Adding New Percussion Sounds to Old Finale Files

Last week I described how easy it has become to change percussion sounds with Finale 2010b. In addition to switching sounds, the same process can also be used to correct percussion playback problems in older Finale documents. 

When I first began using Finale my focus was strictly on the printed page, not on playback. I would enter my non-pitched percussion in a variety of haphazard ways as long as the result looked good – I had no interest in pressing Play.

Today, with Finale’s added support of VST/AU libraries (such as my favorite, Tapspace’s Virtual Drumline), I’ve become very interested in playback. While this works seamlessly in my new files, I’d also like to hear what these new sounds could do to some of my older arrangements.

If you open something like one of my older, haphazard files in Finale 2010, you may get something like this:

The orange noteheads indicate that Finale is unsure what percussion note type you are trying to use, or that the note type has not been defined in the staff’s percussion layout.  To remedy the situation quickly, follow these steps:

1. Go to View menu  > Show > Percussion MIDI Values.

2. With the Selection Tool, select a measure (or region of measures) then go to Utilities > Transpose Percussion Notes.

3. I know that number 56 should be a right-hand snare sound, and 54 should be a left-hand snare sound. Simply click on the note number then select the sounds needed. If you have any questions refer to the steps I detailed last week.

The notation will now display and play correctly:

Keep in mind that the sound you switch to must be included in the instrument you have selected for playback (in this case the instrument is the SmartMusic SoftSynth). If not, simply change the instrument in VST/AU Setup then change your output map in the Instrument list to the correct map.

Enjoy the new sounds!

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