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Exhausted with Finale -- is Dorico the answer?

cmillar

Active Member
Ha! Yes...being of that age group too, I spent hours experimenting with different pencils, leads, paper, pens, ink, erasers, etc. etc. (....and, I still do...notation software is still a pale imitation of what's possible with pencil/paper for getting what's out of your brain onto a score for initial musical thoughts)

Having bought and used Sibelius, Finale, and now finally sticking to Dorico....I'm glad to have all the past experiences from the viewpoint of being both a player and a composer/arranger.

It's a great tool! A great stress-reliever...., and does keep the brain fresh.

But, in a great way. I find it much more intuitive and natural to use instead of the other notation programs at my point in life/career.

And I haven't even scratched the surface of what's available as far as the DAW aspects of Dorico are yet. Keeps life interesting!
 

whiskers

Perpetual student
Does Dorico have any integration with cubase (e.g. import cubase projects to help auto fill a Dorico score?)

Guessing not, but figured I'd ask.
 

jamwerks

Senior Member
Does Dorico have any integration with cubase (e.g. import cubase projects to help auto fill a Dorico score?)

Guessing not, but figured I'd ask.
At present I don't this so. But I can imagine that at some point, Cubase would get a new score editor essentially lifted from Dorico, at which time import-export might become a reality.

I can't help but think that 5-6 years ago when Steinberg-Yamaha invested in Dorico, they were thinking of 10 years down the line when that would happen...
 
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Saxer

Senior Member
It's not a direct connection from Cubase. But you can already import a lot. Tempo list, midi notes, keys, meters, controllers and markers via midi file and written notes via MusicXML. As a Logic user I'm happy this formats are not restricted to Cubase/Steinberg world.
 

whiskers

Perpetual student
It's not a direct connection from Cubase. But you can already import a lot. Tempo list, midi notes, keys, meters, controllers and markers via midi file and written notes via MusicXML. As a Logic user I'm happy this formats are not restricted to Cubase/Steinberg world.
Gotcha. I figured I wouldn't want to start from scratch in score editor after writing in cubase. Otherwise why not use a cheaper (kludgier) alternatives like musescore for few instruments
 

Saxer

Senior Member
Gotcha. I figured I wouldn't want to start from scratch in score editor after writing in cubase. Otherwise why not use a cheaper (kludgier) alternatives like musescore for few instruments
I don't know how good MusicXML export from Cubase works. Importing it from Logic into Dorico works really fine except text and chord symbols. So everything notated in Logic opens in Dorico including ties, accents, note length... even polyphonic drums, slashed note heads and 2stem-instruments like pianos. For fewer instruments Dorico Elements might be an alternative. But if you are fine with Cubase note editor or MuseScore: why spend money?
 

whiskers

Perpetual student
I don't know how good MusicXML export from Cubase works. Importing it from Logic into Dorico works really fine except text and chord symbols. So everything notated in Logic opens in Dorico including ties, accents, note length... even polyphonic drums, slashed note heads and 2stem-instruments like pianos. For fewer instruments Dorico Elements might be an alternative. But if you are fine with Cubase note editor or MuseScore: why spend money?
Yeah, I might only buy if it was in sale, just curious. Just wondering if you could select a track from your DAW to export to Dorico for a score view without much rework. Though I understand why it's not really easy to do
 

Saxer

Senior Member
Yeah, I might only buy if it was in sale, just curious. Just wondering if you could select a track from your DAW to export to Dorico for a score view without much rework. Though I understand why it's not really easy to do
Dorico doesn't work linke a score editor inside Cubase. You can im- and export like I wrote but it's dealing as a separate app with it's own timeline, file structure, key commands and learning curve. I don't think it will ever be an integrated part with full function range. The tasks are too different and even the key commands of Dorico are in the same quantity as in Cubase. Notation apps are used by a lot of people who doesn't care for DAW functions at all (like engravers and publishers). I could imagine they will implement a faster exchange between Cubase and Dorico and probably a parallel timeline. Maybe a score editor similar to Dorico. But I don't think both apps will work as one.
 
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JohnG

JohnG

Senior Member
Just wondering if you could select a track from your DAW to export to Dorico for a score view without much rework. Though I understand why it's not really easy to do
well -- at the risk of mentioning ideas of which you are probably already aware, most higher-end DAW programs have a "score view" or "notation view" or something that is not bad. I have mine open constantly in Digital Performer, for example.

It's easy to export a MusicXML file and that imports very nicely into Finale; I would guess it also does (maybe someone already confirmed that it does -- sorry) into Dorico?
 

DocMidi657

Senior Member
Can any Dorico /Logic Users tell me if Dorico will import markers created in Logic and the exported as XML into Dorico? Unless I am doing something wrong I have not been able to get markers to come up in Finale after I have exported an XMl file out of Logic.
 

BlackDorito

Active Member
I belong to the older ones too (58) and learning Dorico is a good experience. Keeps the brain fresh.
58? ... still a pup.

I fired up the Dorico Pro (latest version) 30-day trial for the first time this week. I want to love Dorico, given that the playback features (my main concern with Sibelius .. as shared in a separate thread recently) seem better designed for driving modern VI libraries - but performance of this version is a problem. I think I will love Dorico when I learn it better, but as far as the playback features go, I'll be loving the next major version. [I'm happy to see there are expression maps, many imported from Cubase format, for many of the major libraries]

Below is what Steinberg replied to my first-impression issues (my email to them is below it). Of course, these playback concerns need to be tempered with all the many fine things people have already mentioned about Dorico.
-----
Hello Chris,

Thank you for providing your feedback about Dorico.

We are aware of the slow performance of the Mixer and improving that is something that we are hoping to address in our next major version; we understand the nature of the performance problem and have some ideas about how to solve it, so we are hopeful that we'll be able to improve this substantially soon.

There's a small bug in the UI of the Endpoint Setup dialog that means you cannot assign more than four ports at the moment, but this will certainly be addressed in our next release.

When you end up with just a number showing in the Endpoint Setup dialog instead of the name of an instrument, it's because that instrument is no longer found in the project. Although it would mean losing any other manual setup you may have done, you can resolve this by resetting the default playback template.

You can hide unused outputs for plug-ins using the options at the bottom of the Endpoint Setup dialog.

Improving the setup of complex playback templates involving third-party sound libraries is one of the chief focuses of the work we are doing on the playback side of the product in advance of the next major version, and I think you will find these improvements useful when they arrive in due course.

Steinberg Support
------
My original email to Steinberg Support:

Subject: Dorico issues
Description: Hello,

I have recently downloaded the latest version of Dorico Pro 2 trial to determine if it can replace Sibelius for me. I have a moderately large score that I imported using MusicXML - 50 staves, 250 bars. I am driving eight VST instances of VE Pro which are talking to a slave system.

First of all let me compliment you on all the wonderful training videos - I've watched a lot and have many more to go.

Below are my issues and suggestions - please take these in the spirit of first impressions of how Dorico could make it easier for new users. I am investigating whether I can switch mainly due to the lack of DAW playback features in Sibelius - so my issues (so far) have nothing to do with notation/engraving and everything to do with driving a large slave template of Spitfire, Orchestral Tools, Cinematic Studio, etc. VI libraries.

Issues:

- Dorico seems to be very slow. I have a powerful Windows 7 PC with lots of memory and yet I am often (indeed, usually) waiting for the completion of simple interactions. The mixer is particularly slow. Dorico seems to be constantly saving a copy (slowly) which interrupts my progress.

- it seems I can specify a maximum of 4 devices for a Vienna Ensemble Pro VST instrument in the Endpoint dialog ... this is a bit restrictive.

- the Endpoint dialog (called from the VST rack) sometimes shows a number instead of an instrument name ... not sure why.

- I have not figured out the Mixer yet except that it seems particularly unusable for a few reasons:
+ unacceptably slow: horizontal scroll is very slow when there are many channels; audio latency (between hitting a note and seeing the level meter jump on the channel strip) is huge, totally non-realtime.
+ no control over hiding individual channel strips, except by type.
+ there seem to be many audio channels labeled "HSSE" that I don't use. I will not ever use the HALion libraries. If I add an instance of Kontakt 6 as a VST instrument into Dorico, then add extra outputs within Kontakt and route the loaded .nki instrument to the extra outputs, they seem to be routed to the HSSE2, HSSE3, etc. channels ... is this explained anywhere?


Suggestions:

- it is very inconvenient that I cannot rename instruments in the VST rack to say "Winds", "Brass", etc. instead of "Vienna Ensemble Pro" for all of them. I have eight VE Pro instruments and it is not always easy to tell which orchestral sections are attached to them - they appear identically in Dorico.

- Allow user-supplied names for each channel strip in the mixer. I particularly like the way Reaper handles track/channel display.


- it seems the Endpoint dialog would be a good place to select/specify the instrument linkage ... but you cannot do it there, you can just set the Expression Map. If nothing else, give a message on how to do it.

- if you require me to establish a time signature before creating new bars, don't just silently not do it - tell me.

Any helpful suggestions would be appreciated,
 

Saxer

Senior Member
Can any Dorico /Logic Users tell me if Dorico will import markers created in Logic and the exported as XML into Dorico? Unless I am doing something wrong I have not been able to get markers to come up in Finale after I have exported an XMl file out of Logic.
It doesn't import markers via MusicXML (at least not in my test). But if I import a tempo track exported from Logic as a midi file I can import Logic's markers.
So exporting MusicXML and Midi file from Logic and importing MusicXML and tempo track (using the Midi file) into the same Dorico project imports notes, tempo, markers.
 

DocMidi657

Senior Member
It doesn't import markers via MusicXML (at least not in my test). But if I import a tempo track exported from Logic as a midi file I can import Logic's markers.
So exporting MusicXML and Midi file from Logic and importing MusicXML and tempo track (using the Midi file) into the same Dorico project imports notes, tempo, markers.
Thanks Saxer!
 

dcoscina

Senior Member
These are great comments.

For those who've switched, how long does it take to start moving at a decent speed?
I was initially resistant to Dorico but I totally dig it now. Pretty quick to move around on after a week use and doesn't rely on the number pad the way Sibelius does. Easy for laptop composing as well. Very impressed with it especially in use with Note Performer.
 

mducharme

Senior Member
Does Dorico have any integration with cubase (e.g. import cubase projects to help auto fill a Dorico score?)

Guessing not, but figured I'd ask.
Yes, but it is not much. At the moment you can drag and drop MIDI regions from Cubase into Dorico. However, I don't necessarily think that that is any more useful than exporting and importing MIDI.
 

BlackDorito

Active Member
Update after one week of Dorico Pro ... bringing over a score from Sibelius that drives Spitfire and Cinematic Studios (Brass, Strings). Many good things to say, especially the ability to switch easily between Write mode and Play mode - wonderful. J

However, to share some of the more recent impediments I've encountered (since my previous whines):
  • harp glissandi - easy to show in the score, but how do you specify the playback? [Sibelius has an awesome plug-in that allows you to specify the scale you will run up & down]
  • Muting and Soloing - unclear how to mute/solo individual MIDI track sends to VSTi instruments. The documentation & videos seem to be related to earlier versions and don't work. Sibelius makes it fairly intuitive to audition just a few selected tracks/instruments from anywhere in the score.
  • CC lane - make it horizontally resizable (as it is in Reaper, Cubase and other DAWs) so we can draw curves more accurately. [It's great that we can do this at all ... not easy in Sibelius] Also, since only one can be displayed, how do we remember which CC's are sending values on this track? Need to somehow show which CC's we've drawn curves on.
  • Chase - haven't figured out how to specify that CC values and Techniques should be chased. Huge problem .. can't imagine that Dorico would not do this. Hoping it is my ignorance.
  • Expression Maps - more simplistic than Cubase. This makes it easier to use ... and less useful. No way to specify that a 'dynamic' marking is implemented with a keyswitch - e.g. switching to 'sfz' for CSBrass - because 'sfz' is a dynamic, not a 'technique' in Dorico. Several other head-scratchers which I won't bore you with. Furthermore, no way to specify 'global' techniques - e.g. to create a track-initialize technique (set initial volume/pan/mod/expression/mics on a channel) - that could be used on every channel independent of instrument. This is simple to do in Sibelius using the Dictionary.
  • Playback Options - velocity curves should be instrument-specific. If you have tuned the dynamics of multiple instruments over several hundred bars, and then add a new instrument that needs a unique vel-curve, you can't risk changing the global vel-curve.
If I am wrong on any of the above, please let me know ... it will help me immensely. Meanwhile I will keep pressing for answers from Steinberg.
 
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JohnG

JohnG

Senior Member
Thanks for the details -- not focused especially on playback other than to check notes, but I realise I am possibly in the minority.

Very helpful though!
 
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