As competition hots up in the world of notation software, does the latest version of MakeMusic’s long-established Finale have what it takes to stay in the race?
Creating printed scores and composing in musical notation are perhaps niche activities amongst the general music technology population, but to those who follow this path, notation software forms a central part of any computer setup. While there are numerous software products that might appeal to the interested amateur (including some creditable iOS apps), two giants have, until recently, dominated the professional field: MakeMusic’s Finale and Avid’s Sibelius.
These two products were last reviewed in SOS in the July 2014 and December 2014 issues respectively, since when Steinberg have also released the hotly anticipated Dorico. Previewed in depth by Mark Wherry in SOS February 2017, this has been in development for a number of years and the team involved includes many of the original Sibelius developers. Steinberg have obviously made a considerable investment in Dorico, so the professional notation software market would seem to have just got a whole lot more competitive.
At the same time, though, Steinberg’s more established rivals are not standing still. Sibelius itself has reached v8.5, PreSonus’s Notion is becoming an ever more attractive option at the mid-priced level, and Finale too continues to evolve. So, what does the latest version of Finale have to offer to existing and new users? Are there enough new features and...
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