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Alternatives to Guitar Pro and Power Tab

archard

Joined: Jan 11 2007

I don't know about you guys but there's just some things about Guitar Pro that I don't like. There's tons of bugs that come with it as I'm sure you've noticed, and the whole interface is just kind of confusing and bloated. I was wondering if anyone else feels that way.

My friend is an amateur software developer and wants ideas for programs to create that he can sell. I told him he should make a tablature editing program that corrects all of Guitar Pro's shortcomings. I think Guitar Pro isn't worth it's price tag. It's buggy, bloated and expensive. I told him he should make a tab program that's simple, stable and affordable. Do you think you'd buy a program like that if it was available for say 20 dollars? It'd be like a simplified version of guitar pro, with just the essential features. I think all the crazy features Guitar Pro has are largely unnecessary and contribute to the bugginess of the program.

What do you think? I'm trying to get a gauge for the demand of this type of program.

Re: Alternatives to Guitar Pro and Power Tab

insomniac

games master

Joined: Apr 15 2007

Well if im completely honest...I wouldt pay for something like that at all, thats why I use powertab.
However im cheap =D

Re: Alternatives to Guitar Pro and Power Tab

nozzie

The talkbox guy.

Location: Utah

Joined: Apr 06 2007

i like the idea of better tabbing software but whats stopping people from
Pirating
i understand how guitar pro sucks about 80% and is
really
annoying when it wont let you save when you get an error
then again certain thing i like. I say have a go at it
ever he needs idea im available

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Voila! In view humble vaudevillian veteran, cast vicariously as both victim and villain by the vicissitudes of fate. This visage, no mere veneer of vanity, is a vestige of the “vox populi” now vacant, vanished. However, this valorous visitation of a bygon

Re: Alternatives to Guitar Pro and Power Tab

ajrock2000

Joined: Aug 02 2007

I just bought Guitar Pro and it works fine for me, there are a few things here and there that could be improved, but overall it is categorically better than powertab. Being a developer myself, I actually thought of coding my own tabbing software a while back when my powertab woes were starting to multiply, but time is required and that is something I do not have.

Re: Alternatives to Guitar Pro and Power Tab

Joined: Dec 31 1969

I'm just going to stick with powertabs

it gets the job done, and hasn't failed me yet.

Re: Alternatives to Guitar Pro and Power Tab

archard

Joined: Jan 11 2007

What complaints do you guys have about your tab software of choice? Either power-tab or guitar pro.

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DANG

Re: Alternatives to Guitar Pro and Power Tab

Maximillian

Joined: Apr 06 2008

I agree with Guitar Pro feeling "bloated," whenever I try to compose, edit, or read something, I can only get about a 1/3 of the page at once, which results in me getting rid of almost all the toolbars. Also, I would change scrolling with the keyboard. For example, have PageUp and PageDown scroll more than a couple of millimeters. I dunno, it's just a pet peeve of mine.

Re: Alternatives to Guitar Pro and Power Tab

Dandy_Sephy

Joined: Jan 06 2008

My only issue with guitar pro is importing midi often kills the entire app :roll:

Re: Alternatives to Guitar Pro and Power Tab

DrSturm

Joined: Jan 07 2008

My problems with Guitar Pro would be mainly the fact that in most alternative tunings, the musical notation fails to match up to the tablature.
An astounding example I'm working with right now:

Anyways, other than that it's a matter of how simplistic it is to work with non-guitar instruments. Though, I suppose that doesn't really apply here...

Re: Alternatives to Guitar Pro and Power Tab

cgseth

Joined: Apr 17 2007

I usually don't use software that I can't modify. I'm a programmer. If I find a bug that annoys me and the program isn't too complicated I can usually hunt down the problem and fix it. Or if I need a certain feature, with sufficient effort, I can add it. And when I do that I want to be able to share my efforts with others, so that they don't have to be annoyed by the bug and so they can use the feature I added. So my biggest complaint would be software that doesn't let me do those things by not providing the source code under a free software license (see http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/about-free-software.html). Guitar Pro and Power Tab fall into that category.

There have been efforts to make cross-platform free software (open source) tablature editors. I'd recommend TuxGuitar (http://www.tuxguitar.com.ar/). It is licensed under the GPL. The great thing is that anyone, including you or a developer you hire can make changes to it. That means you can fix annoying bugs, improve the user interface, add new features, etc.

I really hope your friend considers contributing to that project, or starting his own and making it available under an equally permissive license. This way the results of his efforts will be available to all. He can make money off of it by seeking donations, putting ads on the website, and/or charging money for binary builds of the software. There's no reason making the source code available has to conflict with the ability to be compensated for his effort. And the entire community would benefit from this.

My two cents.

Re: Alternatives to Guitar Pro and Power Tab

archard

Joined: Jan 11 2007

That's a great point seth. I couldn't agree with you more about open source software. It's what makes projects like Drupal so great. I know my friend has been learning about ways to program modularity into software, and ways to allow users to write their own plugins. I'll talk to him about that and see what he thinks.

By the way, you might know my friend, seth. He's in the computer engineering program at UMD right now, and I recall you saying you were doing the same thing. His name is Venkat (that should narrow it down, lol).

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DANG

Re: Alternatives to Guitar Pro and Power Tab

Joined: Dec 31 1969

Sweet, I've been looking for a good open source tablature editor that works on Ubuntu for a while. I keep having to boot into Windows to use GP5.

Re: Alternatives to Guitar Pro and Power Tab

cgseth

Joined: Apr 17 2007

One thing I'd like to see is a standard tablature file format. I think MusicXML could become one, but I'm not sure that it has all the needed guitar techniques, etc. From what I can see, gp5 is pretty much the standard format. Which sucks, because it's closed, and people have to reverse-engineer it to write GP5 importers/exporters. It's also subject to Guitar Pro limitations, like a maximum of 2 independent voices in a track. I guess I'd shoot for MusicXML as the format to use, I just think the guitar-related features aren't there.

By the way, if you are looking for another developing open-source tablature program, try Songwrite 2 (http://home.gna.org/oomadness/en/songwrite/index.html). It's really, really simple. Once you learn the keyboard shortcuts, you can go quickly. The lilypond output can produce a nice quality PDF, but sometimes it gets the voice assignments wrong (it doesn't have any concept of voices, it separates based on which strings you are on, lower 3 or upper 3, but I'm working on adding voices) It's written in Python, so it's theoretically cross-platform, but there aren't any Windows builds available. I contributed a patch making ASCII tab output a bit better.

Enterim, Guitar Pro 5 runs in Wine almost perfectly. I had some problem with a font not showing in PDF output, but otherwise it's okay.

archard, I don't know your friend Venkat, but the ECE program is pretty big I think.

Re: Alternatives to Guitar Pro and Power Tab

michi2002k2

Joined: Oct 29 2007

I wouldnt buy any software for that use either... powertab is free and good.

Re: Alternatives to Guitar Pro and Power Tab

Rembrant

FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK

Joined: Aug 12 2007

TabIt is a good tab program. You don't have to worry about timing you just put down the tabs. So it's good if you don't know about music theory. But, you have to pay for it (I torrented it though ;l)

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I am working on Spiral Mountain Blues for Banjo Tooie.

Re: Alternatives to Guitar Pro and Power Tab

wako-kun

MM tabber

Joined: Jun 14 2008

Sorry guys, but I just have to say it....
I LOVE GUITAR PRO! :D

The thing with the program is that you can not only tab, but make new songs for a band. (or at least a crappy copy of a song...) You can have ridicioulus amounts of tracks and give you greater possibilities than PT.
I think it's worth it if you really are serious about music.

Also, I make game music for people in GP5 even if there's better programs just because i feel like I'm home or something....

But that's my opinion. ;)

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I'm 'alternative' because everyone else is...

Re: Alternatives to Guitar Pro and Power Tab

herpies

Joined: Jun 05 2008

there should be a program where you put midi or mp3 and they turn it into guitar tabs

Re: Alternatives to Guitar Pro and Power Tab

Dandy_Sephy

Joined: Jan 06 2008

"herpies" posted:

there should be a program where you put midi and they turn it into guitar tabs

Last I heard it was called Guitar Pro

Re: Alternatives to Guitar Pro and Power Tab

Krimson

Much nerdy love

Joined: Jun 01 2008

I've tried Power Tab and the trial of Guitar Pro. I didn't really get to use GP enough to really get to know it, but Power Tab, as good and free as it is, could be improved on. For one thing, when you import a midi, I'd like to be able to listen to a sample of each of the instrumental pieces before you load it into the document. It gets old having to reload the midi when you can't find one "accoustic string" you want out of five. But that's really just a personal gripe. I mean it does what it's supposed to...

Re: Alternatives to Guitar Pro and Power Tab

SamuraiDanny

Rising Guitarist

Location: Among the Stars

Joined: Jun 18 2008

I used to use Powertabs, but it felt a bit limited. Then, I tried out Guitar Pro, and its the only Tab program I've been using ever since, because, unlike what many people have said in this forum, it's a really good program because if a tab isn't written well, I can always shift notes around and transpose and such. Also, unlike Powertabs, it has percussion too and it's better at creating MIDI tabs than Powertabs. GP also reads Powertabs, so its two programs in one.

However, if you don't have the money for Guitar Pro and you don't feel like getting it pirated and want to read GP files (lot more of those than there are Powertabs), then try using Tuxguitar, just search it up. it reads GP files fine.

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Sometimes you win some, sometimes you lose some, but other times, you get some.

Re: Alternatives to Guitar Pro and Power Tab

Joined: Dec 31 1969

Guitar Pro 5 is really bloated with shit I don't use and some of it is really annoying, but the pluses outweigh the minuses. It's a good tabulature program, just not one I would pay $40 for. Hell, I'd probably pay $5 for it at max.