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Score Editor - Syncopation yes, but not over bar middle


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Hello LPH,


In the Score Editor, I wonder why Logic does not have a default setting for writing syncopation excepts over bar middle (in 4/4). That means if there are notes that start in the first half bar but ring into the second half bar they should be tight other than that shall be written syncopated. This is a standard notation rule and used by most publishing houses (inclusive the one I am working for). See posted an example.


Does anyone have an elegant method to set this up my default?

An interface for a plugin menu to customizing work flow like Sibelius has it would be awesome.


Many things in Logic's Score Editor are just too amateurish. Pro Tools has now a Sibelius note editor included. Please Apple wake up and put some focus on pimping the Score Editor.





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And you can override the default behavior...


In the score editor, double-click on the background until you see "Default" appear in the Inspector. Enable Syncopation. From that point on, all new regions will have Syncopation enabled (by default 8) ).


I'm not sure if a change of default will "stick" when you re-open the project at another time, but it's easy enough to get it back to what you want.


BTW, you can change any of the defaults for the Score Region Parameters (as they're officially known) with this method.


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Many things in Logic's Score Editor are just too amateurish. Pro Tools has now a Sibelius note editor included...

Logic's approach to notation is different.

Instead of producing music from entered notation symbols, it produces the notation from the actually played music.

Logic circumvent the inherent discrepancy between the performed interpretation and its automatically produced notation by providing a "plethora" of parameters to satisfy most of the scoring (ever evolving!) peculiarities.

The other notation softwares offer in some aspects more scoring flexibility but at the expense of the actual music rendition.

Sibelius's user would have to deploy a tremendous amount of work to only near some of Logic playback finesse.


In short, this is a "quadrature of a circle" situation. While notation is desperately trying to faithfully render symbolically a musical performance on "paper", Logic is doing the other way around.

The idea, I guess, is to meet somewhere in the middle... But where is the acceptable middle spot, differs from one to another.

Perhaps, some tools are better suited for specific needs than others.

I remain however convinced that Logic's approach is the most promising one, as it starts from the real source, and gradually improve over time...

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Many things in Logic's Score Editor are just too amateurish. Pro Tools has now a Sibelius note editor included...


I remain however convinced that Logic's approach is the most promising one, as it starts from the real source, and gradually improve over time...


The real 'source' is the original musical idea. And not only that: how the original musical idea is expressed and ends up in Logic or Sibelius is highly dependent on which way you compose (and in Logic: it's dependent on your playing habits and skills rather than your ability to come up with a good musical idea.).


It's great that Logic does it's best to interpret what you play in order to display it correctly. It's just that eg Motu's QuickScribe and the now (AFAIK) defunkt "Musicator" did some of these things better 15 years ago than Logic does today. Logic's default, for instance, when it comes to transcribing played music which contains several polyphonic voices is to almost always display it incorrectly. The other two programs I mentioned tries/tried and sometimes succeeded in displaying polyphonic material correctly - without any manual editing needed. I suspect that Sibelius and Final also does this better than Logic, which requires a lot of manual editing to get things right.


Back to the musical ideas: Logic is good if one records simple rock chords, especially if the chords aren't complex or contain too many black keys (!!!). If you are a little experimental and play an E major chord approaching your A minor chord, Logic will transcribe it wrongly. It will also often transcribe two notes on top of each other (for instance: a B and a B flat will be shown as one note with both a flat and a whatever the symbols which dissolves that flat is called in English :-) .


And - when it comes to editing chords in a musical way, Logic's limitations suggest that it's easier to do the editing in your head or on the piano, and enter them afterwards. Some examples: if you record a chord and use your mouse to edit one of the notes, you won't hear all the chord notes while doing so. You'll only hear those which are on the same clef (bas or treble). In Sibelius, you can also use a key command to transpose one of the chord notes up and down, and when you do that in a way which lets you hear how the chord sounds with the changed note. Not so with Logic.


Likewise – if you want to check out (and edit) how a chord progression (entered, or played) sounds in Logic, you can't use the left/right keys or similar to move from chord to chord and HEAR how they sound in context with the previous/next chord. You need to play and stop/rewind, play again etc, repeatedly, because Logic can only go to the next/previous *single* note with its key commands.


I could go on about this, but unfortunately, Logic's score development (in terms of adding major and minor features) appears as almost dead to me. I know Logic pretty well and new Notator well (I have even written a small manual for it at some point), and I can assure you that there are loads of minor improvements which could have been implemented in Logic X, Logic 9 etc which simply aren't in there (yet). I don't know if they are working on something big for the score editor, but I do know that both Steinberg and Avid (which makes Siblius) are. Steinberg have 11 people (mainly the people from the Sibelius team) working on a new score app built from the ground up, which I'm sure they'll integrate fully in Pro Tools (a la Notator and Logic). I also just read on the Sibelius blog that in spite of Avid's organisational and financial issues for years now, they are "investing heavily in new technologies and expanding our development teams" (AND communicating about it):



Today, Sibelius senior product manager Sam Butler said:


Although I can’t comment about specifics, I’d like to reassure you that behind the scenes, we’re carrying on as usual developing Sibelius, Pro Tools, Media Composer and our other software and hardware solutions. We’re investing heavily in new technologies and expanding our development teams to transform our solutions.


Apple is loaded with money, but haven't showed anything substantial for many years which suggests that they want to improve Logic's score editor with major features or the kind of minor but extremely useful composing features I mentioned above. I don't know the head of Apple's music software (Xander Soren?) is, but it seems quite clear that Apple is a lot better when it comes to cash (and cosmetics) than it is at developing a good professional composing tool.


The mantra seems to be Market and not Music. The end result isn't hard to predict: if Logic doesn't beef AND simplify it's score editor, it will never become popular in the education market. And in a way, that's the most important of all markets, because it had great influence on what music students and musicians will use in the future.


ETA: I was wrong about Musicator. It seems that the program now is called mCat: http://www.musicator.net/index2.html

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Everyone is entitled to their opinion, no matter how wrong they are…:) As a composer of many kinds of music (I'm not above "simple rock chords") I've found Logic's scoring has served me well despite its foibles. I've sat with others as they've used various programs such as Sib/Finale/DP and seen both their advantages and disadvantages over Logic. I do think it's silly to write off any program, as in the hands of talent, whether it's a pencil and a piano or the latest computer with all the bells and whistles, the listener will be the ultimate judge.


At the risk of tooting my own horn sample, here is a link to music, all recorded with real instruments in Logic and for the most part, scored, copied and printed including complete conductor's scores (available on request). To the naked ear, you can't tell whether the music was notated by Finale or Logic! And I even used some "black keys."



My 2.5 cents adjusted for inflation.



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I do think it's silly to write off any program


I agree, and I, for one, haven't written off Logic. But I'm surprised to see how little focus score development has gotten compared with how other areas in Logic have improved over the last versions.


in the hands of talent, whether it's a pencil and a piano or the latest computer with all the bells and whistles......

Sure, one can write music with pencil and paper or with other programs. But I don't think it's a good idea to use that as a way to defend the fact that other score oriented programs seem to get more love from their developers that Logic has gotten from Apple (and I'm not saying that you are using the existence of pencil and paper as a way to defend anything!).


I've seen quite a few 'arguments' pro not improving Logic's score editor over the years(!). "If you're not happy, just use another program instead". "You can do everything you want with pencil and paper". "Nobody is forcing you to use Logic". "Why are you guys complaining, I made this great piece in Logic". "Pro users use Sibelius anyway, so Logic doesn't need this or that feature." "Logic is for the masses, not for a small secret club of advanced composers" – and so on. But whatever people say, I think the best solution for Apple is to speed up the Score development in Logic.


Have you seen this thread? viewtopic.php?t=33384&start=80


The link above is partially about a survey we had on this forum some years ago, and as the only person so far who has seen the final outcome (so far) of the survey, I suspect that many of you will be surprised about some of the suggestions that got the most votes, because.... these wishes aren't about adding very advanced features into Logic, or adding features that only a few or 'very professional' people will use. Among the suggestions that got the most votes are eg. smart slurs, a way to click on a rest (w/modifier) to make it invisible, correct display of accidentals – and simpler ways to perform edits that currently require use of polyphonic mode. Many of the things I'd like to see in Logic's score editor should actually be particularly interesting for those who don't have lot of experience with notation.


I wish I had spent more time with Sibelius before I created that survey, because Sibelius (in spite of being very cumbersome in some areas) have some really great and simple functions which IMO increases the chances that it's users will end up with a good composition.



To the naked ear, you can't tell whether the music was notated by Finale or Logic!

I'll have a listen afterwards, and/but already know that you are right. :-) We may however disagree about whether it's relevant if they can tell what program you used. ;-)


the listener will be the ultimate judge
True, but only in terms of the end result - not in terms of how we got there. I don't mind working hard in order to get good results, I just want to spend the time I have available on finding good musical solutions, not on finding workarounds for things that are buggy, cumbersome or plain wrong. Some people say that the best new feature in Logic X is Music XML Export, but I think we all would be better off if we wouldn't have to start in one program and continue in another to get access to the most 'music friendly' features - or to get things look right without spending too much unnecessary time.
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