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Ebony Ivory
On Ebony And Ivory I'll Tinkle All Day Long



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   Posted 2/16/2007 12:32 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Admittedly these are the kinds of things which won't bother many, but there has been a lossy degradation of Maestro during the preparation of the new FontPack (and, presumably, the Finale 2007c update).

Yes, they've fixed the // and /// tremolo bugs, but the entire font has been recoded, with many shapes rougher than before. The differences are subtle, but there nonetheless; look at this image, which shows the OLD and NEW versions in turn, one second apart (CROP.GIF):



See how many of the characters move about? Some even change shape or thickness. These changes will occur in your carefully engraved scores too. For a larger selection of characters, check out MAESTRO.GIF.

Does it matter? Probably not to many people, but to others it may.

What's happened? Well, it looks like the old TTF fonts were loaded into a font editor (apparently not Fontographer), modified, and resaved - rather than working in Fontographer from the original source files. This will most likely have caused all the curves to be recomputed, twice, as conversions were made between quadratic splines (used in TT fonts) and Bezier curves (used in most font editors, and in PostScript), with a loss of accuracy at each such conversion. A closeup of a single character from the old and new versions of Maestro show how many more curve nodes have been added, even on some straight lines, and these have resulted in some unevenness in the curves (see WIRE.GIF).

Will this be visible in printed scores? That depends on how the hints were handled: while you won't necessarily see the individual bumps and lumps, the exact thicknesses of lines may vary from character to character, where they used to be constant, and whatever the case, they will show differences to whatever you had before: this could result in an uneven score. It's like using cheap downloaded text fonts, rather than real Adobe fonts, in desktop publishing: something you should never even think of doing.

Apart from the MAESTRO family, none of the other music fonts has been touched (they are all the same files as before); but my gut reaction is that unless you need the tremolo bug fixed, stick with the old version of Maestro!

Brian


On ebony and ivory I'll tinkle all day long

Post Edited (Ebony Ivory) : 2/16/2007 1:17:32 PM (GMT-6)


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Peter West
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   Posted 2/16/2007 1:38 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
I agree. The movement and lack of space on the right of some characters is not good. My clients have got so used to Engraver font tremolos now that Isee no need to change.


Peter
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Jason Archibald
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   Posted 2/16/2007 2:13 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
where do we get the old font files from again?


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Ebony Ivory
On Ebony And Ivory I'll Tinkle All Day Long



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   Posted 2/16/2007 2:23 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Jason Archibald said...
where do we get the old font files from again?

Just install Finale 2007b or earlier - maybe even on a spare machine - and rescue the TTF, PFB and PFM files. Then simply copy these into C:\WINDOWS\FONTS (or wherever your system keeps its fonts).

It's only the MAESTRO fonts that have changed.

Brian


On ebony and ivory I'll tinkle all day long

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Doug Blackmore
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   Posted 2/16/2007 10:57 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Ebony Ivory said...
...
See how many of the characters move about?
...
it looks like the old TTF fonts were loaded into a font editor (apparently not Fontographer), modified, and resaved - rather than working in Fontographer from the original source files.
If they lost the "source" to the Maestro, or premanently wrecked it, shame on MakeMusic.
 
Regarding characters moving about, are you saying, for example, that what used to be a staccato is now a marcato?  This happened to me once before when I "upgraded" my Golden Age series of fonts.  The author claimed he simply wanted the Mac and Windows versions to be compatible.  However, he caused the Windows and Windows versions to be INcompatible.  I have no patience for this kind of nonsense.  It destroys any confidence one might have in a font, as well as the ability to open your old documents as they were.  If this is the case, I'm glad I have never used Maestro.
 
BTW: your GIF doesn't animate for me.  Is it supposed to?


Doug Blackmore
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Finale 2006r3, Win 2K Pro

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hexadec
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   Posted 2/16/2007 11:59 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
no thats not what he is saying. his animation shows that some of the characters have shifted by a pixel or so to the left or right. its too small a difference for me to notice when viewing at normal music size.
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Doug Blackmore
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   Posted 2/17/2007 1:18 AM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Whew!


Doug Blackmore
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Finale 2006r3, Win 2K Pro

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Ebony Ivory
On Ebony And Ivory I'll Tinkle All Day Long



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   Posted 2/17/2007 6:45 AM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Doug Blackmore said...
If they lost the "source" to the Maestro, or premanently wrecked it, shame on MakeMusic.

Regarding characters moving about, are you saying, for example, that what used to be a staccato is now a marcato? This happened to me once before when I "upgraded" my Golden Age series of fonts. The author claimed he simply wanted the Mac and Windows versions to be compatible. However, he caused the Windows and Windows versions to be INcompatible. I have no patience for this kind of nonsense. It destroys any confidence one might have in a font, as well as the ability to open your old documents as they were. If this is the case, I'm glad I have never used Maestro.

BTW: your GIF doesn't animate for me. Is it supposed to?

Aha: if the GIF did animate, you'd see what I meant by "moving about"! I don't know which browser you use, but on Netscape, Opera and IE, those images show alternate view of the OLD and NEW versions of Maestro, and there is quite a lot of jiggling and slight shape morphing. Certainly the ASCII (7-bit) characters are at the same code offsets as before, though it looks like there have been some changes in the chars 128-255: I didn't spend long looking at the whole table, but there seem to be substitutions: I'll need to look again to be certain.

But as for regenerating the fonts by importing/changing/exporting, rather than working from the original masters, this is a very bad idea. It's the virtual equivalent of going from MP3 -> WAV -> MP3, or JPG -> TIFF -> JPG, and guarantees a loss of accuracy.

Brian


On ebony and ivory I'll tinkle all day long

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Ebony Ivory
On Ebony And Ivory I'll Tinkle All Day Long



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   Posted 2/17/2007 6:52 AM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
hexadec said...
no thats not what he is saying. his animation shows that some of the characters have shifted by a pixel or so to the left or right. its too small a difference for me to notice when viewing at normal music size.

And quite a few have changed shape, subtely. Where this might hurt is precisely at normal music sizes: a slight redefinition of a curve could result in a formerly 3-pixel-wide stroke becoming just 2-pixels wide, or maybe 4-pixels wide, especially if the "hints" have not been properly set. The result could be previously-even-looking music and text become very blotchy and uneven.

To see what I'm talking about, please check out: www.truetype-typography.com/tthints.htm - or simply compare the effect of using cheap-and-nasty "freebie" fonts for body text in normal text documents.

In short, the smaller you print font characters (in terms of numbers of pixels per character), the more important font definition and hinting becomes. My animation is simply an illustration of the potential for trouble here, not the embodiment of same.

Brian


On ebony and ivory I'll tinkle all day long

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hexadec
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   Posted 2/17/2007 10:20 AM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
im not talking about what i see in your animation. i would never trust what a gif file looks like. im talking about what i see after testing this with real output. i cant see any differences between old font and new font.
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N. Grossingink
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   Posted 2/17/2007 10:38 AM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
I opened the new Maestro TT font (Macintosh) in an old version of Fontographer - same as Brian's result, way too many outline points (see attached). I then ran the command "Clean Up Points" and the result was more what you'd expect.

I'm no expert on fonts, not by a long shot, but it would appear that these new versions were not polished before they were released. I'll send this in to MM Tech Support for their consideration.

N.


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Doug Blackmore
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   Posted 2/17/2007 11:14 AM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
I'm using IE 6.0.2800.1106 on Windows 2000 Professional. I don't know why Brian's GIF would animate for me.


Doug Blackmore
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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Ebony Ivory
On Ebony And Ivory I'll Tinkle All Day Long



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   Posted 2/17/2007 12:34 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Doug Blackmore said...
I'm using IE 6.0.2800.1106 on Windows 2000 Professional. I don't know why Brian's GIF would animate for me.

Though I usually work in Opera, I've just cheked in IE (same version as you, on my Windows 2000 Server test laptop) - and the animation works there too! Have you disabled animation somewhere in your IE settings?

Brian


On ebony and ivory I'll tinkle all day long

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Ebony Ivory
On Ebony And Ivory I'll Tinkle All Day Long



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   Posted 2/17/2007 12:39 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
hexadec said...
im not talking about what i see in your animation. i would never trust what a gif file looks like. im talking about what i see after testing this with real output. i cant see any differences between old font and new font.

With any luck you're right. I am simply flagging a warning. After all, my group brackets have been marred by a visible jaggie ever since Finale 2000, both on Postscript Preview on screen and in physical print, probably because of similar sloppiness in the past:



So these font issues might be important to some: just before it doesn't seem to affect you, doesn't mean care should not have been taken in defining these shapes.

Brian


On ebony and ivory I'll tinkle all day long

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Ebony Ivory
On Ebony And Ivory I'll Tinkle All Day Long



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   Posted 2/17/2007 12:44 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Jason Archibald said...
where do we get the old font files from again?

I've just checked the MM website: the old FontPack is still there, alongside the new one, and it installs the pre-update versions of Maestro, Maestro Wide and Maestro Percussion. All the other fonts are identical anyway.

Brian


On ebony and ivory I'll tinkle all day long

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Peter West
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   Posted 2/17/2007 2:19 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
I'm not getting jaggies on brackets. What are you printing to?


Peter
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Michel R. E.
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   Posted 2/17/2007 3:46 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Peter West said...
I'm not getting jaggies on brackets. What are you printing to?


the jagged line issue with brackets appears to have been limited to previous Windows versions... as far as I can tell it does not appear in Win XP.


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Ebony Ivory
On Ebony And Ivory I'll Tinkle All Day Long



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   Posted 2/17/2007 8:57 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Peter West said...
I'm not getting jaggies on brackets. What are you printing to?

Peter, this problem seems to have been "fixed" by Microsoft in more recent versions of Windows (eg XP), and so is now of mainly historical interest for most, though it still affects me on Windows 98. But in short, it used to occur on all versions of Windows (95, 98, NT, ME) and a variety of output devices (HP LaserJet, HP DeskJet, Adobe Postscript, Acrobat PDFWriter): for more info, just check out the rest of my old web page at:

www.solanum.org/finale.htm

I only brought this up to illustrate why I think we should be careful before dismissing the incremental degradation of the Maestro font.

Brian


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Ebony Ivory
On Ebony And Ivory I'll Tinkle All Day Long



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   Posted 2/17/2007 8:58 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
QcCowboy said...
Peter West said...
I'm not getting jaggies on brackets. What are you printing to?


the jagged line issue with brackets appears to have been limited to previous Windows versions... as far as I can tell it does not appear in Win XP.

You are probably correct, Michel. I brought this example up to show why I think we should be a little careful about blindly accepting a degraded Maestro font ...

Brian


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Doug Blackmore
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   Posted 2/18/2007 12:40 AM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Here is the culprit regarding the animated gif:



Doug Blackmore
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Ebony Ivory
On Ebony And Ivory I'll Tinkle All Day Long



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   Posted 2/18/2007 4:19 AM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Aha! How does my animation look now, Doug? :-)

Brian


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Baki
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   Posted 2/18/2007 12:55 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Hi all,

New Maestro TT Font is horrible. I suggest you install Type 1 Font which seems to be better. Still, there are few subtle changes that occurred while correcting the slashes. For example, top slash in a 3-slash unmeasured tremolo has a downward curve now. Why has this happened is beyond me. Installing old fonts is not a solution if you share files amongst engravers and publishing houses. It's time for MM to spend few thousands of dollars and Make the default font look reasonable. This is shameful, in my opinion. I have not checked the Mac fonts yet. If anybody from MM is reading this, please, this is not a serious business. Font quality should be on top of the "Feature List" for new upgrades.

Dan
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Doug Blackmore
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   Posted 2/18/2007 6:17 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Ebony Ivory said...
Aha! How does my animation look now, Doug? :-)

Brian

Now I get it.


Doug Blackmore
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Zuill
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   Posted 2/19/2007 4:40 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Thanks for the head's up on the fontpak. So this tells me that someone opening a file done with the old Maestro font with the newly redesigned font will have a different look, and possible spacing problems?

Will wonders never cease?

Zuill


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   Posted 2/19/2007 7:18 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
"So this tells me that someone opening a file done with the old Maestro font with the newly redesigned font will have a different look..."

At least the old font apparently works and looks something like the newer. Back in the old days (somewhere around v3 or '97 or so), MM renamed some fonts (Jazz & Engraver sets, I think) by taking the spaces between the names out, i.e., changed Jazz Text to JazzText. These had to be manually updated by using the swap one font for another feature. What's worse is that Finale (or maybe it was the system) substituted something like Geneva for the "missing" font. It still happens to those of us that occasionally have to open an older file with the newer version.

Jim Coull
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