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Re: No fiddling claim
Re: No fiddling claim
Sun, 27 Sep 2009 18:20:33 -0400
what do the experienced users think about what I've said here?
If there's anyone out there who has used other notational
software and thinks the "less fiddling" claim is true?
I used Finale from 1991-2003, eventually becoming *quite* proficient.
Then I switched to Lilypond (around v1.8), and now consider myself at
least as proficient [relatively speaking] as I was with Finale.
[I used Igor Engraver (v1.5) for a year or so in the interim, but
that product died, which is why I ended up looking elsewhere and
I definitely feel the "less fiddling" claim is true... for me, for
the type of music I engrave, and for the particular quality of output
That being said, if you don't particularly care about Finale's
*horrible* [default] note-spacing, lyric placement, etc., then there
would almost certainly be less fiddling time required with Finale — I
just find that with Lilypond, I do almost no note or lyric
adjustment, measure width/spacing adjustment, and so on, which are
the activities that took up the bulk of my "tweaking" time with
Finale. [Disclaimer, the last version I used was 2003, so things
might be much better now.]
Right now, I estimate the following for my engraving work using
1. Basic note entry (including *all* items, e.g., slurs,
articulations, fingering, etc.) requires 20%-50% as long as I used to
spend with Finale.
2. Spacing tweaks (notes, lyrics, vertical spacing, etc.) requires
less than 5% of the time I used to spend with Finale.
3. Specific tweaks (like the ones you mention) take 2-5 times [!!]
as long as I used to spend with Finale.
I roughly estimate that #1 represents 50% of my total engraving time,
#2 is about 40%, and #3 is the final 10%. So taking the *worst case*
scenario [for Lilypond], a hypothetical piece that would take 100 min
to engrave in Finale means:
(50 min @ 50% time) + (40 min @ 5% time) + (10 min at 500% time)
= 25 min + 2 min + 50 min = 77 min = 77% of the time I used to spend
doing the same work in Finale.
This is obviously non-scientific and anecdotal to the extreme... but
the final result (i.e., that I *never* spend more than about 3/4 of
the time I used to working in Finale) seems about right. I tend to
feel like I currently get things done in 1/2 the time, on average.
Of course, YMMV — in particular, if the spacing atrocities in Finale
aren't where you spend your time, you will not see nearly as much
benefit from using Lilypond, and in fact it may overall require more
Hope this helps!