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Hi All,

Just thought I'd draw your attention to a possible future in score technology. It looks pretty neat to me.

Seriously thinking about this as the workflow might be quicker than Sibelius (I have 2 massive scores that need inputting!).

Here's a link to the actual software...

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For someone like me and the current way I do any orchestral writing / writing that requires notation, I think it would be a really big learning curve. I am not a fan of 'button less' technology or 'touch' technology. 

I do wager though that if the proper time invested to learn the software is put in, it'd be a really quick workflow. 

That looks cool Ray, like a cross between DAW and score (now there's a new product!)

I like the look of the mixer and especially the midi editing. Can you cable it virtually to Kontakt and thus access some of the high quality samples on offer?

Ray said:

Overture 5 is quite nice for a novice like me

fair enough David. My dream would be a smart manuscript that plays back beautifully....maybe one day.

David Lilly said:

For someone like me and the current way I do any orchestral writing / writing that requires notation, I think it would be a really big learning curve. I am not a fan of 'button less' technology or 'touch' technology. 

I do wager though that if the proper time invested to learn the software is put in, it'd be a really quick workflow. 

Wouldn't that be nice? 

I've done some research myself, and to my knowledge, there is no notation program yet that works as a plug in within your DAW - as in like you mentioned, one that can display sheet music AND use sounds/libraries from your DAW. 

In a perfect world, I'd be able to assign tracks from my notation program to tracks in my DAW- what would be even better is if, as I edited MIDI data on these tracks, it updated my sheet music. Because typically I have a "quantized" track that's muted that I export for notation purposes, and a "playback" track that is used for the actually rendering of the audio. I'm surprised no one has done this yet. 

I'd assume there's a market for it, and I'd assume the technology exists to create such a program. 

+1 for that David, but I'd also throw in the pen writing from staffpad too. Oh and as I'm now  fantasising, how about being able to buy smart AI based samples/playback from the great players in the world. I could purchase perhaps Steven Isserlis and all his mannerisms, tone etc. to render my cello concerto, or maybe Rostropovich! How about Pollinis' tone and musicality for your piano sonata? or would you prefer Berof, Augerich?

Barenboim please. I haven't found an interpretation of any piece he's played that I don't agree with or like. 

A lot of the people on the more tech forum I post over at seem to think samples have "gotten as good as they'll get." While I agree they are getting damn convincing if used right, there is still tons more room for improvement. 

Exactly like you mentioned, certain elements and styles that certain players have can change the feel of a piece. Samples can't quite capture that yet, and while I personally don't know how to make them do so, some techie out there will figure it out. 

Another thing I find a lot of libraries lack is the proper handling of overtones. The way playing an open C on a piano resonates the strings that have no dampers, and the velocity of which you hit that note affects those resonances/overtones. Every circumstance produces such different overtones that I don't know if sample libraries will ever get there. I am always a firm believer nothing will ever beat a breathing, living, talented human performance, but if we are going to pursue the endless road of trying to do so with computers, it can still get much better.

Ah well, back on the original subject, I do think we will see a notation program as we vision in the future, perhaps even the near future. Once the right composer meets the right techie, its over. I am not investing in another notation program until it has those features though. Everyone is raving about Dorico (Dorito?) whatever it's called now, but I don't see a huge appeal IMO. 

Good choice.

You're right about overtones I think that is an Achilles' heel for samples, one they may not overcome as they can't take into account every use they will be put through. In the worst cases eq is needed and there is also an issue with room build up sometimes for samples recorded in big acoustic spaces. Perhaps when quantum computing comes online, all overtone processing will take place in the reality just to left of this universe and make it cpu friendly....will quantum computers have cpus' ?

Hey All,

Since this topic has come up again, I thought I'd reshare my workflow setup in case it is useful to those of you looking for a DAW-notation hybrid:

For years I used Finale exclusively (with the full Garritan orchestra library when it became available).

Late 2015 I discovered EW's new Composer Cloud offering (access to many of their big libraries for only $30/month). Unfortunately, I found that running any medium-large number of these instruments within Finale brought my objectively powerful computer to its knees (Finale is simply not up to the task).

Based on some advice I read online and multiple experiments, I have now switched to what I describe as using Finale as the MIDI fuel for the DAW engine. In essence, I have both programs running at the same time. I use Finale as usual, but all playback is through Cubase.

The connection between the programs happens via "virtual" MIDI cables. I use LoopBe30 ($20), which can create up to 30 virtual MIDI ports on your computer. There is a free LoopBe1, but, as you can guess, it is limited to 1 port (16 channels).

Although it takes more time to set up two programs, Cubase is much more flexible and stable than Finale, can sync to video, incorporate other audio, etc. I can even switch out instruments at the same time I am playing music back through Finale (impossible if Finale itself is doing the playback).

I know some folks turn notation files into MIDI and then edit them within the DAW, but for me, that would only be a useful step at the very, very end, once I am 100% sure of the final product and want to do real fine-tuning of the MIDI performance data. When I am in the midst of writing something, I want to be able to make changes notationally (i.e., in Finale) and hear them real-time.

Cubase doesn't have the option to record audio directly from the MIDI sound output, but I recently bought TapeIt ($20), a VST plugin that does pretty well creating WAV files.


Thanks for that info. This LoopBe30 you speak of intrigues me... will need to look into that. 

That sounds neat John, especially the midi fuel concept.

I'm still drawn to Staffpads' handwriting capability though. I need to try it to see how well the pen and its' translation into printed dots work. If it is fast enough, it may have the edge over Sibelius for the way I work, in that I only use notation software to produce a score and not playback.

It will be worth me checking to see how Staffpad can be incorporated into a DAW like your suggestion. It'd be neat if it could access Kontakt as a lot of the good libraries are in the NI.nk format. Now that might change my workflow, but I can't really imagine not writing on a piece of paper. I gather too that Staffpad is a Windows 10 app only, which is a pain for me on a Mac, so it might be impossible to hook it up with Logic, who knows.

I learned to write music when you had to use a pen or pencil but the first time I saw some reasonably priced scoring software that played back some beeps and squeaks I was hooked. But now you can have both together ('Staffpad'), so . . . but I just have to wonder if this product will stay popular (and be supported) now that younger musicians are accustomed to using a mouse? There's a big investment of time and money lost if it goes away like so many things do.


Christian Morris at Composition Today is currently running an evaluation of Dorico on his blog: one current, and the first trial last November.


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