I agree that Dorcio is quite good, and getting better with each release. When looking at other ‘scoring’ software…it truly holds it own.
No way, it’s far from klunky, and it’s SUPER user friendly. There isn’t a single aspect of the key editor UI that you cannot remote control, key-bind, and more. It is LOADED with power user tools (requires reading the manual, as well as primers on MIDI and VST protocols though). It makes quick work of quantizing/humanzing/overlapping. It’s loaded with power tools for selecting things based on conditions, micro-sliding, working with grids, and so much more. You get dozens of ways to deal with velocity and controller data…including double clicking a note and drawing it right into a graph there in NE format. I can’t think of a single MIDI key-editor on the market that comes anywhere close to the power and efficiency of the one in all versions of Cubase, from version 5ish, through present day 10.5.
If they start dumbing it down, and filling up the screen with idiot boxes and taking away the 30+ year old tried and true UI, it’ll be the day I stop upgrading and stick with legacy options. Cubase is a solid leader when it comes to working with anything MIDI or VST, bar none. I would however like to see improvements to the logic editor. The UI is perfect as it is, just add more types of events that it can work with (such as score editor symbols). Add the ability to easily generate arbitrary events. Make a few minor improvements to the expression map interpreter. But…please, please, please, leave the UI alone for the most part, and make any changes to it (optional).
See…I’d rather not have to waste half a day drawing in hair pins and hiding them (it’s a characteristic of March Trios…the hair pins are not wanted on such scores, but we do want the effect on play back for the melody and counter melodies).
In Cubase I select the range of events in the part I’d like apply this effect, and make a simple logic editor (or just call it up since I already have it made):
If event == note
then insert a CC1 (or 11, or whatever) with a value equal to the MIDI note number.
Optionally I might also copy the MIDI note number over to note-on velocity.
Poof, in less than a second it’s done.
Next I run another pass that scales each octave into a common range. Again, taking less than a minute.
Next, I can pull up a CC lane in the in-place key editor and easily do batch scaling and sliding with lasso/drag tricks (or opt for more passes with the logical editors).
For things I find myself doing often, I can build macros that combine as many project and track logical editors as I like into a single command.
Note, Dorico does have scripting abilities in the works…which might eventually make this batch processing thing a mute point, but for the time being, for precision work in a fraction of the time, the tracking DAW is still king.
Also, in the Cubase track inspectors you can ‘stack’ humanizing or quantizing effects, plus doing your destructive edits with the logical editor. Plus easily micro slide any individual, or groups of events in time VERY easily. You can instantly do length humanization/quantization. Force instant note overlaps, and so much more.
Doubling parts/building layers, etc…very fast and intuitive in the tracking DAW. Add our custom user track presets and such to the mix, and it’s often no more than a simple key combo and a click or two…and poof…I’m doubling the horns, or building a textural layer for the strings, and more.
I agree, it’s already in or above league with other ‘scoring software’, and it will improve with each release, but for now, it is a LONG LONG LONG way from even remotely matching the power and flexibility of CuBase.
I’m optimistic that someday Dorico’s play tab will make it a true one stop shop for working with, and mixing down virtual instruments. It’s just not there yet, and it ‘seems’ to me to be a few years away from being powerful enough to replace the DAW in terms of ease and speed in sound shaping tasks.
Again, that’s part of the problem. We get used to sitting in front of a machine and hearing what it spits back at us. It’s often WRONG if a realistic mock-up is the goal. Before doing a mock-up, it’s a good idea to force yourself NOT to listen to ANY computer generated music anymore than you MUST. Take LOTS of breaks in a TOTALLY different room from your rig, and only work on the project in chunks of about 15 minutes at the time. Listen to real musicians playing in real rooms. Heck, even set up some mics and just record the room when it’s totally empty…and work that into the mix later. SOMETIMES we even resort to tricks like playing the mock-up in a real room, and recording that with mics (especially brass tracks).
It’s easy to fall into a habit of sitting in front of those monitors and grinding for hours at a time…playing it over, and over, and over. We learn to ‘like’ things that should not be there, and stop missing the things that should be, but aren’t there.
The room helps shape a realistic groove, and groove is more than just tempo change.
There are three major dead give aways that a score is being played back by a computer and not real musicians.
Unless you jump through extra hoops, everything is more often than not tuned to bloody equal temperament. It’s annoying, and unrealistic. Orchestras rarely play in equal temperament…period…and there is usually a bit of detectable tug of war going on in the group where tuning and locking chords is concerned. A good mock up ditches equal temperament unless it makes sense to have it there. It’s MUCH easier to pull off different tuning schemes, and nuances in pitch shifting using a tracking DAW. Yes, it’s possible with a lot of extra staves and such, and the CC lanes in something like Dorico…but in my experience, the entire tuning scheme thing is multitudes easier in Cubase.
It often sounds like a robot. The tempo is ‘too perfect’. The random humanization can be a help, but it’s going to be a little different every time you play the score. Sometimes you want that effect when doing a mock-up, but sometimes you really need it to be static…so you can control and forge it as required.
The groove and spacial delays for the various instruments and sections do not fit the chosen reverb settings for the virtual room. Again, when in composing mode, we sit there with the score for HOURS, and learn to ‘like’ things that are pretty ‘bad’ in terms of realism. It’s often to perfect, and too machine like…without natural variations that meld in ways similar to musicians sitting on an actual stage or in an actual rehearsal hall.
And in my experience, that’s the most important element to getting a good mock up. Mixing is 90% of the battle. How and where to toss a notch filter, or when to give a little compression to given frequency band, how to isolate and place things in the sound field, etc…
Again, Dorico already has one of, if not THE BEST mixing console out of the ‘scoring software’ currently on the market. Still, the mid-range or high end DAW is light years ahead in all aspects mixing/processing.
I agree that this is the ultimate goal, and every few months developers, and users are making significant contributions towards this becoming a reality. As a collaborative tool, it’s more than amazing…great technology.
It still has a long way to go to be as efficient at shaping sounds as a user controlled DAW though…
I’ll say it one more time. Every year more and more scores played exclusively by computers hit the streets. Most of them are pretty BAD, and sound terribly ‘fake’ (even when the instrument libraries are high quality…the reverbs/mixing/groove-feel/dynamics, and most importantly THE TUNING is a lazy mess. None the less, people are getting ‘used to it’.