Configuring instrument playback

Noteman says: Playback sound assignments are saved with the document. If a Finale file is opened on a computer lacking a device used in the document, Finale displays "(missing)" under the Device column for all instruments assigned to that device in the Score Manager after sounds have been loaded. Prior to loading sounds, files last saved in Finale 2012 or later will list the VST plug-in. For files last saved in Finale 2011 or earlier, the Staff Name appears in place of the missing device prior to loading sounds. (Sounds are loaded at playback, when opening the VST Banks & Effects dialog, or when making edits to the Score Manager.)

Whether you are using VST or MIDI for playback, you can easily change the instrument sound. For new scores created with the Setup Wizard and instruments added with the Score Manager, Finale automatically chooses the best channel assignments for the instruments used in your score. Use these instructions to change the sound assignment for existing scores, which can be particularly useful when working with older scores created in earlier versions of Finale, or when opening the file on a computer with a different sound configuration.

Finale offers 8 Banks of 16 channels for a total of 128 different sounds possible. For a description of how Finale handles bank and channel assignments for MIDI and VST playback, see Finale Banks & Channels.

Assigning Finale's included Garritan sounds to score instruments

Finale handles playback of its included VST sounds (and other sound libraries offered by MakeMusic) automatically using Sound Maps. At any point, whether you want to revert to the original sound assignments, or if you are working with an old file that has not been assigned to VST sounds, to automatically assign all score Instruments to VST sounds (based on the Sound Map Priority), choose MIDI/Audio > Reassign Playback Sounds.

To assign Finale's included Garritan sounds to score instruments manually

  1. Choose MIDI/Audio > Play Finale Through VST.
  2. Choose Window > Score Manager and ensure one of the available Sound Maps is selected under the Device column for each staff (e.g. Garritan Instruments for Finale for the Garritan sounds). These Sound Maps link your score instruments to a VST instrument. When a Sound Map is selected, Finale automatically loads its library of sounds into the ARIA Player, which is also loaded into a bank in the VST Banks & Effects dialog box.
  3. Under the Sound column, select the desired playback sound. Finale assigns the sound to the instrument using the next available channel and bank.

Noteman says: If you are experiencing choppy playback or missing sounds, VST instruments may have exhausted your computer resources. If this is the case when using Garritan instruments, try loading the “Plr” instruments instead of the “Solo” instruments to conserve RAM.

You can select a sound for each staff in an instrument (for multi-staff instruments like piano), and also in the individual layersAn independent overlay of music in the same measure. Each Finale document consists of four transparent layers, each of which can contain its own rhythmically independent inner voice. Only one layer can be active (frontmost) at a time, however; the layer selection buttons appear in the lower left corner of your Finale window, indicating which layer is active. Note that each layer may also contain 2 independent voices. of each staff. To do so, click the triangle to the left of the instrument/staff name; Finale displays new rows of information that correspond to the staff’s layers.

Assigning 3rd party VST sounds

Noteman says: For the best experience in using a standalone Garritan library with Finale, see Setting up Garritan sound libraries in Finale in our Knowledge Base.

You can manually assign any VST sound to one of your score instruments using the Score Manager. Consult the documentation accompanying your 3rd party VST library to ensure it is properly installed on your computer.

To assign 3rd party VST sounds to instruments

Noteman says: If you have swapped the Bank assignment to a different player in the VST Banks & Effects dialog box, all instruments assigned to that bank are also assigned to the new player, and sounds will need to be assigned manually in the new player. See Swapping a player on a bank.

  1. Choose MIDI/Audio > Play Finale Through VST.
  2. Choose Window > Score Manager.
  3. Click the Device column for the instrument you would like to assign and choose your VST device.

    If this is the first time you've used the device in the document, it is automatically loaded into the next available bank in the VST Banks & Effects dialog box and assigned to channel 1 in the Score Manager. The next time you choose this device, Finale automatically uses the same bank and assigns the instrument to the next channel, 2 (then 3, 4, etc.) up to 16 channels. If the same device is used for the 17th channel, Finale loads the device into the next available bank in the VST Banks & Effects dialog box and channel numbering starts again at 1. (The bank for each instrument is listed under the Bank column of the Score Manager).

  4. Under the Sound column, click Edit Player to open the 3rd party VST interface. Select the desired sound, ensuring the slot used for the sound corresponds to the channel assigned to the instrument in the Score Manager.
  5. Close the Score Manager and playback to audition your selected sound.

Assigning instruments to MIDI sounds

If Play Finale Through MIDI is selected under the MIDI/Audio menu, Finale uses the MIDI sound settings assigned to instruments for playback. There are many reasons you might choose to use MIDI sounds for playback:

  • to use fewer computer resources than required by VST playback.
  • to use General MIDI sounds to ensure your score will sound basically the same on any computer.
  • to use an external MIDI keyboard or sound module for playback.

Assigning internal General MIDI sounds

If you would like to playback through MIDI using your computer's speakers, you can use Finale's built-in General MIDI synthesizer ("SmartMusic SoftSynth") or your internal sound card's synthesizer.

To assign an instrument to an internal MIDI sound

  1. Choose MIDI > Play Finale Through MIDI.
  2. Choose Window > Score Manager.
  3. Under the Device column, click the drop-down menu for the staff you are assigning and choose the desired device (e.g. SoftSynth or another MIDI synthesizer installed on your computer). If the device you would like to use is not available, choose MIDI/Audio > Device Setup> MIDI Setup to open the MIDI Setup dialog box where you can select the desired MIDI Out device for up to 8 banks of 16 channels each.
  4. Under the Sound column, click the drop-down menu menu for the staff you are assigning and choose the desired sound.

Assigning external MIDI sounds

If you would like to playback through MIDI using an external MIDI device, such as a MIDI keyboard or sound module, first configure the MIDI Out settings in the MIDI Setup dialog box. Then, in the Sound column of the Score Manager, click to open the Set Patch To dialog box. See To establish MIDI sound settings for a score instrument.

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