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Christopher Smith
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   Posted 2/25/2012 3:23 PM (GMT -6)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Thanks so much, Robert. I'll give that a try.


Christopher Smith

Mac 2 x 2 Ghz Dual-Core Intel Xeon
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Finale 2011b and 2012a r.3
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rpmseattle
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   Posted 2/24/2012 7:12 PM (GMT -6)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Christopher Smith said...

One thing that has bugged me ever since the beginning about the spacing has been the way tied notes, especially short tied notes, are spaced. In early versions of Finale the ties turned into tiny, illegible "eyebrows" when the notes were very close. about ten years ago (sorry I don't remember exactly when) they changed the default tie settings to prevent this, and apparently one of the fixes involved spacing tied notes more widely to avoid shortening the ties overly much. This spaces the tied notes WAY too widely, in my opinion. How do you deal with this, if at all?


It's a good question, for sure. I haven't found a way to deal with this at a global level, although I'd like to be able to. For instance, when there are chords, you might want the ties to be "inner" while having them be "outer" for single notes. This level of control isn't readily available. Finale has settings you can change for chords, but like the collision avoidance for music spacing, these are preset.

The following is not necessarily personal preference, I'm just pointing to one possibility.

For Single Notes only (keeping in mind this is not ideal for chords) : Go to Document Options > Ties, and make sure that "Use Outer Placement" is checked. Locate the Over / Outer / Note and Under / Outer Note. If you change the horizontal END settings from these defaults to ZERO, the end point of the ties will center over the destination notes (rather than being slightly offset to the left), making the ties for these two situations visibly a bit longer. (leave the start points where they are). Now, locate Document Options > Music Spacing > Minimum Distance Between Notes with Ties. The current Finale default is 2 spaces. Because you removed the end offset of the ties (so far, for just the two cases), you can now decrease the width here, and still see the ties nice and large. But again, this little tweak doesn't address what is going on with tied chords (and particularly tied chords with seconds) at all.

~robert


Finale 2012, 2011 | Mac Pro 8 Core Xeon | OSX 10.6.x
www.musicprep.com/makemusic
www.rpmseattle.com/of_note/category/finale/

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Jari Williamsson
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   Posted 2/24/2012 6:13 AM (GMT -6)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Inspired by Robert's blog post, here's a new plug-in that would at least make it a bit more fun to use different spacing settings. Just mark a region and instantly check how the different spacing approaches look. (Future versions are planned to allow customization, and perhaps some other stuff as well.)

http://forum.makemusic.com/default.aspx?f=6&m=361412


Jari Williamsson

Windows XP, Pentium 4
2.40 GHz, 4 GB RAM

www.finaletips.nu - The Finale Productivity Tips site

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Christopher Smith
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   Posted 2/24/2012 12:50 AM (GMT -6)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Robert,

Thanks for the excellent article. This clarified some issues for me.

One thing that has bugged me ever since the beginning about the spacing has been the way tied notes, especially short tied notes, are spaced. In early versions of Finale the ties turned into tiny, illegible "eyebrows" when the notes were very close. about ten years ago (sorry I don't remember exactly when) they changed the default tie settings to prevent this, and apparently one of the fixes involved spacing tied notes more widely to avoid shortening the ties overly much. This spaces the tied notes WAY too widely, in my opinion. At first I tried messing around with the various settings, but never found any settings that looked good in all spacing situations, so I gave up and live with crappy spacing now. How do you deal with this, if at all?


Christopher Smith

Mac 2 x 2 Ghz Dual-Core Intel Xeon
OSX 10.6.8
Finale 2011b and 2012a r.3
or
Mac iBook G4 733 Mhz
OSX 10.4.11
Finale 2010b r.1

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rpmseattle
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   Posted 2/23/2012 3:19 PM (GMT -6)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Thanks for the additional edit. And, you did manage to bring the word "sexy" into a discussion about music notation and math, so kudos for that ;^)

~robert


Finale 2012, 2011 | Mac Pro 8 Core Xeon | OSX 10.6.x
www.musicprep.com/makemusic
www.rpmseattle.com/of_note/category/finale/

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Dr. Wiggy
Early music: modern methods



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   Posted 2/23/2012 3:18 PM (GMT -6)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Surely, the ideal layout has notes whose spacing is not "deformed" by accidentals? An accidental has no duration, so commands no space. So ideally, there should be enough space between notes for accidentals to fit without distortion. Therefore, if Finale is spacing all notes equally, even those without accidentals, then that is optimal?


"This is me helping."

Finale 2012, 2Ghz iMac; 2Ghz MacBook, 10.7.2
Edirol FA-66; M-Audio Oxygen 61; Yamaha PSR-410
Ancient Groove Music www.ancientgroove.co.uk

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Motet
Isorhythmic



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   Posted 2/23/2012 3:03 PM (GMT -6)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
(I see you're logged in--see edited post above)


Finale 2011b, TGTools
Windows XP

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Motet
Isorhythmic



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   Posted 2/23/2012 3:00 PM (GMT -6)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
I'm afraid "Fibonacci Golden Ratio" is not an accurate mathematical expression either. "Golden ratio" suffices. "Fibonacci" is a marketing ploy to make a simple concept seem sexy. If you want to include it, you might say something like

Finale's "Fibonacci Spacing" employs the golden ratio (approximately 1.6).


Finale 2011b, TGTools
Windows XP

Post Edited (Motet) : 2/23/2012 2:03:14 PM (GMT-6)

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rpmseattle
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   Posted 2/23/2012 2:38 PM (GMT -6)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
@Jari - thank you. I can't wait to see your spacing plugin! See my comment to Angsgar following.

@Fred - thank you. I, too have always liked the way that Score handles punctuation (music spacing). And it looks like Tom Brodhead's plugin would be excellent, as it gives the engraver access to additional padding and fixed offsets that are only preset in the Score program.

@Motet. Thanks for the proofing comment. I have reworded the first paragraph of the "What's Different" section.

@Angsgar. Thank you for posting the example attachment. In the "Event Spacing / Additional Padding and Fixed Offsets" section of the article, you can see one difference in the way that Finale and Sibelius handle scaling of events. Finale has checkboxes to avoid collisions of certain types of events, where Sibelius has a numeric entry field for the user to define (1) the space before accidentals, (2) the space around ledger lines (rather similar to the Score plugin Fred pointed us to). Sibelius also has (3) a "Minimum Distance Between Stems" setting in its Engraving Rules. While certainly not perfect either, Sibelius is able to automate the spacing of your 3 examples to taste with user adjustments to these settings. It would be great to see more of this type of spacing control in Finale.

~robert


Finale 2012, 2011 | Mac Pro 8 Core Xeon | OSX 10.6.x
www.musicprep.com/makemusic
www.rpmseattle.com/of_note/category/finale/

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Ansgar Krause
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   Posted 2/23/2012 6:35 AM (GMT -6)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
In my opinion the main problem is that finale - apart from some spacing anomalies e.g. with x-tuplets - sometimes doesn't do a good job in scaling. Sometimes *all* distances in a bar are wider if some notes have an accidental!
In addition please see the examples in the attachment.


Ansgar Krause

MacBook Pro 15", OSX 10.5.8 • Finale since 2.6.3

Fonts: http://home.arcor.de/ansgarkrause/finalfonts.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-USGFEyUmY



File Attachment :
incorrect_spacing.pdf   63KB (application/pdf)
This file has been downloaded 424 time(s).
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Motet
Isorhythmic



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   Posted 2/23/2012 12:52 AM (GMT -6)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Thanks for that, Robert. To be pedantic, the ratio of one Fibonacci number to the next approaches the golden ratio the further in the series you go, but "golden ratio" is the proper name for that number, (1 + sqrt(5)) / 2, approximately 1.6. "Fibonacci series" is the series of numbers.


Finale 2011b, TGTools
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Fred G. Unn
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   Posted 2/22/2012 7:37 PM (GMT -6)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Great post! As a longtime Finale user, when I first messed around with Sibelius I noticed something seemed "off" with the spacing widths. I realized the quarter-half ratio seemed a little screwy and reported it. The folks at Sibelius basically responded that they had studied centuries of scores to come up with the optimal spacing and they way they had it was the best way. I switched it to the golden ratio anyway. I'd be curious to see them both compared to SCORE's output as well. I've always thought SCORE did a better job of horizontal spacing than either Finale or Sibelius. Tom Brodhead developed a "plug-in" for SCORE that produces really good horizontal spacing. I wonder what his basic settings are here:
http://home.comcast.net/~tom.brodhead/lj.htm
http://home.comcast.net/~tom.brodhead/samples.htm

I'm not crazy about the notehead shape of SCORE's quarter/eighth/etc. notes but his spacing does look really well done.
Fred
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Jari Williamsson
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   Posted 2/22/2012 6:00 PM (GMT -6)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Excellent blog post! This was what I needed to finally see how that spacing plug-in that I had in my head for so long should be. ;-)


Jari Williamsson

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www.finaletips.nu - The Finale Productivity Tips site

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rpmseattle
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   Posted 2/22/2012 4:38 PM (GMT -6)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
I just posted a new tutorial on my blog on the topic of note spacing:

"Understanding & Improving Music Spacing in Finale and Sibelius"

I hope you'll take the time to read it.

www.rpmseattle.com/of_note/understanding-improving-music-spacing-in-finale-and-sibelius/

As always, thanks for your comments and for subscribing!

~robert


Finale 2012, 2011 | Mac Pro 8 Core Xeon | OSX 10.6.x
www.musicprep.com/makemusic
www.rpmseattle.com/of_note/category/finale/

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