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Discussion Starter #1
Hi again folks,

I have been busy transcribing with all the helpful advice offered on my other thread about how to get started transcribing. Using Transcribe! sure helps. Now, I have been trying to notate with software. Been using Forte free edition but not that impressed with it. Does anyone have any other recommendations?

Thanks,
Larry
 

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If you want to stay free, Musescore has come a long way - really interesting. For quick and dirty, I still recommend ABC Plus. The software provided (flabc) is simple, helpful and sufficient in most cases. Online tools provide additional help.

M.
 

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I like the free (quick 'n dirty too) Noteflight which is cloud-based so it has it's advantages and disadvantages.
 

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+1 on Sibelius
 

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I've been using Finale just about forever. Still see no need to jump ship! :) It, too, has cheaper (tho' somewhat less capable) versions.
 

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Musescore and Lilypond. The latter's learning curve can be a bit steep, but the output is simply excellent.
 

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Short answer: Another +1 for Sibelius

Long answer:
I used Finale for many years, switched briefly to Sibelius, went back to Finale, and eventually spent a year with Sibelius. We can safely call this a love-hate relationship with both programs. I've concluded that my saxophone teacher's assessment is correct:
They are both excellent programs. Finale gives you somewhat finer grained control but it has a steeper learning curve.​

Either program will be challenging for the occasional user, and either can be eventually mastered and used professionally.

But if I had to start clean, I'd vote for Sibelius. I think Finale suffers from having been around too long. The menus really are convoluted IMO - Sibelius menus seem much simpler and more logically organized to me. Also, the Finale help system is terrible: You ask a simple question, and even with their filters you get a gazillion hits.:yikes!: The hits include items that pertain to every (outdated) release of Finale since Noah and the Ark. And if this isn't annoying enough, Finale Help is web based and even the short delay for a response becomes increasingly irritating after the 100th try to find something. I think if a vendor is going to put up a web-based help system, the least they could do is put it on a high performance server.

Unless you're a really big fan of heartburn, stick with Sibelius.
 

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Lamplight hit the nail on the head in my opinion. Jazz Director at our school uses Finale as he has used it for years. Composition instructor uses Sibelius as he likes the logic and ease of using the menus.
 

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I like the Finale products. I wouldn't necessarily go with the top level program. Allegro is probably the most that most folks need. Many people go with Finale and then find it too hard. It is set up to do absolutely anything one could think of, including inventing your own notation for the most out there avant garde scores. Honestly, it is far more than most of us will ever need.
 

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I am going to throw my vote in for Musescore, I have been using it for years, and it really has come a long way. I initially chose it over Finale Notepad because Notepad wouldn't let me create pick-up measures. From the early days when it had pretty much everything I needed except multi-measure rests and frequent crashes, to now where it has way more than I will ever take advantage of (without the crashes) including some truly bizarre key-signatures from Middle Eastern music; it has come a long way, and the development is still very active. For a free product, it can't be beat, and is extremely competitive with some of the most expensive notation products.

Any product will have some learning curve, question is, do you want to tie your learning curve to an expensive product that charges you for upgrades, or do you want to do it with a product that is free and listens to its consumers?
 

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Sibelius and Finale are both great programs but are overkill for what you need. I would start with something like Musescore. If you ever reach the limits of the program you'll have a good idea of what to look for in a more advanced program.
 

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Definitely Musescore. Superb and free. It might say something for the success of Musescore that I understand Sibelius 6 has been blocked from importing .xml files from Musescore.
 

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Definitely Musescore. Superb and free. It might say something for the success of Musescore that I understand Sibelius 6 has been blocked from importing .xml files from Musescore.
This is so very M$ it hurts... Can't anyone of the big players act reasonably? :protest: :brave:

M.
 

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If you want to stay free, Musescore has come a long way - really interesting. For quick and dirty, I still recommend ABC Plus. The software provided (flabc) is simple, helpful and sufficient in most cases. Online tools provide additional help.

M.
+ 1 For MUSESCORE and its FREE. It does the job and it does it well.
 

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I know most people want and will suggest the least expensive program available as long as it covers the basics, but I strongly believe the full version of Sibelius is more than a worthwhile investment for any serious musician...that is, assuming that you're going to use it more than once in a blue moon. For anyone who is "busy transcribing" as the OP stated...and assuming again that "transcribing" also means "notating"...those free programs are way too limited to bother with for anything more than light, occasional use.

I'm experienced with both Finale and Sibelius. Both are good programs, but I would choose Sibelius over Finale any day of the week specifically because, as others have mentioned, it's a much more intuitive program to use...(not just to learn). The learning curve isn't nearly as steep, but that doesn't make it any less comprehensive at all. It's not always true that the "best" programs are the most difficult to learn. In my opinion, Sibelius is the best program...not because it's easier to learn...but in spite of the fact that it's easier to learn than Finale.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2011-
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Hi again folks,

I have been busy transcribing with all the helpful advice offered on my other thread about how to get started transcribing. Using Transcribe! sure helps. Now, I have been trying to notate with software. Been using Forte free edition but not that impressed with it. Does anyone have any other recommendations?

Thanks,
Larry
I use finale... I think finale and sibelius are probably the indusry standard.. as far as "transcibe!" - it's a great program but I always learn more doing it by ear without a piano or horn.. just to paper and check for acurracy after a chorus or so...
 

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Unless I am missing something here, Printmusic from Finale at $119.00 would seem to fit the bill.

From their coloer web brochure:

•Arrange full ensembles and extract individual parts
•Play your music with professional sounds and nuance
•Share your music with iPod-ready MP3 files


I play keyboard as my main instrument and use it the "play" in my music. I just tell it to quantify (take a best guess at note duration) and play in a part thru my keyboard via usb midi.

It will do a full orchestra and all the necessary stuff to make each instrument come out properly in the proper key of your choosing. And then you can transpose at will, print the sheet (or entire director's score).

I was going to buy the Full Finale package, but when I found this one part of it that is sold seperately, I jumped on it and have enjoyed it ever since.

My only real issue is I can not seem to regulate the output tempo after I set the tempo for the score. I need to research that better, I think.

There is a trial version (has everything but save and limited print with a watermark or something).

Anyway, just wanted to add my $0.02.

Peace be with you,

Myst

http://www.finalemusic.com
 
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