Music programs in general.

Discussion in 'Computer Corner' started by Cornet Nev., Sep 16, 2008.

  1. Cornet Nev.

    Cornet Nev. Member

    Seeing as the computer corner is now the accepted place for such topics, considering there is already a few threads concerning Sibelius in all its genre, how many are using other programs for creating new music?
    There is of course a growing number of them, some free, some not so free, and even yet, like Finale and Sibelius, downright expensive.
    I went on a search of the web and found a tremendous site listing just about anything you could want in notational and sequencing software, a moderate amount of what is available being free ware, open source ware or free beta. then a large amount of share ware as well.
    Do have a look if you are at all interested and let us know what you have tried and your comments on it. the site is -
    Look down the list for Notation, or Midi sequencers, for direct notation handling, as most sequencers can display notation.
    But do also have a look at the list of other types of software, it is all music oriented and aimed at the musician.
  2. emziesonic

    emziesonic Member

    I know theres GarageBand....not sure if you pay for it or not :confused:

    Sibelius is abit of a bummer when it comes to price :rolleyes:
  3. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    Garage Band is part of iLife that's shipped with new macs....though there are payable upgrades.

    Sibelius is a professional program and - in the 'usual' way - is priced as such....
  4. MarkGillatt

    MarkGillatt Member

    I always think you get what you pay for, if one of your free ones can do everything you want it to then go for it, but I had a look at the new Finale 2009 the other day, and I still prefer Sibelius 5, for all it's faults, Finale looks so damn ugly and it's interface is awful
  5. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    I use Cubase Studio 4, but it's not so easy to write stuff using this via a score editor as one does in Sibelius or other notation software. I have several synths connected up via MIDI, and can therefore play & record the keystrokes from any of them. Cubase can notate and create a score from the MIDI file however, and does an OK job too, but I rarely use the notation functionality.
  6. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    Personal opinion, of course.

    I have no problems with Finale's interface, but then I've been using it for over 15 years, and I'm used to it. I have no idea what you mean by "damn ugly"; any program's printed output can be made to look aesthetically displeasing by an unskilled operator ...
  7. MarkGillatt

    MarkGillatt Member

    sorry, by "Damn ugly" I mean that there are buttons and menus everywhere, really distracting, I think if you have used Finale for so long you should be used to it and you will know what they all do and where to find them, I just prefer the "cleaner" layout of Sibelius, and using a normal keyboard entry is so much easier than Finale. Where Finale does beat Sibelius is in how it uses the GPO sound set, nice and easy to set up and with lots of easy tweaks, horses for courses, but I'll still stick with Sibelius 5.
  8. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    FWIW all the toolbars & menus are fully customisable, and you can have as many or as few on show as you like. If certain tools are used less frequently, it may well make sense not to have them on permanent show. As it happens, because I do it professionally, I use a very large monitor with acres of free space, so I prefer to have pretty much all the toolbars and buttons showing all the time, so that I don't have to hunt through sub-menus looking for them. But, yes, I've customised the layout so that I know exactly where they all are, and I've got used to it. Only downside is come upgrade time, having to re-set them all up ...

    Again, a question of perspective and familiarity. Finale users have the choice between "Simple" entry and "Speedy" entry. Either can be used primarily with Qwerty keyboard and mouse entry, or with a combination of MIDI and Qwerty entry. Either method can be extremely fast, albeit with MIDI is usually faster. Users tend to fall into one of two camps; most people will be vociferously pro either Simple or Speedy, usually depending on which one they happened to learn first (!); "serious" or "power" users will spend time familiarising themselves with both systems and will freely alternate between them depending on the nature of the notation required. (for example "Speedy" with MIDI is much faster for entering drum parts, but "Simple" with MIDI is better for inputting chords.)
  9. Cornet Nev.

    Cornet Nev. Member

    Although not pro, I get a lot of enjoyment out of just messing with music, and I find Finale so much easier to use because it has all the tools on show. Like you GJG, and so many others I prefer the speedy entry, but just using qwerty. If you are a good keyboard player, then you can of course play it straight in. However I also use quite a few other programs. As I said I mess about, so sometimes I will take a simple but well known tune in midi format, then enhance it where I can, sometimes leads to disaster,:D but it is all part of the fun. For this I have Notations 2 By "Magix" this actually was the first notational program I bought along with the computer way back in 2004. A semi notational, but mainly a sequencer, which came with my midi keyboard, "sound Studio II" by Evolution, (now bought out by "M Audio"), and more recently "Band in a Box". Then there is the free stuff, Anvil Studio, and "Music Studio Producer". The former is a simple midi notational thing, but handy for the odd midi file change, whereas the latter is a quite formiddable midi sequencer that I haven't even learned to use yet. I also aquired a wierd self composing thing called "The Quasi Fractal Composer" You set various parrameters, click the start button and it composes some very strange chamber music sounding stuff. Very odd thing, but again fun to play with.
    I personally get a great deal of satisfaction, not to mention learning what can be done, against what turns out B** Awefull and disharmonic, from just experimenting with music in all its forms.
  10. nadband

    nadband Member

    I use Mozart by Dave Webber in Warrington. Now at version 9 with 10 in development it handles all my needs for wind band easily and has a lot of powerful features found in the other top end programmes for a lot less money. The current version starts at £93 and you get a big discount on the upgrade. Its straight forward and simple to use which is my main criteria.
  11. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    Haven't heard of that one, is there a demo?
  12. nadband

    nadband Member

    Yep, and on its a demo of the programme. Give it a go, and there's a great user forum on yahoo who are really helpful with sorting out any issues with Dave a leading figure. And I'm happy to try and help as well!
  13. michellegarbutt

    michellegarbutt Supporting Member

    can anyone recomend a free programme. I've been moved onto percussion for our next contest and i have loads of crossings out and additions on my part where we swapped bits between the diffrent percussionists. I was going to write a new part out by hand but I'd rather have a reasonably clear printed part
  14. nadband

    nadband Member

    Try Finale Notepad maybe for that then, that's the only really decent freebie for windows. Now if you were on linux it's another story...
  15. Cornet Nev.

    Cornet Nev. Member

    Note pad is a great entry to Finale, however it does have some drawbacks in stuff that isn't there that is in even the low priced "Print music by Finale" However for simple note entry or midi by midi keyboard Notepad is OK.
    You can get the free download from here-
    Or if you want the CD, it does cost a bit for it and delivery.
  16. David Mann

    David Mann Member

    I've been using PrintMusic by Finale and it works pretty well but has some frustrating limitations - can't put repeats anywhere but the end of of a bar for example.
    Should probably get Sibelius but so far haven't stumped up the cash. Where are the best deals?
  17. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    MakeMusic offers trade-up deals from PrintMusic to the full version of Finale; I would expect that would be cheaper than buying Sibelius. Plus, the learning curve would be less steep, since you'd already be familiar with the basic operation ...
  18. Cornet Nev.

    Cornet Nev. Member

    Just seen this, for that is the way I went, from print music to the full version. It is a cheaper rout than going into Sibelius, even if you get the student version (providing you can show you are a student) Besides the fact that Sibelius works entirely differently to Finale, and would make one very large learning curve for you to find you don't like Sibelius anyway.:D I much prefer Finale for the note entry system, much more superior and easier to handle.
  19. kp51

    kp51 Member

    If you have programming experience, or have a tame nerd to help out, Lilypond ( is absolutely free. I only want to write out the odd part (e.g. separating divisi lines where the idiot publishers print two parts right on top of each other so you can't read either), so no way am I spending more than £10 for something that does more than I need. Lilypond is challenging to start with, but it's comprehensive and produces very high quality results as PDF files. I used to use Finale Notepad, but found it fiddly and finger-straining trying to re-edit what was already entered. Tried Mozart free sample, and it's quite a usable program, but more than I want to spend. I think Mozart also allows for the fact that just because you play bass doesn't mean you always want bass clef.
  20. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    Ok, I'll say it if nobody else will! Depending on your moral point of view and how much you value the copyright of these big multinational corporations, it is possible to procure a copy of Sibelius or Finale very cheaply from a dodgy bloke on ebay or even for free from one of these bit-torrent type sites.

    I do not condone this in any way, but I simply mention this as I've lost count of the amount of students who have a 'chipped' version of the software. Copies were flying round at a University I used to teach at without any thought of the legality.

    The other options have been discussed at length. There is a discussion of Lilypond elsewhere and many found it difficult to use and very time-consuming. I don't know much about Mozart but I've looked at the site and it looks very basic and amateurish. The only two programmes to use are Sib and Finale as they have become the industry standard.

    I simply mention this as I don't think anybody else has been brave enough to tell the truth! I stress that I do not condone this action, but it does go on.

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