Dorico 5 wishlist

When playing back baroque ornaments, there is an additional difficulty. Especially in slow movements, like the Goldberg Aria, Sarabandes, Loures etc. the execution of the ornaments is highly individual, possibly even more so on the harpsichord than on the piano, because harpsichordists are used to improvising the ornaments according to the context, e.g. in repetitions differently from the first time. So playback can only be an approximation, but at least that would be something.

I must question though: are you trying to make a reasonable demo, or are you trying to have Dorico play like a life-trained harpsichordist? I do think it is reasonable to expect certain limitations when it comes to interpretation. I wouldn’t mind the ability to define a first and second repeat iteration for a specific figure, but ultimately, I’m never going to use dorico to try and produce a professional recording. At some point, a real human needs to get involved.

I’d add the ability to have Dorico space things by moving them HORIZONTALLY rather than vertically.
This in particular applies to rehearsal marks which can be moved to the left and tempo markings that could be moved to the right, rather than having them one on top of the other.

The same thing would apply to dynamics that are further than a certain amount of space from the staff. There are times where it would be much better to place the dynamic to the left of a notehead rather than below that notehead (which causes a huge gap between staves).


@Romanos I did the whole WTC with Dorico and the Steinberg harpsichord, and it’s really quite superb. Obviously it’s not a human performance - that’s for me (I am a harpsichordist amongst other things) but it is astonishingly good. This is not going out for film score production or anything, but it is fantastically useful for proofing, and actually for students to listen to when learning. I’d like to do the same for BWV 988. Not having a semblance of an ornament rather spoils it all. I guess I want too much. At least let me have mordents. :slight_smile:

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Well you know (or maybe not, yet, but read on for ten seconds) you can input the notated version of every ornament adding a staff above (or below), writing it down, hiding that extra staff and (obviously) suppressing the playback of the apparent ornated note with the properties. Some more work, obviously, but if it’s really important…

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To be clear: I didn’t mean to imply that dorico should not playback ornaments; it absolutely should. My comment was mostly in response to the observation that ornamentation is highly individual. I’m just wondering whether or not it’s really worth encoding individual interpretations for every single ornament, differently for each repeat.

It is perhaps a philosophical question: how far should realistic playback go? How far high-fidelity? There are experiments in which blindfolded musicians could no longer tell for sure whether they were facing a string quartet or loudspeakers? How far should artificial intelligence go? Is there a natural limit we should not cross? Or - if it’s not an ethical question - to what point is the driven effort worthwhile?

No one will resist if playbacks become more and more realistic, even of ornaments. I can well imagine that in ten or twenty years, when we listen to the best playbacks of today, we will find them as unrealistic as we do today when we watch the animation of an old computer game or hear Enrico Caruso on a shellac record. In a live performance, besides the sound, there are always other components: the mood in the hall, the lighting, the smell, the too-tight tuxedo of the sweating conductor and … the mistakes.

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Let there be an option to have unslashed grace notes be the default. For baroque music, it’s tedious to have to change every one, and they are small and fiddly to select. I believe this has been raised by others before.


I know this has been discussed before — see this topic — but a bracketed property for dynamics (rather than typing brackets in as prefix and suffix text) would be nice, for creating editorial markings.


Definitely agree with #1. This constantly bites me. You Go To some bar, hit play and it starts playing somewhere else (you forget to position the playback cursor). It shouldn’t take two steps.

Go To Rehearsal Mark positions the playback cursor where you want it. Go To measure (and Go To page) should do the same - or at least give the option.

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And preferably for other elements as well. The formatting of the brackets should be independent of the text they surround.

Apologies if some of these have already been mentioned:

  1. Articulation-based ms track delays in Expression Maps (hopefully MOTU doesn’t have some kind of patent on this).
  2. More routing and time-saving options in the mix window. I.e. options for aux and buss creation, ability to copy/paste or move plugins from one track to another, more than one aux input for reverb.
  3. Video Export options (I know this has been mentioned, just want to reinforce)
  4. Divisi/Independent voice playback routing saved within endpoint configurations, also have plugin chain be an option for endpoints.
  5. Ability to filter by articulation/playing technique
  6. Allow playing techniques to be assigned to grace notes (as in it will trigger corresponding articulation in the expression map).
  7. Manual override of playing technique in the key-editor
  8. More key editor drawing options (i.e. parabolic, slope etc.)
  9. Ability to import audio or even record audio into Dorico
  10. An “on/off” separate piano independent of the score for quickly working out harmonies.
  11. Ability to have separate designated Divisi instruments. As in when a divisi is triggered, the top staff of the divisi can be re-routed to a different VST, channel and/or expression map.
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Number 10 - what a brilliant idea!


You can have players in a flow that don’t appear in the score already, and only show them in a separate layout whilst you’re working, but you can still pop them back into the score with one click in Setup mode for easy transferring/arranging of material on that player’s staves.

Or, you could have a separate flow in the project for quickly getting ideas in, which you then copy/paste etc into the “real” flow, and delete the “ideas” flow when you’re done?

When I want to try stuff out, I click on an instrument (a piano if available) and then click outside the staves. That lets me use my MIDI keyboard to hear my “experimentations” without entering any notes onto the page.

Any time I touch my MIDI keyboard I only want to hear a piano, so I have Enable MIDI Thru turned off, a piano sound loaded as a standalone VST, and use pitch-first input. This way I can work out voicings or play whatever I want on my MIDI keyboard at any point, even with the input cursor active, and when I’m ready to input simply hit the duration. No need for clicking on other staves or leaving the input cursor as I always hear a piano sound, and no notes are actually entered until I hit a duration. Of course, the full complement of loaded VST sounds will still play back when I play the file.

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That’s a great tip, I’ll try that.

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I would like to add one thing to the wishlist:

It would be cool to have some kind of versioning system in writing mode, through which you can try different things at any point at any time. So imagine having a little box above each bar and using it to open an alternate, empty bar where you can try a different version of the bar. With a mouse click you can switch between the versions and pre listen the active version.

What do you guys think?


Might I make a request as well? (another? jeese!)

I find myself often having to include markings in two languages. I don’t know if others have this issue. I understand totally that I might be in a VERY minority situation here.

But sometimes it would be nice to be able to include two lines of text with certain items, for example, text that is included with a horizontal line.

I had, just this week, the need for a horizontal line to mark off an optional playing method for a passage. And I had occasion to use the awesome “text” feature that lets you add text within/above/below a horizontal line.
In my case, however, I needed two lines of text: “opt. jouer la note du haut seulement” / “opt. play the upper note only

Sure I ended up adding the 2nd line using the text tool, after matching the font and size, and adjusting the spacing so that it was in the exact right spot. But it would have been nice to just include both lines within the horizontal line’s Properties Panel.

So just a shot in the dark feature request. Thanks as always :smiley:

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Revert to Saved” feature from File menu.

I was working today on a Jazz big band arrangement of 60 pages and more. So, having done many tweaks but then just got lost… doing Cmd-Z to cancel was taking really lot of time to undo everything. I remember when Encore 4.5 has a feature called ‘Revert to Saved’ where it brings you directly -in 1sec!- to the first state of the file before making any changes to it.

Thanks in advance to the great Dorico Team.

P.S: (Doing a search in the forum, I found that @benwiggy has asked for he same request 4 years ago)