Finale 2011 and the Garritan Aria Player

The Garritan Aria Player in Finale 2011

In part because I think its interface makes for a nice blog photo, I thought I’d talk about the cool Garritan Aria Player included with Finale 2011.

This updated player is the same one found in Garritan Personal Orchestra 4.0, and has a new user interface with clearer controls. Plus it looks nice. The most signifigant improvement is likely the “Save Ensembles” feature. This lets you quickly load multiple sounds, even when you’re configuring the player manually. 

“Great,” you’re thinking, “what does that mean?”

If you’re mostly using Finale to create new music, probably nothing – to you. If you set up your scores with the Setup Wizard, all your sounds are automatically configured for you, so you may never use this feature.

However, if you have a lot of older scores, which you occasionally dust off and put to use, this might be a big deal. When you open an older file that wasn’t configured to use Garritan sounds, you have to manually configure which staves play which sounds. It’s actually pretty easy in the Aria interface, but if you have larger scores it can get to be a bit of clicking, and this new feature allows you to bypass the tedium.

If, for example, you have a library of marching band scores, all with the same instrumentation, once you’ve configured one of these in the Aria Player, you can save that configuration as an “Ensemble.” The next time you open a similar file, you can simply load that same Ensemble and you’re done; every staff is configured.

Of more general interest, Finale 2011 also includes an expanded collection of Garritan sounds. Recent additions include bass trombone, brass section, children’s choir ahs, flute section, electronic drumkit, synth space voice, synth warm pad, and steel drums. The complete collection appears here.

Please let us know how the Garritan sounds are working for you by clicking on “Comments” below.

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