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  1. Greetings, I have finally returned. Things have finally calmed down enough. Work has been extremely hectic, but since my project was released yesterday, things are starting to wind down for now. It's been so busy that I haven't done anything with music. How ironic, since I work at a music company. However, it appears that I might be getting some scoring work locally. By the way, I am going to be meeting with the guy who wrote the book "Film Music: A Neglected Art" this week. Turns out his son works for the same company that I do. Nothing too much going on though. I think that's all for now.
  2. I am sorry to report that I am leaving jwfan.net for an indefinite period of time. Someday I may return, but I dont know when. My reasons for leaving are personal and have nothing to do with anything or anyone on this board.
  3. They are sampled at no more than the minor 3rd, so far as I am aware. I still consider this acceptable for short time fourier transforms (which I believe is how they do pitch shifting, though they could be using linear predictave coding or some other technique like wavelets or AI). Beyond this point, however, I agree that is stretched too far. They could have sampled it at every quarter tone, but then the library would be like 200 GB like Vienna. Currently, a much smaller program is more commercially viable for them at the moment, but they are always improving their sample library. I am sending your comments about the playback on to the CEO of Notion. They are greatly appreciated, honestly. I didn't know the playback was that bad, and so I am going to make sure that it gets corrected, but that probably won't be until after NAMM (22-24 July).
  4. I have now bought Notion. Since I work for them, I got it at an insanely low price. You cannot get it for that price, BUT, all of you can get it for $199 (about 150 euro I think) through the friends and family program since you are all my friends . I might be able to get it even lower, but that is on a person by person basis and I cannot guarantee it. Please talk to me if you want to buy it. Now that I have a copy at home I can make better demos than on their website. Any requests (ie Star Wars, etc.)? If you use Finale: Notion 1.0 has far superior playback to Finale 2006. It is far easier to use, but not as powerful. Also, if you want to open your Finale files in Notion, you will soon be able to thanks to MusicXML support. If you use Sibelius: Notion 1.0's playback makes Kontakt player Gold weep! At least the sounds in Finale 2006 sound kind of good, but the sounds in Sibelius 3.x are terrible! This from a devout Sibelius user. Hopefully they will get better sounds. Notion is as easy to use as Sibelius. Again, you can open Sibelius files in Notion via MusicXML, but it is not as good as going from Finale to Notion. Sibelius 4 has video support but bad samples; Notion has great samples, but no video. If you are like me and need both, you're best bet would be to buy Sibelius 4, and then buy Notion (but not without talking to me first! I will arrange a special deal in this case). Then you should be able to use Notion as a soft synth that receives MIDI data from Sibelius. I am going to try this out over the weekend in Sibelius 3. You will probably either need a loopback device or have them on two seperate computers because neither yet supports Rewire, although I am pleading with both that they do. If you live in the following US states: GA, SC, NC, TN, VA, WV, MD, DE, PA, NJ, NY, CT, RI, MA, or the District of Columbia, and would like to see a demo, please email me and I personally will be able to get a demo to you by driving to those locations. If you live anywhere else, I can try to arrange for a company to get a demo to you. One should be available soon. The Mac version is under development and is slated to be released in early 2006. It should work fine under Mac OS x86 (Mac OS for Intel). By the way, the best feature of Notion at all is that because it's samples are very good, you can hear orchestrations very well. This is great for teaching orchestration at the college level, but is also really great when the director comes on to the scoring stage and whats to make changes in orchestration. With Notion, it can be done quickly and you can get instant playback that sounds pretty good. You can play it back for the director right there and get his opinion without playing it on a piano, sequencing it, or paying for time lost in have the orchestra play/record it and the director still not liking it.
  5. I have been informed today that the demos have not been updated in MONTHS! I am hoping that this will soon be correct (ie within the week). As soon as they are, I will inform you and I do ask you to listen to them again. I was apalled when I heard the samples from the website as well. They are nowhere near the quality of the samples that we actually have in the software! Also, I can get employee pricing now. Competitive pricing (upgrade from Sib or Finale) is $299, but employee pricing is lower. Please email me if you seriously are considering this product. I might be able to get it for an insanely low price, or at least a reduced price.
  6. I just need to know these things because your responses are the only two negative response I have heard from anyone ever, so I need to understand what is going on. If the demos do sound that bad, then there maybe is a problem that can be resolved. Everyone else, however, has been extremely impressed with the sounds. Also, the overwhelmingy majority of those who have been impressed are users of Finale, Sibelius, and GPO, so that isn't saying too much. If you use VSL every day, than I can understand your criticism. Also, if you conduct a live orchestra everyday, then your criticism is even more understandable, for NO computer will ever sound as good as the real thing.
  7. Really? I will have to check on this. I am very surprised by your comments indeed, so now I am led to believe that something is wrong with the samples. What sample set would you say is the closest but better to what you perceive? This will help me more accurately figure out the problem. If you say "It sounds worse than a DX7", then we have a serious problem. If you say "It sounds worse than GPO", then I know what the problem is and can easily fix it. If you say "It sounds worse than EWQL or VSL", then there isn't a problem because those libraries cost a lot more than Notion, so it is fair to assume that they should perform better. But VSL is still incredibily difficult to use while Notion is incredibly easy. If I could, I'd sketch in Notion and do final mixes in VSL. Unfortunately, I don't own either 8O. Also, does it sound worse than Finale's soundfont or Sibelius' Kontakt Gold?
  8. Go to http://www.notionmusic.com/downloads.cfm for the official demos. The official demos are way better than my Star Wars thing, because I only did that for my own enjoyment. If you don't think the samples are that good, then please explain to me why you feel that way. I really want to understand because that has not been anyone else's response ever, anywhere. It is extremely strange. I do not want to get into an argument like "this is better" etc., but I do want to understand why you feel that way. And if you continue to feel that way, that's your perogative, but I haven't met anyone else who shares your sentiment. The worst critique I ever heard anyone say of the Notion samples was my own when I first heard them "These sound about the same as GPO". Thankfully there has been much improvement since then, and now I can say that they sound way better than GPO. A SoundBlaster without Wavetable use Yamaha OPL3 FM synthesis (not much better than DX7!), while Soundblasters with Wavetable use soundfonts loaded into wavetable memory, which then depends on the actual soundfont. There are some pretty good soundfonts out there, but even still, none are as detailed as most sample sets. When did you hear the demo? We did improve the sound quality a lot in the past months. Having used multiple sample libraries, I can say that, as a user, I find Notion's set to be of a better sound quality than Garritan Personal Orchestra AND that they are far easier to use. Also, be careful what you say about Finale 2006. Yes, you can have VSTi in Finale 2006, BUT only VSTi made with Native Instruments platforms, such as Kontakt and Kompakt. You COULD use VSL with the full version of Kontakt, but most of the VSL is still native to Gigastudio format (or EXS), so it would require a conversion. Also, the GPO that comes with Finale 2006 is not the full version of the GPO. It would be better just to buy the full version of the GPO, and better yet to buy Notion! I cannot speak for Overture. I don't know anything about it, but I do believe it supports VSTi. The idea of Notion is ease of use: that you can get a good sound quickly. Yes, you can get better sounds with VSL, but VSL is very intricate and can take a very long time to get working properly. I often spent DAYS perfecting my VSL tracks, when I could have gotten very close with no effort if I had Notion. Caveat: I have used Rhapsody, Encore, Finale, Sibelius, and Notion. I have also used GPO and significant portions of the VSL. I work for Notion as a developer. I helped develop some Sibelius functionality in the past, but that was very limited; one or two functions. I use Notion and Sibelius daily, and Finale every other day at work. At home I still use Sibelius with GPO because I am broke! The opinions here are my own and do NOT reflect those of VirtuosoWorks, makers of Notion. I am trying to present facts, whereas ANY marketing presents spin. Please try to understand that I am telling you what I have experienced as a user. Is Notion right for everything? No. Sibelius? No. Finale? No. Anything? No! Each has a different task, summed up as: Finale - copying / score-prep Sibelius - K-12 education Notion - composing/orchestrating, live performance I personally feel that Notion's use for orchestrating is its KEY feature and difference, but I don't feel that it is recognized enough. I will buy Notion soon, and when I do, I will have it work in concert with Sibelius; combine them to create an ultra-efficient, mega-powerful notation program that combines the best of everything! I find VSL great for final mixes, but for just sketching, you need more immediate results, which GPO and Notion both provide.
  9. For those of you who haven't heard yet, there is some new music software that contains extremely high quality orchestral samples recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra. The software is called Notion. It is music notation software, and is great for composers and orchestrators. http://www.notionmusic.com The program contains approx. 4 GB of samples from the LSO; roughly 8500 files. All the LSO samples were recorded at Abbey Road studios. You can control the reverb of the samples to create very realistic results quite easily. The software is easy to learn and easy to use. If you are a composer and currently using Finale, Sibelius, and/or Garritan Personal Orchestra, then you should get Notion because it far exceeds playback of any of those. The playback is SO good, that I would personally use the samples in my own film scores. I put about 5 measures of the Star Wars main title into Notion straight out of the box; not even adjusting reverb or adding articulations beyond what was in the music. Same orchestra, same recording studio, and the results were simply amazing. Were they perfect? No, but they were damn good. Notion also has other features such as NTempo, which allows you to control the playback tempo in realtime, making it ideal for certain live performance situations such as solo recitals and musical theatre. The software is $599 for full version, and $299 (I think) for the academic price. You cannot beat the price for these samples. They are at least 10 times better than GPO. I hope that you do check it out because you will be amazed. I think this software will make you a better composer.
  10. I've got the conductor's scores for the concert suites of FOTR/ TTT, the ones you can buy for instance on musicnotes.com. I'd be glad to share them with you, but I doubt these are the ones you're looking for. Yes, those will do fine!
  11. I don't know how EW/QL works, but I know that programming with VSL is complicated. That's where Notion is different; it eliminates that middle layer of complexity and does away with the need for MIDI programming. I think I can safely say that, in ANY notation program, including Notion, if you just put the words "col legno" on to your string part with out any additional work, that string part will not play back col legno. Notion will make what I just said possible, however (but I don't know when the col legno samples are due out... but soon!). Sure, you can do MIDI mappings and route certain words to trigger events etc in other software, but there is no need to in Notion because it does it automatically. However, if you use the VSL, then the only reason you'd really want Notion would be increase your compositional efficiency by using Notion as a sketch pad, exporting to MIDI, reloading into a sequencer, and then fine tuning the VSL performance. This way you can concentrate on composing when you are composing and sequencing when you are sequencing. I often find that when I do sequencing, my sounds are really good, but my compositions are terrible because I spend too much time in the sequencing details instead of focusing on the music. Finale 2006 also supports VSTi, but only those made on the NI Kontakt platform. Sibelius does not (yet) support VSTi, and the current version of Notion does not, but I assume that both of them will because they need to respond to Finale. I have wanted such technology for years.
  12. Yes, I am looking for conductor's scores. Please tell me more! 8O The software I am using is called Notion http://www.notionmusic.com. It was released in April 2005. It is music notation software that contains ~4-5 GB of samples recorded with the LSO at Abbey Road studios. I am a software developer for Notion. My job right now is to develop MusicXML functionality. Finale has full MusicXML import/export (full on both platforms from 2006+, full on PC, partial on Mac for some eariler versions), and there is a plugin for Sibelius to export to MusicXML. My ultimate personal goal is to get these three apps to talk to each other via MusicXML so that I can share my music with people who use different software than I do. Notion's two main features are it's impressive sample library and NTempo realtime variable speed tempo control. NTempo allows you to perform accel/rit in realtime, enabling you to use Notion in live performance situations (it was especially designed for musical theatre). These performances can be saved for future use, adding a lot of expression to your playback. The sample library is really good. It currently only comprises standard orchestral instruments, but it is expanding rapidly to include others as well. It seems that we record new samples just about every month! The samples are better than GPO, but not as good as VSL. Regardless, they are far easier to use than any other sample set I've seen. You don't need to program a sequencer to use them. If you write it on the sheet music, Notion will automatically load the appropriate samples. For example, to get pizzicato, you just put in the "pizz." mark. If you place a trill on a note, it loads a trill sample. If you make a note staccato, it loads a staccato sample etc. With other libraries, you could spend hours programming all of this in. If you are a composer and are looking for high quality orchestral sounds that are easy to use and reasonably priced, then Notion is for you. It is easier to learn than Finale and about as easy as Sibelius.
  13. Yes I know that, but the reverberation is not as important unless I intend to do a direct comparison of "same group, same venue", which is only part of what I am looking to do. I am also just looking for things that sound good, so I can compare "real recording vs. sampled playback". The sampled playback isn't 100% the quality of the original recording, but I'd say my Star Wars mockup was already 90%+ there, and that was without tweaking.
  14. No, it's now open to all scores, but they must be clearly marked so as I can differentiate between music written for film and other media and music written for the concert hall (incl. opera, ballet, etc.). Multimedia compositions that involve film as part of a concert hall performance will be considered as concert hall music UNLESS the film presented during the performance and the music accompanying it are identical to how it would be presented as a film without the live orchestra. Film scores (or pieces thereof) performed in a concert venue will still be considered as film scores. Examples: - Shore's LOTR Symphony - will be considered as a film score because it is a concert arrangement of a film score, and not exclusively written for the concert hall - Reich's The Cave - will be considered a concert work even though it makes use of film elements during its concert performance - DJ Spooky's Rebirth of a Nation (is that the title?) - will be considered a concert work, even though it contains a film that has an original soundtrack, the film has been altered and that original soundtrack is used nowhere in the performance, hence the new soundtrack which he supplies is considered a concert work because the new soundtrack requires live performance as he cuts the soundtrack and the footage in realtime performance. However, had he just written a new soundtrack over the existing footage, it would be considered a film score and not a concert work. All songs used in films will be considered concert works regardless. All studio produced music that cannot be performed live (at least easily) will also be considered concert music. Foley/SFX are not considered film music unless they are explicitly musique concrete and serves a musical purpose rather than a physical one. Why the dichotomy? Film Music has a completely different history than non-film music. There is very little cross-over in their pedigrees. Obviously, the first film composers were concert composers, and there have been cross-overs, but none have been truly successful in both areas except for maybe Prokofiev. Therefore, I need to track the influences of the young composers of today. If they explicitly write film music, I suspect that their influences and ideologies regarding music in general will be vastly different than those who explicitly write concert music. I also feel that those who write both film and concert music will have further different ideas regarding music. Predictions: - composers who write only film will not be influenced much by 20th century classical music, especially after 1945. - composers who write only concert music will not be influenced much by film scoring UNLESS they write jazz concert music, in which case there will be some influence from the likes of Mancini, but I do not suspect that they would draw much from the literature of Thomas Newman. Similarly, they are more likely to draw their influences from modern concert music, especially minimalism and post-minimalism especially. - composers who write film AND concert music in roughly equal proportion will have the widest range of influences, of which I suspect will draw primarily from post-romanticism and post-minimalism (in accordance with current observations). This group of composers will also be the most influenced by music outside of the classical repetoire and will integrate disparate musical ideas into their pieces, drawing from popular, ethnic, and experimental traditions. Current observations: - No composer has been observed to write film music exclusively. - Composers who only write concert music draw primarily from the romantic and neo-romantic traditions, often citing the composers Beethoven, Stravinksy, and Schubert among their favorites. Stylistic analysis indeed reveals similarity to Schubert and Prokofiev in their writings. They reject serialism and most experimentalism, which to them includes minimalism. Some, however, embrace post-minimalism while others do not. - Composers who write both draw primarily from the literature of film music, drawing heavily on Williams, Goldsmith, and Herrmann. However, they often include contemporary techniques into their music. This group of composers is more extravagant than their concert hall counterparts, who are more reserved in their musical choices. Favorite composers of concert music, however, strangely match that of their concert music counterparts. The reason for the difference is the use of non-traditional elements in a tonal context in film music allowed this group to embrace them, while the other group heard non-traditional elements on in experimental contexts, which lead the concert composers to reject them because they associate them with experimentalism. - There are also socioeconomic factors which have yet to be investigated, although it appears that none of the composers that I have interviewed thus far are politically in the far left, although some are in the far right, which suggests a more conservative shift in ideologies in retaliation against the previous generation that was more liberally shifted. This does not, however, mean that all the composers I interviewed are conservative; rather it means that none of the composers I interviewed strictly adhere to the tenets of true Marxism. Also, all of the composers I have interviewed were in the middle economic class respective to their nation, but their position within this class spanned the entire range of middle class. It is unknown whether impoverished or aristocratic composers fit within the above observations. - It is also unknown to which countries these observations apply. The observed affects definitely exist within the United States and Canada. Preliminary results indicate that some people in the British Isles might also fit these observations, but it may be because of their exposure OR common heritage to their American counterparts. Nations without a Western music tradition are not considered at all. I am trying to determine the current ideology of Western music, so it does not make sense then to include non-Western musics in this discussion; only so much as a composer raised in the Western music tradition does or does not utilize traditions outside of the Western culture. Preliminary indications show that Australian composers do fit the same mold as their American and Western European counterparts. Hope this answers some questions, but I much rather hope that it raises questions.
  15. Ah ok good to know. I thought it was LSO that recorded it. Still looking for Shore's LOTR stuff though. I have a partial transcription of the opening titles of The Two Towers that I am working on, but that's about it.
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