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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000207.txt from 2005/04

From: (Ormondtoby Montoya)
Subj: RE: [kl] Music notation software
Date: Tue, 12 Apr 2005 00:49:03 -0400

Karl Krelove wrote:

> FWIW to Erik or anyone else, I run Sibelius
> very smoothly on my computer at work, which
> is runs at a (relatively) prehistoric CPU clock
> rate of 600MHz. It also runs fine on my
> 1.8GHz machine at home. So I'm not sure
> what experience Ormondtoby had to make
> him feel you need a 2GHz CPU.

Karl, this conversation has been a major learning experience for me, and
therefore I post the following with care because I don't know many of
the answers. But if I don't speak up, then nobody will have a reason
to tell me where I'm wrong.

I have two machines now, and I assure you that my slower 700 mHz machine
fails when I set Sibelius 3.1 to use all of "Kontact Silver" and its "20
orchestral voices" (in place of the basic 128 "G-MIDI" or "X-MIDI"

You and I can both run Sibelius 3.1 on our slower machines _without_
using Kontact's best voices.

**However** Sibelius's menu system requires that several different menus
all be set properly in order to use Kontact's 'best' voices. The
result is that some menus may appear to claim that "Playback with
Kontact" is in effect, while in fact you are actually playing with the
'one dimensional' MIDI voices. That is, Sibelius is doing the best it
can under the circumstances without complaining at you.

If perchance you haven't heard Kontact Silver or Gold in full effect
yet, you will be somewhat astounded at the difference in sound. Much
of the difference involves reverberation, which costs a lot of processor
speed and memory space.

Sibelius 3.1's manual warns that 1 gHz (1000 mHz) is required --- this
is in print, you should be able to find it in your manual also ---
unless we want to start pruning some of Kontact's capabilities.

And then the manual advises to "experiment" with various settings on a
slow machine, but the manual does not explain carefully what is
happening. The things that I've learned here today about "music fonts"
(I didn't know they existed until today), or that "device" means a piece
of software in Sibelius's lingo (I was thinking of buying new hardware
when I heard the word "device", but thanks to Mark's few paragraphs, now
I have a notion of what I'm really looking for --- why couldn't they
have added those few paragraphs to their manual?) apology for a run-on sentence....

Anyway, you may (or may not --- I don't know enough to guess) be aware
that you aren't receiving the full benefit of Kontact Silver or Gold on
either machine. The manual simply does not lay it all out for you.
Nor do their names for various features lead directly toward valid
assumptions about what's going on

As I said above, take what I've posted with a grain of salt. I learned
more today from Mark's few paragraphs than many pages of Sibelius 3.1's
manual taught me.

Also, to Erik (and Rien was asking similar questions a few days ago), be
aware that I have not read Finale 2005's manual. I don't know what my
opinion would be about these matters if I had read Finale's manual.

> Also FWIW, I haven't yet found anything that
> I've wanted to do in notating music that I can't
> do with either program - it's all in finding the
> menu item you need.

Ditto for me! That's why my earlier post included the statement that
both programs handle tremolos and cross-stave beaming and crescendos and
meter changes in mid-stream properly, and they both cause markings to
'stick' with the proper note or staff when a part is extracted, and so
forth. It's only when you really 'push the envelope' that differences

> One final suggestion - you can't,
> unfortunately, base your evaluation on the
> freeware versions and even less on the
> commercial light versions

Karl, this deserves a "double ditto" from me !!!!! Perhaps even a
"triple ditto."

The reason I ended up with Sibelius is that even their order desk did
not give me complete or accurate answers when I bought one of their
"light" versions. Once they had some of my money, they coaxed me
upwards until finally I ended up with full Finale 3.1.

It would be hypocritical of me to complain too loudly because they gave
me a discount due to the special circumstances, but the fact remains
that I started out with a "light" version of Finale and they coaxed me
onto the Sibelius path by not telling me everything up front.
Otherwise I would've simply upgraded to Finale 2005. I can't accuse
the clerk of being intentionally dishonest because he turned out to be
as surprised as I was that the "light" versions couldn't do certain
things. But somewhere higher up in the organization, they must know
what they're doing.

Once again, since I have not dealt with Finale's sales desk in the same
detail as I have with Sibelius's (since Coda disappeared), I cannot say
that the Finale organization behaves any differently.

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