Discuss Notion Music Composition Software here.
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I have been using Sonar (now Cakewalk By Bandlab) for years, and exporting to Notion to produce a score (yeah I know, it's the reverse of what most do. I'm left-handed). But I keep hearing music made in notation systems that sounds as good as what I can make in a DAW. I have Notion 5 and am upgrading to 6 soon. Will the sounds, and mixing, be better than in 5? Is it worth it to upgrade the sound sets (the extras)? Can I really make midi mockups that are as good as a DAW (while producing the score simultaneously?).

Michael Diemer
I-7, 16 GB RAM, WD Black HHD's, 1TB (2); Windows 7 Pro, UR-22 interface, Reaper, M-Audio BX5a monitor/Mackie sub, Sonar 8.5.3, GPO4, EWSO Gold, Vienna Sp. Ed. 1, Cinematic Strings
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by michaelmyers1 on Sat Feb 02, 2019 12:30 pm
Hey Michael,

If you do a search on this forum for "Nearly Naked Notion" you'll find examples of recordings made from Notion "out of the box" with the standard sound sets. These will give you a good feeling for the kind of quality that's possible using Notion as a standalone music production tool. In my (admittedly biased) view, Notion is hands down the best performing notation program out there.

Here's a recent scorecast video I put together to show off how effective Notion is as a standalone production station (everything in this video is native Notion (sounds, playback, score, recording) with the exception of the tenor voice.

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Here's a recording made from Notion directly, but using VST libraries (they're pretty easy to use to expand Notion's sound sets):

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Both of the above videos (there are lots of others out there too) will give you an idea of how powerful Notion is without ever touching a DAW.

If you want to get a feeling for what Notion is capable of when used in conjunction with Presonus Studio One check these out:

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As far as the expansion sound sets go, my experience is that the expansions are additional instruments if a particular score needs them (jazz brass, guitars, etc.) My experience is that the basic sound set is more than enough to get you started. One plus with Notion is that the expansion sound sets are pretty inexpensive compared to some of the high-end VST libraries out there, and you can buy them as you need them.

As far as improvements over Notion 5, there are lots of functional improvements in the program. The sound sets haven't changed, so you won't notice any difference there.

Hope this helps!

Michael

iMac (Retina 5K 27", 2019) 3.6 ghz I9 8-core 64 gb RAM Fusion Drive
macOS Mojave 10.14
2 - 500 gb + 1 tb external SSD for sample libraries
Focusrite Forte audio interface
Nektar Panorama P1 control surface
Nektar Impact 49-key MIDI keyboard
Focal CMS40 near-field monitors
JBL LSR310S subwoofer
Notion 6 + Studio One 4 Pro

http://www.tensivity.com
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by michaeldiemer1 on Sat Feb 02, 2019 3:01 pm
Thank you very much for your detailed response. That indeed gives me a good grasp of what is possible. I'm not sure I would want to get Studio 1, though, even with the close integration with Notion. I'm thinking more of composing in Notion, then working up the sound version in Cakewalk, since that is what I know best. Rather than what I do now, which is the reverse. The ability to use VSTi's is crucial. Could I use Cinematic Strings? I know I can use GPO, EWSO and possibly Vienna Sp. Ed. and what about FX plugins, like Spaces Reverb, and the other effects that come with Cakewalk?

Michael Diemer
I-7, 16 GB RAM, WD Black HHD's, 1TB (2); Windows 7 Pro, UR-22 interface, Reaper, M-Audio BX5a monitor/Mackie sub, Sonar 8.5.3, GPO4, EWSO Gold, Vienna Sp. Ed. 1, Cinematic Strings
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by JohnBW on Sat Feb 02, 2019 5:39 pm
michaeldiemer1 wroteThank you very much for your detailed response. That indeed gives me a good grasp of what is possible. I'm not sure I would want to get Studio 1, though, even with the close integration with Notion. I'm thinking more of composing in Notion, then working up the sound version in Cakewalk, since that is what I know best. Rather than what I do now, which is the reverse. The ability to use VSTi's is crucial. Could I use Cinematic Strings? I know I can use GPO, EWSO and possibly Vienna Sp. Ed. and what about FX plugins, like Spaces Reverb, and the other effects that come with Cakewalk?


I am a Notion beginner, and I have found that Notion supports VST and VSTi. I have tried with a few of mine. and I got them working, but you need to instantiate them manually.

But for anything not on the supported list, you will be lacking built-in Notion presets and XML rules, which means no articulations, dynamics, and expressions within Notion that will work with the 3rd party plugins.

https://answers.presonus.com/88/do-you- ... -with-vsts

I would probably just stick with the built-in Notion instrument library and setup a score template that matches your Cakewalk track template (and maybe get a few Notion instrument addons so that ease of use is maintained in Notion). Since you are not planning to "print" your final audio in Notion, you could use those "in-house" instruments to sketch out your composition. Then you could export your MIDI to Cakewalk and use the matching track template over there with your favorite plugins for your final audio master.

DAWs: Studio One Pro v4.1.3 and others ... Other: Notion 6; Overture 5; Band in a Box; Plugins: AIR Complete; Akai VIP; Biotek 2; Cakewalk; iZotope Iris 2; Miroslav Philharmonik 2 CE; SampleTank 3/4; SONiVOX; SynthMaster everything; Syntronik; u-he; Waves; many others OS: Win10 Pro x64 1803 System: Home-built custom PC; i3 3.4Ghz; 8GB DDR3; Intel HD Graphics; Dual Monitors; Samsung EVO 850 SSD, 250GB; WD 1.0TB 7200rpm; PCIe FireWire Audio: M-Audio FW-410 Controllers: A-300PRO; Alesis VX49; CME Xkey Hardware: Roland JV880; JV1080; XP-30; Alesis QS-6; Casio CZ-1000
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by michaeldiemer1 on Sat Feb 02, 2019 6:46 pm
Thank you John. I just thought of another question. If I were to buy an add-on inst, I'm assuming I could only use it in Notion, right? I mean, I couldn't use it in Cakewalk? I've wanted a decent soprano sax for a long time, also an alto trombone.

I currently use the default Notion inst's. they're not bad, and they set up so easy. I have been using Notion 5 for a few years now. The sounds for me are mainly helpful in "proofreading." The ear is infallible, the eye quite fallible. I have always been impressed with the scores I make in Notion. I'll be doing the upgrade regardless of anything else, just was curious about some things.

Michael Diemer
I-7, 16 GB RAM, WD Black HHD's, 1TB (2); Windows 7 Pro, UR-22 interface, Reaper, M-Audio BX5a monitor/Mackie sub, Sonar 8.5.3, GPO4, EWSO Gold, Vienna Sp. Ed. 1, Cinematic Strings
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by michaelmyers1 on Sat Feb 02, 2019 7:13 pm
michaeldiemer1 wroteCould I use Cinematic Strings?


Absolutely! There's a lot of activity around Cinematic Strings, Matthieu Dulong has made some really great rules presets and posted them here.

See this post:

https://forums.presonus.com/viewtopic.php?f=169&t=31356

iMac (Retina 5K 27", 2019) 3.6 ghz I9 8-core 64 gb RAM Fusion Drive
macOS Mojave 10.14
2 - 500 gb + 1 tb external SSD for sample libraries
Focusrite Forte audio interface
Nektar Panorama P1 control surface
Nektar Impact 49-key MIDI keyboard
Focal CMS40 near-field monitors
JBL LSR310S subwoofer
Notion 6 + Studio One 4 Pro

http://www.tensivity.com
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by JohnBW on Sat Feb 02, 2019 8:11 pm
michaeldiemer1 wroteIf I were to buy an add-on inst, I'm assuming I could only use it in Notion, right? I mean, I couldn't use it in Cakewalk? I've wanted a decent soprano sax for a long time, also an alto trombone.


This 11GTB expansion has everything for $299. But it does say the sounds are only compatible with Notion version 5 and later.

https://shop.presonus.com/Notion-Expans ... le-PackALL

Or just get the Soprano Sax for $14.99 https://shop.presonus.com/Soprano-Sax

Notion add-ons: https://shop.presonus.com/Notion-Add-Ons

DAWs: Studio One Pro v4.1.3 and others ... Other: Notion 6; Overture 5; Band in a Box; Plugins: AIR Complete; Akai VIP; Biotek 2; Cakewalk; iZotope Iris 2; Miroslav Philharmonik 2 CE; SampleTank 3/4; SONiVOX; SynthMaster everything; Syntronik; u-he; Waves; many others OS: Win10 Pro x64 1803 System: Home-built custom PC; i3 3.4Ghz; 8GB DDR3; Intel HD Graphics; Dual Monitors; Samsung EVO 850 SSD, 250GB; WD 1.0TB 7200rpm; PCIe FireWire Audio: M-Audio FW-410 Controllers: A-300PRO; Alesis VX49; CME Xkey Hardware: Roland JV880; JV1080; XP-30; Alesis QS-6; Casio CZ-1000
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by michaelmyers1 on Sun Feb 03, 2019 11:30 am
JohnBW wroteBut it does say the sounds are only compatible with Notion version 5 and later.

Notion's internal sounds can't be used directly in other DAWS. It's not an open library like that.

It is possible to use the sounds indirectly, though, with a Rewire link to any other DAW that enables a Rewire connection (not just Studio One). SurfWhammy has written a lot about this subject in other posts on this site.

iMac (Retina 5K 27", 2019) 3.6 ghz I9 8-core 64 gb RAM Fusion Drive
macOS Mojave 10.14
2 - 500 gb + 1 tb external SSD for sample libraries
Focusrite Forte audio interface
Nektar Panorama P1 control surface
Nektar Impact 49-key MIDI keyboard
Focal CMS40 near-field monitors
JBL LSR310S subwoofer
Notion 6 + Studio One 4 Pro

http://www.tensivity.com
User avatar
by michaeldiemer1 on Sun Feb 03, 2019 12:57 pm
michaelmyers1 wrote
michaeldiemer1 wroteCould I use Cinematic Strings?


Absolutely! There's a lot of activity around Cinematic Strings, Matthieu Dulong has made some really great rules presets and posted them here.

See this post:

https://forums.presonus.com/viewtopic.php?f=169&t=31356


Thanks, that's great news.

Michael Diemer
I-7, 16 GB RAM, WD Black HHD's, 1TB (2); Windows 7 Pro, UR-22 interface, Reaper, M-Audio BX5a monitor/Mackie sub, Sonar 8.5.3, GPO4, EWSO Gold, Vienna Sp. Ed. 1, Cinematic Strings
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by michaeldiemer1 on Sun Feb 03, 2019 12:58 pm
michaelmyers1 wrote
JohnBW wroteBut it does say the sounds are only compatible with Notion version 5 and later.

Notion's internal sounds can't be used directly in other DAWS. It's not an open library like that.

It is possible to use the sounds indirectly, though, with a Rewire link to any other DAW that enables a Rewire connection (not just Studio One). SurfWhammy has written a lot about this subject in other posts on this site.

Thanks, that's what I figured.

Michael Diemer
I-7, 16 GB RAM, WD Black HHD's, 1TB (2); Windows 7 Pro, UR-22 interface, Reaper, M-Audio BX5a monitor/Mackie sub, Sonar 8.5.3, GPO4, EWSO Gold, Vienna Sp. Ed. 1, Cinematic Strings
User avatar
by michaeldiemer1 on Sun Feb 03, 2019 1:02 pm
michaelmyers1 wrote
JohnBW wroteBut it does say the sounds are only compatible with Notion version 5 and later.

Notion's internal sounds can't be used directly in other DAWS. It's not an open library like that.

It is possible to use the sounds indirectly, though, with a Rewire link to any other DAW that enables a Rewire connection (not just Studio One). SurfWhammy has written a lot about this subject in other posts on this site.


Another way would be to export the part, say soprano sax, as an audio file, and then import that to Cakewalk. Very kludgey but effective.

I'll probably wait for Garritan to have a sale, and pick up their Concert And Marching Band library. Lots of saxes in that, and they should at least be decent.

Michael Diemer
I-7, 16 GB RAM, WD Black HHD's, 1TB (2); Windows 7 Pro, UR-22 interface, Reaper, M-Audio BX5a monitor/Mackie sub, Sonar 8.5.3, GPO4, EWSO Gold, Vienna Sp. Ed. 1, Cinematic Strings
User avatar
by JohnBW on Sun Feb 03, 2019 2:24 pm
michaeldiemer1 wrote
michaelmyers1 wrote
JohnBW wroteBut it does say the sounds are only compatible with Notion version 5 and later.

Notion's internal sounds can't be used directly in other DAWS. It's not an open library like that.

It is possible to use the sounds indirectly, though, with a Rewire link to any other DAW that enables a Rewire connection (not just Studio One). SurfWhammy has written a lot about this subject in other posts on this site.


Another way would be to export the part, say soprano sax, as an audio file, and then import that to Cakewalk. Very kludgey but effective.

I'll probably wait for Garritan to have a sale, and pick up their Concert And Marching Band library. Lots of saxes in that, and they should at least be decent.


I was going to pick up GPO 5 on the last sale, but got some feedback that only GPO 4 was fully supported in Notion. Something about the rules presets needed some work. I was looking for something that was 100% compatible out of the box.

DAWs: Studio One Pro v4.1.3 and others ... Other: Notion 6; Overture 5; Band in a Box; Plugins: AIR Complete; Akai VIP; Biotek 2; Cakewalk; iZotope Iris 2; Miroslav Philharmonik 2 CE; SampleTank 3/4; SONiVOX; SynthMaster everything; Syntronik; u-he; Waves; many others OS: Win10 Pro x64 1803 System: Home-built custom PC; i3 3.4Ghz; 8GB DDR3; Intel HD Graphics; Dual Monitors; Samsung EVO 850 SSD, 250GB; WD 1.0TB 7200rpm; PCIe FireWire Audio: M-Audio FW-410 Controllers: A-300PRO; Alesis VX49; CME Xkey Hardware: Roland JV880; JV1080; XP-30; Alesis QS-6; Casio CZ-1000

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