Expression Designer - Playback dialog box

How to get there

  1. Click the Expression tool, and double-click a note or measure. (If you want to edit a text expression that’s already in the score, double-click or CTRL+double-click its handle.) The Expression Selection dialog box appears.
  2. Click Create, or click a text expression and then click Edit. The Expression Designer dialog box appears.
  3. Click the Playback tab.

What it does

These options control playback effects assigned to the expression.

  • Match Playback to Metronome Marking Text. Check this box to automatically define the metronome marking entered in the Main tab's Text field as the expression's playback tempo definition. When this box is checked, the Type and Effect controls are not accessible in favor of the metronome marking entered in the Main tab.
  • Type. From this dropdown menu, choose the playback effect you want this Text Expression to have on MIDI playback. Each option is described separately below.
    • Type: None. This choice, the default, means that your Text Expression will have no effect on playback.
    • Type: Tempo. Select this option if you want the marking you’re creating to affect the playback tempo wherever it appears in the score. When Tempo is selected, a new drop-down list appears, from which you can choose the rhythmic pulse for the Tempo setting (quarter notes per minute, half notes, etc.); specify the number of these units per minute in the Set to Value text box. If the tempo is to change gradually (a rallentando or accelerando), don’t enter any value in the Set To Value box. Instead, either use an Executable Shape or allow Human Playback to automatically interpret the marking.
    • Type: Controller. MIDI controllers include modulation wheels, breath controllers, pedals, and so on (the pitch wheel has a separate Playback Definition option; see Pitchwheel, below). When Controller is selected, a new text box appears with a drop-down list, in which you can specify the MIDI controller itself by entering its number; for example, the controller number for the sustain pedal (on most keyboards) is 64.

      If you select this option, the number in the Set To Value box (or the shape identified by the number in the Execute Shape box) governs the effect of this controller.

    • Type: Key Velocity. Choose Key Velocity if you want the marking you’re creating to affect the key velocity (how hard the keys are struck) wherever it appears in the score. (Use this option to define dynamic markings, for example.) Specify the velocity value itself in the Set to Value text box; the scale of MIDI velocity values is from zero (silence) to 127 (very loud). See Set to Value - Key Velocities. If the volume is to change gradually (a crescendo or diminuendo), don’t enter a value in the Set To Value box. Instead, either use an Executable Shape or allow Human Playback to automatically interpret the marking. Alternatively, you can create a playback crescendo using the MIDI tool.
    • Type: Transposition. Choose Transposition if you want the marking you’re creating to affect the transposition of the music wherever it appears in the score. (Use this option to define an 8va marking, for example—but don’t forget to create another expression at the end of the affected passage to "cancel out" the transposition.) Specify the transposition value itself, expressed as a positive or negative number of half steps, in the Set to Value text box. See Set to Value.

      If, for a special effect, the transposition is supposed to change gradually as the music plays, don’t enter any value in the Set To Value box. Instead, use an Executable Shape.

      Note that for any use of the Transposition playback effect, Finale only changes the playback transposition of the affected notes. No note transpositions appear on the screen or in printouts.

    • Type: Channel. Choose this option if you want the marking you’re creating to effect a MIDI channel change wherever it appears in a staff. In the Set to Value text box, specify the MIDI channel you want the marking to switch the playback to.
    • Type: Patch. Select this option if you want the expression you’re defining to change the MIDI keyboard patch or voice being played by the staff in which it appears. Select the instrument you would like to hear from the GM (General MIDI) drop down list. This will automatically set up the Bank Select and Program Change settings. See General MIDI patch table for a full listing of GM patches.
    • Type: Percussion MIDI Map. Select this option if you want the expression you're defining to change the percussion MIDI map being used by the staff in which it appears. Select the map you want to use from the Set to Value dropdown menu.
    • Type: Pitchwheel. Select this option if you want the marking you’re creating, wherever it appears in the score, to change the setting of the pitch bend wheel in playback. You can also specify a new value by entering a number in the Set to Value text box. (See Set to Value.) To create a true pitch bend effect, however, click Execute Shape, then Select, and choose (or create) the shape whose contour you want to govern the pitch bend.
    • Type: Channel Pressure. Choose Channel Pressure if you want the expression you’re defining to govern the monophonic aftertouch (channel pressure) setting of the affected notes. (Aftertouch or channel pressure is the pressure you apply to a key while it’s being held down.) If you select this and enter a number in the Set To Value text box, you can define an expression that sets the aftertouch setting to a particular value (on a scale from 0 [no pressure] to 127 [maximum pressure]). You might use an expression with a Channel Pressure playback definition, for example, to trigger a vibrato effect (if your synthesizer is programmed to interpret aftertouch in this way). You might also want to use the Channel Pressure parameter in conjunction with an Executable Shape. Click Execute Shape, then Select, and choose (or create) the shape whose contour you want to govern the application of key pressure.
    • Type: Restrike Keys. Select this option if you want Finale to play the notes affected by this marking over and over again (for tremolo or trill effects, for example). The Set To Value box is not used for this effect; instead, click Execute Shape and Select to choose—or create—the shape that’s to govern the rapidity and duration of the restriking.
    • Type: Dump. Click Dump to display the Playback Data Dump dialog box, where you can create a playback instruction for Finale to send the staff’s playback information over more than a single MIDI channel. If you’re a MIDI programmer, you can also use this option to generate System Exclusive data or sequencer Start signals.
    • Type: Play Tempo Tool Changes • Ignore Tempo Tool Changes. If you’ve made tempo changes using the Tempo tool in an older file, you can make Finale "obey" this invisible tempo information in some passages and ignore it in others. (In passages where you’ve told Finale not to use this stored tempo information, it will use the default tempo you’ve set in the Playback Controls, or it will adhere to any Tempo-defined expressions you’ve placed into the score.)
    • Play Tempo Tool Changes and Ignore Tempo Tool Changes only affect expressions in documents created with legacy versions of Finale.

    • Type: Swing. Select Swing if you want Finale to play the notes affected by this marking with a slight delay on the second note of a triplet, or with a swing feel. Select a predefined swing value by clicking Standard Swing Values. Or, type into the box the percentage of swing - zero is no swing, 100% is standard.
    • Type: SmartMusic Marker. Choose this option to create a performance marker for a file saved as a SmartMusic Accompaniment file (*.SMPX). Choose the marker you want to apply from the dropdown menu that appears.

      Expressions containing SmartMusic Markers should be attached to the solo staff. If the file is to be saved as a Full Ensemble, expressions containing SmartMusic markers should be assigned to the top staff of the score. Note that some markers, such as repeats, require additional parameters added to the Description text box of the Text Expression Designer dialog box.

    • Type: Human Playback On. Select Human Playback On to tell Finale to incorporate Human Playback settings configured in the Playback Controls to the MIDI performance. After assigning an expression containing this playback effect, you can enter an expression assigned to Human Playback Off to turn human playback off at any point during the MIDI performance of the score.
    • Type: Human Playback Off. Select Human Playback Off to tell Finale to ignore Human Playback settings configured in the Playback Controls during the performance. After assigning an expression containing this playback effect, you can enter an expression assigned to Human Playback On to turn human playback on at any point during the MIDI performance of the score.
  • Set to Value. The number in this text box specifies the MIDI value of the playback parameter you’ve selected from the Type drop-down list (see below; not all of the playback parameters require a value in the Set To Value box). The units depend on the parameter you’ve selected, as shown in this table.

    TypeUnits
    TempoBeats per minute
    Controller0 (off) or 127 (on) for pedals; any value from 0 to 127 for variable controllers (such as a modulation wheel)
    Key VelocityMIDI key velocity (0 to 127)
    TranspositionHalf steps (positive or negative)
    ChannelMIDI channel (1 to 16 [or 17–32, if you’re using both ports])
    PatchSynthesizer patch number (1 to 128)
    PitchwheelPitch wheel position (-8192 to 8191; 0 is "at rest" position)
    Channel PressureChannel Pressure (0 to 127)
  • Execute Shape • Select. While some playback effects take place instantaneously (a tempo or volume change, for example), others occur over time—a ritard, for example, or a crescendo. Many of these expressions are automatically interpreted by Human Playback and require no playback definition. However, you can also create playback definitions by using an Executable Shape—in essence, a graph whose contours Finale "reads" as it plays back the music. The number in this text box identifies the Executable Shape you’ve chosen to represent the playback effect of the marking you’re defining. To view the available shapes, click Select; the Executable Shape Selection box appears, where you can double-click the desired shape. (Or, if the shape you want doesn’t appear in the selection box, create your own by clicking Create, Select, and Create to enter the Shape Designer. For instructions on the use of the Shape Designer, see Shape Designer.)
  • Play Only on Pass ___ . If Finale encounters the expression whose playback you’re defining more than once—in other words, if it falls within a repeated section you’ve created using the Repeat tool—the number in this text box specifies which time through the expression will have a playback effect. (If you leave the number at its default value, zero, the marking will affect playback on every repeat.) For example, if you’ve created an expression such as "ritard 2nd time only" by entering a 2 into this box, Finale applies the playback definition you’ve defined only on the second time it plays the affected passage.

See also:

Expressions