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Finale Notepad limitations


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#1
montpellier

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Prompted by a member to download the free Notepad to be able to read and hear their files, I can't help thinking that's all it's good for. I do so hate computer-aided creative software that tries to force me down its route rather than the other way around. With photoshop I can do absolutely anything - even with its freebie versions I can do all but the most obscure stuff. Looks like I could with Personal Composer if I bought it. But this thing is utter.... well, I can't call it crap because that helps things grow and this doesn't. It just increases the work of writing out music HUGELY. Crikey, I can't even have hemi-demi-semiquavers.

I wanted to transcribe a string quartet movement to upload so if anyone could help...

1) How can I change time signature? It changes from bar to bar. It could be written in 4/4 but that's a complete copout with ties everywhere and accents just to show where the beat is.
2) It doesn't offer me 7/4 at set-up. Does that mean it isn't possible? Is there a way of setting up time-sigs like that?
3) How can I get at the midi list to edit?

I've spent a couple of hours looking through the help stuff - my queries are pretty elementary so I expected an answer, if not an obvious way of doing it. But I found nothing.

So thank you for any help.

This "music notation" software is something of a test for me before I settle for buying - and to be fair, it probably won't be finale. So far, just entering notes no matter what is terribly slow compared with pencil on paper. Have to say this is the second lot of notation software I've been sadly disappointed by.
M

For future finale victims, I directed another quesiton to the email add on their latest version. I got a reply that they no longer accepted questions/gave support via email (good, innit!) - and got directed to a website where I got led through about 5 pages of bollox a bit like trying to get through to someone on the phone who speaks english, understands and can act, only to learn that "customer service" has been outsourced to some village on Pluto.
Finale didn't even give a UK help desk phone number.
Anyway, I got a response that they will try to give me a reply within one business day. Fat lot of effing use that is for a starving composer who just wants to write a quintuplet over a triplet. Ned Ludd was effing-well right. And if that's all I can expect for service, were I a paying customer, then bollox.

#2
Guest_QcCowboy_*

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On the MakeMusic website there is a forum.
On that forum there is a topic called "Notepad Limitations".
In that thread are all the details you are asking.

as for email technical support, they DO support it... for registered users of their products. I presume that the response you got was vis-a-vis their free Notepad. Every single time I've had a technical issue with Finale I've gotten rapid and courteous response from technical support.

in defence of Finale, Notepad is very tedious to use with its mouse only entry of notes. Finale, as well as most of the other products in the Finale family (Notepad excluded) have the capability to enter notes via MIDI keyboard as well.

No, none of the things you are asking can be done with Notepad. It is a VERY rudimentary program, a little like the Windows Notepad for text (hence the name, I suspect). however, it IS a great little tool - being free and all -since it WILL open full-version Finale files- permitting people to at least share those (minus GPO settings).

Finale 2006, with its included GPO sounds, is a very powerful tool. It has a steep learning curve - for both notation and playback. However, the program comes with great tutorials, which are well worth a few hours of your time to get through. They give good usablity hints, good basics, and a good head start on understanding how Finale works.

The thing about Finale's notation files is that they playback without additional tweaking. All expressions, articulations, slurs, phrasings are performed (with a very few minor exceptions). Therefore, ALL your work can be in the same program. No need to have two or three programs to work on one piece of music.

I might sound to you like some shill for MM, but I've been using Finale for 15 years now, and since the last update (2006) have found that Finale is the only program I need (I've completely stopped using an external sequencer and synths). I compose right in Finale (well, with a bit of help from some paper and a good mechanical pencil), and I generate my demos from Finale.

I'm not saying that Finale is better than any other program, but I'm responding to your assertion that it's crap, and the strong implication that you would not recommend it to anyone. Well, before making that negative recommendation, you have to USE it. That's like saying you wouldn't recommend a car based on having handled its hood ornament.

#3
montpellier

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I couldn't even START to use it, therefore it is no use to me. I didn't call it crap, I specifically said that.
But it's pathetic that you can't write in 7/4, 5/4. I mean....serious? Your analogy about car hood ornaments is unsatisfactory - notepad is supposed to allow one to make musical notes (as in sketches). It doesn't. I shouldn't have to search websites for answers to very elementary questions at the level of "How do I draw a bar line? How do I change time signatures? How do I write dynamics/accents/bow marks?"

Edit: As for service, that was crap. There was no dialogue, just question / answer; I can't even respond - I'd have to ask a new question. And guess what, the instant after they said "you can't do it" out came the "But you could for $xxxx, go to our upgrade site..." something like that.

I shall keep it simply to open members' files. It's useless for anything else except, as you say, rudimentary stuff (very runimentary). Since it was free I can't complain about that.

Full scale finale might be fine, I'll take your word for it.

#4
EclecticPhilosopher

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You get what you pay for- as demonstrated with your Notepad experiences. Notepad is primarily (in my mind) for people who just like putting notes down on digital paper and hearing them play back, and/or very VERY simple rhythyms and time signatures.

I have Finale Printmusic- you can have WHATEVER time signature you want (you have to edit the time signature after opening the document if you want psycho unusual time signatures, though), and whatever rhythmic patterns you want. And it costs MUCH less than the fullblown scary version of Finale! About 70 dollars, last time I checked (March or April). That's what I'd reccomend, unless you have really, really, really complicated music that you have to write out. And you also can view many tutorials for PrintMusic, and the service is great!
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#5
montpellier

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You get what you pay for- as demonstrated with your Notepad experiences. Notepad is primarily (in my mind) for people who just like putting notes down on digital paper and hearing them play back, and/or very VERY simple rhythyms and time signatures.

Absolutely. Just seemed a perverse psychology giving someone such a restrictive piece of freebie software. I'd have been happier if they said "It's free, it opens finale files, that's all."

They'd have made it easier for themselves giving just a notepad akin to a manuscript book - music lines to use ad lib so I could make notes. My first drafts rarely contain bar lines (being brought up in the Palestrina tradition) and I usually do short-score per orchestral group, so I might end up with 3 or 4 pairs of staves. I use 10 stave paper so I can arrow to things above or below the 6-8 working staves, if you see what I mean.

But yes, it's free - it opens finale files which is primarily why I dl/d it.
Thanks for the comment.

Shee! This post number has 13 in it. I'd best go review a piece or something quick!

#6
andersonalex

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For testing Finale, they provide a demo of Finale for you to download (the sound files are too large to download, and saving and printing is disabled - but you get to try the software out to see how it works). They also have a demo of PrintMusic that is fully functional for 30 days.

Notepad isn't as slow at entering notes as you think. I can type notes into it faster than anyone can notate by hand. You just have to get used to using the keystrokes (ABCDEFG for the pitches and the numberpad for the durations - check the Simple menu for the other commands). Finale has many advantages for entry, but once you're quick with notepad, you'll be going faster than writing by hand.

As a silly test, I just entered the melody line of the Can-Can in tempo (quarter = 132) with notepad. Eighth notes were the shortest note durations. In some places I got ahead, and in others behind, but I basically kept up.

But if you want to test Finale, test the Finale demo. Testing Notepad won't give you the slightest clue what Finale is capable of. Switching to a 7/4 time sig in Finale? Alt-t 7. (that's just the fastest way - there are other more obvious ways as well)

#7
Keerakh Kal

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In my opinion, notepad is a limitation.

You only get a few crappy time signatures, no key changes, or tempo changes, very few dynamic markings, a couple articulations, and a few instruments.

But yeah, Finale has all the good stuff that notepad doesn't have...which is basically everything. WAY more instruments, tons of time signatures, and you can even create your own key signature (although why you would want to is beyond me...)
But there's no 7/4, 5/4, 7/8, 10/8, 9/4, 2/8, and all of those other lovely time signatures in notepad.

~Kal




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