Before I purchase I want to find out if the Personal Orchestra MIDIsounds will work with my existing software. I'm using Encore 5 on Mac (Mojave). Encore defaults to Apple General MIDI DLS, which is terrible. I'm hoping to replace it with better MIDI sounds. Is that possible?
That's really a question of whether Encore supports VSTs or Audio Units.
TBH, Encore is a dead product. As you'll know, it isn't compatible with Catalina and later; and Don Williams has stopped developing it since 2015, in favour of Overture.
Overture does support VSTs. (and opens Overture files). However, it is unclear what would happen to Overture's development if Don Williams was unable/unwilling to continue for any reason.
Jon, if you don't know yet (as of December 31 2021) Passport Music Software LLC has closed and is no longer in business - so Encore future (unless someone buys its IP rights) is finished. Being an 32 bit app only it is a lot of work to do. And with competition like MuseScore that is free I think it is almost impossible to Encore have a future.
I read it was January 31, 2022. Anyway, the Zendesk support site where everyone was complaining is gone as of last week. Encore is dead, dead, dead… and has been for years. That said, it worked over Mojave better than it had since Yosemite. I keep a Mojave boot drive for the rare occasions I have to get into an old score. Otherwise, everything has been exported to Finale.
No one knows what’s going on over at Overture. The update/bug fix that Don promised in the Fall of 2020 never appeared and his last post was November of that year. He had reached out to me a few months earlier about the possibility of being able to open Encore files directly. I turned him onto some resources—and never heard from him again.
Thanks. Encore has been working, and I hate to have to learn an entirely new interface from scratch, but maybe it will be necessary. It does work with VST files, but I can't find the instructions (which I was sure I'd seen in the past) on how to import them.
So if I have to switch to Finale (or to MuseScore?) do you happen to know if it's possible to export Encore files so that they can be opened by another application? Eg, is MusicXML or Master Tracks Pro a universal format? Also, if I purchase Finale do I still need to purchase the Personal Orchestra separately? That $600 price tag is daunting enough without looking at another $150 on top of that.
I'm a hobbyist, not a professional, so I may not be aware of what's considered obvious info... and my budget is constrained by what I'll personally benefit from the purchase.
I'd link this to one of my posts in the Encore forum but that's closed permanently. So, in brief:
The Encore manual is in your Encore folder in Applications. If it doesn't open (yes, really) run Get Info and scroll down to Permissions, unlock and add them for yourself. That's the good news. The bad is that much of that manual is a wish list for features that never worked as described and chief among the complaints is VST handling. As I never used Encore for anything other than "quick and dirty" charts for church groups and in the studio, I never attempted to load a VST — that's what Finale is for.
Encore 5's MusicXML export is v. 1.3 (Mac) and v. 1.1 (Windows). MusicXML is a toolkit and its functionality is limited to the way it is implemented by an app's developers. In real world usage, Encore is ok with exporting Notes and Text via MusicXML but does not export Lyrics or Expressions nor can they be imported. Often in such discussions, it will be pointed out that .xml 1.3 did support that functionality—doesn't matter because Encore can't as that was never implemented. MuseScore is pretty terrible importing Encore .xml files; Notion and Overture are much better. Finale is ok and Dorico is horrible. Encore to Notion to Finale is good.
My advice there and here is to print every file to pdf using the Anastasia font, export as MIDI and MusicXML. SmartScore64 Pro does a decent job of scanning my Encore pdf files in Anastasia (not so good with the jazz font from Nor) but often it's easier to import the MIDI or .xml if lyrics aren't an issue.
I just got off the phone with Don Williams, Encore's original developer and owner/developer of SonicScores/Overture—he and I have been in touch for awhile. He has completed the purchase of all code and IP of PassportDesigns and will soon re-launch the passportdesigns.com web site.
It appears that Encore is going to be raised from the dead. Plans include 64 bit for Mac/Win, MusicXML 3.0 import/export, multiple undo and possibly a few other features. The immediate goal is to get it working and reading older files so that longtime users can access them and export if desired.
At the moment, I have no other details nor do I have a timeline.
I hadn't seen your post announcing this good news and I just saw the resurrected passportmusic site.
I'm very happy about it and now that I've successfully switched to Musescore the comparison will be tough!
Even if I am really delighted by this acquisition, I don't really understand the interest for Don if he has to run the 2 competing softwares at the same time? Unless he plans to merge them in the future!
Or if it is a way to allow Encore users to migrate their score stock to the modern world, and thus have the choice to switch smoothly to a new editor?
Without being indiscreet, do you have any clues about his motivations? It's been so long since an update to Overture has been scheduled that one might fear a burnout!!!
In any case it's a twist worthy of the best thrillers ;-)
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