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StaffPad sale is on?

Thank you! It's a transcription of Star Wars: Battlefront (Gordy Haab). I'm redoing it on Dorico, and giving it a serious massage. Here's the NotePeformer version just for fun:

View attachment GH_SWBF_NP3 - Flow 1.mp3

While I love StaffPad's output, there are many things I would improve mockup-wise, if it had proper MIDI editing. I actually found a way to import samples from Kontakt and basically create a custom library, but it's a ridiculously laborious process without the dev tools (and most likely a breach of EULA), so I gave up digging further. It was never the point of the app anyway.
I suspected it was Star Wars, but it's still a shame that I didn't recognize this score :thumbsdown:
Eh, it was the last sip of hope that someone still composes in the old style :)
That is, if I understood you correctly, without your manipulations with the contact, staffpad would not have been able to reproduce this score in this way?
 

Jotto

Active Member
I have the Berlin Strings already. Thinking of getting the rest of the OT libraries during this sale.
Do you feel worth it, or is it better to wait until Dorico brings nice instruments to the iPad or see how is the StaffPad future...
Imo there is no future for Staffpad. When the Russians bought it, it was game over.
 
OP
mopsiflopsi

mopsiflopsi

Active Member
Thread starter
Once Musescore is out and is free, there will be no reason for users to invest in StaffPad.
I disagree. StaffPad to me is more than just its playback. I doubt MuseScore will allow me to write on the go anytime soon. Even if Dorico was free today (and it has an app too) I’d still rather stick with StaffPad workflow.
 

Jett Hitt

Senior Member
I disagree. StaffPad to me is more than just its playback. I doubt MuseScore will allow me to write on the go anytime soon. Even if Dorico was free today (and it has an app too) I’d still rather stick with StaffPad workflow.
It’s not about workflow. We all like that angle. But who is going to pay $500 for an app to use on the go when Musescore is free? I shudder to think what I’ve spent on StaffPad libraries ($1500+), but why would I spend a dime if I could do the mock-up on my computer for free? Perhaps a few will, but most won’t. And then StaffPad will just become vaporware.
 

emilio_n

Señor Miembro
It’s not about workflow. We all like that angle. But who is going to pay $500 for an app to use on the go when Musescore is free? I shudder to think what I’ve spent on StaffPad libraries ($1500+), but why would I spend a dime if I could do the mock-up on my computer for free? Perhaps a few will, but most won’t. And then StaffPad will just become vaporware.
It’s true. It’s too much money for a software with no clear future.
 
OP
mopsiflopsi

mopsiflopsi

Active Member
Thread starter
It’s not about workflow. We all like that angle. But who is going to pay $500 for an app to use on the go when Musescore is free? I shudder to think what I’ve spent on StaffPad libraries ($1500+), but why would I spend a dime if I could do the mock-up on my computer for free? Perhaps a few will, but most won’t. And then StaffPad will just become vaporware.
Why do you assume the cost of StaffPad to be fixed? Look I understand we are all a little bit heartbroken with how things have or have not been going with StaffPad. But it’s a little too early to be so gloomy about it all. At the very least StaffPad is an impressive presence on mobile and saves Muse Group the trouble of porting MuseScore over.

I bet Muse Sounds won’t be the last library for MuseScore, they will want to sell more stuff through that channel, and all of that will be compatible with StaffPad. Why would they give that up?
 

Jett Hitt

Senior Member
Why do you assume the cost of StaffPad to be fixed? Look I understand we are all a little bit heartbroken with how things have or have not been going with StaffPad. But it’s a little too early to be so gloomy about it all. At the very least StaffPad is an impressive presence on mobile and saves Muse Group the trouble of porting MuseScore over.

I bet Muse Sounds won’t be the last library for MuseScore, they will want to sell more stuff through that channel, and all of that will be compatible with StaffPad. Why would they give that up?
I really really hope that you are right. I love StaffPad, and I use it every day. I do think it will continue to exist for a good while, but all that it had going for it was its playback engine. Handwriting recognition wasn’t special, and the notational component was very basic. It no longer has a monopoly on playback, or, at least from the examples that I’ve heard from Musescore, it soon won’t. The Musescore team is bigger and hungrier, and I would guess that Musescore will surpass StaffPad's playback in short order. It might well be that DWH and Matthew Tesch return to StaffPad development after Musescore is launched, and I hope they do. But StaffPad has lost its edge. Consider that I bought an iPad Pro, the app, and all of the orchestral libraries. No one is going to do that anymore when Musescore does the same for free. This is Business 101.
 

gussunkri

Senior Member
I don’t get the negativity in this thread. StaffPad has sparked my creativity like nothing else. The fact that I can compose away from the computer with such great sound has been amazing for me. My musical output has increased by something like 300% since getting Staffpad. Sure, I still go to the computer for other styles but for orchestral I am strictly StaffPad.
 

ssnowe

Up, up and away ...
I don’t get the negativity in this thread. StaffPad has sparked my creativity like nothing else. The fact that I can compose away from the computer with such great sound has been amazing for me. My musical output has increased by something like 300% since getting Staffpad. Sure, I still go to the computer for other styles but for orchestral I am strictly StaffPad.
Reason for negativity may be frustration. Staffpad has gaps and holes in library playback, people like Servandus figured out how to fix, even sent details to Staffpad developers. Staffpad developers effectively told him to stop what he was doing and have made no changes or updates to deal with the issues.

Like Jeff Hitt I bought a new ipad pro specifically for Staffpad and dumped a lot of money into additional libraries. Now it feels like the Staffpad developers may have ghosted us for Musescore.

Meanwhile, Daniel from Dorico is here virtually every day checking in to see how things are going, offering new and exciting product updates and so on.

Such a big difference between the two companies.
 

SoundsOfIvey

New Member
I can see where @gussunkri is coming from. I love walking away from the computer, sitting at a piano, and just writing. It’s different from playing notes in on a keyboard, and for me, it yields a more musical result. This is the “composing” advantage of Staffpad.

I can also see where @Jett Hitt and others are coming from. There is (or was) a huge “playback” advantage to Staffpad. Like others, I was impressed by the playback demos and dropped a bunch of money on the add-on libraries. And like others, I was disappointed by the lack of development happening for the playback engine. It has the potential to yield absolutely *amazing* mockups, but the engine has not been given the attention it deserves, even though fixes were handed on a silver platter to the developers.

I currently solve this dilemma by writing in staffpad with no playback, and then I import the score into my DAW when I’m done. I treat the DAW work like a scoring session, refining the performance of the virtual orchestra until it’s how it should be according to the score. It’s not ideal, but it yields the highest quality results, which is what I care about.
 

Jett Hitt

Senior Member
I currently solve this dilemma by writing in staffpad with no playback, and then I import the score into my DAW when I’m done. I treat the DAW work like a scoring session, refining the performance of the virtual orchestra until it’s how it should be according to the score. It’s not ideal, but it yields the highest quality results, which is what I care about.
From your description, you are simply using StaffPad as staff paper. If this is the case, there are much better options out there. Notion, by all accounts and as I recall, has a much better handwriting algorithm. I used to use various apps in this way, but in the end, I decided that it was much easier to just use pencil and paper. I was writing on paper and then entering it into my DAW. What I loved about StaffPad (and still do) was that it did the mockup for me. Once I transcribed my chicken scratch from paper into the DAW, I was left with the daunting task of trying to do a mockup in the DAW. This was SO SO SO time consuming, and my mockups always left something (in fact a helluva a lot) to be desired. For me, the beauty of StaffPad was the elimination of the DAW. When I am finished with a piece, however, I still have to typeset it in Finale (and perhaps soon Dorico).
 

zolhof

Senior Member
That is, if I understood you correctly, without your manipulations with the contact, staffpad would not have been able to reproduce this score in this way?
Oh no, that's 100% StaffPad, no custom samples. But I did a lot of layering, balancing, and notate things "unconventionally" to force StaffPad to sound a certain way.

Here's another example from JNH's The Hand of Fate where I went a bit OCD trying to match the grittiness of the solo violin:

View attachment THoF_StaffPad.mp3
View attachment THoF_Original.mp3
(second is the original)

How it would be notated and how it ended up looking in the app:

JNH_THoF_Vln.png
View attachment THoF_StaffPad_vlns.mp4

You certainly can get a lot of mileage out of StaffPad alone!

 
OP
mopsiflopsi

mopsiflopsi

Active Member
Thread starter
Oh no, that's 100% StaffPad, no custom samples. But I did a lot of layering, balancing, and notate things "unconventionally" to force StaffPad to sound a certain way.

Here's another example from JNH's The Hand of Fate where I went a bit OCD trying to match the grittiness of the solo violin:

View attachment THoF_StaffPad.mp3
View attachment THoF_Original.mp3
(second is the original)

How it would be notated and how it ended up looking in the app:

JNH_THoF_Vln.png
View attachment THoF_StaffPad_vlns.mp4

You certainly can get a lot of mileage out of StaffPad alone!


Hey @zolhof is the Cutthroat Island score your transcription or is the original score obtainable from somewhere?
 

Jett Hitt

Senior Member
Oh no, that's 100% StaffPad, no custom samples. But I did a lot of layering, balancing, and notate things "unconventionally" to force StaffPad to sound a certain way.

Here's another example from JNH's The Hand of Fate where I went a bit OCD trying to match the grittiness of the solo violin:

View attachment THoF_StaffPad.mp3
View attachment THoF_Original.mp3
(second is the original)


The mixing in this first example is pretty fantastic, or it is to my ears. Would you care to share what you did to get this kind of sound out of a StaffPad file?
 

PaulieDC

Whatever I just wrote, ignore it. I'm clueless.
Couple thoughts:

StaffPad is good for what it does and it's already released, so it's here. Vaporware is software that never gets past concept stage. If the price would drop to a more reasonable $29.99 and the libraries were priced the same, the user base would ignite, although that may be too late.

I do agree that the libraries should have never been that high in price but that's the sample library makers wanting a piece of the pie, I'd be more ticked at them (I just export to Cubase, only bought BS to see what it was like). They acted like StaffPad was the new DAW of the 21st century. And why no discount for those of us who already purchased desktop libraries??

MuseScore is open source. If I was earning a paycheck writing music with notation, I wouldn't touch open source with a 10-foot pole (I've been burned enough by it, I'm done with that). Commercial software goes through a much higher level of testing and you have support tickets and bug reporting with updates. For the most part, people will use MuseScore and it'll be great for them. But the time will come when you're 24 hours away from a deadline and you get a recurring popup that says "error in evaluating the argument 'x' in selecting a method for function", or some other classic C++ error, which is the language MuseScore is written in.

I love the concept of StaffPad, especially since the iPad Pro with the No. 2 Pencil is an artist's studio in mobile format where you can sit anywhere for hours and draw, paint, compose, write and the list goes on. Funny, my favorite app is GoodNotes, never been so organized before, lol... when I use paper and pencil, it now drives me nuts that I can't quickly undo what I wrote, and that same concept is there with StaffPad. Not perfect but I like it, even if the current version is the version for time to come. I can understand that those who solely work in notation software wouldn't be thrilled about that.

Clearly I'm not in the mood for my day job today which is why I'm pontificating on this subject which has no real answer, lol. ;)
 
Oh no, that's 100% StaffPad, no custom samples. But I did a lot of layering, balancing, and notate things "unconventionally" to force StaffPad to sound a certain way.

Here's another example from JNH's The Hand of Fate where I went a bit OCD trying to match the grittiness of the solo violin:

View attachment THoF_StaffPad.mp3
View attachment THoF_Original.mp3
(second is the original)

How it would be notated and how it ended up looking in the app:

JNH_THoF_Vln.png
View attachment THoF_StaffPad_vlns.mp4

You certainly can get a lot of mileage out of StaffPad alone!


These examples sound convincing enough, you know how to use this tool! To be honest, I didn't think StaffPad had the potential to create such realistic layouts and it's very reassuring and inspiring. Thanks!

What else is the secret, besides using a lot of libraries - in automation and skillful use of articulations?

And is it possible to find the score of Battlefront (Gordy Haab) somewhere?
 

Maacoro

New Member
I want to be optimistic and think that while David and team are busy right now with Musescore, they secured Staffpad's future during the negotiations. They might have just agreed to switch gears to MS4 when the acquisition happened. Their comm sucks anyway!

My speculation: Worst case scenario is they tweak Staffpad's UI some, rebrand it as Musescore for Tablet, add file cross-compatibility, make it free to download but keep charging for the PRO libraries. We would end up having a "Musescore Pocket" app but they'd honor our library purchases.
 

zolhof

Senior Member
The mixing in this first example is pretty fantastic, or it is to my ears. Would you care to share what you did to get this kind of sound out of a StaffPad file?
Hi Jett, I'm sorry for not getting back to you sooner, life/work has been hectic. Last time I opened that score was back in April, so I don't remember specific settings, but I usually start with tempo mapping and volume matching, going back and forth with the reference track, trying to get the overall balance and panning right. Then I obsessively work on individual dynamics and articulations, paying close attention to the sound instead of notation. i.e. a violin accent by default may not have all the desired grit and raspiness, so you may want to layer several instruments: one with a filter to highlight the 1-3kHz range (the Sparkle effect is great for that); maybe a charango to add a little pluck (or any random noise); etc. Oftentimes a short articulation will not be short enough, so you may want to literally write a 32nd note and automate the release/decay to shorten the playback even further (use the volume lane for that).

Now you will understand why I pretty much rage quit StaffPad haha The lack of precise control over the volume lane is impractical. If I want an automation point of -5.3dB, I want it to be -5.3dB, not -5.5, -5.2, -5.0, or other random approximation that StaffPad will "stick" to. When you have dozens of tracks to automate, it's very time consuming to slowly drag the pen and hope for the best. To add insult to injury, many instruments default to a custom volume value that is NOT reflected in the volume lane. The volume lane will always show 0dB at first, even if you load an instrument like Spitfire Chamber Violas that defaults to -2db. So, if I automate the vol down by 1dB, I'm actually moving the line to -1dB and effectively raising the volume of everything else that came before that point, which is stupid and irksome. In sum, automation points should 1) reflect the initial state of an instrument; 2) behave as jump points, like every DAW in the universe; 3) have precise control over values. For the latter, I requested a simple text box input, many moons ago. Perhaps a long press to edit? Here are the main editing features that I sorely miss in StaffPad:

  • Jump points ffs :grin:
  • Text box input for automation points
  • Visibility panel, hiding staves; for mockup purposes - this would be a game changer
  • Master Volume and Tuning Frequency per project, instead of global
  • Pitch automation lane, for humanization purposes
  • Keyboard shortcuts for all symbols. I don't mind modifiers, as long as we can quickly access all symbols
  • Lasso noteheads, instead of the clunky notehead+beam; Add to selection

Don't want to come across as negative, just pointing out some real-life scenarios where StaffPad will stumble for serious mockups.

I wish I had more time to expand on the mixing, but hopefully you got the general gist of it. Since you also own the entire StaffPad catalogue, I'm attaching the stf file in case you want to dig in a little further, solo tracks, etc. I also included the custom xml files where I enabled a few unused articulations like blurred and exposed spicc in Berlin Strings, and Tense FX in Chamber Strings. I don't know where you have to put those on a Mac computer, though. The "OG" variants are the original untouched files. For the Tense effect to sound right, you have to play the track from the very beginning, due to the sample start point.

Phew, I hope this helps! Pinging @OstrovskyiComposer as well. :)
 

Attachments

  • THoF_StaffPad.rar
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Jett Hitt

Senior Member
@zolhof I’m going to have to chew on this for a while, but that is the single most thorough answer I’ve ever received on this forum. Thank so very much!!
 

ssnowe

Up, up and away ...
zolhof shows what a true artist can do when they have absolute and total control of a tool like Staffpad.

If I were to try to do something similiar it would most likely sound like hammers banging on garbage can lids.
 
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