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Sequencing - Using Midi Transc. vs. Real Time Recording
Last post Sun, Sep 02 2007 by stmain, 3 replies.
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Posted on Wed, Jul 25 2007 05:03
by harpist78
Joined on Wed, Jul 25 2007, Albert Lea, Minnesota, Posts 2
I have a semi-dumb question ...

I use Finale 100% of the time, and when getting all the music ready for my Contemporary Music Group, I write all their parts out for them. I've started using my orchestration skills to add winds/brass and strings to these songs, and have written these in the transcription as well.

My question is ... I've used Cubase for ages on my MAC and have sequenced from both importing midi files of the individual instruments created in Finale, then went back and adjusted velocity, and volume levels, AND then I've also clicked record in Cubase, and hand entered all of the separate instruments.

How do you pros do it? Which is more realistic? Which sounds better? I find myself pulling my hair out hand entering, as the strings 'take-off' and I can't keep up with the beat, so I slow the sequence down, and try it again and again. But then when I pull midi in using Finale, it all sounds too perfect, and in-human, as everything is so exact.

I have a million songs to get into the computer in the next several months ... any input on this would be greatly helpful. I just want to do things the way the pros do!

Posted on Wed, Jul 25 2007 16:31
by synthetic
Joined on Mon, Mar 14 2005, Posts 279
No matter how much I edit the MIDI output file from my notation software, it sounds a hundred times better if I play it in. My suggestion is to print the parts and play them into the sequencing software. Your sight reading will improve as a bonus. Smile
Posted on Sun, Sep 02 2007 01:15
by stmain
Joined on Wed, Jan 03 2007, San Francisco, California, Posts 35
Hey Harpist78, from a fellow harpist and Finale user!

My system is to compose and tweak the score in Finale as close as I can get it, including using the Tempo Tap feature to get the ritards more or less as I like them. I also use the Human Playback feature, which I think really sounds pretty good for the most part and saves time.

Then I export the entire Finale file as a midi file, and open it up in Sonar.

At that point, I start fiddling and tweaking each instrument's track to get the right sound.

I realize, as others have pointed out, that playing things into your sequencer by hand can often give a better result. However, if you're talking about a full symphonic score, this can take FOREVER. Also, there's something maddening about having put in all the notes into Finale by hand (Hyperscribe sucks, IMHO, so I just use Speedy Entry and my keyboard), only to later RE-enter every note into the sequencer. You should only have to enter notes once!

That being said, if we're talking about a small ensemble piece, then it might be worth it (and not too time-consuming) to play in the notes yourself.

Steve Main
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