I installed VE Pro 7, watched 2 tutorials and found that using VE, at least at the beginning, needs a lot of setups looking very time consuming. I tried to get a decent user manual in PDF so I could calmly study the app, but did not find. You seem to be familiar with VE so perhaps you could help me. If yes, I think it would be polite towards other forum members to continue eventual communication in private messaging.
Another hint. I opened the score with these 12 Kontakt instances, deleted all of them, so Play list was empty, saved the file and quit Dorico. Despite of having no plugins Dorico hung and VST Audio engine got non-responsive. Force quit the both, opened the score with no plugins, tried to load a Vienna Ensemble Pro and again both hung. From these I gather that the score “file” has been damaged in a way I cannot overcome on my own. If you want I can upload the file here. It is small because it contain only testing passages, no real music at all.
I’m sorry for the delay - I’ve been too busy to spend any time on the forum recently. I don’t have much time at the moment for looking into this, but if you you can attach the score and a spindump here then I can see if it’s something obvious. See the post of Feb 16 for instructions on creating a spindump
Before I send the documents a quick question. I am working on setting up woodwinds from different libraries and for this purpose I wrote a testing passage. To create identical conditions for instruments the passage has steep conditions. Expression = f, all Dorico’s “humanazing” functions are off, mixer MIDI faders on max, so nothing should move, yet, there is something strange. Velocities for all notes in the passage are f=87, and once the passage is played they go to this value, but when I switch to another instruments they all go to value 64. I test 3 piccolos from BWW, EWQL and BBCSO Core. The passage is identical in notes, differ in articulations, but the velocities should stay at 87, but no, after playing they go to 64. Any help here will be most appreciated.
are you quite sure it’s not simply a matter of only the actual selected instrument showing and after starting playback giving the correct value? I mean when vln1 is playing it shows the correct numerical value of 85 but the viola here also shows 85 and from the height of the bars looks like halfway, ie 64. When you start to play the viola line, the reverse happens with the viola showing the correct value of 48 but the violin 1 also showing 48 numerically but from the bar height 64. Woodwind behaves in a similar way. To get the correct numerical value, you may need to restart playback and/or select only the first couple of notes
Actual playback should be OK – at least it is in my example but the Play window doesn’t refresh as expected. The exact behaviour will depend on library and dynamic controllers selected. I’m sure the team are aware of these issues and that improvements will be seen in due course.
If you’re saying actual playback is definitely wrong (perhaps test with greater contrasts to be sure), then that’s a different situation and we’d need as much detail as possible.
The situation is as you described it, the velocity shows correct when instrument is played, playback seems correct as well. My concern is about trust. I have been working with different libraries for more than a few decades and have encountered situations that way too many times gave results requiring heavy corrections and overwork. One thing they showed, another thing they produced. For example the passage between Sibelius and Cubase very often produced files that demanded as much time for corrections as the composition itself. Working with Dorico is better, but still the problem with mixer that for my way of working is very uncomfortable, not always being sure if the setup of given parameters will be reflected in exported MIDI files etc. makes me probably over-suspicious.
Can you attach a minimal project that reproduces the problem, and give a summary of what you are expecting to see, and what it actually does?
Please, use the below link to download the spindump and file where Dorico hangs and Audio Engine hangs as well. As you will see it is completely empty, but it is a “heritage” from the file I mentioned before (with 12 instances of Kontakt).
As for “trust” it is better to explain the behaviour than send projects. But before, let me tell you, that the concept behind Dorico is very, very good. It surpasses Sibelius functionalities easily, so, despite of the trouble I encounter it is not probable for me to return to Sibelius.
Below the short list of elements that still erode my trust:
- Mixer, Mixer, Mixer. This is a very serious problem, because a) opened Mixer blocks playback, b) if and when it shows anything it is meaningless because of almost infinite delay, c) what is the purpose of putting faders that give you no information, because they even have no scale, not to mention a digital display of the value of the position they are at?
In my setups I very often relay on Mixer and Dorico’s one is a gadget at best, because I cannot trust what it really shows.
- The problem I discussed on- and offline with dko22, the disappearing and reappearing velocities and controller curves. I do not trust such behaviour, because my experience says that things that do not stay stable have the tendency to change when exported/transcoded. Of course, I could do the experiment, create a MID file, open it in Cubase and analyze it, but give me one reason why I should do it. And what exactly is the reason for not simply keeping the values of velocities and curves as they are programmed, but switching them back and forth to 64 (velocities) or flat lines (controllers)? This situation makes any static analysis of the track rather difficult.
- Reactivity between Mixer and connected VSTs. Recently I was working very intensively with many of my libraries and their VSTs and had the following situation: all correctly connected, I see all required CCs moving if I use my control surface, but when I move MIDI volume in Mixer - nothing happens. It was only some time later when I found, that to make Mixer connect the VST I need to “play” it. One extra and unnecessary step that asks the question: will the Mixer connect, or not? Another point is “no automation” as Daniel once pointed out. The Play mode is a very, very good and smart step in speeding up composer’s work, but its readability is still limited in comparison with what Cubase offers (I mean that if I open one track with all lanes active I still can only see one controller at the time), so linking the behaviour of CC7 from the track with its corresponding fader will give the complete and reliable information. Now I see one info in the Mixer and another in the automation lane in the track, which begs the question: which of the two values is executed and will be exported. I know the answer, but I find the existing solution misleading. That is another case where I do not trust the behaviour of Dorico. Also, instead of having one look at the Mixer and knowing what my real positions of volumes are I rather have to go to Play and read them individually by opening lanes. There is a human factor in it as well. When people compose they tend to forget technical complications (like one volume in Mixer and another in in track’s automatic lane) and then are surprised that something unexpected and unwanted happens.
- Automation, especially drawing lines. Now if I draw two lines that should connect and I link the one being drawn with the second already existing, the latter gets erased. To keep them both I need to leave at least a one-grid-unit gap between them. Why exactly does it have to be that way and what audio will I get with the gap in control line?
- Dorico still crashes way too frequently (usually in the middle of my work) what obviously does not increase my trust in it and makes me save my work after every meaningful step. I have already lost a few hours of work and wasted even more to recuperate it. Blaming Dorico for all of the crashes and hangings wouldn’t be honest as I know that connected VSTs are the part of the problem, but there is a “but”. Steinberg is a musical powerhouse having a strong influence in the industry and should use it better for both improving its own products and the products of their partners like NI, Spitfire or EWQL.
- Expression maps. This is an ingenious concept generally working well, but there are the moments when I have no idea what exactly happens. The most frequent example is: I create a play technique, say, “tr” for trill that has its own recorded sample, mark it as “default”. Use it in expression map. Then some time later when I hover over it in the right hand menu I see: tr.user…1927465d49j88 or something equally meaningless. Of course, the technique used by the map is not working correctly (if at all), so I have to launch an “investigation” wasting quite often considerable time. Naturally I can guess that something is wrong, but would it cost much of an effort for Dorico to give me more understandable indication, so I know the source of the problem and correct it quickly instead of moving blindly through the list of techniques and trying to find the problem? And this situation in most cases was discovered after hours of work when I woke up saying “hang on, what is going on with these trills”?
- Last, but not least. The presentation of technique names and other options in the right-hand panel. Why can’t I have the default and my own technique names sorted alphabetically? Right now it is a complete mess and finding the required technique often consumes more time that it should. I suspect that the mess is created by alphabetically ordering the underlying techniques, not their names/symbols presented in panels, but having options “order alphabetically ascending or descending” and “techniques or names” would be very welcome improvement.
A continuation still about Mixer and channel assignment. I have 3 instances of Play, each linked to a different port. Within instances I have (f.e.) 4 instruments each occupying 3 MIDI channels (long-short, legato, FX). Expression map communicates through 1st channel of each instrument (i.e. instr 1 - ch1, instr2 - ch4, instr3 - ch7 etc). When it comes to channel assignment in Play mode the real mess begins. Both ports and MIDI channels assignments are not flexible at all. First, I have to declare number of ports and then number of channels not port by port but generally, which means it has to be the highest number of channels used by any of ports, what in some ports creates a lot of unused channels. Two, this imposed somehow mechanical assignment makes me jump within ports when linking tracks. Instead of having “Port1, Ch1 - horns. Port1, Ch4 - trumpets” I have “Port1, Ch1 - horns. Port1, Ch2 - nothing, Port1, Ch3 - nothing, Port1, Ch4 - trumpets”. Then there is an assignment of number of audio outputs. It is unclear, at best, if the audio output is assigned MIDI ch - Audio Ch or MIDI Ch with an instrument - Audio ch. From practice it is the latter, but I will return to it in a moment. Why can’t we have what is done in Cubase: definable port, definable channel, instrument, definable audio output? This way the assignment table in Play mode would have only as many lines as the active connected instruments instead of few used and tens of unused lines that litter the view and make it all difficult to navigate. Now assignment of audio outputs and its consequences in Mixer. If in the assignment table I declare Port1, ch1 - horn solo, Port1, ch4 - 2 horns, Port1, ch7 - 6 horns, Port2 ch1 - trumpet solo, Port2 , ch4 - trumpet ensemble and to all of that 5 audio outputs what Mixer shows is a total mess. What we see is: out1 - horn solo, out2 - no visible assignment, out3-no visible assignment, out4-2 horns, out5 no visible assignment. But when the instruments play we have out1 (horn solo) - plays horn solo, out2 (no visible assignment) - plays 2 horns, out3 (no visible assignment) - plays 6 horns, out4 (2 horns) but plays trumpet solo, out5 (no visible assignment) - plays trumpet ensemble. I am not sure the Mixer has any room left for more bugs.
I definitely do not like my role of proverbial PITA and would prefer to compose instead of writing this text, but all the points I indicate make my composing a bit too difficult to ignore them.