point in writing m, p, ff etc all over your score when nobody is going to read it anyway. Far better to draw the exact volumes and expression you want with the mod data - afterall that is how the sample libraries are designed.

  6. #6

    Re: Composing music on finale and the end result=dissapointment


    As noted above, Finale leans more toward really good notation engraving, with the performance aspects being a bit secondary (they're there if you dig for them, but it's not always easy.) Given that, this is an indirect response to the original frustration

    (full disclosure here - I work for Notation Software, Inc. )
    Notation Composer (www.notation.com/NotationComposer.php) is actually a bit of a hybrid notation/sequencer application that allows you to draw the MIDI performance parameters on top of the score for any MIDI cc, so you get the best of both worlds. We have a number of users who really like using Notation Composer for that reason - it's designed to help you compose for both notation and performance. If you really want the fine engraving capabilities of Finale, then you can export the score from Notation Composer as a MusicXML file and bring it into Finale. If you want to use a sequencer for whatever reason, then you can use File/Export MIDI, and get a MIDI file that is faithful to what you heard in Composer - it doesn't quantize anything, and leaves all the performance nuances just the way you had them in the original composition.

    I use Garritan Libraries with Notation Composer for a lot of backing tracks for performance, and the ease of doing such hybrid work was actually one of the big reasons that I even started working for Notation Software, Inc.

    I know this sounds like a plug, and it is, of sorts. I just know from my own experience that we actually have a lot of customers who were frustrated with Finale (and Sibelius) for the very reason stated above. They like using Notation Composer for composing first then use Finale (or Sibelius) for the final engraving of the score for their productions (typically professional). They prefer the MIDI playback and export of Composer for performance-related use, though.

    For anyone who's interested in checking it out, we have a fully functional for 30 days trial version you can try out. We also have a series of tutorial videos to help you get going fast. The trial version is available at http://www.notation.com/Download.htm and the videos are at http://www.notation.com/vb-forum/for...lay.php?f=2858

    Hopefully someone will find the above information useful If you have any questions about it, please let me know.


Go Back to forum


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts