ARIA Player for Finale

How to get there

  1. Choose MIDI/Audio > VST Banks & Effects.
  2. Click the drop-down menu for one of the banks and choose ARIA Player.
  3. Click the Edit button for that bank.


  1. Ensure MIDI/Audio > Play Finale Through VST is checked.
  2. Choose Window > Score Manager.
  3. Under the Device column for an instrument, choose ARIA Player.
  4. Click Edit Player under the Sound column).

What it does

Whenever you are using Finale's included Garritan instrument sounds, Finale assigns all sounds in the ARIA Player automatically. Finale does this whenever you start a new document with the Setup Wizard, or when you add or change a sound in the Score Manager (as long as a Garritan Sound Map is prioritized highest in the Sound Map Priority dialog box–see Sound Maps).

Noteman says: All manual sound assignments in the ARIA Player are overwritten in favor of the Sound Map Priority whenever the Reassign Playback Sounds command is applied to the document. (See MIDI/Audio/Reassign Playback Sounds for details).

You need to use the ARIA Player to assign sounds manually if you want to deviate from a Garritan library's Sound Map assignment for a particular instrument (for the best experience in using a standalone Garritan library with Finale, see Setting up Garritan sound libraries in Finale in our Knowledge Base). Or, you may simply want to use the ARIA Player as a reference to identify the range or the keyswitches of a sound. The ARIA Player allows you to manually assign Finale's included Garritan instruments to Finale channels, view the range of each instrument and its keyswitches, and make adjustments to the properties of the instrument sound.

  • Ensembles. Save and load ensembles to transfer your ARIA Player setup across Finale documents.
  • [Channels 1-16]. Each of these sixteen boxes represents the channel assignment for one bank of 16 Finale channels. You can load up to eight ARIA Players in Finale’s VST Banks & Effects dialog box, for a total of 128 instruments.

    To load new instruments from Garritan Instruments for Finale, click empty (or the name of a loaded instrument). Choose Finale Default Bank, followed by the appropriate instrument. For other Garritan libraries, the "Notation" subset of instruments are specially designed for use with Finale's Human Playback feature.

    If you load more than one ARIA Player, channel 1 in each player window will equal the first channel in its channel range. For example, if you select ARIA Player for Channels 17-32 (Bank 1) in the VST Banks & Effects dialog box, channel 1 displayed in the ARIA Player will equal channel 17 (Bank 1, Channel 1) in Finale. The staff for this instrument will need to be set to Bank 1, Channel 1 in the Score Manager.

  • [Volume]. You can use these sliders to adjust the MIDI controller data (#7 Volume or #10 Mod Wheel). Note that you can leave these controls alone and use Finale's Mixer to manage the volume, panning, and other playback parameters. See Mixer.
  • [Keyboard]. The ARIA Player virtual keyboard will allow you to audition the sound of each instrument in the document by simply clicking on the keys on the screen with your mouse. If you have a MIDI keyboard connected, you may play the samples using your keyboard as well. (To do so, MIDI Thru must be on. See MIDI Thru dialog box. Also, under the MIDI/Audio menu, Play Finale File through VST must be checked. If you don’t hear any sound when playing the keys on the keyboard, turn up the Mod wheel. Use the keyboard to reference the instrument range and the keys used for keyswitches. See keyswitches.
  • Controls: Click the Controls tab on the right of the ARIA Player to display these dials.

    • Porta (CC20): All wind and string instruments have this graduating slide function (CC#18). This is especially useful for instruments like the trombone and the strings where slides are a normal characteristic. It can also be useful with other wind instruments to simulate the way movement by larger intervals “settles into” the destination pitch.
    • Length(CC21): This controller allows you to adjust the duration of notes.
    • VAR1 (CC22): This controller allows you to introduce random variability in intonation. This can make a big difference, especially in fast passages where real players almost never achieve accurate intonation from note-to-note.
    • VAR2 (CC23): This controller allows you to introduce random variability in timbre. The two variability controllers can go a long way toward eliminating the dreaded “machine gun” effect of rapid repeated notes. Proper application of the VAR controls can also help the user create convincing double and triple tongued passages in the brass.
    • ModWhl(CC1): This knob controls the Modulation Wheel controller, which for most instruments affects volume.
  • Settings. Click About to view additional information about the ARIA player and to monitor ARIA's usage of your computer's resources.

See also:

VST Banks & Effects dialog box

Garritan & Human Playback Tutorial

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