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Human Playback®

Note. View the Human playback QuickStart Video for an overview.

Finale’s Human Playback feature, (developed by Robert Piéchaud), is a comprehensive utility designed to interpret virtually every aspect of your score including articulations, expressions, hairpins, and other markings, and generate playback that simulates a live human performance. Human Playback will even ‘read’ text expressions you add manually, such as "Faster", "calando", or even "zurückhaltend". (For a complete list of words Human Playback understands see Human Playback Dictionary). By default, when you playback the score, Human Playback temporarily discards all existing MIDI data in favor of its own (then restores it when playback is stopped). However, you can instruct Human Playback to incorporate MIDI data you have added manually in its interpretation by adjusting settings in the Human Playback Preferences dialog box.

In addition to elements of the score itself, Human Playback bases its interpretation on one of several available styles including classical, baroque, and jazz. When you start a new Finale document, Human Playback is on by default and set to the "Standard" playback style. Simply add some of the markings just mentioned and playback the score to hear Human Playback at work. To customize Human Playback’s interpretation, do the following:

  1. Choose Window > Playback Controls (if the Playback Controls are not already visible). The Playback Controls appear.
  2. Click the Playback Settings button. The Playback Settings dialog box appears Controls expands, offering additional controls.
  3. For Human Playback Style, select the style of the piece you are notating. For example, the Jazz style adds a swing feel to the piece. The Baroque style performs articulations according to standard baroque performance standards. Or, choose Custom to view the Human Playback Custom Style dialog box where you can create your own style.
  4. Click OK to apply these settings Minimize the Playback Controls if desired.
  5. Click the play button to review Human Playback’s interpretation. The score is processed, and performs the score based on Human Playback’s interpretation. During this process, MIDI data is applied to the score temporarily, and then removed when playback stops.

If you want to make additional global settings for Human Playback, in the Playback Settings dialog box, click HP Preferences to open the Human Playback Preferences dialog box where you can adjust program-wide settings. Here, you can instruct HP to use MIDI data you have already defined in the score (with the MIDI Tool, Expression tool etc.), adjust reverb settings, and make further adjustments to the way Human Playback interprets your score. See Human Playback Preferences dialog box.

You can also apply Human Playback to a region of your score using the Apply Human Playback plug-in. When you do this, instead of only temporarily adding the MIDI data, Human Playback adds it to a selected region of measures. (Then you can apply different setting to another region of measures, or even edit the MIDI data with the MIDI tool). To use the Apply Human Playback plug-in, set human Playback to None in the Playback Settings dialog box, then highlight a region of your score with the Selection tool and from the Plug-ins menu, choose Playback > Apply Human Playback. See Apply Human Playback plug-in.

Note. If you are using the Human Playback feature, MIDI data assigned to the document manually with the MIDI tool or Expression tool will not apply to the MIDI performance. To turn off Human Playback, in the Playback Settings, under Human Playback Style, choose None. (You can still apply Human Playback to regions of your score with the Apply Human Playback plug-in).


See Also:

Human Playback Preferences dialog box

Human Playback Dictionary


GPO and Human Playback

Instrument Techniques and Effects


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