I have tried out Finale’s part-making capabilities in version 25, and used linked parts for the first time. Here are my notes:
- I still had to extract any parts that have multiple parts per staff (Horns 1, 2 and Horns 3, 4). This was really annoying, as I would like to have linked parts for all instruments, and this really should be standard functionality in this day and age. Extracting the horn parts, separating out the voices manually, re-engraving some parts, and exporting them separately creates double the work for 4 instruments out of 24.
- I still ran into problems with tremolos; I had to re-enter some of them in the score for them to appear in the parts.
- Even though I clearly made multimeasure rests display measure number ranges, the parts did not display them. Luckily this was not imperative to this piece, as all of the multimeasure rests were in parts who had silence from a certain point until the end of the work. But, I would hate to have to manually change that setting in each part, as I edit it. (I fear, though, that that is the reality of that setting.)
- Cues are another aspect that really need to be standard functionality. One should be able to create cues in linked parts, but the plugin is grayed out when I go to use it. In other words, making cues is a big workaround for something that should be simple.
- I do like that updating items in the score pushes them to linked parts. However, some items are tricky to only show in the parts or certain areas of the score, such as the percussion key.
- I have never had to manually align so many darn trills, slurs, dynamics, and hairpins. There really have to be better default settings that don’t require so much nitpicking.
Thankfully, Finale is incredibly easy to use and fast, but the amount of manual labor where there does not to be is a bit uninspiring. I am a perfectionist and have intense attention to detail, so I enjoy nitpicking every part of my score. But I think my workflow could be improved, and much time could be saved, with a few improvements. Right now my part-making “wish list” items are 1.) split staves into separate parts, and 2.) linked cues.
Anyways, this project is finished. I have gone over the score and parts innumerable times, fixing everything from dynamic alignments to incorrect courtesy accidentals. This project is ready to go. Please let me know if you want to have a look at all 24 parts and the updated score.