Using Finale 2011 with Kontakt 2 (stand alone): Pros and Cons

Hey guys,

I am trying to decide if it is necessary for me to switch the way I am used to doing things involving my use of Finale and Kontakt 2 (stand alone) now that I have Finale 2011.  I have read a number of posts,  I downloaded the new template, and, while I think it is REALLY awesome,  I feel like the learning curve to start from scratch is a little daunting, and, is it even possible for me to continue doing the things the way I am used to, or do I have to switch my entry and playback methods to the ones described in the 2011 template download?  Everyone and everything on the forum seems to be about using VDL 2.5 sounds through VST rather than midi, but I have never much cared for doing it that way,  and I have had the flexibility to do all the complicated multiple instrument banks much easier through Kontakt 2. Here is some background.

I am a PC  and Finale user for years.  I recently upgraded to 2011 from 2009.  I do alot of arranging for marching band for both winds and percussion.  Mostly I do the percussion stuff as a separate score though, to keep things from bogging down.  Since about Finale 2005 or so,  I got a full version of Kontakt 2 to use as a stand alone in conjunction with Finale.  Everything has worked great up to this point.  (after I figured out how all this stuff works over the years through the help of your wonderful forum). For each school I write for, I create a specific multi for them for that year, load it up into Kontakt 2, and use midi yoke to attach it to Finale for playback. 

I turn to you now for your expert opinion as to the best way to proceed and what the pros/cons and or pitfalls may be that I am not aware of.

1.) What are some of the functionality reasons for switching from my current input method that I may not be aware of?
2.) Am I some kind of ";old geezer"; (which I guess in computers years, 31 maybe an old geezer) for not using VST, or I am doing it a good way that most people don't because of the expense of acquiring the full version of Kontakt?
3.) Is it even possible for me to use my current method with Finale 2011?  I have not experimented much yet,  because I don't want to get to far into all these projects to find out later that it will not work and then have to start over anyway.
4.) In the past, I load up a file from the previous year as a ";quasi-template"; since it already has my staff assignments, expressions with patch information, etc. and then just edit as I go to tailor it to that particular band or season.  Can I just continue with this manner in 2011, or is there something I will run into that will make me regret it later?
5.) Can I still use KP 2 to create my multis and do playback through midi?  Is it a bad idea to do it that way for some reason?  The lack of info on the forum regarding that method makes think I am one of the few who would be doing it that way.

I am willing to make adjustments and learn new more efficient ways of doing things,  but I guess my ultimate question is: Do I need to learn it because it is the best way to do it, or because it is now the ONLY way to do it?  I would like to make any switches at the beginning of the season because I know I will not have the time or patience to do it midway. I was all convinced to start from scratch with the 2011 template and then build my new projects from there, but as I started reading I started wondering what is my best route to go here.

Anyway,  I hope that makes sense.  Any input I can get from anyone would be much appreciated.

Thanks in advance,

Scott Ward

Hi Scott,

Thanks for putting down your thoughts so clearly. I can appreciate your desire to keep things simple and not reprogram your brain into learning something it doesn't need to spend time learning.

I'm a little short on time at the moment, but my quick sense is that you don't necessarily need to feel as if you're missing out on a ton of new functionality if you're comfortable with how you're currently doing it. Probably the biggest reason that people enjoy hosting VST instruments directly in Finale is that there's ONE file to deal with (rather than linking a Finale file with a Kontakt multi). Plus using the quicker method of outputting audio offline from the host program can be a real time saver.

That said, you sound as if you've structured a workflow that's finely tuned with a knowledge of how channels, banks, patches, etc are working together, and there's a certain amount of freedom in having the control to be able to do those things. So in a nutshell, if this is the method that feels right to you, by all means you should consider sticking with it.

I don't think there's any reason it won't still work. Keep an eye on whether your virtual MIDI connections are playing nice - if those things ever became flakey, it could leave you a bit stranded. Also, I'm a little uncertain on how the new percussion mapping functionality of Finale 2010+ will affect your workflow (if at all).

KP2 will still completely work fine for creating multis and acting as your playback ";device."; Bear in mind, if you're workflow is setup this way, if you're collaborating with any other writers with whom you need to share files, it may be ideal if you're both operating from the same playbook.

I would give it a whirl with your next project and get a feel for how the updates integrate into what you're used to. With most software updates, there's a period of adjustment where things feel a bit different. But this is one thing about Finale that's often reassuring...if you can think of something you need to do, there's usually a way to make it happen.

Please let us know how the process unfolds. I'm sure others might find it interesting to reacquaint themselves with the ";old"; way of doing things - which perhaps, may actually just be the ";better"; way in your case. :)

Good luck!

I use the same set-up that you have described.  I have tried using the VST method, but the problem that I ran into had to do with DFD.

When I do large files, I try to keep all of the winds and percussion on the same score.  Obviously to play all of the instruments back it takes some power.  When I tried the VST method (w/kontakt player 2)it would crack and pop, with occasional crashes as well.  I tried adjusting the ";Amount of memory reserved for DFD voices"; in the options menu of Kontakt player, but if I went above around 60MB, it would lock up and crash. 

In the full version of Kontakt, I could run that much higher (it is currently set around 270MB) and it runs just fine.  This allowed me to not have to deal with all the cracking / chopping of sounds / audio problems. 

This may be something that is just due to the way I have things set up and the hardware that I use.  Anyway, these are the experiences that I have had.

For me, I own finale 2010 and 2011, but I still do all of my arranging in finale 2008 with the full version of Kontakt 2.  I understand the mapping better, and can trouble shoot it more comfortably as well.

BTW, I'm 32, so I'm even more of an old geezer than you so maybe we both need to get with the times...

Login or Signup to post a comment