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#1147411 - 02/03/06 10:56 PM Composing Software-What Can You Do With It?  
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,257
Jeanne W Offline
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Jeanne W  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,257
New England
Am looking into buying notation software and a digital keyboard. Those of you who already have this, maybe you can help me out with a few questions?

Q: If you have, for instance, Sibelius or Finale, which come with its own sounds, can you load the sounds into the keyboard itself, so the sounds will come from the keyboard even when your computer and notation software are turned off?
(Maybe the software sounds are BETTER than the orchestral sounds on the keyboard??)

Q: When you play back music from the software, does it play with a range of dynamics, soft to loud??

Q: Once you've got an arrangement in the software, how do you add a live piano to the mix? Do you have to duplicate your effort, by playing all of the instruments you arranged in the software, live on your digital keyboard, in order to get an acoustic piano in the mix???

FYI: I'm using Audacity recording software.

Any help will be greatly appreciated!

Jeanne W


Music is about the heart and so should a piano be about the heart. - Pique

1920 Steinway A3
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#1147412 - 02/04/06 10:06 AM Re: Composing Software-What Can You Do With It?  
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Derulux Offline
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Derulux  Offline
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1. I imagine that depends on the keyboard. It definitely doesn't depend on Sibelius or Finale.

2. Yes.

3. Play it. (Duplicate effort.) Or type in/click-in each individual note. But even if you play it in, you'll probably have to change a lot of note values...unless you can play "exactly" at tempo. wink

FYI: Isn't Audacity great? smile


Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.
#1147413 - 02/05/06 06:55 PM Re: Composing Software-What Can You Do With It?  
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Posts: 1,257
Jeanne W Offline
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Jeanne W  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,257
New England
Derelux:

Thanks for the info!

Yes, Audacity is great! Couple of questions about Audacity. I'll make a new post.

Jeanne W


Music is about the heart and so should a piano be about the heart. - Pique

1920 Steinway A3
My Piano Delivery Thread:
http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/1/8776.html#000000
#1147414 - 02/06/06 12:59 AM Re: Composing Software-What Can You Do With It?  
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sarabande Offline
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sarabande  Offline
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Jeanne W.,

I've been trying to figure out a lot of the same thing as you. I do have my old, ancient keyboard purchased somewhere in early 90's hooked up now to my computer. I really can't stand the piano sound from it though. It's awful.

I haven't yet purchased notation software yet, but after reading several sites and what they have to offer have decided to go with Sibelius or Finale as soon as I make up my mind how much I want to spend. I think one of the big advantages right now to the high end version of Finale is that it includes the Garritan Personal Orchestra which will allow playback with supposedly realistic orchestra sounds without a keyboard. Also, I believe Sibelius offers either that or something similar - I can't remember for sure but you can check on their site. That's kind of where I'm at right now, debating whether to spend the extra money to get the notation software that includes the realistic orchestra sounds in playback. At least Finale, a person can start out with one of their lower priced softwares and upgrade as the need would arise. I wish and hope Sibelius would come out with 2 or 3 choices that would be a little less costly than Sibelius 4 with the option to upgrade. I'm hoping maybe they will in a year or so.

The Garritan Personal Orchestra can also be purchases separately and they have their own website.

I did download Finale free version just to keep myself "happy" until I decide how much money I want to spend. I noticed Finale's free version played back my music with piano sound without my keyboard and I think there may be a few other instruments in there. I'm not sure if you can do anything in the way of transferring to recording with the free version though.

#1147415 - 02/06/06 07:33 PM Re: Composing Software-What Can You Do With It?  
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PianoBeast10489 Offline
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PianoBeast10489  Offline
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Control the world.

It makes it easier to organize, better quality scores, easier arranging. Just a convenience really.

#1147416 - 02/18/06 07:10 PM Re: Composing Software-What Can You Do With It?  
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 11
Guri Offline
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Guri  Offline
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Sarabande, the piano sound coming from your computer has nothing to do with Finale. ANY computer with a sound card can mimic a piano, as well as 128 other instruments (known as the GENERAL MIDI set).

The quality of these built-in sounds isn't too good. That's sure ain't a Garritan Stainway Piano sample you're hearing... But for someone who is just making his first steps in computer music, they are perfectly adequete.

Also keep the following point it mind:

Great samples are not sufficient for realistic playback. You, as the composer, must actively transcribe your music to the digital medium, if you want good results. From adding artificial legatos to effective use of stereo panning, your personal touch is required for a decent computer generated performence.

Just the other day, I've recently downloaded a superbly made computer-adaptation of Mozart's Concerto #23 (K. 488). It sounds amazingly good, given that I'm playing it with my computer's default sounds...

Now, If I were to copy the actual score of this concerto, without changing a thing, to my computer, it would sound much less convincing. Even the Garritan Orchestral Sounds won't save such an attempt from sounding... well, awful. That's because computers and real orchestras create music in completely different ways.

What I'm trying to tell you is this:

As a computer-music beginner, you really don't need high quality samples. This should not be at all a consideration when you decide on your first notation software.

#1147417 - 02/19/06 11:34 AM Re: Composing Software-What Can You Do With It?  
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 173
Arjen Offline
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Arjen  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 173
Groningen, Netherlands
Quote
Q: If you have, for instance, Sibelius or Finale, which come with its own sounds, can you load the sounds into the keyboard itself, so the sounds will come from the keyboard even when your computer and notation software are turned off?
(Maybe the software sounds are BETTER than the orchestral sounds on the keyboard??)
No, this is not possible. If you want to bring better sounds with you you can use an external MIDI module.

Quote
Q: When you play back music from the software, does it play with a range of dynamics, soft to loud??
The software will allow for multiple velocity settings, from 0-127. How it will sound depends on how the actual samples will deal with the MIDI data. Some samples merely sound softer, others actually change timbre and general feel.

Quote

Q: Once you've got an arrangement in the software, how do you add a live piano to the mix? Do you have to duplicate your effort, by playing all of the instruments you arranged in the software, live on your digital keyboard, in order to get an acoustic piano in the mix???
Typically you'd export your composition to a MIDI file. Then you'd open that MIDI file in a sequencer, give each channel it's own sound and save your project. Now you can just add audio tracks as you please and add them to the mix. This is *not* done in your composition program but in sequencers like Cubase, Cakewalk Sonar etc. If you want I can send you a song that's partly MIDI-based partly real-time performed.

Quote
Sarabande, the piano sound coming from your computer has nothing to do with Finale. ANY computer with a sound card can mimic a piano, as well as 128 other instruments (known as the GENERAL MIDI set).
General MIDI isn't sound but an instruction set that is processed by your soundcard. How this sounds depends on how you've set-up your pc to deal with MIDI instructions and which program you use. Composition programs often have their own build-in samplers (Kontakt Player and such) which will process the sound regardless of your soundcard. The Sibelius piano sound is quite unlike my Creative Soundfont piano which is unlike my TheGrand piano. All of them are MIDI driven yet are totally unlike each other soundwise and feel-wise.

Quote
As a computer-music beginner, you really don't need high quality samples. This should not be at all a consideration when you decide on your first notation software.
Definitely true. Make sure your program has the compositional features you need. How it will actually sound in the end depends on far more and if you want the best results you'll be doing the mixdown in another program with other samples anyway.

#1147418 - 02/23/06 05:02 PM Re: Composing Software-What Can You Do With It?  
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Posts: 11
Guri Offline
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Guri  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 11
Quote
General MIDI isn't sound but an instruction set that is processed by your soundcard. How this sounds depends on how you've set-up your pc to deal with MIDI instructions and which program you use.
That's true. But I was refering the instruments being mimiced, not the specific sound samples.

General MIDI defines, among lots of other things, 128 standard instruments. This list of instruments is known as the "General MIDI set". And even the crappiest sound card has samples of the entire set (albiet at varying qualities).


is capable of p

#1147419 - 03/16/06 12:36 PM Re: Composing Software-What Can You Do With It?  
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 43
Andromeda_Aiken Offline
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Andromeda_Aiken  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 43
Singapore
I don't know if this is slightly off topic or not. I have a piano piece that I like and want to play. The problem is, I have the piece but not the score. It's a piano piece. It can't be downloaded because it's from a Chinese drama serial. The music is in mp3 format. Is there any downloadable software I can use to produce the score from the song itself? Thanks.

#1147420 - 03/16/06 03:29 PM Re: Composing Software-What Can You Do With It?  
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 3,295
Steve Chandler Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Steve Chandler  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 3,295
Urbandale, Iowa
Quote
Originally posted by Andromeda_Aiken:
I don't know if this is slightly off topic or not. I have a piano piece that I like and want to play. The problem is, I have the piece but not the score. It's a piano piece. It can't be downloaded because it's from a Chinese drama serial. The music is in mp3 format. Is there any downloadable software I can use to produce the score from the song itself? Thanks.
Audio to midi is the holy grail (or at least one of them) and like the holy grail has not been found to date. So the answer to your question is no. There are some programs that can transcribe a single line such as a flute, but I'm not aware of any program that could transcribe an audio file of a piano performance. If you have an mp3 I suggest you hone your music dictation chops abilities it. That or purchase the sheet music (if possible).


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