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Human Playback Custom Style dialog box

How to get there

Choose MIDI/Audio > Human Playback > Custom.

What it does

In this dialog box, you can create custom Human Playback settings.

Tip. Use FinaleScript to copy Human Playback settings between documents.

Interpret: Human Playback will incorporate items checked here into the performance.

The amount of overlap depends on the instrument. For example, overlap for the piano or harpsichord is relatively longer than for a wind instrument. The value of the overlap also depends on the context (as most parameters in HP), and generally speaking, does not depend on the tempo.

The last note of a slured passage is relatively shorter.

Staccato notes within a slur (string spiccato) do not overlap but are relatively longer than normal staccato.

Repeated notes within slur are taken into account so not to overlap.

Non slured notes are given a shorter end time value (so to sound somewhat detached).

Certain notes are automatically slured (without requiring an actual slur symbol), such as ornaments, tremolos, and glissandi. For example, piano glissando (on black or white keys) gets a strong overlap because the player's hand actually clusters the keys when glissing.

The effect depends on the context: slowing down from Presto is not the same thing as from Andante.

The effect also depends on the Rubato slider.

See Human Playback Dictionary for a complete list of words Human Playback understands. Note that Some wording is ignored (has no effect) including: poco a poco, peu aà peu, nach und nach, little by little, sempre, toujours, always, and immer.

Other wording intensifies or softens the effect including: molto, moltissimo, moltiss, très, beaucoup, much, più, un poco, poco, pochissimo, poch, un peu, légèrement, etwas, a little.

Whether an ornament is measured or not depends on the context and on the notation. Unmeasured HP ornaments are not dependent on the tempo, even a fermata. Their speed depends on the Orniment/Tremolo Minimum Speed values specified in the Human Playback Preferences dialog box, as well as the context. For example, if Humanize Rolls and Trills is checked, the trill speed for string and winds slightly depends on the pitch - a lower trill on a bass clarinet is physically slower to produce than a high pitch on a piccolo.

Tremolos, according to HP, fall into two categories: string diddles and percussion rolls (slashed notes), and piano tremolos (alternate). Whether the tremolo/diddle is measured or not depends on the context. Generally, a diddle counting less than 3 slashes (including beams) is measured, unless they are string tremolos and the tempo is fast (half note > 60). If Play 32nd Note Diddles Exactly is checked, diddles are always measured for percussion rolls or 2-beam string tremolos.

Trills and Tremolos are given some legato feel as if they were slured.

For ornaments (trill, gruppetto, etc.) with no accidental specified, HP watches the notes nearby to determine the best guess for the interval. (Adding an articulation accidental will modify the interval accordingly. Accidentals can be parenthized, small version, or EngraverFontSet trill notes). See Human Playback Dictionary.

Long trills (multi-measure smart shapes) are possible. The trilled notes can change, and some different accidental can be specified along the way, such as an articulation, using available accidentals as well as rarer symbols such as November Extra char # 132 to 136, or Engraver 76, 89, 180, 194, 231, and 241.

Trills generally start with the lower note, unless otherwise specified: grace note before, or HP option Baroque Ornaments and Grace Notes checked.

If a trill or ornament is on a chord, HP only processes the upper/lower note only, depending on where the ornament is placed.

Multiple trills are possible on the same staff - 2 trills going on different layers.

When a trill is placed on a fermata, it doesn't get slowed down, and it stops a little bit on the last note at the end. A breath can be heard before the music starts again.

If Humanize Rolls and Trills is set, start of trill (the first 3-4 notes) is a little bit delayed (some Mood factor is used, here, too), using a linear progression to the final trill speed. This delay slightly depends on whether the passage/staff is solo or not.

Performance of Gruppetti (Music Font char. 84) depends on context, following classical interpretation rules. A grupetto on a dotted note followed by a half-value note (e.g. dotted quarter+8th) is different than on a plain non-dotted note. If Baroque Ornaments and Grace Notes is checked, grupetti on relatively short notes start with the upper note. On long plain notes, grupetti are "packed" at the end.

Grace notes: HP distinguishes between accacciatura and appoggiatura. An accacciatura is a slashed grace note and is performed as fast note somewhere before the beat. An appoggiatura is an unslashed grace note and must be performed rather slowly, at about (but not quite) half the value of its successive note, starting on the beat.

Percussion flams: Simple, double and triple flams, written as grace notes, are interpreted as fast repetition; the speed is those of normal trills (real time: doesn't depend on tempo). If the preceeding note is too short, then the value is adjusted accordingly (no overlap possible).

Jazz Shake (wavy line smartshape): Shakes are interpreted as relatively fast minor-third alternate tremolos. For sustaining instruments, (and if Humanize Rolls and Trills is checked, they are much better performed as pitch bend variation, using a mix of sin-based and linear curves. Jazz char # 148 and 149 can also be used as articulations.

Other Jazz Stuff: Turn (char#84): The interpretation depends on the melodic context (ascending, descending melody). See Glissandi and Bends below for more information.

Percussion Rolls (or trills): If Humanize Rolls and Trills is checked in the Human Playback Preferences dialog box, rolls (timpani, snare drum, etc.) are brought special treatment to make them sound more realistic. Rolled notes are generally somewhat softer than the main note, and overall, small, irregular series of dim/cresc are applied. The range and length of these dim/cresc depend on the context, and on a controlled random factor. Also, start times are slightly randomized. These effects are best suited for superior sound libraries such as GPO. Some humanization also applies actual (written) fast repeated percussion notes. There is also a less subtle effect for diddles or trills.

Trills, Ornaments, Tremolos with GPO: Some special GPO controller effects are applied to tremolos and ornaments (Humanize Rolls and Trills must be checked).

Garritan Instruments for Finale is able to handle piano sustain pedal and sustaining instrument legato effect at the same time, because it uses CC#68 for legato instead of CC#64. Because of this, one can fully take advantage of HP Automatic Pedaling and standard pedal symbol interpretation.

Strings, Winds and Brass trills or alternate tremolos: CC#21 (length) is increased to 110 (default=64) to get a better "blend". Keyswitch trills are not used by HP.

Timpani rolls: CC#22 (Intonation) is increased to 105 (default=10), and CC#23 (Timbre) is set to 20 (default=10).

Bass drum (Basic Orchestral Perc, MIDI note 35/36): CC#22 is set to 45, and CC#23 to 24; For Snare Drum (MIDI note 59/60), CC#22 is 23 and CC#23 is 28; For Side Drum (MIDI note 57/58), CC#22 is 15 and CC#23 is 18. Standard value of 10 for CC#22 and 23 are written back after a roll.

For Timpani, Bass drum, Snare and side drums, alternate strokes are used (for Timpani, alternate notes are separate by 2 "octaves"). No CC# 22/23 or alternate note changes are given to other percussive instruments.

String Tremolos: If Support for String, Harp and Brass Techniques is checked, keyswitches are used. Garritan Instruments for Finale uses unified string keyswitches (Use Unified KS is set by default) available for either section or solo strings: MIDI note 0 = arco/ordinario, MIDI note 1=mute, MIDI note 5= pizz, MIDI note 6=tremolo mute, MIDI note 7=tremolo.

Non-unified keyswitches can be used as well for compatibility with GPO1 and 2 (uncheck HP pref Use Unified KS for this); for instance, non-unified pizz is MIDI note 41 (any string non-unified KS is supported, from Contrabass to Violin, but note that string tremolo KS are not available in GPO 1/2 - possible inconsistency). GPO Finale Full String KS are supported, too, but GPO 1/2 Full String KS are not.

HP interprets graphic hairpins and text expressions such as "cresc" or "dim". Hairpins apply to playback for their duration unless a dynamic marking is encountered. Several factors are evaluated as HP decides whether the concluding hairpin dynamic should apply to the following notes, including the distance to the next dynamic marking, whether a hairpin follows, and whether it is the end of a passage.

For percussive instruments and plucked strings (keyboards, mallet instruments, percussion, harp, etc.), Velocity is used for dynamic changes exclusively.

For sustaining instruments, such as winds, brass, and strings, HP uses a complex combination of Velocity and Volume because MIDI Volume alone is not sufficient to account for timbre changes. A typical difficult case is a single sustained note starting and ending . HP solves this by using a fractional-power equivalence function between Velocity and Volume. Fast passage on sustaining instruments, however, are processed using Velocity, because it generally sounds better. The base staff Volume value is taken into account in the calculation, or whether it is a solo instrument or phrase. Hairpins are processed phrase by phrase examining the context always very carefully.

A complex case is alternation of pizz and arco passage. Pizz are processed as Velocity, and arco as Volume. Sometimes pizz/arco changes are very close altogether and HP has been designed to handle these changes fluently.

For a complete list of dynamic text expressions that HP understands, see Human Playback Dictionary.

Hairpins and Dynamics with GPO: For percussive instruments and plucked strings Velocity is used for dynamics, as is the GM standard. For sustaining instruments, such as winds, brass and strings, HP takes advantage of GPO's unique dynamic approach using CC#1 (Modulation). For this to function, Use Contr. #1 for Continuous Dynamic must be checked in the Human Playback Preferences dialog box.

The following symbols and expressions are tracked: Ped, con pedale, pedale, ° (#161), * (#42).

If several "Ped" signs follow each other without "*", HP automatically releases the Ped in between, so not to blend the sound. Also, Pedal Markings do not conflict with Automatic Piano Pedaling function. Near notated pedal markings, HP will not apply the automatic pedal function.

Pedal Markings with Garritan Instruments: Garritan Instruments for Finale is able to handle piano sustain pedal and sustaining instrument legato effect at the same time, because it uses CC#68 for legato instead of CC#64. Because of this, one can fully take advantage of HP Automatic Pedaling and standard pedal symbol interpretation.

Note attached slurs and jazz bends added with the Jazz Font as articulations are recognized and interpreted. A piano or harp gliss (or xylophone, etc.) can be a chord (or gliss of third, 5th, octave, etc). Some additional preferences are available in the Human Playback Preferences dialog box.

HP is able to perform glissandi and bends in about any type of situation. Basically, there are two types of glisses and bends: using note scales, or pitch bend.

Piano/keyboard gliss: Depending on then start note (black versus white), a keyboard gliss is performed as white note gliss or black note gliss, automatically. The effect doesn't depend on the current key signature. Small (< 5th) chromatic "theater" piano/organ glissandi are also available.

Harp Gliss: These depend on the current key signature/accidental context. To perform harp glissandi right, HP watches the key signature, as well as the accidentals before. Also, courtesy small notes can be used to indicate which note are being altered (ex: Debussy's Après-midi d'un Faune)Note that Harp gliss are never chromatic in HP.

Harp and keyboard glissandi can be performed on multiple notes (glissandi of chords). They both use a square root-based algorithm, making speed somewhat flexible during the gliss.

Gliss on sustaining instruments: They use pitch bend, and above the max pitch bend range (see Pitch Bend Range in the Human Playback Preferences dialog box), they are performed as chromatic or diatonic glissandi.

When starting the pitch bend change and restoring the normal pitch bend (=0), HP takes breath and resonance into account, as far as possible. Curve is either cubic or linear, depending on the context.

Doits/Falls, Prebends. They generally are Jazz Font articulations, but can also be created as smartshape (wavy/straight line, slur) attached to a single note, or attached to a note and a rest. Placement and direction are watched to determine the best performance.

Guitar bends and prebends (of any kind: 1/2, 1/4, etc) are also interpreted, written as smarthapes. On the guitar, the wavy line is interpreted as a pitch-bend vibrato, using a decay exp/sin-based curve.

Glissandi and Bends with GPO: Garritan Instruments for Finale can take full advantage of HP's bends and glissandi. Note that HP does not use Portamento.

Final Bars. Human Playback creates a unique effect for the end of a piece based on the dynamic, note density, and other musical factors, as well as the Mood and Rubato sliders. This effect applies to several movements in a single document (in that case, a breath is performed between movements). DC al fine and other repeats are taken into account.

% Mood. Move the Mood slider right to increase, or left to decrease a slight degree of randomness in the performance. Virtually all items interpreted by HP are effected by the position of the mood slider.

Advanced Settings: Use these options to apply or remove advanced Human Playback effects to the custom settings.

As expected, this function will only work on grand piano staff. HP analyzes the evolution of harmony and voicing, and creates CC#64 data automatically. Basically, HP attempts to avoid harmony confusion based on several factors, such as an interval of a major 7th, presence of staccato notes and rests, and so on. Slured chord progressions (meaning note overlap) are also taken into account. Also, Pedal Markings do not conflict with Automatic Piano Pedaling function. Near pedal markings HP will not apply automatic pedaling.

String Harmonics with GPO: If Harp Harmonics is checked in the Human Playback Preferences dialog box, HP automatically uses keyswitches for the best effect. For Unified keyswitches, the Harp Harmonic is MIDI note = 2, standard is MIDI note = 0. (For GPO versions 1 and 2, harmonic is MIDI note = 16 and standard = 12.)

Note. When Human Playback is active, existing MIDI data assigned to the score with the MIDI or Expression Tool is ignored in favor of the Human Playback settings. To use MIDI data applied manually, set Human Playback to None in the Playback Controls.




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