Feedback after creating first 70 bars film orchestra score

Dear Dorico team,

some feedback from my side after creating a first part of a bigger score.

Some background about me:
I am using notation software for full classical orchestra pieces since 1991. I started with Score 3.n and then I moved to Sibelius as one of the first users in Germany. Then I continuously updated until version 7. In my other life I am C++ desktop and server software developer. So I think I know a bit about the problems of both worlds :wink:

My start in Dorico was a bit grumpy, because the online help did help not much further after the first baby steps. Here was this forum much more helpful. That was different when I started with Score or Sibelius. Here I could place a users and reference manual beside the computer and look for help. Having an online help has its advantage as well, but often I want to use the displays for work and not for the help.

In my first experiments on the very first release of Doric I tried to import an orchestra XML file from Sibelius and the performance was far away as what I was used. But this has improved in the latest update. Well, beside saving on a SSD takes still too long from my point of view. (So there is space to improve :slight_smile: So please go on.

What me annoys me most is the magic in the background. When I enter a half and a quarter and later I connect them with a tie, then Dorico automatically brings both to a dotted half. I understand the background, because on the output later only one note should be played. But there are several reasons why I want to have them separated in the print. e.g. I want to place additionally dynamics or articulations to the individual notes. I know that there is the feature to force keeping the measure. But as far as I understood from this forum, one should use this only sparsely. Why? I think it should be a user preference if one wants this magic in general or not and it should not be a disadvantage to use one or the other from the aylout point of view e.g.
As well when one wants to copy a certain section with a tied note into a next bar. then the tied note from the next bar is copied as well. From my point of view this should be changed. When I mark a certain bar, then only this bar should be selected only, not the tied note from the next bar. Otherwise copy and paste becomes very easily a mess. I have the same problem when I want to remove a tied note. I cannot mark the right note and delete it. (Or I did not find it :slight_smile:

In the used sounds for an Alto Flute is a mistake, it is not possible to play the lowest notes, that are possible on that instrument. My current workaround is that I patched the Instrument XML files and use per default a [GM Flute…] sound.

It would be cool to move the right or left end of slurs, after selecting it, with short cuts from one note to an other.

Support of harmonics (Flagolett) for strings seems to be missing.

The flow feature seems to be nice, even I did not experiment with it.

As other have reported. The menus (and their icons) around could be smaller so that one has more space for the music sheet.

Pasting a section of notes could be improved into an empty bar, when they should not be placed at the first measure in the bar, but e.g. on the 2nd or 3rd.

Even coping and pasting small portions of notes and undo has room for performance improvements. Especially at the beginning when one does more mistakes it is an annoyance.

Many others have already written and I agree, it is a pain to move the eDongle from one machine to an other. So the possibility to install a single license on a laptop and a desktop machine would be great. Especially in respect to the new MacBook Pro where as far as I know an additional adapter is needed. A solution that I could live with, when the eDongle would only be needed on startup. Then I could put it on my key-ring and just plug it in on startup and then unplug it. (I did not dare to try it so far.) Additionally one could add a restriction that a certain license can only be used once in a network. This is the way as e.g. JetBrains restrict the usage.)

I have to say sorry for things that I have not figured out so far and if there is a solution already. (On the other hand, if certain features are not found intuitively then there is space to improve the usability :wink:

In general I propose that you open your bug tracker. So it would much easier to search for a bug and a possible workaround and one would avoid reporting a certain error multiple times. From my point of view a forum is not the best medium for it. e.g. the company Atlassian has it open and one can search through it, one can see into which release a bug fix is scheduled. As well it offers the users the possibility to vote certain fixes. Sometimes new features are for the users less important than certain problems are fixed.
A forum is from my point a forum for best practices and discussion between the users.

The overall impression of Dorico is good and I will keep using it :wink:

Regards, Felix

re. pasting into empty bars… hit return to activate the caret, then move to the grid/beat location where you want the music to go and paste…

I know it has been advised against excessive use of Force Duration, but as long as one is fairly sure about the notation when it is entered, I personally, have yet to encounter any problems. Of course, early stages of compositional experimentation, when the music is likely to change dramatically at a later stage, is another story.

One thing I forgot to add, I am missing cluster notation for keyboard instruments

Thanks for your feedback, Felix.

We have no plans to open our bug tracker, I’m afraid. I understand that for some users it would be useful to be able to search through our bug tracker, but most would not take the time to search through it anyway, and from our point of view it’s almost entirely undesirable.

The issue you describe with Dorico changing the notation of a quarter tied to an eighth into a dotted quarter can be overcome by using the Force Durations feature, though I would encourage you to use that feature as sparingly as possible, as it ties Dorico’s hands at other times during input and editing.

I believe all of the issues you have listed in your feedabck will be addressed as Dorico matures. I hope you will stick with it.

Could there be an option for ‘keep durations as entered but otherwise let Dorico do its other voodoo’? I never require respelling of rhythms. If I did I would respell them.

The other point of bar selection is a major trip up as well. I’m back in Finale for the time being but every time I select music I think about how Dorico works. I’m yet to find a case where I want the program to select unselected tied notes off its own back.