Please review TablEdit for me

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

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john_mark

Please review TablEdit for me

Post by john_mark » Tue Jun 10, 2008 1:26 pm

I would like to post my scores on Delcamp sometime this year and am looking at TablEdit for my score writing software. Do you have TablEdit? Do you like it or did you have to dump it for something else? I only have used MIDI, and currently don't have a score writing program. There are so many choices at so many price extremes that I am rather confused at this point. Thank you so much for your input. :oops: :oops:

Brynmor
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Re: Please review TablEdit for me

Post by Brynmor » Tue Jun 10, 2008 1:42 pm

Have a look at http://www.guitar-pro.com/en/index.php as well. I have used it for years and do prefer it to Tebledit (although I only ever tried the demo of Tabledit). Much more suitable, perhaps, would be Finale Notepad. Go to http://www.finalemusic.com/notepad/default.aspx and see what you think. The software is totally free and, in my view, provides a classier looking output. It would be my choice.

Azalais

Re: Please review TablEdit for me

Post by Azalais » Tue Jun 10, 2008 7:00 pm

[Apologies in advance if this starts to sound like an InfoMercial... and I should preface my remarks by saying that over the years I have developed very strong feelings/loyalties to certain pieces of software, and still use gems likes WordPerfect... because they are still better than the newer/cheaper/dumber LCD replacements... and I still use a vanilla text editor to write HTML code) Oh, and I have been beta testing SW for almost 20 years, including most of the guitar related midi/notation/tablature software available.) With the possible exception of Django Lute Tablature software (which I use every day for baroque lute tablature and the library that comes with it), I STILL use TablEdit frequently, especially for fast note entry. (I have tried several full versions of Finale, including Finale Guitar, and HATE them all! (high stress! :evil: )... I have also tried Melody Assistant which was not a bad alternative, (and has some rather expensive add-on for scanning) but is way too cluttered and complicated for basic use.)

TablEdit (the paid version) has an uncluttered, logical, straightforward (non-frustrating) note entry system, imports and exports MIDI and several other formats (ascii text tablature, Wayne Cripps, and others) and is CAPABLE of doing everything that the more expensive/complicated software does (including lute tablature), and is quite capable of high quality print formatting (.pdfs look fine too). The scalable on-screen display options are very flexible and easy to modify (for different screen sizes, display modes, note duration resolution, etc.) It interprets and plays symbols and ornamentation properly (repeats, loops, trills, etc). It also has some extremely useful learning functions (such as "Relative Speed" that allows you to play along with the on-screen display and loop designated passages at accelerating tempo... an absolutely brilliant function for self-learners who never have a chance to play with a live teacher or an ensemble) The tech support is excellent, there is a large user base and library of work in the native .tif format that preserves the fingering. (It also comes in PC and Mac versions)

Sorry for the rant... but it is a very user-friendly (low-stress), useful and well-behaved program...

Brynmor
Posts: 254
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2008 3:32 pm
Location: United Kindom

Re: Please review TablEdit for me

Post by Brynmor » Tue Jun 10, 2008 9:16 pm

Azalais,

"Hate" is a rather strong word. What did you dislike about Finale? I have used the full version for many years and while I agree that there is a somewhat sharp learning curve there is little that the program will not do. We all have our likes and dislikes but I think your unqualified rejection of Finale and your implied rejection of programs other than Tabledit is unfair without giving your reasons.

Guitar Slim

Re: Please review TablEdit for me

Post by Guitar Slim » Tue Jun 10, 2008 10:11 pm

I use TablEdit. And while I'm not all that familiar with the pro packages, I can say that TablEdit has thus far been able to do pretty much everything I've wanted it to do in terms of producing guitar scores. And I can say that I like it better than any other guitar-specialty score program that I've tried out. Azalais, by the way, is the one who first recommended it to me, and I'm not sure if I've ever thanked her... :merci:

A couple of things I really like about it. First, as Azalais points out, the note entry system is versatile and easy to understand. It allows you to do note entry either on the staff (my preference), or from the Tab line. And you can do your staff-note entry from the keyboard, and use hot keys to change a lot of parameters. This really speeds things up and spares you a lot of mouse clicking once you get used to it.

You are not restricted to just two voices or layers, as you are in most other guitar programs I've seen. You can change the direction of the stems with the click of a mouse or a key. You don't have to juggle "layers" like you do in Finale. And I think if you want to really "deep edit" you can adjust the stem lengths and how notes are beamed, although I haven't really messed with that.

In fact, note entry in TablEdit is all pretty wide open. You can place notes wherever you want on the staff, with whatever time value you want, and are not "forced" to fit them into the meter scheme, nor will they be automatically changed or beamed to fit. Which can lead to a lot of textual errors, of course, and mess up the MIDI playback, but -- it also allows you a lot of freedom and versatility.

Because it's a guitar specialty program, it also has a lot of specialized symbols for guitar notation -- including classical-guitar stuff like p-i-m-a finger indications, etc., and some general classical-music symbols you can insert in the score.

It's also pretty versatile in how it handles text and special symbols. For example, if you use a lot of LH and RH fingering indications, TablEdit allows you to to place numbers and letters either to the left, right or even above or below the notes. Used wisely, this allows you to keep the score uncluttered, while still including a great number of editorial markings. However -- this is probably the least intuitive aspect of TablEdit. You really need to study the documentation and do a little trial-and-error to figure it out, especially when it comes to texts, headers, footers, page numbering etc.

TablEdit also allows you to print the score only ( AZ: :P) , the tab only, or both at the same time.

OK, I presume the pro packages have a lot of similar features, too. But the registered version of TablEdit costs about the same as a new video game ($50 US). The pro packages can cost many times that.

You can download an almost fully-functional demo version to try out. So give it a test drive and see what you think. Definitely worth the price of a video game in my book, but you can decide that for yourself.
Last edited by Guitar Slim on Tue Jun 10, 2008 10:45 pm, edited 5 times in total.

Guitar Slim

Re: Please review TablEdit for me

Post by Guitar Slim » Tue Jun 10, 2008 10:16 pm

Oh -- here are a few scores I've done in TablEdit and posted here at Delcamp:

viewtopic.php?f=12&t=18281
viewtopic.php?f=12&t=25189
viewtopic.php?f=12&t=25306

Azalais

Re: Please review TablEdit for me

Post by Azalais » Tue Jun 10, 2008 10:44 pm

Thanks for the "second opinion" Guitar Slim! :oops:

I didn't mean to trash Finale... but since you asked, Brynmor... :twisted: ...

I am a person who always reads instructions and can USUALLY grasp the logic that underlies the structure of something. That said, I have very little patience for counter-intuitive, poorly explained user interfaces and positively confounding search/help/tech support systems. KISS (keep it simple stupid) is the philosophy that I prefer. Well written software should be intuitive and OBVIOUS to a new user who is familiar with the subject matter, using only the basic on-screen tools.

The only two pieces of software that even came close to the frustration I encountered with Finale were Painter V and Quark (both written for mac originally and suffering from heavy reliance on KB shortcuts), both of which I managed to figure out within a few days of heavy use. After numerous menu, manual and on-line searches, several calls to Coda (Finale), and (reading many scathing reviews) I finally uninstalled Finale and Finale Guitar and abandoned them (and the cash I spent on them :evil: ). I am not THAT much of a masochist!... I can't even remember what I was trying to do (something relatively straightforward that should have been easy to do without having the instruction book open... (probably one of the "freehand" things that Guitar Slim mentioned?) that Finale just couldn't do (tech support gave up trying) I just found it incredibly irritating and inaccessible... and an obscene waste of my time and money. I do understand that it is the gold standard in academic settings, but it DOES require a having a live one-on-one tutor to get past the initial blockades (and learn where/how to find and memorize a slew of KB shortcuts). This is especially true of software that is meant to be used by occasional "hobby" users (rather than professional power users). If you only use it once every few months, you shouldn't have to pull out the bookS and start the learning process all over again each time!

I fully realize that many people (who learned it from others) adore Finale, but as well as I know and love WordPerfect (it's capable of doing complete reference book manuscripts, etc.) I probably would NOT recommend it to someone who just needs to write a few letters, for the same reasons that I wouldn't recommend Finale to anyone who wasn't about to embark on a five year university degree in Composition... and who has friends who ALREADY know how to use it. You just don't need a Formula I racing machine (and a pit crew) if all you need is transportation to the convenience store.

(Why do I HATE it?... because I wasted a lot of time (and money) on it, and still never found a reason to LOVE it! :P ... but don't feel that I have singled out Finale... I HATE Micro$oft Office et al too :evil: )

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Hans W
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Re: Please review TablEdit for me

Post by Hans W » Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:06 am

:applauso: :applauso: :applauso: Az...a pleasure to read that rant... a quintessential expression of what so many of us feel about ill conceived programs that require complete competence with a complicated system to accomplish a basic function. Almost without exception, I've found the programs that provide more bells and whistles do better in the market place than those that let you accomplish what you wanted to do in the first place. (And 99% of the time, you don't use the bells and whistles).Its like a weird oxymoron. The more I can "actually" do with a program seems less important to most people than what I could potentially do. And of course, with the addition of all those options, doing any thing, no matter how simple, now takes time and effort and a big learning curve.

There are too many examples out there to get into specific programs, but after 30 years working with computers, my biggest frustration is still seeing something that does the job replaced with a new, improved version, that still does the job but now requires so much more effort in terms of learning, etc.

Hans
Classical Guitar rules!

Doog

Re: Please review TablEdit for me

Post by Doog » Wed Jun 11, 2008 5:34 am

Azalais wrote:Thanks for the "second opinion" Guitar Slim! :oops:

I didn't mean to trash Finale... but since you asked, Brynmor... :twisted: ...

I am a person who always reads instructions and can USUALLY grasp the logic that underlies the structure of something. That said, I have very little patience for counter-intuitive, poorly explained user interfaces and positively confounding search/help/tech support systems. KISS (keep it simple stupid) is the philosophy that I prefer. Well written software should be intuitive and OBVIOUS to a new user who is familiar with the subject matter, using only the basic on-screen tools.

The only two pieces of software that even came close to the frustration I encountered with Finale were Painter V and Quark (both written for mac originally and suffering from heavy reliance on KB shortcuts), both of which I managed to figure out within a few days of heavy use. After numerous menu, manual and on-line searches, several calls to Coda (Finale), and (reading many scathing reviews) I finally uninstalled Finale and Finale Guitar and abandoned them (and the cash I spent on them :evil: ). I am not THAT much of a masochist!... I can't even remember what I was trying to do (something relatively straightforward that should have been easy to do without having the instruction book open... (probably one of the "freehand" things that Guitar Slim mentioned?) that Finale just couldn't do (tech support gave up trying) I just found it incredibly irritating and inaccessible... and an obscene waste of my time and money. I do understand that it is the gold standard in academic settings, but it DOES require a having a live one-on-one tutor to get past the initial blockades (and learn where/how to find and memorize a slew of KB shortcuts). This is especially true of software that is meant to be used by occasional "hobby" users (rather than professional power users). If you only use it once every few months, you shouldn't have to pull out the bookS and start the learning process all over again each time!

I fully realize that many people (who learned it from others) adore Finale, but as well as I know and love WordPerfect (it's capable of doing complete reference book manuscripts, etc.) I probably would NOT recommend it to someone who just needs to write a few letters, for the same reasons that I wouldn't recommend Finale to anyone who wasn't about to embark on a five year university degree in Composition... and who has friends who ALREADY know how to use it. You just don't need a Formula I racing machine (and a pit crew) if all you need is transportation to the convenience store.

(Why do I HATE it?... because I wasted a lot of time (and money) on it, and still never found a reason to LOVE it! :P ... but don't feel that I have singled out Finale... I HATE Micro$oft Office et al too :evil: )
OK Azalias,

So, just what is your point!!!! :wink:

Thank you for your specific assessments. A while back I bought Sebelius' G7 program and abandoned it after several splitting headaches. I think that maybe will give TablEdit a try sometime soon.

Regards,

Doog

Brynmor
Posts: 254
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2008 3:32 pm
Location: United Kindom

Re: Please review TablEdit for me

Post by Brynmor » Wed Jun 11, 2008 9:12 am

Now I know why you all to hate Finale! Thank you for your views. I have lived with the program since version 3, so I am used to its quirky ways and I do use it for its layout abilities rather than as a compositional tool. I still think Finale Notepad is worth a look - after all, it costs nothing and may suit some people.

sender

Re: Please review TablEdit for me

Post by sender » Wed Jun 11, 2008 12:03 pm

I've been using TablEdit regularly for about a year and can recommend it, especially if you require Tab to be automatically generated when you input standard notation. I've tried a few other programs costing much more but keep coming back to TablEdit. It's not without its flaws - e.g. I have intermittent problems when trying to change font size or notation scale - and like any package, takes a bit of time to get up to speed. The quality of the printed output is very good.
For the price and functionality I don't think it can be beat.

john_mark

Re: Please review TablEdit for me

Post by john_mark » Wed Jun 11, 2008 1:37 pm

Thank you very much for all of your input. It is so confusing choosing software anymore. I will go with TablEdit. Hopefully I'll get some of my scores drawn up and posted before too long. Once again, thank you. :merci:

fep

Re: Please review TablEdit for me

Post by fep » Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:22 pm

I have a question regarding tabledit...

I use Guitar Pro 5 notation software, however it only does two voices and I don't like the way it improperly handles bends (yes a bit OT for a classical forum). In Guitar Pro if you bend an F# to a G (say 2nd string 7th fret), it shows the bend properly in tablature but only shows the F# in standard notation, and I'm a standard notation guy. That makes the software unacceptable for me. The burn is I wasn't aware of this when I bought it and I would have never thought that such a basic flaw would be possible. Here's what it looks like:

Image
Image

So, does tabledit notate this properly showing the F# as a grace note and the G as the note bent too with a bend notation symbol?

Guitar Slim

Re: Please review TablEdit for me

Post by Guitar Slim » Wed Jun 11, 2008 6:55 pm

fep wrote:I have a question regarding tabledit...

I use Guitar Pro 5 notation software, however it only does two voices and I don't like the way it improperly handles bends (yes a bit OT for a classical forum). In Guitar Pro if you bend an F# to a G (say 2nd string 7th fret), it shows the bend properly in tablature but only shows the F# in standard notation, and I'm a standard notation guy. That makes the software unacceptable for me. The burn is I wasn't aware of this when I bought it and I would have never thought that such a basic flaw would be possible. Here's what it looks like:

Image
Image

So, does tabledit notate this properly showing the F# as a grace note and the G as the note bent too with a bend notation symbol?
Yes and no. You can do it, but it uses different symbols from your example. TablEdit allows you to insert grace notes as string bends -- but it uses a bracket-like symbol like a squared-off slur indication (see example 1).
Bend 1.jpg
If you indicate a string bend from one specific note to another (not a grace note), it uses the arrow and interval indication as in your example, but in the TAB system only. In the score it still uses the bracket-like symbol (see example 2)
Bend 2.jpg
I presume they didn't just make up this bracket symbol, but that it is actually an alternate symbol used to indicate string bends in staff notation. But I could be wrong, I don't know much about notating string-bends -- and they don't always lend themselves well to notation. I just play 'em like I hear 'em :wink:

BTW, grace notes and ornaments in TableEdit confused me at first, as a staff-reading CGer. You have to specify the string and fret positions when setting them up, rather than the notes or intervals. This threw for a while until I figured it out. They also don't always play back properly in MIDI.
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fep

Re: Please review TablEdit for me

Post by fep » Thu Jun 12, 2008 1:13 am

Thanks Slim, That was very helpful and I'm going to play around with the demo. I could definately live with the squared off slur notation for bends.

It just ocurred to me that the 1/4 bend or semitone bend is something that I like to notate also. I'll be interested to see how it handles that.

Cheers,

Frank

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