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Dainis
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   Posted 3/3/2005 6:22 AM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
I've been a loyal Finale user for 8 years. Finale helped me get into grad school in music composition when I couldn't have created any kind of reasonable score by hand. I'm very grateful for that!

Now that I'm on the doctoral trail, I'm finding that I've outgrown Finale, that I need to be able to use graphics and spatial notation and make boxes and create unique staves and make neat things happen in my music...and well, I think the graphics tool in Fin2004b is the same tool from Fin97; moreover, the amount of clicking I need to do to accomplish relatively simple things makes me dread the step from paper to Finale...and then the clicking clicking clicking clicking....whoooo!

Even simple things like lyric entry could be quickly and easily improved. Also, I feel I've submitted enough suggestions to the tech team to warrant, well, I'd say payment. So, I don't feel like doing Finale's R&D for them, especially when obvious usability issues haven't been resolved over a time period of years. However, I'm certainly open to doing some consulting for Finale to help resolve the issues academic composers may have with the tool.

For now, Finale is "the best selling" music notation software, and that seems to be Finale's goal. To that, I say: "go for it!" "have fun, have a blast, sell sell and sell some more, I wish you the absolute best!"

Off and on, I've fantasized that I'd be on a team of composers and programmers who decided to create a software package specifically designed to kick Finale's butt. HEY!!!! I know I'm on a Finale forum here, but I'm writing in a spirit of fun and I'm not being mean. Again, I'm grateful to Finale for the work they've done! At any rate, is anyone on that?

Maybe Finale knows darn well that there's nothing better out there...and that's why they don't make using the lyric tool into a convenient process (or creating boxes around notes, or adding transparent PS graphics, or...). That's OK, and that's a choice Finale may or may not be making (consciously or otherwise). And sure, I know all the lyric tool tricks, and I can use it pretty quickly, but I find the procedures pretty goofy.

Anyway, here's the focus of this thread: For folks who want to take the advances of 20th and 21st century composition and notate them professionally in a convenient and user-friendly software application, what do we use?

Again, thanks to all the fine Finale folks who are working in the trenches, maybe your perspective is much different than mine. Maybe you're really doing your best, and maybe good things just take time. But, whoah, that lyrics tool, and some of these procedures lead me, at least for now, to suspect otherwise...so please correct me if I'm wrong!

Cheers!
Dainis

Post Edited (Dainis) : 3/3/2005 10:27:30 AM GMT

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Jari Williamsson
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   Posted 3/3/2005 7:18 AM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Dainis said...
moreover, the amount of clicking I need to do to accomplish relatively simple things makes me dread the step from paper to Finale...and then the clicking clicking clicking clicking....


If this is the case, you seem to need to improve your Finale skills and/or your workflow. You're aware of the basic stuff like metatools and power-OK/Cancel?


Jari Williamsson

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Bill Reed
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   Posted 3/3/2005 8:06 AM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Here's something on the horizon...

http://www.notionmusic.com/index.cfm
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Lance Handsome
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   Posted 3/3/2005 11:12 AM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Just out of curiosity, whatever became of Igor?


"Score till you're sore and can score no more".

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Lance Handsome
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   Posted 3/3/2005 11:14 AM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
I gotta say I'm with you w.r.t. the lyrics tool. I'm primarily a choral composer and I've been begging in vain for YEARS to have the lyrics system improved. I also recently submitted two orchestral scores and spent the previous two DAYS trying to force them into an acceptable condition. Clickety click click click until I thought carpal tunnel was about to happen.


"Score till you're sore and can score no more".

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Dave BTW
Bytheway Dave, what's your last name?



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   Posted 3/3/2005 11:32 AM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
I do very traditional notation for choir, organ, etc. I have been using Finale since ver 2.2. I find Finale easy to use for the kind of music I create. I will probably never write or arrange music that needs spatial notation and therefore perhaps don't see some of the the limitations that you do. For many of us, I suspect, who do more traditional music, Finale is more than powerful enough.

I have asked many times in the past for two things that I really could use.

1. Better lyrics tool.
2. Postscript and pdf output that is trouble free.

I know how to use Finale to get the results I need in both these areas, but I really would love to see improvements (and would be very happy to pay for an upgrade price to get them). I have also benefited from the new playback capabilities which have helped me to create rehearsal tracks. But I am always hoping for improvements, and have at least some hope that MakeMusic will continue to improve the tools. I'm not ready to jump ship yet.

Competition is a tremendous motivator for sure. If you are really serious, why don't you start that company and put out a tool? If there is enough demand we may all benefit. But if you do it only for spatial notation needs, I think your market may be very limited.


Dave Bytheway - Desktop Finale 2005 on Win2K / WinXP - Laptop Finale 2005 on WinXP - Forza Lite - TGTools

Post Edited (Dave BTW) : 3/3/2005 3:41:39 PM GMT

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David Young : chambermusic
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   Posted 3/3/2005 1:31 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
I don't think that notion music has the flexibility nor capacity for engraver manuscripts that Finale has. It is a new program that is made primarily to conjoin a notation program with sample playback. Their one advantage at this moment is that their articulations change the samples that are retrieved from memory and thereby bypass having to create a different track and have articulations indicate track changes. It is a brand-new product and very few people have any experience with it... well, I think that it is not quite out yet.

Igor is available, from what I understand but does not have any new upgrades.

There is always an allure to new notation programs, but one always finds out that there are bugs and limitations. Finale has gone a long ways to offer us flexability and capacity. And the future is very good for Finale to further improve on its quality.

David


David Young
 
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Zuill
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   Posted 3/3/2005 2:15 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
I welcome competition as a healthy catalyst in the notation market. It keeps everybody on their toes. As far as Finale, however, when I was a kid, my mom would always buy me clothes that was too big, followed by "you'll grow into them." I still haven't grown into Finale, so I'm quite short of outgrowing it. I can understand that there are needs that others have to do notation that I have no need for, so I encourage them to keep looking for the program that will satisfy those needs (or get Finale to reach that level). As for me, my cuffs are still dragging on the ground, so I'll stick with Finale.

Zuill


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Post Edited (Zuill) : 3/4/2005 12:26:07 AM GMT

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Jeannie
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   Posted 3/3/2005 7:21 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Heck, I haven't outgrown PrintMusic yet (said Jeannie as she tripped over her cuffs).


Jeannie
 

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Muses Guild http://musesguild.tripod.com/index.htm

 

PrintMusic 2004, XP Home

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controlledchaos
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   Posted 3/4/2005 1:41 AM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
music press
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Dainis
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   Posted 3/8/2005 3:43 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
I'm responding to some of the posts in my "microsoftesque" thread here...

...well, my tech writing days ended in 97, so at that time, the Word thing was a client-driven choice. We made it work. Regarding the procedures I find tedious, it looks like I'd have to get all the way into my files to really show how tedious my work was.

I'm grateful for the recommendations presented here (and here: http://www.finalemusic.com/forum/default.aspx?f=5&m=105872), but I simply don't have the graphic capabilities I need with, for example, the squiggle. What if I want the squiggle to get progressively larger? And whoah! That shape expression tool could use a lot of work.

Just to go a bit further, this is how one can create a shape expression.

Select the Expression tool|Act like you're going to input an Expression (double click into a measure)|Click the shape radio button (which is located at the bottom right of the dialog box...that decision could use some revisiting)|Click the Create button|In the shape tab, click the select button next to shape|Click the create button|then you get to a very limited 1990's shape designer.

So, in my opinion, the "simplicity" of "Create a shape expression, add it to the score as a metatool, double-click on it and resize" is certainly to be questioned.

I have a concept in mind that I feel very strongly would reduce clicks and make Finale users very happy. Interestingly, whether folks have outgrown Finale or not most likely relates to the type of composition being done. Certainly, there are many types of composition for which Finale is more than adequate.

Although I have my roots in rock/pop, I am an avant-garde composer. I explore new musical possibilties with my works and that requires new methods of notation. I want it all, and I want it all in one program...and I want it to be quick...and easy on the wrists!

For example, the procedure for getting to the shape designer, in my opinion, could be made much more intuitive.

Best to all of you, happy composing!
Dainis
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Peter West
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   Posted 3/8/2005 3:56 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
I agree with Jari here, it really sounds as though the originator of this thread doesn't know Finale half as well as he might before making such criticism. I know it was made partly in jest, but therefore partly not.
When, on rare occasions Finale doesn't manage, such as complex graphical scores and electronic scores (which even then it often can do), I export the pages as EPS files and open them in Illustrator where they can be edited graphically.

Although I am cautious about copyright issues when uploading examples, the originator of this thread might like to look at BarryGuy's Whistle and Flute (pub. Novello and Co) which I did in this way. I don't think it gets more complex than this. Scores by Stockhausen and George Crumb for example could easily be done in this way.


Peter
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Jack Marek
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   Posted 3/9/2005 12:39 AM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Dainis: Perhaps making a Hand drawn list of those things that you need, and contacting some plugin creator like Tobias (TG tools) might be a good start. Jack
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Davidmorehead
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   Posted 3/9/2005 2:40 AM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
I have been using Finale for over 15 years and I still have a lot to learn about it.

I must admit though, there are some things that are still lingering that are really annoying about the program.

Programming rits and accels should be much easier. Kill off executable shapes!!! YIKES!!! You shouldn't need a third party plugin to do something this basic. It should be like Cakewalk's Sonar. You should be able to draw your rit's and accels graphically.

Repeats have finally come out of the dark ages with 2005. It was incredibly annoying to always have to re-apply your repeats when you would delete a measure (or measures) within a repeat.

Also, it should conform to windows shortcuts. When using the selection tool, you should be able to control-click on any item and make a copy. This would be a huge time saver. I have sent this suggestion in many times but it hasn't made it way into the program yet.

One last thing-I would love to see scrollable-space bar-click-on-a-measure playback.

OK, this is really the last thing...Make the items you want to copy a right click option so you don't have to keep going in and out of menus as often.


David Morehead
DaveMorehead.com

Post Edited (Davidmorehead) : 3/11/2005 6:52:31 AM GMT

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Jari Williamsson
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   Posted 3/9/2005 6:27 AM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Dainis said...
What if I want the squiggle to get progressively larger? And whoah! That shape expression tool could use a lot of work.


Do it as a custom smart shape, based on a font character (for example, you could use the standard trill extension character). Include the arrow in the smart shape itself. No drawing in the shape designer required for this, although you'll have to attach it manualy with the box.

Dainis said...
Just to go a bit further, this is how one can create a shape expression.

Select the Expression tool|Act like you're going to input an Expression (double click into a measure)|Click the shape radio button (which is located at the bottom right of the dialog box...that decision could use some revisiting)|Click the Create button|In the shape tab, click the select button next to shape|Click the create button|then you get to a very limited 1990's shape designer.


When I need to create lots of shapes, I've set up the Quick Navigator in Forza! to display the "Shapes..." in the QN root menu. Then I just press Shift+Ctrl+Alt and select "Shapes..." and then "Create".

I, like many others use macro programs with Finale. One of the reasons pull-down menus are used as much as it is in Finale is to be able to program keyboard macros easily (the tutorial book that comes wih Finale also suggests this). The click-click-etc method you describe can easily be achieved with one programmed keystroke. Another confusing thing is that you reach for the mouse to press the buttons, why not use the available keyboard shortcuts?

Also, you'll probably find noone who will defend the shape designer as being up-to-date!

Dainis said...
Interestingly, whether folks have outgrown Finale or not most likely relates to the type of composition being done.


Do you really know what other types of work people are doing in Finale? Here are some samples, you probably want to look at the avant-garde samples:
http://www.finaletips.nu/hofengravers.php


Jari Williamsson

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The Finale Productivity Tips site: http://www.finaletips.nu/

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Besta2000
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   Posted 3/9/2005 11:31 AM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
I agree with Davidmorehead about the scrollable spacebar-click idea. As of now, you click on a measure and all you do is hear how it sounds more than you see how it looks (does that make any sense????). I would like that option to have some sort of equality in both seeing and hearing. Anyways, that's my two cents....later!
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Dainis
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   Posted 3/9/2005 5:16 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Thanks for the productive discussion folks!

You know, Peter, regarding:

Peter said...
Although I am cautious about copyright issues when uploading examples, the originator of this thread might like to look at BarryGuy's Whistle and Flute (pub. Novello and Co) which I did in this way. I don't think it gets more complex than this. Scores by Stockhausen and George Crumb for example could easily be done in tzhis way.


I'd love to do this. Maybe others would as well. I can contact the publishers for Stockhausen and George Crumb and see what they say, you might have better access to Barry Guy. What we could do is pick short excerpts from scores of the composers you mentioned and reproduce them in Finale. I'd be willing to set up some space online, and I'd also be willing to write up the procedures. Then, MM, the Finale community, and composers at large could help improve Finale, could comment on whether they found the procedures "easy" or not, could make recommendations, etc.

Peter, since you see creating the scores as easy, I'd assume that you'd be the lead "Subject Matter Expert," in that you'd share how you would get the desired visual result. The key benefit I'd be willing to provide folks is a real procedure (with graphics), from beginning to end, provided creating the notation is actually possible.

So, what I could do is ask for permission to post, let's say 2 short score excerpts from each composer online, and then we could all jam and try to reproduce them, following Peter's lead.

What do you say?

--Dainis

PS -- I'd only vaguely heard of "Forza!" before this thread, so maybe all I need to do is get some "steroids" for Finale, and things would start working more smoothly.
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Dainis
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   Posted 3/9/2005 5:24 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
A very quick note, pg. 2 of: http://home.amis.net/galhar/01queens.pdf has a Finale-ism which has cost me many an hour. Maybe the composer wanted it this way, but check out the rests in the strings in the last measure of p.2. I've submitted the request for "consolidate rests" over the years, and even though notes get "consolidated" in Finale, I can't figure out how to get, for example, an eighth and a sixteenth note rest next to each other - to automatically turn into a dotted eighth.

As far as I remember (and I can't remember right now if there's a trick to get around this), if you need to rebar the measures for some reason, you lose your work in consolidating rests by hand.

If there are better procedures for this now, great! I'd love to know about it.

Cheers!
Dainis
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Dainis
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   Posted 3/9/2005 5:38 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Another quick note. The sample scores mentioned in this thread look pretty doable. I guess I'm wanting to get low down and dirty with spatial notation (possibly in a "new" way).

Still, I'd especially be interested in re-creating some of Crumb's work. Might be fun.

--Dainis
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tbmartin
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   Posted 3/9/2005 5:44 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
In the document options section, there is a "allow dotted rests" box. (Then again, it might be in quantification settings.) I don't know if that will help your situation, and I hesitate even mentioning it because it's likely that you already know about it. However, I do mention it just in case it's one of those head-slapping, "Man, I wish I'd know that!" things.


Terence
Using Finale 2003a, Windows 2000 XP Home

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Scott Amort
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   Posted 3/9/2005 11:35 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
This thread reminded me of James Ingram's site. He is Stockhausen's copyist. Until only a few years ago, he used Finale 3.0.1 in combination with Freehand, which is Macromedia's less-capable Illustrator program. Apparently he has moved over to the Sibelius side these days, but his site demonstrates a very interesting working method, not unlike my own. Essentially, he inputs the basic musical elements with Finale, and then exports it all into Freehand where he customizes as necessary. It allows him to utilize a variety of very specialized tools to produce his output.

Here is a link: home.t-online.de/home/j.ingram/software.htm.

Best,
Scott
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Dainis
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   Posted 3/10/2005 12:28 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Geeze, don't hesitate, I'll try "allow dotted rests," and see how it works. Tech support didn't mention that one...if it's for quant settings, it might not apply, but it's worth a try...thanks for the tip.

I'm eagerly awaiting Peter's response...also, any other takers on the score reproductoin thing?

Scott, I guess I'd been hoping to go the other direction, from Illustrator into Finale, not from Finale into Illustrator...

Sincerely,
Dainis
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Gareth Green
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   Posted 3/10/2005 12:47 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Dainis: Please bear in mind, re. dotted rests, that many people disagree with the use of dotted rests in most circumstances. As a sight-reading performer, I certainly wouldn't want the example you quoted to appear any differently.

I don't know if there is more to it than simply personal preference, and maybe Finale is actually behaving "correctly" in its treatment of rests?

G.


 
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Fin2005
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Dainis
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   Posted 3/11/2005 6:26 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Hmm, Gareth, interesting...I guess, if you prefer things that way, you should be able to "set" Finale to do what you like. Also, the online example I mentioned is not a very good one, in that the music doesn't look confusing.

When writing in 9/8 or 12/8 time; however, it's not appropriate for all the rests to be quarter eighth quarter eighth quarter eighth, and then a dotted quarter note, for example. And at least on my end, that's what Finale "does." I'm curious, if you'd prefer the "expanded" rests, even in that situation. In general, do you prefer to see two quarter rests as opposed to a half note rest? Four quarters as opposed to a whole?

Does the reasoning behind your preference have to do with performing under low-light situations?

At any rate, I'd prefer if Finale would allow me to apply whatever notation standard I choose, especially "common practice" types of things. "Rebar music" rebars the notes, but not the rests. In certain situations, that makes for unprofessional music notation...which then one needs to go in and correct manually. I'd prefer, if Finale would spare me the expenditure of that time.

This is a nice aside...I'm still looking forward to hearing some responses on this "notation-off" idea catalyzed by Peter.

Anyone in?

Cheers!
Dainis

Post Edited (Dainis) : 3/11/2005 10:29:26 PM GMT

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David Young : chambermusic
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   Posted 3/12/2005 12:50 AM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Dainis said...
When writing in 9/8 or 12/8 time; however, it's not appropriate for all the rests to be quarter eighth quarter eighth quarter eighth, and then a dotted quarter note, for example. And at least on my end, that's what Finale "does." I'm curious, if you'd prefer the "expanded" rests, even in that situation. In general, do you prefer to see two quarter rests as opposed to a half note rest? Four quarters as opposed to a whole?
  Right, in 9/8 meter and 12/8 meter it is customary to used dotted quarter rests.  But not in 6/8 meter.  However, I am aware of a Tchiakovsky piece (Dover) that is in 6/8 meter where dotted quarter rests were routinely used.  But I consider this piece to be a mistake regarding the convention.
 
  David
 


David Young
 
Composer of classical-romantic style chamber and orchestral music.
 
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