Fast note input/workflow?

I’m getting up to speed on Dorico and wondering others are doing to create a fast note input workflow? Do you find that one hand on a midi keyboard and the other on a computer keyboard is the fastest/easiest method, or just using a computer keyboard for everything? I can see the benefit of just using the computer keyboard since both hands are in a more compact area but not sure.

One hand on a MIDI keyboard and the other on either the computer keyboard or a Logitech G13 Gamepad is my preferred working method. I know that lots of people here have invested in Stream Decks and iPad apps but a touch screen does not suit my workflow - I need to be able to feel my way around, and touch screens involve taking your eyes away from wherever else they need to be.

The things that speed up note input are:
a) remembering that you can skip through rests with the caret, you don’t actually need to enter them.
b) you don’t generally have to deal with ties - just tell Dorico how long the overall note value needs to be and it’ll figure out how to rhythmically spell it.
c) for funny length notes, like double-dotted minims (halves), it’s quickest to enter a semibreve (whole note) and then use a separate shortcut to immediately shorten it by the grid value (and ensure your grid value is set to quavers/eighths. Or input a minim/half note and then tie it to a dotted crotchet/quarter.

Dear Pianoleo,
The stream deck is an interesting device because it has physical buttons (like your G13, but you have more buttons on your device). I don’t have to look at it to input fingerings or some playing techniques I programmed. But with the benefit of having icons showing on the buttons.
And eboats, if you plan on notating chords, having a MIDI keyboard is a real game changer when entering the notes.

+1 for the Stream Deck.

I’ve also mapped a few selected functions that I use often to simple key combinations.

At any step in the process, ask yourself, “Is there a faster way I could do this?”

One more piece of advice: I actually use R to duplicate notes A LOT. Often I can duplicate notes and adjust them using alt… faster than going into note input. The reason is that I typically think of notes in a sequence not in terms of note names, but vertical distance (steps and skips). This makes alt-up/down incredibly helpful.

I also mapped octave up and down to the + and - keys on my number pad (on the right side. I have a full keyboard). I use these constantly. I find it easier to enter the desired note first, then alter the octave if needed.

I find it even faster to hit the space bar for skipping rests (each ‘hit’ equals to the last actual note having been entered before).
Reason 1: one does not need to look at the screen.
Reason 2: again one does not need to look at the screen to check which grid value one has set at the time.

… ah, and yes, it helps if one can play the piano, this really can speed you up :slight_smile:

+1 for using space bar.

When copying music from a manuscript, I do it very fast with eyes nailed to the source material, left hand on midi keyboard and right hand on numpad, with all shortcuts under my hand without having to move it, or look. Quite much remapping involved - spacebar, enharmonics, dot, and DELETE that I use a lot, extended shortcuts with macros for dynamics, tuplets, common expressions, clefs etc, all on the numpad.

I then go back to check for mistakes, and to add slurs and other things I did not get in the first run.

Depending on the music it might then be fastest to enter the other staves in the same way, or to use other methods like copying, repitching, and so on.

Also worth to add that to become really fast and accurate you need lots of practice.

LAE, my procedure is similar in that I put in music for one player first from bar 1 onwards until the end. So to get the structure of time signatures etc. - if any.
Then go backwards (on purpose) bar by bar to enter slurs, dynamics and proof reading the notes.
Going backwards helps to look from another angle.
Then start again from bar 1 by either copying/pasting re-inputting or starting a new player.
When in need for a break, I do some ‘proof - listening’, which is the fun bit :slight_smile:

Ah, interesting! I will have to try that. I usually work page by page.

Would you and kb weigh in on how you do your enharmonics. I would also like to keep my eyes glued on the manuscript and not look at the screen. How do you do your enharmonics? Second pass?

I just happened to copy (and transpose) some music from Augusta Holmès, and it’s quite complicated to engrave… I found it faster to use the computer keyboard to input the music (without correcting misspelled notes, because then, there are no mistakes), than using the MIDI keyboard. Flexibility is the word. Use the tools accordingly to the needs.

Absolutely. Expecting any computer software to correctly notate something like this (by Alkan - and note the triple sharp!) from MIDI input would be (cough) optimistic, even though it’s quite straightforward harmonically.
Alkan triple sharp.png