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Tech: Sibelius vs Finale

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Nigel Paterson 20 Sep 10 - 12:36 PM
GUEST,highlandman at work 20 Sep 10 - 01:02 PM
Wolfhound person 20 Sep 10 - 03:33 PM
WalkaboutsVerse 20 Sep 10 - 05:01 PM
GUEST,andrew 20 Sep 10 - 05:29 PM
s&r 20 Sep 10 - 07:02 PM
RTim 20 Sep 10 - 07:36 PM
s&r 20 Sep 10 - 07:50 PM
Nick 20 Sep 10 - 08:15 PM
Artful Codger 20 Sep 10 - 11:21 PM
GUEST,andrew 20 Sep 10 - 11:44 PM
Anglo 21 Sep 10 - 12:25 AM
Artful Codger 21 Sep 10 - 12:27 AM
JohnInKansas 21 Sep 10 - 06:41 AM
Nigel Paterson 21 Sep 10 - 07:01 AM
Nigel Paterson 23 Sep 10 - 06:57 AM
Artful Codger 23 Sep 10 - 04:27 PM
GUEST,andrew 23 Sep 10 - 05:06 PM
Stringsinger 24 Sep 10 - 10:33 AM
GUEST,leeneia 24 Sep 10 - 04:34 PM
Nigel Paterson 27 Sep 10 - 11:42 AM
RTim 27 Sep 10 - 12:06 PM
GUEST,leeneia 27 Sep 10 - 01:33 PM
GUEST,guest 27 Sep 10 - 11:23 PM
Nigel Paterson 29 Sep 10 - 06:09 AM
Nigel Paterson 03 Oct 10 - 06:30 AM
GUEST,leeneia 03 Oct 10 - 09:28 PM
Nigel Paterson 04 Oct 10 - 04:55 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 09 Oct 10 - 05:49 AM
Geoff the Duck 09 Oct 10 - 07:05 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 09 Oct 10 - 08:23 AM
Geoff the Duck 09 Oct 10 - 09:08 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 09 Oct 10 - 09:39 AM
Mark Clark 09 Oct 10 - 12:42 PM
GUEST,leeneia 09 Oct 10 - 02:39 PM
GUEST,stringsinger 09 Oct 10 - 04:28 PM
andrew e 09 Oct 10 - 08:59 PM
Anglo 09 Oct 10 - 09:30 PM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 10 Oct 10 - 05:20 AM
Nigel Paterson 10 Oct 10 - 06:07 AM
Nigel Paterson 10 Oct 10 - 06:18 AM
Nigel Paterson 10 Oct 10 - 11:46 AM
Tootler 10 Oct 10 - 04:52 PM
andrew e 10 Oct 10 - 06:34 PM
Artful Codger 10 Oct 10 - 07:19 PM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 11 Oct 10 - 05:08 AM
GUEST,leeneia 11 Oct 10 - 11:04 AM
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GUEST,Tom Bliss 11 Oct 10 - 01:32 PM
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Subject: Tech: Sibelius vs Finale
From: Nigel Paterson
Date: 20 Sep 10 - 12:36 PM

My publisher, for whom I have written nothing since the early '80s has 'suddenly' decided to shake up my retirement with some commissions. I'm happy with my composing software (Logic Pro 9), but Logic's score writing capability is rather limited. A range of views around the Sibelius/Finale debate could be very useful. Currently, I favour Finale, but I'm open to all comments from Sibelius fans, or indeed any other score writing program that can produce results that are commensurate with commercial publication.
                                                       Best Regards to All,
                                                                                        Nigel P.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Sibelius vs Finale
From: GUEST,highlandman at work
Date: 20 Sep 10 - 01:02 PM

Nigel-
I can't compare with Sibelius but I can give some comments on Finale.
I have used several of Finale's products, the highest one being PrintMusic.
It does what it says on the tin -- the description of features on the website pretty much says what it can do, and what it doesn't say probably won't be there.
It installs easily and the licensing system is not a hassle.
I have used it mostly for choral arrangements and it does everything I need, including lyrics, performance markings, key- and time-signature changes, etc.

On the negative side, it and almost every other score writing program I have seen will sometimes produce less-than-attractive results on the page. At times the mathematical spacing of the notes doesn't quite give the visual impression one would expect, making sight reading a little quirky. This is not a problem for me, most of the time, considering my budget and my intended final use.

If your work is going to be re-engraved professionally for publication I would think the Finale would be fine. If it is expected to be camera-ready, you might find it inadequate.

I have experimented with a program called MusicTex. It requires textual input to describe the musical parts and converts it to a very professional, very sophisticated PDF output. It incorporates spacing rules developed by trained engravers. It uses a beautifully designed note font. And it's free -- but man, is it ever hard to use! I gave up on the thing after a while.

Hope this helps
-Glenn


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Subject: RE: Tech: Sibelius vs Finale
From: Wolfhound person
Date: 20 Sep 10 - 03:33 PM

I use MusicTex all the time, but as a stage from abc. Have done for 16 years. I find all other outputs inadequate, but I am only doing melody lines.
Big advantage: it's free. Disadvantage: steep installation / learning curve.

Paws


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Subject: RE: Tech: Sibelius vs Finale
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 20 Sep 10 - 05:01 PM

All I can add is that at the Sage Gateshead, North-East England music venue, they use (or, at least, did a couple of yers ago) Sibelius.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Sibelius vs Finale
From: GUEST,andrew
Date: 20 Sep 10 - 05:29 PM

I've used "Finale" [the full one] for 7 years, mostly for SATB arrangements.It does everything I need, and also has a free "Finale Reader",so I can send files to choir members.
Everything can be adjusted, so you can make it look just how you want it to.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Sibelius vs Finale
From: s&r
Date: 20 Sep 10 - 07:02 PM

This is Mozart. It's good, and easier to learn and cheaper than Sibelius and Finale both of which I use.

Stu


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Subject: RE: Tech: Sibelius vs Finale
From: RTim
Date: 20 Sep 10 - 07:36 PM

How many of you are Mac users - and does that cause more or less issues??

Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: Tech: Sibelius vs Finale
From: s&r
Date: 20 Sep 10 - 07:50 PM

Mozart is PC only. The others are mac or pc

Stu


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Subject: RE: Tech: Sibelius vs Finale
From: Nick
Date: 20 Sep 10 - 08:15 PM

One that a friend mentioned to me when my son was looking for something similar (no access to Sibelius after leaving school) was the open source Muse Score but whether it is good enough I don't know


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Subject: RE: Tech: Sibelius vs Finale
From: Artful Codger
Date: 20 Sep 10 - 11:21 PM

Publishers may only need exported MusicXML, which can be fed into their more expensive software to produce more professional-looking scores. Finale does support MusicXML export, though I can't vouch for how well their format is handled by other software. I generally dislike using higher-end music composition programs because they tie you into their format, and then you're stuck using their product (or exporting some bastardized version of your score, or reinputting it afresh.) As with all major corporations, it's all about the profit stream, never about the user.

Finale has many drawback which I find frustrating. Off the top of my head:

You can only place repeats and section bars at the end of full measures. In folk music, repeated sections frequently begin with pickup notes, and the end repeat mark is offset from the full measure bar line accordingly.

Similarly, you can only place key, clef, tempo and meter changes at the start of a bar. As with repeats, this is frequently not their most natural position. And you can't place fermatas over bar lines.

Keyboard input of dotted rhythms and triplets is klutzy.

The editing capabilities are klutzy--I find the product only useful for copying already completed scores. If you get the timing off, it doesn't allow you to just shift the entered notes, and particularly hashes note lengths which span bar lines (converted into tied notes, with no memory of how they were created). If you need to edit a bar, it won't allow you to temporarily exceed the capacity of the bar (to add some notes, then delete others), and if you delete notes first, it appends rests which you then have to explicitly delete or alter to add in the new notes. The copy/paste of note regions other than full bars I've always found unreliable.

For piano parts, you can't have one hand cross staves in the middle of a bar, certainly not with beams. At best, you can play games with layers and hidden rests.

It's difficult to notate holding a note while playing subsequent notes over it. This makes it particularly difficult to properly notate many piano parts.

You keep having to change "tools" to add things like articulation marks, and they aren't "sticky" (so that the default mark is the same as the last you selected), despite what the documentation claims.

You can't add an additional page for full or partial lyrics.

You can't hide staves which are unused for part or all of a line (such as when a song breaks out into a four-part harmony section), or relabel a lead part as a chorus part.

After adding new measures which flow onto a new page (by commands or by copies), the program often fails to allow you to move to the new page until you do some other repositioning operations.

You can't define your own score templates unless you buy their most costly product; instead, you have to use one of their predefined templates (which oddly lack some of the most common combinations, like "piano and voice") or set up the score yourself.

It doesn't properly handle MusicXML files generated from ABC programs, and it doesn't import ABC files at all. Forget about conversion.

If you fail to fill in any fields in the header information (like subtitle or copyright), they get filled with text like "[Subtitle]"--which also appears on print-outs! They can be temporarily voided with spaces, but upon reloading the score, the placeholders will appear again. (I insert non-breaking spaces, which seem to be retained and respected.) But some of the information you enter isn't included in the templates, and will not appear at all. The program does do what one would expect: automatically supply the information you supply, in default positions and order (if not explicitly inserted elsewhere).

In short, Finale appears to have been developed by programmers with little real experience doing anything but copying classical music (and only simple scores, at that). And it expects users to think more like programmers than musicians. It floors me that the user base hasn't burned the company's ears off with complaints. If Sibelius didn't cost so damn much, I've have ditched Finale long ago.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Sibelius vs Finale
From: GUEST,andrew
Date: 20 Sep 10 - 11:44 PM

Hi Artful Codger,

Which "Finale" are you using? The full one?

If you go to http://forum.makemusic.com/default.aspx?f=6 for a Mac
or http://forum.makemusic.com/default.aspx?f=5 for a PC
and ask questions there, you will find that most, if not all the things you mentioned can be done. There is a way!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Sibelius vs Finale
From: Anglo
Date: 21 Sep 10 - 12:25 AM

Well, Codger, how artful are you? I have met most of the issues you bring up in your Finale crit, and while some of them are perhaps less intuitive than others, I have no problems. I've been using Finale for camera-ready copy for a number of years and find that I can do anything I need. Occasionally there's an awkward workaround I admit. But it's occasionally.

I own Sibelius (I bought a competitive upgrade when it was on sale) but I have not learned it, and have only used it when I have files sent to me to edit. So I can't compare the two. But I have seen no reason to abandon Finale, apart from the annual (expensive to me) upgrades. But earlier versions work well for me, and you only need a later version if someone sends you files. Finale files are not backwards compatible, ie you can't open them in earlier versions of Finale. But they can be exported in XML and opened that way if you have the software available for that.

Finale's text handling, I admit, is adequate at best. I generally do book layout in a page layout program and export Finale music graphics into it, and handle text there.

Hope this helps.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Sibelius vs Finale
From: Artful Codger
Date: 21 Sep 10 - 12:27 AM

No, with PrintMusic 2010 they can't be done in any natural way. Some can be emulated in bizarre, unnatural ways (like layers and hidden rests), but the program does not support these features in any direct way, and neither the interface nor the documentation indicates any way to get around things like the end-of-measure fixity. A couple features are addressed in the high-end Finale (such as the ability to define your own templates), but the full documentation for that product indicates no resolution for the most troublesome problems I've listed for PrintMusic, which is why I won't upgrade to the high-end version, nor even upgrade to the just-released version of PrintMusic. I only upgraded to 2010 because of a licensing problem--the added enhancements I don't care about (and in fact, made it more difficult to use the program), while none of the basic features needed to write even simple music properly were added. Incredible.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Sibelius vs Finale
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 21 Sep 10 - 06:41 AM

It's not clear (to me) whether the original question asks specifically about the product Finale, published by the company named Make Music, vs the product Sibelius, published by Sibelius, or if other products with similar or other names by the same (and/or other) publishers are of interest.

If only the "flagship" products, Finale and Sibelius, are intended, I've found little difference between the two although I haven't used either to any extent.

Both are fully capable of creating "engraver quality" scores of any complexity desired.

Both are incredibly complex with steep learning curves if other than simple scores are needed (and in some respects are a bit "cumbersome" for simple scores).

Both are "reasonably(?) priced" if you qualify for their "student discounts" but are "punitively priced" if you don't.

Both companies (and also gVox) offer "lesser products" that are of varying capabilities and complexity. Print Music is a "lesser product" that I find "clumsy" to use, but LiK likes it and uses it some. I generally use MusicTime Deluxe from gVox (flagship program Encore), but only because it's the only thing available that imports my old scores made in a cheaper (and IMO better) program that gVox bought and destroyed. (MusicTime, in the version I have, is "unstable" in Vista and frequently crashes, among other problems. Newer versions might not have that problem.(?))

If the full features of the Sibelius or Finale programs (full flagships) are not needed, one of the simpler and cheaper programs would likely be more suitable; but a knowledgeable choice from the many lesser programs can only be made in the context of the specific capabilities needed and with fairly specific knowledge of what features are not necessary for a user's intended purposes. Giving too much credibility to the opinions of others who may have even "trivially different" needs and uses can be dangerous.

For the flagship programs, trial versions should be available by download or in some cases on CD from larger music stores. The CD trial version of Sibelius that I have curiously (I might say "stupidly") disables the Help files, but selecting a command on the toolbar and "F1" opens the help for that command and you can navigate to other info if you leave it open. It's a rather old version.)

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Sibelius vs Finale
From: Nigel Paterson
Date: 21 Sep 10 - 07:01 AM

Thank you all so much for taking the time & trouble to respond in such depth...insightful, interesting & very helpful. I have heard it said that Sibelius is the preferred route for music preparation, ie, score & parts for live performance, whereas Finale is the publisher's choice where the music ends up in book form or sheet music. Perhaps I should also have said earlier that I'm a Mac user.
                                  Kind Regards to All,
                                                                     Nigel P.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Sibelius vs Finale
From: Nigel Paterson
Date: 23 Sep 10 - 06:57 AM

Just one refresh, but I think I have all the info to finally make up my mind...I did originally favour Finale, but it now looks like Sibelius has it by a short head.
                         Thanks once again to all contributors,
                                                                                           Nigel P.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Sibelius vs Finale
From: Artful Codger
Date: 23 Sep 10 - 04:27 PM

According to the release information, PrintMusic 2011 (finally) allows you to hide unused staves.

Regarding the header info, I meant to say "The program does not do what one expects...." I should mention, however, that you can manually add text fields with header field inserts to get the information which doesn't show by default. Unnecessarily time-consuming, is all.

As for the other items I mentioned, if you know how they can be done, please post them (perhaps in a separate thread). Saying "check the forum" isn't very helpful: it's like trying to find needles in haystacks.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Sibelius vs Finale
From: GUEST,andrew
Date: 23 Sep 10 - 05:06 PM

Hi AC,

If you ask questions on the forum, there are some very knowledgable people who will help you, and usually very quickly!
Don't forget to say which Finale you are using.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Sibelius vs Finale
From: Stringsinger
Date: 24 Sep 10 - 10:33 AM

I am a Sibelius user. Finale is Parkinson's Law. You have to do one thing before you do another. Sibelius lets you do what you need to do right now and it's more user friendly.
Also, the scores look good and are publishable.

It's top of the line. You can Export to Midi and paste into Logic Pro without any problem.
Logic Pro sounds better when you play it back. Lots of good instruments there.
I'll use BIAB and Sibelius MIDI when pasting into Logic and am happy with the results.
Plus, you can overdub audio files with Logic after pasting in.

Frank


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Subject: RE: Tech: Sibelius vs Finale
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 24 Sep 10 - 04:34 PM

Okay, Nigel. You're the composer, but you haven't dealt with this publisher for 20-30 years. Did the publisher or printer say that you have to buy Finale or Sibelius? Or is this Music Acquisition Syndrome?

(By 'printer' I don't mean a white plastic thing which sits on a table, I mean a corporation which prints things using printing presses.)

How big an income do you expect to result from this work? I understand that Sibelius and Finale cost hundreds of dollars. Will the profit cover that, plus more for taxes, plus something for you?

It could be that you could do your composing in Logic and the printer will simply import your work into a fancier program and then do the actual printing.

Remember, a penny saved is noticeably more than a penny earned.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Sibelius vs Finale
From: Nigel Paterson
Date: 27 Sep 10 - 11:42 AM

Thanks Frank, your comments underscore my current thinking.
Jeeneia...appreciate your pragmatic approach. My publisher would be equally happy with Sibelius or Finale. As for 'Music Acquisition Syndrome'...no, I buy what I need, I'm immune to MAS! You're right, these top end programs are expensive & I don't expect to earn a fortune from the project, but I do expect to 'cover my costs' (eventually!)
          Thanks both for your contributions,
                                                                         Nigel P.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Sibelius vs Finale
From: RTim
Date: 27 Sep 10 - 12:06 PM

Following "Nick" above and his recommendation of "Muse Score",
I gave my wife the link (she was a Basic Finale user) and she LOVES the new downloaded
Muse Score.
Thanks - Nick!

Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: Tech: Sibelius vs Finale
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 27 Sep 10 - 01:33 PM

Immune to Music Acquistion Syndrome? Have you had a vaccination? If so, please share the source for this wonderful thing. :)

I could use it myself.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Sibelius vs Finale
From: GUEST,guest
Date: 27 Sep 10 - 11:23 PM

A bit tangential, but I've used a free online program called Noteflight for simple music writing and it works very well.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Sibelius vs Finale
From: Nigel Paterson
Date: 29 Sep 10 - 06:09 AM

Jeeneia, regarding MAS, yes, I was 'vaccinated' many years ago. A painful process as I recall...it involved crushing the 'dongle' from an Atari ST computer (remember them?), this was then mixed with various other noxious substances & infused intravenously over a number of hours. I remain cured to this day, but I believe the E.U. has subsequently outlawed the process! On a more serious note (no pun intended), advancing years & living on a pension has proved to be the best cure for MAS I know.
                On a more interesting note (still no pun intended!), with some help from my friends at Apple, I have discovered that the score writing function in Logic Pro is much more fully featured than I had originally appreciated. Apple really cram the data in & ofttimes what you are looking for is there, but hidden, requiring a left click & hold approach, rather than just a simple left click. As a result, the immediate need for Sibelius or Finale has receded somewhat.
                Many excellent & informative contributions to this thread, for which I am most grateful. The responses on Mudcat are often far superior to the 'pro' music fora...bravo!
                Kind Regards to All,
                                                 Nigel P.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Sibelius vs Finale
From: Nigel Paterson
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 06:30 AM

A final refresh!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Sibelius vs Finale
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 09:28 PM

What kind of music are you composing, Nigel?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Sibelius vs Finale
From: Nigel Paterson
Date: 04 Oct 10 - 04:55 AM

Jeeneia, everything from solo piano to full orchestral, but with the amateur musician in mind, rather than the experienced pro. My aim is to write accessible, attractive music with a contemporary 'feel'. My '60s folk roots have little or no influence on what I'm writing now. My contribution is a small part of a much larger project currently under development, the details of which have to remain 'under wraps' for the moment.
                                                                                                 Nigel P.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Sibelius vs Finale
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 09 Oct 10 - 05:49 AM

I wonder if I can borrow a bit of help from all you experienced users?

I've had Finale PrintMusic for quite a while and hate it. I've just looked up the dialogue between me and their support team, it's many pages long.

One problem was some strange glitch in the registration process - whereby no matter what I did the darn 'days left' box would re-appear at some point, and files would start to go missing etc. This was something to do with Intel Macs and whether you had a firewire drive attached or some such nonsense. The system was obviously way too clever for its own good. I remember spending ages downloading updates and deleting files and all sorts of odd activities involving other programmes but eventually finished the music I was composing. Guess what - I fired it up just now and it told me the software was not registered - but when I went to re-register (yet again) it told me I couldn't because it was. Same old loop as four years ago.

The other problem was that, unlike Cubase (which I no longer have), the software would not talk to my printer - which was just a bog standard Epson (I've got a different one now, but it's probably the same). They insisted that I needed a sophisticated printer that could handle their fonts because they won't offer a tiff or jpeg Save As. I had to use screen grabs in the end.

I'm just starting work on a really big composing project (opera) and, to my regret, I need to be able to do manuscripts again.

Is it worth my while fighting with MakeMusic yet again to try to resolve these (and probably have to buy yet another expensive update), or should I bite the bullet and go for a new Cubase (which has probably changed out of all recognition in the last 15 years) or Sibelius and a massive learning curve - for which I don't really have time.

Or is there something else (not notepad, please - that was horrid) that will do the job?

Thanks

Tom


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Subject: RE: Tech: Sibelius vs Finale
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 09 Oct 10 - 07:05 AM

Tom - you might find it worth checking out http://musescore.org/.
It is cross platform and free.
If it doesn't do what you need, it is just some time lost, not hard cash.
Quack!
Geoff the Duck.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Sibelius vs Finale
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 09 Oct 10 - 08:23 AM

Thanks - but that looks to me like purely a mechanical system like notepad.

I need something that I can play stuff in real time using a click track, check and edit aurally, and then tidy up the score last.

Cubase was just a click of the mouse to switch the midi to score edit, but it wasn't very good on the pure audio side which is why I moved to pro tools.

With Finale I imported midi files from pro tools, but it was clumsy at best - any major changes and you had to go back to pro tools.

I don't think Musescore even has a midi import function, does it?

Maybe I should just go back to Cubase Score.

Cheers

Tom


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Subject: RE: Tech: Sibelius vs Finale
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 09 Oct 10 - 09:08 AM

Tom - it IS a freeware programme, so may not do everything you need, but I daresay a lot of expensive ones wouldn't either.

MuseScore WILL load MIDI files and convert them to notation. I just tried with an early music file from the web. It loaded as three part staff. Don't know how accurate the transcription is. It also will save dots as a MIDI.

It seems to have some form of note entry via midi keyboard http://musescore.org/en/handbook/note-entry but I do not use a midi keyboard, so have no idea how effective it is.

What MuseScore does do is read and write MusicXML which allows you to work with other programmes that also use MusicXML.

As I say, it might not be what you need, but it is worth checking out if it might do enough to be of use.

Quack!
Geoff.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Sibelius vs Finale
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 09 Oct 10 - 09:39 AM

OK, thanks Geoff I'll look into it.

I'm planning to get a USB keyboard as I really can't remember how to operate my dusty spiders nest of midi cables, switchers, expanders etc. I never did really - just used to keep swapping leads round till it worked!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Sibelius vs Finale
From: Mark Clark
Date: 09 Oct 10 - 12:42 PM

Nigel uses Logic Pro 9 so I'm assuming he's a Mac user.

There is a rather nice and free music engraver for the Mac called MuseScore that I use to make PDF scores for my iPad. It's worth trying.

I have owned a full Finale license for eighteen years or so but I never use it. I don't even update it anymore. I got so frustrated with the complexity (and I'm a computer professional) and the fact that they'd change the interface with every release so it was always like learning a new program.

If I need a publication grade score I go to LilyPond every time. Sometimes I prepare LilyPond input using TuxGuitar, sometimes I convert from ABC or MusicXML and sometimes I just type in the code.

Were I going to buy music engraving software today, it would be Sibelius 6 First which is available for under USD 100.00.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Tech: Sibelius vs Finale
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 09 Oct 10 - 02:39 PM

Hello, Nigel. You said " My aim is to write accessible, attractive music with a contemporary 'feel'."

That is a worthy goal. Recently I talked to a woman who directs a string orchestra (high school). She said that finding good music for the group was a big challenge. It sounds like your music would be just what she's looking for.

Best wishes for a successful effort.
===========
Tom Bliss, when you say 'notepad' do you really mean Noteworthy Composer?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Sibelius vs Finale
From: GUEST,stringsinger
Date: 09 Oct 10 - 04:28 PM

Nigel,

The most user friendly program was Encore (which went out of business but you can still get a copy from GVox. It's a great sketch pad and I'm not sure they upgraded their graphics so that it's as good as Sibelius but it has one great usable feature. You can
print up a part, play it back, rehearse with it and then score what you've rehearsed.
To some degree you can do this with Sibelius by just selecting the line you want played by itself and rehearse with it but Encore does this easier with the flick of a space bar. I wish
all the programs had that feature.

Sibelius does export to Logic Pro. MIDI files are easy to load. I've composed for example jazz solos and exported them to Logic along with my Band In A Box files. Sometimes I mix in my BIAB with Sibelius arrangements that I've done onto Logic. BIAB sounds pretty good on Logic. You can update BIAB with digital sounds (the more expensive model) but really when converted to Logic, you can get whatever sound you want.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Sibelius vs Finale
From: andrew e
Date: 09 Oct 10 - 08:59 PM

Finale Users

Have you tried asking questions on the Finale forum?
Much better and quicker than asking Finale direct

http://forum.makemusic.com/default.aspx?f=5 PC
http://forum.makemusic.com/default.aspx?f=6 Mac

And the unofficial [I think]
http://www.finaleforum.com/forums/

I've been using Finale for over 6 years, and have made over 500 files, mostly SATB A Cappella.
It's always done everything I need.
Took a bit of learning at first. I can send choir members files, highlighting parts to play/print on their computer using the free Finale Reader.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Sibelius vs Finale
From: Anglo
Date: 09 Oct 10 - 09:30 PM

Leeneia, "Notepad" is Finale Notepad, the free very simplified version of Finale. Oops, I just checked - I thought it was free, but they're charging $10 for it now.

It is my understanding that Noteworthy Composer is PC only. Finale started as a Mac program, but has long been on both platforms.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Sibelius vs Finale
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 10 Oct 10 - 05:20 AM

There is no solution to the chief problem I'm having with Finale - at least not until they change their software to remove the bug, with relates specifically to Intel Macs and has not been fixed since I bought Printmusic in 2007.

The two other problems are the lack of a graphic output system - tiff jpeg etc - which means you can only use it with printers that support their fonts - which mine don't. I fail to see why I should have to buy an expensive printer just because they can't be bothered to develop a graphic 'safe as.'

The third problem is that when you try to register on their help page (as you'll surely need to), you are asked to provide a password. This is not one you make up on the spot and use subsequently, or have entered previously. It is actually the word 'password' - but they don't tell you this anywhere. I found out eventually by ringing the States from the UK - at great expense.

This is a random example of their 'help'

"Sorry you are having troubles!. I show your PrintMusic registered to you, and only you. Additionally, your PrintMusic shows no registrations, let alone too many."

err, I beg your pardon?

and

"If you still have trouble, [boy did I] ~SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 9pt; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana; mso-bidi-font-family: Tahoma"~ -Try this: When you initially launch PrintMusic, and are prompted to register, choose the 'Phone Method' of registration. Please check that the user code matches the one you are trying to register with (this information can be found in your registration confirmation email ~SPAN class=txt11>)~/SPAN~. Also, make sure that the serial number is entered correctly in the appropriate field. Then, re-type your authorization code ~SPAN class=txt11~ via the phone method method. This should (hopefully!) fix the issue. If the user code does not match, or if you continue to experience problems, please contact us by phone at 800-843-2066."

Clear as mud.

It then emerged that I had to have the same firewire drive connected to my Mac when opening PrintMusic as I did when I had first installed it. That drive gave up the ghost long ago, so I can't do that today. Has anyone else ever heard of such a ridiculous registration system?

They also do stupid things like calling downloads (complete new versions of the software) 'updates' (which normally means just an upgrade).

They have 'fixed' the registration problems for me now, err, five times. It has just failed again - telling me for the umpteenth time that I'm still using the demo version and I have no days credit left.

I honestly believe Make Music to be the worst software organisation I have ever encountered. By quite a long way.

However, all is well, because it now emerges that the new Pro Tools PTLE upgrade has a good score function (much like Cubase Score - which I used for many years). You can input in real time to a click track - tweak using the 'piano roll' system (which makes sense to me and look normal on a screen) and then convert to that old-time manuscript thang (where the lines all curve round and the dots jump about on the stave like swallows on phone lines - if you're a dyslexic like me) at the very last minute.

I quite like Musescore and I like the look of Lilypad, but would only use these for final output once I was 100% sure I'd got it right in a real-time-input system.

Tom


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Subject: RE: Tech: Sibelius vs Finale
From: Nigel Paterson
Date: 10 Oct 10 - 06:07 AM

So many useful & interesting contributions here...turning into something of a composer/tech mini forum! As I said further back in the thread, I have discovered 'hidden score writing depths' to Logic Pro. A 'One to One' session at my local Apple store proving extremely helpful. The bottom line is, ultimately I have to produce my scores in PDF format, paying close attention to the 'house style' of my publisher. 'MuseScore' & 'LilyPond' (thanks for the links Mark) are new to me & I will be giving them a close look. Thanks also to Leeneia (apologies for spelling your name wrongly in all previous posts!)   for your good wishes...your friend with the string orchestra is just the sort of person I'm writing for. My arrangements & original compositions will be available to download sometime in 2011 from a new music website, currently under construction. It's a large project involving individual writers like myself right through to long established, international music publishing companies. The legal/logistical side of all this is somewhat daunting, but the Musician's Union in particular has been personally very supportive. I hope the wider discussions on writing & score production that have been developing in this thread continue on a while. They make for fascinating, informative reading. My thanks once again to everyone who has contributed,
                                                          Nigel Paterson.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Sibelius vs Finale
From: Nigel Paterson
Date: 10 Oct 10 - 06:18 AM

Tom, your 'PrintMusic' problems would have left me suicidal! May your 'work flow' go smoothly from now on.
                                        Nigel P.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Sibelius vs Finale
From: Nigel Paterson
Date: 10 Oct 10 - 11:46 AM

Had a good look at 'LilyPond' & 'MuseScore'. 'LilyPond' scares me stiff!...it's the word 'code' that worries me the most. Having said that, what one can achieve with it is undeniably impressive. 'MuseScore', on the other hand, looks much more me!
          When I look back over my career in Music, starting with 'The Halliard' (myself, Dave Moran & Nic Jones) back in the mid '60s & consider how music technology, in all it's forms, has developed, 'breathtaking' doesn't come close. Hard to believe now, that all the original Halliard albums were studio based, but recorded 'live', i.e., single, continuous takes until you had something 'in the can' you could live with...no edits, no multi-tracks, no overdubs. A fourteen track album completed in an afternoon session of no more than four hours or so. And when we did need to 'score' anything, a pencil & a few sheets of m/s paper had to suffice. Here I am now discussing the pros & cons of 'Sibelius', 'Finale' et al...a thoroughly 'analogue' musician, dragged kicking & screaming into the digital age (a few years ago now!), still somewhat in awe of what can be achieved with the laptop (MacBook Pro) on which I'm typing this post...truly amazing!
               A rather reflective Nigel Paterson.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Sibelius vs Finale
From: Tootler
Date: 10 Oct 10 - 04:52 PM

Noteworthy composer is a Windows program, but it will run on Linux using Wine.

Wine is also available for Macs, but you have to install the source code. There are clear instructions on the Wine website, but it is not for everyone.

http://www.winehq.org/MacOSX/Building

I am a little wary of compiling and building from source code, but I had to do it recently to install a Linux sound driver on my new laptop and it turned out to be quite straightforward. Just a matter of following the instructions given.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Sibelius vs Finale
From: andrew e
Date: 10 Oct 10 - 06:34 PM

Tom Bliss

Have you tried the Finale forum I mentioned before?

http://forum.makemusic.com/default.aspx?f=5 PC
http://forum.makemusic.com/default.aspx?f=6 Mac


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Subject: RE: Tech: Sibelius vs Finale
From: Artful Codger
Date: 10 Oct 10 - 07:19 PM

From what the MakeMusic folks told me, the registration problems occur in older versions of Finale because in a Mac OS service update, the Apple folks changed something the old Finale registration process relied upon. They had to do a lot of recoding (so they claim) to implement a new registration process, so they wouldn't provide it as an update (bug fix) to older versions; you have to upgrade ($$) to a recent version. They did release a free utility you could run to clear out the registration, allowing you to reregister, but it doesn't work reliably and the new registration won't stick. Because I normally run using a user account separate from my administrator account (registration must be done as an administrator), whenever I'd restart the program as a user, the registration test would fail again.

Since upgrading, I haven't run into a registration problem. I'm still running Leopard (Mac OS 10.5) and only upgraded to PrintMusic 2010--2011 looks like another upgrade that adds nothing of use to me.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Sibelius vs Finale
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 11 Oct 10 - 05:08 AM

Andrew, yes I'm aware of the forum, and I'll certainly try it again if it looks like I do have to go back to Finale.

Codger - yes, that all sounds familiar. I did all they asked of me, and it's still broken. I'm reluctant to throw good money after bad with another PrintMusic upgrade (if that's what's required - my feeling would be that the fix should really be free) - I'd rather upgrade Pro Tools which I can use for improved audio recording too.

Nigel - good albums those. And some of the best things I'd done recently have been 'as-live.' Just goes to show.

Tom


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Subject: RE: Tech: Sibelius vs Finale
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 11 Oct 10 - 11:04 AM

Tootler mentioned Noteworthy, above.

I use Noteworthy Composer to work up music for church and to play with friends, but it doesn't have a way to save to pdf.

A friend of mine has Finale, and her manuscripts are crisper and more professional-looking, somehow.

So, although I am a fan of Noteworthy, I don't think it would serve the needs of a serious composer whose work will be going commercial.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Sibelius vs Finale
From: Mark Clark
Date: 11 Oct 10 - 12:01 PM

No need to worry about PDF. A Mac always offers the option to print to PDF any time you're printing from any program. It's built into OS X. And there are many free PDF print enhancements for WinTel systems. You can make a PDF from any program that prints these days.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Tech: Sibelius vs Finale
From: s&r
Date: 11 Oct 10 - 12:05 PM

Thanks for that Mark - I use a Mac and hadn't spotted that

Stu


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Subject: RE: Tech: Sibelius vs Finale
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 11 Oct 10 - 01:32 PM

Mark - how so?

I can do grabs I know, but not, I don't think, PDFs (only with Acrobat and I can't get out of PrintMusic to that.

Is this a Leopard Thing?

(Cos "I'm A Tiger, I'm a Ti Ger..." ©Lulu)


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