Playback Settings dialog box

How to get there

  1. Choose Windows > Playback Controls.
  2. Click on the Playback Settings button on the Playback Controls.

What it does

In this dialog box, you can define Finale’s handling of a number of playback variables, for real-time playback and exported MIDI and Audio files.

  • Scrolling Playback. Check this option if you want Finale to show a pointer as the music plays back. Finale automatically pre-scans the music before playing; when the pointer reaches the edge of the window, Finale advances to the next screen of music.
  • Human Playback Style: From this drop-down list, you can choose a playback style such as romantic, jazz, blues, 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 will include existing expressions, Smart Shapes,and other markings in its interpretation based on the style chosen. These settings also apply to saved MIDI files (*.MID) 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.
  • HP Preferences. Click this button to open the Human Playback Preferences within the Preferences dialog box, where you can control how Human Playback handles existing MIDI data and make additional settings.
  • Swing: Swing Values. 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 Swing Values drop-down list to select from several levels of swing or type the percentage of swing in the text box (0% = no swing, 100% = standard swing). For more details, see Swing Playback.
  • 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).
  • Always Start at: Measure ___ • Leftmost Measure • Current Counter Setting. 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 the Leftmost Measure displayed on the screen or the current measure displayed in the counter setting box of the Playback Controls.

    Using the Start and Stop 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.

  • Stop at: End of Piece • Measure ___. 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.
  • Display Time As: Hours:Minutes:Seconds:Milliseconds • Frames. Here, choose the desired format for time to be displayed on the Playback Controls. Choose Frames when writing to picture in order to see the MIDI Time Code equivalent, which is the format most likely used in an external media player synched to Finale.
  • 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.
  • OK • Cancel. Click Cancel to return to your score without making any changes to the dialog box. Click OK (or press enter) to confirm your playback settings and return to the score.