Having used Dorico for awhile now, I have some feature requests, or gripes (depending on how you view them), to share. I’m not sure how others may feel about these, but as someone whose income largely comes from music prep work, I felt these were worth bringing to Steinberg’s attention.
1: Applying Dynamics/performance techniques to specific measures of cross-measure tied notes is currently not possible via popup. You have to go in, find the given object, attach it to the given measure, go to back to engraving, and then you can finally adjust visual. Most common culprit, > on final measure of cross measure tied notes.
- Staccato Tenuto, please let this have an always outside feature. Like the other articulations. Not sure why this was ignored.
- Inconsistent Staccato Tenuto Shapes/Sizes.
a2’s showing up on EVERY BLOODY PAGE TURN. Also, it would be nice for an option for split steams in lieu of a2. I spend so much time removing these, I wrote a script to go in and do it for me, but they still make it past me.
On most of my concert or recording session work, I–and most of my colleagues–never use this marking. It’s mostly redundant the majority of the time: especially with how Dorico handles them.
If there is a single line of music, most people assume everyone plays until there is a modifier like: A) Split voicings with rests, or B) a “1/I, Solo, or Player identifier” indicating that it is not in unison. Then it is alright to have an a2 as a safety, but not on every page. If you go from divisi to unison again, the assumed default is that everyone still plays. I have yet to see someone just stop playing because there wasn’t an a2 marking. I personally just like having it go into divisi with whole rests underneath and return to a regular single line afterwards. It’s clear, and it doesnt require an unnecessary marking.
Frame editing, page layouts et al:
- Selecting specific frames if edges are close or overlapping is sometimes impossible.
- Option to show handles or make selection sticky would be appreciated.
- Manual movement of bar numbers and selecting multiple at a time would be great.
Use case, if you want all bar numbers on a given page to be even due to note ranges, but not a global change, its pretty much impossible to do at the moment. An align feature would be nice, just like what there is for dynamics (not just the engraving options setting).
Additionally, for scores that have measure numbers at the top, middle, and/or bottom of page, manual adjustments for each row is needed. Manually adjusting the top adjusts the bottom, which prevents optimal layouts from being made.
Dorico does not always handle beaming/splitting of densely voiced piano-style chords well. The norm is to have the stems next to each other. By default, Dorico does not do this.
This is what dorico does. This is with stems together, even in this case the flat of the E should be to the left of the note.
Additionally, if you reposition a dotted note, Dorico gets a little wonky with how it hanndles the dot. It appears that the dots are intrinsically attached to the note itself. This makes it awkward if extreme repositioning is necessary. It usually does a good job, but every now and then it borks.
General Popover comments – Some form of wildcard/token addition needs to be added for one off additions that we may wish to type in any popover–especially expressive text.
For example, Performance popovers. Rather than having to go over to the window, add a new performance technique to be added in a single place, some character combination should be utilized for us to quickly keep working and adding things efficiently. Example, if I only need to write, “play this ludicrously” in one place, it would be nice to do something like: shift – p > $play this ludicrously > enter.
Tempo Popover- Unable to currently place text after a note “value = #”: “quarter” = 76 Pesante y Espress.. This option needs to be available since it has become practice to put larger, general musical context phrases here after a tempo markings or in the tempo marking area.
a) Reduces clutter on conductors score.
b) All parts can see this as it is a general musical marking.
c) Provides another indicator on the score during rehearsal/recording scenarios.
For whatever reason, by default, Dorico does not fully justify final systems that are partially full. Yes, there is a setting within the layout options that allows us to fully justify the final system regardless of present notes, but why is this not the default? In my years of playing music and working in prep, I have never seen a final staff cut short. The margins are in place for a reason. It’s great that dorico allows the option, but it is weird that it is the default behaviour.
When slurring a note over a system break, the slur shape and direction usually gets a little crazy. Example, D6 slurring to E6: