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#1147196 - 02/09/06 09:33 PM which program to use?  
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 120
Meredith A Offline
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Meredith A  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 120
San Diego, CA
Hi,

I'm asking this question for my piano teacher who is not at all computer-savvy.

She has three software programs and would like to record her midi piano output and convert it to standard music notation to speed up her music-writing tasks. Currently she has to place all the notes manually using her mouse.

I'm hoping some of you could comment on which might be the easiest for her to use for this purpose. We understand that there is some amount of editing required in all cases.

The three are: PrintMusic, Cakewalk Scorewriter, and Finale Home Studio.

All three software packages claim to be able to perform this function. Home Studio looks to be overkill to me. She doesn't need any sound-editing capabilities. Probably better to have something simple rather than too complex/confusing.

Thanks!

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#1147197 - 02/16/06 12:36 PM Re: which program to use?  
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Piano*Dad Online content
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Williamsburg, VA
Let me bump this thread and ask my own question as well.

My son just started composition class with a prof at William & Mary. At first she said we should get Finale ...that it was the gold standard for composition. The bloody thing costs $350, and that is WITH an academic discount. Ultimately, she was able to find a copy for us, but in that time I emailed the company and they said that PrintMusic was all that we would need. This program costs only $70.

We downloaded PrintMusic for a 30 day trial, and so far it works fine. We can email my son's compositions to his teacher and when she brought them up in her Finale program she said they seem to have all the functionality she gets in Finale itself.

Does anyone have experience with these programs to tell us the differences between them?

Best,

David F

#1147198 - 02/16/06 12:56 PM Re: which program to use?  
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Ozor Mox Offline
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Ozor Mox  Offline
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Hampshire, England
I have PrintMusic 2006 and as far as I know it is basically just a "lite" version of the full Finale program. Unless you're a professional composer, I don't think you'll come across the limitations of PrintMusic.

You can see the features that Finale has that PrintMusic doesn't here

They're pretty advanced features, at least from my level of composition looking at them!

#1147199 - 02/16/06 03:35 PM Re: which program to use?  
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SteveY Offline
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SteveY  Offline
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NJ
I believe there is an upgrade path from PrintMusic to Finale should your son need to upgrade.

Finale has definitely been king of the hill for quite a long time. This, despite the steep learning curve. However, Sibelius is making inroads in a big way. I know this is anecdotal, but it appears to me that most of my colleagues prefer Sibelius these days.


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#1147200 - 02/16/06 03:49 PM Re: which program to use?  
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Williamsburg, VA
Thanks. I can't imagine my 12 year old needing the extra tools of Finale any time soon.

PrintMusic does have a steep learning curve. It's not as intuitive as most kid-oriented programs are. This means old dad has an advantage over the son for once. I've been quicker at figuring out pathways and commands than him thus far.

I just heard about Sibelius last weekend. Finale has all the first-mover advantages in this game. Any institution -- like a music department -- will be reluctant to support multiple platforms. Resources are limited, after all. Sibelius is going to have to be a quantum leap ahead and/or substantially cheaper.

#1147201 - 02/16/06 06:26 PM Re: which program to use?  
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SteveY Offline
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SteveY  Offline
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NJ
Quote
Any institution -- like a music department -- will be reluctant to support multiple platforms. Resources are limited, after all. Sibelius is going to have to be a quantum leap ahead and/or substantially cheaper.
I will admit up front that I'm indeed biased here. I've used Finale for over 15 years. I used to use a lesser known program for the Mac called Composer's Mosaic as well. It's only in the last few years that I've begun using Sibelius. Like Mosaic, I find it to be more intuitive than Finale. But unlike Mosaic, I find it to be as powerful as Finale. Finale isn't about to lose it's foothold in the publishing arena anytime soon, but Sibelius is no longer an upstart as it's being used by some of the more prestigious schools and musicians in the world.

From the Sibelius website:
Quote
Sibelius is endorsed by the Royal Academy of Music and is used by all the major music academies and colleges: The Royal College of Music, Trinity College of Music, Kings College Cambridge, The Julliard School, Berklee School of Music, The Sibelius Academy in Finland , The Royal College of Music in Stockholm
Also, consider these users:
http://www.sibelius.com/products/sibelius/users.html


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#1147202 - 02/16/06 09:58 PM Re: which program to use?  
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sarabande Offline
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Mo.
I talked to a composition professor about what composition software to go with. He said his students use either Sibelius or Finale. So it implied to me the university didn't have a certain one out of the two that was required.

#1147203 - 02/17/06 01:34 PM Re: which program to use?  
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Kreisler Offline
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Joined: Nov 2002
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Iowa City, IA
The full versions of Finale and Sibelius are overkill for about 99% of all students. The lite versions (PrintMusic for Finale and Sibelius Student Edition) are best for students and much more affordable. PrintMusic is around $70 and Sibelius Student is $99.

You should also know that these applications are not cross-compatible. (Yes, I know Sibelius can open ETF files, but it's an extra step that confuses a lot of people, plus I've had several ETF files that would open...)


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#1147204 - 02/17/06 02:40 PM Re: which program to use?  
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sarabande Offline
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Mo.
Quote
Originally posted by Kreisler:
The full versions of Finale and Sibelius are overkill for about 99% of all students. The lite versions (PrintMusic for Finale and Sibelius Student Edition) are best for students and much more affordable. PrintMusic is around $70 and Sibelius Student is $99.
I have actually been planning to purchase Finale's PrintMusic. The main thing I've been debating over between that and Finale or Sibelius' high end version is the playback features as in realistic sounding instruments and the variety of instruments.

How is the PrintMusic in terms of what it offers for instruments and how they sound for playback?
I was wondering primarly if it would be worth the extra cost to get the high end version of Finale or Sibelius just because of what they offer in instrument sounds. Any opinions?

#1147205 - 02/17/06 04:18 PM Re: which program to use?  
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Mike White Offline
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Mike White  Offline
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90 miles West of New Orleans
This is what I use:

http://www.notation.com/

Mike

#1147206 - 02/17/06 07:02 PM Re: which program to use?  
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Posts: 173
Arjen Offline
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Arjen  Offline
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Groningen, Netherlands
Sarabande: I have Sibelius 4 with the included Kontakt Silver player, including 'realistic sounds' of instruments like piano and strings. It's nice to get a basic idea of how it sounds but hardly more usefull for composing then the basic MIDI soundset of a soundcard and the soundquality is way too low to make proper recordings with it. Don't worry about the sounds if it is just for composing and if you want to make recordings get yourself a midi sequencer and some quality VST instruments instead.


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