Entering Notation in Finale 2003

ok, i feel like a complete idiot. ive completely installed and configured virtual drumline 2, and im using finale 2003. im fairly sure ive configured the midi stuff correctly b/c when i enter random notes on the template, sounds from VDl:2 do play. my problem is that i dont not understand how to enter the notes so i get the desired sounds in playback. i found the library that displays all the notes heads and placements for all the different sounds, but im unable to notate it appropiatly to get any given sound. when i try to change the note to the one that is supposed to be a different sound, nothing happens except the note head is different, and the sound is the same. im frustrated b/c i dont feel like this library or template is very friendly to people who arent using a midi keyboard. but generally, im just really frustrated.

max power
Welcome to my world.  I was in the same boat with Finale 2003.  I wanted to enter everything with Simple Entry because I was familiar with that.  Everyone told me I should just get a midi keyboard.  I always thought a midi keyboard was ";optional"; but, after getting one, I dont see how one could go without it.  It's probably the best thing you could do to get ALL the sounds in those maps to play correctly.  The MAudio Oxygen midi Keyboards are affordable and portable.  Probably not the answer you wanted to hear.  I didnt want to hear it either, but it worked for me. 
When writing with complex percussion mapping and detailed instruments within VDL2, you must realize that in order to get the correct sound to playback, Finale needs to understand which [b]sound[/b] you want (not necessarily what you want it to [i]look like[/i]). Then, the power of Finale's mapping capabilities can allow you to simulate proper staff placement and noteheads. You are probably thinking about it backwards in that you're entering notes with the visual (notation) in mind, without necessarily realizing how Finale interprets that.

For example, there are numerous identical notes (with differing sounds) that can be notated on, say, the top space of a marching tenorline staff (drum 1). Some of these options could be RH hit, LH hit, short buzz roll cresc, med buzz roll cresc, sustained buzz, crush, long buzz roll cresc, all the decrescendo rolls, etcetera. The point is this. If you just enter an eighth note onto that staff space (with simple entry), how does Finale know which of the above listed sounds (among others) is intended to play back? [i]It doesn't[/i]. You need to think about what Finale needs to accomplish your goal. [i]Most importanly, it needs to know the exact midi pitch you want to hear[/i]. If you aren't using a MIDI keyboard, it is ridiculously tedious to try and work around this fact.

Be patient. When in the UK, you have to drive on the left side of the road. If you try to drive on the right, you won't get too far even though it's what's familiar to you. If you follow the rules though, you'll be amazed at how quickly you'll be driving like a native. Sorry...maybe that's a corny analogy. But it's important to understand that you may be in the early stages of learning a new skill that will eventually become second nature if you approach it the right way.

Good luck forging ahead, and I'm sure we'll be hearing some percussive concoctions coming from you before long. :)
By the way...

Special welcome to you Maxpower for being the 500th member of the Tapspace forum!! :)
thanks for the advice, jim. ill probably get a midi keyboard, because it sounds like the most efficient way to notate in finale with VDl:2. and by the way, i saw you at katie's recital at UW earlier this year. im a student of dave reeves on the UW drumline. its awesome to have you on this forum. anywho, thanks for advice!

the man with the name you'd like to touch,

max power
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