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Request: Advanced player for choir members

Does anyone know a way to regulate the volume for each staff (or midi channel).
We wish to do this in the Noteworthy player.
Or maybe we can have a custom version made for choires?
We would gladly pay a bit for this.
I'm quite sure there'se a demand for this out there!

Eric Sandnes

Re: Request: Advanced player for choir members

Reply #1
Does anyone know a way to regulate the volume for each staff (or midi channel).

This can be done either by setting the volume for each staff in the Staff Properties, or by using dynamic markings on each staff - piano, forte, etc.  Make sure you assign each staff to a different midi channel.

Re: Request: Advanced player for choir members

Reply #2
This can be done either by setting the volume for each staff in the Staff Properties, or by using dynamic markings on each staff - piano, forte, etc.  Make sure you assign each staff to a different midi channel.

I think esandnes was asking for this in the player, where it can't be done.

An improved player has been on the wish list for years. Perhaps now that ver. 2.1 is out Eric can turn his attention to some of the player's needs, which include not only volume control for separate staves but also tempo control and a pause button.

Bill

Re: Request: Advanced player for choir members

Reply #3
An improved player has been on the wish list for years. Perhaps now that ver. 2.1 is out Eric can turn his attention to some of the player's needs, which include not only volume control for separate staves but also tempo control and a pause button.

Bill

One can only hope that Eric will do that.

This will sound grumpy, but it's merely frank words.  They're from a devoted NWC user.

- - -

* Pause Button *

Please.

More than a simple Pause button, it would be better to be able to start or resume play from some bar/measure number entry.

But at the absolute minimum, how can one use the Player in a practical way without the ability to pause and resume?

- - -
 
Is the NWC Player the only one on the planet without a Pause control?

It's ridiculous to be four or five minutes into a nine-minute work, and have to stop the music to discuss it with someone, and have to restart it all over from the beginning.

The Player isn't just a freebie.  It can be the newcomer's introduction to the NoteWorthy world of music composition.  The impression it makes, intuitive or clunky, adds or subtracts toward developing a decision to purchase the Composer license.

- - -

Yes, this is a blunt and frank comment, again from a dedicated and devoted NWC user.

For how many years has this been asked for?  Is the Wish List unidirectional or bidirectional?


Joe Roberts






Re: Request: Advanced player for choir members

Reply #4
I agree there needs to be a player which is easier to use.  When I was in a chorus I advocated the use of unregistered NWC as a player until I learned this was forbidden in the license.  Before I dropped out, at least one member bought a licensed copy of NWC.
Quote
The Player isn't just a freebie.  It can be the newcomer's introduction to the NoteWorthy world of music composition.  The impression it makes, intuitive or clunky, adds or subtracts toward developing a decision to purchase the Composer license.
An alternative is to distribute midi files as a training aid.  The vanBasco player can do everything you need except show the music to the users and, if you know the timing of the various parts, you can have them start wherever they want, e.g., the fugue starts at 3:12.  Of course, this is an excellent way to not introduce NWC to your chorus, but it may be the only route.

Edited change: last sentence before quote.
Since 1998

Re: Request: Advanced player for choir members

Reply #5
I send my associates a MIDI and a multi-page 'CCITT Fax 4' TIFF, with a link to IrfanView in the body of the email. NWC's Viewer is easier to download and install than IrfanView, but it doesn't meet my needs.
Registered user since 1996

Re: Request: Advanced player for choir members

Reply #6
I just click on whatever measure I want it to start playing, then hit the play button.  No need to re-start from the beginning every time!  With ver 2.1 anyway; I don't know if this is new.

Re: Request: Advanced player for choir members

Reply #7
I just click on whatever measure I want it to start playing, then hit the play button.  No need to re-start from the beginning every time!  With ver 2.1 anyway; I don't know if this is new.

I think you are describing what happens for NoteWorthy Composer.
The request is relating to NoteWorthy Player or NoteWorthy Viewer.
Rich.

Re: Request: Advanced player for choir members

Reply #8
Hi Joe,

I'm not sure I understand your beef.  It's trivial to export your songs as MIDI files, and then a program as simple as Windows Media Player can play with pause, and even pretty easily jump to parts of the song.  It's also trivial to print out your songs as PDF files (I use PDFCreator), so you can send someone the MIDI and PDF files for a song, and they can listen (with pause) while they follow along in the music.

So is it the "note chase" feature of NWC that is so bad to be missing in this case?  Are your "customers" unable to sync between the audio and the printout, and/or unable to stay in sync?  If this is just for your use, then why aren't you using NWC itself for your music, including any demos to others?  Can you help me understand your issue?

I find it interesting that you want NWC to develop a feature (that you have no idea how complex it might be) which will not make any money (at least directly anyway) and which might serve to lose money (when people can get what they want out of the viewer instead of buying the main program)!  NWC allows you to provide audit and printouts - the key deliverables of a music annotation program - to anyone you want.  Why do you expect it to provide "note chase" (for free, and with whistles) to the world?

Just wondering,
Randy

Re: Request: Advanced player for choir members

Reply #9

I'll try to explain it succinctly, but it will be a long post.

If it gets truncated for a length restriction, I'll repost it in segments.

The software user context is not a random population of music listeners, scattered around the globe.  It is a focused group of three dozen to five dozen people, each of whom is a potential user of NW Viewer, and some of whom can migrate to licensees of NWC (Composer).

Picture a music director of a large choral group. 

Together with distributing printed paper scores, he distributes the audible music as a PC file for section leaders and for 'permanent' and key choir members to learn from.  He distributes both visual and aural media because with their having both the score and sound, they can learn effectively at home. 

Why at home?  Because those members of a good ensemble have other schedule commitments during the four months it takes to put together a concert.  They teach, coach, sing in other ensembles, and have separate lives between physical rehearsals.  He's distributing eight or ten choral works to them in a kind of "pre-rehearsal" package -- in the printed score and audible music files -- for section leaders and other key members to learn from, and for section leaders to feedback to him as the program takes shape.

Why do it that way?  Because, besides schedule conflicts, actual ensemble and section physical rehearsals cost money, getting the choir and accompanist all together.  They should not have to begin the first rehearsal "cold", if that can be avoided.  If they can attend the first rehearsal "warm" to the music rather than taking it from scratch, that rehearsal will move along more rapidly and accurately.  The time is spent wisely and well, and economically.

Furthermore, when tweaks are made during that rehearsal (and they will be), then a second distribution of the media will be necessary.  That is virtually guaranteed to happen for an extensive choral program.  Learning, refining, and mastering the performance is a process in real time, for people with obligations in between fixed calendar dates for physical rehearsals.

In days long gone by, the director and ensemble had no choice.  Each person got a printed score.  They more or less "learned" it solo at home, perhaps with a piano.  Only at the first rehearsal, the first get-together, was the actual requirement for ensemble sound worked out.  That's where each person discovered and first realized the _real_ intentions of the conductor for tempo, phrasing and dynamics.  Before then, until that first get-together, the printed score was all they had.  The paper score's 'moderato' and 'mf', and the printed fermatas over some notes, and the printed hairpin dynamics, were all they had ever seen -- and never heard.

That's changed now.

Now the director distributes a printed score and a sound file.  Everybody in the ensemble -- everybody -- has a PC capable of some playback of music from a file.  He distributes the printout and sound file as broadly within the organization as possible.  The music's sound, combined with the visual score, introduces them to the music well in advance of the scheduled and budgeted "get-together".  It guides their understanding of the director's intentions -- tempo, dynamics, with far more clarity than a printed score alone can do.

- -

Now for the director's scoring and playback choice.

Say he uses NWC (Composer) to score. 

Say he exports to MIDI. 

The MIDI export did not honor fermatas or breathmarks, critical components of choral music, because they are not parts of the MIDI specification.  So he must run Rick's external software tool to correct the tempo.  And he must do it every time he exports NWC to MIDI, such as when he revises some notes, or dynamics, or even lyrics.  And he will revise as he develops the score for the first rehearsal.  And later again, in between following rehearsals.  It is a separate and long-standing issue that NWC has not addressed a "smart" export of those two essential elements of choral music, and instead still requires the running of a separate, external tool created not by NWC but by a dedicated NWC user.  Requiring the choral notator to use a software application not part of NWC itself, each time he revises the music, in order to get an accurate MIDI file for distribution, is in itself a stretch on credibility of NWC as the preferred notation method.  But it is, again, a separate issue.

So he exports to MIDI.  He distributes the planned concert's eight or ten MIDI files to his chorus for playback in, say, Van Basco.  Then where is the choral group's incentive to even think about considering NWC as a rehearsal tool?  (Besides singing and rehearsing, some members also compose, arrange, and conduct in a once-a-year concert for "local" composers' music.)  The answer is, when they receive MIDI and work with Van Basco, there is no incentive.  Van Basco does not convince anyone to explore NWC as an ensemble vehicle.  NWC is out of the loop.

Further, playing back MIDI in Van Basco is not the best way to rehearse the music.  The preferred way is to "see and hear" the music for practice.  Not to see just the lyrics roll up, as in Van Basco.  And not to see Van Basco poorly handling multiple lyric staves, as in choral music.  The preferred way is to see the music, notes, dynamics, tempi and all, with the lyrics in real time.  As in the NW Viewer.

That's the NW Viewer's open door.  It's where the whole of NoteWorthy, Composer and Viewer, could be and should be the total ensemble's composition / arrangement / notation / playback loop.

And as the file being viewed/heard is the actual .NWC file, fermatas and breathmarks are played back faithfully.  (There was no need to export to MIDI, nor to use an external tool to get the tempo right.)

And of course, we're referring to the Viewer for playback and rehearsal.  'Requiring' all the ensemble members to purchase the NWC (Composer) license is not an option.

That total NW package is where the ensemble's work -- director's notation and distribution, and members' playback -- should focus. 

The ensemble's use of NoteWorthy should be by incentive:  functional power, practicality, and ease of use.  Introduction starts with the Viewer.

- -

Now for the singer, doing rehearsal with the Viewer.

The Viewer is free.  If it's functionally sound for a rehearsal application, it can be ideal and accepted within the ensemble.

The Viewer is the optimum way to learn the music, visually and aurally, showing the notes and lyrics "highlighted" as they are being heard.  It can be rehearsed "at home", as each singer's schedule permits, before showing up for the first "real" rehearsal, weeks later.  The incentives for this process are plain.

But the Viewer has an issue.  It has no  'Pause/Resume'  control.

The singer isn't playing the tune for casual enjoyment, start to finish.  He or she is learning a part.  The soprano is trying to control her beginning dynamic and swell where she enters two beats after the altos.  The person rehearsing the score needs to 'Pause' and 'Replay' a certain 8-bar phrase.  Or to hear the syncopation in the piano accompaniment for two beats before the voice entry -- and rehearse it.  Or to learn and rehearse the fade-out in the final four bars, in the tempo and dynamics.  And a dozen other examples. 

The Viewer should let members of the ensemble to begin considering NWC (Composer), and to consider purchasing a license for their own work.  They will naturally talk about it when they talk about the music and their rehearsals of it.  But their first impression, of a playback vehicle that lacks the basic playback tool of Pause and Resume at a designated spot, is not positive.

Let us experience it, thinking like they must.  Play an eight-minute work and let some middle portion of it, four minutes in, capture our interest.  Having to stop the music and start it over at the beginning, simply because it's the only way the Viewer works, is not your incentive to want to do it many more times.

The Viewer simply must have a 'Pause' control with the ability to 'Resume' at a user-designated position in the score.

This is very blunt talk.  But it has already been brought up in polite and respectful messages, including being 'seconded' by multiple users.  Frankly, is any other music player on the planet without such a function? 

It is an absolutely critical requirement for serious use of the Viewer.  Serious use of a fully-functional Viewer is the best way, by far, of distributing modern visual/aural scores within ensembles, directly from the Composer's .NWC files.  And that overall Composer-Viewer process, start to finish, is the best way of growing expanded acceptance and licensing of NWC (Composer) through making a positive impression, through familiarity and interaction within ensembles.

How about this forum post from another NW Viewer user, dated 2008-08-07:

> While I'm on the subject of NWC2 Viewer,
> any way we can get the following functionality
> on the wish list for the viewer, please?
>
> 1. a PAUSE button on the viewer.  Users tell me
> that it's a bit of a schlep when they're trying
> to rehearse a part and press stop only to have
> to start from the beginning again.
>
> 2. A way to start from a specified location in a
> file - if there are 400 bars and you want to
> rehearse say from bar 320, at present you have
> to play it all the way through to 320..
 
That was a year and a half ago.

Ignoring user requests is _not_ bliss.

One could also ask for the Viewer's ability to playback a selected staff (or to mute selected staves), so as to focus on ensemble playback controls, but one recognizes the desirability of not impacting too much on NWC (Composer) functionality.

   Composer:  'Smart' export of fermatas and breathmarks.

   Viewer:  Pause, and Resume at a designated bar.

   Viewer:  (Recommended)  Mute or playback designated staves.

Polite, tight, specific requests have been made, and have been echoed and 'seconded' by multiple users, going back more than six years.  They have been ignored through two extensive updates to Composer and one to Viewer.

Yes, blunt talk.  But multiple requests from users that have been totally respectful and professional for years, followed by inaction and silence -- not a word of feedback -- from software support during all that time, are a 'support' issue that has become a pain in the ass.

I'd like to have a serious conversation with a local director who uses Sibelius.  I'd like to give him the Scriptorium links so he can download and begin using some NWC music files.  But when you review the NWC issues outlined above, you can imagine how far that conversation will go.


Joe




 


Re: Request: Advanced player for choir members

Reply #10
Amen, Joe.  Good post.
Since 1998

Re: Request: Advanced player for choir members

Reply #11
So let me see if I can capture every relevant point from your post:

    >
  • You desperately need "pause/resume" in viewer.  I still don't get why any musically-inclined person cannot listen to an audio file and follow along with the music.  One can take a printout and an audio file anywhere (e.g. on an MP3 player) for practice - using viewer requires sitting in front of a computer or laptop.  If I have to sit in front of something, I'd rather it be a piano.  The viewer is, as you admit, a "freebie" - if I was NWC, I'd drop support for it, since instead of appreciating it for what it gives, it seems to be a lightning rod for demanding more out of it (and for free at that).  And far from bringing (paying) people to NWC, I think viewer enhancements would just allow more people to stay with the freebie.
  • You would like "mute staff" in viewer.  It's pretty trivial to generate MIDI files with various combinations of staffs enabled/muted.  In fact, I'd be happy to provide you with a script that automatically generates all possible combinations of staffs.  For SATB, you might then for example send S, SA, and even ATB versions to each soprano.  I just don't see people desperately needing to switch their practice mode at the touch of a button.  If needed, they can have all MIDI versions loaded at the same time, and just switch windows quickly.
  • You need Breath Mark support in MIDI.  Your singers need to hear how it sounds to take a breath, or else they'll forget to breathe at the breath mark?  If you want, I can write you a script that will automatically cut short the last note before any breath mark, for audio purposes only even.
  • You need Fermata support in MIDI.  I've played/sung in a lot of groups, and I haven't found the need to practice fermatas.  I see one in the music, and I know to watch the director, while he holds us for whatever length of time he decides to at that time.  I just again don't see the need for a musically-inclined person to have to hear a fermata to be able to do it.  And again, I can write you a script to automatically simulate this.

What am I still missing?

Re: Request: Advanced player for choir members

Reply #12
You desperately need "pause/resume" in viewer.   ... The viewer is, as you admit, a "freebie" - if I was NWC, I'd drop support for it, since instead of appreciating it for what it gives, it seems to be a lightning rod for demanding more out of it (and for free at that).  And far from bringing (paying) people to NWC, I think viewer enhancements would just allow more people to stay with the freebie.
The choice seems to be to give choristers something they can use that might not be entirely user friendly or remove NWP as an option for training files.  Simply giving the Player ONLY the option of starting at any point or pausing would be a start.  A player that could do everything except modify/save files would be asking too much unless it was available for 1/4 the cost of the standard NWC and could be upgraded for the remaining 3/4.

As it is the choristers would have no intro to NWC at all.  Rather than send the members different versions on the NWC files, the choice would be to create midi files only.
Since 1998

Re: Request: Advanced player for choir members

Reply #13
What am I still missing?

Randy,

I'm afraid that if you need to ask, then it's clear that you have never had the need to either rehearse large groups of people or to rehearse as part of a large group of people.

A midi file with a score just does not do the trick (irrespective of fermatas etc). You cannot sing along with a score and then decide that you need to repeatedly rehearse a section using a midi file - it just doesn't work as well as seeing and hearing the notes and reading the lyrics (as per the viewer).
Using the midi file method, you have to guess where to reposition the start point unless you are paying so much attention to the timings that you are not looking at the score.  By the time you have managed to get the correct point in the midi file, you have lost the sense of what you were rehearsing.

Yes, you can provide user scripts to do all sorts of things, but it will not make up for the viewer having a pause/restart function.

Joe mentions his wish to discuss NoteWorthy with his Sibellius loving conductor. (I also have one of those).
Sibellius provides Scorch as their freebe player. Scorch supports the following:

1.Turn pages
2.Changes which device you use for playback.
3.Playback controls and tempo slider.* Click play button to play from the start, or click on the score to play from that point or stop.
4.Change top instrument or key
5.Save
6.Page Setup
7.Print

Number three being the most the issue we are discussing. (Tempo slider would also be excellent for rehearsing - but that's not as important as pause and restart). Now if the software that some would consider to be the market leader sees the need to do this with it's free player, then I hope you would agree that they must have seen a need to do this.

Of couse Sibelius is a different order of software but this is their freebe product, not their software costing hundreds of (whatever currency)

NoteWorthy had a browser plugin that looked at one time if it would achive the requirement. Unfortunately, due to microsoft, it looks like the plugin will quietly cease to exist.

For choral singers, Joe is correct in saying that an ideal update, that has been requested many times, is for the viewer to be able to pause and restart at any point in the score.
Rich.

Re: Request: Advanced player for choir members

Reply #14
   Although I too would like the NWC Player/Viewer to do all the things Richard lists, and especially be able to pause and then continue, nevertheless we must surely admit that with the right Midi-playing software - Midisoft's Session, for instance (which is what I normally use), or my friend Chris Hills's MidiPlay (see HaitchTeeTeePeeColonSlashSlash freespace.virgin.net/chris.crhills/midiplay/index.html) - you can do all these things with a Midi File (and what is more the two I name show you the full score and let you select exactly where in it you want to start from)!

   And it's no real problem to write an NWC File so that things like fermatas, and rest-less pauses between sections, actually play as they should in the Midi version.  A combination of invisible commands and layering allows you do do almost anything you want so that a score both looks and plays OK.

   Incidentally, in my very considerable experience it is a BAD THING to read the score on the screen; much, much better to read your printed score while listening to the File play-back.  That way you get used to doing what you will in the Concert, AND you can act upon all the scribbled comments you pencilled into the score to remind you how your Leader wanted you to sing it!

   MusicJohn, 22/May/10


Re: Request: Advanced player for choir members

Reply #15
Hi John,

Just as an aside - I recently got into deep trouble because of your midi files.
My fault - I just didn't read your caveats on your site.

We have recently performed Verdi's great Requiem.  At the start of the rehearsals, I offered your NWC files to our musical director for suitable distribution to the choir members.

When he found out there was no pause / restart facility with the viewer he said that he couldn't use them. So I offered the midi files knowing that you had them on your site.

These he took and started to listen with a view to approving for the choir use.
Unfortunately, the issues that you warn about on your site were quite obvious to him.  He emailed me back saying that he had all sorts of issues with the files I had sent to him.

It was at this point that I saw your caveats (problem with session) . After a energetic debate with him in which he said that if it doesn't work with media player, you can't expect people to have to go and get other players, I then had to use your nwc files to get fresh  midi exports. But unfortunately, by this time, the moment had passed and he was no longer interested.

However, I will investigate the software you mention that shows you the full score and lets you select exactly where in it you want to start from.

It will be a shame if this means that I will no longer continue to attempt to get accepted the NWC viewer as a choral rehearsal tool with our director.

I have to disagree with you when you say
Quote
it is a BAD THING to read the score on the screen; much, much better to read your printed score while listening to the File play-back.

When learning something new where you haven't even begun rehearsing the section with the choir, I much prefer to have all on the screen. (For those reasons, I would wish that your scores had the lyrics) - You have to remember that not all choral singers are blessed with the same experience/sight reading talent.

Once you have been through a few rehearsals and you know what is wanted and required, maybe you have a point.  But each to his own.

The good thing about NoteWorthy Composer is that it is all things to all people. It would be excellent if the same could be said for the viewer.
Rich.

Re: Request: Advanced player for choir members

Reply #16
Okay Joseph and Richard, I give up.  It is very clear now that you want what you want, and nothing else will make you happy.  You have no idea what my music background is, yet you call it into question because I disagree with you.  You obviously are very emotional about this issue, and are not interested in any workarounds.  You seem to think that NWC is some big corporation that's laughing at its customers, when you have no idea what NWC is.  You seem to think that pause/resume is trivial to program, and is being withheld from you just for the fun of it.  You have your view, and I have mine.  Good luck to you getting your pause/resume using the method you've chosen.

Re: Request: Advanced player for choir members

Reply #17
Randy,

I don't think so somehow. I didn't intend to call into question your musical background and if I gave that impression, I apologise.
As I wrote earlier, NWC is all things to all people. I just wish the player was as flexible.

As for your assertion that
Quote
You seem to think that NWC is some big corporation that's laughing at its customers, when you have no idea what NWC is.

That is totally incorrect. I know exactly what NWC is and who has developed it and continues to do so.
I have been 'on board' with NWC for years and have also maintained the Scriptorium on behalf of NWC users for years now, taking over from Andrew, the originator of the Scriptorium, but contibuted from the very start keeping archives of the newsgroups from the very first newsgroup (not forum)


Rich.

Re: Request: Advanced player for choir members

Reply #18
Randy,

Without exception:

... Nothing has been directed toward you or anyone else personally.

... Nothing has been directed toward your or anyone else's viewpoint.

... Not a word.

Without exception:

... Everything has been specifically on-topic, without getting personal.


Namely:

... Making NoteWorthy Composer and Viewer, in their respective roles, a complete vehicle for contemporary choral use, including score notation, revision, and playback for rehearsal.

... The difficulty in doing that today is the Viewer's inability to playback a specific segment of the music score, for rehearsal.

... Bypassing the Viewer, e.g. going to MIDI via an external, non-NWC tool, and playing back in Van Basco (in which multiple lyric channels get munged) is not an option.

Advantage:

... Excellent choral music exists in the Scriptorium.  Convincing a choral director to begin using NW (Composer and Viewer in their respective roles) would be easy -- if it worked for that choral application.  With the Viewer issue, it does not work, yet.

... As pointed out previously, some chorale members also compose, arrange, and notate their own and other choral works.  They are not only singers in the one group.  They are candidates for NWC (Composer) licensing.  Word travels.  Familiarity helps.  But the total NoteWorthy combination (Composer and Viewer, in their respective roles) must work together for choral application.  With the Viewer issue, it does not work, yet.

Viewing and hearing the notes together in real time is simply the right way to learn and rehearse music.  A total NoteWorthy combination would be the way to go.  MIDI is a dull second.

Or to stretch, trying to accommodate other viewpoints:  Nothing in that total NoteWorthy combination prevents a user from using only the printed score, or rehearsing it with a piano.  It's simply the Viewer playback that is the issue.


- - -

Here is a present example for illustration.

The chorale has just concluded a sparkling three-concert series of G&S excerpts, done in concert (i.e., not staged).  They were successes.  Standing ovations, cheering, and handshakes and laughter (and some hugs) among chorale and audience members in the lobby, after the concert.  That was two months ago.

Now they preparing for a Fall concert.  Usually that concert is on a serious level.

The audience has many 'regular' members.  Attendance can be drawn by, and many of the chorale are already 'psyched' for, a work by Sullivan on that concert program.  A 'serious' work.  Perhaps a couple of them.

Here's a suggested work.

...  It's Sullivan's "The Long Day Closes", perhaps his most-sung serious choral work of all he composed (not including hymns).

...  It has fermatas over notes and rests.  Those fermatas have time values (i.e. are non-zero) in the NWC version of the work.

...  One such pause -- a rest with a long-timed fermata -- comes before the final verse.

...  The first verse has already been serious enough, but now the final verse is coming on, heavy-duty:

        Go to thy dreamless bed
        Where grief reposes.
        Thy book of toil is read.
        The long day closes.

...  That rest with the fermata is there purely for dramatic effect.  It gives time for the audience to reflect on the first verse, to 'feel' that something is coming, and to maybe get a bit prepared emotionally (and the singers too) for what follows.

...  Throughout the piece there are both notes and rests with timed fermatas like that.  They aren't there to allow the tenors to gulp air before turning blue.  They're there entirely for dramatic effect.  That effect will be revised and tweaked by the director.  But it's there to begin with.

The song is already up on the Scriptorium, notated SATB.  If NWC were to become the notation/playback vehicle, much of the director's work would already be done for him.  Notated score, all SATB lyrics, suggested dynamics and tempi -- a starting point.

How easy it should be, then, to suggest that he get NWC (Composer) and try it for his Fall concert.


Now the point of the example.


If it's done in his existing Sibelius, the steps are:

   1.  Director:  Notate and revise it as desired.

   2.  Director:  Distribute the printed score and .SIB file.

   3.  SATB, each person:  Rehearse it as needed, with the player.


If NWC (Composer and Viewer) were offered, please outline the steps.

   1.  Director:  Download and revise it as desired.

   2.  Director:  Distribute the printed score and .NWC file.

   3.  SATB, each person:  ...


Again, all the effort has been to remain on-topic. 

It is about the Viewer, its potential role in ensemble rehearsal, and how that can assist acceptance and licensing of Composer.


Joe




Re: Request: Advanced player for choir members

Reply #19
   Although I too would like the NWC Player/Viewer to do all the things Richard lists, and especially be able to pause and then continue, nevertheless we must surely admit that with the right Midi-playing software - Midisoft's Session, for instance (which is what I normally use), or my friend Chris Hills's MidiPlay (see HaitchTeeTeePeeColonSlashSlash freespace.virgin.net/chris.crhills/midiplay/index.html) - you can do all these things with a Midi File (and what is more the two I name show you the full score and let you select exactly where in it you want to start from)!

   And it's no real problem to write an NWC File so that things like fermatas, and rest-less pauses between sections, actually play as they should in the Midi version.  A combination of invisible commands and layering allows you do do almost anything you want so that a score both looks and plays OK.

Respectfully ...

What about the considerable amount of NWC files that already are up on the Scriptorium?  The Scriptorium could be a major incentive for choral directors to explore NWC.

Would it be reasonable to expect a music director, coming newly into NWC, to have to do those changes to downloaded files before going out to MIDI?

One might instead suggest that NWC ought to consider making it painless to go out to MIDI, if that became necessary.  'Painless', that is, in the context of a choral director who, by musical nature and past experience with other software, would like to see a fermata work like a fermata, and whose time schedule is already hard enough to manage.

Quote
   Incidentally, in my very considerable experience it is a BAD THING to read the score on the screen; much, much better to read your printed score while listening to the File play-back.  That way you get used to doing what you will in the Concert, AND you can act upon all the scribbled comments you pencilled into the score to remind you how your Leader wanted you to sing it!

Nothing so far in the suggestions for improving the Viewer's playback precludes the user from doing that.  From another viewpoint, if only hearing (and not viewing) the music in the Viewer, and if there's a penciled-in note in the printed score from a previous rehearsal, then it might be helpful for the Viewer to have a Pause/Resume control over that passage, to reflect on that written instruction.


Joe

Re: Request: Advanced player for choir members

Reply #20
The Viewer is one of the support acts of NWC Composer. Every NWC Composer user has bought into the NWC system with an investment in money and time. That system includes both the Composer and the satellite (Viewer) applications.
As a NWC Composer user, it's a feature I paid for: The ability to distribute my work to the other band-members, giving them the ability to rehearse their parts, *that* is what the Viewer in the NWC eco-system implies.
Unfortunately, this feature is severly broken - not having the pause option decreases the value of the NWC Composer significantly.

Workarounds to distribute through MIDI are just that: workarounds. (to -partially- solve a problem that shouldn't exist in the first place.)

Noteworthy Software seems to leverage this brokenness to entice users of the Viewer to upgrade. (And given the "it's a freebie" responses it seems to work remarkably well. Just to repeat myself: It's *not* a freebie; I invested time and money to create these scores in the NWC eco-system, but I can't put them to use effectively because of brokenness of the Viewer.)

Not responding to the requests at all (note that Noteworthy Software is silent *again* in this thread) is another scoffing of *paying* customers. (Yes, I'm quite peeved, thank you very much!)

But don't listen to me, I'm already switching to another package. As soon as that package supports MusicXML I'm out of here for good.


Regards,
Alvatrus

Re: Request: Advanced player for choir members

Reply #21
As another NWC user has so aptly pointed out, the Composer/Viewer combination ought to be seen as a music 'eco-system'.

We have an acquaintance who teaches piano.  Her specialty is Russian music, and she teaches both in English and Russian.

Besides using stock piano method books, she sends students home with customized, fresh exercises to practice.  Each set of exercises is tailored to each student's present need.

I'd love to turn her on to NW Composer.  But it's got to give her value beyond notating and printing scores.  Right now her manual scoring is fluent, fast, and easy to read.  A notation and printing tool alone is of minimal value.

What she needs is an audio/visual playback tool in which her students, at home between lessons, will see, hear, and "get" what the teacher wants, through selective repetition and practice.

Unfortunately the weak Viewer can't handle her students' rehearsal needs.

We've shown and used the NWC (Composer) with her for years in our home, and the Viewer in hers.  She's well aware of what each can do, compared to her needs.

She'd be an NWC (Composer) licensee now if the Viewer would let her do her job.  And her reputation as an effective teaching professional would get a boost.  But there's no incentive for her to license NWC.  An NWC (Composer) license is out of the picture entirely because the inadequate Viewer cripples the package.

Her example is just one more, among others.


Joe




Re: Request: Advanced player for choir members

Reply #22
I've been following this thread with some interest, because I have been advocating the pause/resume function for some time. However, I find it odd that no one appears to have noticed that it's not just the viewer. The main NWC program doesn't have this function, either. I suspect that when it appears in one, it will also appear in the other. Not sure why Eric hasn't acted on this request (it seems trivial, from a programming standpoint), but I do know that NWC is pretty much a one-person show, so what gets done is what seems important to that one person. And I would respectfully suggest that people stop asking that one person to respond to each and every request for a new feature. If he did, he wouldn't have time to work on improvements to the program.

Dunno if this damps the troubled waters or stirs them up, but I thought it was time someone pointed it out.

Re: Request: Advanced player for choir members

Reply #23
I've been following this thread with some interest, because I have been advocating the pause/resume function for some time. However, I find it odd that no one appears to have noticed that it's not just the viewer.
I notice. Pause/resume is seldom wanted. Usually, it is stop/back up a bit/play.
IMO, a rehearsal engine would have:
  • Loop marked section
  • Master Tempo
  • Master Tuning
  • Master Channel Volume
This last one would might require NWC to use Expression where it now uses Volume, a substantial change.
My ideal rehearsal engine consists of printing the song and playing it, so I'd rather see printing improvements.
Registered user since 1996

Re: Request: Advanced player for choir members

Reply #24
The main NWC program doesn't have this function, either.

Hi William - well, to be absolutely precise, you are correct however, in NWC, you can set the play point as one of the following:
from insertion point, from current measure, or from 1,2 or 3 measures back.  This is just as good or if not better. Of course the viewer does not have an insertion point but if the viewer play point could be set at current cursor position, or 1,2 or 3 measures before the cursor position then I suspect that there wouldn't be an issue here.  That would be as good as a pause and would be a "start from anywhere you wanted to rehearse".

As far as the rest of the content of your post - yes I agree, Eric will improve NoteWorthy as he sees fit according to his development ideas for the product.
Although those are hardly ever discussed publicly, you know, and I know that healthy discussion in the forum and the wish list does often produce update ideas and changes.

Sometimes, the discussion cannot be termed "healthy" and it would be good to avoid those. But sometimes passion gets in the way ...........
Rich.

 

Re: Request: Advanced player for choir members

Reply #25
Rick G., as usual I am heartily in agreement with your words of wisdom, except for one thing.  If you mean to change the relative volumes of the staves, then volume change should be based on “Volume” and not on “Expression”, so that, whatever the set “volume” the relative expression changes will be preserved.

I prepared the following long-winded submission several days ago and decided not to send it, but perhaps it may be of some use, so here it is.

Background:  As a member of an amateur 60-voice male voice choir, I took it upon myself in 2002 to prepare computerized training aids for the entire repertoire, (now approaching 200 songs) and chose NWC for the notation program.  Each song has 4 parts plus piano accompaniment, and requires preparation of 5 files, ie one for each part emphasized, and one with all parts at equal volume.  We initially distributed a copy of Noteworthy Player to each singer along with the first group of training aid files.

The system was enthusiastically accepted by choir members, but they slowly lost interest because of the limitations of the NWPlayer because.when learning a new song it is absolutely essential to be able to stop and start and repeat difficult packages.  It’s also nice to be able to change the tempo, but that’s perhaps of lesser importance.   Fortunately we were able to revive interest by (reluctantly) distributing the evaluation version <eval-nwc1.75.exe> as a de-facto “player”, and the system is now an indispensable part of our learning process.  We acknowledge that this is a minor violation of the license agreement, but frankly we reckoned we had no choice!

The evaluation program makes an excellent choral ‘player’, because it allows stopping, repeating of passages and tempo changes, and importantly it disallows saving of altered files when temporary changes have been made.  Our choir members are not in the least interested in any other use of the program, eg. for notation, printing etc.  To them it is simply a convenient ‘player’ that meets all their needs.  To this extent our “violation” of the license agreement is trivial. 

Choir members with little or no formal music training form a very distinct group of users of programs such as Noteworthy Composer.  With the playback synchronized to the notation on the computer screen, it is easier to learn new songs, and to practise at home. On the other hand most skilled musicians in instrumental groups are more interested in the printed scores.

I realize that in absence of the ideal ‘player’ or ‘viewer’ many choirs use MIDI files, such as the excellent SATB series produced by Music John.  MIDI players tend to be ideal because they can allow complete control over playback, but they don’t display the score.  However, we perform without scores on stage in the Welsh Choir tradition, and learn everything off by heart.  In our experience the full NWC playback with the score displayed on the screen is much better for initial learning of a completely new song by untrained people.  (For revision after the songs have been learned we are happy with audio output, so we record and distribute an mp3 version of every file, and if necessary help people to load them onto mp3 players, ipods, or mobile phones etc, so that they are always on hand for a quick revision).

So far so good.  We are all delighted with our NWC-based training aid system, despite our misgivings over our improper use of the <eval-1.75> version as a ‘player’. -  BUT:

Recent developments:  We had planned to notate future songs with nwc2.1 to take advantage of its many improvements, but we find that files notated with version 2 cannot be played back on any <eval> version of nwc.  This is also true when we notate with nwc2 or nwc2.1, then export as nwc1.75.  The resulting file cannot be played back on <eval-nwc1.75>.  This means that for the foreseeable future we must notate all our training aids with version 1.75 and continue with our “shonky” use of the 1.75 evaluation version as a de facto ‘player’.

Any file prepared with any version of nwc can be played on the ‘Viewer’, so we live in hope that the NWC team will be able to modify the “Viewer’ in at least 2 ways:
•   to allow stop and start and repetition of passages,
•   to provide a slider for tempo change  and perhaps:
•   .to activate some of the improvement now incorporated into NWC2.1.

There must be hundreds of choir members around the world who would welcome these changes.   Our members would be happy to pay a small license fee for a dedicated ‘Choral Player’ with all the necessary facilities.

This topic has been aired many times in the forum, but to my knowledge we have never been told whether the proposed changes to the ‘Viewer’ would be possible.

Another thing:  I think that many choristers will agree with me that it’s easy to forget  your key signature.  It would be really great to have the new capabilities of NWC2.1 in the “viewer” so you could quickly check your key signature etc.

Please Eric, think of the special needs of your potential thousands of choristers who are not interested in notation, but would love a ”you beaut” Viewer!

Bill









Re: Request: Advanced player for choir members

Reply #26
Rick G., as usual I am heartily in agreement with your words of wisdom, except for one thing.  If you mean to change the relative volumes of the staves, then volume change should be based on “Volume” and not on “Expression”, so that, whatever the set “volume” the relative expression changes will be preserved.been told whether the proposed changes to the ‘Viewer’ would be possible.
My assumption is that the viewer is never going to allow contol of staff volume. With hidden and layered staves, the user interface would be too confusing.

What one is let with then, is a 16 channel mixer (one for each MIDI channel). Unless this was an artificial construct, "loudness" changes in the song would need to be confined to note velocity and expression.

Now that I think more about it, 'User Volume' could be an artificial construct. Probably easier that way.
Registered user since 1996

Re: Request: Advanced player for choir members

Reply #27
Perhaps, Rick, I should have said no one in this thread has noticed. All posts here have complained that this is a defect in the viewer, and have implied (and sometimes stated) that this must be because it's a freebie and therefore OK to ignore. My point, which I stand by, is that a pause control is lacking throughout the NWC family of programs (except for the browser plugin, which according to Eric uses different technology). Therefore it isn't just a matter of proving the need for pause/resume in the viewer. The case has apparently not been yet made for pause/resume, period.

And I think there's a strong case to be made for pause/resume in the notation program as well as in the viewer. Consider this scenario, which is not uncommon in my use of the program: I am "proofhearing" a piece, listening to it with my eyes closed to catch subtleties of sound that may slip by if I'm watching the score at the same time that I'm hearing it. I catch something I want to make a note of. Not change, at the moment - just make a quick note and go on listening, so I don't lose the continuity of the piece. To do this I need to pause the music briefly, so I hit the stop button. Two things happen immediately. One is that the note chase color disappears, so I can't see where I stopped. The other is that the play loop resets to the insertion point, so when I'm ready to start playing again I either (a) have to listen to everything from the insertion point to where I stopped all over again or (b) make a stab at placing a new insertion point within the five or six measures that are on the screen, meaning I almost always either repeat part of the music or miss part of it. A pause/resume function would fix (b). A pause/resume function that froze the note chase, so one could see where one is and then easily begin again there, would fix both (a) and (b). And then, once written, could be transferred to the viewer and make all the choir directors happy. I think it would be a relatively trivial programming task that would please a lot of people, and I'm a bit surprised it hasn't been done already. However, as I've already pointed out, I'm not going to second-guess Eric's plans for the program. Rich is correct: much that has been discussed here has made it into the program. Eric does listen to suggestions (and sometimes joins in the discussions). That, I think, is all we should expect.

Cheers,

Bill

Re: Request: Advanced player for choir members

Reply #28
Bill,

I didn't see it from that point - but very true  AND I might add, that the stop/restart scenario in composer also looses any repeat and flow direction positioning.

Rich.

Re: Request: Advanced player for choir members

Reply #29
I have so far avoided comment in this discussion 'cos I don't work with choristers, however, I find Williams post has encouraged me to stick my beak in.  In short, I fully agree with his assessment and would LOVE to see the pause/resume function as described.

A loop function would be nice too but it is not critical for my particular needs as for that functionality the stop/start from insertion point works for me.  Of course this is not available in the viewer.

Basically, I concur with what William said.
I plays 'Bones, crumpets, coronets, floosgals 'n youfonymums - 'n I'm lernin' tubies now too

Re: Request: Advanced player for choir members

Reply #30
Seconded here.  Replay from the insertion point works fine here too.

The Composer's controls seem intuitive and clear.

It seems natural to "point, click" at a bar where one wants to start playback. 

Then, clicking on "Stop" and on "Play", to begin again at that point also feels natural.

Otherwise, "point, click" on any other spot, or just tap the Home key, sets a new place to begin.

- - -

I'm reluctant to poke a nose further into this, but earlier in the thread, one reason for not updating the Viewer's flow control was the suggested coding complexity.  Just a note on this.

The current Composer has its Viewer mode.  'Replay', as discussed generally in the thread, exists in the Composer when it's in its Viewer mode.

Possibly the respective Composer and Viewer flow control code are greatly different.  Possibly they're buried deep into their kernels, with the Composer's Viewer mode 'way up in a user interface shell, suggesting a heavy rewrite for getting flow control in to the actual Viewer.  Or more happily, perhaps there's some modularity in both code to allow some of the Composer's flow control code to be a 'lift' for the Viewer.

Only the Programmer knows and decides, but one just hopes it won't be too tough.  It will be warmly welcomed when done.

Joe


Re: Request: Advanced player for choir members

Reply #31
... (snip for brevity, please see Bill's post)


Any file prepared with any version of nwc can be played on the ‘Viewer’, so we live in hope that the NWC team will be able to modify the “Viewer’ in at least 2 ways:
•   to allow stop and start and repetition of passages,
•   to provide a slider for tempo change  and perhaps:
•   .to activate some of the improvement now incorporated into NWC2.1.

Please Eric, think of the special needs of your potential thousands of choristers who are not interested in notation, but would love a ”you beaut” Viewer!

Bill

- - -

The snips to Bill's message are for brevity only, so please see his full message. 

One can only have a hope that Eric will consider Bill's full description of what's needed.

Here is another real-life situation.

Here is another case where NWC belongs in the picture, and where it could be the central part of it.  But isn't.  Facetiously stated, but sadly, brand "S" is the sole notation vehicle.

We have four strong non-church chorales in our area.  There are probably 200 singers in them.  They do everything, just counting recent concerts, from the Durufle Requiem and intense Bach chorales, to Gilbert and Sullivan, Rutter, and Sondheim stuff.

The individual singers aren't isolated inside each chorale group.  They alternate among the other groups over the course of a year's concert schedule, as well as singing in church choirs.  They also have personal and musical 'lives', a few singing solo, some teaching.

In other words, it's an active music schedule with a lot of notating, arranging, rehearsing, and performing going on. 

In the group I'm most familiar with, several people are also composers and arrangers.  The group performs a 'local composers' concert once a year.  There are several score notators, printers and "distributors" within the ensemble, besides being singers.

Also the accompanist -- who is very strong -- has a separate piano trio who perform at clubs in the area. 

In other words, that one 'chorale' group it isn't just a bunch of people in a box where one person hands out a printed score and people sing from it.  It's a dynamic, interactive group of people with some composers, arrangers and notators within it.  And as such, they migrate into other groups they share in the same area.  Migration isn't just bodies.  It's ideas and feelings for what they want to do, and for what works 'best' to get music performed on tight schedules.

It's so different from the past, simple choir group where one person handed out an SATB hymn, and everybody sang it on Sunday morning after one Wednesday night rehearsal.  Time has moved onward, miles from that point.

Today, if NWC were the powerful, accepted notation and playback vehicle in the current chorale environment:

...  There would be several hundred singers who were aware of NWC, in major concerts, three times a year. 

...  And of those singers, about half a dozen (my guess) would be serious composers / arrangers, candidates for licensing NWC (Composer) for their own composition and arranging work.

...  And then their work would promulgate further through their choral organizations.


About NWC (Composer) licensing:

...  NWC licensing would come because of its total package -- Composer / Viewer combination -- being the accepted standard for natural ease-of-use throughout the choral organization. 

...  That means, of course,  adoption and feedback from the singers.

...  There must be a natural, native, good feeling of using the Viewer for score rehearsal on the part of the large majority of chorale singers.

...  Easy, intuitive interface.

...  That feedback is crucial to acceptance of NWC (Composer) as the notation vehicle.

_That_ is the root of satisfaction with NoteWorthy Composer.

How easy it would be to show the choral director the resources on the Scriptorium.  So much is already done there, waiting for rehearsal and performance.

And how attractive it would be for the ensemble directors to adopt a tool that costs so much less than the USD $599 thing they're faced with now.  And beyond each ensemble's one director, the emerging composers and arrangers within that group.

This could be going so well for NWC.  Gosh, only if something had happened two or three years ago.  The only weak link in Noteworthy is the Viewer's unsuitability for playback. 

It isn't easy to put such harsh words into a forum for software one loves and respects. 

It will take some time, but with a Viewer that works, there's a possibility of turning the corner with each new concert season.

Joe


Re: Request: Advanced player for choir members

Reply #32
Quote from Joe:
"It isn't easy to put such harsh words into a forum for software one loves and respects. 
It will take some time, but with a Viewer that works, there's a possibility of turning the corner with each new concert season."

Hear hear.

Bill.


Re: Request: Advanced player for choir members

Reply #33
I agree there needs to be a player which is easier to use.  When I was in a chorus I advocated the use of unregistered NWC as a player until I learned this was forbidden in the license.  Before I dropped out, at least one member bought a licensed copy of NWC.An alternative is to distribute midi files as a training aid.  The vanBasco player can do everything you need except show the music to the users and, if you know the timing of the various parts, you can have them start wherever they want, e.g., the fugue starts at 3:12.  Of course, this is an excellent way to not introduce NWC to your chorus, but it may be the only route.

Edited change: last sentence before quote.
Warren. Quite correctly interpreted, thank you!
I took a look at the vanBasco player, and yes it is quite useful, but it can only adjust the volume up and down completely (solo and mute buttons, although mute leaves the other channels with a small volume left, proving that the wished functionality should be possible to achieve, technically).

When I read through this discussion thread, I find it difficult to grasp why the NWS company insists that they know what our (choral members') needs are, when it shows they (he?) doesn't.

I have purchased two full Composer licences for our choir, and more could follow.
Still another solution could be to offer a quantum price for the Composer available for choral groups. The backdraw beeing that the composer is perhaps too complex to learn for most ordinary singers.

Still hoping for a good solution, Eric Sandnes

Re: Request: Advanced player for choir members

Reply #34
It would seem that NWC could come out with a low cost version of their full featured product except that it couldn't save files.  A number of good ideas have already been brought out in this thread.
Since 1998

Re: Request: Advanced player for choir members

Reply #35
With respect ...

VanBasco gets mentioned as a possible player for choral music exported from NWC to MIDI.

Humble opinion ...

VanBasco is not adequate for playing back choral music.  It mangles the SATB lyrics.

It allows only the choice of viewing a single lyric track, or viewing all lyric tracks combined.  It's done via a single checkbox:  "Allow Multiple Lyric Tracks".

With the box not checked, only one lyric track can be seen.  Checked, it combines all lyric tracks in a jumbled series on the screen (not each voice, side-by-side).

- - -

Here are two examples.


(1) The song's actual lyrics:

   Angel of Peace,
   thou hast wandered too long,
   Spread thy white wings,
   ah, to the sunshine of love,
   to the sunshine of love.
   Come while our voices
   are blended in song.

VanBasco displays all four voices' lyrics:

   An An An An gel gel gel gel of of of of
   Peace, Peace, Peace, Peace,
   thou thou thou thou hast hast hast hast
   wandwandwandwandered ered ered ered
   too too too too long, long, long, long,
   Spread Spread Spread Spread thy thy thy thy
   white white white white wings, wings, wings, wings,
   ah, ah, ah, Spread thy white wings to to to to
   the the the the sunsunsunsun shine shine shine shine
   of of of of love, love, love, love, of of of of
   love.
   Come while our Come voices while are our
   blendvoiced es in song, are blendCome, ed in
   Come song, while our voices are come,
   blendcome, come, ed in song.


- - - -

(2)  Mendelssohn's Elijah, the opening chorus.

Directly from the NWC Scriptorium.


The lyrics passage:

   Help, Lord!  Help, Lord!
   Help, Lord!  wilt thou quite destroy us?
   The harvest now is over,
   the summer days are gone,
   and yet no power cometh to help us,
   and yet no power cometh to help us.


VanBasco displays it:

   Help, Help, Help, Help, Lord! Lord! Lord! Lord!
   Help, Help, Help, Help, Lord! Lord! Lord! Lord!
   Help, Help, Help, Help, Lord! Lord! Lord! Lord!
   wilt wilt wilt wilt thou thou thou thou
   quite quite quite quite dedededestroy stroy stroy stroy
   us? us? us? us? ...
   and yet now power cometh to help and yet us,
   no power cometh The to help harand vest us.
   now yet is no opower, er the sumcommer days

- - -

VanBasco is _not_ an adequate tool for playing back choral works, nor for any work with lyrics on multiple tracks.  It mangles even a simple vocal duet.

Plus -- not the same issue, but a related one and _vital_ to choral work.  If one intends to export from NWC to MIDI, there's the longstanding issue:

   ...  NWC's export to MIDI does not honor fermatas and breathmarks. 

NWC 'Support' mentioned more than six years ago that that's because those notation elements are not part of the MIDI spec.  But they could be simulated through MPC-Tempo in a smart export.  And with nothing done so far by NWC after so many requests, a dedicated NWC enthusiast, Rick, developed an external tool to do the job. 

But it requires the NWC user -- say, the choral director who has just obtained NWC -- to know about and to run a separate tool, external to the NoteWorthy software he paid for.

That's a MIDI export issue.  But it exists in choral works if an external MIDI player, unrelated to NWC, is to be used for playback.

Tempo is not an issue at all, if one simply uses the NW Viewer for the playback.

If you put those two issues together -- mangled lyrics, and missing tempo variances  --  going out to MIDI is not the best solution.

Going out to a playback medium that mangles choral lyrics, after having to run an external tool to even get there in the first place -- is not the best solution.

- - -

Really, when all is said, the preferred way to playback NWC choral scores would be in a properly-working NW Viewer.

Nothing could be more direct.  And it would be an "all-NoteWorthy" piece of music. 

   ...  The choral director notates it in the NW Composer, and the choral members receive and rehearse it in the NW Viewer.

   ...  The choral staves -- notes, dynamics, tempo, lyrics -- are exactly as the choral director has scored them.  All the visual and audio information is there.

And if there have to be 'tweaks' -- which there likely will be, during rehearsals -- the notation/distribution process is straightforward.

- - -

The principal issue -- so longstanding now  --  is the Viewer's inability to stop and restart at a designated bar in the score.

   ...  Other items have been raised in the thread, valuable for consideration for a future NW Viewer release.

   ...  But that one issue -- the Viewer's primitive "Stop/Play" control -- is the roadblock to using the Viewer as a distribution medium.

- - -

Stark words coming.

As one NWC user pointed out in the thread, external workarounds for the Viewer's deficiency, with the continuing total silence from NoteWorthy 'Support', are more than hard to take.  He mentioned he's considering getting "outta here" for those reasons.  And he is not the only one.

Eric, perhaps you have no idea how embarrassing it is to demonstrate NWC music to a serious prospect using the Viewer.  Note again that the Viewer will be the distribution medium.  The issues are obvious.  Stopping the playback mid-way to discuss a score item.  Taking a question from the listener.  Then getting redfaced when having to start all over again at the beginning, and not being able to review or replay what was just discussed.  The question is always there, and it is always the same:  "Do you have to start it all over every time?"  And the answer is always, Yes.  It is humiliating.  It leaves the impression of cheapness.  And a tinge of suspicion about what might also be primitive and unusable in the NW Composer, which one is then only just beginning to consider.  It's a different experience from what seasoned NW users have come to gain, over time.  It is a first impression that is deeply negative.  At its best, it's laughable.  But it goes nowhere for NoteWorthy.  Stark words, but it is past high time that they were heeded.

One longs to show, play and discuss 'live' concert performance of music made with the brilliant NW Composer, to persons who only know other 'high-end' notation software.  But the Viewer makes it a non-starter.

Stark words.  But requests have been posted here.  (Note the size of this thread.)  Requests were posted going back six years in the two other privately-hosted forums.  And requests have been entered into the NWC "Wish List".  It has all been one-way requesting.  The points have all been made, and they are vital.  Absolutely nothing has come back on this subject.  Not a byte of updated Viewer code, and not a word of support.


Joe


Re: Request: Advanced player for choir members

Reply #36
Quote
Requests were posted going back six years in the two other privately-hosted forums.  And requests have been entered into the NWC "Wish List".  It has all been one-way requesting.  The points have all been made, and they are vital.  Absolutely nothing has come back on this subject.  Not a byte of updated Viewer code, and not a word of support.

Think you might be flogging a dead horse mate!

Re: Request: Advanced player for choir members

Reply #37
Hi there,

I support the request of an (little more) advanced player voor our choir members. The specs are clear now.
Despite of all the good workarrounds is't easier to distribute NCW-files instead of MIDI with PDF's.

I surely hope Noteworthy takes this forum serious and mark the request as an RFC in their programming-cycle.

Christiaan Boer
Dalfsen, Holland

Re: Request: Advanced player for choir members

Reply #38
Think you might be flogging a dead horse mate!

It's barely alive, and it isn't being flogged.  It's trying to be given sustenance.  If it dies, it's because NoteWorthy "Support" lets it die.

The Viewer is more like a scrawny, malnourished, pitiful colt, neglected by its owner.  It could become a proud horse for race or show.  But it's one of the most hobbled on the planet.  That's in spite of calm, clearly stated, reasoned, and obviously justified requests to its owner for its "support" that have been met entirely with stony silence from that owner. 

Yes, I've posted the longest, most-tedious messages in the thread.  But read also the messages from so many other NoteWorthy users, respected, dedicated and experienced users.

Again:  Requests have been made for more than six years in three forums.  Submissions have been made directly to the Wish List.  Not all by me.  Requests for a better Viewer have been seconded and sustained by dedicated customers, with plenty of examples and justification for why the Viewer update is needed.

In return for all that, not an ounce of action has come from NoteWorthy "support".  Not a byte of update code, not a single word of response.  Not even the courtesy of an acknowledgment from NoteWorthy "support" that the topic even exists.

This thread began in March.  Now we're at the end of July.  Again, please note the size of this thread:  more than 1400 views.  Not a single reply has been returned here from NoteWorthy. 

Any other software's so-called "support" that ignored its customers' requests through total silence would be ridiculed, and ought to be.

Sadly, after eleven years of using this software, loving it and actively promoting it in contact with persons who have represented potential licenses -- for concerts and a major archive page on the Web -- there's no more time for patience.  I've got eleven days in which to get a choral score submitted.  It's already up on the Scripto.  All I've got to do is get the director to license NWC and make the score available in the Viewer, as was outlined more than two months ago and seconded by other NWC users in this forum.

Sadly, that isn't going to happen.  Now I've got to save it in 1.75, dump it into XML, import it into Sibelius, tweak it there, and give a .sib file to the director for him to use.  Sadly, it's back to Sibelius again.  And even more sadly, the concert program won't have a note of NoteWorthy in it, and the choir will still never have seen a NoteWorthy score.

How painful it is for a previously-dedicated NoteWorthy user to have to begin sentences with "sadly".

Joe




Re: Request: Advanced player for choir members

Reply #39
Seems that we have had this discussion before.
What in the world did musicians do before the advent of computer generated music? They played their instrument and learned by practicing. After a while, they were able to sight read pretty well so that they could sing the music by sight. After a longer while, it all became second nature and they could get a pretty good idea of what the music might sound like if it was played and sung together in their heads.
Now we need to have note chase or we can't get it?
The idea of NWC (as I imagine it), is to facilitate musical notation for the composer. The problems that arise with hand written notation are obvious and many. We have all seen (and done) examples of this. Now we can write a piece of music and have others perform it, or send it to a publisher or an artist. I say...Fantastic and Bravo! Really wonderful.
I understand that that is not what some want to use it for, and that perhaps other software companies offer more features with their free player. The problem is that you cannot compose music that will play on their free player without purchasing the high priced software program. That is quite a glitch to overcome in my estimation. NWC is priced so moderately in comparison that I think that anyone who is serious about what they do musically should break out the wallet and splurge...But not too much! They will be glad they did. Problem solved!

Re: Request: Advanced player for choir members

Reply #40
Snip below, please see fitzclan's original messge.
Quote
...perhaps other software companies offer more features with their free player. The problem is that you cannot compose music that will play on their free player without purchasing the high priced software program. That is quite a glitch to overcome in my estimation. NWC is priced so moderately in comparison that I think that anyone who is serious about what they do musically should break out the wallet and splurge...But not too much! They will be glad they did. Problem solved!

Let me see if I can extend the logic.  It seems to go like this:

The premise:

   ...  Some persons need a notation program to notate music.  That includes music they like and use individually, and it includes music they distribute to others, e.g. for ensemble rehearsal.

   ...  Other persons need only a viewer/player to play music.  That includes music they like and use individually, and it includes music that has been distributed to them, e.g. for ensemble rehearsal.

The logical argument:

   ...  A fully functional viewer/player is relevant, and is an incentive to purchase a higher-cost notation program (as the logic goes).

   ...  But a fully functional viewer/player is not relevant, and is not an incentive to purchase a lower-cost notation program (as the logic goes).

   ...  Instead, a crippled viewer/player is an incentive to purchase that lower-cost notation program (as the logic goes), in order to have a workable viewer/player.

Is that supposed to be the logic?  If so it does not work for a group of people in ensemble.

You simply cannot tell a choir of 38 people that they must outlay cash to get a notation program to view/play scores in rehearsal, because the actual viewer/player program does not work for them.

Within the choral ensemble there are some people who also write and arrange music, for that ensemble and for others in which they are members.  The accompanist notates music for a jazz trio he heads.  The ensemble is not simply a bunch of singers, with only one director who alone uses notation software.  They are a multiple 'market' for several Composer licenses.  They interact, internally and across other ensembles.  But the one starting point, the basic one required before all else, is that the NoteWorthy Viewer must be usable by all.

And for rehearsal, simply reading a printed score while controlling a MIDI player is not an effective option.

As another NoteWorthy user mentioned, the Composer and Viewer are a music 'eco-system'.  You cannot promote one part of it by purposely crippling the other part below the level of use that's required of it.

How easy it ought to be to telephone or send an e-mail to the director or to any of several people in the ensemble, letting them know of a new NoteWorthy piece that's just been posted in the Scriptorium.

The points have already been made well above in the thread, clearly sustained and reinforced by NoteWorthy users who are ensemble members.

Please let us note that we here already use the fully-functional NoteWorthy Composer -- when is the last time we ignored our copy of the Composer, and used the Viewer for truly serious study of parts of a NoteWorthy score?  We should judge the Viewer's deficiency by first stepping into the other person's shoes.

We need a workable NoteWorthy Viewer, and if possible, a viewer plug-in to replace the one we used to have.

- - -

Here's something to chew on, not far off-topic.

These are two excerpts from a Firefox forum on Sibelius's Scorch plug-in.

Scorch works well in Internet Explorer (and in Opera), but had issues in earlier versions of Firefox.  Two users trying to get Scorch going in their Firefox posted these comments.

   "Tens of thousands of American and other university music students, plus potentially hundreds of thousands or even millions of high school students taking music courses need their browsers to handle Scorch in order to use for their studies ..."

   "I teach an online music fundamentals class at a college with more than 500 hundred Scorch files embedded in my web pages."

Anyone thinking of a music viewer audience can read between those lines, including NoteWorthy.


Joe



 

Re: Request: Advanced player for choir members

Reply #41
Quote
Within the choral ensemble there are some people who also write and arrange music, for that ensemble and for others in which they are members.  The accompanist notates music for a jazz trio he heads.  The ensemble is not simply a bunch of singers, with only one director who alone uses notation software.  They are a multiple 'market' for several Composer licenses.  They interact, internally and across other ensembles. 

The Reader as a marketing tool is a great theory, but I doubt if it is as significant as suggested.  With the proliferation of home computers in the past 20 years or so, and the multitude of notation software programs that have been on the market for many years, I suspect the software market is mature.

The majority of those who don't have notation software by now likely aren't going to be interested in acquiring it.

It would be nice if the Player could be improved, but there are many other wishes in the wishlist for many years as well.


Re: Request: Advanced player for choir members

Reply #42
To Joseph Roberts I would say that I admire your tenacity in pursuing our mutual objective, ie a more versatile viewer, but I must reluctantly agree with my fellow-Melbournian Barry Graham that we are "flogging a dead horse", more's the pity, since the logic also escapes me!

Bill.

Re: Request: Advanced player for choir members

Reply #43
I learned a long time ago that the sign "Music Store" didn't necessarily mean that store catered to bowed string musicians.  Some specialize in pianos or marching band instruments or rock bands but many, for whatever reason, do not want the business of string players.  In spite of "Killing the goose laying the gold eggs" or "as bad as retiring the original Coca-Cola formula" analogies, the power(s) that be at NWC don't want the business of choruses unless the whole choir buys their package.

Can this thread R.I.P.?
Since 1998

Re: Request: Advanced player for choir members

Reply #44
Occasionally I've corresponded with a local person who is a choral director and composer.  Last week in e-mail he mentioned that a new, all-male chorale is being formed in our area.  It'll be directed not by him, but by a different person whom I know only slightly.

So sometime soon we'll have a new season of music, and those chaps won't be recruited at bus stops.  They're coming in from other choral ensembles if their schedules and inclinations allow them a new gig.  Even though there's only one director, and maybe an accompanist, there will be an interflow of experience, values, and ideas.

There are some excellent TTBB scores in the NoteWorthy Scriptorium.  What a wealth of music is there for them, if it were suggested.

I think it indicates that the 'software market' is not all that 'mature'.

R.I.P. from here.

Joe



Re: Request: Advanced player for choir members

Reply #45
Joe & Warren, I can't speak for the "powers that be" at NWC, but I can put myself in their position. Why would I want the "business" (?) of 38 choristers who are too parsimonious to pay for my hard work?  I can do without that kind of "business". What they want is for me to work for nothing. I doubt that they would be so quick to reciprocate.
By the way, the NWC viewer does not discriminate against ensembles as has been intimated in this thread. It is as useful to me as it is to them. I like the program for writing, but I can't use the free player for that, hence, I buy the program. Although I rarely use the player, it's nice to have available. Stop and play from within the piece are not available to anyone using the player.
Most musicians are not stand alone. They interact with others, some write, some arrange others sing...whatever. Not just ensembles. It seems to me that you are not willing to purchase the much higher priced Sibelius program so that your friends can benefit from their free player replete with pause.
Most students wouldn't think twice about buying a book for a required music history class that cost $75.00 which will probably never be opened once the class is completed, but there is an awful lot of complaining about the cost of this $49.00 program which will be useful to any student of music well into the future. I don’t think it is too much to ask for each one to invest in a simple tool-of-the-trade.
Personally, I would spend more time selling your friends on the idea of purchasing the program than trying to get the powers that be to give it away. I find it remarkable that people feel entitled to enjoy the labor of others for free. It just doesn't make sense!  My logic is simple. Select the program that best suits your needs and then buy it.

Re: Request: Advanced player for choir members

Reply #46
My logic is simple. Select the program that best suits your needs and then buy it.
I can't agree more. Put yourself in the position of the board of directors of a chorus or someone advising that board on the subject of training files. The board wants to buy a total package, i.e. an editor and a viewer/player the chorus members can use to help learn their parts.  Clearly a music notation program without any type of player would not be in the running at all unless it is being used only to create midi files.  The chorus will indeed be "paying" for the viewer/player in that it wouldn't buy the main editor if chorus members couldn't use copies of the transcribed files it produces.

Ten years ago I did indeed "sell" NWC as a method of distributing training files to the chorus I was in at that time and several other members bought full versions for themselves.  I am not in a chorus right now but if I was, NWC would no longer be my first choice in spite of the number of chorus files I have transcribed over the years.  The old Music Store no longer has what I need.

**Edited change: rewrite first paragraph.
Since 1998

Re: Request: Advanced player for choir members

Reply #47
The thread can R.I.P., but a personal reference can't go unaddressed.

Snip below, please see fitzclan's full message.

It seems to me that you are not willing to purchase the much higher priced Sibelius program so that your friends can benefit from their free player replete with pause.

Respectfully:

It isn't about doing something for 'friends'.

This area has over 200 persons in four major chorales in performance and rehearsal with NoteWorthy nowhere in sight. 

The points made have been about a Viewer limitation that prevents Composer's getting even a foot into the door, in a setting where it could shine. 

Please read the posts from others, not from me, who have tried workarounds.

The thread has stayed on-topic.  If the Viewer can't be used in a coordinated way in a group of people for serious score review and training, there is no opportunity for Composer to originate scores within that group.

Joe




Re: Request: Advanced player for choir members

Reply #48
Perhaps the question then becomes; Would NWC consider creating a viewer/player with pause/stop feature for sale at a reasonable rate? As long as the full version has the capability, I can't see that it would be difficult to program into the player, but I also understand why they won't do it for free. It's worth a try.

Re: Request: Advanced player for choir members

Reply #49
Recent news regarding the NWC Viewer from the Version 2.5 development stream (click the quote line to go straight to that topic):

Here is a screen shot of the new NWC Viewer, showing the new Pause button and play slider control.