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Topic: OT: Another kind of keyboard

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  1. #1

    OT: Another kind of keyboard

    This one is for Finale users, and possibly Sibelius users.

    In Finale, you can enter musical notation into a score using only the computer keyboard in a mode called "Speedy Entry" which relies on the numeric keypad to input the duration of each note.

    I'm learning Finale on my desktop Macintosh, which has a full keyboard. But I had to go out of town for a week.

    To take on the road, I installed my second license for Finale on my wife's Dell laptop running Windows XP. However, the Dell, like almost all laptops, does not have a separate numeric keypad next to the QWERTY keys.

    So how to do Speedy Entry on a laptop?

    I went to a local computer store and found an Inland USB full-sized external numeric keypad for only $10. You just plug it in and it works--no drivers, no external power supply, no fuss.

    http://www.inland-products.com/photo_big/70113_big.jpg

    The Inland design has full-sized keys on a base that is rather thick, which means it lines up very well next to the regular keyboard built into your laptop. There are other models that are smaller, thinner, and more expensive, but the Inland was a perfect fit for me.

    This is the best $10 I ever spent on a computer gadget.
    Wheat Williams
    Atlanta, Georgia, USA
    Music Copyist in Sibelius
    Apple MacBook Pro, Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion
    Apple Certified Support Professional. I also work with Windows.

  2. #2

    Re: OT: Another kind of keyboard

    Thanks for sharing that info. I'll remember this. I'm shopping for notation software right now and think I'm probably going to go for Finale.

    Jeanne W

  3. #3

    Re: OT: Another kind of keyboard

    Just a hint: you may want to invest in a piano type keyboard and move to using the numbers at the top of the keyboard. It open up using the alpha-keys for different shortcuts and, most people find, it's much quicker to enter pitch with the piano. I just purchased (it's in the mail) a roll-up rubber keyboard to go with my laptop. It was well mentioned on the Finale forum as being a good piece of gear so i thought I'd give it a try.

    Mike

  4. #4

    Re: OT: Another kind of keyboard

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeLocke
    Just a hint: you may want to invest in a piano type keyboard and move to using the numbers at the top of the keyboard. It open up using the alpha-keys for different shortcuts and, most people find, it's much quicker to enter pitch with the piano. I just purchased (it's in the mail) a roll-up rubber keyboard to go with my laptop. It was well mentioned on the Finale forum as being a good piece of gear so i thought I'd give it a try.

    Mike
    Hello Mike,

    Would you mind sharing the name of the "roll-up" rubber keyboard with us? That sounds like a great match for laptop notation projects. Thanks!
    James G. Eakin III, DMA
    Composer-In-Residence,
    Turtle Creek Chorale
    Assistant Director-Film Scoring program,
    Aspen Music Festival & School
    www.jameseakin.com

  5. #5

    Re: OT: Another kind of keyboard

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeLocke
    Just a hint: you may want to invest in a piano type keyboard
    Of course! I have an M-Audio Ozonic for that. It has three octaves of keys, loads of knobs and sliders, and is also a multi-channel audio interface over FireWire.

    I agree that using a MIDI keyboard in conjunction with the computer keyboard is the best way to go, but I maintain that a separate external keypad is useful. I wanted the flexibility of having both.
    Wheat Williams
    Atlanta, Georgia, USA
    Music Copyist in Sibelius
    Apple MacBook Pro, Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion
    Apple Certified Support Professional. I also work with Windows.

  6. #6

    Re: OT: Another kind of keyboard

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesIII
    Would you mind sharing the name of the "roll-up" rubber keyboard with us?
    Adesso markets one that only costs $20.00.

    http://www.microcenter.com/single_pr...uct_id=0230453
    Wheat Williams
    Atlanta, Georgia, USA
    Music Copyist in Sibelius
    Apple MacBook Pro, Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion
    Apple Certified Support Professional. I also work with Windows.

  7. #7

    Re: OT: Another kind of keyboard

    The (piano) keyboard I have comming is an iSmart from Ta Horng. I ordered it from PG Music. The link should be

    http://www.pgmusic.com/th_ismart.htm


    I'll let you know what I think of it soon. Here's a link to the thread at the Finale forum where I heard about it:

    http://forum.makemusic.com/default.aspx?f=5&m=160080


    Mike

  8. #8

    Re: OT: Another kind of keyboard

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeLocke
    The (piano) keyboard I have comming is an iSmart from Ta Horng. Mike
    Now THAT looks like something new!
    Wheat Williams
    Atlanta, Georgia, USA
    Music Copyist in Sibelius
    Apple MacBook Pro, Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion
    Apple Certified Support Professional. I also work with Windows.

  9. #9

    Re: OT: Another kind of keyboard

    I trained myself to use the top row numbers when I first started with Finale back in the mid 90's. It's second nature now and there's no change required when using a laptop...

  10. #10

    Re: OT: Another kind of keyboard

    Wait, I thought Dell included a number pad on their laptops. On my laptop, it is in purple letters towards the right of the keyboard. To use it, I have to hold the Fn key and press the numbers.
    Colton J. Provias
    Film Score Composer, Location Sound Mixer, and Sound Editor
    Full-stack Web Developer

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