Active playback enhancements?

I was just wondering if anyone ever wonders why you can’t do more test changes while a piece is actively playing instead of stopping it and adding a increase dynamic mark for instance. Why not be able to test it on the fly?

Why not have control options while it’s playing back to, hear what it sounds like if I slowed it here, increase the dynamics there, deemphasize another instrument there, silence another instrument completely here, test a crescendo at this point all while playing through a piece instead of stopping?

Then go back and actually add those edits you just tried, or choose not to add them depending on what you actually wanted. If you really wanted to get fancy, be able to do things like give for instance brass players a mute in the bells, or change the strings sounds from legato to marcato on the fly. (Those last things may be too much to ask, but seems like the more general commands might be possible.

So, basically why stop and start edit changes if you could test more on the fly as you pass over the parts as they’re playing and you enact a change. Or in some cases just as you reach a part where you want to test a ritardando.

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Why not? Because it would be a massive amount of work. It would probably require rewriting the entire playback engine, and make playback even more CPU-intensive.

When Dorico starts playback in the middle of a piece, it does what’s called “Chasing” – it has to look through the entire preceding passage, to see what the status of all of the MIDI data is. You’re basically asking Dorico to be constantly chasing MIDI data across the entire flow, in case you make a change somewhere.

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I see. Disappointed. Maybe I’ll have to wait until my quantum computer gets off backorder. :upside_down_face:

It would be nice for Dorico to be able to respond to edits during playback, but it’s easier said than done. Unlike a MIDI sequencer, where there is a direct correlation between the data you see on the screen and the MIDI that needs to be played, Dorico has to translate all of the written notation into appropriate playback data after each edit. It keeps track of what you have changed since it last performed that translation process, so that it knows what needs to be updated when you next start playback, but it doesn’t perform the translation again during playback.

This is something we could potentially do in the future, perhaps in conjunction with making it possible to loop a section during playback.

I know sometimes people can come up with clever workarounds for some things, like loading partial beginning parts of large samples, so the processor can easier keep ahead of processing a lot of data and ram, but I don’t have any suggestions for workaround unfortunately.

Perhaps if we ever have it, it could have a button for activation for power users who have enough tech to use it.