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question about using keyboard with Finale


cedar

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I've just begun trying to enter notes into Finale with a MIDI keyboard. Initially, I've hooked up my Hammond xk1C (using a MIDI to USB connection). But I've noticed that the notes transcribed occasionally lag what I'm playing.

 

For example, if I play on the downbeat of the first beat of the measure, sometimes the transcription will show that I played on the upbeat. Curiously, this issue seems more common with the first measure than subsequent measures.

 

I'm wondering if the problem might be the keyboard I'm using. Or perhaps this is just a common issue when entering notes with a keyboard onto Finale.

 

Any opinions or suggestions?

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I've just begun trying to enter notes into Finale with a MIDI keyboard. Initially, I've hooked up my Hammond xk1C (using a MIDI to USB connection). But I've noticed that the notes transcribed occasionally lag what I'm playing.

 

For example, if I play on the downbeat of the first beat of the measure, sometimes the transcription will show that I played on the upbeat. Curiously, this issue seems more common with the first measure than subsequent measures.

 

I'm wondering if the problem might be the keyboard I'm using. Or perhaps this is just a common issue when entering notes with a keyboard onto Finale.

 

Any opinions or suggestions?

 

You may want to try a keyboard that has a USB connection - it could be the MIDI-to-USB cable is causing some latency.

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Any opinions or suggestions?

 

Until you find a solution for the 'off the top' lag, you could just get in the habit of hitting a note off the top, and starting your actual song at the top of bar 2. When you're done, delete bar 1, and voila, you're done.

 

When life hands you lemons, and all that. ;)

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The most likely cause of the latency is Finale taking fractionally longer to initialise the stave/s when the first note is received. Sven's suggested solution maybe the most practical solution irrespective of what controller or cable options you use.

 

A misguided plumber attempting to entertain | MainStage 3 | Axiom 61 2nd Gen | Pianoteq | B5 | XK3c | EV ZLX 12P

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Yeah, the problem with Sven's solution is you very rarely start at the beginning of a song when you're hyper-scribing. More typically, you "punch in" and record small segments. I've spent thousands of hours playing stuff into Finale. I always hit a note during the count off to make sure Finale hears me and that I've got the right sound/right octave. Try that.

 

Playing to create notation is definitely not like playing musically. It drove me nuts at first, but I've learned to play just a tiny bit "jumpy" to make notes show up at the right time on the staff.

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Yeah, the problem with Sven's solution is you very rarely start at the beginning of a song when you're hyper-scribing. More typically, you "punch in" and record small segments.

 

So don't hit a note; generate some other, non-notation MIDI data (move the mod wheel, pitch wheel, expression pedal, etc). Same effect, and allows you to punch in smoothly by starting a bar earlier and using a merge instead of replace mode of recording.

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Or if the OP really wants to get to the bottom of the issue, it's not that difficult. It's basically a stepwise elimination of the various components - Finale, the USB-MIDI interface, the OS itself, and the controller:

  • Take Finale out of the equation. Do you see the same delay when you use a sequencer/DAW?
  • If yes, it could be the USB-MIDI interface. Easiest way to check is to replace it with a USB cable (I'm assuming the XK-1C has MIDI over USB). Or use a different interface.
  • Alternatively, there are software tools that measure MIDI round-trip latency. I can't remember the name of one that I was familiar with, but MIDI Latency Analyser seems to be able to do the job.

If the problem is with Finale (step 1), then contact their tech support. If it's with your interface, change it. If you've established that there is latency even after changing the interface/controller, then there might be a OS/system issue.

 

FWIW, I've had a very similar experience with cheap (<$10) USB-MIDI interfaces. Switched to a Roland UM-1G, and the problem disappeared.

 

- Guru

This is really what MIDI was originally about encouraging cooperation between companies that make the world a more creative place." - Dave Smith
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I do want to get to the bottom of this. For one thing, although the latency issue is most obvious when initially inputting info through a keyboard, I do believe that it intermittently happens other times as well. And if I can solve this with confidence, I expect to use Finale much more often and more effectively.

 

I haven't had a chance to take up the specific suggestions in this thread yet, but I will be trying them all.

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...and starting your actual song at the top of bar 2. When you're done, delete bar 1, and voila, you're done.

 

Here's my problem with this idea. It doesn't matter when you start playing notes or generating other data... Finale will start wiping out your notation in the measure you selected to start recording. It doesn't merge like a DAW. If you want to put multiple parts on the same staff you have to switch layers, which creates a whole new set of issues.

 

I use the cheapest possible interface, I think: one of those $7 cables from China. I've just learned to hit a note during count-off and then adjust my playing to get the notation results I want.

 

 

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It drove me nuts at first, but I've learned to play just a tiny bit "jumpy" to make notes show up at the right time on the staff.
I use the cheapest possible interface, I think: one of those $7 cables from China. I've just learned to hit a note during count-off and then adjust my playing to get the notation results I want.

Yup, long ago I ordered one of those. I connected it, tried playing VSTs, and horrible latency. Googled, and turns out that it wasn't actually latency - it just sends 'Note Off' when you hit 'Note On', and vice versa...! :freak: It's easy to confirm this with a MIDI monitor. It could explain why you need to play 'jumpy' - it's your note offs that are being recorded in Finale.

 

There's a crude workaround, even - if your synth (controller) can layer two sounds, these are typically sent as MIDI Ch. 1 and Ch. 2, simultaneously. Funnily, the above bug doesn't show up on Ch. 2, so Note On is really Note on! So once I used a channel filter, the same interface worked like magic.

 

But workarounds are workarounds, and cheap buggy Chinese stuff is cheap buggy Chinese stuff. I'm happy that I switched to a Roland-UM-1G.

 

- Guru

This is really what MIDI was originally about encouraging cooperation between companies that make the world a more creative place." - Dave Smith
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It drove me nuts at first, but I've learned to play just a tiny bit "jumpy" to make notes show up at the right time on the staff.
I use the cheapest possible interface, I think: one of those $7 cables from China. I've just learned to hit a note during count-off and then adjust my playing to get the notation results I want.

Yup, long ago I ordered one of those. I connected it, tried playing VSTs, and horrible latency. Googled, and turns out that it wasn't actually latency - it just sends 'Note Off' when you hit 'Note On', and vice versa...! :freak: It's easy to confirm this with a MIDI monitor. It could explain why you need to play 'jumpy' - it's your note offs that are being recorded in Finale.

 

There's a crude workaround, even - if your synth (controller) can layer two sounds, these are typically sent as MIDI Ch. 1 and Ch. 2, simultaneously. Funnily, the above bug doesn't show up on Ch. 2, so Note On is really Note on! So once I used a channel filter, the same interface worked like magic.

 

But workarounds are workarounds, and cheap buggy Chinese stuff is cheap buggy Chinese stuff. I'm happy that I switched to a Roland-UM-1G.

 

- Guru

 

Wow, you lost me there. There's no note-on note-off issue or latency issue with Finale. It's just a very slight change in feel - playing more deliberate and less musical. I've used a half dozen different interfaces with Finale over the last fifteen years... The thing I'm talking about has always been the same. You have to let go of notes just a fraction earlier than you normally would if you want a rest to show up, or play slightly un-natural feeling triplets... that sort of thing. Perhaps "jumpy" is a less than descriptive adjective.

 

I use the "Mojo Horns" sample library to make demos with the same inexpensive cable without any issues.

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Wow, you lost me there. There's no note-on note-off issue or latency issue with Finale.

Just to be clear, my experience was with something that looked a lot like this:

 

http://www.arvydas.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/USB-MIDI-Cable.jpg

 

Here's a rather excellent technical review on Amazon which describes the bug. And it's seen only with some units, not others. With my unit, I tested with a MIDI monitor and can confirm everything the review says - Note Ons and Note Offs were indeed being reversed.

 

But is that why you (and the OP) have to play differently in Finale? Maybe yes, maybe no. Maybe, as you say, it's an inherent quirk of Finale. But we can never know for sure until we look beyond Finale, and actually use a MIDI monitor. That's the only logical way to rule out that the interface is the culprit.

 

MIDI monitors are free, available for every platform - OSX/Win/iOS/Android. And testing the device will take hardly a minute. I don't see the downside in ruling out the possibility.

 

Again, I'm not saying that the interface is certainly the culprit. This PSA informs us that not all of these cheap devices are the same; some are good, some... aren't. But I will reiterate that a MIDI monitor is the only way to tell for sure.

 

- Guru

This is really what MIDI was originally about encouraging cooperation between companies that make the world a more creative place." - Dave Smith
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So I've been out of town, without a chance to experiment or investigate further for a while. But here is my cable. I'm interested if people think this is considered glitchy or reliable.

http://www.iconnectivity.com/images/products/mio/header_mio.png

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