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The idea of the mirror tool was a great one. The feature had quite a bit of depth but its implementation was not very user friendly. Over the years it has not been updated (to work nicely with partial measure selections, for example) and the "mirror" is easily broken making it more trouble than it's currently worth. It's now an unusable, broken relic.  This, I believe, explains why people don't use it more. If it were user friendly and not as fragile it would be applicable to a multitude of engraving situations.

 
The theory is thus:
Most ensemble music over the last 1000 years contains a lot of doubling and/or parallel motion. If a user could program in that doubling with enough flexibility (octave/out-of-range changes, movement in 3rds or 6ths, etc.) then any correction made to one part will automatically be reflected in the other. E.g., Change the shape of a run of 16ths in the violins and it automatically gets updated in the flutes, clarinets, oboes, tuba, xylophone and whoever else is doubling that line - even if it's not at the octave.
 
Take, for example, your cookie-cutter band arrangement (Yes, I hate those to but their practicality to band directors and inexpensive production makes them popular.) Generally speaking, the bass clarinet, bassoon, bari sax, tubas will play the same thing; the alto clarinet, tenor sax, 4th horn, euphonium will play the same thing; the oboe and flute will play the same thing for much of the piece, etc., etc., etc. Change a melody or a bass line in one part and everyone else falls into place. Even the great 19th century orchestrators with the densest music used doubling (celli/basses or celli/violins, for example). The mirror tool allow you to set up mirrors to begin and end any where you wanted with whatever staves you wanted and at any interval.
 
Again, if MM's data shows that people aren't using the Mirror Tool it's not because they wouldn't find the feature useful - it's because the tool itself is unwieldy and unreliable.

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Hi All:

Great suggestion. Yes, the Mirror tool is an interesting idea, but poorly implemented. I like your ideas and have had similar discussion in the office. Documented as FIN-3939. Thank you for your suggestion.

Cheers,

Michael Johnson

VP, Professional Notation

MakeMusic

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Good suggestion.

Following the tendency to make less but more powerful tools within the main tool palette, I suggest to move the mirror tool functions into the staff styles. Ideally, you then would select the (partial) measures and assign an appropriate staff style, which displays the music from any given source measure. Combined with user-defined score-only abbreviations - which might hide the music - like e.g. "col Vcl 8va" and a smart shape wavy line, Finale would have a powerful mirror function which would help every conductor to know instantly what's going on.

 

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That's an interesting approach Harald.

If that were to be used then the one and two-bar repeat staff styles should also function like mirrors (horizontally to the source measure). This way any changes made to the initial measure would automatically update the notes underlying the repeat symbols.

Also, for "normal" mirrors, a staff style name, like "octave higher", appearing over the staff would be helpful analytically and pedagogically. Such a staff style name would benefit from having the source staff dynamically included in the name. E.g., The staff style name above a flute staff that uses s a staff style to mirror an oboe staff in 3rds could read "diatonic 3rd higher: Oboe".

For repeat bar symbols the staff style name could show the measure number being repeated. For example, "One-Bar Repeat: m.14" or "Two-Bar Repeat: m.53-54".

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Before Finale 25 I was never part of the Finale online-discussion world, and now I feel like I’m the guy who has to defend his belief that the world is flat, because when I ask why Mirroring disappeared, all of the feedback I get are caustic comments like “Oh, you’re the one guy who used Mirrors?” or “I never touched it and I’m surprised you did.” I never had an issue with it and didn’t even know it was Finale’s most toxic asset until it disappeared, apparently by popular demand. Was Mirroring that awful for people? The loss of Mirroring (or any sort of dynamic copying apparently) is going to double the time it takes for me to create (and edit) a lot of my scores.

Michael, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE reintroduce dynamic measures back into Finale, by whatever name or functionality necessary.  I totally understand overhauling the code and therefore overhauling functionality, which is why it’s still mysterious to me that while MakeMusic would, for example, consolidate score-wide functions into the ScoreManager, but couldn’t find a way this time around to preserve dynamic measures, even as a Staff Style (like described above) or something along those lines.  I hope people, regardless of how they felt about the way the Mirror Tool worked, would agree in principle that copying-and-pasting and then mentally tracking where one pasted in multiple locations across potentially dozens of pages is a poor substitute for dynamic measures.  It seems such a unlikely and useful baby to throw out with the 64-bit bathwater.

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Hi Warren:


Thank you for your reply. I haven't pegged you as the only guy that used mirrors. ;-) I'm not surprised that you found it useful and I'm sorry to hear we've doubted your work. However, when we looked at usage, team resources, and other priorities, the difficult decision was made to remove it before it could be replaced. As for the Score Manager, the usage of the old Instrument List, the frustration with setting up instruments to use a VST/AU library, and the team resources as the time did allow for that work to happen. Respectfully, I can't equate instrument mapping/playback definition to that of dynamic measures. 

As I mentioned previously, this request is documented as FIN-3939. I hear you Warren and we will work to implement a robust solution as quickly as possible.

Sincerely,

Michael

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I hope the MM analysis of the data wasn't interpreting low usage as disinterest or lack of applicability of the feature. The reason my usage of the mirror tool would show as low/non-existent was because the the tool was unreliable (especially when copying/pasting partial measures). The feature that the tool sought to provide was and continues to be very desirable. There's no way to automatically forward that data to MM. Tool usage data gives information on the tool usage (not necessarily feature desirability). A broken hammer will get very little use no matter how many nails you need to pound.

Cheers,
Ken

(I'll get back to you on that other thread when I have time next week.)

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Hi Ken:

We are very sensitive to not reading intent into usage data. That would not be a wise use of data analytics / business analysis. A major reason we pulled it was predominantly around your comment of unreliably. The painful conclusion, and it was painful, was the current state was so far gone that to fix it would basically be to start from scratch. In the interest of not carrying rotten code forward and further frustrating users with a bad experience, pulling the functionality was the best choice. Thank you for your comments, Ken.

Cheers,

Michael Johnson

VP, Professional Notation

MakeMusic

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