Ok, thanks, guys. So, from what I gather, Finale is to be used mostly just for the scores, but once the score is written, output to midi and input to Cubase (or Cakewalk? FruityLoops?) which can be used to mix and modify the music to be more realistic and can use GigaStudio to supply the realisic sounds. Is this correct? From its website, Cubase SX sounds like a great product. How does it compare to Cakewalk or FruityLoops or something else? Price is an issue, but I'm more interested in quality. Thanks so much for your help. David Cole www.davidcole.net email@example.com wrote in message news:<obw1b.240$Zr2.firstname.lastname@example.org>... > > Note that output from Finale will always be rigid and quantised - it's a > > scorewriter, not a performance synthesiser. Unless you're into lots of > > micro-editing, the way to get a realistic-sounding performance continues > > to be playing music in from a keyboard or other controller. Buying the > > best sample sets available won't change this. > > What I normally do (to get a better feel for the piece) is to notate it > in Finale, export it to MIDI, load it into Cubase and run it through the > Edirol HQ Orchestra VSTi. I have a lot of note articulations for this > express purpose (ie, program changes to spiccato strings or pizz). The > end result is an almost passable approximation of what I'm going to end > up with when it is performed for real.