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how dynamics really works?

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how dynamics really works?

Postby jurek » Mon Apr 12, 2010 5:23 am


could someone explain it to me? why "pppp" on the lower part of the piano still plays like "mf"?

i have opened midi file from sibelius but cleared all velocities. unfortunatelly the dynamics is not relevant to the symbols i have put in my score.

thnx in advance

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Re: how dynamics really works?

Postby Unfinished » Mon Apr 12, 2010 8:44 am

Am I right in thinking that you have taken a score from Sibelius, turned it into midi and then imported it into Notion to find that the dynamics have not been correctly interpreted? I have a feeling that Notion thinks Sibelius's pppp is mf either because Sibelius's dynamics are not very flexible and so Notion thinks it's all mf or something or maybe it's because Sibelius doesn't do pppp? ... For now you will just need to correct these things but I'm sure Notion might be able to make the import work even smoother. The issue could be with the way Sibelius exports to midi, I'm not really sure.
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Re: how dynamics really works?

Postby jurek » Mon Apr 12, 2010 9:00 am

finally i had to re-write even every single bar after importing midi file made by sibelius... does not work at all or maybe i don't know the better way to set it up.

anyway after my all changes (i have reset the velocities) PPPP doesn not sounds as quite as should be. that's the problem.

also... how the "crescendo" shoud work?

this is the question for example: should i make real crescendo by recording the Volume controller?


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Re: how dynamics really works?

Postby thorrild » Mon Apr 12, 2010 9:04 am

Could also be something unrelated to the world of Sibelius and imported MIDI:

In piano grand staff, I often have to enter extra dynamics, which I then hide from view, in order make playback behave correctly. A single dynamic between the two staves will sometimes (but not always) -

- disregard voice 2 (or 1, depending on situation)
- only affect upper staff (or lower, depending on situation)
- only adjust velocity if placed above the staff (or below, depending on situation)

The same applies to items like cresc. and dim. (hairpins), and I even came across a trill that wouldn't execute no matter where I put the "tr." mark.

I don't know the technical details concerning this, and the user guide doesn't give hints in the "for best results" department, but it certainly couldn't hurt if someone from Notion could enlighten me and give some pointers on what to do/not to do when placing dynamics on a grand staff.

Best wishes,
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Re: how dynamics really works?

Postby Cerb » Mon Apr 12, 2010 2:16 pm

Hi jurek

From my experience Midi import, and real-time midi import as well, have been extremely disappointing.
I hope the devs still work on the subject.

For the dynamics, you can find the velocity settings in the prules files, and can even edit it if needed.
Everything is explained in the tutorials you'll find here under "custom playback rules".

In order to make a crescendo work, you can use "cresc." our hairpins. You have to bound it with dynamics, otherwise you'ill only have 1 dynamic amplitude.
However I've noticed that crescendo don't work with notion3 instruments (violins at least), and I have no idea why.
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Re: how dynamics really works?

Postby David Smith » Mon Apr 19, 2010 12:59 am

Two comments on this.
Re: dynamics. There are some issues with dynamics that I've reported to N. What I most frequently encounter is that a part won't respond to a dynamic or a hairpin. What I've found (as thorrid indicates) is that often, the solution is add the dynamic above the note instead of below it. This occurs in different files and different instruments; oddly, it may work correctly (below) in the beginning of a part, then stop working in the middle, requiring entry above.

Re: import/export of midi for scores. For what it's worth, I have found this to be a problem in every program I've tried it in. Usually the notes are ok, give or take an octave. However, part names, dynamics, text, rhythms, note durations (stac/leg) are another matter. I've tried various combinations with Notion, Logic, Sibelius, Finale and others. I've occasionally had very limited success--usually I end up re-entering. Someday, I hope to be able to copy/paste notes on a staff between programs. But getting scores to understand each other (from different companies) is more difficult than getting synthesizers to understand each other's MIDI stream.
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Re: how dynamics really works?

Postby composer » Mon Apr 19, 2010 5:39 am

In a nutshell--dynamics don't work well(if at all) in N3. This has been an issue since its release and the main reason why I won't use Notion 3.
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Re: how dynamics really works?

Postby Cerb » Mon Apr 19, 2010 10:07 am


I agree with the fact that midi import is a main issue in many software.

However, Notion is well below Finale in my opinion (I don't have any experience of Sibelius), since it mixes several voices a bit at random from my point of view. I was able to enter precisely the notes I wanted with real-time recording in Finale at first try, while notion made an incredible mess of my entry. I agree that I have to refine some of the input, but not for an integral re-entry.

Let's first make midi import of a single voice work satisafactorily, thern we'll see about additional voices...
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