Learning Finale

Discussion in 'NOTATION Speak: Sibelius, Finale & Dorico' started by bryla, Apr 15, 2019.

  1. bryla

    bryla Senior Member

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    I'm a long time Sibelius user switching slowly to Finale. I'm hoping to post my queries here in my attempt to overcome the challenges I face in switching.

    I find it easiest to input notes with simple entry because I can do that by typing on the keyboard.

    One thing about that I noticed is: I can press . to engage rhythm dot but I can't use the .-key to disengage. Is that right?

    My main question here is:
    How do you work with positioning dynamics both sudden and gradual? How do you make sure it snaps to the right note/beat position and what is the easiest way to position it vertically to avoid collisions?
     
  2. Vardaro

    Vardaro Active Member

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    Why on earth are you switching?!!
     
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  3. OP
    OP
    bryla

    bryla Senior Member

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    Well that can take the thread completely off topic but the short answer is: people I work with use it and it is more flexible than Sibelius. Let's just close that conversation there.
     
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  4. cmillar

    cmillar Active Member

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    I'm exactly like you....coming back to Finale after years away, and really loving it.

    What's helped me get back in the 'flow':
    - 'Finale 14' Trailblazer guide by Mark Johnson (I use Finale 25, but it's good for pretty much everything)
    - 'Composing with Finale' by Mark Johnson (older, but still great)
    - printing out the Finale 'Quick Start Guide (all the useful keystrokes)
    - the Finale users forums

    And...get 'Keyboard Maestro' (or whatever for you Mac or PC)...and program some keystroke shortcuts.

    I'm liking 'Simple Entry' as well. I programmed a key on my external keypad to 'escape', and then another key to get back to 'Simple Entry/quarter note' whenever I want to get in and out of 'Simple Entry' quickly in order to noodle around on the keyboard without entering a million rests and notes that don't make sense.

    ...Don't forget that Finale has some quirks compared to Sibelius...like, everytime you load in 'library' of your preferred chord symbols or fonts, that they get added to whatever is currently in the open file.
    I have to remember to keep saving my preferred setups and to create templates and defaults.

    But, the printed output is all worth it.
     
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  5. OP
    OP
    bryla

    bryla Senior Member

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    Thank you cmillar! Already found some good workflow tips in the Quick Start Guide. Looking in to Mark Johnsons books as well
     
  6. jamwerks

    jamwerks Senior Member

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    If you have to be compatible with others, then go for it. FWIW, I know Finale like the back of my hand, and Dorico is light years ahead. I wouldn't be surprised if Finale went out of business in a few years...
     
  7. bbunker

    bbunker Senior Member

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    Yep - "." adds a dot, but doesn't remove it - pressing it again double-dots, and presumably triple-dots. I tend to be on Speedy Entry, so if I double dot by accident or didn't mean to dot, then the back-arrow, duration-press sequence is pretty much muscle memory at this point.

    I may be the only human being who really, really likes Speedy Entry. I can't stand the entry methods where you type in the note names, because the mechanical action of typing "A" and "C" (for example) doesn't feel as musical as pressing the up arrow twice to make a third.

    On placing dynamics, there's a dotted anchor that should show you the snap-point of the dynamics. Positioning it vertically depends on what instruments are around, obviously, but one thing to keep in mind is that the default between-stave distance is a bit narrow (1.00" if I remember right) - especially for something like a solo instrument, or sets of soloists above a piano score that regularly goes above the staff, so the first step in music like that is probably to increase the gap between those two staves - and between any two groups, since those default to 1.00" and should really be larger for ease of reading anyway, and to prevent situations where notes and dynamics from the contrabassoons are hitting High Horn parts, etc.
     
  8. JohnG

    JohnG Senior Member

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    That is interesting. My copyist said Dorico still lacks a lot of functionality he needs and he's sticking with Finale and Sibelius. I'm wondering whether there have been (very) recent Dorico updates, as he was aware of the 2.x updates.

    I like the look of Dorico and certainly the workflow of Finale (though I'm used to it after all this time) is poorly thought out.
     
  9. JT

    JT Senior Member

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    Try to apply dynamics using the metatools. Most should be okay by default. But downstem notes with accents, the dynamic might collide with the accent and need manual adjusting.
     
  10. jamwerks

    jamwerks Senior Member

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    Dorico does still lack some funtionality, but it's probably 95% done (my number). Dorico is also highly customisable, but for use in high level publication, some more customisabily will be needed (things possible in Finale because in Finale it's all manually done).

    But as far as film work is concerned, Finale (imo) shouldn't even be considered an option against Dorico. Dorico can do everything I need to do, much faster, more efficiently, safer, and more musically.

    FWIW I recently completed 60 minutes of full orchestral music (as orchestrator & copiest), and did it in one Dorico file, divided into 40 Flows (cue's). No problems, no surprises. It my case (for example) it created a 65 page Vl I part, with about a dozen distinct running headers, cue tacet (when applicable), etc. Almost print ready. In Finale I would have had 800 (40 cues x 20 parts) distinct pdf's to deal with. No need for a separate copies team here. Just buy Dorico.

    It's currently at 2.2.

    Sorry about derailing this !...
     
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  11. OP
    OP
    bryla

    bryla Senior Member

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    And please take the discussion about Dorico somewhere else :) I'm also using Dorico on some projects so I know what it is capable of and what it certainly is not.

    Meta tools are helping!

    But as careful as I can place them, they turn up like this: Skærmbillede 2019-04-16 18.47.51.png
    Now is there a way to automatically avoid the collisions between the p's and ppp's and the hairpins or do I have to manually drag them slightly like another caveman?
     
  12. OP
    OP
    bryla

    bryla Senior Member

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    For example I can't seem to position the ppp under the note and have the hairpin start immediately afterwards and only last to just before the p. It's seems like an either/or setting. Skærmbillede 2019-04-16 18.54.44.png
     
  13. Sean

    Sean New Member

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    I've been using Finale for probably about 6 or 7 years at this point and as far as I'm aware of you need to manually move the hairpins.
     
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  14. JohnG

    JohnG Senior Member

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    I've been on it since version 1.0 and I still manually move hairpins. You can draw them pretty fast with the < and > keys, which I find fastest.

    That's the problem with Finale. Stuff like dynamics and articulation markings run into notes STILL. AAAAAAHHHH
     
  15. OP
    OP
    bryla

    bryla Senior Member

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    Okay. Good to know it's the way it's done. Then I don't have to waste energy on thinking I'm doing something wrong.
     
  16. cmillar

    cmillar Active Member

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    I'd like to use 'Speedy', but I can't wrap my head around seeing all the squished-up notes in the bar-window if I actually use Finale instead of pencil/paper for some composing.

    So, I'm used to playing a MIDI keyboard for any notating/composing I do. Have tried to punch in notes QWERTY style, but it's not for my way of thinking.

    'Speedy' actually slows me down! (... the beauty of Sibelius' version of 'Speedy Entry / Finale emulation' is that it automatically spaces the notes out as you compose.

    How's Dorico for this? Does Dorico do 'Speedy-style' or 'Simple Entry style (duration before pitch) ?

    Also...anyone familiar with Finale/Sibelius/Dorico.... some questions to rock the boat here:

    I'm not a big film composer, but have done some smaller (but quality clients) documentaries and independent short films. So, I could actually care less about the development of notation software and the way they in which they can try to load in huge sound libraries and templates and try to replace actual dedicated DAW's...I'm just not that interested. I'd rather use my DAW for playing in sketches or scores that I've sketched out by hand in the first place.

    Some big Dorico (or Finale!) thoughts and questions:

    - will Dorico/Finale/Sibelius be around years from now and be available for us 'simple' users? You know...those of us that just want to notate and print out parts for real musicians? Or will you always have to upgrade to the 'latest-greatest-most-powerful' computers just to get some nice notation program?
    - will these notation programs stay compatible with Windows 10 or Mac OSX 10.11.6 for many, many years to come?
    - or, will the developers keep thinking that creating a DAW/notation program is their future?
    - notation programs don't need to be 'bloated'....do they?

    It's all enough to make me just get another electric pencil sharpener and print out reams of score paper! (....that, really, is still the fastest way to compose)

    Any thoughts welcome!
     
  17. wcreed51

    wcreed51 Senior Member

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  18. OP
    OP
    bryla

    bryla Senior Member

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    Thanks! Looks like I'm gonna be posting there :)
     
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  19. Rob

    Rob Senior Member

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    And it could be a good idea to get yourself the "TGtools" plugin pack... makes lots of things easier, like tremolos, harmonics, editings and manipulations of various nature...
     
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  20. jamwerks

    jamwerks Senior Member

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    @bryla there's an option you need to select to not have that problem with dynamics. I'll check it out tomorrow.
     
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