Is sibelius better than finale for guitar writing?

Theory and practice of composition and arranging for classical guitar, discussion of works in progress, etc.
Forum rules
III Our MP3, WMV, MOV, OGG, AVI, Authors' rights

Composers' Workshop
Theory and practice of composition and arranging for classical guitar, discussion of works in progress, etc.

Once you have subscribed to the 002 group, you can attach the following types of files to your messages:
Audio : .mp3 .ogg .wav .flac
Video : .avi .flv .mov .wmv
Score : .pdf .jpg .gif .png
Finale: .mus
mertzman

Is sibelius better than finale for guitar writing?

Post by mertzman » Mon Aug 13, 2007 2:55 am

Finale is really pissing me off, it's so buggy, and you can't even customize the keyboard shortcuts! Do any of you guys use sibelius or any other music notation software that you would recommend?

hphooper

Post by hphooper » Mon Aug 13, 2007 3:52 am

Mertzman--I've been using various Finale products (PrintMusic, FinaleGuitar, Allegro) for years now and currently Finale2007c. It has taken me that long to suss out all the tools and menus I need to turn out manuscripts the way I want them. Most troubles I've had making the relatively simple guitar score (compared to choral, band or orchestra charts with many pages and parts) were my fault and now I have all of MY bugs worked out. Check out my manuscripts in the 'Our scores for guitar' forum to see the fruits of my labors. I think Finale is a harder program to learn but will give you very fine control over all elements of your score compared with other software. Finally, the Finale forum is a good source of information with friendly folks like here at Delcamp.

--HH

P.S. -- I CAN customize keyboard shortcuts; it's in the Simple Entry Tool menu>Simple Entry Options>Edit Keyboard Shortcuts.

Azalais

Post by Azalais » Mon Aug 13, 2007 4:31 am

There are several other far more user-friendly notation/tablature programs, but they may each have quirky limitations, depending on your needs. What exactly do you want to be able to do with it? (I do a lot of arranging from imported midi files and lute tablature with output into CG, lute tablature, alternative tuning, .pdf notation, etc. My two favorites are TablEdit and Django... both of which do a very nice job with standard notation and various types of tablature, and are much easier to use than Finale.) I think pogmoor uses Sibelius (and Django), so among us and others, you should probably be able get some decent comparative answers, if you tell us what features you need. There are also quite a few lilypond users. One consideration is compatibility for import/export... (Sharing your files with non-guitarists, for example)

BTW, I am generally a very patient person who has been crash testing software for more years than you've on the planet, mertz... and I have to agree with you... I HATE Finale... It's one of the few that almost drove me to break something :evil: Totally counterintuitive!

Sean

Post by Sean » Mon Aug 13, 2007 10:09 am

I highly recommend MusEdit. It's the best.

mertzman

Post by mertzman » Mon Aug 13, 2007 2:53 pm

Thanks for the responses guys, I'll try out all of the programs you guys mentioned. For some reason though, I got Sibelius and it won't start up on my comp...

I need something fairly complicated, I want to be able to do multiple voices easily, and have one note be stem and stem down at the same time.

I don't need it to export to anything, because I have PrimoPDF, I print the document, and choose PrimoPDF as the printer and it asks me where I want to save it.

I also need the ability to do accents, have control of the page layout, put fingerings in, mark bar chords, etc.

Thanks hphooper, I couldn't find it, and when I put "finale keyboard shortcuts" into google, nothing came up.

Azalais

Post by Azalais » Mon Aug 13, 2007 3:11 pm

I mentioned the import/export compatibility issues because if you are going to be doing multi-part or ensemble things, you may encounter problems with some of them not working together (as an example, you might get different instrumental and or vocal parts from different people and want to do a single composite score... ) There are some cross-platform and cross-program conversion utilities, but it can be really frustrating :roll: For what it's worth, Finale does seem to be the poison of choice in most academic settings... so if you can find a live mentor/tutor, it is probably worth struggling to learn how to use it...

User avatar
pogmoor
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9622
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2004 10:55 am
Location: Oxfordshire, UK

Finale vs Sibelius

Post by pogmoor » Mon Aug 13, 2007 3:53 pm

I started off using Finale for guitar arrangements, but moved over to Sibelius about 5 years ago. I think both are very good, but I eventually found Sibelius much easier to use, though both of them require quite a lot of learning.

Once you sort out how to do things Sibelius is very flexible, to the extent that I am currently using it to make transcriptions in baroque lute tablature - I've not found a way to do this effectively in Finale.
For some reason though, I got Sibelius and it won't start up on my comp...
If you've got problems running Sibelius there are several sources of help - you can phone their technical support, or try posting on the users tech-support forum on sibeliusmusic.com (it's under 'Chat') - you can usually get a helpful response there.
Eric from GuitarLoot
Renaissance and Baroque freak; classical guitars by Lester Backshall (2008), Ramirez (Guitarra del Tiempo 2017),
Yamaha (SLG 130NW silent classical guitar 2014).

hphooper

Post by hphooper » Mon Aug 13, 2007 4:06 pm

I must once again defend my notation software, Finale2007c. It has taken me a few years to become proficient in running this program just like it has taken me years and years to learn the intricacies of guitar, astronomy, English, etc. I can now generate any GUITAR manuscript I need easily, in a couple of hours, with results that can't be beat. You need good tools to produce work you can be proud of and that don't require compromise. Finale is THE professional program (like Photoshop) and I know why. I'm sure there are other notation programs that let you put notes on paper; Finale is one that lets you do it right.

--HH

User avatar
pogmoor
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9622
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2004 10:55 am
Location: Oxfordshire, UK

Finale vs Sibelius

Post by pogmoor » Mon Aug 13, 2007 4:25 pm

Overall they are both first class programs, and if you can afford them, either is arguably better than any of the competition. They've got much more than you need to produce guitar scores - both can handle complex orchestral scores and produce perfect notation layout (and for that matter excellent playback). Both can handle guitar tab if you need it (though, as I pointed out, Finale is less good with lute tab). In the end it comes down to what you as an individual prefer to use.
Eric from GuitarLoot
Renaissance and Baroque freak; classical guitars by Lester Backshall (2008), Ramirez (Guitarra del Tiempo 2017),
Yamaha (SLG 130NW silent classical guitar 2014).

User avatar
Jouni Stenroos
Posts: 885
Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2007 6:18 am
Location: Espoo, Finland

Post by Jouni Stenroos » Mon Aug 13, 2007 4:43 pm

hphooper wrote:I must once again defend my notation software, Finale2007c. It has taken me a few years to become proficient in running this program just like it has taken me years and years to learn the intricacies of guitar, astronomy, English, etc. I can now generate any GUITAR manuscript I need easily, in a couple of hours, with results that can't be beat. You need good tools to produce work you can be proud of and that don't require compromise. Finale is THE professional program (like Photoshop) and I know why. I'm sure there are other notation programs that let you put notes on paper; Finale is one that lets you do it right.

--HH
I believe that THE professional program is still SCORE. But what comes to which is better, Finale or Sibelius, I don't believe there is any advantage in Finale of how make things right. Sibelius is very capable of doing things right, too.

Lilypond should be noted, too, it's output quality is excellent, in my eyes it's typographical quality is better than in Sibelius or Finale (but not exceeding SCORE). It has the elements, but for widespread use it would require a real gui. But if you are a fast typist and comfortable with entering a language with a text editor then Lilypond is very fast and usable. And everything can be done with it, too. And I mean really everything, if you just have the skills for it (well, it lacked one ornament that I found in the Bach BWV995 original, but the same ornament lacks from Sibelius and Finale, too..)

-Jouni

woz

Post by woz » Tue Aug 14, 2007 9:43 am

I prefer Sibelius for almost everything. It is easier to learn. I only recommend Finale to people who sound like they are very particular about how things look and very specific about where things have to be on the page and in relation to other things on the page - Finale gives you that choice - for instance you can move the noteheads away from the stem if you wish.) To do this, it has many many tools (like the specific one I have just mentioned) and you can spend a long time trying to move something before you find the correct tool to do it with - and many (what should be simple things) take quite a few moves with different tools to achieve.

For standard music notation, Sibelius gives you all you would need and many things are automated, but can (in most instances) be overridden. I would try to get Sibelius running on your computer and just try it out for a while.

Also have you looked at Guitar Pro? there are threads on this.

mertzman

Post by mertzman » Wed Aug 15, 2007 9:13 pm

I've learned how to use Finale quite well, but for some reason it seems to have problems with accents. Once in a while, part of the accent gets left behind when I move it up above the stem so it looks like there is two, then I press Ctrl-U to update the layout, and it places all of the accents above the notes right in the middle of the stems after I just spent all of the time place them perfectly above the notes. So basically, I can't touch the update layout button.

I reformated my computer and I got Sibelius working fine. I'll try that, and if it impresses me I'll use it. If not, it seems like there's workarounds for Finale's bugs, and I'll learn those.

SrDedosRapidos

Post by SrDedosRapidos » Fri Aug 24, 2007 10:07 pm

LILYPOND.

It takes some getting used to, but it print beautiful sheet music.

Moderato

Post by Moderato » Sun Aug 26, 2007 12:01 am

edit - I searched and was able to answer my own question. :oops:

John Gorrindo

Software for Guitar notation

Post by John Gorrindo » Sun Aug 26, 2007 1:12 am

I can't vouch for the best software as requested, but I am a Sibelius user, and believe it offers a reasonably complete inventory of notational tools for creating detailed guitar manuscript. This includes both modern and traditional notations (for classical, electric gtr, & lute) as well as tools for notating both guitar and lute tablature.

There very well may be better and easier-to-use programs out there, but considering all the things Sibelius can do (especially if you compose for more than just the guitar), it's at least a program worth investigating. Of course I don't know what kind of background you have with learning complex music software (I apologize in advance!), but the learning curve is not too steep with Sibelius. If you are new to this all, it is probably wise to cut your teeth on simpler programs such as Guitar Pro 5 or Power Tab if you have not already done so.

In my experience, learning directly from a competent user is the quickest way to get up and running with any sophisticated piece of software. Either way, one must study Sibelius' manual carefully in order to master the guitar notation it supports. It is not an intuitive process in main, and time/patience is required.

Good luck!

Return to “Composers' Workshop”