I've been asked to write for a piano quintet [piano + string quartet]. Nothing fancy, but the players will be first-rate. So I cannot hand them manuscript.

Been offered anything I need. I also need to be reasonable. I set my budget at $2,000. I'd like not to ask for more than that.

I will get Finale 2011 at $350 (academic/institutional)

I need a new, stronger PC. Any RAM ideas? I know, "as fast as possible." I will go for Windows.

Those are given. After that, I don't know what I need. Do I need a keyboard? I remember being frustrated when playing music into Finale (early 1990s) via a keyboard. It may be easier to notate with a mouse, or through another method (I remember the number pad method).

Is the version of GPO that comes with Finale 2011 the same as the one they sell separately?

What things am I missing? Things have changed since the last time I did this. [MIDI soundcards, electronic MIDI keyboards, Proteus sampler....]

The experience of the women and men of composition would be appreciated!

peace from sylvester

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  • Thanks for the ideas, friends. I did what was recommended, save for the addition of the GPO4 sound library. It has to be good enough. 99% of what I do is just for fun, since I'm not employed to write music. Well, I'm not employed.

    I bought a refurbished PC, fast enough, with 8GB.
    Finale 2011/GPO4
    I bought a friend a decent digital piano, and took his not-weighted-keys 88-key MIDI keyboard.
    I use a laser jet printer I had from my Windows ME computer, years ago. It worked fine.

    I will need a mod wheel, but that can come in time.
    I have real misgivings about the string sound, which can irritate people who are not used to digital music. So I will be interested in learning how to cheat (with the said mod wheel) to make the score sound better.

    This score was just Christmas cheer - easy listening. And it had to be pretty easy for quick learning. peace to all.
  • Hi Silvester, I am Vlad and I confirm the Cris recomandation about printer: only black and white laser printer if You want to do score/parts. Exemple with b/w laser printer I can do with one cartridg around 4 000 copies A4, with my new other printer only 180 copies!!!. That is why I still use my old printer.
  • I too think it's a good idea to get yourself an inexpensive used MIDI keyboard, 76 or 88 keys.
  • Hi Sylvester,
    I am working with a Dell vostro 1500 notebook with 4 GB Ram and an external audio card (Terratec Phase 26). Windows in 32bit mode can't address 4 GB, so I am working with Windows 7 in 64bit mode. I'm writing with Notion 3 which works fine with Windows running in 64bit mode. Notion has great insturments, but it's possibilities to get a perfect score are limited. When you own Finale 2011 you might get Notion for a very good price. Your $ 2,000 limit should include that (and more). I have, but don't really use, a Korg nano midi-keyboard (55.00 Euro).
    Cheers,
    Rudi
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