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Playback Controls

How to get there

Choose Window > Playback Controls.

What it does

Playback Controls is a floating window that give you a console for controlling the playback of your score. By clicking the expand arrow, Playback Controls expands to display a number of playback options, such as the tempo, range of measures to be played, overall volume level, and so on. Also, Playback Controls give access to the Playback Options dialog box, where you can further specify Finale’s playback behavior.

Playback Controls supports Finale’s HyperScribe recording and playback functions as well. To start recording, you can click Record in Playback Controls after selecting “R” for a staff in the Mixer, Staff Controls or Score Manager. You can also define the tempo of the metronome click for playback, set the number of measures to count off before starting to record or play back, and access the Click and Countoff dialog box from Playback Controls.

  • Rewind to Beginning . Click this button to enter the number 1 into the Measure text box, which indicates where playback begins. If the music is already playing back when you click this button, Finale stops playback for a moment, jumps to the beginning of the score, and resumes playback from there.
  • Rewind . Click this button and hold the button down to make the number in the Measure text box decrease rapidly. If the music is already playing back and you want to hear something again, click this button for a moment, then release; playback will resume from the measure number (that you just changed) in the Measure box.
  • Stop • Play . Click Stop to halt playback and reset the Measure text box to its original value (or, rather, to the value indicated by the Play From controls; see below). Click Play, or press SPACEBAR, to begin playback. While the music is playing, the Measure text box shows you the measure being played. If you press SPACEBAR again playback will stop and the Measure text box will show the measure you stopped at. Press SPACEBAR again to resume playback from the place you stopped.

    Pressing SPACEBAR starts and stops playback even when the Playback Controls are closed.

  • Record . Click Record to start recording when HyperScribe is the selected tool. Be sure that you have specified a staff for recording into in the Instrument List window. Based on your settings in the Click and Countoff dialog box, Finale either starts recording immediately or after playing the indicated number of countoff measures. Unless you’re tapping to provide the beat (Tap is checked in the HyperScribe > Beat Source submenu), Finale waits for the start signal you selected in the Playback and/or Click dialog box before playing the countoff measures and recording your performance.
  • Noteman says: As a shortcut you can click a measure in your score to start recording, instead of using the Record button. Finale starts recording into the measure you clicked, according to the click and countoff settings, just as if you clicked the Record button. If Multitrack Record is selected in the HyperScribe > Record Mode submenu, you must set up the Score Manager to specify the recording information (which staves or layers to record into, and which channels to receive from).

  • Fast Forward . This button makes the number in the Measure text box advance rapidly. If the music is already playing back and you want to skip ahead, click this button for a moment, then release; playback will resume from the measure number (that you just changed) in the Measure text box.
  • Fast Forward to End . When you click this button, the Measure text box shows the number of the last measure in the score.

    If the music is already playing when you click this button, Finale stops playback for a moment, plays the last measure of the score, and stops.

  • Measure __ • Time. This text box has two functions. Before you begin playback, it indicates the first measure and beat to be played. And while playback is underway, it changes to show you the current playback location and EDU.

    Click the UP and DOWN ARROW to adjust the measure. To specify a start point within the measure, simply enter the desired measure, beat, and EDU separated by “|”s [measure]|[beat]|[EDU]. (See Equivalents for an explanation of EDUs). Note that when you do this, the beat and EDU may temporarily disappear from the display.

  • Playback Settings . Most of the time, the controls described above are adequate for controlling playback. If you want to use some of Finale’s more powerful options, click the expand arrow. The Playback Controls expand to reveal several other controls and options. If you again want to view the smaller version of Playback Controls, just click the expand arrow again.

  • Scrolling Playback. Choose Scrolling if you want Finale to show a scrolling playback bar that advances with the music. When the scrolling playback bar reaches the edge of the window, Finale advances to the next screen of music. Uncheck this option to play back your music without showing a scrolling playback bar on the music as it plays back.
  • Noteman says: Hidden tuplets created while generating beaming over barlines may corrupt the Human Playback performance in regions where the Beam Over Barlines Plug-in has been applied.

  • Human Playback Style: From this drop-down list, you can choose a playback style such as romantic, jazz, reggae, or classical. Finale uses the style chosen to emulate a human performance during playback. Adjustments to the MIDI performance data in tempo, note duration, key velocity, and other MIDI attributes are applied throughout Finale’s performance. When any Human Playback Style is chosen, all other MIDI data deliberately applied to the document, including data added with the MIDI and Expression tool, is ignored in favor of the Human Playback settings. The Human Playback performance includes existing expressions, Smart Shapes, and other markings in its interpretation based on the style chosen. These settings also apply to saved MIDI files (*.MID), audio files (AIFF), and SmartMusic Accompaniment files (*.SMPX). You can turn off human Playback by choosing None from this list. Choose Custom to open the Human Playback Custom Style dialog box where you can configure custom Human Playback Settings.

    You can enable or disable human playback by region by adding expressions defined for Human Playback On and Human Playback Off in the playback tab of the Expression Designer dialog box.

    Also note that Human Playback interprets articulations for the note they are attached to. For Human Playback to interpret articulations and other compatible note-attached items properly, ensure they are attached to the appropriate note (and not attached, for example, to the previous note and dragged to the right as is the case with items such as breath marks and caesuras). See Articulations and Expressions for details. Human Playback also interprets certain words added as expressions. See Human Playback Dictionary.

  • HP Preferences. Click this button to open the Human Playback Preferences dialog box where you can control how Human Playback deals with existing MIDI data and make additional settings. See Human Playback Preferences dialog box.
  • Play From: Measure ___ • Leftmost Measure. Using these options, specify where you want Finale to begin playback; the default settings tell Finale to play from Measure __. Enter a number into the text box (or click the arrows to change the number). Alternatively, you can select Leftmost Measure displayed on the screen.

    Using the Play From and Play Through options, you can even tell Finale to play measures that aren’t on the screen. Or, by entering a small range and repeatedly clicking the Play button, you can, in effect, “loop” through a certain segment.

  • Play Through: Measure ___ • End of Piece. These controls let you specify where playback should stop. The default setting tells Finale to play to the end of the piece, but you can enter a number into the Measure text box—or click the arrows—to specify a certain stopping point.
  • Observe Playback Region when saving to a MIDI or audio file. Check this option to limit the duration of MIDI and audio files to the region of measures specified in the options above. See also MIDI files and Audio Files.
  • Tempo: Whole Note • Half Note • Quarter Note • [etc.]. The Playback Tempo is used for playback only. The tempo used for recording is set in the Playback and/or Click dialog box. The Playback tempo controls let you establish the playback tempo for your piece. Of course, if you’ve set up the tempo in other ways—by placing tempo markings into the score, for example—then this tempo setting will have no effect. See Playback and/or Click dialog box.

    Not every tempo is measured in quarter notes per minute, of course, so you can select the basic unit of the tempo pulse (Half Note, Dotted Quarter Note, and so on) from the Tempo pop-up menu. To set the number of beats per minute—the actual tempo—either type a new number into the text box, or click the arrows to increase or decrease the displayed number.

  • Swing. This control allows you to apply a swing feel to the entire piece. If you’ve created an Expression with a Swing effect, the expression will override this control. Click on the pop-up menu to select from several levels of swing or type the percentage of swing in the text box (0% = no swing, 100% = standard swing).
  • Base Key Velocity. This number, on a scale from 0 (silent) to 127 (very loud), establishes the overall key velocity setting for the playback of your piece. (Key velocity is usually equated with volume, but not always. Finale calculates the effect of dynamic markings (expressions) based on this number. In other words, you can make the piece generally softer by decreasing this number (but individual dynamics within the piece will still override the playback control settings).
  • Click and Countoff. Click this button to display the Click and Countoff dialog box, where you can set what will be played for a metronome click, whether a countoff will play and for how long, and when a metronome click will be heard. For information about setting the options for click and countoff in your music, see Click and Countoff dialog box.
  • Playback Options. Click this button to display the Playback/Record Options dialog box where you can specify how Finale plays back your score. See Playback Options dialog box.

See also:


Playback/Record Options

Click and Countoff

HyperScribe Tool

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