Branded as a "powerful yet affordable music composition software program," Quickscore Elite is up against some heavy hitters in the world of music notation products.  Does it pack enough features and versatility to be a worthy competitor in this very niche area of music technology?

Quickscore Elite Level II is a music notation software program that allows a user to create printed sheet music on their computer. 

Features:

  • Up to 96 staves of music
  • Multiple views and editor windows to fine tune every aspect of a score
  • MIDI and VSTi support
  • Import/Export Music XML
  • Exports to MP3 or WAV
  • Movie syncronization feature
  • many more
  • Guest - Chad Criswell

    Quickscore Elite Level II does the job it sets out to do, but not always in the most intuitive manner. In completing this review I did my best to approach the software from a perspective of a musician who had never used any other music notation software package before. Right off of the bat I found myself wishing that some form of video or step by step usage tutorial had been provided to guide me through the interface. Although I quickly got the hang of things it took me a few minutes to learn how to navigate through the program and accomplish what I wanted to do. Once I had my sea legs I quickly put together a three instrument trio of a simple tune to see how easy it was to actually create and print music with the software.<br /> Creating a new musical score is very easy and done through a wizard that allows the user to select instruments, key signature, and time signature. Notes are entered into the score via a palette in the top menu bar, and I must say that creating triplets using Quickscore is easier than in any other program I have used to this point. On the flip side of that coin however, adding gradual accelerandos or ritardandos is almost painful. Rather than clicking in the score a user must go to a different view and enter the tempo changes graphically. Although this allows for incredible amounts of control over the tempo it is also rather annoying for someone new to the program.<br /> Note entry is fairly easy, although moving notes up and down that are accidentally misplaced requires an additional click that should probably be hotkeyed to the up and down arrow keys. There is also no single click button for adding a dot to a note. Dotted rhythms require using a special button that also allows the user to enter triplets but instead of speeding up the note entry it seems to slow things down instead. These small caveats aside adjusting notes on the page is actually easier in the long run than in other programs. Moving notes around is a simple button click rather than having to dig through menus and other options.<br /> Another very positive point regarding the software is the inclusion of a very intuitive percussion editor found in the Piano Roll view. One of my pet peeves with Finale and Sibelius is that even though they try hard to make entering percussion parts easy, it is still an exercise in frustration for me. With Quickscore there is a graphical keyboard that lists every percussion sound available through the general MIDI interface. Selecting the sound you want is as simple as looking at the chart and then hitting that button on your MIDI keyboard or clicking it using the on screen interface.<br /> The Pros:<br /><br />Provides features and flexibility found only in high end notation products like Finale and Sibelius but for a fraction of the price<br />More responsive and faster on older computers than Finale or Sibelius<br />Much less expensive than Finale or Sibelius while still providing the same power and versatility<br />Vast amounts of options and features to allow the music to be formatted in almost any form desired<br />Competitive upgrade pricing brings cost of ownership down to $100. <br /><br /> The Cons: <br /><br />Help files are rather limited. Needs a graphical or text based tutorial system for beginners to use. <br />Hotkeys and keyboard shortcuts are not standardized with other notation programs. <br />Instrument range checking (while it does work) is rather archaic in the way it is displayed. Alto Sax is also missing from the list of instruments.<br />Could not figure out how to switch the score from transposed pitch to concert pitch.<br /><br /> <br />The Bottom Line:<br />For the price, you cannot find a more robust music notation program however, expect a steep learning curve if you are already familiar and used to using other products.

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