Anyone Using "Finale" Software for Transcribing/Writing?

newb3fan

Member
Messages
1,350
I continue to struggle with how to properly set up a treble clef and TAB sheet in order to write in music notation and then convert those notes into tab. Is anyone out there good at this? And then there is something about reading notation for guitar up an octave from written? Help.....
 

guitarjazz

Member
Messages
21,117
Can't you set up instrument and TAB when you open a new document?
Guitar sounds an octave lower than written. You should get Mel Bay Modern Guitar Vol. 1 to help you wrap your head around this.
 

willyboy

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,124
yup in templates as soon as you open the program there is one set up for guitar with tab
 

Sadhaka

Member
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1,305
I am a Sibelius user but I imagine that you can input notes on the staff then select them all and copy/paste directly onto the tab staff.

Finale should do all the heavy lifting for you :)
 

newb3fan

Member
Messages
1,350
yup in templates as soon as you open the program there is one set up for guitar with tab
Yes I see that template. But I think when I go to drag/drop a measure of notes to create the tab I want to say that it puts it in the wrong octave. I will have to check it out when I get in front of the program again. I'm traveling currently. Thanks.
 

guitarjazz

Member
Messages
21,117
I use the poor man's Finale....Printmusic. It's from the same company. I'm hoping that they update it because whatever my latest Mac OS update did severally limited the notation software's capability. Most of the time I use pencil and paper.
 

willyboy

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,124
Yes I see that template. But I think when I go to drag/drop a measure of notes to create the tab I want to say that it puts it in the wrong octave. I will have to check it out when I get in front of the program again. I'm traveling currently. Thanks.
If its putting it in the wrong octave it may be that it's not the guitar staff you've started with on the standard notation staff but another instrument perhaps that does not sound an octave lower than written?

If it's just that the fingering is in a different place, say for example not an open first string E but the same note at the 5th fret on the B string, that is normal you just have to go back and edit the particular passages for the strings the notes should lay on. I have to do that as well all the time. There is a dialog box somewhere that changes how the program turns notation into tab that chooses fretted notes instead of open strings but you'll still likely have to edit the tab fingerings as it's impossible for any program to figure out which one of the vast number of ways a passage may be played on the instrument is the one you're thinking of.

Hopefully that's helpful
 

Beagle1

Member
Messages
370
To the OP -- when you use the Document Setup Wizard in Finale, go to Plucked Strings and choose "Guitar (8vb)" for the treble clef line. This will put the guitar so it sounds down an octave from the written pitch. As others have pointed out, this is how guitar music is notated. Then in Document Setup Wizard, add another staff from the Tablature group > Guitar [Tab]. Now, when you drag and drop notes from the treble clef 8vb into the tab clef, it should put the notes in the correct octave.

However, there is another thing to check. In Finale, go to Preferences > Edit and look for the option "Respect instrument ranges when copying or changing instruments." This can be a useful feature if you're copying between horn or string parts that play in different ranges. But I've found it can be a bit unpredictable when doing guitar/bass parts so I would recommend turning it off.
 

stevel

Member
Messages
14,508
Also - though I haven't used it in a while - if you had say a top space E on the staff, and drag it down to the guitar tab, if you put it on the first line it will mark it open, on the 2nd line 5th fret, 3rd line 9th fret, and so on.

IIRC there's also a way to set it to prefer fretted notes or other preferences that will make it only choose certain string sets.

But doing entire measures at once, or multiple measures might introduce a lot of corrections you'll have to make, so if you don't already know easily if it will fall into a logical place, you may have to do some things beat by beat or even note by note.
 

blueworm

Member
Messages
3,185
I'm using musescore which is good enough for me. I've recently uploaded tracks on my soundcloud which I wrote and were sequenced by this software.
 

Bluesful

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
37,549
I use Guitar Pro because it's just something I've had for years.

Would there be any benefit in me switching to something like Finale?
 

newb3fan

Member
Messages
1,350
To the OP -- when you use the Document Setup Wizard in Finale, go to Plucked Strings and choose "Guitar (8vb)" for the treble clef line. This will put the guitar so it sounds down an octave from the written pitch. As others have pointed out, this is how guitar music is notated. Then in Document Setup Wizard, add another staff from the Tablature group > Guitar [Tab]. Now, when you drag and drop notes from the treble clef 8vb into the tab clef, it should put the notes in the correct octave.

However, there is another thing to check. In Finale, go to Preferences > Edit and look for the option "Respect instrument ranges when copying or changing instruments." This can be a useful feature if you're copying between horn or string parts that play in different ranges. But I've found it can be a bit unpredictable when doing guitar/bass parts so I would recommend turning it off.
Thanks a lot Beagle1 - this has got to be the solution. Appreciate you sharing your knowledge.
 

newb3fan

Member
Messages
1,350
Also - though I haven't used it in a while - if you had say a top space E on the staff, and drag it down to the guitar tab, if you put it on the first line it will mark it open, on the 2nd line 5th fret, 3rd line 9th fret, and so on.

IIRC there's also a way to set it to prefer fretted notes or other preferences that will make it only choose certain string sets.

But doing entire measures at once, or multiple measures might introduce a lot of corrections you'll have to make, so if you don't already know easily if it will fall into a logical place, you may have to do some things beat by beat or even note by note.
You can set the lowest fret that you want a particular note in a phrase or series of measure to be played for the tab. So using this feature essentaially sets the position that you want the phrase to be played in. I've found this feature to work fairly reliably.
 

newb3fan

Member
Messages
1,350
I use Guitar Pro because it's just something I've had for years.

Would there be any benefit in me switching to something like Finale?
If you have something that works for you and you are happy with it I would not recommend something like Finale. It was a gift to me two years ago. And I've found the learning curve on it to be substantial. It has capability that I'm never going to use as I'm never going to write or transcribe scores or pieces of music with multiple instruments, etc. And I also don't play things right into it with the midi keyboard, which is another thing you can do.
 

blueworm

Member
Messages
3,185
Just for the record, here is an example of score + gtr tab output form Musescore.



I did it quickly from my own notes (don't take that as 100% correct ...) - and I'm not experienced to build tab with that software (I use it for standard notation). It comes out quite nicely IMO. That said writing tabs is much less intuitive and way slower than with standard notation.
 

stevel

Member
Messages
14,508
I use Guitar Pro because it's just something I've had for years.

Would there be any benefit in me switching to something like Finale?
Finale's primary benefit in years past was that it was capable of making "publisher ready" scores long before many competitor, it was available on both Windows and Mac, and it could basically do anything. Many other programs at the time lacked some features - for example, you could adjust the size and type of notehead individually in Finale, where other programs had no such ability.

Sibelius came along and really put the screws to Finale - they undercut the price which finally forced Finale to capitulate.

Sibelius also championed a "more intuitive" workflow.

Now, I'll say I remember hearing complaints of the "learning curve" in Finale but that was for 2 primary reasons:

1. Most people don't know how to notate music properly and they expected the software to do it for them. Only now are we starting to get to that point (as we are with everything it seems).

2. Because it was so powerful (and customizeable), eventually there became both more intuitive ways to do things (because of the competition) and "legacy" ways to do things (because of the long-time users they didn't want to lose to Sibelius). This made for huge manuals and a lot of time spent trying to figure out which was the most effective way to accomplish a particular task.

Lately, Finale has become more logical, like Sibelius.

I'd say, if you are interested in producing "professional" (I mean actual professional, like Alfred publications, or other classical music publishers) and need "the best", then Finale is what you want. Sibelius would be a close second (and that's primarily based on "specialty" needs that most people won't ever need but I do).

But, most programs out there do "basic" stuff quite well - and that's all that most people need.

Finale and Sibelius do the basics well, and take care of the "advanced" stuff pretty evenly, and so many other packages are getting closer to them that they're now differentiating themselves by "bells and whistles" - so they're focusing on the quality of the sounds for playback, as oppose to notation quality, which is pretty much as good as it gets (with subtle variations).

If Guitar Pro does everything you need it to do, no, I can't see any real advantage to switching to anything else. It's only if you need something specific that one doesn't do that you'd need to "upgrade". But to which depends on which features you need.

The Musescore output above looks every bit as good as Finale or Sibelius now. Differences in printed output are now down to things like the music font/symbols. For example, the Musescore Clef and Flats are different than Sibelius's and Finale's I think. But they're not "wrong" as many engravers had their own style.

Where the difference starts to come in is if you want to change that "quarter = 120" marking at the beginning - Finale will let you control every aspect of that - the note size and symbol, the equal and 120 font and size, the positioning, and even assign a playback value to it so it plays at the right tempo. Not all programs give you that level of control. You can adjust the thickness of the staff lines in Finale, as well as how far apart the key signature is from the time signature (and the fonts for both) as well as when the first note begins after a barline. You can adjust notehead size globally or individually - same for stems. Many programs do most of that, but not all of them do all of that and even if they do, there are still other levels of control Finale exceeds them in - yet, not all people need or want that level of control.
 

Bluesful

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
37,549
Finale's primary benefit in years past was that it was capable of making "publisher ready" scores long before many competitor, it was available on both Windows and Mac, and it could basically do anything. Many other programs at the time lacked some features - for example, you could adjust the size and type of notehead individually in Finale, where other programs had no such ability.

Sibelius came along and really put the screws to Finale - they undercut the price which finally forced Finale to capitulate.

Sibelius also championed a "more intuitive" workflow.

Now, I'll say I remember hearing complaints of the "learning curve" in Finale but that was for 2 primary reasons:

1. Most people don't know how to notate music properly and they expected the software to do it for them. Only now are we starting to get to that point (as we are with everything it seems).

2. Because it was so powerful (and customizeable), eventually there became both more intuitive ways to do things (because of the competition) and "legacy" ways to do things (because of the long-time users they didn't want to lose to Sibelius). This made for huge manuals and a lot of time spent trying to figure out which was the most effective way to accomplish a particular task.

Lately, Finale has become more logical, like Sibelius.

I'd say, if you are interested in producing "professional" (I mean actual professional, like Alfred publications, or other classical music publishers) and need "the best", then Finale is what you want. Sibelius would be a close second (and that's primarily based on "specialty" needs that most people won't ever need but I do).

But, most programs out there do "basic" stuff quite well - and that's all that most people need.

Finale and Sibelius do the basics well, and take care of the "advanced" stuff pretty evenly, and so many other packages are getting closer to them that they're now differentiating themselves by "bells and whistles" - so they're focusing on the quality of the sounds for playback, as oppose to notation quality, which is pretty much as good as it gets (with subtle variations).

If Guitar Pro does everything you need it to do, no, I can't see any real advantage to switching to anything else. It's only if you need something specific that one doesn't do that you'd need to "upgrade". But to which depends on which features you need.

The Musescore output above looks every bit as good as Finale or Sibelius now. Differences in printed output are now down to things like the music font/symbols. For example, the Musescore Clef and Flats are different than Sibelius's and Finale's I think. But they're not "wrong" as many engravers had their own style.

Where the difference starts to come in is if you want to change that "quarter = 120" marking at the beginning - Finale will let you control every aspect of that - the note size and symbol, the equal and 120 font and size, the positioning, and even assign a playback value to it so it plays at the right tempo. Not all programs give you that level of control. You can adjust the thickness of the staff lines in Finale, as well as how far apart the key signature is from the time signature (and the fonts for both) as well as when the first note begins after a barline. You can adjust notehead size globally or individually - same for stems. Many programs do most of that, but not all of them do all of that and even if they do, there are still other levels of control Finale exceeds them in - yet, not all people need or want that level of control.
Thanks for the thoughts mate.

I actually found out last night that Finale has a free version so I downloaded it to check it out.

I don't need anything fancy and the free version seems to have everything I need.

In the short time that I spent with it I actually found that it was easier and quicker to notate in Finale in comparison to how I would attack the same process in Guitar Pro. So for now it seems like Finale is a winner for me.
 




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