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Note entry - can't have note and accidental?

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Note entry - can't have note and accidental?

Postby fandango » Thu Oct 15, 2009 3:51 pm

I've read through the manual now, cover to cover, so apologies if I'm missing the obvious! :oops:

I notice that the Music Cursor can give you a note AND, say, a tuplet at the same time. You select the note, then press Alt-3, etc. Your cursor becomes the note with the little tuplet symbol above it.

I find it rather odd you can't have a note AND an accidental at the same time? You have to drop the note, select an accidental, then click on the note you've just drawn?

Makes auditioning a melody as you write it slightly awkward?
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Re: Note entry - can't have note and accidental?

Postby dgriffee » Fri Oct 16, 2009 1:52 am

yah, that bugs me too. I can add a "dot" to the rhythmic note value while it is still floating and then place the note on the staff, so wouldn't it make sense to handle the addition of sharps/flats just as conveniently _before_ the note gets written? Maybe with like a modifier key or something like shift+click for sharps and alt+click for flats, or whatever if some other way makes more sense. Hearing the wrong pitch is very distracting, but hearing the desired pitch is so helpful I don't want to just turn echo off.
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Re: Note entry - can't have note and accidental?

Postby Novatlan » Fri Oct 16, 2009 3:29 am

Me, too.
I know every application wants to set itself apart from all others, but in this case it could be good to adopt the scheme used by Sibelius:
- Choose note value, accidentals, etc. on the keypad
- make ties with the Enter key on the numpad
- make slurs by pressing s before entering the second note under the slur
- enharmonic respelling by selecting a note and pressing enter on the keypad.

Furthermore, it would be just great to delete and reenter notes like in a text editor (or Sibelius):
When a pitch is wrong, press backspace. The note is deleted and the cursur moves back to where it was before.
In Notion I have to manually move the cursor back to the first beat of the bar and reenter the whole bar :(

I really like the concept of Notion, but I find note input incredibly difficult and non-intuitive.
Maybe you could at least include a "Sibelius" keyset, where Sib-users could continue to use the keypad for note input?
Do not care for critics. Noone ever raised a statue to a critic (Jean Sibelius)
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Re: Note entry - can't have note and accidental?

Postby Treppenwitz » Fri Oct 16, 2009 12:06 pm

I've got one better:

Make the note commit only on the Mouse ButtonUp event. While in note entry mode, Mouse ButtonDown would audition the note you clicked initially, but you could drag that note--prior to releasing the button--up or down the staff to audition chromatically up or down the staff over the entire range of the instrument. Drag up would give you sharp notes. Drag down would give you enharmonic flats (perhaps configurable in options to be diatonic or chromatic). Mouse ButtonUp would then commit the note.

Novatlan wrote:...
Furthermore, it would be just great to delete and reenter notes like in a text editor (or Sibelius):
When a pitch is wrong, press backspace. The note is deleted and the cursur moves back to where it was before.
In Notion I have to manually move the cursor back to the first beat of the bar and reenter the whole bar :(

I really like the concept of Notion, but I find note input incredibly difficult and non-intuitive.
...


Yes!!! I totally agree here. Glad it's not just me. So far no notation program provides intuitive input capability. I would love for Notion to improve their note entry/editing and beat the competition. Every notation program I've tried succeeds intuitively with some workflow methods, but fails pretty badly with others.

Why, oh why can't a notation program borrow the input and editing metaphors from text editing, a domain which most people already know? It seems so obvious to me that you should be able to click & drag notes left/right, Backspace to delete-left, Delete to delete-right, End & Home to navigate a line of the score, Ctrl+End & Ctrl+Home to navigate the score, Ctrl+Shift+Arrow to select adjacently, etc. (yes, I know these are mostly windows command sets, but they are widely understood.)

How about it? In fact, I'm going to run off now and enter a feature request.
Libraries: EWQLSO Platinum Plus || Voices of Passion || Goliath || StormDrum2 || Garritan JABB
Computer: Vista x64 || RAM: 8GB || HDD: 4 x 500GB Seagate || Sound Card: Emu-1820
Keyboard: Kurzweil MIDIBoard
Software: Sonar 8PE, Audition 3, Notion3, Sibelius 6, NI Komplete 5
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Re: Note entry - can't have note and accidental?

Postby Novatlan » Fri Oct 16, 2009 1:01 pm

Likewise I am glad that _I_ am not the only one :)
Sibelius at least uses backspace for deleting previous notes, which is a start.
Treppenwitz, your idea of ButtonUp-events is really great, I think that would speed up note input tremendously.

On a similar note (pun intended):
I don't understand why companies do not use the brains of their customers. The threads I have read in this forum contain lots of suggestions, with some people having pretty firm ideas of how they think Notion could be improved. All these people are more than willing to share their ideas with Notion and would love to see them included in the product.
I can't speak for others here, but I personally have sent countless letters with very, very detailed suggestions on how to improve products to companies from all areas of the music business. In all of them I offered further talks if the company wished to. Not a single one took on the offer. One even was located in the same city where I live!
Again, this is just me, but I'd be more than willing to, say, grab a plane to wherever and present a company with a never ending list of suggestions, along with schematics how to incorporate them and how to make the application even better. Using a low-fares airline like Ryanair, this (if they'd sponsor me dinner) would set the company back maybe sixty or seventy bucks (in the case of Notion even less). If I tell them great things they can use the time saved for making the app better. If I tell them rubbish, they only lost like a few bucks.
I only know Notion for a very, very, very short time, but I suppose there are at least one or two people who have regularly sent Notion suggestions and who would gladly accept an invitation to Notion HQ - all this for a Ryanair ticket, a warm meal and a thank you - and tell the folks at Notion about their dream of a perfect notation software.
I sure would.

Maybe Notion does this, I don't know. If yes: Congratulations. If not: Please think about it. What better than free thinktanks?
You could even do a contest: "Write us three pages of suggestions to Notion 3. The 5 submissions we like best get to visit Notion HQ to share their ideas with us. You even get free Fish&Chips".

Just my two cents :)
Do not care for critics. Noone ever raised a statue to a critic (Jean Sibelius)
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Re: Note entry - can't have note and accidental?

Postby Unfinished » Fri Oct 16, 2009 4:13 pm

Novatlan wrote:I know every application wants to set itself apart from all others, but in this case it could be good to adopt the scheme used by Sibelius:
- Choose note value, accidentals, etc. on the keypad
- make ties with the Enter key on the numpad
- make slurs by pressing s before entering the second note under the slur
- enharmonic respelling by selecting a note and pressing enter on the keypad.

...

Maybe you could at least include a "Sibelius" keyset, where Sib-users could continue to use the keypad for note input?


I think the default settings for accidentals, slurs and ties are very good as they are (although I preferred Notion 2's tie and slur icons as oppose to Notion 3's 'TIE' and 'SLUR' because it's easier to figure out where the cursor is actually pointing - it's not clear with the word SLUR in place of the cursor and trying to place it on the right semiquaver).

Having the same scheme used on Sibelius is pretty inconvenient because you are having to take your hand off the mouse or move the other hand from its place generally on the left side of the keyboard (the computer one, that is), which sounds very lazy but I think the way Notion does it is much better. The only thing Notion might be missing in this department is a little panel of the most commonly used things.

I agree with pretty much everything else here.
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Re: Note entry - can't have note and accidental?

Postby Treppenwitz » Fri Oct 16, 2009 5:12 pm

...
Having the same scheme used on Sibelius is pretty inconvenient because you are having to take your hand off the mouse or move the other hand from its place generally on the left side of the keyboard (the computer one, that is), which sounds very lazy but I think the way Notion does it is much better. The only thing Notion might be missing in this department is a little panel of the most commonly used things.
...


In fact that drives me nuts in Sibelius as well, though I've gotten used to mousing with my left hand so that I can control the keypad with my right.

I agree that anything Notion can do to eliminate jumping back and forth from MIDI keyboard to mouse to computer keyboard is worth investing in. The one place where Notion could potentially excel and outstrip the competition is further developing the workflow to be a top class composition tool. Never mind new features for the next release--just really nail the workflow. In fact a well-designed (accessible) program will allow you to do everything with only a mouse and do everything with only a computer keyboard. For the mouse, I'd suggest a vastly increased implementation of Right+click context menus. For the keyboard, take on the navigation and editing metaphors from common word processing programs or text editors. People who use those can usually zip around pretty fast with only a computer keyboard. Those same keyboard commands should just transfer to Notion.
Libraries: EWQLSO Platinum Plus || Voices of Passion || Goliath || StormDrum2 || Garritan JABB
Computer: Vista x64 || RAM: 8GB || HDD: 4 x 500GB Seagate || Sound Card: Emu-1820
Keyboard: Kurzweil MIDIBoard
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Re: Note entry - can't have note and accidental?

Postby Novatlan » Sat Oct 17, 2009 4:13 am

I never found the keypad input on Sibelius inconvenient, on the contrary.
Usually, when writing in Sibelius I don't touch the mouse at all, because Sibelius is intended to be used solely by keystrokes.

Maybe I will just need more time to adjust to Notion, but nevertheless a few things I would like tremendously:

- Enter ties, slurs, accidentals, articulations etc without having to leave edit mode: Example in Sibelius: numpad 4 gives you a quarter note, numpad comma gives you a dot, D then inputs a dotted D on the staff. Enter makes a tie to the next note. And so on.
- Backspace should delete last input and moves the input cursor back
- left/right arrow selects notes

Additionally I think the Sibelius input is faster because the keystrokes are easier. A slur is just "S", not "Cmd-S". Press D and press Space to make the slur go one note further, Shift-Space to have it go one note back. Very easy to remember.

Another thing making note input very easy in Sibelius are pre-filled bars. All bars have a pause in them, so if in Sibelius I have an instrument beginning on count 3, I only have to select the whole pause and press numpad 4 (which converts the whole pause into as many quarter pauses as fit in the bar), press arrow right to move to the third beat and start inputting notes. 1 mouse click, 2 keystrokes.
See http://www.novatlan-sound.de/2.jpg
In Notion I have to move the playback line to the 1st beat, enter two quarter pauses (2 keystrokes on q and a click each) and then place my notes. Many more clicks and keystrokes.

When having, say 10 pause bars it gets even more pronounced:
Sibelius: No clicks, no keystrokes because all bars not containing notes do contain pauses by default.
Notion: You have to enter the pauses manually. 20 keystrokes and 10 mouse clicks. How can I input pauses without using the mouse?
Wouldn't it make sense to have pauses by default? After all, if there are no notes to play for an instrument, it has pauses, at least I do it this way. Or do you leave thoese bars completely empty? In the demo songs they are filled with pauses, as I am used to.

Navigating inside the score is very difficult, too. I like having the area in which I am writing in the middle of the screen. In Sibelius, I can just drag the whole score paper around - in Notion this does not seem to be possible. In very large scores, I have to grab the scrollbars with the mouse, because I cannot use a mouse wheel. A score like http://www.novatlan-sound.de/1.jpg or the "Awakening Notions" demo score is incredibly clumsy to navigate inside if you are not able to drag the score around.
So the score is always on the very left of my screen while I would like it to be in the middle or even on the right in the case of i.e. lead sheets: http://www.novatlan-sound.de/3.jpg
Do not care for critics. Noone ever raised a statue to a critic (Jean Sibelius)
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www.demo.novatlan-sound.de
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Re: Note entry - can't have note and accidental?

Postby Unfinished » Sat Oct 17, 2009 6:04 am

Entering rests en masse:
Select the bars you want rests in, click Tools > Fill With Rests.

Scrolling up/down:
Use mouse wheel,
or
Page Up and Page Down buttons.

I think the greatest things that Notion 3 is lacking are:
Using the right and left arrow keys to jump to the next/previous note/rest from the selected one,
Being able to easily navigate the score horizontally,
and
Auditioning the notes automatically whenever they are selected (but only playing for about 0.4 seconds).


I think Notion is a great product and even though the workflow and ease of note input could be improved, it shouldn't just copy Sibelius. It just needs to find a way to be able to input notes as quickly and effectively using the computer keyboard as possible.
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Re: Note entry - can't have note and accidental?

Postby Novatlan » Sat Oct 17, 2009 6:35 am

Thanks, unfinished.
Ok, that speeds up inputting rests a bit. But nevertheless, it is more work than in Sibelius and unneccessary work at that, because at the end you _need_ to fill all empty bars with rests anyway, so why not right from the start.

As for navigation: As I have written I cannot use a mouse wheel. Horizontally navigating remains difficult then as you said :(

Notion in no way should copy Sibelius! Just the good parts. I think note input is one of the best parts of Sibelius. Everything uses much less keystrokes and you can do everything without the mouse.
Do not care for critics. Noone ever raised a statue to a critic (Jean Sibelius)
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