Playback/Record Options dialog box

How to get there

Choose Document > Playback/Record Options.


  1. Choose Window > Playback Controls.
  2. Click the Playback Settings button .
  3. Click Playback/Record Options.

What it does

In this dialog box, you can define Finale’s handling of a number of playback variables, for real-time playback, MIDI files and Audio Files. For example, you can specify whether or not it should scan the music and "chase" expression markings that occur before the measure you click (if you’re starting playback in mid-piece); and whether or not Finale should use the tempo, pedaling, and velocity information from your original real-time performance (if your piece is a transcription created with the HyperScribe tool).

  • Play Recorded Key Velocities • Play Recorded Note Durations • Play Recorded Continuous Data • Play Recorded Tempo Changes. There are four kinds of playback data Finale stores invisibly with the notes in your score. Key Velocity data describes how hard each note was struck, which usually determines how loudly it plays back. Note Durations means Start and Stop Time data, the small rhythmic deviations from the beat that give a performance a certain rhythmic feel; swing, rolled chords, and rushing the beat are all products of Note Duration data. Continuous data is data generated by the pitch wheel, patch changes, and controllers such as the pedal. Tempo changes, in this case, are tempo changes you created using the Transcription Mode of HyperScribe and adding Time Tags (in an earlier version of Finale).

    All of this MIDI information is generated when you record a live performance using HyperScribe. To record key velocity and Note Duration information using HyperScribe, choose MIDI/Audio > Quantization Settings, then More Quantization Settings before recording, and select Record Key Velocities and Record Note Durations.

    You can also create this data directly in the score using the MIDI tool. Of course, you can place articulation or expression markings into the score that produce similar playback effects.

    If you select all four check boxes, then, you’ll hear a playback that precisely duplicates your original performance—complete with pedaling, subtle dynamics, ritardandi and accelerandi, and uneven rhythms—even if the resulting notated version looks considerably different. If you don’t select any of these check boxes, Finale sight-reads your notated score exactly as it appears on the screen—which will be a rhythmically square, expressionless playback with no dynamics and no tempo fluctuations.

  • Ignore Repeats. Select this check box if you want Finale to play through your piece, ignoring any repeat barlines or text repeats as though they didn’t exist.
  • Reset Repeats. Select this check box if you want Finale to treat any repeat barlines (or text repeats) it encounters as though it’s reaching them for the first time. If you don’t specify Reset Repeats, Finale remembers how many times it’s encountered each repeat sign each time you stop playback, and—when you start again—it continues playing your piece as though you’d never stopped. If you’re proofreading a score by playing a section at a time, you probably won’t want to select this option; Finale "remembers its place" as you play each section.
  • Dynamics and Markings: Reset • Use Current Settings • Chase from First Measure. If you choose Chase from First Measure from this pop-up menu, Finale takes a moment to read through, or "chase," any expressions, and patch changes that occur between the beginning of your piece and the first measure you’ve selected to play back. In so doing, Finale can take into account changes in tempo, volume, and patch settings that occurred earlier in the piece so that all MIDI variables will be at the correct current settings. (The "chasing" process may take awhile before playback begins, depending on how far you are from the beginning of the piece.)

    Choose Reset, on the other hand, if you don’t want Finale to "chase" those tempo, volume, and other markings from the first measure before beginning playback in the middle of a piece. (Instead, Finale begins playback using the Tempo and Base Key Velocity you’ve indicated in Playback Controls and Playback Settings, until it encounters any other expression markings while playing back.)

    But if you plan to play your piece a section at a time, you may want Finale to simply remember the tempo, volume, and controller settings at the end of each passage you play, so that it will be ready to continue with the next measure. If you select Use Current Settings, Finale doesn’t have to "chase" these expressions from the beginning of the piece each time you continue playback; it remembers them.

  • Duration of Grace Notes _ EDUs • Set Duration. Enter a value in the EDUs text box to specify the grace note duration (there are 1024 EDUs in one quarter note), or click Set Duration. If you choose Set Duration, the Set Duration dialog box is displayed, where you can choose a duration value from the note palette. Finale automatically enters the corresponding EDU value in the text box. Grace notes on any given note play according to the duration that you specify.
  • Send Patches to MIDI Device on Playback. Select this option if you want Finale, just before it begins playback, to transmit any patch information specified in the ScoreManager to your MIDI instruments. You probably won’t want to select this option, however, if you prefer to assign programs to MIDI channels on your MIDI instrument before you begin playback, instead of letting Finale do it. If you select Send Patches to MIDI Device on Playback, Finale wipes out any MIDI channel/patch configurations you’ve set on your MIDI instrument, and uses the information defined in the ScoreManager for playback.
  • OK • Cancel. Click OK to confirm the settings you’ve made in this dialog box. Finale uses the option settings you’ve just made whenever it plays back your score. Click Cancel to exit the dialog box without changing any settings.

See also:

Playback Controls

Document menu