Collection of issues after using Dorico on several bigger projects

Hello, the following is an assorted collection of bigger and smaller issues I came across when using Dorico for multiple big orchestral scores. I kindly ask for your attention even though I apologize for such a big and messy list. Feel free to reply to individual points. A big thank you goes to the developers of this software as well as to the users here on the forum who have helped many a distressed soul, I hope this list is not seen as rude or unthankful, but as an attempt of contributing to a common goal.
Thanks and regards,
Roland



a1) please reliably put the selection in the center of the screen when switching views (page view/galley view, engrave mode/write mode, switching between layouts)! searching for the selection takes a lot of time as it happens very frequently

a2) aux notes in trills show wrong notes when condensed

a3) it doesnt seem to be possible to have a bar number at the beginning of a stave that starts with a multirest when bar numbers below multirests are enabled?

a4) the “counterpart layout” command, a very useful tool for quickly going from score to a part or vice versa, has three problems: 1. it doesnt work when a whole bar rest ist selected 2. the viewport doesnt correctly center on the selected object 3. when using the command in engrave mode, the selection is not preserved

a5) when selecting comments in the right hand action bar, the view doesnt always correctly jump to the selected comment, also the highlight colour when a comment is selected is not very well visible

a6) the command “beam together” doesnt work correctly if one of the selected notes is tied to a note larger than an eighth note

a7) please dont select multiple items with one click - i lose so much time because of having to redo selections: note plus slur, gliss, cresc, adjacent noteheads etc… are often selected when clicking on the notehead and result in popover actions affecting the wrong area without me noticing at first to name just one thing. also, in engrave mode, the notehead is always the last thing that will be selected when clicking on a notehead from a distance… first it will select stem, dynamic, whatever
I must say I dont understand why it is even possible to select multiple items with one click, what is the benefit?
What would relieve me is if the behaviour of the shift-alt-click shortcut (as in selecting only one item at a time) would be the default behaviour, at least as a toggleable option…

a8) when selecting the last bar in a flow and typing “>p” into the dynamics popover, the dim. hairpin and piano mark will be put correctly into the selected bar, however, an empty bar will be created after the selected bar and the piano will be anchored to the first beat of the new bar even though it is displayed at the end of the selected bar; maybe this could be changed so that the new dynamic is anchored to the last beat of the selection and no empty bar has to be created

a9) take a melody containing a triplet doubled at the octave (but in one voice), select the lower notes and make them a downstem-voice → the triplet will be broken

a10) the arrow keys shortcuts to navigate up and down between the notes dont work correctly when a chord contains a unison or an altered (splitstem) unison; one note will be left out in each direction

a11) the “zoom-to-selection” feature doesnt work 100%, this is most evident in a large orchestral score when selecting a note and zooming in and out a great deal; the view wont be completely centered on the selected note, and when zooming out really far and then in again, the note sometimes wont be in view at all

a12) inconsistency with tremolo stroke count, dotted rhythms and tied notes:
with dotted rhythms such as in the following four notes: “dotted 8th - 16th - dotted 8th - 16th”, selecting all four notes and adding for example a three-stroke tremolo, each of the four notes gets a three-stroke tremolo. however, when the second note is tied to the third note and doing the same, all notes will get a three-stroke tremolo except for the third note which will get a four-stroke tremolo

a13) a collision I wanted to mention concerning glissandi and flags: create two eighth notes (not beamed together), the first one being a g inside the treble clef staff, the second one being the same note or a higher note, and create a glissando between them. there will be collisions between the gliss.line and the flag of the first eighth note, and more severely, at some intervals the “gliss.” text will appear when there isnt enough room and will collide with the flag.

a14) an inconsistency with popover functionality: when I select for example a ff dynamic and press enter, the dynamics popover will open filled with the selected text “ff”, and when I change that to “p”, the fortissimo will be replaced by a piano. this also works with the tempo popover or with the metre popover, however, it doesnt work with the playing techniques popover (for example replacing a “string 1” marking by a “string 2” marking), here, an additional marking will be created. I wonder, wouldnt it be more consistent if selecting a marking and pressing enter would always allow the user to modify that marking (as implied also by the text in the opened popover being selected) whereas selecting a note or a rhythmic position and pressing a popover shortcut would always create new markings.
Right now, the inconsistency isnt even only between different popovers: returning to the example at the beginning, when I select a “ff”, press enter and replace it by a “cresc” (or e.g. by a “fp”), the marking wont get replaced but a crescendo will be added after the fortissimo (- if I wanted that, wouldnt it be more logical to just add the “cresc” after the “ff” inside the popover?) I press enter again and the opened popover now says “ffcresc.”; I try deleting the “cresc.”-part and hit enter but that doesnt remove the crescendo - wouldnt it be logical to also be able to make that modification (of deleting items) through this functionality?

a15) in a large orchestral project with a handful of flows, I ran into problems copying and pasting large sections of music; in the areas around the pasted material I would end up with some instruments music not being moved correctly with the music in the other instruments, or with one voice of an instrument being moved but not the others… Im sorry for not being able to point to the exact root… but in essence I couldnt trust the software with keeping the music around the pasted regions intact, which is a shame and cost a lot of time

a16) pause playback using space, change the playback tempo (in the upper right corner), press space to resume playback: the playhead will not resume where it left of and use the new tempo, but it will jump to the location where it would be if the new playback tempo would have been valid since the beginning of the piece

a17) the harmonic symbol (circle) is not placed above the correct note horizontally in chords with seconds or unisons

a18) in the music symbols editor when selecting a glyph range, the previews of all the glyphs are all not centered and scaled correctly to fit the preview tiles.

a19) why are breath marks created after the selected note whereas caesuras are created before the selected note? (which I personally find more logical, but the most important thing is that it is consistent imo)

a20) a caesura in a bar prohibits fermatas after that caesura from showing in all instruments: take a bar of 4/4 in a score with multiple instruments, add 4 quarter notes in one instrument, create a caesura before the second beat, create a fermata on the third beat: it wont show in the other instruments but will appear once the caesura is deleted

a21) using e.g. [1+1+1+1]/4 to get a bar of 4/4 where each beat is beamed separately seems to get overridden by the notation option to “break beams at beam boundaries” (also true for bars without a half bar like [1+1+1+1+1]/4) is this a bug? other configurations such as [1+1+2]/4 dont get overridden
is there not a way to create beam groups outside of this popover-shortcut? say I want a time signature of 2/2 but with beam breaks at every quarter, how could I even enter it into the popover?

a22) a series of tuplet notes (e.g. triplets) - select and delete last note of last tuplet → selection jumps to last note of previous tuplet instead of previous note in current tuplet
when deleting the first note of a triplet, the selection will jump to the triplet bracket, cant it jump to the note before? that would be much more consistent with how it works outside of tuplet… furthermore, when that happens it is not possible to use the tab key to get back to the music as the tab shortcut does not jump to/from rests - please consider changing this generally, as this often causes the need to get off the keyboard and use the mouse just to select a note again, which is disruptive and doesnt fit together with the smooth workflow elsewhere in the program!

a23) is there a reason that that force duration command when trying to change e.g. two tied quarters to a half note, pressing “o, 7” doesnt work, only something like “o, 6, 7”, so I first have to change to a smaller value? isnt the purpose of force duration that I really just can force it to be whichever note value immediately? just a nagging disruption of the workflow

a24) when changing an existing tempo or dynamic in the popover (e.g. q=120 to q=124 or p to pp), please keep all of the properties (scaling, custom position (offset), parenthesized, alignment, beat-relative position; these are all lost unfortunately!)

a25) when selecting an area of music across several instruments ending at say a quarter note, but one of the middle instruments has 8ths or another smaller value at the end, only the first note of that beat will be selected instead of the whole selected beat… I kindly urge to make it so that the full beat is selected in all selected staves, regardless of how that beat is structured, because it is very not practical when making a selection of large swaths of staves to look for that one staff that has the smallest subdivision at the end of the beat one wants to select. (I know that one can also select time in the system track, but one often wants to select just some and not all of the instruments)

a26) its not possible to right-click on a group of players in setup mode, is this intentional? this seems to make it impossible to batch-remove players from a group or to batch-duplicate players or to batch-control chord symbols visibility options…

a27) is there a way for the program to automatically take into account the vertical space that multiple lines of lyrics take? for example when the bottom staff on a page has multiple lines of lyrics, they may cross the page margins without the program compensating…

a28) the cues engraving option to “show ‘Play’ at next entry” doesnt actually put the “Play”-text at the next entry of the instrument as the description says and as is common practice, but places it after the cue has ended, which might not be the same thing at all when there are some more rests between the end of a cue and the actual entry of the instrument

a29) take two trombones that start on different notes, then both glissando into the same note at the start of the next bar: the glissandi will not show properly in condensed mode when there is a line break before that next bar
the problem also exists with divisi staves going to non divisi staves

a30) when selecting the latter of two grouped playing techniques (connected by an arrow) and moving it on the rhythmic grid using the ctrl-alt-left/right shortcut: this works, but: when multiple instruments have the same thing and one ctrl-selects all of the latter playing techniques, moving this selection will break the grouping of the playing techniques

a31) when a tied note has an articulation, splitting that tied note somewhere using the U-shortcut will also put that articulation on the newly created note, when actually, it should put the articulation on only one of the two notes that result from the split, depending on whether it is an articulation that gets put on the last note of a tie chain (staccato) or on the first note of a tie chain (accent)

a32) there is a problem with misplaced tuplet numbers when the downstem-voice in a condensed staff goes above the upstem-voice and is tied and the upstem-voice has triplets; the triplet numbers will get placed above the tie (see attached image)

a33) when stemlets over rests are enabled, sometimes the stemlet is not drawn correctly, and I think it has to do with multiple voices and tieing a note to the downstem-note then repeating that section… see attached image
stemlets-over-rests-multiple-voices-collision

5 Likes

Hi Roland.
Your post is really impressive, there’s been some work on this, I can tell!
If you *really * want us to react to it — some remarks are spot on, others might require a different workflow, etc… would you be kind enough to edit your post and add numbers or letters to each part (in your two posts)? This way, we wouldn’t need to quote you in every post to keep it constructive.
Thanks in advance!

3 Likes

The following is an assorted collection of ideas for features and functionalities.



b1) bravura:
i love the bravura note symbols for metronome markings because the stem of the notes is short and doesnt waste any vertical space, better than in any other font! …the mallet symbols (hard/medium/soft mallets) however are the opposite and take a lot of vertical space… I think they would be more consistent with other bravura symbols if they were shorter and sturdier looking, maybe also with slightly bigger heads in order to be more legible

b2) also the upbow symbol would be really nice if it could take up less vertical space

b3) please add an engraving option to allow tuplet numbers to go inside the stave, large gaps between bems and tuplet numbers look very unprofessional

b4) is it possible to set the vertical staff distance differently (e.g. smaller) for staves belonging to the same staff group than the distance between staves that do not belong to a staff group?

b5) please remember the settings in the transposition dialogue during a session! it takes quite a while to set them all including the checkboxes for enharmonic spelling
also, the interval setting should come before type as changing interval resets the type

b6) it would be a great time saver when adding a glissando between two chords to automatically connect all notes correctly (top to bottom each, provided the two chords have the same number of notes which is normally the case if one’s trying to do this)

b7) the ability to change the staff type of an instrument e.g. to a one line staff or two staves without changing-instrument-workarounds (important for contemporary music)

b8) the property for which string a note should be played on could have an automatic notation as sul G, sul IV, IV., etc.

b9) the ability to define custom popover-spellings for playing techniques

b10) a visual preview of the continuation line styles in the playing technique creation wizard

b11) it would be helpful for learning, if hovering over the right hand action bar symbols would also show the popover shortcuts (e.g. “Dynamics (Shift+D)”)

b12) is it possible to have a strings divisi only in the parts, not in the score? oftentimes, it is ok to show multiple voices in one staff for the score, but would be preferable to split it up into multiple staves in the parts

b13) please remember whether a layout was in page view or in galley view when switching between layouts… especially annoying when working in galley view in the score and quickly switching to a part layout and back, because it will always get reset to page view…

b14) when starting to enter text into a popover (e.g. “HA”), please consider to change the order of autocomplete suggestions to prefer “starts with:” and not search anywhere in the word (so that for example “HArmon mute” will come before “cHAnge bow”)

b15) in the jazz ornaments panel, in my opinion the arrangement of the symbols is not consistent; in row 3 and 4, each row has the direction of the movement in common (low to high for row 3 and high to low for row 4), so by that logic, the first symbol in row 1 (plop bend) should be in row 2 instead as its direction of movement (high to low) is in common with the other symbols in row 2, respectively, the first symbol in row 2 (scoop) should be in row 1.
(alternatively, the logic of row 1 and row 2 (ornaments at/above the note for row 1, ornaments at/below the note for row 2) could be applied to row 3 and 4 by switching the first two symbols in row 3 with those of row 4)

b16) please add an option to never do automatic line breaks at dashed barlines - these are often used inside a bar to aid reading (and even per default dont add a new bar number when created inside a bar)

b17) an engraving option to set how far the end of a lyric extender line should extend beyond the last affected note (for example if the last syllable is tied to a whole note, than the extender line looks very short as it ends even before the notehead ends)

b18) the ability to select music across instruments and add dynamics to all of them in one go is great - please enable this also for the playing techniques and the ornaments popovers! and also for things like breathmarks, glissandi, and staff size.

b19) suggestion: a wildcard “score transposition” that automatically fills in either “score in C” or “transposed score” depending on the actual transposition setting inside the program, this could prevent many a wrong marking

b20) in setup mode, the buttons to access “change instruments” and so on (the little arrows) are quite tiny and easily missed… if there was a way to make them less fiddly Im sure it would be appreciated by many (older) users

b21) the ability to create more complex tempo equations using tuplets (e.g. quintuplet 8th note = 8th note), important for contemporary music

b22) it would be nice if the popover parser could sometimes be more flexible, for example “jazz turn” creates a jazz turn, but “jazzturn” will create a turn… alternatively it would be great to be able to add custom popover spellings for all markings

b23) may I suggest for the music symbols editor the ability to scale glyphs and text without fixed aspect ratio (helpful when constructing simple symbols out of primitives such as lines and rectangles), and also to rotate them. the ability to undo/redo would also be helpful …that would make that editor even more powerful

b24) in the bottom action bar, selecting page view/galley view through a toggle button (same as for hand tool/marquee tool) instead of a popup menu would save one click each time, as there are there also only two options to choose from

b25) switching between “select only” and “deselect only” and generally using the “filter” tool with its huge dropdown menu is not exactly fast, especially when repeatedly filtering… maybe there could be a filter window, similar to the transpose window, were parameters would also be remembered during a session in order to quickly repeat searches

b26) please consider allowing markings such as “sempre legato”, “quasi staccato”, “legato sempre” etc. in the playing techniques popover
please consider allowing markings such as “poco cresc”, “cresc poco a poco”, “più cresc”, “meno cresc”, “non cresc”, “sempre cresc” in the dynamics popover (i.e. to automatically add e.g. a cresc with the suffix “poco” etc), please also consider adding just “meno” and “più” in the dynamics popover, or is it possible to add dynamics yourself? for example, contemporary composer Mark Andre of uses “sp”, “spp”, “sppp” to denote a very quiet “sf”

b27) please allow changing the tempo during playback

b28) glissando lines and slurs over line breaks should ideally vertically start where they were when the last system ended, not where they were at the start of the gliss/slur, so that they are well balanced

b29) please consider allowing to change the niente circle size, and increase the default size for improved legibility - everything about bravura is so very legible, but the >niente circle is very small and easy to overlook

b30) please allow the horizontal movement of articulations in engrave mode, slight horizontal displacements can often be necessary in tight spacings with multiple voices e.g. in piano music.

b31) it would be really helpful if the comments panel would list comments from all flows all the time, and furthermore to be able to search for keywords in comments
also, it would be great if there was an option to reply to a comment directly from the comment popup window when opening a comment, right now I see a comment in the score, click on it, want to reply, and then I have to go to the comments-sidebar and look for that comment again in order to reply to it

b32) slurs that start on a tied note: I think the default distance between the slur and tie starting points is a bit wide and looks a bit clumsy - why is it not possible to decrease (under “endpoint positioning”) the “extra vertical offset from tied notehead” without decreasing the “minimum gap inside slur curvature”? as the latters name says, this will also affect collisions under the middle, the arch of the slur; arent these two different things? is there a chance to have less empty space between slur and tie end points but still have proper collision avoidance at the arch/middle of the slur?

b33) adding a caesura in the middle of a bar where other players have a whole bar rest could automatically split up the rests so the position of the caesura is clear in all parts.
a similar behaviour for fermatas would also be possible
in my opinion this is something that always costs time at rehearsals… and you have the possibility to change that by offering an automatic clear notation in your software - would be a small revolution for me

b34)the ability to put fermatas on caesuras

b35) to automatically put a fermata above a barline and set the correct property when selecting a barline and creating a fermata

b36) please consider adding a single stroke caesura (straight and tilted) that is commonly used, as it is not possible to add custom caesuras that position correctly for the user… I’m working on an edition of an opera where the composer mostly used the single stroke type of caesura and its addition would save my poor bottom and Im sure many others

b37) the hand tool doesnt “grip” on the background (beyond the virtual “music paper” (it only does between the pages))… mildly disruptive, would it be possible maybe?
please also consider adding “endless mouse movement” so when griping and moving the score, the movement goes on even after the cursor has reached a border of the screen as long as the physical mouse continues to move - some apps have this and its greatly comfortable
please also consider increasing the possible amount of background area around pages so first or last pages of a series of pages can be moved to the center of the screen even if one third of the screen will be background area as a result. I know in sibelius there wasnt a limitation to this and therefore one could often lose the music in an endless background, but in dorico its the other (admittedly better) extreme and its just a minor annoyance to not be able to move a page to the center of the screen when zoomed out a bit

b38) it would be very comfortable if the options and dialogue windows would automatically resize horizontally in order to avoid having horizontal scrollbars for a few centimeters of content if the screensize allows for it (some of these points might seem petty, but for people that suffer from RSI and similar conditions (not too uncommon), all these things can make the difference in whether one gets through the day or not)

b39) the possibility of additional modifier texts for hairpins: “poco a poco” is great, but to have “molto” and “poco” as well or even a custom text would be amazing
also, is it possible to control the font size of the modifier text? that would also be great

b40) how to create double dotted notes without shortcuts? there could be a GUI element…

b41) is it possible to add a masterpage (e.g. a custom-type title page) to many or all parts in one go?

b42) allow me to bring to your attention the subito sign in the attached image (source is “New Musical Notation International Conference Report”, Sabbe Herman etc)
subito-sign_New-Musical-Notation-International-Conference-Report-Sabbe-Herman-etc

7 Likes

Many great suggestions.

Jesper

Thank you, yes thats wise - I added numbers!
Best regards

1 Like

Just a quick one from me - regarding b9) you can change the popover text for each playing technique, provided you have Dorico Pro, in the Edit Playing Techniques dialog.

b4) In Layout Options>Vertical Spacing, you can set different gap sizes for staves within brackets vs. between brackets, and several other situations. Combined with the custom bracketing you can set in Engrave mode, I think you can achieve what you want.

b9) You can edit any PT you want, including the popover text, in the Edit Playing Techniques dialog.

b12) That’s certainly possible when you activate “Condense divisi” in Layout Options>Staves and Systems.

b18) Activate the caret, then use Shift+up or down to extend it across multiple staves. Any ornaments and PT’s you enter in the popover will appear on all the staves spanned by the caret. (The staves have to be adjacent though, of course.)

b21) There’s not (yet) a native solution for this, but Florian Kretlow’s Metrico font, combined with hidden tempo changes for playback can do the trick for you.

b33) It’s not automatic, but you can type explicit rests in any part after toggling the , key which are able to reflect the rhythmic position of fermatas and caesuras.

b39) In Engrave mode, go to the Engrave menu>Font styles and select Dynamic Text Font from the drop-down to edit the appearance of dynamic modifiers globally.

Many other excellent points for which there’s indeed currently no solution.

Thanks for these collected issues. I have read them and will cogitate on them. I’m sorry to say that I don’t have time to respond to your post in detail, but I wanted to acknowledge the time and effort that has gone into collating them, and to assure you that I have read them all, and I will no doubt return to this post again in future to read it again.