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DORICO 3: finally a perfect match of notation and virtual instruments / sample libraries playback.

Fa

Member
Yesterday was the day I was waiting (litterally) for years:
Steinberg Dorico 3

I love writing my music in a score, and had real pleasure using all the main notation software, but as all the people doing it often complain about, managing playback during composition was a pain. Only sequencers had the whole set of tools to create the right playback using controllers and midi parameters of advanced libraries and VIs.

Due to the fact often the right sound and expression is part of your creative process, postponing it to a late export of the written content to the sequencer was braking the workflow and annoying.

I was observing as a customer and supporter for years the Overture 4 and 5 project, the best product concept ever in notation IMHO, but unfortunately despite the heroic efforts of the one-man self-employed little company, after years and years Don still struggles to provide users with a stable and reliable product.

That's the reason for moving all my hope into Dorico from day 1, but we had to wait few years and some release before Steinberg Dorico team delivered the expected set of features... and now here we are.

Modern Libraries and VI like Sample Modeling Brass and Strings
are heavily based on the interaction of velocities, durations, and a large set of controllers, beside multidimensional KS matrices. Now Dorico3 offers a fully functional sequencer-like MIDI editor of the notation track, and it's finally possible to get the more accurate playback of your score in parallel with your writing/composing, without the need of prematurely moving to a DAW.
 

I like music

Senior Member
Is it the case that it gets you almost there or do you think it could get you the exact expression you were looking to get with a DAW?
 
OP
Fa

Fa

Member
Is it the case that it gets you almost there or do you think it could get you the exact expression you were looking to get with a DAW?
well actually it has all, really all the requested controllers (including PB) to make SM Strings and Brass sound the way you want, none is missing. In addition it has a mixer section with large insert options, by instrument (even by voice/layer). So you can use for every single instrument your favorite effect chain, including virtual stages, eq, and the final output reverb etc.

What you will do in the DAW later (if you need) will be just the ultimate mix and mastering.
 

I like music

Senior Member
Part of why this interests me is because I cannot read music (I'm learning, through playing violin). I would be interested in using this for purposes of getting better at 'reading' scores and not just composition. But also for composition. If for example, I wrote a crescendo with brass which goes from a value of 25 > 105 (but it doesn't take a linear path, and has various little quirks and dips as it gradually gets louder) would I be able to essentially draw that in? Or would I be limited to writing p < FF (or can I define the route it takes from p < FF)? I hope the q makes sense.
 
OP
Fa

Fa

Member
Part of why this interests me is because I cannot read music (I'm learning, through playing violin). I would be interested in using this for purposes of getting better at 'reading' scores and not just composition. But also for composition. If for example, I wrote a crescendo with brass which goes from a value of 25 > 105 (but it doesn't take a linear path, and has various little quirks and dips as it gradually gets louder) would I be able to essentially draw that in? Or would I be limited to writing p < FF (or can I define the route it takes from p < FF)? I hope the q makes sense.
That's part of the point. Almost all the actual notation software have some playback engine connecting with rules simbols and playback (e.g. you draw hairpin crescendo and the software send a cc11 linear set of data from x to y according some arbitrary or preset rule).

But in this new generation of software you may open the MIDI track, and draw your precise cc11 curve, and couple it with your precise velocities note by note, and add manually any other requested CC to improve the result.

Advanced users can create "expression maps" and automatize a lot of the rules linking symbols and MIDI playback, to get the "20/80". Then your manual input can drive it to perfection with the "80/20" if you like. That was impossible for notation software before.
 

Vadium

Active Member
fully functional sequencer
Modern libraries like CSS have complex patches with delays, depending on velocity. And fully functional sequencers have a compensation delay possibility (and in some cases, even it is not enough). Dorico 3 hasn't yet.

And, as I understand, if in Cubase it's possible to link symbols and keyswitches in expression map, for now Dorico does not allow you to do this (or, if I am not right, tell me how to do it?) - users must to set for note both keyswitch and symbol separately
 
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Dorico is still missing many of the notation-to-playback features of e.g. Notion's rules system and I'm sure some of those of others. The playback options aren't integrated with the expression maps, several expression maps features still don't work, many articulations can't trigger playback techniques etc. The entire area of playback is still very much under development.

Yes, you now can edit pitch bend and velocity along with CCs (a single lane at a time). Thus you can, having entered a bunch of musical semantics into the notation, go in and enter them all in again by hand in the piano roll/CC lane. It's useful, but hardly a revolution in notation playback.

I say this not because I don't appreciate Dorico's new release - I do. But perhaps the OP can reserve some enthusiasm for the day when one can get as good a result, given the notation alone, with SM/AM and sample libs as one currently can with Note Performer, without extensive additional MIDI editing.
 
OP
Fa

Fa

Member
Modern libraries like CSS have complex patches with delays, depending on velocity. And fully functional sequencers have a compensation delay possibility (and in some cases, even it is not enough). Dorico 3 hasn't yet.

And, as I understand, if in Cubase it's possible to link symbols and keyswitches in expression map, for now Dorico does not allow you to do this (or, if I am not right, tell me how to do it?) - users must to set for note both keyswitch and symbol separately
Not exactly: the MIDI track of course doesn't have all the functions of cubase, that's why I say for final mix you may move to DAW, but the audio engine has the same processing functions of cubase.

Yes Dorico has expression maps, a special version focusing on notation, but similar to Cubase. You may even import Cubase Xmaps and adapt them to the Dorico version for fine tuning.
 
OP
Fa

Fa

Member
Dorico is still missing many of the notation-to-playback features of e.g. Notion's rules system and I'm sure some of those of others. The playback options aren't integrated with the expression maps, several expression maps features still don't work, many articulations can't trigger playback techniques etc. The entire area of playback is still very much under development.

Yes, you now can edit pitch bend and velocity along with CCs (a single lane at a time). Thus you can, having entered a bunch of musical semantics into the notation, go in and enter them all in again by hand in the piano roll/CC lane. It's useful, but hardly a revolution in notation playback.

I say this not because I don't appreciate Dorico's new release - I do. But perhaps the OP can reserve some enthusiasm for the day when one can get as good a result, given the notation alone, with SM/AM and sample libs as one currently can with Note Performer, without extensive additional MIDI editing.
Even if Notion or Sibelius rules are slightly more sophisticated than Dorico's xMaps, (but they are so difficult and complex to customize and program by the way) they don't allow you to access independent MIDI parameters of the track in the way Dorico does, so close to a common sequencer track. That's in my opinion the real advantage. I don't care of mechanic poor playback of the rules, but I love to ear something close to real sequencing directly in the score, while I'm composing it in notation format and full MIDI format in parallel.

i agree, the ultimate MIDI processor will be a Note Performer AI with custom parameters to drive SM/AM VI. I was even contacting producers to stimulate this enterprise :P
 
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Vadium

Active Member
Not exactly:
exactly yes, because compensation of this kind of delay is an important thing while notes recording/editing process, this must works before a final mix phase, about you say

You may even import Cubase Xmaps and adapt them to the Dorico version for fine-tuning.
Yes, I know. but it's impossible (for now) to assign a symbol to keyswitch and vice versa.
 
OP
Fa

Fa

Member
exactly yes, because compensation of this kind of delay is an important thing while notes recording/editing process, this must works before a final mix phase, about you say


Yes, I know. but it's impossible (for now) to assign a symbol to keyswitch and vice versa.
I'm not sure if I understand your problem with compensation, but maybe it's just OT:
- Dorico engine has general latency compensation in the AUDIO engine menu. It's not by instruments, and it's not the scope of Dorico creating a sequence ready for recording. What I discuss about is getting the full palette of sound and expression from the VI during composition, that was impossible with any notation program before Dorico 3 (in theory it was possible with Overture 5, but it was prone to crash at every clic).

- About the new xMap of Dorico 3, I invite you to carefully read the instructions: now it's possible to create your own symbols and technics, and you may link them to the corresponding xMap item and trigger whatever combination of KS and/or controllers you want. (that feature was not available in Dorico 2)

Anyway I'm not defending or entering in detailed debate about strength and weakness of Dorico 3, that obviously is not replacing the DAW.

I wrote, and that's just based on facts, that finally you may enter in parallel all the PB, CC, Velocity and Duration changes to your instrument part, triggering the perfect sound and expression, thanks to the integrated MIDI editor, job that before was possible only in a sequencer.

Managing KS, even if not optimal, was already possible in Dorico and in all the other notation softwares. Now also in Dorico3 it's improved, and largely customizable. Still space for improvement, and a pretty intricate process: I hope they will make it more intuitive and user friendly in future release.
 

Bollen

Vintage Member
Modern libraries like CSS have complex patches with delays, depending on velocity. And fully functional sequencers have a compensation delay possibility (and in some cases, even it is not enough). Dorico 3 hasn't yet.
Yes you can, since version 1.something. You simply select the instrument in question that you wish to delay, open the properties panel below and click where it say offset playback. This is how I have done it for a while... It's not automatic, but then again... I would never let a computer make musical decisions for me...:emoji_grin:
 

Bollen

Vintage Member
Oh, great! How to find these properties? in which mode?
In either Write or Engrave mode, bottom panel under notes and rests (Playback Start Offset/Playback end Offset). Of course you can always do this manually in the Play window.
 

Vadium

Active Member
(Playback Start Offset/Playback end Offset)
do you mean I should select no entire instrument track, but a notes each time after entering new ones? and it will shift notes in a keyroll editor graphically? It's seems as no useful.
 

Bollen

Vintage Member
Hmmm.. I think I lost you a bit. You can do it individually for any note or even objects like dynamics or you can apply it to the whole instrument i.e. everything you've written

Also yes, it shifts the note/notes in the key editor as well.
 

Vadium

Active Member
How to apply it to a whole instrument?

A normal way is: I set, for example, in Cubase -30ms on whole track in the track inspector. After it all notes, quantized to beats, appears as quantized to beats, but plays shifted to -30ms. Even all notes, that will be recorded in the future. Is it possible in Dorico?
 

Bollen

Vintage Member
I'm sorry, I'm not familiarised with how to do it in Cubase, I tend to do everything manually... Don't ask me why...

There are many ways to do it, the easiest might be click on the first note, then menu Edit > Select till the end of flow. The do the properties thingy...
 

Vadium

Active Member
There are many ways to do it, the easiest might be click on the first note, then menu Edit > Select till the end of flow. The do the properties thingy...
I understood, thank you. No, this way is a stone-age technology) Will waiting for a normal implementation in next releases.


- About the new xMap of Dorico 3, I invite you to carefully read the instructions: now it's possible to create your own symbols and technics, and you may link them to the corresponding xMap item and trigger whatever combination of KS and/or controllers you want. (that feature was not available in Dorico 2)
Great! thank you for this clarification!

I have tried it today, and found, that it works strange - I made a new playback technique "Legato Bow", checked it in expression map and in edit playback technique page, but articulations in Write mode and in Play mode in pianoroll are different.. I have pizzicato in the second bar instead a Legato Bow, and Sustain in 3-rd bar instead of Staccato..
 

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Bollen

Vintage Member
I understood, thank you. No, this way is a stone-age technology) Will waiting for a normal implementation in next releases.
There are several other ways of doing it that might be closer to how you prefer to do it, this is the one I use because it's quick and simple.

I have tried it today, and found, that it works strange - I made a new playback technique "Legato Bow", checked it in expression map and in edit playback technique page, but articulations in Write mode and in Play mode in pianoroll are different.. I have pizzicato in the second bar instead a Legato Bow, and Sustain in 3-rd bar instead of Staccato..
I strongly suggest you head over to the Dorico forum, there's loads of really friendly people there willing to help, the Devs are always on till really late at night and there's a general feeling of cooperation and mutual aid.
 
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