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What say you? I'd like a program that can work well with my DAW. PC. Thanks, doug

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I use both, but I like Cubase and Nuendo too, they are very useful for recording/editing.  

You might want to take a look at Notion.  It does have rewire capability and is very intuitive to learn.  It's also very reasonably priced.

I also use Finale for final score output.  It can produce just about any notation you could want, but as Fredrick said, it does have a learning curve.

Hi Doug!

   I don't have Sibelius, so can't offer any help on that, I have tried Finale some time ago, and it appears to be a good product, but to be quite honest, it's probably too advanced for my needs. You probably find this hard to believe, but I am still using Cakewalk 2 (dated 1996 !) which might not be sophisticated, but is so much simpler to use (I get things done faster that way).  The ancient Cakewail 2 doesn't run on anything newer than XP.  I am out of practice on Composers' Forum, and find it hard to navigate.  Would love to know what feedback you get, and which system you finally choose.  Good Luck, Doug!

I write music 'by ear'. My apologies. :) Actually, I primarily make music in my head, then I hum it into a cheap dictation recorder, and then use my DAW, Sonar X1, to record the same or similar ideas. I use MIDI instruments a lot, like a sampled grand piano. There are often times when I'd like to convert an arrangement with MIDI instruments into a score, so that's why I'm interested in notation software. Sonar's X1 notation feature really sucks- maybe X3 is better? Anyway, thanks for your responses. I was leaning toward Sibelius, but that company is now in turmoil, people fired, etc. So, maybe Finale....

Hi Doug,

Nice to hear from you again.  Right, Sibelius or Finale?  Personally, I use Finale because it was offered to me at a discount as a bone-fide owner of Notion 3, and it was about £100 cheaper than Sibelius anyway.  They say in general that people from the USA favour Finale, whilst Europeans go for Sibelius, but I'm sure that's nonsense.

Finale can just about do anything (meaning that it has the same infinite capabilities as a pen, tippex, and a clean sheet ofmanuscript paper).  However, the one main drawback is the size of its learning curve.  It's bloody enormous.  You see, it started off as a big enough programme in itself, and every year since it was released, it's been added to with more and more functions.  I think I read somewhere that Finale was built musicians with programme writing capabilities, whereas Sibelius was written by qualifiedsoftware engineers using musicians as consultants.  However, I maybe wrong.

What I'm basically saying is that Sibelius is more user-friendly.  The finished products from Finale are marvellous, and if, like me, you have the time and patience to get to grips with the product, the results are rewarding.  However, I'm pretty sure that Sibelius is just as able, and, more user-friendly into the bargain.  But it will cost you another £100.

But Doug, it really depends on what you want, and what you want it for.  Both Finale and Sibelius have, in my opinion, made the mistake of trying to incorporate playback capabilities, but no matter how hard they try, they will never achieve the same results that dedicated sequencers like Cubase, DP or Cakewalk do.

So, depending on the complexities of the works you wish to engrave, I'd strongly suggest you take a look at some of the other notation programmes that are on the market, as they are a lot lot cheaper (some of them are even free).  Also, both Sibelius 7 and Finale 2014 are the absolute top end of all the notation programmes on the market.  They are so extensive that even the most ambitious composers will only use perhaps a quarter of their functions.  Therefore, both companies have released less-involved programmes with the option to upgrade at a later date if need be.  These programmes are called "Sibelius First" and "Finale Print Music", and they considerably cheaper than the full programmes.  It is quite possible that they possess all you need.  However, it is my suggestion that you go to http://music-notation-software-review.toptenreviews.com/ where you will find extremely detailed reviews of ALL the leading notation programmes. 

I hope this helps.

I'd assume the only function that did (come with a talent app), would be one's brain, and whatever musical education, not to mention, inspiration, it was prepared to absorb.

Hi there!
I'm now considering Notion. Rudi uses it and I like the price. I do most of my work with my DAW, Sonar. I'd like to be able to export some MIDI tracks, out to a notation program. I'd like the program to be able to handle tuplets, like eighth note triplets with a rest in the middle. Fredrick- yeah, the quality of my music is just getting to the point where it might be a good idea to create a score, see the music as notation. Hey- it could be kind of 'fun'.

Simon Godden said:

Hi Doug,

Nice to hear from you again.  Right, Sibelius or Finale?  Personally, I use Finale because it was offered to me at a discount as a bone-fide owner of Notion 3, and it was about £100 cheaper than Sibelius anyway.  They say in general that people from the USA favour Finale, whilst Europeans go for Sibelius, but I'm sure that's nonsense.

Finale can just about do anything (meaning that it has the same infinite capabilities as a pen, tippex, and a clean sheet ofmanuscript paper).  However, the one main drawback is the size of its learning curve.  It's bloody enormous.  You see, it started off as a big enough programme in itself, and every year since it was released, it's been added to with more and more functions.  I think I read somewhere that Finale was built musicians with programme writing capabilities, whereas Sibelius was written by qualifiedsoftware engineers using musicians as consultants.  However, I maybe wrong.

What I'm basically saying is that Sibelius is more user-friendly.  The finished products from Finale are marvellous, and if, like me, you have the time and patience to get to grips with the product, the results are rewarding.  However, I'm pretty sure that Sibelius is just as able, and, more user-friendly into the bargain.  But it will cost you another £100.

But Doug, it really depends on what you want, and what you want it for.  Both Finale and Sibelius have, in my opinion, made the mistake of trying to incorporate playback capabilities, but no matter how hard they try, they will never achieve the same results that dedicated sequencers like Cubase, DP or Cakewalk do.

So, depending on the complexities of the works you wish to engrave, I'd strongly suggest you take a look at some of the other notation programmes that are on the market, as they are a lot lot cheaper (some of them are even free).  Also, both Sibelius 7 and Finale 2014 are the absolute top end of all the notation programmes on the market.  They are so extensive that even the most ambitious composers will only use perhaps a quarter of their functions.  Therefore, both companies have released less-involved programmes with the option to upgrade at a later date if need be.  These programmes are called "Sibelius First" and "Finale Print Music", and they considerably cheaper than the full programmes.  It is quite possible that they possess all you need.  However, it is my suggestion that you go to http://music-notation-software-review.toptenreviews.com/ where you will find extremely detailed reviews of ALL the leading notation programmes. 

I hope this helps.

Here's a link to Notion. Looks pretty impressive. I like the save as pdf option.
http://www.notionmusic.com/products/notion4.html

Doug, I have Notion 3.  Let me know if you need any help with it.

In that case, I'd go for Sibelius First.

Notion 5 is excellent!
It can play nice with any DAW through rewire capability.
Notion also allows you the option of loading your own vst's for instruments
A very flexible and innovative program

Based on your title, I was gonna say Lilypond, which produces the most beautiful scores, but then you ask for a DAW hookup, so I have to retract that. Lilypond's MIDI interface sux. Well, it's not even an interface, it's a MIDI export of rather poor quality, unless you're a hardcore insane computer geek like myself who is willing to do nasty tricks to make the MIDI output palatable (I have managed to get it to the point that the output is tolerable, and arguably even somewhat nice -- but that requires integration with other tools and instrument samples I found on my own by scouring the 'Net, complete with a hand-tuned software synth -- don't even remotely expect this to work out-of-the-box).

But there's also the caveat that I'm an insane computer geek who hates GUI applications, and so I wouldn't use Finale/Sibelius unless I was forced to. If you're not really into using text editors for music input, then plain Lilypond probably isn't up your alley. :-) There is a graphical frontend to it called Frescobaldi, which, rumor has it, is pretty good, so if you ever want (very!) nice quality music typesetting, say when you become a famous composer and have to produce print-quality music for your eager players, it's something worth looking into. But if you want DAW integration, you either have to be prepared to do a lot of manual setting up, or look elsewhere.

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