Scoring with Cubase and Finale

Hello all,

I am a composer studying at Dalhousie university in Nova Scotia, currently in my last year. I am writing a couple pieces this year for orchestra and I’ve been reading up and trying a few options recently for scoring with Cubase and external programs (in my case, finale). My workflow at the moment is to write everything in Cubase 8 Pro and then create a score and parts using finale 2012. I have tried both exporting MIDI and exporting musicXML. I have read in a few places that MusicXML is the way to go as it exports more detailed information in the score. Personally, however, I have found that MIDI exports are much cleaner when imported into Finale. MusicXML seems to not be encoding tempi, time signatures, clefs, and even instrument names! I can work with MIDI imports but there must be a more efficient way.

I guess my question is, has anyone found a consistent way of transporting scores between the two programs? Is there something I should do to my Cubase score before exporting musicXML?

Any help would be much appreciated!

Thanks! :slight_smile:

If you learn a bit about what MusicXML is, you’ll be able to figure this out. In brief, it only deals with the appearance of your score, no MIDI info is contained in MusicXML files.

MIDI does not contain much visual info, but it of course has all the MIDI data in your project, and with Finale’s playback prefs set properly, will sound the same as it did in Cubase.

I have low expectations when I export using MusicXML from Cubase. I have found that using by only using Note Layer text I can get predictable results. Note that the text in the musicxml file will be converted into Expressions in Finale, which is fairly useful.

Thanks for the reply!

I looked into the actual text file of the XML earlier and its basically just a bunch of directions telling the program where to put things right? This would be great if I was using the score editor in Cubase for articulations and dynamics (etc.) but the reason I want to transport the score to Finale is to add these details in a more reliable program that I trust for final output. Would you suggest just using MIDI files then? I’ve read a few complaints about Cubase’s handling of XML so I’m thinking that it might actually be more time friendly.

Yes, it defines each element and places it. Me personally, I’m sure every case is different, but for my uses MusicXML works mainly because there is no quantization needed, which there could be using midi.

I don’t think musc XML import is reliable enough in Cubase. Sometimes the score can get mangled. I contacted support about this when Cubase 7.0 was current, and sent some MusicXML files that were made in Finale 2013. They reproduced and acknowledged the problem, but it’s still there in 8.05.

This about outputting from Cubase to Finale though.

MusicXML is about transferring graphic information between score publishing programs. MIDI is about transferring the notes. For what you describe, it seems MIDI is appropriate.

As you already have an audio performance in Cubase, the work in Finale must be all about designing a score for study and performance by live musicians. Sometimes a direct transfer of note data is not as useful as you might imagine!

Thanks all!

You basically confirmed what I was already thinking ( I was just hoping I was wrong :p). MIDI import isn’t the end of the world but I was just wondering if there was a way to make MusicXML cleaner but it seems its more trouble then its worth! You’re right Laurence, I don’t need performance playback in finale as it is primarily for creating the conductors score and parts for performers.

I’m seriously optimistic at the moment for Steinberg’s project with the Sibelius team. If it can bounce projects back and forth between itself and Cubase with minimal loss I will be a very happy composer!

Only today I had a score mangled when exporting XML from Cubase to Finale. I don’t think the score editor is good enough for professional work.

True, the functionality is limited, what exactly didn’t work in your case?

I was having problems displaying triplets properly in bars beginning with a rest. The score displayed properly in Cubase, and the MIDI was quantized, so it wasn’t anything to do with display settings. Bars without rests worked ok.