The following instructions allow you to define an expression for playback manually. Note that Human Playback interprets expressions and performs them automatically based on the selected Human Playback Style. See Human Playback.
- Click the Expression tool . If you
haven’t yet placed the mark in the score, double-click any note or measure.
When the Expression Selection dialog box appears, click the desired category, choose the desired expression, click Edit, then skip
the next two instructions.
- Click the Playback tab. The playback
- From the Type pop-up menu, choose the playback effect you want
the marking to have. Many of these are self-explanatory: Tempo,
Key Velocity, and so on. For a complete description of these items, see
Expression Designer dialog box.
- To set a specific value for this parameter,
enter a number in the Set To Value box. The units for these items
are usually what you’d expect. Tempo is quarter notes per minute. Key
Velocity is MIDI velocity (0, silent; to 127, very loud). Transposition
is in half steps (to transpose up an octave, type 12 in the Set To Value
box). When you’ve entered a value into the Set To Value box, you’re finished
defining the shape for playback.
The rest of these steps deal with creating playback definitions that change
over time—for example, MIDI pitch wheel data (for a pitch bend), Tempo
(for a ritard), Key Velocity (for a crescendo), and so on.
- If the playback parameter is to change over
time, select Execute Shape, and then click the Select button. The
Executable Shape Selection box appears. If the desired shape appears here,
double-click it and skip to the instruction marked by the asterisk (*).
- Click Create. In the next box, click Shape
ID. In the next box, click Create. You’re now in the Shape Designer.
For a more complete discussion of the Shape Designer, see Shape Designer.
- Choose Rulers and Grid from the Shape Designer
menu. A box appears, asking you to specify the background grid
- Click Eighth Notes, enter 1 in the text box,
then click OK. From the Show submenu of the Shape Designer menu, choose
Grid. You should now see a network of grid points; each horizontal
gridpoint represents an eighth note’s duration.
- Draw the Executable Shape. Again, see
Designer. You’re drawing, in fact, a graph whose contour Finale
will follow as it plays back your music. A ritard (or a diminuendo, for
that matter) looks like a straight line, or gentle curve, sloping down.
A pitch bend looks like a scoop down or up. For details on these individual
markings, see separate entries for Trills; Rallentando; Pitch wheel;
and so on. As you draw, keep in mind that each imaginary vertical
gridline represents an eighth note’s duration, and each horizontal gridline
represents one change in value. If you’re creating a crescendo, the volume
will increase an equal amount each time your shape crosses a horizontal
gridline. If you’re creating a rallentando, the tempo will decrease each
time your shape crosses a horizontal gridline. In a later step, you’ll
learn how to determine the rhythmic value of these gridlines—specifying,
for example, whether the volume increases every eighth note or every sixteenth
note. But for the moment, realize that the height of your shape (the number
of horizontal gridlines it crosses) determines how many changes in value
there will be. (The shape for a rallentando that crosses eight horizontal
gridlines will create eight small tempo changes when the expression to
which it’s assigned is played back.)
- Press RETURN
twice. You arrive at the Executable Shape Designer box. The two
most important elements here are the Time Scale and Level Scale boxes.
- Enter a new Time Scale, if necessary.
When you created the shape, you determined how long the playback effect
would last (by the number of vertical gridlines your shape crossed). The
Time Scale ratio—formed by a combination of the two text boxes—is multiplied
by the length of the shape you drew so that you can change the total duration
affected by the shape. A 1:1 ratio means that each vertical gridline your
shape crosses (in the Shape Designer) represents an eighth note duration.
Suppose you’re defining the Executable Shape for a crescendo. If the shape
you drew was only a quarter note long (two gridlines in the Shape Designer),
the crescendo will last for exactly a quarter note—if you leave the Time
Scale at 1:1. To make the crescendo last twice as long, change the Time
Scale to 2:1. If you want it to last only a third as long, the Time Scale
should be 1:3. The values you enter here determine the span of time affected
by your shape.
- Enter a new Level Scale, if necessary.
The Level Scale, like the Time Scale, is a ratio. Instead of determining
how long the Executable Shape’s effect will last, the Level Scale determines
how much change you’ll hear (in the MIDI parameter you’ve specified).
When you designed your shape, each horizontal gridline crossed by your
shape represented one change in MIDI value: a tempo change from 60 to
59 beats per minute, a MIDI key velocity change from 120 to 121, a transposition
down one half step. By changing the Level Scale, you can multiply that
number to create more dramatic changes in the playback effect. For a ritard,
you might want to specify a Level Scale of 10:1, so that the tempo drops
by 10 beats per minute for each horizontal gridline crossed by your shape.
- Click OK or Select or Assign in each
dialog box until you return to the documentCOMMAND-click
the OK button. Listen to
the effect of your Executable Shape. Can you even hear your ritard in
playback? If not, increase the Level Scale ratio. Is your crescendo too
brief? Then increase the Time Scale ratio. If you’re still puzzled, examine
one of the predefined Text or Shape Expressions that use Executable Shapes:
the crescendo hairpin, for example, or the rallentando