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Back from the land of Sibelius 5 and Finale 2009

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Back from the land of Sibelius 5 and Finale 2009

Postby dcoscina » Fri Jun 19, 2009 6:05 pm

So I got it into my head that Sibelius 5 and Finale 2009 offered more features to better composer orchestral music. What I found was the following:

1. Both ARE very deep programs with lots of fantastic scoring features
2. Both have varying levels of learning curves. Each interface has its own pros and cons
3. Both are able to use VSTs like EWQLSO and VSL whose libraries are stunningly real for playback
4. Both are further ahead of NOTION when it comes to printing options and general score parameters
5. Both left me dazed, confused, frustrated and not having written much of anything of worth!!!!

I do hope NOTION 3 closes the gap especially when it comes to printing out one's score and moving things around for aesthetics purposes but as a compositional device, it still allows me to write music faster and more clearly than those other two. I desperately tried to get both Sibelius and Finale to worth with my bigger libraries in the hope to get a realistic sound but I found that there was no easy way to set things up and worse, the memory demands of those libraries was so taxing a large orchestral section brought my Mac Pro to its knees. A BLOODY MAC PRO for crying out loud!!!! What the heck???? (FYI- it's because both program is very limited as a VST host).

If I wanted to resort to the built in sounds from either, I had to live with Garritan's sounds which IMO sound AWFUL. I'm sorry, really but I will take NOTION's built-in sounds ANY DAY over Garritan, especially the brass which at least DO react to dynamics changes and gets brassier and louder! So, like the prodigal son (not the Prokofiev piece although that is lovely), I have returned to NOTION in the hope that I can actually compose rather than futz around with settings, sounds and all that nonsense all day long.....

p.s. I hope NOTION 3 is not going to be a huge expense to us NOTION 2.2 owners. Free would be even better. I'm sickened by the rates that Sibelius and Finale charge their users for upgrades. $170 for Sibelius 5 to 6. $99 for Finale 2009 to 2010 (those guys have quite the racket- having a chargeable upgrade every bloody year?? Who do they think they are, Cakewalk?

Sorry for the rant. I love NOTION.. 8-)
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Re: Back from the land of Sibelius 5 and Finale 2009

Postby Admin » Tue Jun 23, 2009 9:00 am

Glad you're on board! Sorry to be brief, but without specifics I can tell you that you'll be very pleased with nearly everything you (and nearly everything that has been brought up in the "NOTION3 wish list" thread) mentioned. NOTION3 is going to make some serious waves IMO...specifically for the folks who want to WRITE and SHARE music!

Details to come (very) soon :D
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Re: Back from the land of Sibelius 5 and Finale 20

Postby dcoscina » Tue Jun 23, 2009 9:12 am

kylepoehling wrote:Glad you're on board! Sorry to be brief, but without specifics I can tell you that you'll be very pleased with nearly everything you (and nearly everything that has been brought up in the "NOTION3 wish list" thread) mentioned. NOTION3 is going to make some serious waves IMO...specifically for the folks who want to WRITE and SHARE music!

Details to come (very) soon :D


Kyle, you're killing me! I CANNOT WAIT. Okay, I sort of can but I was wondering if NOTION will also be able to be used for film scoring the way Sibelius has integrated several features.

Also, I know this is probably putting the cart before the horse but is NOTION 3 going to be a paid upgrade or will it be free to us longtime users? If it is a cost, will it be nominal? As you may already know, I am a devout fan and have all of the expansion packs so, if need be, I would pay for the upgrade (although I hope it's not a steep as Sibelius 5 to 6 upgrade which is close to $200 Canadian- that IMO is robbery!).

Thanks for getting back to me though. Your company is awesome- and I say that with experience- I have spoken to a few employees over the years and everyone is friendly and helpful.

David
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Re: Back from the land of Sibelius 5 and Finale 20

Postby Unfinished » Tue Jun 23, 2009 10:48 am

Going on what's been said in this forum it sounds like it'd easily be worth paying for the upgrade... but would Notion 3 need a better computer to run on than Notion 2? I think another small thing about Sibelius is that you can have different fonts. I've only ever rarely used it but it's quite nice having a jazzy/hand-done score or a different style to suit your composition.
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Re: Back from the land of Sibelius 5 and Finale 20

Postby dcoscina » Tue Jun 23, 2009 10:52 am

Unfinished wrote:Going on what's been said in this forum it sounds like it'd easily be worth paying for the upgrade... but would Notion 3 need a better computer to run on than Notion 2? I think another small thing about Sibelius is that you can have different fonts. I've only ever rarely used it but it's quite nice having a jazzy/hand-done score or a different style to suit your composition.


yeah, Sibelius is also a pig on the CPU when using VSTs. It brings my Mac Pro to a standstill when using EWQLSO. C'mon, that's ridiculous! I'm not pursuing further upgrades for either Finale nor Sibelius because, as composing software, I find them too demanding and not intuitive at all. With NOTION, I hear what is in my head, then I get it down in the program. Simple. And for composing for real musicians, the built in sounds are more than adequate. My only beef is that they are not good enough (yet) to use as a finished product film score for my clients.
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Re: Back from the land of Sibelius 5 and Finale 2009

Postby scarter » Thu Aug 20, 2009 11:30 pm

dcoscina wrote:So I got it into my head that Sibelius 5 and Finale 2009 offered more features to better composer orchestral music. What I found was the following:

1. Both ARE very deep programs with lots of fantastic scoring features
2. Both have varying levels of learning curves. Each interface has its own pros and cons
3. Both are able to use VSTs like EWQLSO and VSL whose libraries are stunningly real for playback
4. Both are further ahead of NOTION when it comes to printing options and general score parameters
5. Both left me dazed, confused, frustrated and not having written much of anything of worth!!!!

I do hope NOTION 3 closes the gap especially when it comes to printing out one's score and moving things around for aesthetics purposes but as a compositional device, it still allows me to write music faster and more clearly than those other two. I desperately tried to get both Sibelius and Finale to worth with my bigger libraries in the hope to get a realistic sound but I found that there was no easy way to set things up and worse, the memory demands of those libraries was so taxing a large orchestral section brought my Mac Pro to its knees. A BLOODY MAC PRO for crying out loud!!!! What the heck???? (FYI- it's because both program is very limited as a VST host).

If I wanted to resort to the built in sounds from either, I had to live with Garritan's sounds which IMO sound AWFUL. I'm sorry, really but I will take NOTION's built-in sounds ANY DAY over Garritan, especially the brass which at least DO react to dynamics changes and gets brassier and louder! So, like the prodigal son (not the Prokofiev piece although that is lovely), I have returned to NOTION in the hope that I can actually compose rather than futz around with settings, sounds and all that nonsense all day long.....

p.s. I hope NOTION 3 is not going to be a huge expense to us NOTION 2.2 owners. Free would be even better. I'm sickened by the rates that Sibelius and Finale charge their users for upgrades. $170 for Sibelius 5 to 6. $99 for Finale 2009 to 2010 (those guys have quite the racket- having a chargeable upgrade every bloody year?? Who do they think they are, Cakewalk?

Sorry for the rant. I love NOTION.. 8-)


I've been Beta testing Notion 3. Now, let me say, I'm working in a different realm, right now, than what you describe. I'm a jazz guitarist, teacher, arranger, composer. I've only had Notion 3 Beta for a couple of weeks, but it has already helped me produce a score I used on a gig, just tonight. I have a steady gig, guitar and baritone sax. The sax player, Danny Harrington, is a Berklee professor, a Vandoren artist, has played with a long list of name acts. We've been working together for years. Recently we've been playing Danny's transcription of the Chet Baker - Gerry Mulligan "Line for Lyons." It inspired me to write two-part jazz counterpoint for the John Lewis tune "Afternoon in Paris." I wrote the arrangement very quickly in Notion 3, printed out the parts, and we read them on the gig tonight. It was a big success. A local piano player, sitting at the bar, at the end of the night, said, "The first tune of that last set -- was that Mulligan?" As we packed up, Danny told me this and said, "So you achieved your goal."

Notion 2 had problems with D.S. and Coda. Notion 3 has cleared that up. I was able to solo out the bari and practice my part along with the bari. To print the bari part, I just checked that off, and unchecked the guitar. The part I printed for Danny is very professional, and readable -- and Danny has read parts with Gladys Knight, Tommy Dorsey, -- a long list. If it's good enough for Danny -- it's pretty good!

So, yeah, Notion 3 has got it right. All you have to do is click a button to see a list of instruments, then check off the one you want to print, and uncheck the others, and it prints WYSIWIG. Are there tweaks we'd like to be able to apply? Sure. But for pure productivity, Notion 3 is amazing!

Right now, I'm not using Notion to produce "production quality" audio output -- which seems to be what you are discussing in your post. (Althogh, to digress, I did use Notion 2 to produce my "Touching Light" CD -- which has had some success.) I'm using Notion 3 to produce jazz arrangements and parts that I will use on gigs -- I have a gig for a seven-piece band, mostly Berklee facutly, coming up next month -- and Notion 3, although still Beta, is working great.

I love Notion!

Steve
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Re: Back from the land of Sibelius 5 and Finale 2009

Postby KylePoehling » Fri Aug 21, 2009 8:41 am

Great stuff Steve!

Glad to hear you enjoying 3 so much! Working to develop and test the program has been an absolute joy. Any day that you can go in the office and write music is a good day to me!!! I'm really enjoying the new mixer and vst capability...it just opens up new worlds in regards to sound.

Great to hear you're having success with the printing as well...I know that it's something our developers have worked hard on streamlining. I printed some horn parts for my group the other night and it was extremely successful. Clean parts that were really easy to extract and looked great!

Cheers!
Kyle
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Re: Back from the land of Sibelius 5 and Finale 2009

Postby scarter » Fri Aug 21, 2009 11:34 am

The Notion developers have done a fantastic job of writing efficient code for Notion 3. I'm running it on a old laptop with only 512MB of RAM. My C drive is too full to fit the 9GB of sound files, so I installed Notion 3 on an external drive that is connected by USB 1.1 (which is very slow). Even with this creaky old setup, I was able to load the demo score of Beethoven's 7th symphony and play it back flawlessly. Well -- not exactly flawlessly. I often get a little playback glitch in the first couple of measures of a piece, probably Notion getting the samples fired up, but just restarting the piece always cures that. With the Beethoven score, I had to restart playback about four times before those opening woodwinds played correctly, but from there is was smooth sailing.

Now that's some efficient coding! Congratulations to the programmers! (And, of course, to the genius of Jack Jarrett -- the foundation of all this.)

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Re: Back from the land of Sibelius 5 and Finale 20

Postby dcoscina » Tue Sep 08, 2009 6:36 pm

Believe it or not, N3 works in Snow Leopard. in fact, ironically, better than Leopard thus far.
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