This is the Finale 2012 screen where you have to configure a MIDI keyboard. Oh that’s right, now you don’t have to!
In my role as a Finale Product Specialist, I travel the world demonstrating Finale. While I usually have my trusty laptop with me wherever I go, almost everything else can change. When I’m on a huge stage at an international trade show I might have the luxury of using a weighted-action, 88-key MIDI keyboard; if I’m in a school meeting room, a two-octave portable MIDI controller might be a better fit.
One of the first things I do in preparing for any show is to hook up my hardware and configure Finale to use my current MIDI keyboard. It doesn’t take long, but I have to do it every time I change keyboards, just like anyone who switches between a portable keyboard on the road and a more substantial MIDI device at home or in the studio. But I’ve done that for the last time.
Finale 2012 automatically detects whatever keyboard I’ve plugged in, so I don’t have to configure anything. This is just one benefit among the many advances in Finale 2012, but I think it’s a nice metaphor for Finale as a whole, and an especially apt metaphor for Finale’s evolution.
In a pinch, I could write a score with a pencil and paper. Well, I might struggle with transposing instruments or different clefs, but I could get the notes down on paper, and could imagine what it would sound like. But Finale speeds up the process, creates great-looking pages, plays back, and produces results that can be easily manipulated and shared.
While all this was true of early versions of Finale, it has since gone through a process of continual evolution. Finale has improved the final results, the ways music can be transformed and shared, and has removed a lot of the busy work. Examples of this can be large, like removing the need to extract parts from your score (Linked Parts now creates and updates my parts automatically) to smaller things, like no longer having to configure MIDI keyboards.
Here’s another example: Today anyone can download the fully functioning Finale 2012 software for FREE (everything but the premium Garritan sounds). This “free trial” is the same exact software you get when you purchase Finale; after 30 days you simply need to authorize it or the ability to save and print will be disabled until you do. Not only does this offer a great way to “try before you buy” it’s also a lifesaver if you ever have to replace or switch computers at the last minute and are away from your install discs.
So I suggest trying Finale 2012 for free. If you’re currently using Finale 2011, I suspect you’ll find the ScoreManager and other improvements as indispensible as I do. If, however, you’re using an older version of Finale, you might be even more amazed at all the stuff you no longer have to do.
Let me know what you discover by clicking on “Comments” below!