Old 12-05-2018, 12:57 PM   #1
composerguy78
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Default Notation quality!

Can anyone make any suggestions to improve notation?

I'm really excited to switch to Reaper but this level of notation display is quite possibly a deal breaker for me.

Is there a way to limit the number of measures per page so the notes are not so crammed for example? that would be a start.

I would really appreciate any suggestions.

Thank you!
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Old 12-05-2018, 01:24 PM   #2
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Are you using the notation view to compose? Or just to view the notes?

Not to knock Reaper, but personally I prefer to compose in software that has composing/notation as a prime feature. I've used Finale ($$) for many years, but after recent problems on Windows 10 I started using MuseScore (free) and found that it is really pretty good, and in fact performs some tasks more intuitively than Final does.

After the MIDI is imported into Reaper, I don't mind the lower quality notation display, because it's more of a visual guide than something I am using for composing/editing.

Just my personal thoughts ...
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Old 12-05-2018, 01:46 PM   #3
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The notation features built into a DAW are never great ... Reaper is an audio / midi recording program, first and foremost.

If you're looking for professional grade engraving quality I'd always recommend Sibelius / Dorico / Finale.
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Old 12-05-2018, 02:18 PM   #4
juliansader
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Quote:
Originally Posted by composerguy78 View Post
Is there a way to limit the number of measures per page so the notes are not so crammed for example? that would be a start.
You can zoom in and out, both vertically and horizontally.
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Old 12-05-2018, 02:32 PM   #5
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The score view is pretty good for a DAW imo.
And schwa is responsive for ideas and bugfixes.
But, it will never replace real notation tools
-it's just a different task.
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Old 12-06-2018, 04:07 AM   #6
composerguy78
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I'm not looking to print anything, just something to work with. I use it to reference what chord I'm at in a piece - I'm not expecting finale level display, just something more like Logic which I'm used to.

I'm really hoping this area can be improved because it's pretty hard to read at present. If the stem directions were all the same per staff that would help. Also, like I said if the measures weren't so small that would help.
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Old 12-06-2018, 07:12 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by composerguy78 View Post
I'm really hoping this area can be improved because it's pretty hard to read at present. If the stem directions were all the same per staff that would help. Also, like I said if the measures weren't so small that would help.
Check out how to assign notes to voices (which determine stem direction), options such as "Automatically voice overlapping notes", zooming, etc. Once you are familiar with how it works, REAPER's notation is quite advanced -- and pretty.
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Old 12-06-2018, 09:04 AM   #8
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The notation hardly ever matches the MIDI you hear on playback. I've done some free improvisation recently and the MIDI sounds perfect, but the notation editor looks terrible and unusable. Chords when they should be fast notes, no tuplets correct, it's just not usable for that.

At best it's a quick way to adjust basic BASIC notation.

Coming from other DAWs it's possible to improvise your playing and have the MIDI sound exactly as you played and have notation look correct.

Yes I quantized, and no that doesn't matter. All quantizer settings still show wrong notes in notation. Constantly. Chords are the worst offender. Reaper flat out just ignore fast played runs and just clumps them into an ugly crossstaff chord mess.
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Old 12-06-2018, 11:39 AM   #9
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Could you perhaps upload an example of recorded MIDI that displays badly in REAPER and nicely in another DAW (with screenshots of the other DAW)?

If there really is a problem that cannot easily be solved by applying appropriate display quantization settings, Schwa would probably like to know. (Notation bugs seem to be fixed relatively quickly compared to piano roll ones).
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Old 12-06-2018, 01:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juliansader View Post
Check out how to assign notes to voices (which determine stem direction), options such as "Automatically voice overlapping notes", zooming, etc. Once you are familiar with how it works, REAPER's notation is quite advanced -- and pretty.
Much appreciated!! Thank you!
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Old 12-07-2018, 07:17 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowellben View Post
The notation hardly ever matches the MIDI you hear on playback. I've done some free improvisation recently and the MIDI sounds perfect, but the notation editor looks terrible and unusable. Chords when they should be fast notes, no tuplets correct, it's just not usable for that.

At best it's a quick way to adjust basic BASIC notation.

Coming from other DAWs it's possible to improvise your playing and have the MIDI sound exactly as you played and have notation look correct.

Yes I quantized, and no that doesn't matter. All quantizer settings still show wrong notes in notation. Constantly. Chords are the worst offender. Reaper flat out just ignore fast played runs and just clumps them into an ugly crossstaff chord mess.
Can you upload some of your improvised midi, then I might do a response video, to surprise you what is possible with reaper.
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Old 12-07-2018, 11:01 PM   #12
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I don't use notation, but if I did, I would keep the origianal performance MIDI, copy the track and quantize the copy then use that for notation purposes.

The reason is the original performance might push or lag the beat by 64th or 128th notes, which really clutters up the staff with mico-notes and micro-rests.

However, the original perfomance will generally sound better (if it actually *was* a perfomance, as opposed step-recorded or hand-entered data) because it has groove and feel in the timing that doesn't translate well to notation.

It depends on what you are using it for I guess.
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Old 12-07-2018, 11:12 PM   #13
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It is important to distinguish between:

* "Quantization", which changes the MIDI timing, and

* "Display quantization" (and "Display offset"), which changes the notation display without changing the MIDI.

To get snazzy notation without changing the performance, use "Display quantization/offset".
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Old 12-08-2018, 02:55 PM   #14
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Cool tip Julian! I didn't know that was in Reaper.
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