Exhausted with Finale -- is Dorico the answer?

Discussion in 'NOTATION Speak: Sibelius, Finale & Dorico' started by JohnG, Apr 27, 2019.

  1. JohnG

    JohnG Senior Member

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    What do you think?

    I usually am importing a midi or MusicXML file from Digital Performer as a starting point to orchestrate in Finale. I have been using Finale for over 20 years and its workflow remains frustratingly clumsy.

    If I'm importing a MusicXML file, how is Dorico as an orchestration / parts extraction platform?

    Thank you,

    John
     
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  2. jamwerks

    jamwerks Senior Member

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    Hi John,

    I can't speak to the Music XML translation into Dorico, but the dealing with parts is one of the strong points.

    It's conceived a bit like DP is that you (can) have a master project file that contains many smaller movements or cues. You'll save yourself a lot of time on that end...
     
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  3. mducharme

    mducharme Senior Member

    My main complaint about handling parts in Dorico is the collision detection for system spacing - I end up having to turn it off for parts and resolve the collisions by moving things myself. I really want to see them improve this, because either way it is time consuming to deal with.
     
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  4. prodigalson

    prodigalson Senior Member

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    Long time pro finale and sibelius user here. Tried Dorico on a project recently and it's really very impressive. It feels like the first notation software actually developed in the 21st century. There are some things that are perplexing initially especially coming from mindsets firmly informed by Finale and Sibelius but once you start to get your head around how they're thinking about notation it's actually kind of a dream. I was shocked at how quickly I got up and running writing pretty fluently and actually was almost at the point where it actually felt like "handwriting" much more so than Finale or even Sibelius.

    I can't speak towards the XML to Dorico workflow yet but Steinberg just released a couple of videos on youtube where Alan Silvestri talks about his workflow going back and forth from Cubase to Dorico and the features that Dorico has that make it easy. Worth a watch
     
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  5. OP
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    JohnG

    JohnG Senior Member

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    The last week I've been lucky to be orchestrating for a 90 piece orchestra, plus choir, plus rhythm section, and Finale does get the job done. But having to move practically every dynamic or hairpin around a little to make it go where I want is just getting really old.
     
  6. prodigalson

    prodigalson Senior Member

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    Well then you might just love dorico and never look back. Not only does dorico have the magnetic layout/automatic collision avoidance that Sibelius has but it has multi-edit where for example you can add things like dynamics etc to many staves at once. Granted Sibelius added that a year or so ago but Dorico takes it one step further: you can link and unlink dynamics etc so that if you move one they all move...or not
     
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  7. mducharme

    mducharme Senior Member

    The thing that is problematic in Dorico with the collision avoidance in parts is that it bases its decision for spacing between staves based on the default positioning of objects.

    As an example, suppose you have a rehearsal marker above a system that collides with a dynamic below another. Dorico's collision avoidance increases the spacing between those two systems so that it won't collide. That part works fine. The problem is that now, to fix that unnecessary extra spacing between systems, what you naturally want to do is move the rehearsal marker perhaps a bit closer to the lower system or the dynamic closer to the upper system (or both). The problem is in this case Dorico does not adjust the spacing between the systems, so now there are two systems further apart for no apparent reason on the page, which looks stupid.

    To fix this spacing without turning off collision avoidance, you need to move that system (and, individually, every system below it on that page) a bit higher. This is time consuming. The negative aspect of this (as I discovered) is that any editing whatsoever resets the spacing to default. So you can't even go in and respell a note from C# to Db without losing all of the custom spacing settings, and the part looking stupid again.

    If you turn off collision avoidance in parts, then if you make minor edits like note spelling changes you only need to manually adjust the one or two problematic systems, instead of everything below that point on the page. You still do lose custom spacing adjustments obviously, but in this case there are fewer staves that needed their spacing adjusted.

    Sibelius's algorithms for this are better at the moment. I'm still glad I moved to Dorico (because I save time in other areas), but I think they really need to fix this.
     
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  8. cmillar

    cmillar Active Member

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    I use DP as well, and will have to try some exporting/importing to Dorico.

    After being all over the map between my likes and dislikes of Sibelius vs Finale over the last year, and thinking I should maybe get back into Finale after using Sibelius for several years...I got the Dorico trial, and after 2 days of using it said "That's it!" to myself.

    Dorico....love it....
    - standard music fonts are great...don't have to spend hours customizing things
    - chord symbols....love how they work and how super-easy to tweak anything (but, you don't have to do much)
    - excellent version of 'Simple Entry'...new and improved
    - very interesting Playback features if needed; NotePerformer works great; you can mix out stems for further improving of music for demos
    - great implementation of 'properties', 'popovers', cues, layout tools,
    - default settings can pretty much be left alone!
    - etc. etc. etc.

    I've just been wanting something to feel comfortable; like pencil and paper. I can see Dorico approaching that and I'm just scratching the surface. (...but, I'll never ditch a pencil and manuspcript for getting initial inspirations going)

    I'm not an Alan Silvestri, not a Broadway copyist or big-time commercial publishing company or anything...my needs are really pretty simple....and Dorico is heaven-sent. (....I'm a free-lance musician composer/arranger/trombonist writing music for my own projects in different genres and doing some commissions for other performing groups; and scoring work for smaller independent film/video people where I'm basically a one-man show for the overall production)....but I play with great musicians who have given me great feedback on their views of what 'reads' best for chord changes, etc. etc......which had me re-considering Finale....but, life's too short....Dorico saves hours and hours of drudgery! And Sibelius is starting to look like a bad video game. Dorico is actually making me like notation software again!

    Everything I've moved over in MusicXML has been easy to clean up when sent from Sibelius of Finale. Some small things to deal with, but worth it.

    I say try Dorico!
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2019
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  9. jamwerks

    jamwerks Senior Member

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    You can turn off collision avoidance on a per item basis (in the properties in the lower pane) which usually solves problems. For extremely tight and full pages you'll see in professional publishing it's not 100% effective yet, but for most film music it's perfect.

    In the scores I would like to be able to show the bar numbers in more than one place which is not yet possible unfortunately. But is easily done in Acrobat.
     
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  10. OP
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    JohnG

    JohnG Senior Member

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    These are great comments.

    For those who've switched, how long does it take to start moving at a decent speed?
     
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  11. OP
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    JohnG

    JohnG Senior Member

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    Yep; nothing faster, not only because you can scribble down quickly, but because you don't get the mental interference of "oh, that French Horn patch is not quite right...." [ten minutes later] "...where was I again...?"
     
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  12. jamwerks

    jamwerks Senior Member

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    John, I spent 2 full days with the manual & and YouTube channels always open, and was then able to start working.

    Dorico is pretty deep & can seem overly complex at times, but it's really a complexity that in the end simplifies. The Dorico forum is pretty active and any questions are usually quickly answered. I shot about 10 of them there in the first week, and that was a huge help. The manual is well written, but doesn't always have all the answers to someone who is learning!
     
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  13. OP
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    JohnG

    JohnG Senior Member

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    Sounds worth it then. Feels as though I sometimes take 2 full days to find which unintuitively-named "tool" or sub-pulldown menu you need in Finale for a very ordinary purpose!

    One other question -- is it easy to replicate some of the key combinations from Sibelius or Finale into Dorico? Example: Using articulation tool in Finale, if you hold down the '2' key and drag across a series of notes, accent marks appear on all of them.
     
  14. jamwerks

    jamwerks Senior Member

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    Yes, there are literally hundreds of key-commands that you can assign in Dorico.

    Although the one area that Dorico is maybe a little slower than Finale on the data entry level is adding text (Arco) and arts. There's probably one click more needed in Dorico, but that time is made up in the other areas.

    I'd also suggest an assignable multi-button mouse. Once you get working (editing) you'll be alternating between two modes (write & engrave) all the time. Better to have that done with your mouse hand leaving the other free for other commands!
     
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  15. OP
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    JohnG

    JohnG Senior Member

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    Good tip -- thanks
     
  16. stigc56

    stigc56 Active Member

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    I have taken the jump from Finale - Sibelius and now Dorico, I don’t think you will regret it. The XML import works really well.
     
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  17. OP
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    JohnG

    JohnG Senior Member

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    Thanks Stig and everyone who chimed in.

    Waiting for my crossgrade authorisation and then I'm in. I have a lot of music to orchestrate this year and am hopeful this will help.
     
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  18. marclawsonmusic

    marclawsonmusic Senior Member

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    Please let us know how it works for you, John. Following this thread with interest...
     
  19. OP
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    JohnG

    JohnG Senior Member

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    I will probably have to defer my actual launch for some weeks as I'm in the middle of a project that I started with Finale, but I'll get back to this thread.

    Thanks again everyone.

    Kind regards,

    John
     
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  20. mducharme

    mducharme Senior Member

    Really? I don't remember Finale being noticeably faster in that area. What method are you using to enter text like "arco" in Dorico?
     

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