I use Sibelius for the making of the actual score. It has served me well so far. For the actual inputing of the notes I use midi notation software. The reason I use this is because it is easier to change the midi date through graphs etc for tempo and note velocity. I then export it as an XML to sibelius and as a midi file to cubase to add the VST instruments.
For a good score I am using Overture 4 and Garritan PO4 with Aria. Another possibility is Notion, very soon version 3.0 will be available. If you would like to write score and play lyrics in different languages, try Myriad Harmony Assistant with Virtual Singer.
the music that you hear that sounds 'real' are not done from a notation program, but rather with a DAW and massaged, every scrap of nuance accounted for. Notation program = for making parts, one way to write a score and hear *something* back immediately. DAW (Digital Performer, Logic, Cubase, etc) is for recording midi and audio performances and for fine tuning them. And they are used in conjunction with sample libraries and vst instruments, like Vienna Symphonic Library or EWQLSO. Each library has certain nuance to learn to make it sound more realistic. And understanding the ins and outs of programming with your libraries as well as solid fundamental understanding of orchestration is all part of the modern composer process. Personally I use Finale 2010 and Sibelius 6 for notation, but I only use these programs to make parts for live sessions. I write by hand on paper sketches, then sequence in a DAW, then dump to Finale to create a score and extract parts
Does anybody know any more about Notion ? For a cheap program the built in orchestral samples sound really good - London Symphony recorded at Abbey Road. However I have heard that it can't export midi which seems a major drawback.
The way I see things going is for the better integration of samples with notation programs, eventually maybe even by-passing the need for a separate sequencer program (but the Kontakt player in Sibelius is not all that convincing for a number of reasons). Notion seems to be heading in this direction, which is a very wise move, and I will definitely download a limited demo of Notion 3 when it becomes available.
yea these libraries built to read the articulations and what not come a lot closer to being convincing, and notion probably the most. But from my experience so far, there is still a large amount of finer finesse that only working with the samples in a DAW can provide true realism, depending on the sample libraries used. Which is double your workload of having written and massaged your piece in a notation program then needing to export it to massage it in a daw, when most of your music isnt being performed and recorded live. Ill keep my eyes (and ears!) open for developments with Notion and other software, but I am sticking with my process for now
There is some way to go along this line of development - but to me it seems inevitable.
Even if it means a dual function program where you switch between a screens - a note layout and a sequencer display. Human invention always strives to make life easier and all this exporting and importing is a pain that will eventually be rectified (give it a couple of years perhaps ?) by somebody in the notation programing business.
yea it will definitely happen, and notion seems to be closest, but still a few light years away. The main problem is that printed music is meant to be interpreted by a live musician, and a computer is an exact reproduction of the input. DAW lets you massage in ways you couldnt in notation (as each performance of every sample of every sample library will respond differently to that single eighth note, and to each articulation). So there will be a LOT of 'fuzzy logic' to connect the rigid score meant to be [varied levels of] interpreted loosly, and a lot of leeway to notate for humans the precise and often skewed and awkward recording of 'massaged data' in the daw timeline.
Personally I would prefer a shift in the business model of the current trends of teh music industry to allow for a new era of flourishing economy for musicians and orchestras and big bands. Because even if they come up with a notation program that uses samples to sound really really live, it will still be one dimensional and I would take 102930192830192301x over to work with live players who interpret rather than a machine
principally finale... never managed to get friendly with sibelius - and everything else is simply not worth it.
VST's are the real thing (If you can't afford the REAL thing).
You've gotta check around on the internet and see what suits your taste...
I absolutely recommend Edirol Orchestral, for this VST programme is not too expensive, doesn't cost much RAM, takes less than 1GB on your disk... Updates are for free, and on top of all, it sounds amazing...
But be sure, that it is unlikely to find a computer programme, which would replace any musician!
Summary: Finale 2009 + Edirol Orchestral rocks! (And it all just needs about 1GB!!!!)
If people want more realistic sounding music, there's no doubt that DAW's are ahead of Notation software at the moment. I myself use Cubase Studio, which has notation built into it. When I need printed music, I just open up the notation editor, make a few tweaks to get it to look right, and then print it.
I am optimist and I hope that in one or two years time there will be at least one notation program, which will be able to produce audio output with quality of lifelike recording. I do not know which one it will be, but Notion3 and Finale or Overture with ARIA-GPO4 are not very far from achieving it and such notation program will overperform DAW.