Finale 25.3 Maintenance Release Now Available

3/30/17 MakeMusic today announced on their blog the release of Finale 25.3, a free maintenance update to owners of Finale 25.

While the focus of the release is largely on bug fixes, there are a few nice additions:

The Simple Entry cursor shows the currently active layer – useful visual feedback to keep you oriented when working in Layers.

There is an additional control in the Smart Shape Options dialog box for hairpins: The opening width of long and short dynamic hairpin shapes are now independent from one another.

A Symbol button for musical symbols has been added to the Symbol List dialog box. (It’s easier to use Unicode musical symbols as accidentals in nonstandard key signatures with this addition).

MusicXML import and export continues to mature. A new “Restrict MusicXML formatting” option allows you to import a MusicXML file into a Finale template without overriding formatting options within the Finale file. MusicXML Export now supports nonstandard key signatures more fully.

One Mac, Finder and Spotlight support has been improved. You can now search through your Finale files by Title, Composer, Copyright, Description, Time Signature, Key Signature, Lyricist, Pages, Page Width, Page Height, Content Creator, Duration, Fonts, Default Music Font, Arranger, Subtitle, Staves, Parts, Instruments, and Tempo.

For a complete list of bug fixes and other information, be sure to read the MakeMusic article.

JW Plugins for Finale 25 Mac (and Windows) Released

3/16/17 A number of long-awaited plugins from Jari Williamsson are now available in 64 bit versions for Finale 25 on Mac:
JW Accidentals, v1.11
JW Category Sorter, v1.01
JW Change Pitches, v1.08
JW Copy Part Layout, v1.04
JW Expand Region, v2.02
JW Grace Note Slash, v1.03
JW Instrument Change, v1.05
JW Live Sync, v1.02
JW Measure Numbers, v1.06
JW Meter and Rhythm, v1.14
JW Navigate, v1.10
JW Note Spacing, v1.02
JW Pattern, v1.10
JW Space Empty Rests, v1.06
JW Staff Polyphony, v1.12
JW Staff Set Panel, v1.02
JW Topline Notation, v1.07

Finale 25/Mac plug-ins download page:
http://finaletips.nu/index.php/download/category/44-64-bit-mac-plug-ins

(At the top of the page are install instructions)

In addition, these 10 plug-ins for Finale 25 are now available for both Windows and Mac:

JW Conceal Barlines, v1.02
JW Default Tuplets, v1.02
JW Indent System, v1.03
JW New Piece, v1.03
JW Note Ends, v1.02
JW Pattern Copy, v1.05
JW Rhythm Copy, v1.05
JW Split Groups, v1.02
JW Staff Pitches, v1.02
JW Tie, v1.03

Finale 25/Windows plug-ins download page:
http://finaletips.nu/index.php/download/category/43-64-bit-windows-plug-ins

Finale 25/Mac plug-ins download page:
http://finaletips.nu/index.php/download/category/44-64-bit-mac-plug-ins

Finale 25.2 update available

Finale 25, released this last August, is one of the most successful and feature rich efforts from MakeMusic in quite awhile. The point release for Finale v25.1, announced only a couple of months later, surprised Finale users with a small number of useful new features as well as the usual incremental bug fixes.

Multiple free-of-charge releases are part of MakeMusic’s new continuous development and release initiative; e.g. they have announced that they plan to share bug fixes and new features more frequently rather than saving them up for a single larger release.

As it turns out, this free point release to 25.2 released today (12/08/16) also feels substantial, with a couple of very nice feature enhancements along with fixes for a number of bugs (some of which have been around for awhile). Let’s dive in.

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Finale 25.1 released

10/19/16 : Coinciding with the hoopla and fanfare of the release of Steinberg’s new Dorico notation program, MakeMusic today released their first incremental upgrade to Finale 25.

MakeMusic seems to be on a mission to increase the pace of their development of Finale, and this free incremental upgrade is a case in point. Along with the usual minor bug and cosmetic fixes typical for a .1 point release, there is a small but healthy list of new features and UI improvements to sweeten the pot:

It is now possible to export not only the score, but the the parts to MusicXML by selecting File > Export > Linked Parts to MusicXML.

In the Score Manager, you can now Mute or UnMute every instrument in one shot by clicking the M button at the top of the column. Solo works the same way, (click the S button), which simplifies toggling between Mute and Solo configurations more easily in the Score Manager.

Note that it still isn’t possible to toggle between selection of a single instrument and selection of every instrument except the current one by clicking an instrument while holding down a modifier key, as is possible in DP and other programs, but this addition of a basic global select all / none is an excellent incremental step.

The “Repeat Endings” sub-dialog of Document Options has a new feature for controlling the backward repeat bracket position:

fin-backward-repeat-bracket-positon

First ending brackets can now be set to align by default with the thin inner line of the backward repeat rather than the end of the repeat symbol, so the first and second ending repeat brackets don’t appear to overlap one another.

A subtle but nice improvement is the addition of increment / decrement arrows at the bottom of the scroll bars in the Key Signature dialog, making it easier to select a Key Signature:

fin-key-sig-dialog

A new “Allow Transparency” checkbox allows exported graphics to have  transparent backgrounds when exporting EPS, PDF, PNG, SVG or TIFF graphics.

In previous versions of Finale, I always found the “slider” selection method for Number of Beats and Beat Duration in Finale’s Time Signature dialog to be a bit frustrating, as it was pretty easy to slide right past the target values:

fin-old-time-sig-selection

In Finale 25.1, these sliders have been replaced. Number of beats can either be incremented / decremented using the arrow keys, or typing in the number of beats directly. Beat duration can be selected from a pop up menu:

fin-new-time-sig-selection

As with previous versions of Finale, time signature denominators can be selected from whole note to 32nd (with their corresponding dotted variants).

Rewire mode has been improved in Finale. You now have the choice of using either Finale’s tempo map or syncing tempo to your  DAW via a new Slave to ReWire Tempo check box in the playback transport. A Sync button has also been added to the Playback Controls to update your score data when using a DAW to playback:

fin-slave-to-rewire

Among the noteworthy fixes:

Finale 25.1 is now optimized for high DPI Windows computers. This means that the tool pallets will now display at a more optimal size on high DPI Windows hardware.

Finale’s graphic output is now true black.

There is no question that Finale 25 is a the most significant Finale upgrade in a long time, and actually seeing useful new features and UI tweaks in a point upgrade like this is very encouraging.

However, some of the excitement of the new architecture and excellent new features continues to be tempered by the unavailability as yet of compatible releases of some of the popular pro level third party plugins. Here is the current status as I am aware of it:

Robert Patterson’s website states that Patterson Plugin Collection for Finale and Copyist’s Helper plugins are optimized for Finale 25 (64 bit).

There is currently a v3 beta of TG Tools for Finale 25 available on Tobias Geisen’s website.

It is unknown at this time when Jari Williamsson (JW plugins) will release 64 bit versions of all of his plugins compatible with Finale 25. As of this writing, there are 13 plugin beta versions for Windows posted on his website, but nothing yet currently available for Mac. JW plugins are (to date) freeware, so if you find them useful, consider making a donation to help with future development.

Dorico Music Notation Scoring Program 2016 Launch Event

dorico

If you work with music notation, no doubt by now, you are aware of Steinberg’s new notation program, called Dorico.

On October 18, 2016, Steinberg will be holding their launch event for Dorico at Bush Hall in London. The event will be live streamed via Dorico’s Youtube channel and on Steinberg’s Facebook page.

Live stream date and time

PDT – Oct 18, 11:30 AM (Los Angeles)
EDT – Oct 18, 2:30 PM (New York)
BST – Oct 18, 7:30 PM (London)
CEST- Oct 18, 8:30 PM (Berlin)
SAST – Oct 18, 8:30 PM (Cape Town)
CST – Oct 19, 2:30 AM (Beijing)
JST – Oct 19, 3:30 AM (Tokyo)
AEDT – Oct 19, 5:30 AM (Sydney)

The Dorico notation program will be available for sale from October 19th. A complete features list is available in PDF form here.

Finale, Finally…

8/16/16 • The latest version of Finale was announced today by MakeMusic, and it’s evident that MakeMusic has put a good deal of thought and effort into this release.

Finale is finally a true 64-bit application. On my venerable 2009 MacPro running OS X 10.11.6, after installation, I opened a few scores to poke around in. The first thing I noticed was a substantial speed increase with certain operations. For instance, on a large score, Human Playback, which was glacial in 2014.5, loads almost instantaneously. Editing within a larger file seems much more responsive.

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MusicXML & SMuFL Development transferred to W3C

July 28, 2015 : In the spirit of maintaining open standards in music notation, MakeMusic and Steinberg have announced they are transferring development of the MusicXML format and SMuFL (Standard Music Font Layout) specification to a new Music Notation Community Group at the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

Michael Good of MakeMusic, Daniel Spreadbury of Steinberg and Joe Berkovitz of Hal Leonard / Noteflight will be co-chairs of this new group.

(Links to related articles on the web appear at the end of this post.)

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