A dream: Layout for books [SOLVED]

(Please read my last post from October 16)

Fortunately I can make all the necessary layout work to create books with these great programs InDesign and Acrobat Pro and it works well.
But of course it is a quite time consuming task.

One of the most time consuming task is after creating several hundreds single PDF with Dorico, to sort these PDF and to combine into books with additional title pages and table of contents.

For example for a Musical I have to create 6 books:

  1. All full orchestra scores
  2. All small orchestra scores
  3. All parts for full orchestra divided in chapters for each instrument/player
  4. All parts for small orchestra divided in chapters for each instrument/player
  5. A vocal only score
  6. A vocal & Piano score

Considering some already very powerfull layout features of Dorico like Frames, Master Pages, Paragraphs Styles and others it is already quite easy to create even title pages or content pages but I wonder if the Dorico team has ever thought about going a step further and add some extended layout features to organise several pdfs together and create books?

In my “Dream” there would be:

  1. A few additional features like combine and sort layouts, insert blank pages, add page numbers, add headers and footers.
  2. But one even gretar featur would be if Dorico (or maybe in a specialised module) was able to acces the layouts from several documents and combine them.
    And if also Dorico was able to automatically extract and sort from the several documents all the “Clarinet” layouts or all the “Percussion 1” layouts
    and place them into the right order … it would be heaven :wink:
    There would be no need anymore to create hundreds of PDF!

I already do this in Dorico, using a single project for a whole musical. Somebody else is responsible for slapping covers on the PDFs. I have to do the contents pages separately but that’s literally it (and that’s only because I like contents pages with leader lines and some of my flow titles don’t have any music attached, meaning they won’t show if use the relevant Dorico tokens).

Why are you using multiple documents? You could be utilising the power of flows.

Thanks for your thoughts.

Now I have to ask:
you put 20 or 25 songs in one project and you can comfortably work with Dorico?
I once tried to have more than one song in one project and Dorico begun to be much less responsive than with one flow only (meaning with noticeable lag between tasks) so I did not even tried further and I decided to stay with one project per song.

If you know a way how I can import a project (as flow) in another project without loosing any of the layout work for the imported flow I may try again to see how much music and flows can Dorico handles without too noticeable lag but to my knowledge it is not possible at the moment to import anything without loosing all the layout work.

Further in my musicals the orchestration is not necessarily always the same for each song.
I may have 16 players in one song, 10 in another, 4 in another and so on.
How do you deal with such situations?
Of course I take care that the name of each player is consistent through the whole musical so if there is a clarinet in one song it is also named clarinet in the other songs but let say the Clarinet plays in flow 1, 3 and 5 only, how does Dorico print the Clarinet part?

Yes. I make sure I only have tabs open that actually need (and restart Dorico frequently to clear out cached tabs). With a quad-core machine it works fine for me. On my dual-core Macbook Pro it’s unusable. If I’m working with a big ensemble then sometimes I use a separate score layout that only contains the one flow, to get the notes and text in, but still within the same project. I always get the notes and text in first, then do the layout, then do the (increasingly rare) engraving tweaking.

If you know a way how I can import a project (as flow) in another project without loosing any of the layout work for the imported flow I may try again to see how much music and flows can Dorico handles without too noticeable lag but to my knowledge it is not possible at the moment to import anything without loosing all the layout work.

I don’t - you’re correct here.

Further in my musicals the orchestration is not necessarily always the same for each song.
I may have 16 players in one song, 10 in another, 4 in another and so on.
How do you deal with such situations?

If the clarinet only plays in flows 1, 3 and 5 then I disable the tickboxes for the clarinet for flows 2 and 4. It prints a part with only flows 1, 3 and 5. If you want to show tacet pages then include the clarinet in flows 2 and 4 and set the Layout Option for the clarinet part to show tacets. Also set the Layout Option for your score(s) to hide empty staves.

Thanks again.
I will do a test to see how Dorico deals with 20 to 25 flows on my system.
If my system can cope with this it would be of course a great way!
I will report later.

BTW it would be great if Dorico could import flows and keep the complete layout!

I second Teacue’s wish. Import flow with its layout work would be awesome.

And if reordering flows would keep their layout it would be more than helpful.

Here are some results of a test I did with multiple flows.

I loaded 22 songs of a musical as 22 flows in one Dorico project.
The songs have on average 100 bis 150 bars with different instrumentation from 10 to 20 players.
But during the flow import Dorico created 81 players even after choosing “Merge with existing Players”.
I guess the flows must be very well “prepared” for Dorico to be merged into the right players!
It took about 50 minutes to import all flows
After saving the project it takes 1:06 mn to load the project.

At first sight it looks as if it is possible to work with the project.
Navigating through the flows and the pages is ok.
Note or text editing is a tad slower than with one flow only but seems to be ok too.
But these are other things which take for ever and make it really difficult to work.

Here are some examples tested several times with different items.
Hide sign posts 0:26
View sign posts 0:22
Unassign a player to a layout 0:36
Assign a player to a layout 0:32
Right click on a player 0:05
Change Instrument 1:40 to 2:34 (depending on the instrument) until the player is responsive again
Master page apply 0:43
Close Master Page editing 0:06

I did not test everything but it is already clear that the time needed for these task is much too much for me to be able to work with the program.
With such delays ( two and a half minute to change an instrument!) for tasks which have to be done often it becomes very tedious to work and it is really no fun any more.

I do not know if it is because of the specs of my PC (see below) or if it is the expected behaviour or if Dorico needs to be optimized but this little experience confirmed what I already found out months ago (with much less flows BTW): as soon as I work with a few flows Dorico is simply not responsive enough on my system.

This was the reason why I choosed to work with one project per song and why I did not think about the solution proposed by Pianoleo.
At the moment it is not feasible at least on my system.
But of course this would solve most of my previous features request in the first post.

I have then new questions for the Dorico team:

  1. Is the PC I am working with to weak to work with multiple flows in Dorico?
  2. Or is Dorico at the moment not optimized enough for such tasks?
  3. In this case will Dorico in the next future be significantly faster when working with multiple flows?
  4. Independently of the previous questions are the features mentioned in my first post something the Dorico team would consider?

My PC specs:
Intel 7-6700K 4.00 Ghz with 64 GB RAM - Windows 10 - I use HDD
It is surely not the fastest system for today but I would say it is not bad either.
I can work in Cubase with a lot of VSTis and VSTs known to be resource hungry without problem.

teacue, how many cores are you running?

@ dankreider
I must confess that I am not sure! I guess four.
When I build a new PC I know quite a few things about hardware, but as soon as the PC is build I forget everything until the next time :wink:
I must research a little

Your instrumentation’s a lot more than anything I work with on the MT side (and that’s the only time I deal with many flows in one project). I suspect that if you’d reduced it down from 81 players to 20 then things would speed up substantially, but I realise that at this point it would be a huge effort to do so (it would take you ages!). It might be quicker if you import one flow at a time, fix the instruments, delete the excess players, then repeat for each of your other 21 flows.

Right now I’m working on a book that’s 33 flows, 8 players, four different score layouts but no part layouts yet on my HP. My computer specs are substantially less than yours (see my footer) but it’s keeping up with my project just fine.

I started testing things out from your list, and noting the durations of each event, but frankly, my times are way quicker than yours - even changing an instrument only took 16 seconds (and that’s an instrument that features in every flow and every score layout).

I think Dorico’s still got some optimisation to go, but basically the functionality your asking for is already there. It’s just unfortunate that once you hit a certain upper limit, either of number of players, number of flows, number of overrides, number of layouts - Dorico slows to a halt.

In the meantime, have a look at this, which came up on this forum quite recently. It might be a help while you’re juggling multiple Dorico projects for one actual project. https://www.scoringnotes.com/news/new-updated-pdf-utilities-music-printing/

[edit: Dan, you could have done this search yourself: https://ark.intel.com/products/88195/Intel-Core-i7-6700K-Processor-8M-Cache-up-to-4-20-GHz-]

@ dankreider
I guess I owe you a drink!
After a little research I discover that my PC was running with only one core activated (can it be? I am not sure).
I manually activated 4 cores and made a few test again in Dorico.
And now Hide sign posts is 0:10 instead of 0:26
Instrument change 0:48 instead of 1:40
Somtehing definitely happened!

I must research a bit further because as I manually set how many cores there was the option to activate 1 to 8 cores!
But I do not know if my processor has 8 cores!

I have also done a whole musical in dorico. But as teacue has written some tasks are extremely slow with many flows and I had only 14 players in this one here. I hope this will become much faster in future. And I have 4 cores on my iMac.

teacue, you’ve got 8 threads on four physical cores. You may want to do a bit of Googling…

This is what I am doing and I am also trying to activate all cores but now the task manager tells me that only two cores (Kerne) are activated!
I never dealt with cores and threads until now so I am a little bit lost but at some point I will get it :wink:
Thank you for your search

teacue, you should have the same numbers here (cores and logical processors) that I have. Looks like you’ll need to make a change from 4 to 8 wherever it is that you’re activating cores.

Thanks pianoleo for your willingness to help :slight_smile:
In the meantime I also found out how to activate all cores and the task manager now shows exactly the same as the pic you have posted.
For some unknown reason it seems as if on my system the cores were not activated though theoretically WIndows automatically activates all available cores when nothing is manually set.

Now Dorico seems to behave faster than before and that is already a good point (see the time value in my answer to dankreider)
It is not fast but better than what I first described.
I will then test tomorrow further wether I can work this way.

You could possibly help me for one thing as you seem to have done some works with multiple flow.
As I previously wrote just importing the flows as they are do not accurately merge the players together.
In order to better understand the mechanism of "Merge with existing player"I then tried to import only one flow and I tried to exactly “sync” player- staff- names and instruments to see if the result is better.
Indeed most of the players with the same staff name are merged (I mean use the same plaqyer) for some reason 3 players which have exactly the same name and the same instruments are duplicated instead of being merged.
I mean Dorico creates/duplicate these three players with the same name as three other players already in the project where I import the flow.
My question is do you maybe know what are the exact conditions for two players to be merged?
The name of the player? The staff name? The assigned instrument? Something else?
What could prevent two identical player to be merged?

I’m afraid I have very little experience of importing existing flows - I make a point of keeping projects as projects rather than importing in. And as for my stuff that’s in Sibelius, nobody’s paying me to move it to Dorico so I’m not even importing much MusicXML.

With any luck someone will pitch in who has more experience in this particular area.

I’d be interested to have intel from the team about that Merge behavior. I have tried (and managed, but it involved time and cut-paste) to build up big projects from numerous flows and this is something that embarrassed me.

When you import a flow, Dorico will merge players if there is already a player in the project that is holding all of the instruments held by the incoming player; but if the incoming player has any instruments that are not held by the player in the destination project, then a new player will be created. So in other words the player in the project you’re importing the flow in to must have the same or a superset of the instruments held by the incoming player in order to match. The name of the player and indeed the names of the instruments held by the player aren’t considered: it is the internal type of instrument that has to match.

One thing to be aware of is that if you have a bunch of projects that have originated from MusicXML import, it’s quite likely that you have unique instrument types that have been created on demand by Dorico to match the properties of the instruments defined in the MusicXML files, so they will almost certainly not match.