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Expansion Sounds...

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Expansion Sounds...

Postby cybran » Fri Mar 29, 2013 4:49 pm

please be honest people....are these worth getting?
does anybody actually use them?
or should i rely on some 3rd party library?
i'm not very computer technical so software like EWQL scares the bejesus out of me
i much prefer to play around with music notation which i can comprehend :)
many thanks
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Re: Expansion Sounds...

Postby cybran » Fri Mar 29, 2013 4:56 pm

also if i buy the complete set of sounds will that mean i get any new sounds/instruments that get released in the future for free or will i then have to pay extra for them as well?
thanks
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Re: Expansion Sounds...

Postby reztes » Sat Mar 30, 2013 11:16 am

I think they are a bit so much expensive but I don't have them so I can't say if they are worth getting or not..
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Re: Expansion Sounds...

Postby thorrild » Sat Mar 30, 2013 11:38 am

cybran wrote:please be honest people....are these worth getting?
does anybody actually use them?
or should i rely on some 3rd party library?
i'm not very computer technical so software like EWQL scares the bejesus out of me
i much prefer to play around with music notation which i can comprehend :)
many thanks


If EWQL scares you, and you don't feel that the basic sound set is enough, then it seems like getting Notion's expansion sounds would be a good choice, and in fact your only choice. Whether they are worth it depends on what kind of music you are notating and whether you are using Notion as a hobby or as part of a job which requires you to produce highly realistic-sounding scores. My hunch is that if you're not "very computer technical," then your Notion work is probably more of a hobby — and good for you!

I am a professional whose work is not always required to sound exactly like "the real thing" and I find the expansion sounds easy to use and overall pretty good. But I often end up augmenting them with other sound libraries, and the combination of different sets can really lift the sound of an ensemble from just good to actually excellent, or gripping, or whatever emotion you may be aiming for. Using other sound libraries is more work, and if you're unable to invest time and effort in learning how to do this additional work, then you should stay with Notion's own expansion sounds.

Hope this helps,
Thorrild
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Re: Expansion Sounds...

Postby cybran » Mon Apr 01, 2013 7:41 am

thanks for the responses guys

Reztes, I completely agree with you....I expected them to come as standard with Notion when I first bought it, so even though it's cheaper than finale and sibelius as a bare-bones package; it actually works out about the same when you pay for the complete package.

Thorrild, I can always count on you to reply lol. Thanks for the viewpoint, you've given me something to think about! :)

cheers
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Re: Expansion Sounds...

Postby Admin » Mon Apr 01, 2013 10:33 am

Hi all,

Expansion Sounds are a great set of sounds to enhance your Notion composition experience. We have given you half of our sounds when you purchase the $99 version of the app. Expansion Sounds are treated as a type of In-App purchase. You get almost 9 Gigs of samples when you purchase the full Expansion Kit. All of these sounds are fully integrated with the Notion composition settings, articulations, and techniques. Plus, other percussion instruments, the mandolin and finger-style guitar, extra string articulations and the Jazz Brass and Wind Sample kits. It is certainly a great value.

We get you started with the bundled kits. The expansion sounds are especially useful for adding more realism and more instrument options to your Notion Scores.

Regards,

-Admin
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Re: Expansion Sounds...

Postby thorrild » Mon Apr 01, 2013 1:57 pm

Hi all,

A while back, I decided that I needed to see if it was possible to make a good-sounding score of some standard-repertoire piece of classical music, using only Notion's own sounds (including expansion sounds), with no equalizing or other beneficial audio processing other than Notion's default reverb. Because of some other forum member's question about the notation practices in the Overture to Wagner's Tannhäuser, I decided that I might as well use that as my guinea pig.

I seems to me that this file, in a limited way, might serve as an illustration of what may be possible with just a few of the expansion sounds, since it's a piece that most classically inclined listeners know. As a public-domain work, it can be used and shared freely. And since this piece is a well known commodity in classical music, it serves as a straight-forward illustration of what Notion can do and what it can't do so well: The file manages, on occasion, to sound rather convincing, I think. But I am never entirely fooled into believing that this is an actual symphony orchestra.

Here is a link to the MPG4 file:
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4997482/Wartbur ... erture.m4a

And this is the link to the Notion file:
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4997482/Wartbur ... ure.notion

Those who are interested may want to look at the Notion file to see some of the tricks that are available without necessarily having to go to aural exciters, compression, EQ, or even third-party, expensive sample libraries. I don't know if I succeeded — I think I did, at least to some extent —, but this is actually meant as a plug for Notion's expansion sounds.

Some of the tricks I think helped me within the strict limitations of my test:

- I used "double" or "section" sounds in woodwinds and brass wherever possible, to get a warmer, richer tone. Set the Notion file to use solo sounds of these instruments and compare playback of that with the MP4 file I posted.
- I used "con sord." for the upper strings (not basses) in most passages, to make the papery sound a little more appealing.
- About halfway through the Overture, there's an extended passage for tremolo strings divided extravagantly. I ignored this division scheme and notated the passage so that all pitches were heard, and using the tremolo samples that you get with Notion's expansion sounds. In other words, no need to write out these tremolo figures as 16ths or 32nds; instead a pretty realistic sounding string passage.
- In a couple of exposed cello passages at the beginning, I doubled the cello section music onto a (hidden) solo cello staff and adjusted volumes so that the two staves sounded a little more present and expressive.
- I added what seems like a gazillion hidden dynamics and hairpins in order to wring some romanticism out of the samples. (View>Show Hidden Items.)
- Likewise, I added a great deal of hidden articulations, in order to create breath pauses between phrases. Among the hidden articulations, I especially like the "soft start," as it does wonders for some unfortunate-sounding string notes. (View>Show Hidden Items.)

It's a long piece, and not everybody's cup of tea, but as an example of working with Notion's own sounds, it may serve some purpose.

Best wishes,
Thorrild
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Re: Expansion Sounds...

Postby fabiolcati » Fri Apr 05, 2013 4:18 am

Hi Thorrild.
I really enjoyed your work on Wagner's Tannhäuser.
A great performance, one of the best I listened to.
"Soft start" articulation is my favorite one. A shame it doesn't work the same way on external libraries (eg GPO)
Your example makes me to reconsider working with Notion sounds again (mainly strings).
Best regards
Fabio
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Re: Expansion Sounds...

Postby thorrild » Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:06 am

Hi Fabio,

Thanks for taking the time to listen to this old chestnut. And thanks for your kind words.

Best wishes,
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Re: Expansion Sounds...

Postby tubatimberinger » Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:34 am

The expansion sounds are great and to the point of the price; I think (considering you can get exactly the instruments you need) it's a GREAT way to enhance the native Notion sounds which are already great imo. Especially if you are on a budget since you can build your library incrementally. A hint; use of the extreme dynamics; this is where the sounds really take flight.

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