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superstar banjo
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   Posted 3/18/2010 2:44 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Hello.   My name is Eric and I am a long time hobbyist musician playing a mix of styles (folk, jazz, progressive rock, various ethnic and experimental) and I have primarily been an improvisation based creator.  However as a child I took several years of piano lessons, which has given me a bit of a background in music theory, and I can sight read a bit even though notation has not been one of my main focuses musically for over 20 years.  However, as I play several different instruments (banjo, cello, guitar, piano, clarinet, psaltry, oud, dulcimer, hand drums -whatever I can get my hands on really) I have been trying to find a way to get more composition based and find a way to map out what I am doing on various instruments so I can work all of my different skills into cohesive music.
 
I was visiting a friend who is a classically trained trumpetist and tenor, and he showed me the Allegra program and I was quite impressed with how he could easily chart his brass quartet arrangements, and while I balked at the price, in looking at your site I found that the PrintMusic version of Finale seemed to have most of the features I was looking for at a rather decent price.  So I installed the demo.
 
I will admit I am not very good at charting with the program yet.   So far much of what I have been doing is throwing a bunch of random notes on a page and tweaking them until they sound good, which is a rather naive and juvenile composition method, and it takes the music pretty far from the music I make with an instrument in my hands, but I am only doing this to familiarize myself with how everything works (as well as following the tutorials)  There have been a few times where I have accidentally clicked and dragged over measures I was working on, and times when I told the program to do two or three things at once and it just stalled or crashed but that is likely my inexperience, no?
 
I was really excited about the Mic Notator feature, and thus far I have been completely unable to get it to work.  I have a Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2 sound card with a dock for plugging in MIDI devices and microphones and so forth into the front of my computer.  I plugged my microphone into the 1/4" jack and I can not get any audio response, let alone any charting.  It sounds like the program wants me to use the microphone jack on the back of my pc, but that is only a headphone sized jack and I don't have any mics that have a jack that small (I have the circular three prong as well as the 1/4").  Is there a way I could plug my mixer in somehow and run everything thru my mixer?  
 
I was also curious about how it notates once functionality takes place.  For instance with my clarinet I tend to do a lot of overblowing and vibrato in my playing and I am not sure how those would notate.  Likewise I was curious about how fingerscrapes and muted plucks and so forth would work with my banjo and cello.  One thing about the sound that comes from MIDI or VST replication, most instruments have one tone for each note, whereas when I am playing my cello for instance, I can play every note about seven different ways.  Due to the limitations of the replication would I need to chart a seperate line for every time I mute or strum or do a pizzicato? 
 
I have not tried the direct MIDI input method yet as I cannot find my MIDI cables and intend on buying a new set soon.
 
I have been playing around with the VST synth alot also, as I have found that there are lots of free modules on the web (and some inexpensive ones)  Some of the sounds really tax the RAM of my computer.  I only have 512mb as RAM for my computer is expensive as it is DDR400 and obviously they are way past that now.  I know you can buy 3 gigs of RAM for about 40 bucks nowadays but that wouldn't work with my motherboard, and for me to get new RAM, I would need a new motherboard, which would require a new processor, all of which seems a long distance to run just for some playback.   I guess what I am trying to say is that I am very interested in knowing about any usable demo quality sounds that aren't massively taxing on the poor little RAM, I would be all ears.
 
Also is there any way to add new music banks into the Instrument Set area of the Document Setup Wizard?  It only has the SmartMusic SoftSynth sounds there no matter what I do.
 
I tried a few more advanced modules and PrintMusic would not even load them.   and a few that while tweaking them, PrintMusic gave me a strange error about having no Font loaded and then crashed.  I lost a few compositions I was working on because of this, but due to the infantile nature of these compositions, the music world will not likely shed any tears for me.
 
I have not plopped down my 100$ yet for the program, but if I can get it working harmoniously with me instead of against me then I intend to.  If nothing else, I can see the potential with it for creating some fantastic music.  For instance, one of my brothers performs musicals in community theatre and I have been considering writing a musical for those folks.
 
Quite a lengthy first post eh?  Thanks for reading and thanks more for direction giving.
 
 
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Flint
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   Posted 3/18/2010 3:06 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Though technically you have more than the minimum recommended RAM (see http://www.finalemusic.com/PrintMusic/System-Requirements.aspx), you're still at a minimal amount.

Samples take a lot of RAM, and if you're not going to upgrade your computer, I would say that it would be almost pointless for you to attempt to use samples at all (512MB is barely enough to run Windows XP, let alone applications AND samples concurrently). That doesn't affect the use of PrintMusic to write music, however, it only affects what sounds you'll be able to use to playback.

Improvisation can be a useful tool, but you also need to know how to notate things correctly if you expect to produce usable music; PrintMusic is a tool to produce written notation (with some playback abilities), not a full-fledged production studio application.


woodwind specialist and doubler - Finale 2009b using Speedy Entry - no capslock, GPO 2nd ed. Full version, Garritan Jazz & Big Band, Garritan Concert and Marching Band, Windows Vista 32-bit SP1, 4GB RAM, Soundblaster Audigy II zs

If the composer says in effect to the performer: "I do not care whether you perform my music or not," we cannot argue the matter. But if he indicates: "I want you to perform and respond to this music," then his fundamental duty is to write his music so that it is accessible to interpretation. When the performer cannot approach the composer's meaning because of capriciously obscure notation, he may in effect say to the composer: "Why should I bother to puzzle out your music?" - Gardner Read

Post Edited (Flint) : 3/18/2010 2:09:43 PM (GMT-5)

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johnmouse
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   Posted 3/18/2010 3:18 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
I know that Hyperscribe is not accurate in translating what-you-play to the page, and I suspect Mic Notator will have the same results; unless you can play as absolutely in tune and rhythmically accurate to the nanosecond like a computer can. Otherwise you'll spend hours in editing, and may take you twice as long than if you had used Simple or Speedy entry in the first place.

According to the Product Comparison Chart, PrintMusic supports VST.


John

Finale 2009c/2010a
M-Audio KeyRig 49
Windows XP, SP2
P4 2.8 GHz
768 MB RAM

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Mike Rosen
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   Posted 3/18/2010 3:24 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Flint said...

Improvisation can be a useful tool, but you also need to know how to notate things correctly if you expect to produce usable music; PrintMusic is a tool to produce written notation (with some playback abilities), not a full-fledged production studio application.


Even the full, expensive Finale is, at heart, a notation program, although it has advanced playback capabilities as well. However, it is NOT designed for (nor capable of) instantly turning your musical explorations into polished notation. PrintMusic does have Hyperscribe, the full Finale does have a transcription function as well; but still, it would depend on your musical knowledge to unscramble the egg.



Mike Rosen
www.specialmillwork.com

WebMaster for the Seattle SeaChordsmen www.seachordsmen.org
NEW SITE www.specialmillwork.com/finaletips.htm

Print Music 2004, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010; Finale 2010b
Simple Entry, QWERTY keyboard. That's my system, and I'm stickin' to it.

Favorite reference: Essential Dictionary of Music Notation, Gerou & Lusk, 1996



"As a musician, he's a damn fine woodworker."

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superstar banjo
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   Posted 3/18/2010 3:28 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.

I am not opposed to upgrading my computer, I only see it as cost prohibitive, especially at this time in my life as I have ditched my old profession and have gone back to college.  I have run xp just fine on this computer since 2003 when I built it, and I have always known that RAM is a short coming for me, though up till now I have been able to make it work.  I have not worked with any programs that have taxed it as much as VST do however.

I do have a studio application on this here computer by the name of Cool Edit 2 pro, which does allow me in some fashion to record and play my instruments at once, but it is really fine for recording and not so much for arrangement, and therefore my compositions have suffered.  I realize that my need to use notation is increasing and I welcome the opportunity to learn more than the rudiments that I know.  As stated, I do have some knowledge of theory and can play simple melodies that are notated, it just so happens that when I play simple melodies on an instrument I often end up filling in with a bunch of embellishments.  While I could tell you the notations if I stopped to think about them, mostly at that point I have started playing by "feel".  I don't fully want to stop this, but I do want to make my compositions more solid, to the point where I could take my music to other musicians and they could play it as well.

If I want to use PM2010 in that way it is only because I see the potential there for it, especially in the fact that I would be able to record .wav and .mp3 files from it.  More likely I would mute the instruments part by part while I record the real instrument in place of the notation with CE2 because real instruments still usually sound and feel better than digital replications.   That said, it had been a while since I have explored digital sounds, and I am quite impressed with some of the more recent emulation technology.

Over the years, my playing on some of my instruments has become rather idiosyncratic from root word idio that is also in the word idiot.  I feel I have a unique musical voice to share with the world, if it cares to listen, but because of those quirks, learning how to notate them may be trickier than just saying "pianissimo here" or "glissando there"  That is why I was so pumped about the Mic Notator. 

Even if I find PM2010 unusable for that sort of thing, I am still interested in using it for laying out songs and arrangements.

Post Edited (superstar banjo) : 3/18/2010 2:49:45 PM (GMT-5)

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Jeannie
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   Posted 3/18/2010 4:39 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Music notation programs require a fair knowledge of music notation to be able to use them successfully. An analogy would be someone who knows little of woodworking expecting to be able to turn out professional looking furniture just by buying power tools. Another is someone picking up how to speak a language just from listening to it being spoken and, with just that knowledge, expecting to automatically be able to write in that language. Any tool is no better than the knowledge of the person using it. Notation programs are just tools; how successful they are depends on the skill of the user.

I know many professional musicians who do not read music so this is not a slight on your abilities. However, since they do not know music notation, they would be at a complete loss to notate their music whether by hand or with a notation program. Since to be successful at using a notation requires a solid foundation of music notation theory, your time and money would be better spent taking a course or two in music theory, either in a classroom or online. Many of those classes require a notation program so you may be able to kill two birds with one stone (wait until you actually decide on the class before buying a notation program because they my require one different from what you wanted; the upside to this is you may be able to get a better program for less due to student discounts).


Jeannie
 

Allegro 2005, Allegro 2007, Finale 2010 (not yet installed) XP Pro

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francois_harel
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   Posted 3/18/2010 8:16 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Dear Eric,
You probably need to use a mix setup incorporating a sequencer and a notator. I had the same problem since a couple of years.
I started using a Finale because my orchestrating teacher used it. So I chose Finale over Sibelius. Notion 3 was not available at this time. Even now, I prefer Finale over Notion 3....
Anyway, it is at the time that I began to use Finale that I began to understand orchestration for full orchestra.
A notator is better to understand what you have to do. Honestly, I can orchestrate for pop music faster with my sequencer. But I can't obtain good paper score from it.

I usually use Finale to compose and orchestrate. I can obtain very good playback to using Smartsoft synth, GP4 or EWQLSO, all usable with Finale.
I agree that my pc is bigger and faster that yours. Yes, for Finale and PrintMusic, bigger and faster pc resolve a lot of problem.
When my score is finish, I often transfert it in my sequencer (Sonar) for mixing.

A sequencer will always be faster for live recording. It works like a tape recorder. It is very fast ! So even if Finale provide hyperscrip or video window, a good sequencer will beat it very easily.
I have to say that I never use Hyperscribe on Finale, even with my big pc. I always enter nots via mouse and pc keyboard... in Speedy entry mode.

Also, a notator is a reliable tool to learn orchestration. But you need other helper like many books or web teaching files and/or a teacher.

Francois, Montreal


Francois Harel, Montreal, Canada
QX9650 3.0 GHz on Vista x64 with 8Gbytes of ram
Finale 2010b, Sonar PE 8.5.1, Notion 3
Kontakt KP2, K3, K4, Aria, fullGPO4, JABB, CoMB
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superstar banjo
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   Posted 3/19/2010 11:00 AM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
I really regret starting my first post talking about the fact that I tend to make music through improvisation, as it seems that is almost offensive to some of you who have more extensive backgrounds in the western classical and choral traditions.

I know the treble notes are E-G-B-D-F on the bars and F-A-C-E on the spaces and that the bass notes are G-B-D-F-A on the bars and A-C-E-G on the spaces. I know the notes in between are b-c-d. I know the the fifth note in the C major scale is G which is the dominant, and that the cycle of fifths tells us that the next scale is based of the fifth note in the prior one. I know you use the cycle of fourths instead for flat scales. I know that the sixth note in the scale is the relative minor... I know basic counterpoint (my piano teacher was really oriented towards baroque music, so much of my theory follows suit) I know all of you seem a bit protective of music like it is some rare resource hewn from rocks, but it is really just 12 different tones repeating over and over again, usually in groups of seven (trad. scales) or groups of five (pentatonic). I understand intervals, and I can tell you that I am playing for instance a B flat major 9th add 11 chord. I understand inversion and chordal harmony and leading notes. Often my music is rather syncopated, which is somewhat hard to notate at times if I am using a strange time signature, but anything in usual time signatures isn't very hard to notate. Especially 16th notes and above... 2/2, 2/4, 3/4, 4/4, 6/8, 9/8, are not hard for me to write in, and I can do 5/4 and 7/8 when I concentrate.. some more advanced time signatures get really wonky and it is easier to get off time while counting.

I don't really know if it is necessary to explain what I know, as that had little bearing on my questions regarding PM. Though since my skills and knowledge have been called into question, hopefully that will reassure people that I am not looking at sheet music for the first time after being bound for 25 years to a rail in the center of town, handed a few instruments, and pelted with fruit whenever I make sounds people dislike.

I do come from a timbre oriented background though and so much can boil down to the construction of the instrument, the colour of the sound that you are trying to create, and if there are vocals, to accomodate them as much as possible. I believe that every instrument has melodies that it WANTS to play, and it is up to the musician to bring it forward. I write songs in several different ways, occasionally lyrics first, which have chord changes and movements not out of range of the traditional songwriting convention, and occasionally instrumental bits which allow me to be freer. Often times I like to come up with an idea of what an instrumental piece should represent, then try to make sounds to represent that. For instance I will try to make something that sounds like a naked man trying to hail a cab in a hailstorm, or an amish barn raising in which none of the men have legs, or something more elegant like a beautiful woman slowly walking down a staircase while holding a swan.

Thankfully I do have some answers, and yes, it seems my lack of RAM will impede me from really exploring some of the Garriton or Konakt or East West etc. samples I have heard, though as I said I am quite impressed with them. I have heard many of these sounds used in recent video game and television soundtracks and I wouldn't mind learning to score those myself.

I hate to harp on about mic notator, but on the help page for it it said that if you call finale, that they will send you a microphone that works with it. Do they charge for this, or is it included in your purchase price of the program? I still might want to play around with it, although I will likely use the simple entry method otherwise.

francois_harel said...

Anyway, it is at the time that I began to use Finale that I began to understand orchestration for full orchestra.
A notator is better to understand what you have to do. Honestly, I can orchestrate for pop music faster with my sequencer. But I can't obtain good paper score from it.

A sequencer will always be faster for live recording. It works like a tape recorder. It is very fast ! So even if Finale provide hyperscrip or video window, a good sequencer will beat it very easily.


Also, a notator is a reliable tool to learn orchestration. But you need other helper like many books or web teaching files and/or a teacher.

Francois, Montreal


Even in the few days that I have used PM I also can see it improving my feel for orchestration, it is somewhat pattern based and I simply need to learn the patterns. Even when I have written sheet music in the past it has usually been for one instrument at a time and utilizing multiple instruments and being able to play them back instantly is changing the way I think about tonal construction and polyphony.

That is why I think that the 100$ may be a decent investment. But perhaps not, as several of the other posts seemed to suggest that this program is out of my league. Obviously with any investment you only get out of it, what you put into it. Though, I also realize music is a "labor of love" as they say and all the money I have invested so far in instruments and software has not brought me much profit, though it has given me hours and hours of amusement and enjoyment and good friends. Investing in business, real estate, science or medicine is certainly more lucrative.

I really had not considered a sequencer as I have been more focused on live instruments, not to mention that the last time I used a sequencer they were so far back in development that it was like poking an amoeba on a microscope slide. I used one of the early forms of cakewalk briefly, but found it rather limiting. I suppose I should look into the sequencer market and see how things have developed. I guess I should get over the stigma I have of sequencers being the realm mostly of techno musicians. Thanks for the suggestion.
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Mike Rosen
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   Posted 3/19/2010 11:07 AM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
I don't think anyone was debunking your skill as a musician. Our point was that in order to put notes in, you need to know what they are.

I don't think PM will do what you want, MicNotator or not.



Mike Rosen
www.specialmillwork.com

WebMaster for the Seattle SeaChordsmen www.seachordsmen.org
NEW SITE www.specialmillwork.com/finaletips.htm

Print Music 2004, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010; Finale 2010b
Simple Entry, QWERTY keyboard. That's my system, and I'm stickin' to it.

Favorite reference: Essential Dictionary of Music Notation, Gerou & Lusk, 1996



"As a musician, he's a damn fine woodworker."

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superstar banjo
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   Posted 3/19/2010 12:53 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Mike Rosen said...
I don't think PM will do what you want, MicNotator or not.


well... erm.. thanks Mike. Your attempt to not help me has succeeded.

I still have 25 days of tinkering (actually "25 days of tinkering" would be a good song title) to decide what it can do for me.

How about a notation question? Is there a way to block out entry of notes for an instrument if it falls out of the instruments range? For instance a B flat clarinet can not play any notes below the E below middle C, however there is nothing stopping anyone from adding notes below that in this program. For that matter most of the upper register clarinet tones are likely better assigned to other instruments as they are piercing and unpleasant.

I understand why with string instruments this would be in place, as it is not uncommon for a guitar player for instance to tune to D instead of E, but for brass and woodwinds it seems a bit stranger.

If there were a way to look at the ranges of say a bassoon while entering in the part it could help from making impossible music.
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Flint
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   Posted 3/19/2010 12:58 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
superstar banjo said...

How about a notation question? Is there a way to block out entry of notes for an instrument if it falls out of the instruments range? For instance a B flat clarinet can not play any notes below the E below middle C, however there is nothing stopping anyone from adding notes below that in this program. For that matter most of the upper register clarinet tones are likely better assigned to other instruments as they are piercing and unpleasant.

I understand why with string instruments this would be in place, as it is not uncommon for a guitar player for instance to tune to D instead of E, but for brass and woodwinds it seems a bit stranger.

If there were a way to look at the ranges of say a bassoon while entering in the part it could help from making impossible music.
You'll need to consult an Instrumentation text; a course on Orchestration would also be a helpful addition.


woodwind specialist and doubler - Finale 2009b using Speedy Entry - no capslock, GPO 2nd ed. Full version, Garritan Jazz & Big Band, Garritan Concert and Marching Band, Windows Vista 32-bit SP1, 4GB RAM, Soundblaster Audigy II zs

If the composer says in effect to the performer: "I do not care whether you perform my music or not," we cannot argue the matter. But if he indicates: "I want you to perform and respond to this music," then his fundamental duty is to write his music so that it is accessible to interpretation. When the performer cannot approach the composer's meaning because of capriciously obscure notation, he may in effect say to the composer: "Why should I bother to puzzle out your music?" - Gardner Read

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Gareth Green
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   Posted 3/19/2010 1:16 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
The full version of Finale has a "check range" plug-in. Don't know about PrintMusic, but I suspect not. Also, the plug-in acts more as a "retrospective" check on selected passages, not as a real-time "check as you go" sort of system, which is what you seem to want.


 
Gareth J. Green
 
Fin2010b
Core2Duo [email protected]; Vista 64-bit; 8Gb RAM; SB X-Fi Extreme Audio, ATI Radeon HD 4650.
 
Stolichnaya Blue
 
"Trumpet players have no use for musicianship; it's too much like having a conscience"
 

"Never take life seriously; no-one gets out alive anyway."

Post Edited (Gareth Green) : 3/19/2010 12:19:23 PM (GMT-5)

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Jeannie
'Tis Herself - I have the tee shirt to prove it!



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   Posted 3/19/2010 1:19 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
I apologise for misunderstanding your level of music theory knowledge. We receive many posts from OPs who do not have a firm foundation in music theory, are good at "playing by ear" and expect a notation program to fill that gap. Since you have taken piano lessons, then the odds are you are familiar with basic music theory (I can't play piano so you're one up on me). If notating complicated rythms is a problem for you, though, it may mean you need to expand on that knowledge. You can experiment with entering the notation yourself and playing it back to see how it sounds, then make changes to see what effect they have (heck, it works for me).

The problem with using MicNotator is the same as hyperscribe; the notation program will pickup and notate any slight variation in your playing of the music. This will lead to complicated and unplayable scores. The main purpose of a notation program is a drafting tool, allowing one to put music to paper faster and more accurately than drawing it out by hand. Analogy would be using a word prosessor such as MS Word instead of pen and paper. In either case, one needs to know what the finished product needs to look like to be able to achieve the fished product.

Since you have the demo of Print Music already, have you tried just getting a cheap mike or borrowing one to try out MicNotator? The mike you would get from MM probably isn't anything to write home about if it's a freebie and will be overpriced if not.


Jeannie
 

Allegro 2005, Allegro 2007, Finale 2010 (not yet installed) XP Pro

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Mike Rosen
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   Posted 3/19/2010 1:57 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
superstar banjo said...
Mike Rosen said...
I don't think PM will do what you want, MicNotator or not.


well... erm.. thanks Mike. Your attempt to not help me has succeeded.



And after you've spent the time to find that PrintMusic will not take your improvisations of naked people in the rain, done with finger scrapes and muted plucks, on an underpowered computer with a budget-priced program, and translate them into useable notation while telling you that no, that instrument won't play that note, maybe you'll remember that I told you so.

Have a nice day!



Mike Rosen
www.specialmillwork.com

WebMaster for the Seattle SeaChordsmen www.seachordsmen.org
NEW SITE www.specialmillwork.com/finaletips.htm

Print Music 2004, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010; Finale 2010b
Simple Entry, QWERTY keyboard. That's my system, and I'm stickin' to it.

Favorite reference: Essential Dictionary of Music Notation, Gerou & Lusk, 1996



"As a musician, he's a damn fine woodworker."

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superstar banjo
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   Posted 3/19/2010 2:33 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Flint says: a course on Orchestration would also be a helpful addition

as said above I am a college student, studying ekg rhythms, biochemistry and advanced life support techniques.. my schedule is pretty full but I really would like to take an orchestration class if I can fit it into my schedule soon.

Gareth Green says: The full version of Finale has a "check range" plug-in. Don't know about PrintMusic, but I suspect not. Also, the plug-in acts more as a "retrospective" check on selected passages, not as a real-time "check as you go" sort of system, which is what you seem to want.

I think it would be a useful tool for anyone who happens to be composing using instruments that they are less familiar with. Obviously it is not a stretch for a pianist to compose piano music, but if they were to compose something for bagpipes or something it would make for a handy reference to know what the limitations of bagpipes were whilst transcribing their part. The "check range" function doesn't seem to be on PM, although worst comes to worse, transpositions are easily done here.

Jeannie says: I apologise for misunderstanding your level of music theory knowledge. We receive many posts from OPs who do not have a firm foundation in music theory, are good at "playing by ear" and expect a notation program to fill that gap. Since you have taken piano lessons, then the odds are you are familiar with basic music theory (I can't play piano so you're one up on me). If notating complicated rythms is a problem for you, though, it may mean you need to expand on that knowledge. You can experiment with entering the notation yourself and playing it back to see how it sounds, then make changes to see what effect they have (heck, it works for me).

Since you have the demo of Print Music already, have you tried just getting a cheap mike or borrowing one to try out MicNotator? The mike you would get from MM probably isn't anything to write home about if it's a freebie and will be overpriced if not.


I accept your apology, and agree that trial and error may be the best way to learn the more complex rhythms. And you are likely correct about the mic.

Mike Rosen says: And after you've spent the time to find that PrintMusic will not take your improvisations of naked people in the rain, done with finger scrapes and muted plucks, on an underpowered computer with a budget-priced program, and translate them into useable notation while telling you that no, that instrument won't play that note, maybe you'll remember that I told you so.

I don't know if you get paid to be a jerk, but you probably should, as you are pretty good at it. I suppose by your post count that you think you are king of the mountain here, and you are attempting to push me off the mountain. Strange that you bad mouth PrintMusic there also though, as if you think the program is a steaming pile than why are you trying to defend it?

Have a nice day!

I am, thank you. It is gorgeous weather today, finally feels like spring. I suppose the naked folks can have thier day in the sunshine.
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Mike Rosen
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   Posted 3/19/2010 2:56 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
superstar banjo said...

Mike Rosen says: And after you've spent the time to find that PrintMusic will not take your improvisations of naked people in the rain, done with finger scrapes and muted plucks, on an underpowered computer with a budget-priced program, and translate them into useable notation while telling you that no, that instrument won't play that note, maybe you'll remember that I told you so.

I don't know if you get paid to be a jerk, but you probably should, as you are pretty good at it. I suppose by your post count that you think you are king of the mountain here, and you are attempting to push me off the mountain. Strange that you bad mouth PrintMusic there also though, as if you think the program is a steaming pile than why are you trying to defend it?

Have a nice day!

I am, thank you. It is gorgeous weather today, finally feels like spring. I suppose the naked folks can have thier day in the sunshine.


No, I do it for free, for those who deserve it. I'm not going to spend much time rebutting someone of your obviously superior knowledge and intellect, but I will just say (and I think that most people here will agree) that you're wrong. I DO consider myself pretty darn good at knowing the ins and outs of PrintMusic, and in the right hands, and for its designed purpose, you can't do much better. But plain and simple, it won't do what you asked if it would do.



Mike Rosen
www.specialmillwork.com

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Print Music 2004, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010; Finale 2010b
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"As a musician, he's a damn fine woodworker."

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Fritz Meissner
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   Posted 3/19/2010 3:31 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Superstar, you and mike seem to have hit off on a bad note. Mike's post count is an indication that he has helped many people over the years; he has also compiled a collection of tips on using Finale and other MakeMusic programs on his website (which is in his signature) which are probably worth remembering. Sooner or later you will come up against one of the common problems and discover that the answer is there. Mike has used PrintMusic himself for many years and has enthusiastically found ways to make it do things that its makers never imagined (and helped others when they needed those ways) - he has very recently upgraded to Finale, but I'm sure that he still feels that it offers a lot of bang for the buck, as do I.

To get back to your original questions :

Eric said...
I was really excited about the Mic Notator feature, and thus far I have been completely unable to get it to work. I have a Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2 sound card with a dock for plugging in MIDI devices and microphones and so forth into the front of my computer. I plugged my microphone into the 1/4" jack and I can not get any audio response, let alone any charting. It sounds like the program wants me to use the microphone jack on the back of my pc, but that is only a headphone sized jack and I don't have any mics that have a jack that small (I have the circular three prong as well as the 1/4"). Is there a way I could plug my mixer in somehow and run everything thru my mixer?


I have an Audigy 2 card as well, but not the one with the external connection box. I connect my amp's line-in and line-out into the jacks on the card at the back of the computer and it works very well. You will probably find that using the mixer into the sound card will work better than the mic directly into the card because you can then adjust the volume until the sound is best. Your mic is most likely not well matched to the level that your soundcard would like as an input.

I must agree with previous posters that you will probably find micnotator's results disappointing, but have look at the instructions in the post Any micnotator users? ; they date from a while back, but I think they are still the most detailed instructions around for getting micnotator to work as well as possible. To get halfway good results, you will have to play as simply and clearly as possible - all the effects you mention will totally confuse the programme.

Concerning better sounds, you might want to have a look at the thread Composing in Smartsynth vc VST/Soundfonts where there was a discussion of where to get better sounding instruments that work with PrintMusic.

Concerning sequencers, you might want to have a look at Reaper, which is another inexpensive programme that I am hugely impressed with. It is not really a sequencer, more of a multitrack recorder that can handle midi and audio simultaneously, but it also has midi editing tools. It works for me, although I am aware that its midi editing tools are not on a par with what a real sequencer would offer. Your computer specs are going to be a problem though; it might be cheaper for you to find a second hand older computer with the right memory in it and transplant it into your machine, rather than trying to find someone selling it new. You could try an electronic waste recycler if there is one near you, or e-Bay I suppose.

In conclusion, I am an enthusiastic user and recommender of PrintMusic, but it might not be what you are looking for. The only way to tell is to do what you are doing, try it for yourself; you could do the same for Reaper and see how that works for you. I encourage you to keep trying - you'll never find the perfect tool, but I'm sure you will find something that will let you make the music you are hearing.

Fritz


PrintMusic 2004, 2006 and 2007, Windows XP Pro, Soundblaster Audigy 2 ZS, P4 2.6 GHz + 1 GB
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Use the Finale Knowledgebase first ! :-)

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johnmouse
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   Posted 3/19/2010 3:40 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
I hate to tell you, Eric, but it seems you want PrintMusic (or some kind of music notation software) to be a miracle worker. It just ain't going to happen. I don't think trial and error is the best way to learn complex rhythms, and that isn't how I would instruct. There really is no substitute for a good, solid working knowledge of music theory; and you really need that when working with a notation program. And I'm pretty sure that music theory is a prerequisite before you take any orchestration classes; at east it was when I was a music major. Your best bet on that is to get permission from the professor to audit it.

That, being said, and the fact that your schedule is already full for your own coursework, I would suggest you look at http://www.dolmetsch.com/theoryintro.htm. It's one of the most (if not the most) comprehensive online music theory sites I've come across.


John

Finale 2009c/2010a
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EpeeDad
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   Posted 3/19/2010 3:45 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Eric,

I would like to plug my cheap blood pressure machine into my PC and get an EKG reading from it. Can you tell me how to do this? (Hint, my mech engineer son, who designs EKG machine manufacturing processes for Siemens Medical probably could figure out a way to jimmyjack this) It is a really good idea to do this, right?

The point is you have been given excellent advice about the capabilities of PM from an expert and because it isn't what you wanted to hear, you think he is a jerk?

You might want to think about this.
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petey forrest
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   Posted 3/19/2010 6:29 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Not to add fuel to the fire but Sibelius has an "out of range" indicator for instruments by making notes go red automatically as you enter them.  You can adjust the default ranges as well.
 
I've noticed at times that there are always some new users or explorers who post long and detailed messages, carefully thought out, but they do little experimenting themselves with the software, and then they don't like what the experts tell them right away.  They often get into more complicated explanations upon explanations that seem to bring the house of cards down on themselves.   I've never quite understood such reasoning.  One ends up spending more time arguing than actually working with the software or finding another solution with different software.  Also, printed scores are really destined for musicians with good reading ability.   One has to ask, do I really need to generate scores, or I just want to understand orchestration better?
 
Anyway, Mike is a good guy and has helped a ton of people out around here.  He's no pushover but what ukulele player is?!  hehehe
 
Petey
Finale 2008


 

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Gareth Green
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   Posted 3/19/2010 9:21 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
superstar banjo said...
... if they were to compose something for bagpipes or something it would make for a handy reference to know what the limitations of bagpipes were whilst transcribing their part. .
Trust me, the limitations of bagpipes are far more serious than simply range ...
superstar banjo said...
I don't know if you get paid to be a jerk, but you probably should, as you are pretty good at it.
... Unnecessary, rude, unacceptable on a forum such as this, and unlikely to get you much more in the way of support. I think some sort of apology would be in order ...


 
Gareth J. Green
 
Fin2010b
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"Trumpet players have no use for musicianship; it's too much like having a conscience"
 

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superstar banjo
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   Posted 3/21/2010 3:55 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
A whole load of productive posts... thanks for the replies..

To get this out of the way first, M. Rosen has been a poster here for apparently ages, and will be posting here long after I stop coming around, and I really have nothing against him. He took a poke at my ego, and I took a poke back at his, but I think both of us were justified in doing so, so no need for apology. He has a five-star beard, and a site that has already helped me, and if he is indeed also a uke player, it is very unlikely that I would ever dislike him.

Fritz Meissner, I will not quote directly your post, as it was rather lengthy, but both the soundfronts link and the mic notator link seem useful. In order for me to experiment with any of the tweaks mentioned in Tyler's post in the micnotator thread, I would first have to get some audio response through my plug dock. It is possible that an Audigy sound setting is what is keeping me from getting audio through the connection, or that PrintMusic is not able to respond to that particular input, set as it is to the other microphone slot (after all, most people don't have multiple mic in slots.) Next week is my spring break and I will experiment a bit with getting functionality from it then.

I am also now trying the 30 day Reason trial as well, it covers much the same territory as Cool Edit 2 does, although it is more streamlined and doesn't seem to be as massive a RAM hog as CE2 is. Also it has more MIDI plug in (VST) capability built in. Despite it only being 60 quid for a license, I am not sure I should spring for another recorder, as in addition to CE2, I also have a Fostex hard disc recorder and an old Tascam cassette four track. At a cursory glance, I like its layout and interface.

Johnmouse, yes, I was off-base when I said trial and error, but when dealing with things like tied 32nd notes with 64th note rests interspersed into a melodic line, it can be tricky to get the timing correct. I figure no matter how much one learns, they will always be a student, unless they happen to be a mathematical genius. The music theory link you gave me is really nice! There is plenty I know on there, and plenty I don't, and I will go through it a lot more. Some of their graphs employ Sibelius Scorch, which even after installing it, isn't seeming to work? Perhaps because I am using Firefox?

EpeeDad, It would be hard to convert a blood pressure reading to an EKG reading as they measure different parts of the heartbeat. BP measures the mechanical pressure, and EKGs measure the electrical conduction from the sinoatrial node down through the perkinje fibers and then the repolarization of the nerves from those electrical pulses. They both measure heartbeats but in rather different (and non-compatible) methods. You could "jimmyjack" or "jerryrig" your own EKG machine though pretty easily with parts found easily at your local hardware shop. The first EKG was performed with a guy putting his hands and one foot in metal buckets filled with water. Siemens is a really good company, and you must be really proud of your son.

petey forrest says: One has to ask, do I really need to generate scores, or I just want to understand orchestration better?

That is a really good question, and really the most important when it comes down to whether the program is right for me. I am past the point in my life in which I believe I will make a living writing or performing music, so most of my experiments and creations are first and foremost, things I do to amuse myself. Most recordings I have made, and most songs I have written I have never played for anyone's ears but mine. The music in my head (as it sounds in my head) has rarely been tapped into by me into anything close to a distributive form. That undocumented music is the music that I have always desired to document, and I certainly think big with lots of polyrhythms and polyphony and grand sweeping moments, from solo banjo to large childrens choirs.

I think that notation software may be a perfect method for me to start getting those ideas out, in a way that I can realize in reality that which exists in my imagination.

There is the possibility that it could turn into a tennis racket type of thing though. When it is beautiful outside, and you think this would be a great day to play tennis, so you buy a tennis racket, grab a friend and head to the court. You have a great time but you are sore for a week and say things like "I wish my body still had the energy I had when I was 15" and you bring it out less frequently after that, eventually when you are cleaning out your garage 12 years later, you find it and say "I really wish I had learned to play better tennis."

As to the note about Sibelius having a feature that I thought of, Sibelius seems like a nice program, possibly a lot nicer than this one, but is so expensive as to keep me away, unless I got to the point where I really was making a profit from writing music.

and Gareth, heh, you are right about bagpipes being a bad example.

Post Edited (superstar banjo) : 3/21/2010 3:00:08 PM (GMT-5)

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johnmouse
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   Posted 3/21/2010 5:31 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
superstar banjo said...
The music theory link you gave me is really nice! There is plenty I know on there, and plenty I don't, and I will go through it a lot more. Some of their graphs employ Sibelius Scorch, which even after installing it, isn't seeming to work? Perhaps because I am using Firefox?


That is very possible. I have often had some issues with Scorch and Firefox. You might give Opera a try. If that doesn't work, you'll need to use Internet Explorer or NetCrash, I mean NetScape. :p


John

Finale 2009c/2010a
M-Audio KeyRig 49
Windows XP, SP2
P4 2.8 GHz
768 MB RAM

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EpeeDad
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   Posted 3/22/2010 9:45 AM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Eric,

I wasn't serious about jerryrigging an EKG unit. I was just yanking your chain (in a humorous way, I hope) to make a point about using the proper tool for the job and paying attention to expert opinions, etc.

The following is an excellent online course for orchestration:

www.northernsounds.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=77

The problem of getting the music that we have in our heads realized in a shareable format(Notation, recorded, sequences, looped, etc) is non-trivial as mathematicians say. There are a lot of hidden assumptions involved. These can be musical, interpretive, even cultural. It is very interesting to compare various interpretations of traditional classical compositions. For instance compare a recording of a J.S. Bach harpsichord piece between Wanda Landovska and Gustav Leonhardt. It is obvious that the written music is a map of the territory and that the performers each see a different landscape!

There are lots of great software tools, including Finale and Sibelius for notation that help in the process but none of these tools replace the study and hard work needed to achieve excellence. This is true in any field.

Good luck on this journey. I've been on that road for damned near fifty years.

Post Edited (EpeeDad) : 3/22/2010 8:48:51 AM (GMT-5)

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