question of how to input notes

New here, so be gentle...I have been scanning the forums here for about a week, and I can't seem to find the answer I am looking for, so I will ask here, and duck and cover from all the newbie attacks!  :)
I am thinking about getting VDL, but I don't understand how the note input works.  Do you have to manually write the notes in like finale, or can you physically drum on a keyboard (midi or cpu) the rhythms with your hands and the finale or siebels software will translate that down to the cpu?  I haven't used finale (or sib) for a long time, and am now getting back into writing, so I don't remember if either program has that capability.

Thank you for helping a noob.
[quote author=pappy link=topic=2053.msg11350#msg11350 date=1198683961]
Thanks for your help guys.  I appreciate it.  Since I have a limited budget at this time (just got married), I have gone ahead and bought printmusic.  It will do for now.  If I get more arranging gigs in the future, I might just go up to a full blown version.

Here is a thought I had this weekend...is there a program that can use input from a sensor to write drum music?  I saw at pasic years ago a drumset made with frisbees tied to sensors into a cpu.  The drummer hit the bees, and the cpu recognized the stroke, then played the appropriate sound.  Seems to me a no brainer that this could then be translated into a notation program....no?
[/quote]

Something more like: http://www.zzounds.com/item--KORPADKONTROL
It is a possibility but you would have to be, as has been mentioned on here earlier, near machine level perfect with your rhythmic accuracy for it to translate to the screen the rhythms you played.  Again, a possibility but you will find that with Sibelius (or finale) it is very easy (and sometimes almost as fast) to just enter in the notes via their entry methods.
Thanks for your help guys.  I appreciate it.  Since I have a limited budget at this time (just got married), I have gone ahead and bought printmusic.  It will do for now.  If I get more arranging gigs in the future, I might just go up to a full blown version.

Here is a thought I had this weekend...is there a program that can use input from a sensor to write drum music?  I saw at pasic years ago a drumset made with frisbees tied to sensors into a cpu.  The drummer hit the bees, and the cpu recognized the stroke, then played the appropriate sound.  Seems to me a no brainer that this could then be translated into a notation program....no?
[quote author=pappy link=topic=2053.msg10435#msg10435 date=1193151149]
... so I will ask here, and duck and cover from all the newbie attacks! :)

Thank you for helping a noob.
[/quote]

Hello pappy, welcome to the Tapspace forum.

First of all, let me tell you that there is nothing wrong with being a ";noob";. Even though it may have been years ago, we all have gone through this process at one time or another. You have a valid concern as to whether you think you can do this or not (I know I did at first) - and better to ask the question before you blow money on something you may end up not using.

Secondly, if you hang around the forum long enough you will find that the veterans here don't ";attack"; anyone, much less newbies. If some of the responses to other posts came across to you like that, I hope that eventually you will see that the problems were with the questions, not the answers.

[b]The better and more detailed the question is, the better and more detailed the answer will be.[/b] (I won't list them here, but there are some very good tips/posts on how to get a helpful response, just do a little more browsing to find them if you haven't already.) As drumcat eluded to, you gave us a good one. :)

There are plenty of people on this forum that are willing to take some of their individual time and help others with issues that they may have. Please keep in mind that these generous people do not have to do this. (Some of the answers I have seen had to have taken 30 to 45 minutes or more to write. Doing that a few times a week can add up to a good bit of time.)

Now, I believe that the way you input notes will be the same regardless of which notation program you use. But for the overall ease of use, I agree with Eric and drumcat in that Sibelius might have a smaller learning curve. And once the Template is realeased for it, this will be even greater (the overall ease of use, not the learning curve ;)).

Anyway, we are here to help with whatever questions you may come up with.



Let me approach it somewhat differently.  Yes, you'll use a keyboard as a set of input ";buttons"; if you will, but in either program, F/S, it won't be an input ";in time";.  It's possible, but not practical to enter notes in ";real time";.

Either program will have you select a value of a note, be it a half-note or a 32nd-note, in advance.  Then you pick the kind of note you want played by pressing the keyboard note.  So once you have your staff set up, and you've selected that staff, the workflow goes like:

";Choose 16th note.  Press 'Right Snare Hit'.  Press 'Left Snare Hit'.  Choose 8th note.  Press 'Right Snare Shot.";

It seems like that might be time consuming, but it's quickly picked up on.  In no time, you'll be using your regular keyboard with your left hand, selecting a note-length, and your right hand will be on the common buttons for choosing the type of note.

As they say, ";the software will take care of the rest";, because if you're using a template, the notes and noteheads will be appropriately configured.  Once the notes are in, it's a good time to look back and add in things like dynamic markings and such.  You'll find that once you're ";in the groove";, entering notes, you can enter them quickly in either program.

Both programs also give you options on entering notes through playing into them.  What we've all found is that they have a temperament to not be terribly accurate when you're doing something odd like percussion entry.  They seem to think that instruments that play melodies and harmonies are somehow more important.  Sheesh. :)

Anyhow, your question is a really good one.  As Erath said, it's important to look at your choice between Finale and Sibelius because many of us here feel that entry with Sibelius is somewhat easier, though you'll also find that the minority of Finale users is also a fervent defender of the way there's works.  Either way, that entry functionality will be at the heart of how much time you're configuring stuff, and how much you're actually putting notes in, so give it some thought.

Finally, VDL works simply as the output sounds of those notes you put in.  When you play back notes that you've entered, your notation program sends out an ";event message"; telling your program to playback ";this exact sound for this long";.  VDL is lots of very high quality real, recorded sounds that when put together emulate a drumline.  In essence, it's the audio that makes the ";morse code"; of midi sound good.  Midi messages can trigger any sound, but only VDL makes them sound so realistic.  Then when you're done notating, either program can make you a final rendering of what your score sounds like using VDL.  This is why it's called a ";virtual instrument"; -- you put the notes on the page, say go, and your computer ";plays"; the instrument to your exact notated entry.

I hope that helps.  We're actually pretty laid back here, really.  We just like questions like yours -- detailed.
Time for a shameless plug for Sibelius! If you haven't used Finale or Sibelius in a while, I think you will find that Sibelius is a lot quicker to learn and that you'll be up and writing in no time.

It should definitely be mentioned that you are going to need a MIDI keyboard to do your entry with. If you don't have one, you can definitely find one cheap at a place like Wal-mart or Target (most of these keyboards have MIDI In/Out on them nowadays.). Or you can take a look at one of the one's Tapspace offers. I have one of each and love them equally.

If you have your notation program loaded (Fin or Sib) and your MIDI cable connected to your computer, then you can get everything else you need to get started (knowledge-wise) by searching this forum.

That's all you should need. Can anyone else think of something I missed?

good luck!
For both Finale and Sibelius, you're going to need to input the notes.  There are a variety of ways to do so in each program, and attempting to ";drum them in"; while recording will hardly be accurate.  The timing to do so would need to be machine level and PERFECT. Your best bet would be to pick your poison (Finale or Sib) and consult the appropriate manuals on their alternative entry modes.

VDL 2.5 acts as an add on to what you're writing.  If Finale/Sib is a car and the music you're playing is what you've written, VDL is the really nice set of speakers.
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