Understanding Finale’s Category Designer

Q: I created a “Custom” category of expressions, and exported the library to disk. When I load the library with an older Finale file, it adds the category.

However, when I load the library to a new Finale file, it adds the expressions to the “Techniques” category, rather than creating my custom category. Is this expected behavior?

A: Great question! Finale Category Designer is powerful, but require some explanation if you are exporting and importing Library files, or pasting content between scores. Here is what is going on under the hood.

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Add a2, a3, a4 playback for NotePerformer in Finale

The default Garritan Sounds which ship with Finale 26 do not support “unison” groups of reduced player configurations such as a2, a3, a4 etc., but if you are a NotePerformer user, you are in luck.

NotePerformer 3 installs a Finalescript folder containing a number of Finalescripts labeled “UNISONS – Playback to Expression”. There are scripts for a2, a3, a4, a5, a6, a7, a8, and “solo/default”, which will either restore playback to one player for a solo instrument, or the default ensemble.

These Finalescripts work by adding appropriate MIDI controllers to selected “a2”, “a3” text, thereby defining their playback characteristics.

You can use the scripts to add this MIDI Controller data each time, but it’s also easy to define these in your Finale score template so you don’t have to run the scripts each time to get this enhanced playback in NotePerformer. Here’s how…

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Add a2, a3, a4 playback for NotePerformer in Sibelius

The Sibelius Sounds library which ships with Sibelius 7 and later does not have support for reduced player configurations such as a2, a3, a4 etc., but if you are a NotePerformer user, you are in luck.

NotePerformer 3 installs a plugin in Sibelius called “NotePerformer a2, a3 … MIDI message” which appears in the Plug-ins page of the home tab.

This plugin adds a MIDI controller message to a beat, or the start of a selected region for playback when using NotePerformer.

In other words, you can apply this plugin to add hidden MIDI controller info at the same location as the “a2” text, so that NotePerformer produces correct playback of a2 etc.

You can use the plugin to add this MIDI Controller data each time, or you can also add this controller info directly in your score either manually or automatically with NotePerformer.

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JetStream Finale Controller Development Diary – April 2020

If you have been using Finale more than a few minutes, you are probably already using a few keyboard shortcuts to keep from having to reach up and click on various tools and menu items on the screen over and over.

Shortcuts, Shortcuts, Shortcuts

First, there are the built in System level shortcuts found in all Mac and Windows programs; e.g. Open, Cut, Copy, Paste, Undo, Save, Save As, Print, Close, Quit. This group of shortcuts is not editable, obviously, since they are system wide.

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