Working with people who don't use VDL

Hello all,

I have been a Finale user for a while now and have learned a lot about Finale and VDL, but I am running into a consistent problem- on some writing gigs I sometimes work with a person, who either writes the pit or battery book, that doesn't use VDL. Long story short, I end up inputting, note by note, the other, non VDL user's notes into my VDL template Finale file because I want all percussion sounds to be under the VDL sounds. Copy and paste won't work because they turn all yellow and have to manually change all the notes anyway.

My question is, is there a way around  this? If I switch to Sibelius, will this problem be solved? I am already thinking about switching to Sibelius because I have heard it is a lot more user friendly compared to Finale.

Any input to this situation would be greatly appreciated, thanks.
The issue might be better in Sibelius; I don't use Finale so I can't say for sure. The Sibelius VDL template uses specific noteheads, articulations, and staff locations to trigger all of the appropriate sounds. These need to exist for accurate template playback to work. If someone isn't creating the correct noteheads, articulations, and staff locations from the beginning, they need to be created after the fact to achieve the desired affect.

In Sibelius, copying pitched percussion instruments from non-VDL staves to VDL staves should work fine. If this isn't working in Finale, you could possible save lots of time by switching to Sibelius - you would only have to ";fix"; battery parts instead of the entire percussion book.
Joe,

Thanks for the reply! Looks like I'm switching to Sibelius!!!!
For what it's worth��_

I think you'll find that the problem still exists even if you do switch to Sibelius. Both Finale and Sibelius need to utilize custom percussion maps in order to deal with the unpitched instruments from VDL. This is where the TWS templates come in, which you're probably already familiar with.

In cases where you're taking someone else's work and trying to get it into the VDL/template world you want to be working in, you still have to reckon with the fact that, if the original notes were not entered using the same type of mapping your template requires, they're not going to play back correctly. You'll have to re-enter or modify most or all of the existing notes in order that they conform to the mapping you're using.

So the issue of whether Finale or Sibelius works better for this most likely just boils down to whichever program you're more comfortable with. I would argue that, given Sibelius's selection/filtering features, it has the potential to be faster. But I will also freely admit I don't have a *current* working knowledge of some of Finale's newer percussion features. Someone adept in that program may be able to re-configure the notes just as fast.

With either Finale or Sibelius, the pitched percussion notes ought to lay right in just fine. It's the unpitched notes you'll have to reckon with, because these are the ones needing custom mapping in order to play back and look correct at the same time.

Lastly, a 3rd option is to convince your collaborating partners to jump in the VDL pool. The water's warm!

Hope this helps.
For Sibelius at least (again, I don't know about Finale), it might also be possible to train the ";other guy"; to take some basics steps to ease the pain on the VDL side. For example, if the ";other guy"; at a minimum inputs correct noteheads for L and R sticking, for normal hits and shots, this would probably take away about 80% of the work needed on your end; you'd just be left to deal with more infrequency things like crushes, buzz rolls, stick shots, etc. For Sibelius this would require sticking to a few conventions: notehead 0 for bass individual, snare, and tenor R hits; notehead 31 for bass individual, snare, and tenor L hits, notehead 29 for snare/tenor R shots and bass R rim clicks; notehead 51 for snare/tenor L shots and bass L rim clicks, notehead 46 for bass unison R hits, notehead 47 for bass unison L hits, and notehead 30 for snare pings. The problem is getting someone to stick to this convention when they have no audible feedback to motivate them to be vigilant about it.

Not to make light of the pain this process must be for you, but also if the ";other guy"; is giving you batteyr parts with desired sticking, in Sibelius at least it should be possible to go through each entire part, Control-clicking on each notehead for a particular sound (e.g., all the L hits in the snare part), and then change the noteheads all at once. I imagine Finale can do something similar.

Murray's ultimate suggestion is of course the best: convince the entire team to live in ";template land";. I've done this with people I work with and they've jumped on board just fine. I've had wind arrangers start a show with a template file, for example, and we go from there, which makes my life much easier.
Murray and Joe,

Thanks for the help! Yeah, it would be way easier for the ";other guy"; to use VDL too, I've found with my situation it is almost easier to open up the other score and have mine open at the same time and just re enter the notes on my MIDI keyboard rather than copy and paste and change each note. But still, it is tedious. Hopefully in the future more people switch to VDL!!!!
Joe's suggestion about asking the other collaborators to enter their notes in a VDL template is a good one, but legally either you or they would have to purchase the additional template package from TWS.

Speaking of which, I'm sure Hugh and Ted probably need more things to do in a day (wink wink), so how about developing some scripts for Finale and Sibelius that do some basic conversions of non-mapped notes to mapped notes! Or perhaps that could be a service offered, either by TWS or individual contractors (cough��_Bill��_cough) out there.
That's a great idea Murray!

It's always fun trying to explain to the band director or any one else on the design team how VDL and the templates work...they think someone can just copy and paste a non VDL mapped piece into a VDL template. They quickly realize it takes some time!
I'm always up for contract work.

As far as 'fixing' percussion midi maps, Finale has a Transpose Percussion Note Type feature already built into the program. I'll admit that I've not used it much so I can't testify to how functional it would be in this specific situation.
[quote author=Murray Gusseck link=topic=4746.msg24416#msg24416 date=1408580234]
Joe's suggestion about asking the other collaborators to enter their notes in a VDL template is a good one, but legally either you or they would have to purchase the additional template package from TWS.
[/quote]

From what I've gathered from this thread, this would be the way to go. Best case is they get VDL too, but they could get by with just the Template.

[quote author=Murray Gusseck link=topic=4746.msg24416#msg24416 date=1408580234]
Speaking of which, I'm sure Hugh and Ted probably need more things to do in a day (wink wink), so how about developing some scripts for Finale and Sibelius that do some basic conversions of non-mapped notes to mapped notes! Or perhaps that could be a service offered, either by TWS or individual contractors (cough��_Bill��_cough) out there.
[/quote]

Conversion script: I'm not sure where to even begin on that.
I don't know what my rates would be, but I'd be up for contract work also.

;)
[quote author=Hugh Smith link=topic=4746.msg24419#msg24419 date=1408611323]
[quote author=Murray Gusseck link=topic=4746.msg24416#msg24416 date=1408580234]
Joe's suggestion about asking the other collaborators to enter their notes in a VDL template is a good one, but legally either you or they would have to purchase the additional template package from TWS.
[/quote]

From what I've gathered from this thread, this would be the way to go. Best case is they get VDL too, but they could get by with just the Template.

[quote author=Murray Gusseck link=topic=4746.msg24416#msg24416 date=1408580234]
Speaking of which, I'm sure Hugh and Ted probably need more things to do in a day (wink wink), so how about developing some scripts for Finale and Sibelius that do some basic conversions of non-mapped notes to mapped notes! Or perhaps that could be a service offered, either by TWS or individual contractors (cough��_Bill��_cough) out there.
[/quote]

Conversion script: I'm not sure where to even begin on that.
I don't know what my rates would be, but I'd be up for contract work also.

;)
[/quote]

Just a thought!
Another option would be to use the Finale Marching Percussion instrument and maps. This will correlate 1 to 1 with the VDL lite instruments and maps included with Finale.

In addition, if the pit arranger uses the Finale General MIDI VDL lite instruments (or any general MIDI map) in Finale with Garritan/SmartMusic SoftSynth/VDL Lite, that will also translate fine to the Finale General MIDI instrument in full VDL.

If all else fails, there's a really handy Transpose Percussion Notes feature that can quickly switch a MIDI note to another mapping as Ted mentioned. It works quite well:

https://www.finalemusic.com/UserManuals/Finale2014Mac/Content/Finale/IDD_CHANGE_NOTE_TYPES.htm

Thanks for the plug on that Murray.  That is a service that I offer at a very reasonable fee.

Contact me for more information.
[quote author=Bill link=topic=4746.msg24436#msg24436 date=1409109156]
Thanks for the plug on that Murray.  That is a service that I offer at a very reasonable fee.

Contact me for more information.
[/quote]

I do what I can!
Just another idea... If you are adding someone else's battery parts to your score, copy and paste them in, then use the re-pitch tool to assign them to the correct note.Doing this atleast saves the rhythm, stickings, dynamics and text that they other writer already entered.  This method goes pretty fast if you are familiar with the maps for the various battery instruments.
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