A nice software under 300$

I don’t have 700$ to 800$ for buying Finale or Sibelius. I’m writing music, I’m not into samples, keyboards or midi meaning it gotta work easily. 

Sibelius and Finale both offer a simplified version of their product: Sibelius First, and Finale PrintMusic. For about 200$ to 300$

And there is this very new version of Notion 5 (which I know nothing about) for 170$.

For being in the same price range, is there any way I can hear what you think about these simplified versions of Finale and Sibelius compared to this new version of Notion 5.

Thank you

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  • for the price, Notion 5 hands down.  I would have said the same of N4.  All around the best tool for composers to come out since fin/sib. (the full versions).  it is gonna be a much much more robust program than a watered version of Fin/sib.  i have been using it since V1.5.  I can tell ya all about it :)


  • Thanks. That's what I tend to believe myself.

    All over the place I can read Sibelius and Finale make nicer charts. Should you know my point ain't only to write music but to get the score and charts. That's why I have these wonders... Are you actually writing with N5?

    For now, I am using Logic 9 cause that's what I have, like a pen and paper - I'm not working with keyboards but, writing note after note, with my mouse. But as it is not easy to work with for writing score and charts, that's why I beleive I'm gonna get something built for writing charts...

  • Notion can accurately notate pretty much anything you would need for 'charts'.  I haven't upgraded to 5 yet, but as I said, even version 4 was really good. Now that Presonus has bought Notion, it's really getting the development it needed.  Have a look at the Presonus Website, they give a pretty good list of features etc.  There is also a youtube channel.  If you want a playback sample, all my stuff I've posted here is made exclusively with Notion using only the stock library.


  • I'll second the recommendation for Notion.  I'm still on v3, but it's very intuitive to use and has an extremely short learning curve.  You can be composing with in a couple of hours without reading the manual.  v3 leaves a lot to be desired as far as producing a top notch finished score (I renotate in Finale 2012), but I understand that many of these shortcomings have been fixed in v5, and it's far better than any DAW score I've seen.

    Take a look at some of Tim's posts here. They were done with Notion.

    Depending on what size group you are writing for, First and Printmusic have limitations that may not work for you.

    Out of the box, Notion is far easier to learn and use and as a bonus, it does come with a pretty good soundset that needs no programming, yet can work with other vst instruments.  It also provides some DAW capabilities.

  • Ok guys, you almost got me... I've already seen PreSonus videos about N5, and right from there I was kinda getting their way. But with your advices, I believe I'll get it. And I have heard and seen Tim's work. and I really appreciate it; the score, the samples and the piece itself. It is really nice. Bravo.

    Thank you guys :)

  • Have you considered Musescore? (http://musescore.org/)

    It's free, produces great scores, and is well supported.

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