A short review of the Key Editor in 4.1

Hi, new user here—to Dorico and to Dorico 4.1. I’m trying out the new Key editor. I’m posting a few short review comments in case the Dorico team is interested, but also in case someone can tell me that there is a better way of doing what I’m trying to do.

I’m exclusively working with the dynamics track right now, trying to convert the automatic dynamics into override dynamics. I’m in Write mode with the music in Galley mode.

  • When I select a note in the music, the corresponding note highlights in the piano roll. I get nothing in the dynamics track, so I have to hunt in the piano scroll for the highlighted note before I can find the corresponding portion of the dynamics track. How about creating an overlay showing the selected region in both the piano roll and dynamics (or other) track?
  • I’d like to see a few more horizontal lines in the dynamics track (like 8). Right now, I only see 3.
  • If I click on the piano roll, it gets bigger. If I click on the dynamics track it gets bigger. This is driving me crazy. Please consider letting me control the size of each region.
  • The automatic dynamics allow for two types of control points. I don’t know what the terminology is, but one is for maintaining a constant dynamic until the next control point and the other is for changing the dynamic linearly. When I manually edit this, I only get the latter option–I’d like both.

Because the piano roll and the dynamics editor (or whichever editor is shown in the lower section of the Key Editor) are synced together, it should hopefully be easy to find the dynamic you’re looking for in the dynamics editor: typically you don’t have that many printed dynamics within a single system so you can normally tell them apart. But it’s certainly not a bad idea for us to think about somehow highlighting a dynamic that’s selected in the music in the dynamics editor.

We are going to be making some further changes to the way the different sections of the Key Editor work together in the next significant update. This will include being able to have both the piano roll and the editor below active at the same time, with the ability to specify their relative sizes, along with other improvements. Please stay tuned.


Until I read your comments, it didn’t occur to me that I could select a dynamic and see it highlighted in the dynamics track. Duh! What I was doing was selecting notes, trying to find them in the piano roll, and then looking in the dynamics track underneath.

Of course, this only works when the dynamics in the score can be matched to an auto-created dynamic in the dynamic track, so notes are more reliable. So it’s not a matter of highlighting a dynamic selected in the music in the dynamics track (editor)—that’s already happening—it’s more about highlighting a selected region in the music in the piano roll and whatever other track you have enabled. Of course, you’d like this to work in either direction, and it might be awkward to highlight selected regions in the score since that’s not how selections have been done.

By the way, there’s an odd bug with using Link mode. I’d prefer that enabling the Link option not change my current zoom, either vertical or horizontal. It’s unnecessary and confusing. Just scroll the necessary measures/notes into view. But try this:

  • Turn off Link mode.
  • Zoom in on the piano roll, both vertically and horizontally (show more of the piano keys and more measures)
  • Select a note outside the currently displaying piano roll measures.
  • Turn on Link mode

The zoom is changed, but the currently selected note does not appear.

I had a merry hunt trying to figure out why in Link mode, certain measures were highlighted. I finally found the documentation that told me that this indicated the measures within the first system that has a selected element. There are often colors and graphical elements that mean something. It can be difficult to locate these in the manual. For example, the dynamics track begins on top with a gray-shaded area that sometimes includes blue lines. What are these lines for? I wish I could pull up a legend explaining all these markings.

I appreciate that you are working hard to add more capabilities to the Key editor.

In lieu of the updated Operation Manual, which Lillie is working on, the dynamics editor is documented in the Dorico 4.1 Version History, which you can download here:


Please see pages 6 and 7 for information about the dynamics editor, including a discussion of the blue lines at the top of the dynamics editor (which indicate the extent of a dynamic group).

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