Finale -> MXL -> Dorico

While moving an arrangement of Cosí from Finale to Dorico via MXL, I initially had problems with offset time and key signatures, barlines not coinciding and anomalous display in the system track. I discovered that the problem was being caused by Finale’s cues, typically in Layer 4 and very kludgy. Removing these solved many problems. Fortunately I could do this all in one go (show active layer, delete), as orchestral parts seldom need as many as four voices per part. Interestingly, when doing this in Finale, certain attributes, like clef changes and cue labels didn’t seem to erase initially. This actually turned out to be a display question and they disappeared when refreshing the screen. Hope this helps anyone else with similar issues.

Thanks for posting this report, Vaughan. Filed away in the old memory banks to hopefully recall in the future if similar symptoms are reported by other users…

Another possible cause of problems is the interpretation, either by MXL or Dorico, of Finale’s ability to display one time signature as another. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to discover why it sometimes does work. For example, I’ve always made my upbeat bars this way in Finale and this generally gets translated properly. If I get some time to spend on this, I’ll try to discover what causes the skewing of barlines and time signatures.

I can’t remember the specifics, but it wouldn’t surprise me if we had to do some specific things to sort out pick-up bars at the start of the MusicXML file, and perhaps those heuristics might not be complete.