A request to Score Editor coders..make Score intelligent

OK, so you guys could not possibly comment; but my guess is that Score is going to do a total revamp and features such as Note expression and maps is going to be totally integrated in Cubase 7. Score is also going to get a S*belius" like make-over making it much easier to use - maybe touch screen too.

Here are my suggestions.
Both in the score editor and in the key editor can Steiberg make some macros to make it intelligent.

For example, if you write for full orchestra you often want to write in a counterpoint style - if Score (and key editor) could check the ‘spelling’ so to speak, of the counterpoint, and highlight the errors (such as consecutive fifths) this could help a lot, both educationally, and in saving time. I could envisage a list of counterpoint options which would enable you to check or uncheck whether you wanted to look for “start with a perfect consonant” or not etc. I could see a lot of creative possibilities for such a function.
It would be good to have some kind of motive editor/store where you could take a phrase and see/store variants of it, for quick pasting at a note position of your choice - paste option could be things like paste modal/preserve, pitch distances, invert, double/halve time. Modal paste could also specify what base scale - major minor or even Egyptian.

It would be good to transpose a note or phrase by highlighting it and using the mouse wheel.

The right click menu needs a re-design. Some of the things in it like ‘convert to grace note’ are pretty rarely used but some things that you would want to do frequently are not there (like add stacatto, slurs, accents,transpose).

The right click menu also needs to be context sensitive. It needs to give different options depending on whether you have got a note or a group of notes selected or some other selection. Cut copy and paste should be there.
I could see similar features, such as the ability to ‘configure’ a song by writing an A, B or C, section, then doing things like invert runs and arpeggios - on the fly, without writing out lots of notes individually. this sort of thing is very useful at the last two bars of a eight bar section. Overall a lot more things should happen at the phrase level - this includes pick up notes not just bars.

There should be an option to insert chords as note structure, the default being semibreves in root postion, but options to voice the chord and to splice the note values and then arpeggiate them in a customisable way. Score should be like a word processor - able to handle notes as a group (and apply functions) like a word processor

It would also be good if Steinberg got Really creative and developed a ‘notation keyboard’ which, like an alphabet keyboard, was the same size-ish but was compatible with the notation functions and laid out the Cubase 7 Score tools tactilly, so with practice you could get a real flow. It would have a piano keyboard of say 1.5 octaves, a shift octave button, transport functions, a row of buttons for note lengths, symbols (the common ones), easy zoom, snap store and paste functions, querty keys too but relegated to some form of number pad format like mobile phones. It would have real bouncy tactile keys. There would be a minijack for some cans. All USB of course.

The sound engineer types have their custom stuff, so why should not us ‘musical’ types?

Everybody raves about Sib7 but the reality is that Cubase has so much more going for it - under the hood. For a start, from the composers view, its got an excellent full sequencer (for half the price of 7, which has none) , it’s also got note expression and expression maps and its got display quantise (extremely important when producing finished performances) these are all features that the opposition can’t hold a candle to.

At present the interface is clunky especially note entry, this is its most serious drawback, although I do admit its very powerful.

On the note expression front, it would be great if, in score editor, you could simply right click on a note and choose an articulation (perhaps one already mapped) Depending on eyesight, screen size and distance from the screen, reading the expression map menu is often a bit of a peeeeeer.

In the score editor it would be nice to see a part view where you could also see a mini key editor - like the one in the project window,
this would give the score editor more independence and make it easier to work without jumping around editors to see whats going on - velocity for example is hard to track over a phrase - in the score editor.
The transpose dialogue box could be a lot friendlier instead of using spin buttons, simple buttons for regular intervals could be provided.

It would be great if we leap frogged over the present generation of notation software. I am sure Steinberg are capable of this.


Maybe they need more like you on the dev team.
I can see your points for composers but Score has seemingly always been an aid to arrangers more. ie: You can rough out and print parts for players who would then overdub a live instruments or just a notation for publishing etc.

Maybe there’s a case for another type of Cubase (Cubase arranger or orchestra?) with a better spec of Score along the lines you propose as I guess there are scales of cost involved in the production along those lines.

Before they start getting into sibelius territory I would like them to get the grid right in the key editor in compound time!!! I’ll keep using sibelius for scoring and cubase for creating music! :smiley:

If Cubase realy wanted it they could alows Sib7 to integrate with C7

It wouldn’t come without a price tag. Until that’s a viable proposition for the end-user and the prices and profit margins look good for both developers, which might happen. It’s unlikely that buying both separately would not be a cheaper option for some time.
Sibelius could opt, like Melodyne, to offer a scoring VST maybe but the way it looks long-term, to my eyes, is that Cubase might have half a plan at least to integrate scoring in some way utilising the audio side of things from the way that the audio, in some respects, can be readily converted to midi already. Which would be another block to integrating Sibelius just yet.
Of course I could be completely wrong but that’s first niggle I thought of when I read this. And even if, by chance, I’m right this would also come with a price tag.

I agree conman - something is going to happen and its going to integrate the audio. You can already get MIDI from Audio using the existing tools - with monophonic tracks
For my money, no one has really thought out the scoring facilites - and this includes Sibelius. Sibelius can never be a fully integrated tool unless it integrates seemlessly with a sequencer. In terms of getting an actual performance from MDI instruments (and what composer does NOT want to see his demos sounding more authentic?) you need a sequencer and you need display quantize - then you can get feel.
SO, IMHO if Steinberg get it right they can leave Silbeius standing. OK so Sib7 has got a squeaky clean user interface that’s easy to use - but this is not enough to keep it ahead. At some point Cubase is going to update the score editor and it will be easier to use too - then we are going to have the advantage of a full DAW under the hood - sibelius doesnt have this.
When early designs of word processors came about they emulated the typewriter, this was beacause every bodies head was in the typwriter world - later they realisedthat there was room for far more things spell checks, synonyms, grammer, pictures, diagrams, translations and a lot more. SImilarly, notation editors like Sibelius are stuck in the world where what is emulated is hte idea of scratching dots onto lines. There is so much more than can be done if you want to get creative. The link between a notation editor and creativity has not been explored IMO

Notation editors need ot get intelligent - like word processors they should be able to check and aid the process of writing.

Aloha guys,

I agree with both you guys on a couple of points.

Conman said:

It wouldn’t come without a price tag. Until that’s a viable proposition for the end-user and the prices and profit margins look good for both developers

and ZeroZero said:

Notation editors need ot get intelligent - like word processors they should be able to check and aid the process of writing.

Right-on’ to both these points. however on the other hand I sometimes think notation software tries to do too much.

The current crop of noation software is geared to play back music for you so
you can ‘hear’ what it sounds like.

For me I already know what it sounds like; that’s why I took orchestration at university.
I just need to get it printed nicely on paper for others to perform.

I would like my notation software to be like a page layout app (just the facts ma’am)
If I want to put five quarter notes in a 4/4 bar, I should be allowed to (incorrectly)
do that and print it out.

I often start (my own personal) music with just a pencil and manuscript paper; free to
make all the mistakes in the world. I would like to do just that in software.

I guess there is room for all of these points (and more)
but this just goes to show how ‘tricky’ this topic can be.

But in the end IMHO Conman is right. $$ rules.

Seems like it. Personally I’ve never seen the point of that unless you’re learning to read and it’s cheaper to learn to read the normal way. Faster too in many ways as there are several users of this type who just get bogged down in how the software can be improved from that perspective (not this one) rather than simply opening a music grade book.
Saying that there are plenty of musicians who can afford Cubase and do find the need to learn to read if only to proof-read any scores they write for others.

What might hold up further development along the lines proposed here is that score notation is quite graphics intensive although that may be an old notion as things have vastly improved over the years.

For the songwriter I find the score very useful and surprisingly adept at writing the way I do on paper, which is to keep the scores as simple as possible and with as few rests as I can.
For the composer or orchestrator I can see several drawbacks but if I had a problem there I’d ask Vic France. :smiley:
To get that right and provide a fairly simple scoring workplace would, I feel, require a programming effort almost as big as the main part of the program.
It would be very handy to have an orchestrators version if only that other members who did not use that would have easy contact with a forum page full of arrangers that they could hire for any scoring they need.

I’m with you those improvements you outlined ZeroZero. I don’t mind paying the extra $s if it means a more productive score editor.


To get it done they need first to know what you want. And what you know you want. Not what you think you want.
And you need to write it down for them in detail so that they can build it for you.
If I go to a drum builder and say “I want a drum kit.” that’s what I’ll get. Stock. But if I am a specialist I will have an idea of how many, what size, what timbre, colour, skin type, wood type, fittings etc and more.
They won’t know until I tell them.

Also try starting a conversation with other orchestral users who can use Score for their ends and see if they have any techniques you have missed.