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Exhausted with Finale -- is Dorico the answer?

BlackDorito

Active Member
Sadly, following is a note I just sent to Steinberg Support. If you care deeply about playback and driving a large and diverse set of VI libraries directly from Dorico (like a DAW), be careful and expect frustration.
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John,

I'm giving up for the time being ... Dorico simply is not ready for prime time re. playback. I am wasting all sorts of time maneuvering around issues I don't have with Sibelius. Your Expression Map feature is just not working at the level of a professional tool at this point. It does not chase controllers/keyswitches correctly and I can see it in the MIDI stream. No matter what Playback techniques I define, it seems to think that it is always in Natural mode and doesn't bother to send the commands. Not chasing controllers correctly absolutely destroys my ability to tune/mix my piece and to create effective swells, crescendos, etc.

It's back to Sibelius for me. Please emphasize to your developers that effective playback is a key element of the attractiveness of Dorico and they should fix all playback bugs, improve the mixer and make the Expression Map feature more like Cubase for version 3.0.

Regards,
Chris
 

Elephant

Member
Thanks Chris - very useful and specific. If that is what is going on, then +1 from me.

By the way, has the latest version got any other colour schemes than white/grey/black ? For me a major problem was that even the light theme was illegible in comparison to Sib. Tiny typeface, and insufficient contrast.
 
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BlackDorito

Active Member
Well, I'm no expert on Dorico, but I don't know that it has the equivalent of Reaper, i.e. lots of colorful and configurable UI themes floating around. Since I have a 4K main screen and lots of music/audio software is delivered with gray themes I often find myself struggling to find a scroll bar or to know exactly where the mouse is. [Windows does allow you to increase the size of your mouse pointer] Regarding font sizes .. the bar numbers displayed in Play mode are particularly small. I find myself dragging the Dorico window over to my secondary display (2K res) in order to see things.
 

Michael Antrum

Only the good die young....
I started out with Notion, and then went to Sibelius, but I really dislike the Sibelius GUI. Stuff is all over the place and makes little sense to me. So I recently moved over to Dorico, and so far it is just clicking with me.

I've just bought streamdeck XL and I am really liking it. I was about to start work on creating my own profile for Dorico, but this will save me a ton of time. I am hoping they will update it for the bigger XL.
 

cmillar

Active Member
Agreed....after being on Dorico the last 2 months (...and after 20 years of Finale/Sibelius)....I can't go back to the other programs.

I'm loving the Dorico presets keystrokes, and program some other in 'Keyboard Maestro'.

All's good!
 

cmillar

Active Member
What about your copyist?
You mean me? (...as pretty much my own copyist?)

Years ago (when there were still pen, velum, paper, real score and parts, etc.) I was a young pro musician looking for extra work, so I did some music copying for others in the '80's.

Painstaking work for me, as I would have rather have been doing my own charts and music, and I wasn't really that great a hand copyist; but, maybe a tad better than some scribble I often had/have to play!

So, I quit copying for others because of my own expectations.

In my brain and imagination, I'd be walking the streets of Toronto and I'd worked out a software program that would translate hand copying into a computer program...(but this was all in my imagination!) Would sit in many coffee shops thinking about something that would save time and, most importantly, be legible for sight reading.

Wow, if I'd had connections I could have started up a software company that would be a combination of 'Music Staff/Notation/Dorico/Sibelius' !
 

DMiram

New Member
JohnG, have you considered the new Perfect Layout plug-in for Finale?
It works excellently on MusicXML imported files, doing all the collision removal and fine-tuning of the layout automatically. Still lots of parameters to adjust - if you need them.

They have many examples and demo videos on their homepage, also on MusicXML import.

 

Jaap

Yes, that's an alto flute
I have been using Finale since I started on the conservatory in 1997, but got interested in Dorico when it was announced, but held back for a while to see how it would evolve.
This week I made the switch and gosh, so far it feels really really good. I must say the transition so far does not seem to be that difficult, but maybe it helps that I use Cubase already for a long time.

I am having a commisioned work for a follow up for a music theatre production that I wrote 3 years ago and will now carry on with Dorico and actually looking forward to it.

Also for my daily composing work I see a bright future as I still love to work with notes and I find the note editor in Cubase a bit a pain and I am now setting up a VEP template that the transition of scores from Dorico to Cubase will be a smooth transition. I could have done the same with Finale, but dunno, always held me back, but with all the recent improvements in Dorico I look forward to this.
 
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JohnG

JohnG

Senior Member
I think as soon as Dorico becomes used by copyists I will look at a switch. In the mean time, although I'm not keen on orchestrating my stuff I'm even less keen on copying parts. Therefore, any switch is going to have to come when the copyists give me the green light.

Ironically, the guys who are copying my project right now all use Sibelius so I had to quickly learn that.

Definitely will check out the Perfect Layout plugin for Finale -- thanks @DMiram
 

ptram

Senior Member
has the latest version got any other colour schemes than white/grey/black ? For me a major problem was that even the light theme was illegible in comparison to Sib. Tiny typeface, and insufficient contrast.
On the Mac, I’ve switched to the clear mode, and everything is now much more readable.

Paolo
 

JJP

I put dots and lines on paper.
Ironically, the guys who are copying my project right now all use Sibelius so I had to quickly learn that.
Your copyists required you to orchestrate in a different program?! o_O Yikes!

We do our copy work in Finale, but regularly have people send us scores in Sibelius or even hand-written. Sometimes it's various formats from different orchestrators on the same project. It's our job to make the parts from their file. We can't be asking the orchestrators to change the way they work.
 

JT

Senior Member
Your copyists required you to orchestrate in a different program?! o_O Yikes!

We do our copy work in Finale, but regularly have people send us scores in Sibelius or even hand-written. Sometimes it's various formats from different orchestrators on the same project. It's our job to make the parts from their file. We can't be asking the orchestrators to change the way they work.
This!
 
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JohnG

JohnG

Senior Member
Your copyists required you to orchestrate in a different program?! o_O Yikes!

We do our copy work in Finale, but regularly have people send us scores in Sibelius or even hand-written. Sometimes it's various formats from different orchestrators on the same project. It's our job to make the parts from their file. We can't be asking the orchestrators to change the way they work.
lol -- Finale is not used by this team -- they are in Europe and it's kind of a package situation. To be fair, the guys working for me here don't use it either. I've been a bit shocked that MusicXML exported from Finale can't always be opened in Sibelius at all. Besides that, there have been some odd missing-in-action accidentals in Finale itself, when using transposing instruments, that I can't quite explain.

Of course you're right that the copyist normally does whatever one asks and works with whatever. But it's a changing world and I just keep changing to try for the best result.

It's an unusual situation -- recording in Los Angeles, Tokyo and Europe. Nobody uses the same sized paper (of course); in Tokyo they don't even use a standard Japanese size for the parts. So the amount of flexibility required is not inconsequential.
 
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JJP

I put dots and lines on paper.
It's an unusual situation -- recording in Los Angeles, Tokyo and Europe. Nobody uses the same sized paper (of course); in Tokyo they don't even use a standard Japanese size for the parts. So the amount of flexibility required is not inconsequential.
John, I know you are a true professional who makes sure everything is done right. That's why it pains me to hear that copyists don't take this off your plate. I'm also replying for the benefit of everyone else reading this.

Software and paper sizes shouldn't be your problem. We just did orchestration and copying for some projects for live performance and recording in SE Asia. We had the composer put us in contact with the orchestra manager or librarian and we coordinated everything regarding printing from there. It would have been unprofessional of us to put that on the composer. That is why we are being paid. The composer hands off materials to us, and shouldn't have to worry about anything after that.
 
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