Logic Pro 9 Tired notation editor!

I have been a firm fan of Logic ever since it was Notator Creator. Is it just me or has scoring really been conceded to the likes of Sibelius. It's probably me but there are score areas such as lyric insertion, ornaments (particularly trill display!) and quintuplets (try and get Logic to quantize 1/5 notes!!) which are feeling rather clunky. Or am I simply showing my incompetence?
As the author of "Scoring With Logic Pro" I will say that sure, it is not equal overall to Sibleius or Finale. But is it quite a capable score program when you know it well? You betcha.

And Sibleius and Finale as sequencers are a joke.
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I hate the score editor in logic

I hate the score editor in logic. It is very tedious. It works okay if you just need to change one or two notes at a time. I could not imagine actually trying to compose with it. If you think in musical notation, Sibelius is profoundly better. I haven't used Finale for many years so, I expect it is vastly better than score editor as well. I have written musical outlines in Sibelius, transfer them, through midi, to logic and then added other parts. This seems to work pretty well.
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I've just looked at the price of Sibelius. It would need to be three times as good as Logic in notation terms to justify the cost. It isn't. I have always said with Logic that if you know how to manipulate the arrange window/score window interface it is mind blowingly good. I just wish that the geniuses working for Apple could make scoring a little bit easier. There are still things, simple things, for which it's easier to sit down with manuscript paper and a pencil. This should not be- given the quality of the core software!!!
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As a user of both, I would say that Sibelius is radically more functional than note editor in Logic. I can be more than 3 times as productive with Sib. than with note editor. So, there you go. I have tried 4 different notation tools and Sibelius is the best. It is like having a pencil and manuscript paper, only better. While I really like most of what Logic does, notation is a weak point. Notation tools are only good if you can easily transfer you thoughts to them. For those that can, and want to work that way, a dedicated notation program is a must.
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Sibelius is a great program but to characterize the Logic Score Editor (and that is its name, LMPaule) as "weak" is IMHO hyperbole. I have done literally thousands of cues for films, TV scores, and recording sessions with it.

I would not want to do an avant garde concert hall piece with it but for most tasks, it is quite competent if you know it well.
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Sibelius has a reasonably priced cross-grade from Finale. And Finale had a cross-grade from Rhapsody back in 2007 that made its entry point very affordable.

I picked Logic over ProTools (before PT had a score editor) because of its score editor. But after learning it, realized Logic's score editor's limitations. Logic, at this point, and for less than $200, is pretty hard to beat as a bundle of Audio, MIDI sequencer, plug-ins, software instruments AND a score editor. I paid over $300 for the Windows version of 5.51 (before all the samples, loops and software instruments were bundled, before Waveburner) and then upgraded twice, first to Logic 8 and then to 9.

When Protools added a score editor in PT8, I bought in. Its score editor is a severely crippled Sibelius, but it is possible to link (rewire) PT and Sibelius.

I jumped into Sibelius at version 7. Some oldtimer Sibelius users complain about the innovative GUI for S7, but after using it, it makes a lot of sense. And, you can hide it if you do not need it. Sibelius comes with about 40GB of nice sounding samples, plus there are INI files available so many major sample libraries can be integrated for playback.

I also bought Structure, a sampler for Protools that included a subset of the East-West sample library. Its limitation is its RTAS scenario. I was trying to replace Gigastudio, but have found Kontakt more capable. K5 also comes with a sample library.

The score editor in Logic is nice when recording MIDI, but I end up doing most editing in the piano roll/matrix editor and the MIDI event list. The score editor makes some assumptions (quantized input, etc) about what you were trying to record that are very obvious in the matrix editor. With a few tweaks, Logic makes it easy to get a very tight MIDI recording.

For publishing, either Finale or Sibelius trump Logic. Some music publishers will even ask for the music file in those file formats so their own engravers can polish it. But for recording MIDI, Logic is the clear winner.

Both Finale and Sibelius can exchange files in MusicXML file format. Sibelius does a pretty good job reading in MIDI files. Sibelius has alternate note entry methods, one is very similar to Finale's.

I think the Finale interface is very old-fashioned compared to Sibelius, but it produces nice looking manuscripts. You can download a 30 day free trial of Sibelius. If you think it is too expensive, you probably do not need it.
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I've been struggling with the Logic vs Finale vs Sibelius for notation thing for decades now, since starting my computer music journey with Notator back in the day.
I own the current version of Finale and have tinkered with cracked versions of Sib 5 and 6 in the past.
And I always come back to Logic for my writing projects because it's just easier to try out new things in Logic while I'm writing compared to a dedicated notation program.

E.g. If I want to try a different rhythm for a series of MIDI notes, in Logic I can just move the notes around within the measure and Logic will re-write the notation for me which I can polish later if the specifics of the notation are not correct.
With both Finale and Sibelius, if I want to do something like that I usually need to re-write the entire measure from scratch which is time consuming and if I don't like the results I need to re-write the measure again.
BTW I do most of my writing, which is usually for a small jazz ensemble with the intent that humans will play the parts, on the staff with the mouse.
When it comes time to print out parts for players, most of the time Logic, except for a few really stupid ways the Logic insists on representing certain syncopated rhythms, is well up to the task.
But sometimes it isn't and I'll have to *resort* to using Finale just to get decent looking readable printed output, which is a drag because I still hate working in Finale.

Back in the day there were a small handful of us reading musicians on the LUG (back when Emagic used to actually read the forum) who were regularly making suggestions for improvements to the Score Editor.
But since Notator/Logic went from being primarily a MIDI sequencer to being a DAW the developers more or less completely dropped development of the Score Editor.
There have been no *significant* improvements to the Score Editor since about 1990 in my estimation.
And most of its most annoying issues have never been addressed.
Still, I keep hoping because it still has so much potential.

IMO Logic's paradigm for note entry has the capability of surpassing these dedicated notation programs, but Logic's developers have to start developing it again.
At the very least, they could include something like Music XML output of a score so that we could seamlessly port our work out to Finale and/or Sibelius as needed.
I know that a Logic project file's notation content has a much different data structure from a Finale file or a Sibelius file, but still Music XML output from Logic seems doable to me.
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But isn't the future of Sibelius up in the air?

Avid closed down the development office in London in August 2012.
Steinberg employed the entire London development team on 11/09/12.

"Norman Lebrecht says:
November 9, 2012 at 12:41 pm
They bought the team and the know-how, not the brand. They will develop not-Sibelius products."


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Just got back from NAMM and the AVID guy demoing Sibelius claims it to be in good hands. Time will tell, of course

I've used Logic since Notator 2.0 and I've done film cues (not quite as many as Jay ; ), horn band arrangements, lead sheets, educational material, drum books, etc. It has worked well. I will not claim it to be as robust as Finale or Sibelius, but it can do many a job very well.

I've gone through the score editor and its features quite extensively. Once you get to know it, it's quite a good tool. Jay's book is out there, I've done a video series on it and there are numerous free posts and videos also available.

For those interested, here's a link to a blog post that gets you out of Logic's Score Editor and into Finale or Sibelius with the best results (and with any luck Logic 10 will support Music XML and make the blog post obsolete...)
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Doug, you missed a self-promotion opportunity!

Your Score editor tutorials at Groove3, helped me to understand the quirks of Logic's score editor.
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Thanks for the plug!

I tried to subtly state I had product out in the 3rd paragraph. I'm glad you got and it helped. User comment are always best (well, the good comments anyway).
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Just to concur with Doug - I had a chance to speak with James Ivy over dinner at NAMM. He is one of the lead Sibelius trainers at Avid. Not only was he completely confident and optimistic about the future of Sibelius development at Avid (he was very excited about the new lead developer that has taken it over), but they are also in the process of setting up a training/certification program for Sibelius.
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Doug, you missed a self-promotion opportunity!

Your Score editor tutorials at Groove3, helped me to understand the quirks of Logic's score editor.


Doug's G3 tutorial is essential viewing for anyone who wants to know how to use the Score Editor.

From a learning perspective it makes sense to first start off with Doug's tutorial (because it provides a firm foundation in the basics before boring deep down into details of advanced use), then read Asher's book for a series of practical applications.
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