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Posted By : Linda W. - 11/8/2008 1:08 PM
Recently we bought Finale for my high school son who is very interested in composing music.  I want to buy him a MIDI Keyboard for Christmas and as I research them have some questions.  My main question is: most MIDI keyboards come with software - is this software compatible with Finale?  Do we even need any software if we have Finale?  Will any MIDI keyboard work with Finale?  And does anyone have a recommendation for a good but inexpensive MIDI keyboard for a beginner?

Posted By : Dr. Wiggy - 11/9/2008 10:15 AM
Welcome to the forum.

It is not so much whether a MIDI keyboard will work with Finale, but rather whether it will work with your computer. Your computer will need to connect and understand the MIDI data from the MIDI keyboard. Some computers have built-in MIDI hardware: others require an external box for audio and MIDI connections. Some modern keyboards are MIDI, but plug into the computer through USB, rather than MIDI plugs and sockets.

In general, if your computer can work with the MIDI keyboard, then Finale should be able to send and receive MIDI data. However, whether the computer is setup to deal with MIDI will depend upon the type of computer, what OS it has, what sound hardware it contains.

The software that comes with a MIDI keyboard may be "drivers" to help the computer work with the keyboard (as with any hardware device), in which case, it may be essential to getting your kit working; or it may just be some bundled music software that is not essential. If that software can export MIDI data files, then Finale can import these.

Note that you have posted in the forum that discusses writing plug-in software for Finale. You may get more responses if you post in the PC or Mac threads.

Finale 2009a, 2Ghz iMac, OS X 10.5.5, M-Audio Audiophile USB
Ancient Groove Music

Posted By : Saffron - 11/9/2008 9:12 PM
Wiggy's right in general, but things are moving on. Today, most MIDI keyboards you can buy will include a USB interface; many are also what's called "Class Compliant", which means the latest versions of Windows and (SFAIK) Mac OS understand what they are. With such keyboards, whether or not your laptop or desktop computer has a MIDI interface becomes totally irrelevant: you can simply plug in with a USB cable and get going.
Even those (older) USB-equipped keboards that are not "class compliant" still work, for the sake simply of downloading a driver from, or the website of whoever manufactured your keyboard. For example, my Yamaha S90ES works fine with Windows 98 - and Windows Vista - using nothing more than the cable I bought for a printer.

Posted By : Dr. Wiggy - 11/10/2008 7:46 AM
Saffron said...
Wiggy's right in general, but things are moving on.

In my day, MIDI was all fields.

Finale 2009a, 2Ghz iMac, OS X 10.5.5, M-Audio Audiophile USB
Ancient Groove Music