Classic Mac OS Software (Discussions on Applications) > Music Notation/Score Editors

Opcode Overture

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another opcode app to discover + research

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Any successful music typesetting program is going to have to achieve two things: fast, intuitive note input and editing, and clean, professional printed output. Overture succeeds on both counts. I will qualify this slightly: the user interface is bound to take some people a little while to get used to, but Opcode have done their best to make this painless as possible with regard to keyboard shortcuts and screen layout.

On the topic of printed output, the results on the office laser printer were spectacular: very crisp and readable, even when condensed to quite a small size. The supplied font does produce a professional result. The actual task of printing is simple, and uses the usual Apple tools. Really large pages -- too large for your printer -- can also be handled quite easily by printing the result in 'tiled' sections.

I've heard Overture referred to as professional DTP for music, and I think I'd agree. Note entry and layout are handled impeccably. Although Opcode provide some sophisticated tools for the experienced music typesetter, the newcomer will find that most of the layout and printing functions are very accessible and operate virtually invisibly. Producing professional-looking results is more or less a matter of trusting your eyes.

There is hardly a notation situation that Overture won't be able to handle, and if you do find it lacking in the symbol department, you can actually import graphics to use as symbols in scores! Music software may never have an equivalent to the spell checker, but Opcode do have routines for checking 'incorrect rhythms' -- bars that don't contain enough or contain too many beats -- and for finding parts that go outside an instrument's specified range.

There are so many nice touches to Overture that this review could simply have been a list of features. I simply have not been able to mention all of them, but I think it would be fair to say that there isn't a necessary feature missing. The sophisticated touches are all good, although some way of translating articulation and other markings over MIDI would be a nice addition to the dynamics response. Other niggles are small: for example, slurs don't re-orient themselves when a group of notes is transposed, even though note stems do change, and loading a file always defaults to one page to view, whereas I prefer to work with more than one page.

On the question of crashes, I had a couple of small ones, but they have been reported to Opcode, who are paying particular attention to rapid bug-fixing, and they should be a thing of the past by the time this article hits the streets. It's early days, and Opcode are keen to make sure that their software helps their customers lead a happy and productive life. My only other problems arose when accidentally installing MIDI Manager onto my computer. It didn't affect the software, but the SOS editorial printer did crash regularly. Install a minimal OMS setup -- without MIDI Manager -- and life really is problem free on the MIDI side.

The bottom line is that Opcode's time and effort are paying off. Overture delivers much of what it promises, and I really wish I'd been able to spend more time exploring it before completing the review -- but deadlines don't wait. It's hard to assess the size of the market for a dedicated notation program -- it's never going to be as large as, say, DTP or dedicated sequencing software -- but perhaps Overture's elegant user interface, allied to a truly professional output, will turn more people onto the possibilities. The software is ideal for day-to-day copies, and perhaps an upsurge of people setting up in business as music publishers is on the cards. And why not? Software such as this makes preparing music for publication almost as simple and as economical as preparing a magazine with DTP. On the value for money front, Overture's price of 449 is very good, compared to the general cost of professional Mac software (leading DTP program Quark Xpress weighs in at not much less than 1000, for example). However, keep in mind that you'll want a fast Mac and more RAM -- and a large screen should be high on every desktop typesetter's wish list.

I can sum up Overture's chances very simply: if you've been searching for the ideal notation software, this could well be it.
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maybe this should be moved to notation subforum


--- Quote from: chrisNova777 on December 09, 2014, 01:33:46 PM ---maybe this should be moved to notation subforum

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Those sections are for downloads only.

Maybe this is the same as:

I have a Mac Os 9 version.  :)

look again,
those arent download sections those are discussion zones/help zones


--- Quote from: chrisNova777 on December 09, 2014, 02:53:49 PM ---look again,
those arent download sections those are discussion zones/help zones

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OK, sorry. :-[



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