NAMM 2019: Talking shop with MakeMusic


Note: All this week, we’ll be publishing posts from the 2019 NAMM Show in Anaheim, California. It’s a huge exhibition, so we’ll focus on what we do best: covering the field of music notation software and related technology. Follow all of our NAMM 2019 coverage at Scoring Notes.

In this post, we visit with MakeMusic, the makers of Finale and SmartMusic. MakeMusic is featured at NAMM at the Alfred Music booth, number 11402, in the Anaheim Convention Center’s Hall A.

MakeMusic has had a presence at NAMM for many years. As the sun set on the first day of the 2019 NAMM show, I had an opportunity to meet with Mark Adler, MakeMusic’s director of production, and Jonathan Tschiggfrie, product manager of audio and notation, to talk about the show, Finale v26, and more.

MakeMusic’s Jonathan Tschiggfrie, Mark Adler, and Fred Flowerday, at the 2019 NAMM Show

The NAMM show is important to MakeMusic. “It’s where the entire industry gathers,” Mark said. “I get to talk with a lot of the teams that do music production work in L.A. We get to talk about what’s working well for them and what isn’t working well for them. It’s also an opportunity to look at the startups and a lot of new tech that’s coming out. There’s always a few surprising startup companies that are doing some interesting things with notation.”

We talked about Finale v26. Jon said, “We’ve really been focused on improving the speed and output of people’s workflow, and I think that’s been borne out in the field since the release. Honestly, it’s been relatively quiet, which is a great thing! We haven’t heard much about new defects or problems with the new articulation placement features.”

We mentioned the script by MakeMusic’s CJ Garcia, that Mark shared with me, taking full advantage of the articulation improvements that separates the older-style precomposed articulations into two separate articulations.

The MakeMusic booth at NAMM 2019

Jon talked about the automated testing that has helped the quality assurance process. “It’s catching a lot more things before they would ever show up in the real world,” he said.

Other topics for discussion included the state of the field, other software, NotePerformer, MusicXML, and what to expect for the future.

Check out the full video (complete with the sound of end-of-day NAMM ceremonies in the background):


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