Executable Shape Designer dialog box
How to get there
- Click the Expression tool , and double-click a note or measure. (If the note or
measure already has an expression attached, double-click.)
- Click Create (or
click an existing shape in the selection box and click Edit).
- Click the
Playback tab; then click Execute Shape > Create (or click a
shape and click Edit).
What it does
An Executable Shape is a line whose contours
Finale "reads" as it plays back your music in order to produce
changes over time of some musical aspect: tempo or volume, for example.
You draw the Executable Shape itself in the Shape Designer (which you
enter from this dialog box by clicking Shape ID, then clicking Create),
but you define its characteristics in this dialog box.
For a more complete discussion of Executable
Shapes, see Shape Designer.
ID. The number in this text box identifies the particular shape
that’s being used as an Executable Shape. If you don’t know the number
of the shape you want to use—or if you haven’t yet created it—click Shape
ID; you’ll enter the Shape Selection box, where you can double-click the
desired shape (or click Create to enter the Shape Designer, where you
can create your own shape; see Shape Designer dialog
box). You’ll return to the Executable Shape Designer dialog box, where
Finale will have entered the appropriate number in the Shape ID box.
Scale. If you haven’t told Finale to do otherwise, it will "sample"
(or consult the level of) an Executable Shape once every eighth note.
For example, if you’re creating a rallentando that lasts for one measure
of , Finale will decrease the tempo slightly in eight eighth-note increments.
The Time Scale, a ratio formed by the numbers
in the two text boxes, lets you tell Finale to sample the shape more (or
less) frequently. If, for example, you have a passage composed of sixteenth
notes and you’ve created a rallentando that sounds too jerky, tell Finale
to sample it twice as often (once every sixteenth note) by entering a
Time Scale of 1:2. You enter 1:2 because Finale "reads" the
entire Executable Shape in one-half the time (by sampling the shape twice
Scale. The numbers in these two text boxes form a ratio that governs
the amount by which Finale should change the tempo (or volume, or whatever
parameter you’ve specified) over time. If you leave the Level Scale at
1:1, Finale examines the shape you’ve drawn in the Shape Designer; for
every horizontal gridline the shape rises or falls, Finale changes the
playback value by one degree, depending on the playback variable being
affected. (In the Shape Designer, choose Grid from the Show submenu of
the Shape Designer menu to view the grid points.)
For tempo changes, "one degree" means
one quarter note per minute (a metronome marking). For velocity, a degree
means one MIDI velocity value (where 0 is silent and 127 is loud as possible).
For MIDI patch or MIDI channel, each degree corresponds to a switch to
the next patch or channel, and for pitch, a degree is a half step.
Suppose, therefore, that you’ve created a rallentando
shape in the Shape Designer that looks like the one pictured below. When
you enter the word "rall." in the score (for which this Executable
Shape is the playback definition), you’ll hardly hear any tempo change
at all in the playback. Based on what you now know, you’ll realize that
it’s because your sloping line only drops two gridlines over its entire
length. That means your rallentando only slows the tempo from 120 to 118
beats per minute!
This is an ideal problem for the Level Scale
to solve. Just change the Level Scale to, say, 15:1; in other words, for
every grid point your shape rises or falls, the tempo will increase or
decrease by 15 beats per minute, not one.
Rate. As described above, the rate at which Finale "consults"
the Executable Shape is determined by the Time Scale. However, you have
even further control over the behavior of your playback expression, because
the Sample Rate text box tells Finale to affect playback only on the Nth
sample, where N is the number in the box. If, for some reason, you decide
that a certain Executable Shape crescendo is too smooth, enter 2 in the
Sample Rate box, and Finale will only change the volume every second time
the Executable Shape triggers a change, ignoring the samples in between.
List. If you want Finale to "notice" specific samples
that you specify, select Use List. A dialog box appears, letting you enter
a series of numbers, one in each text box (if there are more than four
values in your list, use the right and left arrows to scroll to additional
text boxes, but you can’t enter more than six). The numbers you specify
here tell Finale which samples of the Executable Shape you want it to
register for playback purposes.
Use List can produce interesting effects if
this Executable Shape governs pitch or Restrike Keys. (Restrike Keys is
one of the playback definitions you can assign to any expression; the
note to which it’s attached is struck over and over again, at a rate specified
by its Time Scale setting.) By creating a sample list and entering your
values carefully, you can create a Restrike Keys expression that plays
a certain rhythm. Suppose, for example, your Restrike Keys shape is applied
to a whole note, and has a Time Scale of 1:1 (it restrikes the note every
eighth note). If you click Use List and enter 3, 3, and 2 in the first
three boxes, the affected whole note would play back with this rhythm:
Count. There may be times when you want the Executable Shape you’ve
just defined to repeat itself several times. For example, if you’ve just
designed a magnificent trill that lasts for only a quarter note—but you
want to create a trilling whole note—you can tell Finale how many extra
times you want the shape played by entering the number (in this example,
3) in the Repeat Count box.
All. When sampling your Executable Shape, Finale generally only
"notices" (or produces an audible playback change for) a sample
when its value changes; a Restrike Keys expression whose Executable Shape
is a horizontal line won’t restrike the note at all, because Finale doesn’t
notice any changes in the line’s vertical value. If you want such a shape
to generate a sample at each eighth note whether its value has changed
or not, select Log All.
at End of Sample List. If you’ve specified a sample list by selecting
Use List, and if the shape is long enough to produce more samples than
the highest number you’ve entered in the Sample List, Finale will ordinarily
start over at the beginning of the Sample List in deciding which samples
to "notice." If you’d rather have Finale respond only once to
the specific samples named in the list—and not to repeat the action—select
• Cancel. Click OK to confirm, or Cancel to discard, the Executable
Shape settings you’ve made and proceed to the next dialog box.
Tip. Create your shape
to be exactly as you want—span the amount of time and offering the exact
effect you want. Then set Time and Level Scales to 1:1