Finale Quick Tip: Garritan Ambience Reverb


I love the Garritan instruments that come with Finale. Included are sounds from several Garritan libraries, including Personal Orchestra, Jazz and Big Band, Concert and Marching Band, Authorized Steinway, and others. The flexibility offered by this collection has changed the way I write music.

Before the advent of great VST/AU instruments, I played Finale through various hardware sound modules. I was pleased with the sounds, but in retrospect there were some distinct disadvantages:

  1. In order to play these sounds from my laptop I had to carry hardware sound modules with me.
  2. When I shared Finale files with others, they wouldn’t hear the same sounds unless they owned the same hardware.
  3. It wasn’t exactly easy to make an audio file of the results.

All of that has changed with the inclusion of Garritan instruments. Now my orchestra travels inside my laptop, other Finale users can hear the exact sounds I intended, and it’s simple to save the results as an audio file. Of course the other advantage is just how easy the Garritan sounds are to set up. To create a score with these sounds I need only to select “Garritan Instruments for Finale” from page 2 of Finale’s Setup Wizard and I’m done.

Today’s quick tip describes how to adjust reverb levels used with Garritan instruments. To do so:

  1. From Finale’s MIDI /Audio menu choose “Instrument Setup” and then specify “Audio Units instruments (if you’re on a Mac) or “VST Instruments” (Windows).
  2. Under Master Effects, next to Garritan Ambience, click the Edit icon (it looks like a pencil):

From here you have expert-level control over the Garritan Ambience Reverb:

These controls look a little different on the Mac, but they work the same. The Dry and Wet gain settings determine how much reverb you hear AND the loudness of your playback. As indicated by my red arrows above, I typically move the Dry to the right and the Wet to the left, but feel free to experiment. If you enjoy sound shaping there’s lots more here to tweak too, but if that’s not your bag, adjust Dry and Wet and you’re done!

Of course the best part is that you can make all these adjustments in REAL TIME while your score is playing – so you can decide with your ears rather than your eyes. Note you can also choose from a set of preset hall sizes by clicking on the Presets menu (Windows) or Factory Preset menu (Mac).

Was this helpful? Have other reverb questions? Let us know by clicking on “Comments” below! 

get the best from finale

Composing, arranging, and engraving tips delivered to your inbox.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. By viewing or browsing our site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Read our Privacy Policy for more information.