Why aren't more folks talking about Notion?

TimCox

Active Member
I got Notion when it was first released (at the NAMM show no less) and used it for several years, even on my first film project which was a 48 Hour film. It was pretty apparent early on in my film scoring pursuits that Notion-to-ProTools-to-picture wasn't going to be able to handle my needs so I moved on to Digital Performer. Notion at the time wasn't very stable with hosting any kind of third party VI's so it was a pain to work that way. That's why I'm pretty excited about Dorico, it has a lot of the simplified workflow solutions for note entry that Notion had but essential features I need
 

David Cuny

Still recovering from Black Friday.
I'm strictly an amateur, and probably an edge case at that. So giant grain of sand caveat.

For my modest notation needs, Notion is more than adequate.

But I got Notion with the goal of integrating with my existing libraries. It did that quite well, until it seemed it wasn't an important feature anymore. So when I upgraded to GPO 5, Notion seemed to no longer supported it. Sure, I could make it work with some fiddling, but that's not quite the same. I bought it because it was supposed to work out of the box, not because it could be made to work.

And also, Ooops... I shouldn't have upgraded to 64 bit if I still wanted to use the 32 bit version of Miroslav. Not really Notion's fault, but I could never quite get it to work with JBridge, either.

So after a couple of upgrades, I found I was using a program that was less useful than when I initially got it. Again - for my particular needs.

I thought the Jazz Bundle would be awesome, and perhaps it is. But based on the demos, I could never get myself to pull the lever for the purchase.

I've played a bit with Overture, and it seems to have many of the features that drew me to Notion - it "just works" out of the box with existing libraries. The crossgrade is tempting, but for now I'll stick with using Notion for notation, and my DAW for driving my VSTis.
 

nilblo

New Member
I have been writing music on computers since the Atari 1040 and Notator era. The scores I produced in that environment, was never criticized by musicians for lack of engraving quality. I scribbled music on a piece of paper with a pen and then entered the music into Notator via the mouse.
Now I can write the music directly into Notion with a stylus on a 27" Dell Canvas pen & touch screen. If I need, I bounce the music to Studio One 4, edit the midi-data and bounce it back to Notion and continue my work. Whenever I feel like it, I take the iPad for a walk and work in Notion for iOS. I have Staffpad on a Surface Pro 4 but I prefer the iPad and Notion. Both systems for handwriting recognition are very good but I sometimes like to be able to connect a midi controller and I can´t do that with Staffpad.
When it comes to engraving quality, I´m not overly concerned with it. As long as the music is readable, it´s my experience that a musician won´t even bother to comment on the "lack" of engraving quality. Maybe it´s another deal in the cinematic score business but I wouldn´t know a thing about that genre.
I have Overture latest version but I litterally can´t use it. Notion/Studio One 4 ticks all the boxes for me, being a pen-driven "composer".
 
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nilblo

New Member
Due to my physical restrictions, I jumped the gun and bought Overture on the promise that it was touch enabled. As it turns out, there are limitations (on my two Win10 computers) with using touch (and with that should follow Pen-input which I rely on..) on the drop-down menus.
I´m hoping that these quirks will be adressed in the future. On the other hand - I´m very satisfied with my setup of Presonus softwares and I use Amadeus also. A library that actually holds all I need.
I haven´t seen an Android version of Notion. I got myself a pre-used 2017 iPad with 32 Gb Ram. $300.00
 

cmillar

Active Member
I got myself a pre-used 2017 iPad with 32 Gb Ram. $300.00
You using an iPad Pro or other iPad?

Notion works will on my iPad Air, but being an "old school-still prefer-pencil and paper scores" for initial writing, I'm always wondering about other solutions that don't hinder the flow.

If iPad Pro, any reports? Have you found a way to use an iPad with your main DAW...like writing on the iPad and having it show up in the main Notion application on your computer?
 

nilblo

New Member
I have an iPad 2017, not Pro.. Use it as "pen & paper" on the go with a Bamboo Finline stylus.
There is no palm rejection with this combination but the small size of the screen allows supporting the palm on the borders of the iPad so I can enter music without difficulties. I haven´t tried to work as you suggested, I use the iPad as a music notebook only. My main workstation is a Dell AIO 27" i5-8400T with 16Gb RAM. Not a very powerful computer, I know... I have Studio One 4 + Notion 6 on this computer and the screen shows SO4. On the Dell Canvas I have Notion 6 where I enter music with a stylus. I navigate the score sideways and horizontally with a Surface Dial.
I think you'll need a bigger screen if you plan to work on larger scores with a digitizing pen. It´s hard to get an overview on a 10" screen, in my opinion.
 
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cmillar

Active Member
Thanks for your info.

Yes, I find the iPad good for small idea sketching....but could never do a full, lenghty piece on it (or on the computer with Notion) due to not being able to see the overall 'overview' as you can by using good old paper scores.

I've used Notion for printing out parts for smallish ensembles with pretty straight-forward notation needs.

I've used Sibelius a longer time than I nave Notion, and still feel at ease and at speed when inputting music into Sibelius for printing parts from a master score (after I've done most of the work on paper)

Notion (like Sibelius) is a great tool for getting a score and parts printed.

But..well...I feel they stifle initial musical inspiration compared to a pencil and paper and just sitting at the piano. Anyways, they are pretty handy to know and use.
 

toomanynotes

Active Member
Thanks for the video! Bit late to the convo, but for me Notion for ios has been simply stable, brilliant and one of the first to successfully implement the apple touchscreen for writing on the ipad. Plus they did this a few yrs ago.
I would love to trial Dorico out too, but simply can’t afford the windows tablet right now.
It’s all about writing on the go for me, the portability. I don’t have a problem writing full scores on my ipad pro. I once met one of the devs in London and he cldn’t believe that i wrote a big score on it. He thought ios notion would just be used for small sketches!

Important note -
I have no need for drawing cc curves for notes etc depends on the end user I suppose.

What I do:
1. I write the score
2. I hear it back
3. I print the score
4. I have it performed by ‘Live Musicians’ (I wish) but sometimes.

I also get the impression that Dorico users want to make their scores sound as realistic as possible. While that’s nice, nothing beats hearing real musicians.
Of course Notion desktop has vst intregation too, but I still use the stock sounds as i don’t see the point of using a notation software like a sequencer?

Yes There’s a lot of engraving/notation issues but equally alot of workarounds for them too!
It’s always handy to beta test and keep in touch with the devs for improvements as they are quite involved and helpful adressing any peeves we have.

So i guess Notion meets my needs! For now there’s no evidence Dorico is anywhere near the functionality as Notion is for ios touchscreens tablets. So i’ll go for the tried n tested for now...and screw learning new software.
 

Nick Batzdorf

Moderator
Moderator
I guess that's a matter of taste. I actually prefer it this way. What if you actually want the note (and the rest) deleted? If you want a rest in place of the note just write one over the note.
The option to remove time - either globally or on an individual staff - should be a command, but I think it's very strange behavior as the default when you remove some notes.

It should insert rests where the notes were. That's how every notation program I've used works, how the score editor in Logic works... no, it shouldn't second-guess you.

By the way, I haven't used Notion since a very early version. I'm just commenting on this particular "feature."
 

michelleof7

New Member
Wow! Thanks Craig! This is very easy!

I see I can get a cross-grade discount to Overture 5.5 from Notion. Would you say its worth exploring? I also am kinda curious about Amadeus. Is it better than the base library in Notion?

To add custom expressions in Notion you have to edit the source XML expression file which is kinda a PITA (find expression references in large file and then change it in multiple places and then need to call it in Notion via only a hot key combination :) ).

I know this thread is over a year old, but did you ever get a response on your question of how Amadeus Symphony Orchestra compares to the base library in Notion (or even the base library with some of the expansions)? I have Notion and am considering purchasing Amadeus; I'd love to hear from someone who has compared these two sound libraries.

Thanks!
 

pinki

Active Member
I have both. I want to like Overture but it is still crashes way too often for me and if you try getting support you‘ll be accused of being an idiot by a grumpy person. Notion community is not like that at all.
 

BlackDorito

Active Member
I got Notion years ago at NAMM when they were handing it out - it might've been their first year of release. Going from zero-to-Notion was quite exciting and it was easy to use. Very inexpensive, even when picking up their various instrument collections. I heard many impressive pieces, some of them using a combination of Notion instruments and externally-driven Kontakt instruments. However, when I discovered what people could do with Spitfire, VSL, OT, etc. .. it was game-over. Notion can drive external VIs but it has significant limitations. [I haven't read all the responses above, but I'm sure I'm echoing what others have said]
 

scoredfilms

In need of a mentor
...when I discovered what people could do with Spitfire, VSL, OT, etc. .. it was game-over. Notion can drive external VIs but it has significant limitations...
I've used Spitfire with Notion and rewire. While I'm avoiding rewire now, the notation GUI is a pleasure to work in. Notion is utterly brilliant for workflow. The only thing it lacks is better vel/cc editing OR real-time-integration with Studio One, so the vel/cc/tempo can be edited there instead. S1 and Notion should both be getting major version releases this year (S1 in a few months) based on their release history. They said they wanted to do more here, so hopefully this release will finally see some progress there.

Studio One is easily my favorite DAW. Cubase is feature-strong and a GUI mess. Notion isn't as beautiful as Dorico, but is a joy to compose in. So here's hoping.
 
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Jos Wylin

Music is the Language of the World
I've been a longtime user of Notion. Before I even had MPP 'Music Printer Plus', from the same developer (Nineties), it was a pure DOS application. With Windows, it didn't work anymore, so a stepped over to Finale (I own all the version from 1998 until now, but I have to say that I'm very disappointed in Finale and the development. It stopped evolving somewhere around 2012. All the later upgrades where merely visual changes, but they didn't add any functionality, they where rather annoying changes of positions functions in the lay-out.

So I decided to start with Notion. At first I was overwhelmed with the intuitive interface and the ease of use (in comparison to the complex interface of Finale). But since I write music for live orchestra, I had to deliver neat parts and scores. That was the first small disappointment: the engraving possibilities of Notion were (and still are) very limited, and the midi or XML output as well!!! That means that it's hardly possible to export midi or xml to (let's say) Finale to build a good printable score there. Too many details get lost during export, as well as the entire score lay-out... But still, I love Notion for its easy workflow.

An other matter is the handling of velocities. As mentioned here, you can change individual notes, but it's not possible for groups of notes! For heaven's sake why? And I could sum up a whole series of shortcomings as to performance data (to name one: the mordents). All other apps have the most functional articulations in symbol and performance. Ive feature requested this so often, but so far in vain. Maybe you can program these features in Notion and other CCs, but I'm a composer, not a technician or programmer. Isn't that the task of the developers?

In the last years I always record a midi performance of my works. For that purpose I bought Studio One Pro. A great DAW, but again Presonus let's down the classical composers with their DAW. It has tons of features for pop music makers (without any notation), but hardly any for score writers. Here also the feature requests are being neglected greatly. And there is another matter. So many people have asked for a full integration of Notion in Studio One. There has been some effort, but nothing worth mentioning actually. Rewire (audio) is one possibility, midi import another and the last one seems to be the best: score import directly from Notion into Studio One. That is a real time saver, but again it's not perfect: too many articulations and performance symbols are not being imported. (Hairpins, staccatos and note velocity luckily are).
So I'm still a Notion users, hoping for the better. But maybe we - note writers - are a minority and commercially not interesting enough... I don't know.
What I do know is that in the near future the virtual music will change a lot and that goes for both DAW users and 'notationalists' .:emoji_wink:

The London Symphony Orchestra that comes along with Notion has a very poor sound quality, but it's so nice to work with when creating a new score (not paying any attention to the sound and techniques). The better performance can be made easily with other VSTs (some built in with decent presets, like VSL), but again these are only roughly usable. The rest must be done in a good DAW with full featured instrument libraries and detailed midi programming. As long as Notion is not an integrated part of Studio One (next to the piano roll) it will remain a time consuming business to create a realistic performance.

I don't want to persuade anybody to use Notion, but I wanted to give my opinion, experience and feelings about Notion. Despite the negative experiences here and there, I will continu to use it, until somebody can persuade me to make a change...

Jos