Reaching out to our Finale- (and Sibelius-) using friends.

Discussions about our next-generation scoring application, Dorico.
Post Reply
cparmerlee
Member
Posts: 841
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2016 4:32 pm
Contact:

Re: Reaching out to our Finale- (and Sibelius-) using friends.

Post by cparmerlee »

Brian Roland wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 1:26 am
Dorico IS quite good. I just don't believe it's good enough yet to consider all the others 'DEAD'.
I should clarify. I referred to Finale as a dead product. What I meant to say was that there is practically no significant development of the product and it is being managed as a cash cow. The VC guy that bought MakeMusic views the acquired products like a repetitive training/coaching tool. They were in the business of making training software for athletics and he views making music as the same thing.

This struck me as a very ignorant point of view until I realized that SmartMusic is exact that, and that was the product he was interested in. Finale does not fit their mindset or business model, hence, virtually no commitment to development.

However, Finale is certainly not "dead" from the standpoint of a user base that lives in a publishing ecosystem that is tied to Finale. For them, the product is not "dead" if they can continue to use it in their business. The fact that it isn't getting any better over time does not equate to "dead" for these users.
Dorico 3, Cubase 10.5, Windows 10, Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 audio i/f
http://sonocrafters.com/

User avatar
pianoleo
Grand Master
Posts: 8356
Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2016 11:17 am
Location: London, UK
Contact:

Re: Reaching out to our Finale- (and Sibelius-) using friends.

Post by pianoleo »

...and there's the thing. SCORE is equally (more?) dead, in that its one-man development team actually died, yet people continue using it because it gives excellent (and consistent) results, as long as the operator knows what they're doing. There does seem to be a common feeling that there couldn't possibly be anything better than the software that someone already knows, because they can't imagine how it could be done better. Showing them is a start, but persuading them to invest the time is a difficulty.
Pianist/accompanist/engraver/arranger
2019 Macbook Pro 16" 2.3gGHz 8-core i9, 32GB RAM,
2015 Macbook Pro 13" Retina 3.1GHz dual-core i7, 8GB RAM; running Sibelius Ultimate, Logic Pro X, Dorico Pro 3.5 etc.
& 2017 HP ZBook Studio G3 15.6” UHD quad-i7, 16GB RAM, Windows 10 Pro
Sibelius user since Sibelius 7 (Acorn, 1997), Ex-Sibelius user since Dorico 1.0

User avatar
L3B
Member
Posts: 287
Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2016 10:56 pm
Location: Central Ozark Region, Arkansas, USA
Contact:

Re: Reaching out to our Finale- (and Sibelius-) using friends.

Post by L3B »

This entire thread has inspired me to think some more about a good friend of mine (and fellow composer) who is sort of 'married' to Finale. Although she has stopped upgrading long since and is satisfied to stick with an old version of it, as it does pretty much everything she needs it to do.

I was a Finale user myself at the time I met her. In fact, I picked up her business card in a music store one day and contacted her *because* it said on her card that she was a Finale user, and I wanted to compare notes. She was not as frustrated by it as I was, and when I switched to Sibelius, she was interested but not tempted. Likewise when I switched from Sibelius to Dorico. She enjoyed listening to me rave abut it, and about Daniel, but was absolutely not interested in switching herself.

We've had several conversations about notation software, but she seems immovable. She is strictly a choral composer, and the choirs and contests she writes for don't care what software she uses, as long as they can read the printed result of her efforts. They don't care about playback, nor does she. They don't care about the finer points of engraving, nor does she.

Her bottom line is: "What I have works, and I'm not spending any more money on software." If she were just now entering the market for the first time, I'm sure she'd give serious consideration to Dorico. But she isn't. I suspect that are many users 'stuck' with what they have already for the same reasons.
Dorico Pro 3.1.10.1032 on MacBook Pro 15-Retina late 2013; MacOS 10.15.7; Intel Core i7, 2.3 GHz; 16GB ram; Intel Iris Pro Graphics; 500GB flash storage; UR22 Mk II audio interface; Technics PX73 digital piano.
Composer, orchestrator, arranger, transcriber, teacher.

PF Slow
Junior Member
Posts: 156
Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2016 11:54 pm
Contact:

Re: Reaching out to our Finale- (and Sibelius-) using friends.

Post by PF Slow »

cparmerlee wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 2:07 am
... What I meant to say was that there is practically no significant development of the product and it is being managed as a cash cow. ...
I see no evidence to support that view but you like to keep trotting it out, don't you? I haven't figured out to what end, though. To me, it's
Image

Finale does try to be all things to all people. That has made it a cumbersome, somewhat bloated app and going 64 bit didn't improve that as much as it should. But it works pretty well and has a huge installed base. There are features that no one expects to see in Dorico for a long time — if ever.
cparmerlee wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 2:07 am
...and there's the thing. SCORE is equally (more?) dead, in that its one-man development team actually died, yet people continue using it because it gives excellent (and consistent) results,...
More dead. Definitely. Unlike Encore, SCORE knows it's dead.
Current licenses for Dorico 3.5.1, Finale 26.3, Notion 6, Overture 5 & Encore; SmartScore 64, NotePerformer
iMac Pro OS 10.15.7; MBP OS 10.15.7; G4 Tiger & OS 9; Win 7 — really? Only when I absolutely must.
Digital Performer 10.13, Logic Pro X 10.15.1
Music Industry Professional, Conductor, Singer, Composer & Arranger. Church music director. Video producer & engineer

User avatar
dankreider
Grand Senior Member
Posts: 5904
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2018 3:45 pm
Contact:

Re: Reaching out to our Finale- (and Sibelius-) using friends.

Post by dankreider »

PF Slow wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 2:55 am
I see no evidence to support that view but you like to keep trotting it out, don't you?
Surely you jest. For evidence, one only need list the “innovations” made since Finale 2014. One hand will suffice.
Dan Kreider
hymnworks.com
Dorico training: dankreider.com/dorico
Dorico 3.5.11, Windows 10

Rob Tuley
Grand Senior Member
Posts: 4077
Joined: Fri May 20, 2016 12:41 am

Re: Reaching out to our Finale- (and Sibelius-) using friends.

Post by Rob Tuley »

The last verson of Finale I will ever own was 2014.5, but that still had some of the same bugs as the first version I ever owned (FInale 3.1, dating from about 1995, and installed from two floppy disks, if anybody here knows what they were).

About 95% of the user interface was unchanged as well - except that 2014.5 used more pretty colours on screen, though not for any functional purpose.

PF Slow
Junior Member
Posts: 156
Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2016 11:54 pm
Contact:

Re: Reaching out to our Finale- (and Sibelius-) using friends.

Post by PF Slow »

L3B wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 2:47 am
This entire thread has inspired me to think some more about a good friend of mine (and fellow composer) who is sort of 'married' to Finale. Although she has stopped upgrading long since and is satisfied to stick with an old version of it, as it does pretty much everything she needs it to do.
...
You aren't talking about my daughter, are you? Just kidding—she upgrades now and then but, otherwise, the conversation is nearly the same.

She gets more commissions than I do nowadays so who am I to criticize?
Current licenses for Dorico 3.5.1, Finale 26.3, Notion 6, Overture 5 & Encore; SmartScore 64, NotePerformer
iMac Pro OS 10.15.7; MBP OS 10.15.7; G4 Tiger & OS 9; Win 7 — really? Only when I absolutely must.
Digital Performer 10.13, Logic Pro X 10.15.1
Music Industry Professional, Conductor, Singer, Composer & Arranger. Church music director. Video producer & engineer

Rob Tuley
Grand Senior Member
Posts: 4077
Joined: Fri May 20, 2016 12:41 am

Re: Reaching out to our Finale- (and Sibelius-) using friends.

Post by Rob Tuley »

I guess this thread has about run its course, since a couple of recent posts are pretty much repeating what I wrote back at the start: Progress is made one funeral at a time.

The "huge library of Finale documents" (or insert any other app in that phrase) will die very quickly, when the last of the generation who grew up alongside Finale are no longer actively using it.

Does anybody still have a library of Betamax videotapes hidden somewhere around the house? If so, what do you think your kids are going to do with them when you aren't around any more?

adrien
Member
Posts: 254
Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2017 4:47 pm
Contact:

Re: Reaching out to our Finale- (and Sibelius-) using friends.

Post by adrien »

Rob Tuley wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 3:19 am
I guess this thread has about run its course, since a couple of recent posts are pretty much repeating what I wrote back at the start: Progress is made one funeral at a time.

The "huge library of Finale documents" (or insert any other app in that phrase) will die very quickly, when the last of the generation who grew up alongside Finale are no longer actively using it.

Does anybody still have a library of Betamax videotapes hidden somewhere around the house? If so, what do you think your kids are going to do with them when you aren't around any more?
you'd think so, but

https://www.dice.com/jobs/q-COBOL-jobs

And there are a TON of COBOL training courses available. Maybe COBOL is unique in having a resurgence. As long as there are files that need tweaking, and money to pay for it, there will be opportunities for people to cash in on that.

Maybe some time in the distant future it will be possible for Dorico to directly import Sib and Finale files directly. That may require purchasing the products outright from their owners.

mducharme
Member
Posts: 349
Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2011 1:00 am
Contact:

Re: Reaching out to our Finale- (and Sibelius-) using friends.

Post by mducharme »

dankreider wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 3:01 am
Surely you jest. For evidence, one only need list the “innovations” made since Finale 2014. One hand will suffice.
The 64-bit transition was a huge project for them that used many development man-hours; although it resulted in pretty much no detectable improvement in the interface, it was necessary for future proofing. I am not touting Finale as some great solution, but it seems to me like MakeMusic is trying at least. However, with their established codebase, it is very difficult for them to do any major refactoring at this stage.

In contrast, Avid seems to be doing the bare minimum enhancements to get people to buy the next year's subscription, and no more development than that. This minimizes costs and maximizes profits, keeping their shareholders happy to the detriment of their customers.

cparmerlee
Member
Posts: 841
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2016 4:32 pm
Contact:

Re: Reaching out to our Finale- (and Sibelius-) using friends.

Post by cparmerlee »

adrien wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 3:32 am
Maybe some time in the distant future it will be possible for Dorico to directly import Sib and Finale files directly. That may require purchasing the products outright from their owners.
Maybe. I do think there is a real issue with legacy documents. I have hundreds of Finale files that I never expected to open again. But from time to time, I do have to go back to them. I didn't save most of them to PDF or MusicXML, and I'm not sure that would have done much good anyway. Does that mean I'll need to carry around a version of Finale the rest of my life?

Maybe not. There aren't any "mainframes" the way they were known in the heyday of COBOL programming. But two other things (actually three other things) happened instead:

1. The mainframe makers, eventually just IBM, mapped the mainframe architecture onto the high density CMOS chips that were already being used for PC and the servers that were undermining the mainframes. They call it the Z series and you can still buy new Z computers that run COBOL and all the other mainframe-era software.

2. In the late 80s and 90s, MicroFocus COBOL software emerged where you could fairly easily move your COBOL apps to a UNIX server. In many cases, that was a faster, cheaper, more effective answer than re-designing the whole application. We all figured these would disappear within a few years. But there were millions of COBOL apps still running by the millennium, and that was a big problem. As the link above shows, some are still running almost 20 years after the millennium.

3. This is the bonus item ... in the 1990s several companies developed really good emulators for the IBM 390 (i.e. mainframe) architecture that ran on the latest Intel Pentium chips. You could quite literally boot onto a small Intel server the exact OS that ran the room-sized 390 mainframes, and have all the apps function normally. This was actually successful -- So successful that IBM bought out these companies and killed the products, or otherwise dispatched huge legal teams to destroy those companies. A friend of mine knew his way around the legalities well enough that IBM's best option was to buy him out.

What does that have to do with notation software? I'm not exactly sure. But the legacy is probably bigger and more resilient than most people appreciate. Would a better MusicXML import and export help? Maybe some people will make a business of converting old Finale and Sibelius scores. Who knows?
Dorico 3, Cubase 10.5, Windows 10, Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 audio i/f
http://sonocrafters.com/

cparmerlee
Member
Posts: 841
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2016 4:32 pm
Contact:

Re: Reaching out to our Finale- (and Sibelius-) using friends.

Post by cparmerlee »

mducharme wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 4:35 am
... with {Finale's} established codebase, it is very difficult for them to do any major refactoring at this stage. In contrast, Avid seems to be doing the bare minimum enhancements to get people to buy the next year's subscription, and no more development than that.
Sibelius' codebase is 15 years newer than Finale's. Porting to 64 bits did not require a rewrite of any significant portion of the old Finale codebase. I'm sure they have tried to modernize a few things along the way, but it really is an ancient base and cannot practically be modernized, IMHO. And they really can't even fix many of the decades-old bugs without re-inventing big pieces of the system, which they clearly are not willing to do.

I take your point about Avid choosing a cash cow strategy. I think they are probably in a better position to be a bit more innovative, given their (relatively) newer codebase. I have had a Finale license since 97 (actually I think probably 5 years before that, but I just can't remember.) And I have had a Sibelius license since about 2005. In both products, IMHO, the new features have been essentially zero in the past 5 years. Finale has done a tiny little bit with some collision avoidance and that's really about it. Sibelius has done a few odds and ends like consolidating rests across voices, generating MP3 files in-stream, and making it a little easier to enter slurs and hairpins. But nothing remotely as significant as the Dorico V3 package for example.
Dorico 3, Cubase 10.5, Windows 10, Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 audio i/f
http://sonocrafters.com/

mducharme
Member
Posts: 349
Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2011 1:00 am
Contact:

Re: Reaching out to our Finale- (and Sibelius-) using friends.

Post by mducharme »

cparmerlee wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:02 am
Porting to 64 bits did not require a rewrite of any significant portion of the old Finale codebase.
Yes, it did, unless they were lying to me (which I grant you they may have been). Certain libraries that they used with the 32-bit version were deprecated and so they had to adapt to different replacements and make major changes to their code as a result. They had shot themselves in the foot by waiting so long to modernize their code base, and the yearly upgrade cycle was to blame for a while. They were still using a lot of 1990's era dependencies in their code, it was still based on ANSI instead of UTF-8. Before I switched from Finale to Sibelius back in 2012 there was a thread about how much would have to change, and it was something like 1/4 to 1/3 of the code would have to be rewritten in order to release a 64-bit version. It wasn't some easy modification.

Sibelius has a newer code base and is therefore in better shape. It should be improving at a faster rate than Finale, but instead it seems to be the reverse. Dorico exceeds both by far of course in terms of how quickly the feature set is being built up.

Brian Roland
Senior Member
Posts: 1095
Joined: Fri Jun 19, 2015 5:24 pm
Contact:

Re: Reaching out to our Finale- (and Sibelius-) using friends.

Post by Brian Roland »

cparmerlee wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 2:07 am
Brian Roland wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 1:26 am
Dorico IS quite good. I just don't believe it's good enough yet to consider all the others 'DEAD'.
I should clarify. I referred to Finale as a dead product. What I meant to say was that there is practically no significant development of the product and it is being managed as a cash cow. The VC guy that bought MakeMusic views the acquired products like a repetitive training/coaching tool. They were in the business of making training software for athletics and he views making music as the same thing.

This struck me as a very ignorant point of view until I realized that SmartMusic is exact that, and that was the product he was interested in. Finale does not fit their mindset or business model, hence, virtually no commitment to development.

However, Finale is certainly not "dead" from the standpoint of a user base that lives in a publishing ecosystem that is tied to Finale. For them, the product is not "dead" if they can continue to use it in their business. The fact that it isn't getting any better over time does not equate to "dead" for these users.
It's hardly fair to suggest that Finale has not received 'significant development' over the past decade. Or that is even in a position to be considered a cash cow.

They've done quite a few things with upgrading the video support. Added an audio track. Featured support for things like EPUB and SVG exports, MSN Large Print support, and more.

Since Dorcio hit the streets in 2016, and since the Peaksware Merger, Finale has had something like 7 significant upgrades, many of them having to do with open standard archiving (MusicXML3.x support) of our scores and parts. While that might not be very important to the average composer, it is a big deal to archivists and publishers.

V25 was a paid upgrade that made a massive leap into the 64bit realm (also MUCH improved thread management for multiple CPU cores), we got something like 6 more updates for the price, and paid again in 2018 for V26. Finale is the primary tool for composing lessons for the Smartmusic platform, and then some. While Gear Fisher might not fully understand the eccentricities of music engraving and publishing, or the cognitive realities of teaching music to young performers, I'm pretty sure he understands that specialized tools for content development are very important, and that dev teams do have to collaborate with actual musicians to get the job done. I'm pretty sure he understood that there were several options on the market for building and playing scores...all synced up to production tools designed to produce passively consumed products. What the music industry did not have, and still doesn't really have, is a really good virtual learning platform. I'd imagine the man knows a thing or two about dealing with the out of control lobbyists in the US publishing, and eLearning sects for educational materials.

While V26 doesn't have a long list of new features, the ones it does add are significant, and the price of the upgrade is likely to cover several more updates before it approaches another paid upgrade cycle. In the past it's averaged out to a little less than $50 per year to keep a seat license up to date. For me at least...it's been worth it. Dorico has cost a little more per year in that same time span....but again, I'd say it's been worth it, as it was almost unusable for me beyond learning my around it and mentally prepping for the future until Dorico 2 hit the streets.

For starters, Finale V25 had to make a rather significant transformation into the 64bit world. Finale had been through MAJOR OS changes, on multiple platforms, many times over. Not once has the jump been 'insignificant'. Sibelius also had to contend with some significant foundational overhauls, and AVID has hemorrhaged quite a bit of money in the process.

Finale also got rewire support. A nice bonus, as the sync-ability of Finale with other apps was always quite good, but now it's a little bit easier to get Finale's audio output into the mix of another app. Sibelius had it for quite some time already. For people who need this, Dorico can't do it yet (without a lot of fudging and 3rd party hacks, unless I missed something about Dorico 3...another 100 bucks away for me yet).

It got Core Graphics support. Something Dorico was pretty much born with....while the older products have had to 'go back' and find ways to add it all, while maintaining some kind of 'legacy support' for the older approaches as well.

It got more sound libraries. Some of them close to useless unless you really know what you are doing, but some of them are actually really nice.

It got quite a few work flow enhancements.

It has had to contend with rather significant transformations to stay valid on new OS versions, and modern hardware, including, but not limited to brand new high resolution displays.

Third parties have continued to add and refine plugins and scripts. Some of the better packages rival the cost of Finale itself, but if you work with high numbers of large scores every single day, they pay for themselves in short order.

All of these have been major projects, none of which Dorico, a project that didn't hit the streets until 2016, has really had to contend with yet, but in time they will. After all, when Dorico came out, Windows 10 was already a solid year old, with dev kits having gone out well before that. It had started from the ground up, working with the latest protocols, and with the best of the best multi-platform coding techniques/compilers/etc. It had the benefit of having full access to bleeding edge Steinberg patented technologies like VST3 from day one. The old Plogue engine developers for Finale and Sibelius doesn't get that information until many months later, and when they do, it's often a major project to integrate such things into their products.

Despite it's age, the Plogue engine is still quite good. Despite it's age, and somewhat tedious learning curve, the score interpretation, groove and human expression capabilities are still very versatile powerful (perhaps most Finale users don't use it much, don't know how, and don't care). While it's true the GUI is often awkward, and the learning curve can be rather steep, the core of the software is highly capable, and much of it can be set it and forget it through project templates. Perhaps in time, the GUI will get some face-lifts that can make it all easier and more pleasing to use. Until such time, it is what it is, and it's still a long way from being dead technology.

So, at the moment, it is pretty impressive at how quickly Dorico is progressing. It's exciting to work with the product, and enjoy how through experience, and hindsight, it is setting right many of the design errors, and protocol limitations of the products that came before. Sooner or later however, they will begin to hit a lot of the same road blocks were considerable amounts of dev time don't seem much like 'significant development', but are actually MAJOR obstacles to releasing a stable and affordable product. While Steinberg has the advantage of control over the VST protocol, and while Dorico can take advantage of some really impressive effect and instrument technologies that have benefited from decades of development and wide scale professional use in the wild, such as the Cubase/Nuendo slate of digital effects, the HALion and GrooveAgent engines, it still needs a lot of technologies and code that Steinberg doesn't fully control...and those things often take considerable man hours and money to work out. I.E. What happens when Microsoft and/or Apple hit them with major OS changes? We've seen problems with Cubase and Nuendo on this end before...such as, multi-platform support for Apple Quicktime being pulled....and here we are more than a full version of Cubase removed from that glorious Apple announcement, and the new video engine, for both Mac and PC users, still has problems that break legacy support, remove feature sets we'd grown dependent upon....and ultimately caused users to have to jump through hoops because of it. Rolling back to earlier versions meant security issues...and more.

Again, I'm a huge Steinberg/Yamaha fan. I'm a big cheerleader for Dorico, and the individual humans who work on the project in particular. I've been using their stuff since the age of the Atari ST. I still have some of their earliest software and hardware products powered up in in my rack as I type this, and still use it from time to time (and would use it even more often if I could get modern printer interfaces, and modern e-publishing options to match up). We ST users were already printing and playing back impressive looking scores with personal computers, on affordable laser printers at resolutions above 300dpi, well before Mac and PC users could even think about doing the same...and we did it with a single floppy drive, and less than 4 meg of memory. As usual, companies like Steinberg, Dr. T, Hybrid Arts, EMagic, and more...had to sell out and merge with other companies, and needed to start all over for new platforms/OSes, due to circumstances beyond their control. It took them nearly a decade to catch the Mac and PC versions up to anything close to what was possible on a cheap Atari ST or Falcon.

So...for what it's worth...these days, simply keeping a product up to date enough to work with the hardware and OSes that are currently available, and affordable, is a monumental task in and of itself. A user base, and compatible data-sets large enough to justify doing that much is pretty significant. It means the products are still needed, and are still viable.

ptram
Member
Posts: 851
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2011 6:37 pm
Contact:

Re: Reaching out to our Finale- (and Sibelius-) using friends.

Post by ptram »

While not coming from Finale, pitch-before-duration is something that I would prefer, as a longtime pen-and-paper composer. The pitch materials come always first with me. Call it the notes of a melody, implying harmony, or a raw series of pitch-classes – pitch comes first.

A workaround in Dorico is entering pitches with a single, low duration value. Then, you can turn on Insert mode, and change the duration of each selected note.

Paolo

Derrek
Grand Senior Member
Posts: 4024
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2016 6:23 pm
Location: East Coast, USA
Contact:

Re: Reaching out to our Finale- (and Sibelius-) using friends.

Post by Derrek »

Thank you, Brian, for that summary and analysis, which taught me some things I did not know about Finale. I see Finale facing massive challenges ahead, precisely because of their legacy code and wish they would give some indication of the company's goals for the future, even while realizing that protecting trade secrets may be their best course forward. If their principal goal is to support Smartmusic with Finale content creation while holding onto Broadway and Hollywood support as best they can, I wish they would say that and outline how it will guide Finale's development. Perhaps DOrico has spoiled us by pre-announcing features to come, knowing older programs will not be able to match the sophistication of the Dorico solutions.

As someone who was a student in a paper & pencil age (or ink and transparency age), I have been through multiple notation programs. I hesitate to think that students today are lazier than my contemporaries (okay: I had some lazy contemporaries) and will cling to what they used in school if better options come along.

When I bought me first synth, I quickly learned that no one used just one synth. One accumulated multiple synths to use each for what it did best. That's how I feel now about Finale and Dorico. As Dorico becomes increasingly powerful in the areas I need, I will (and do) use Dorico for those areas. In other areas I still use Finale, but I do worry for their future.
Last edited by Derrek on Mon Sep 09, 2019 3:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Dorico Pro 3.5.10.1045, Finale (v26), GPO, JABB3, GWI, NotePerformer 3.3.1, CuBase Pro 10.5 newbie
Windows 10 (also Mac Catalina as alternate)
US English Keyboard

User avatar
FredGUnn
Senior Member
Posts: 1015
Joined: Thu May 19, 2016 1:40 pm
Location: NYCish
Contact:

Re: Reaching out to our Finale- (and Sibelius-) using friends.

Post by FredGUnn »

Back to the original topic, I think the strongest arguments for conversion from Finale and Sibelius aren't necessarily just what Dorico can currently do, but how it is positioned for the future.

1) Both Finale and Sibelius are beholden to 30 year old code at this point. Sure, other software companies are too, but music notation is sort of a niche and neither company has anywhere near the resources of larger companies. As Brian pointed out, "simply keeping a product up to date enough to work with the hardware and OSes that are currently available, and affordable, is a monumental task in and of itself." Dorico is uniquely positioned for the future with more recently developed code that doesn't have to support so many legacy versions of the software.

2) Dorico has a clean and modern interface. For the most part things are logically laid out. For users that are used to a modal sort of interface design like Adobe Lightroom, it makes a lot of sense. If you know where everything is in Finale, it certainly is fast to use, but Dorico's design is more representative of the future of software interface design.

3) There is more active development and creativity with the Dorico development team. Most of the developers that had been with Finale for years were let go when they moved from Minnesota, and the Sibelius developers are now with Dorico. One would hope that the Dorico team would be able to build upon things they wished they had done differently with Sibelius when presented with an opportunity to create something from the ground up. Recent developments like score condensing seem unlikely to make it into the other programs any time soon, and the feature gap for things the other programs can do but Dorico can't is closing with every update.

In addition to making the argument that Dorico is better positioned for the future, the one feature that seems to really impress Finale and Sib users is Dorico's spacing algorithms, both vertical and horizontal. One of the first projects I did in Dorico was a score reduction of Duke Ellington's "A Tone Parallel to Harlem." I had to do a little bit of casting off and move some rehearsal letters, but other than that I didn't have to do any adjustments to the reduced score, which would have likely been several hours of work in Finale. I was working on that during a West Coast tour last spring and the other guys in the band were amazed at how little editing was needed to get it looking so good.

It may be tough to get converts, but by selling Dorico as the future of music notation (they already do with "the next-generation music notation software" tag line) there is a reasonable argument to be made for purchasing Dorico if you don't already have any investment in Finale or Sib. As it continues to develop, I assume we'll see more converts. I suppose we'll have to see whether the converts and new adopters will outpace the users who just move to MuseScore or other free/inexpensive software.
Dorico Pro 3.5.1, Finale v26, HALion 6, The Grand 3, GPO, JABB, World Instruments, CFX Concert Grand, NotePerformer, BBCSO Core
Windows 10 - Desktop: i9-9900K, 64GB, UA Apollo Twin MKII QUAD - Laptop: Razer Blade Stealth, i7-7500U, 16GB, UA Apollo Solo

cparmerlee
Member
Posts: 841
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2016 4:32 pm
Contact:

Re: Reaching out to our Finale- (and Sibelius-) using friends.

Post by cparmerlee »

mducharme wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:12 am
cparmerlee wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:02 am
Porting to 64 bits did not require a rewrite of any significant portion of the old Finale codebase.
Yes, it did, unless they were lying to me (which I grant you they may have been). Certain libraries that they used with the 32-bit version were deprecated and so they had to adapt to different replacements and make major changes to their code as a result. They had shot themselves in the foot by waiting so long to modernize their code base, and the yearly upgrade cycle was to blame for a while. They were still using a lot of 1990's era dependencies in their code, it was still based on ANSI instead of UTF-8. Before I switched from Finale to Sibelius back in 2012 there was a thread about how much would have to change, and it was something like 1/4 to 1/3 of the code would have to be rewritten in order to release a 64-bit version. It wasn't some easy modification.
I agree with all of that. Having gone through several of these migrations, it generally is a case where you rewrite the minimum -- such as the case where you are forced to use different libraries. But mostly you are chasing down compiler diagnostics and testing a lot. I see zero evidence they modernized any major pieces of their architecture in the process. And no evidence they are doing any significant work on the product today. The number of bug fixes since the move to Boulder and the number of significant improvements are as close to zero as is humanly possible, it seems to me. Please note that the conversion to 64-bit was largely done in Minneapolis before the move, if memory serves.

People who are on Finale should not expect any change. If their reason for remaining is that it does everything they need and/or third parties require them to work in Finale and/or they just don't want to learn anything new and/or the playback isn't good enough yet in Dorico and/or whatever, that's OK. But nobody should be telling themselves the product is under active development. It just isn't to any meaningful degree.

Sibelius is mostly the same, but they are doing a little more, nibbling around the margins.
Dorico 3, Cubase 10.5, Windows 10, Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 audio i/f
http://sonocrafters.com/

rkrentzman
Junior Member
Posts: 69
Joined: Tue May 17, 2016 11:36 pm
Contact:

Re: Reaching out to our Finale- (and Sibelius-) using friends.

Post by rkrentzman »

The big problem with Finale is that it is essentially a large database. (This is why you have to jump through hoops - albeit handled by a third party plugin -to beam over barlines). I suppose this was state of the art in 1988, although SCORE was vector based from the outset, but not, IMO the best way to achieve superior output.

So, in order to be in a league with Sibelius or Dorico, Finale would need to completely rewrite its source code, an expense I doubt MakeMusic is going to undertake.

I'm not saying that some very good engraving hasn't been accomplished with Finale. It has (some of it by me ;>0) just as some plate engraving is very good; some would say the best. But no-one to my knowledge stamps out music on copper plates anymore. I'm afraid unless Finale goes through a radical metamorphosis, it will go the way of SCORE: fewer and fewer users until it disappears.
Dorico 3.5.10, Finale 25, Sibelius 2020.3
Windows 10

John Ruggero
Member
Posts: 275
Joined: Tue May 24, 2016 11:09 pm
Contact:

Re: Reaching out to our Finale- (and Sibelius-) using friends.

Post by John Ruggero »

I, for one, don't doubt that Finale will become obsolete, and that there will be a mechanism to convert old Finale files seamlessly into other formats. I just hope that what replaces Finale can work as well for me, or I will be stuck with legacy software and hardware for years. At this point, none of the crucial issues that prevent me from using Dorico have been addressed meaningfully, so I am less hopeful than before that Dorico will ever work for me.

User avatar
benwiggy
Senior Member
Posts: 2383
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2016 8:09 pm
Contact:

Re: Reaching out to our Finale- (and Sibelius-) using friends.

Post by benwiggy »

Brian Roland wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 8:17 am
They've done quite a few things with upgrading the video support. Finale also got rewire support.

V25 was a paid upgrade that made a massive leap into the 64bit realm (also MUCH improved thread management for multiple CPU cores),

Third parties have continued to add and refine plugins and scripts.
Finale added ReWire, seemingly, to mitigate the removal of video support. Working with video was essentially palmed off onto your DAW.

Finale's thread management is pretty minimal. Running it on a 24-core beast brings almost no advantage to a 2-core i3. (And there's still that bug where playback maxes 1 core, whatever your CPU.)

And despite the 64-bit revision, there's still the 32,767 active frame limit.

The authors of the various plug-ins are to be commended, but they are filling in holes in the walls that MM ought to have re-built. I have to remember to explicitly execute a menu item after I've done my layout to get decent beaming? :roll:
MacMini 2018, 3GHz i5, 32Gb RAM | MacBook Pro 2014, 2.2 GHz i7 | Garritan Personal Orchestra 5
Ancient Groove Music

cparmerlee
Member
Posts: 841
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2016 4:32 pm
Contact:

Re: Reaching out to our Finale- (and Sibelius-) using friends.

Post by cparmerlee »

John Ruggero wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:07 pm
I ... don't doubt that ... there will be a mechanism to convert old Finale files seamlessly into other formats.
Personally I would be very comfortable if there were a batch utility to convert MUS files to MusicXML, even if it wasn't a comprehensive conversion. If I had confidence I could get all the instruments, notes, dynamics, meters, articulations and tempo notations to come across, I wouldn't worry very much about the layout, as what Dorico does by default is pretty close to what I'd want in most cases.

But I don't see who would write such a utility other than the Finale people themselves. Personally I'd pay them a couple hundred bucks for such a program, and I won't be paying them anything for Finale updates.

Maybe there are some clever programmers out there with the patience to reverse engineer such a program. Heck, maybe this is a project the MuseScore people would undertake at some stage. They are very good with MusicXML already.
Dorico 3, Cubase 10.5, Windows 10, Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 audio i/f
http://sonocrafters.com/

R Pearl
Member
Posts: 347
Joined: Sat May 27, 2017 1:51 pm
Contact:

Re: Reaching out to our Finale- (and Sibelius-) using friends.

Post by R Pearl »

My guess is that getting 'converts' is a difficult task, even though I am one, myself. Finale, to Sibelius, to Dorico. However, there are folks who have years of scores, a work flow, workarounds, and so forth; getting them to learn a new approach is daunting. What will most like drive folks to leave their programs behind is if the operating systems no longer support the application. I know one composer who uses Sibelius 6 (a really good version!), and has not immediate plans to leave it. But, once his OS leaves 6 behind, he'll be left with moving up to Sib XX, of switching - that's when he'll be a good candidate for switching. In the meantime, I have advised him to make xml backups for the time that day comes. Can't be too prepared...

Growth really will come from those new to notation programs, and entering the world of computer assisted scoring. It's no accident (I think) that the motto is Dorico - The Next Generation of Music Notation Software. The next generation is what will allow this program to grow.

Rob Tuley
Grand Senior Member
Posts: 4077
Joined: Fri May 20, 2016 12:41 am

Re: Reaching out to our Finale- (and Sibelius-) using friends.

Post by Rob Tuley »

cparmerlee wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:51 pm
John Ruggero wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:07 pm
I ... don't doubt that ... there will be a mechanism to convert old Finale files seamlessly into other formats.
Personally I would be very comfortable if there were a batch utility to convert MUS files to MusicXML, even if it wasn't a comprehensive conversion.
The problem is, you would need 20 or 30 different converters, one for each new and incompatible version of the MUS file format since the beginning of Finale's history.

And since they are all proprietary, there is no documentation available for any of for formats.

galambborong
New Member
Posts: 36
Joined: Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:26 pm
Contact:

Re: Reaching out to our Finale- (and Sibelius-) using friends.

Post by galambborong »

Customary newbie disclaimers, etc. At the recommendation of @pianoleo, I've joined this forum and look forward to getting to know the Dorico community better.

This thread topic is pretty appropriate for me. I'm a longstanding SCORE user and am very keen to take the plunge and basically adopt Dorico as my main engraving tool. Indeed, I am hopeful that the crossgrade option can be extended beyond just Sibelius and Finale, and am just waiting to hear about this before taking said plunge...

Fingers crossed.
- SCORE user since 2007, with an army of Brodhead programs and my own scripts.
- Dorico Pro 3 user since Sept 2019 and looking forward to it.
- Sib****s despiser since forever
- Win 10

Post Reply

Return to “Dorico”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: dko22, ghmusicprep, Google [Bot], janhardo, Lillie Harris and 7 guests