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Part 1: Changing to No Human Playback Style 
Part 2: A VDL Lite Template that Anyone (with Finale 26 or Higher) Can Use

Using the techniques discussed in the above, I created a VDL Lite template that anyone can download and write with.

Instructions for Use:
  • There is nothing special that has to be done in this template to make flams play back. Everything is already configured for you.

  • To make diddles play back, select TG Tools -> Smart Playback -> Un-check "Make Hairpins Playback" -> Go

  • To make hairpins (cresc. / decresc.) play back, add hidden dynamics (in the expressions tool) underneath the notes you wish to get louder or softer.

    • The hidden dynamics do not appear on printed music or your pdf files.​

    • When using hidden dynamics, I have found that going one dynamic past where you want to end up on the last note of the hair pin brings really good results.

  • You will need to redo the step with TG Tools every time you add in more diddles. Please note that if you close the TG Tools box, you will need to uncheck the "Make Hairpins Playback" button.

Hot Key Assignments:

Notable Articulation Hot Keys:

  • Accent: A

  • Diddle: D

  • Buzz: Z

Notable Expression Hot Keys: (the sound gets louder as the number gets bigger)

  • Pianissimo: 1

  • Piano: 2

  • Mezzo Piano: 3

  • Mezzo Forte: 4

  • Forte: 5

  • Fortissimo: 6

Limitations and Bugs:

Unfortunately, this template is not perfect, and there are several things that I could not work around without making my particular version of Finale crash. Your results may vary, but here is a list of things that this template is lacking:

  • This template will require a learning curve for anyone who hasn't had to use hidden dynamics before. I know that for me they are particularly annoying when having to do a large dynamic change in a short amount of time.

  • There is no way that I know of in this template to do split cymbal parts on different lines of the staff. Everything has to be written on the middle line.

  • You cannot make the hidden dynamics any smaller, or it will cause the snare drum voice to be consistently softer than the rest of the instruments, no matter how you set the base key velocity. 

  • There is no "unison bass drum rim" sound. I did but a rim symbol in its place, but the sound you will hear is just another unison bass drum hit. I have not found this to be too problematic because unison rim notes are usually reinforcing rimshots in the snare or tenor voices, which VDL lite does provide.

  • The note shape tool does not seem to work in this template. This is problematic because that is usually how people notate crossovers in their tenor parts. I have gotten around this by editing half of the notes in the percussion map to be open note heads. (See below for example)


  • If you close the TG Tools menu, you will need to uncheck the "Make Hairpins Playback" option each time you re-open it. Not doing so will have negative effects on playback.

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Part 3: A Better (More Labor Intensive) Solution that Doesn't Require Changing Playback Styles 

This video discusses another way of getting more realistic playback out of finale that doesn't involve changing playback styles. This method is more labor intesive, but also does the job and fixes the bugs that plagued the previous video.

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