Configuring audio playback for SmartMusic accompaniments (Optional)

Choosing playback devices, adding an audio track, and syncing the beats

Solo assessment files with accompaniment are the only type of SmartMusic Accompaniment that can include sounds other than the default MIDI playback. Follow these steps to setup audio playback before exporting your SmartMusic Accompaniment file.

In this lesson you’ll learn how to:

  1. Assign VST playback devices for individual instruments
  2. Add an audio track and load an audio file
  3. Sync Finale playback to the loaded audio file

Choosing VST devices for instruments

Finale has two options for playback: MIDI and VST. Most SmartMusic Accompaniments use the MIDI sounds for playback in classic SmartMusic. However, when you create a SmartMusic solo assessment with accompaniment and choose Include Audio in the Export SmartMusic Accompaniment - Select File Type dialog box, the playback in classic SmartMusic exactly matches the playback in Finale.

To assign VST playback devices to score instruments

  1. Open your Finale document.
  2. Choose MIDI/Audio > Play Finale Through VST. Finale automatically attempts to load the most appropriate playback device and sound for each instrument in the document, based on the Sound Map priority.

    If you created your Finale document with the Setup Wizard, this option is already selected.

  3. Noteman says: Finale includes a set of sampled instrument sounds called Garritan Instruments for Finale which are recommended for VST playback. If you want to use a different sound library for playback, see Assigning 3rd party VST sounds.

  4. Choose Window > ScoreManager 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 Garritan Instruments for Finale 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.

  5. If you want to change the sound that Finale automatically chose for the instrument, select a different one under the Sound column for that instrument. Finale assigns the sound to the instrument using the next available channel and bank.

Loading a separate audio file into the Finale document

While Finale does not include any audio editing capabilities, you can load a WAV, AIFF, or MP3 file into a Finale document. The loaded audio file is included in the audio playback of the document, along with the VST sounds you've selected in the above steps.

To import an audio file

  1. Choose View > Studio View. Audio tracks are only visible in Studio View.
  2. Choose MIDI/Audio > Audio Track > Add Audio Track. An empty Audio Track appears beneath the TempoTap staff.
  3. Choose MIDI/Audio > Audio Track > Load Audio. The Open dialog box appears.
  4. Navigate to the desired audio file and click Open. The Audio Clip Attributes dialog box appears, where you can adjust the start point of the audio file in the score, or specify at what point to begin/end the audio file (the portion you would like to play).

Syncing playback of a Finale document to a loaded audio file

Now that you've added an audio file to your document, use Finale's TempoTap® feature to match up playback from the VST sounds. With TempoTap, you tap or “conduct” a tempo adjustment using an external MIDI device or your computer keyboard.

Noteman says: Note that Human Playback interprets “rit.”, “accel.”, and other tempo indications automatically. Tempo changes applied manually with TempoTap will apply to playback with Human Playback because the Human Playback Preferences dialog box is configured to incorporate tempo change data by default.

To record tempo changes with TempoTap

  1. Choose View > Studio View.
  2. Indicate the beats you wish to tap by notating durations into the TempoTap staff with the Simple Entry tool icon (or Speedy Entry tool icon).

    If you want to specify a rallentando passage, for example, which slows drastically in a short amount of time, you may want to tap eighth notes instead of quarter notes to indicate the gradual change in tempo for the duration of the passage. To do so, simply enter durations into the TempoTap staff as you would any other staff. Notes snap to the line automatically. For details regarding note entry, see Simple Entry and Speedy Entry.

  3. Choose the HyperScribe tool icon.
  4. Click the measure in the TempoTap staff where you wish to begin specifying the tempo. When you click a measure, a green scroll bar appears which tells you Finale is waiting for your signal to start recording a tempo.

    Therefore, to prepare for recording a tempo, consider counting off a measure or two, stopping short of pressing SPACEBAR before recording the first beat.

  5. Confirm that the TempoTap track is Record Enabled .
  6. Tap the tempo using SPACEBAR or a note on your MIDI device. The scroll bar advances at your speed as you tap the tempo.

    Each tap corresponds to the note duration shown directly above in the TempoTap staff.

  7. When you are finished, simply stop tapping and click the score. The Last Recorded Tempo dialog box displays the tempo you ended with.

    This tempo is assigned from the point you stopped recording the tempo to the next tempo change.

  8. Click OK. Play the score to review the tempo change.

Once the audio playback of the Finale document is exactly as you want, you're ready to create the SmartMusic Accompaniment. Follow the steps at Creating a solo assessment file with accompaniment, making sure to select Include Audio on the first screen (Step 4).

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