Finale’s audio output has the potential to generate great audio and wonderful-sounding scores for consumers and demos. For the majority of users, the default settings are adequate. Midi/Audio>Play Finale Through Audio Units should be selected in order to activate Garritan Instruments for Finale (or Garritan’s premium libraries. For more information on setup for these libraries, see this article on the Scoring Notes blog: “Getting Started in Finale with Garritan’s Premium Libraries”). For those working on larger scores in pursuit of the best possible quality, however, the defaults don’t work well. Let’s take a look at how to address common problems you may encounter, and create the best possible mix in Finale.
Sometimes knowledge and wisdom get lost, only to be rediscovered later. I recently stumbled across some old Finale Tips and forum posts that offer some useful tools for working with lyrics in Finale that deserve some attention again!
Q: Here’s the “easy” problem: I have a score in 5/4. It’s always the same grouping 3/4 + 2/4. I would like to convert all the 5/4 measures into two measures of 3/4 and 2/4, separated with a dashed bar line. I tried the JW Meter and Rhythm plugin & TG Tools but I didn’t find a solution there. Maybe I can create a FinaleScript for it?
I hope there’s an answer out there I missed. Regardless, I’d love to know your thoughts on this.
A: Thank you. It’s a great question, and it would be the perfect type of task for a plugin to automate, I agree. You are correct that there are currently no available plugin solutions for this. It is possible to do manually, although depending on the complexity of your score, the solution is somewhat involved. Here’s a how-to breakdown.
Q: I compose music for Psalms from scripture. The format typically has a REFRAIN or ANTIPHON of 4 to 10 measures of metered (4/4, 6/8, etc.) notation, with stemmed notes and standard notation of quarter notes, eighth notes, repeat signs, etc.
When that short section is done, the music for the longer verses uses a “chant like” un-metered melody, usually without stems on the note values. For example, the start of an “unmetered” section below is made up of sequential bars of 10/4 and 11/4, with the time signatures and stems hidden; giving the impression of “un-metered” notation.
However, when I try to take the stems off of the notes in the un-metered measures, all of the notes lose their stems, including the original 4 measures of metered music.
My current “work-around” is to merge the contents of the two different Finale documents as a graphic. There must be a way to show both a stemmed section and an unstemmed section in the same Finale file?
I recently heard from my old friend and colleague Sean McMahon. He and I go way back; we worked together on more than a few hectic feature film score schedules back in the day. Sean is currently on the faculty at Berkelee College of Music in Boston, and wanted to get my perspective on music preparation at the college level. I thought I would share our correspondence here.
MakeMusic continues its recent pattern of releasing incremental point updates at regular intervals to fix bugs and make minor improvements to Finale’s UI.
Finale 25.5 is the latest of these, offering a few minor enhancements while fixing some bugs which were evident, particularly on the newest OS versions (like Mac OS X High Sierra).
For instance, the following new features of this upgrade are very much “under the hood” type enhancements; stuff that subtly makes Finale easier to use:
1) Garritan Instruments for Finale. The Garritan Instruments for Finale installer has been updated to improve speed and produce a higher installation success rate.
2) Finale’s file structure has been updated in an effort to make the application more localizable.
3) MusicXML. Measure number text is now exported when a file contains measure numbers that are repeated in multiple movements or sections.
On Mac, users can now access the clear key functionality of a full keyboard on a laptop computer by using FUNCTION+SHIFT+DELETE.
If you plan to use CLEAR or FUNCTION+SHIFT+DELETE when working in PART view, keep in mind that Clear functionality is a Stack operation, meaning that rather than clearing only notes and other staff attached objects, it will also delete global system text such as tempo text or rehearsal marks affecting all other parts. Use with caution.
The update includes a number of little UI fixes. For instance, text in a number of dialog boxes now displays correctly.
And, good news for for Mac High Sierra users: a whole bunch of crash scenarios have been sussed out and fixed. The Finale installer ReadMe file has a complete list of these.
While there isn’t anything really “exciting” about this update, what *is* exciting is the way MakeMusic has been supporting their Finale notation product with more frequent point release updates to fix bugs and make Finale run more smoothly.
For more information, visit www.finalemusic.com
I was just working as a proofreader on a recording project, and the cue I was looking at was supposed to start with measure 6. I noticed that it was starting at measure 1, and (figuring that the copyist had simply overlooked it) went to set the Measure Number Region accordingly. I was surprised to see that the measure number region had in fact been set properly, but for some reason was not updating:
With a little bit of trial and error, I tried reselecting the numbering style, and voila! The region updated appropriately:
Usually measure number regions update dynamically as you change the “Starting Number” field, and I’m not sure why this one got stuck… But if you ever find yourself in a similar situation, give this a try!
Jacob Winkler is the Artistic Director of the Seattle Girls Choir, and an instructor in Finale and Sibelius for the Pacific Northwest Film Scoring Program. He is frequently engaged as a choral singer for film and game soundtracks, including the Halo, Assassin’s Creed, and World of Warcraft series. LinkedIn