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Topic: Volume/Mizer settings in Finale

  1. #1

    Question Volume/Mixer settings in Finale

    This question is for other finale users.

    What do you generally set the volume levels at (in the instrument list and/or mixer). I find that it's very difficult to create decent balance. For example, I've used both piccolo trumpets in a piece before and the SAM one is really strong and the other one....well, let's just say, one could more easily hear a muted harpsichord in a soundproofed room in a distant galaxy far, far away... OK, so it's not nearly that bad, but I'd like to know what volume levels people use for instruments, because I can never seem to find the right volume levels. I tend to use the brass, percussion, and organ a lot, so those would be the most helpful (especially the overlays), but strings and winds would be nice, too (especially the clarinets, they're always so loud compared to everything else).

    I use 2009c, but I'm pretty sure the volume settings would have the same effect in any version of Finale.

    Last edited by ZacPB189; 04-29-2011 at 10:14 PM. Reason: typo in title
    Zacharias Paul Gustav Büchner

  2. #2

    Re: Volume/Mizer settings in Finale

    Since getting started with Finale, I've discovered that the volumes for each instrument are pretty consistent (at least that's what the Instrument List window tells me).

    But that means that, due to the nature of each instrument, a brass instrument is going to sound louder than, say, a violin at the same MIDI volume.

    So I'm assuming this is where dynamics and such come into play. It's really a matter of balance. I'm not a maestro but I always assumed that using overlay instruments was to make them stand out; fuller or bolder. You'd probably want to use those instruments when you want a big, fat sound. You could probably start with half the volume and go from there.

    Also, it's not really set in stone. You could export the MIDI from Finale into the sequencer of choice. For example, I could export the MIDI from Finale, expressions, articulations and all and adjust them accordingly in ACID Pro 7 if I want to change something volume-wise.

  3. #3

    Re: Volume/Mizer settings in Finale

    When the instruments load in finale, they should all be at a volume level of 101, and you'd think the brass would be louder, but they're not....they're quieter compared to everything else, and the woodwinds are obnoxiously loud. They also don't respond to dynamics very well (especially the woodwinds, which usually ignore them completely unless every dynamic has a crescendo or decrescendo next to it (and even then, "pp" will take everything down to almost inaudible, except the woodwinds)).

    And I don't have a sequencer or a MIDI keyboard (partly because I'm a poor college student , and partly because I need notation to know what I'm doing, and I'm not a very good keyboard player...otherwise, I'd also have Finale 2011).

    What I'd like is some examples of how people, who successfully use GPO with Finale and make it sound like they used a sequencer but didn't, set the volume for the instruments and such. Basically, it'd be nice if there was a tutorial or something on using finale with GPO, and getting them to work together smoothly, so that it doesn't always sound like a low-quality mock-up.
    Zacharias Paul Gustav Büchner

  4. #4

    Re: Volume/Mizer settings in Finale

    Hi, I've used Finale 2010 - but I imagine its very similar.

    Everything is set at volume 101, and I let the dynamic settings (and velocity of notes) take care of the volume/attack.

    I know what you mean about the dynamics feeling inconsistent, pp for string, v quiet, for woodwinds it can be louder, but be sure the human playback settings are working correctly and changing the modulation levels.

    Everything is leveled off, but I get an even sound across the instruments by tweaking the dynamics. Remember that different instrument sections have different timbres and qualities which means simplying setting the same dynamic level isn't across everything in a bar will not always give you an even sound. I routinely have to drop a level of dynamic for brass and woodwind if I want strings to be heard (or boost strings instead). I haven't used any external sequencer yet on any of my pieces, but I think I will start as mixing can help bring out a solo instrument where in finale it could get lost.

  5. #5

    Re: Volume/Mizer settings in Finale

    Actually, I'd actually like to have the brass and percussion be louder than everything, but in 2009c (sung to the tune about the bones that are connected to each other ):
    The Percussion are overpowered by Brass Sounds.
    The Brass Sounds are overpowered by the String Sounds (but not really by much).
    But nothing compares to the Woodwinds,
    That completely drown everything out.
    (end of song)
    Then, of course, there are the harps, which are comically louder than everything, and the piano being quieter that even some of the percussion. Again, dynamics don't really help in terms of balance, and I can never find the right balances in the mixer. I'd please really just like to see what other people do in the mixer and such to give me something to work off of.
    Zacharias Paul Gustav Büchner

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