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Topic: Best Practice for sequencing scores

  1. #1

    Best Practice for sequencing scores

    I was wondering if someone could recommend a process to sequence scores.

    First of all, Piano is not my main instrument so I can't play in the scores if the parts are difficult. My favorite way is to point and click notes on a staff. I have no problem with this using finale. Ofcourse we konw finale is not a sequencer. So the playback does not sound musical.

    So what is my best choice for creating a sequence that sounds real but allows me to at least start out with notes and staves?

    Do I need to start with finale then import into a sequencer program?

    Is there a sequence out there that lets me point and click notes with a resonable interface?

    I dont have a problem a using two programs. I am wondering what people do when they sequence big band arrangements with the end goal being a realistic sounding sequence.... not just a playback similar to the robotic sound of notation software playback.

    So when I do need to edit notes in a sequence, which sequencer product will give me the best chance of making modifications using notes and staves?

    I basically would like to use notes and staves as much as possible but I understand that I will have to get away from that some when it comes to making it sound like music.

    Right now the products I have are: FInale 2010, Cubase 4, Sonar 6, Garritan Jazz and Big band, Garritan Personal Orch. Is the Cubase 5 worth the upgrade?

    Thanks for your help!

  2. #2
    Senior Member tedvanya's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Canada,winter Mexico

    Re: Best Practice for sequencing scores

    Since you have Sonar 6 (as I have also), why not try it? The completed project then can be imported to Finale, if you save the file in Sonar as a midi file, not as a Cakewalk project.
    Editing in Sonar 6, entering notes in Staff view is easy, but the resulting score is void of dynamics, it is not near as good as what you are used to in Finale. It serves though as an easy to see score for you. In Finale, it will look fine.
    The sounding as "real" is a challenge for all of us. We try different tricks to achieve this. Since I have no experience in big band sounds, I can not help you there. However, you can double up some of your instruments with others and delay or advance one against the other,(time+ or -), shift the timing of notes from the perfect to not so perfect etc.
    Try it you may like it.


  3. #3

    Re: Best Practice for sequencing scores

    Hey. I've done quite a bit of broadway score sequencing, mostly in Logic. Perhaps because piano is my main instrument it makes it somewhat easier - but what I've learned is quicker in the long run for me is to record small sections (usually whatever page is in front of me, so I don't have to do a page turn) is to record it at a TERRIBLY slow click. I make less mistakes this way, and with practice have gotten better at playing nuances like trills, grace notes etc...but it's a slow, tedious process I find. As far as reading the scores go, I've also done it a couple of ways--I've read from a full orchestral score, playing in each part line by line, but what I do more of is go from a condensed piano/orchestral score which nowadays have pretty specific notation on what's going on -- and then I listen to the soundtrack and basically lift what's not on the page. Copping drum parts and other stuff that's not in print. That's all I know. I also work in Finale, but have never tried to create listenable tracks from that sequencer - I use it mainly to check notes and listen to over all structure. Good luck!!

  4. #4

    Re: Best Practice for sequencing scores

    Is trying to get a better sounding performance through a notation program a waste of time? Is just better, if one has written the score already, to start again playing each part into a DAW and then tweaking the parts and sounds from there to improve the performance?

  5. #5
    New Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    London, United Kingdom, U

    Re: Best Practice for sequencing scores

    The way that I have found to work best for me as a traditionally educated musician is to begin with a notation program and end with a sequencer. I use Finale for composition/orchestration, and for a first pass on dynamics and tempo changes. I then export a mid file which I load into Sonar for the detailed midi editing required to create a realistic performance.

    Steve S.

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