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Pre-sales Functionality Questions

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Pre-sales Functionality Questions

Postby ebmusicman » Wed Apr 10, 2013 7:42 pm

I'm looking at Notion 4 and had some basic functionality questions. I've looked over the videos and the relevant sections of the manual, but couldn't find defintie answers. Today, I'm using a combination of MuseScore and GuitarPro, and I'm hoping that Notion will be an all-in-one for my needs.

1. When you transpose a score, do the chords also transpose or do you have to change those manually?

2. Does Notion provide any option for adjusting line height or text before/after spacing, especially for section headers?

3. Is there any way to hide staff lines? I occasionally create charts with bar lines and rhythm slashes in which the staff lines aren't needed.

4. Are there options for alternate ways for displaying the names of chords, such as the delta symbol +7 instead of Maj7?

5. Regarding TAB entry workflow, when you finish entering a number on a TAB line, can you simply press the keyboard right arrow to move to the next note (or up/down for the next string), or does it require mouse clicks?

I'd love to see a demo sometime soon (or even reissuing a demo of version 3), which would probably answer most of my questions.

Thanks!
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Re: Pre-sales Functionality Questions

Postby ebmusicman » Sun Apr 14, 2013 12:22 am

Anyone? I'm very interested in Notion, but it is just difficult to find out basic stuff like this with no available demo.
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Re: Pre-sales Functionality Questions

Postby Surfwhammy » Sun Apr 14, 2013 5:45 am

ebmusicman wrote:I'm looking at Notion 4 and had some basic functionality questions. I've looked over the videos and the relevant sections of the manual, but couldn't find defintie answers. Today, I'm using a combination of MuseScore and GuitarPro, and I'm hoping that Notion will be an all-in-one for my needs.


My primary instruments are electric bass and electric guitar, but I also do a bit of keyboard work, although generally when I am in a trance and am able to get in touch with my inner idiot savant, but so what . . .

So what!

When I first decided to do something with music notation, I tried MuseScore, and it was interesting, but mostly in the sense of being a motivator for discovering the IK Multimedia virtual instruments, which in turn led to getting an email from IK Multimedia about NOTION SLE for Miroslav Philharmonik, which I got, and then a few weeks later I upgraded to NOTION 3, because by that time I realized that I could use more than just Miroslav Philharmonik if I got the full version, which at the time was NOTION 3 . . .

I have never used GuitarPro, but I use the guitar tab and staff for the NOTION 4 basses and guitars, and after a bit of experimenting I was able to get the NOTION 4 bundled Electric Guitar to sound like a lap steel guitar, as heard in this prototype for a Country Western song I am developing, which for reference needs a bit of work on the vocals, since this is the first song I have done with bass and baritone notes, which are not so easy to sing, but I am practicing on the deep bass singing and will get it perfected sooner or later . . .

[NOTE: Some of the deep bass singing sounds fine, but there are some bad notes, and the timing of Country Western singing also is a bit strange, but I am listening to Hank Williams songs and working on the nasal Southern drawl aspect, where the technique appears to be to hold the first part of a word for a long time. And all the instruments are done with music notation in NOTION 4, which includes the bass guitar, rhythm guitar, lead guitar, and lap steel guitar . . . ]

"It Was Only A Dream" (The Surf Whammys) -- MP3

The key to doing complete songs is to use a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) application in conjunction with NOTION 4, and on the Mac I recommend Logic Pro 9 (Apple) and Digital Performer 8 (MOTU), where Digital Performer 8 is my "go to" DAW application . . .

And you can use Reason (Propellerhead Software) and its Rack Extensions along with NOTION 4 and Digital Performer 8, where a NOTION 4 External MIDI staff can provide the notes to control and play Reason synthesizers, which is a bit beyond mind-boggling in terms of the underlying technologies . . .

ReWire (Propellerhead Software) is used to communicate between Digital Performer, NOTION, and Reason, and you also can record real instruments and singing, which basically maps to being to do everything on the Mac, and I think this also is the case for Windows users, although the DAW application will be different (at least until MOTU gets the Windows version of Digital Performer working and releases it) . . .

If your primary goal is to compose, record, mix, and master songs, then the fact is that nothing beats NOTION 4 and its specific functionality and interoperability, as well as ease of use and focus, which is very important . . .

NOTION 4 also has special features and functionality for use in live performances, and this also is an unique aspect of NOTION . . .

I do not print music notation scores, but I occasionally make a PDF of a score, and NOTION 4 does what I need it to do, but if you have advanced printing needs, then it makes a bit of sense to do most of the work in NOTION 4 but to export the score as MusicXML and then import it to Sibelus 7, which has advanced printing capabilities, but the practical perspective is that the only people who actually need advanced printing capabilities probably have doctorates in Music or something, because as best as I can determine the stuff the think is important is so far out there in terms of playing skill that only formally trained musicians can read it, let alone have any hopes of being able to play it, which is fine with me, because there are folks who can make sense of all that stuff . . .

My strategy in such situations, which only happens with electric bass and electric guitar is to play the music myself on real instruments, because I can do things on the real instruments that would take forever to write in music notation, if there is any music notation for it that is practical to use, and for everything else I keep it as simple as possible and generally avoid using any notated articulations, in part because for the genres I prefer, everything is "pumped", which makes dynamic articulations a bit frivolous . . .

ebmusicman wrote:1. When you transpose a score, do the chords also transpose or do you have to change those manually?


Yes!

ebmusicman wrote:2. Does Notion provide any option for adjusting line height or text before/after spacing, especially for section headers?


There are text formatting capabilities, but more in terms of typeface selection, which basically maps to fonts, where as you might know a "font" is a specific instance of a typeface or "type family", with an example of a "font" being 12-pt Times Roman Bold Italic, which is an entirely different "font" from 11-pt Times Roman Italic . . .

You can insert Text fields in quite a few places on a score, and there are special text fields for Lyrics that follow a set of rules that make it easy to enter syllabic lyrics, but melismatic lyrics require a bit of work, where the difference is that "syllabic" lyrics have a single note for each syllable, while "melismatic" lyrics spread a syllable or word over several notes . . .

ebmusicman wrote:3. Is there any way to hide staff lines? I occasionally create charts with bar lines and rhythm slashes in which the staff lines aren't needed.


You can hide staves, and there are several different types of staves, which includes grand staves like for piano where there is a treble staff and a bass staff; single-line drumkit and percussion style staves; and so forth and so on, as well as a combined treble staff and guitar tab, which looks like a grand staff except the bass part is a guitar tab . . .

And there are quite a few different styles of notes, which includes for the gutar tab the ability to input regular style individual notes but then to change them to rhythm slashes, which is the way you play predefined chord symbols and is vastly awesome . . .

ebmusicman wrote:4. Are there options for alternate ways for displaying the names of chords, such as the delta symbol +7 instead of Maj7?


As best as I can determine, probably not, but there is a guitar fretboard and a bass fretboard that you can use to input individual notes and chords, which is very powerful and is a quick way to enter guitar and bass parts once you develop a system and understand how the fretboard input method works. Currently, if you enter the notes for a chord and then press the Return key, the notes are put on the treble staff and the guitar tab, where the guitar tab uses tab notation, but the chord does not stay on the fretboard, so the easy way is to enter the chord one time and then later to copy and paste it where you need it, as contrasted to entering the notes for the chord over and over, and you can change the duration of notes after the fact, so I use quarter notes to get the notes for each chord input one time, and then I switch to copying and pasting, which is a two-step or three-step process, but it is quicker and much easier . . .

~~~ Continued in the next post ~~~
Last edited by Surfwhammy on Sun Apr 14, 2013 5:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Pre-sales Functionality Questions

Postby Surfwhammy » Sun Apr 14, 2013 5:48 am

~~~ Continued from previous post ~~~

ebmusicman wrote:5. Regarding TAB entry workflow, when you finish entering a number on a TAB line, can you simply press the keyboard right arrow to move to the next note (or up/down for the next string), or does it require mouse clicks?


As best as I can determine, you do not enter numbers on the guitar tab. Instead you enter notes on the associated treble staff and then guitar tab numbers are done automagically. You also can enter the notes directly using a visual guitar or bass fretboard, which is easier for some types of phrases and chord . . .

And there are chord symbols that you can use, as well, but they are somewhat limited in the number of variations of different ways to play specific chords, which is fine with me, since if there is no existing predefined chord symbol, I just switch to entering the notes on the fretboard, which is nice because I play a lot of chords for which I have not idea what they are called or anything else other than they sound good and I like them . . .

[NOTE: This is the way I do chord charts, and it works for me. It is the chord chart for the following rhythm guitar and kick drum section (MP3), and it is played on a real guitar, where the interesting aspect is that most of the chords are played with 1 or 2 fingers, so once you learn how to do it, you can play for real but it looks as if you are not playing, which is an amusing illusion that Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top) has a lot of FUN doing, where you know he is playing but if you watch his fretboard hand it does not look like his fingers are moving . . . ]

Image

"So What" (The Surf Whammys) -- Kick Drum and Rhythm Guitar -- MP3

And these are complete songs that were done primarily with NOTION 3 and IK Multimedia virtual instruments, but "Feel Me" has a real lead guitar doing the glissandi and whammying in a style similar to the start of "Pipeline" (The Chantays) and some of the bits from "The Peter Gunn Theme" (Henry Mancini), which is fabulous . . .

"I'm Going Goo-Goo Over Ga-Ga" (The Surf Whammys) -- YouTube music video

"Feel Me" (The Surf Whammys) -- YouTube music video

Fabulous! :)

P. S. This is based on what I know about NOTION 4, and I think that most of it is accurate, but some of the things you want to do are not things that I do, so I answered based on what I know or recall from other posts to this FORUM . . .

The electronic download version of NOTION 4 costs $99 (US), and if you are doing songs like the ones being played on the radio, getting NOTION 4 is a very smart thing to do, because as I explained earlier you can do everything with the combination of a full-featured DAW application, NOTION 4, Reason, and some real instruments and singers, along with some virtual instruments and sampled sound libraries like MachFive 3 (MOTU), Kontakt 5 (Native Instruments), Addictive Drums and Addictive Keys (XLN Audio), Cyclop (Sugar Bytes), and some effects plug-ins and signal processors like T-RackS CS Grand (IK Multimedia), which includes CSR Classik Studio Reverb, and ProC, Saturn, and Timeless 2 (FabFilter Software Instruments) for doing "ducking", analog magnetic tape and vacuum-tube saturation, and advanced echoes, respectively. It also is good to get the Melodyne Editor (Celemony), which is used for pitch correction, custom echoes, and harmonies, but does other advanced stuff, too . . .

P. P. S. This is one of the video tutorials I did to demonstrate working simultaneously with Digital Performer 8, NOTION 4, and Reason 6.5, where Digital Performer 8 is the ReWIre 2 host controller and both NOTION 4 and Reason 6.5 are ReWire 2 slaves, but at the same time NOTION 4 is controlling and playing two of the Reason 6.5 synthesizers . . .

Digital Performer 8, NOTION 4, Reason 6.5, MIDI, and ReWire 2 on a Mac Pro running Mac OS X 10.8.3 (Mountain Lion) -- QuickTime Movie -- MOV (63.7MB, approximately 14 minutes and 45 seconds)

Lots of FUN! :D
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Re: Pre-sales Functionality Questions

Postby ebmusicman » Sun Apr 14, 2013 5:09 pm

Thanks! That was very helpful. Not all the features I want, but it sounds like it will make life much easier.

Just to confirm, if you have a lead sheet (melody in the staff and chord names above the staff), when you transpose the score, say, up a 5th, the chord name "C" above the staff would change to "G"? I know that sounds silly and basic, but this is something I can't do today--and I need to do a lot of it.

Also, two things regarding the attached pdf example (done in GuitarPro 6):
1. Notice how crowded/close the section headers are to the chord name. Is Notion cleaner than this? The examples on their site don't have any with chords.

2. This is what I was referring to about hiding staff lines. Is that possible?

Thanks again!
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Re: Pre-sales Functionality Questions

Postby Surfwhammy » Sun Apr 14, 2013 8:01 pm

ebmusicman wrote:Thanks! That was very helpful. Not all the features I want, but it sounds like it will make life much easier.

Just to confirm, if you have a lead sheet (melody in the staff and chord names above the staff), when you transpose the score, say, up a 5th, the chord name "C" above the staff would change to "G"? I know that sounds silly and basic, but this is something I can't do today--and I need to do a lot of it.

Also, two things regarding the attached pdf example (done in GuitarPro 6):
1. Notice how crowded/close the section headers are to the chord name. Is Notion cleaner than this? The examples on their site don't have any with chords.

2. This is what I was referring to about hiding staff lines. Is that possible?

Thanks again!


Glad to help! :)

This is a screen capture of four chords after they were transposed upward by a fifth in the same octave chromatically. The original chords were A, F#m, D, and E7 . . .

[NOTE: The chords also are shown as notes at the start, and they were input via the fretboard one time for each chord, followed by copying and pasting the chords to fill each measure . . . ]

Image

As best as I can determine at present, you have to enter notes on the treble clef to get rhythm slashes, which is the reason for the numbers in the guitar tab below the treble staff, but the numbered notes on the guitar tab are not played. Instead the chords are strummed via the rhythm slashes. If you add lyrics, the vertical distance between staves adjusts but you can fine tune it by specifying how much vertical space to use . . .

You can set the vertical spacing between staffs, and it looks nice when printed . . .

If you only know treble clef proficiently, you can make everything a treble clef and work with the notes as if they were soprano, but you can tell the staff to play the notes higher or lower, and at various intervals

NOTION4 does most of what you want to do, and it does additional things, as well! :)
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