Notion 6 Review: The Ultimate Music Notation Software by Presonus?

notion 6 review
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Writing good music is a complex process. Not everyone is blessed with the gift to create something amazing in an instant, without having to do a few takes.

As musicians and creative people, we’ve all had those moments when we thought something sounded great at first, but when you come back and listen to it again after a few hours or the next day, you are left thoroughly disappointed.

Sometimes, all you need is a little extra help. A good music notation software will give you exactly that. A product like Notion 6 will allow you to create, move around, play back, edit and print your music notations to perfection.

Here is all you need to know about Notion 6 music notation software to help you figure out if it might be the best fit for you.

What is Notion 6?

notion 6 eq

Notion 6 is a music notation computer software program for the composition of music and its performance. It is a program that makes it easy for you to generate and design sheet music.

The way this software works is by taking the soundwaves and frequencies that you design with your voice or whatever instrument you use, then turning them into musical signs on a page. In this way, it makes it possible for your music to be read or played by other artists.

Notion 6 allows you to execute your composition with the use of; MIDI file, MIDI guitar, MIDI keyboard, mouse, keyboard, handwriting recognition or MusicXML.

It was created by Notion Music, originally called Virtuosoworks. Notion Music company is owned by Presonus.

The initial release came out in 2005. This version was called Notion 5. Over the years, the product has kept getting improved upon, with new features being added and meaningful steps taken, such as the addition of highly demanded options to the software along with the ironing out of bugs, resulting in what we know today as Notion 6.

Notion 6 software can run on Windows, Ios, and macOS operating systems. Presonus, the company that is also responsible for Studio One DAW, also integrated the 3.3 version with Notion 6 and above, enabling the two applications to have MIDI streaming and real-time audio capabilities.

In May 2018, Studio One version 4 released Chord track which permitted the exchange of chord level information between the two applications. The Studio One release and the updated Notion version blew up soon thereafter, owing their success to their integration that commenced earlier.

In January 2019, Notion 6.4 was updated to Notion 6.5 and came with automatic translation of drum tracks into standard percussion notation.

My experience with Notion 6

I have always wanted to write my own music. Being able to play an instrument is one thing, but putting that tune to paper is something else entirely. I found out soon after I started that this process can take a lot of work, and the workload can burn you out pretty fast.

This was the main reason why I decided to seek out an alternative. Upon researching how I could better my situation, I came across Notion 6 software. I remember first trying it out at home and being amazed at the results. From then on, being stressed out about little things like notes being misplaced or chords going off-tune became a thing of the past.

notion 6 preview

Key features of Notion 6

Here are the key features that make Notion 6 stand out:

Vast input options, active instruments onboard and score order

As a composer, you may opt to go with the traditional way of using a pen and paper while creating your music. That option still gets the job done. However, these days, Notion 6 grants you the freedom to compose how and when you want to compose.

Here are the options you get with Notion 6:

  • Using the cross-platform handwriting recognition that allows you to compose music and enter it in your own handwriting
  • Using the updated Music XML support for coherent transfer with other apps
  • Using MIDI notes or records from your keyboard, guitar or virtual piano
  • Using the integrated virtual keyboard, drum pad or fretboard.

Notion 6 is equipped with impressive inbuilt sounds, including guitar samples obtained from the renowned Neil Zaza, symphonic samples by the legendary London Orchestra, drum and killer bass samples by the glorious Wooten brothers, piano samples and other preferred instruments available in a wide range of articulations and performance techniques.

Bundled Presonus FX and enhanced VST support come as a bonus. All the samples were skillfully recorded by the best in the business. Plus, Notion 6 also gives you the chance to hear your music blossom as you compose it.

With Notion 6, you are assured of orderly scores and near perfection. Each individual chord or note is appropriately placed as it should be and in the perfect shape and size.

Additionally, the accurate allocation of lyrics in your music in distinct fonts is guaranteed. This fact will even encourage to use this software as a live instrument, saving your performance in the long run.

notion 6 UI

Other features include;

Offer playback feature

This feature lets you listen to your composition, reducing the chances of getting an error. You can listen to your music in whole or in parts. This will help you decide what parts need changing, or whether the whole song needs to be scrapped.

Therefore, with this feature, you get to hear your music as it would be played by world-class musicians.

Supports performances

At the comfort of your home or wherever you are using Notion 6 from, you can opt to perform your scores using a MIDI controller or computer keyboard.

Partnership with Sibelius and Finale

Notion 6 avails an updated Music XML that coherently allows the importation and exportation of files to other apps, especially Sibelius and Finale. These are other music notation apps that you can use to further enhance your creations. All exchanged files are backed up immediately and you get the option of SoundCloud sharing.

How does it work?

Notion 6 makes the process of making good music easy and fast, and the end result is always impressive.

To get started with this platform, you will first have to download it into your Windows, macOS, or IOS device. You will then be able to run it on your laptop, tablet, computer or MIDI after installing it.

If you are using a MIDI device, remember to make the app compatible with the device. Once you upload your music through a MIDI device, the app keeps all the MIDI information you have uploaded like a sequencer.

Once the installation process is complete, you can now compose music, record or feed notes fast with the aid of an integrated virtual keyboard, DrumPad, Fretboard or a MIDI instrument.

Getting to this point means that you will be able to utilize the vast array of instrument samples offered by the app.

You can open scores between Ios, Mac and Windows devices and this serves as a link allowing you to progress with crafting your score anywhere, anytime. This means you can create a score in Notion 6 for Mac computer and then go ahead to complete your work on your Windows tablet.

Sleek high-quality playback sounds are a guarantee regardless of whatever platform you use.

notion 6 mixer

Prices and plans

Acquiring a digital download product only bills at $149.95. The Notion expansion bundle pack which includes more than twice the samples of your existing Notion library bills at $299.99.

The other bundle is the Notion 6 for Studio One artist with 3 or 4 users. This is meant for individuals owning studios, and bills at $99.95.

If you already own Studio One professional version with 3 or 4 users, you can buy Notion 6 for Studio One at $49.95.

Pros

  • Presents collaboration opportunities
    This is made possible by Music XML. Through this tool, you can share and exchange files with other programs like Sibelius and Finale thus encouraging collaboration with other musicians.
  • Offer handwriting recognition platform
    Notion 6 gives an awesome advantage of writing music in a notation program using a pencil and still gets the work done, giving you great results.
  • Excellent realistic instrument samples
    Samples present in Notion 6 were obtained from legendary and world-class musicians and recorded by professional engineers with the best equipment.
  • Easy to set up and use
    Even without the introduction by another person, with Notion’s intuitive design, you can easily set up and navigate the application. It also offers clear guidelines that help you maneuver your way using the app.

Cons

  • It is slightly costly compared to other music notation programs
  • It also takes up a lot more hard drive space.

presonus_notion6 send to studio one

Verdict

Notion 6 stands out because it comes with a collection of really high quality, realistic-sounding playback sounds for your music. This means you can count on it to create stunning works of art.

It is also highly flexible, allowing you to keep working on the same project between multiple devices, no matter what operating system they run on. When you also consider the massive number of instruments samples that it makes available to you, it is not hard to see why many musicians swear by it.

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