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Human Playback interprets and performs articulations during playback automatically. See Human Playback. To hear manual changes to the MIDI playback definition of any articulation you must first set Human Playback to None in the Playback Settings dialog box.

To define an articulation for playback

  1. Click the Articulation tool  image\Articulation_Tool.gif. If you haven’t yet placed the Articulation in the score, click any note. When the Articulation Selection dialog box appears, click the desired symbol and click Edit; then skip to step 3.
  2. Double-click the handle. The Articulation Designer dialog box appears.
  3. To specify how the marking will affect playback, make a selection from the Playback Effect drop-down list. You have three playback choices: Change Attack, Change Duration, and Change Key Velocity. Choose Change Attack to shift the attack point forward or backward in time—a useful option for producing rolled chord effects.

Choose Change Duration to affect the note’s length by changing its release point—to create a staccato mark, for example.

Finally, choose Change Key Velocity for accents, stress markings, and marcato markings—symbols that affect a note by striking it with more or less force (generally making it louder or softer).

  1. In the Top Note Value and Bottom Note Value text boxes, enter the amount of playback effect you want this Articulation to have.

When Change Attack is selected, the numbers you enter in these text boxes are 1024ths of a quarter note. To create an Articulation that strikes a note earlier or later than notated, therefore, enter numeric values large enough to create a noticeable rhythmic difference on playback: 256 (a sixteenth note) and higher, for example.

A Change Attack marking makes especially good use of the Top Note Value and Bottom Note Value text boxes. These text boxes come into play when you’re attaching an Articulation to a chord, because the top and bottom notes can have different values; Finale scales any middle notes proportionately. With this setup, it’s easy to create effects such as rolled chords. For example, you might enter -256 as the Bottom Note Value, and 0 as the Top Note Value. Finale would roll the chord from bottom to top, and the top note would land on the beat.If you’re creating a Change Duration marking, the numbers in these text boxes are, once again, 1024ths of a quarter note. Generally, however, you wouldn’t use the Change Duration setting to lengthen or shorten a note’s notated value by a fixed amount. Instead, you’d want an articulation to change a note’s duration by a percentage—a staccato mark should shorten a note’s playback duration by 50%, for example, regardless of whether it’s a quarter note or an eighth note. Therefore, click the Values Are Percentages checkbox, so that the numbers represent percentages of the note’s written value. You’ll usually want to leave the Bottom Note Value blank, so that the Top Note Value affects the entire chord to which it’s attached.Finally, if you’ve selected Change Key Velocity, the numbers you enter are MIDI velocity values. These range from –127 to 127, where a negative number will make the affected note softer than unaffected notes, and a positive number will make the affected note louder (0 = no change). If you’re creating an accent mark, for example, you could enter, say, 40 into the Top Note Value text box; if an affected note has an original MIDI velocity value of 60, it will now play back with a velocity of 100.

Of course, it may be easier to click the Values Are Percentages checkbox, so that the numbers you enter represent percentages of the note’s original value. If you enter 200 into the Top Note Value text box, the note would be twice as loud as an unaffected note.

  1. Click OK (or press ENTER). The changes you’ve just made affect all occurrences of this Articulation, even those you’ve already placed into the score.



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