Finale 2006 Sound Comparisons

By Jari Williamsson, July 25, 2005

Here's a "technology showcase" of some of the different sound techniques that can be used in Finale 2006. This test demonstrates 2 things in particular:

  • SoftSynth playback compared to the Finale 2006 GPO (the special version of GPO that's bundled with Finale 2006) playback, and as an extra reference also the playback of the full version of GPO
  • The use of Human Playback compared to not using it

The piece used for testing is "Morgenstemning" ("Morning Mood") from Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, by Edvard Grieg, as it's notated in the Dover reprint edition. No extra instructions or playback commands have been added to the document. When Human Playback was used, the Standard Human Playback Style was used.

The settings in the document that differ from Finale 2006's defaults are:

  • The volume in the Instrument List for the staves are set as follows: Flute 1, Oboe, Violin 1 is set to 100 - all other staves to 90.
  • In the Human Playback Preferences dialog box, the Hairpin Pair Emphasis is set to 60 (instead of 50)

Finale GPO playback, No Human Playback 2006-GPO-noHP.mp3
SoftSynt playback, Human Playback 2006-SoftSynth-HP.mp3
Finale GPO playback, Human Playback 2006-GPO-HP.mp3

Please note: Since the examples above are heavily compressed mp3 files, the sound gets a bit more "dull" than it really is. Here's a more "realistic" version in 320 kBits (=bigger download) of the last example that hopefully gives you a better idea:

And here is a playback sample (also in 320 kBits) when using the FULL version of GPO (separate product, not included in Finale 2006). Please note that when using the full version of GPO, there are so many different versions of each instrument to choose from, so the end result is very much a result of individual personal taste. The instruments in the June 16, 2005 update of GPO was used for for this example. In the table below, you'll notice that I've also sometimes used instrument samples that are identical to the Finale GPO version.
2006-fullGPO-HP- 320kBits.mp3

Here are the instrument setups for the different sound configurations:
Instrument/Staff in Score SoftSynth GM patch Finale GPO instrument sample Full GPO instrument sample
Flute 1 74 (Flute) Flute Plr1 Flute Solo KS
Flute 2 74 (Flute) Flute Plr2 Flute Plr2
Oboe 69 (Oboe) Oboe Plr1 Oboe 1 Modern Solo
Clarinets in A 72 (Clarinet) Bb Clarinet Plr1 Bb Clarinet Plr1
Bassoon 1 71 (Bassoon) Bassoon Plr1 Bassoon 1 Plr1
Bassoon 2 71 (Bassoon) Bassoon Plr2 Bassoon 1 Plr 2
Horn in E 1 61 (French Horn) French Horn Plr1 French Horn 1 Plr1
Horn in E 2 61 (French Horn) French Horn Plr2 French Horn 1 Plr2
Trumpet in E 47 (Trumpet) Trumpet Plr1 Tpt 1 Plr1
Timpani 48 (Timpani) Timpani KS Timpani KS
Violin 1 49 (String Ensemble 1) Violins Arco Vlns 1 Lush
Violin 2 49 (String Ensemble 1) Violins Arco Vlns 2 Lush
Viola 49 (String Ensemble 1) Violas Arco Violas Lush
Cello 49 (String Ensemble 1) Cellos Arco Cellos Lush
Contrabass 49 (String Ensemble 1) Basses KS Basses KS

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