Your release of 2.0 was the perfect motivation for me to complete the score/part preparation of a band piece. It began life as a MusicXML file exported from an old Finale file. After five days in Dorico, here is the result:
So I’m mostly writing to say THANK YOU!!! Your hard work is much appreciated and Dorico is turning into a terrific tool for composers and publishers!
THINGS I LOVE:
- The engine that handles layout of everything automatically… Amazing! The amount of time that is saved by having spacing, alignment, beaming, and pagination handled so elegantly cannot be understated. I appreciate that we can customize just about anything, but having Dorico get it right the first time is killer.
- Dynamics creation is a joy. Handling a bunch of notes/measures by quickly typing “mf<f” is a feature I found myself using constantly.
- The ability to attach shortcut keys to any feature is GREAT. I first set up a shortcut to hide/show signposts and right away that saved me a ton of time.
- Implementation of Cues is just fabulous (provided it’s on melodic instruments). Dorico is now the high bar in this field by a long shot.
- Percussion - Also, kudos on how easy it is to set this up, enter notes, and have them play back properly! My MO in Finale was always to just mute the percussion parts rather than waste the hours it took to get them set up properly. Dorico changes all that.
- Your manual and online videos! Considering it is a new(ish) program, I was impressed by how I never had any trouble finding a clear answer to my questions. Kudos for making sure that support infrastructure was in place to help people get the hang of this.
- Your handling of how music flows on a page. The ability to click a barline and then click “insert frame break” and then see the remaining music be reflowed to fit the page… this is fantastic and saves SO much time.
- much more.
THINGS THAT MIGHT BE BUGS:
- In Engraving Options/Articulations, there is a place to specify whether accents will appear inside or outside the staff… but it didn’t have any effect. I just tested this with a new file to be sure. Regardless of which setting I choose, the accents still fall inside the staff. This did create a lot of extra work.
- The zooming feature (as I think you know) is quite erratic. I frequently lose my place in the score when I use “pinch” gestures on the trackpad (I use a Mac).
- There were many times when my cursor got stuck in the “spinning circle” state. At first I just kept waiting, and then eventually I discovered that everything was fully functional and the I could keep working even though I had not gotten the pointer back.
WISHLIST FOR THE FUTURE:
- Two instruments sharing a staff on the conductor’s score (while having their own parts). I posted in the forum separately about this, and it remains something that I’d REALLY like to see. I know you’re moving in that direction.
- More flexibility in naming things with percussion parts. In my score, I wanted to have the conductors score list “Percussion 2, Percussion 3” etc. as the staff label, but it turned out that I could only accomplish this if I used only 5-line staves. Further, if two different players have the same instrument (like bass drum or woodblock), Dorico insists on numbering them and I couldn’t find a way of turning this off. Thus, instead of using Dorico to automatically provide instrument changes and legends, I ended up having to type my own as text so as to not have “Crash 2” and “Snare 1” showing up.
- Under Layout Options/Instrument Changes, it seems like we should have the ability to designate whether we want change warnings or not. I spent a lot of time going in and hiding the “to marimba” markings that weren’t needed. I frequently need to have instrument changes shown, but don’t always need warnings. It would be quicker to just turn all the warnings off, and then manually add the few that are needed.
- Timp/harp changes - I’ve posted elsewhere in the forum about this, too, but I want to mention it here. There are a variety of things that are routinely marked as happening during multi-measure rests. Timpani pitch changes and harp pedal changes are the most common ones. I’d love to be able to attach these to a bar, and then have a customization option to indicate that it should not break a multi-measure rest (while still being shown).
- I wish there was somewhere to indicate that Laissez Vibrer ties could extend over a barline. It is great to be able to globally set the length of these ties, but awkward that it must add space for it within the measure.
- When using instrument changes within one player (particularly in cases where the staff style is different between instruments, it would be more musical to either have the default be for the change to happen at the first bar of the new instrument, or to allow the user to designate where the change happens. Forgive me if this is actually already a feature, but I couldn’t find a way to control this, and it is disconcerting to have the staff style change immediately even though there may be 60 measures of rests before the new instrument actually plays.
I’m not sure if this is particularly useful, but I wanted you to know how much I appreciate this product, and would love to be helpful in my own little way. This band piece will be released within a month or two and distributed by Theodore Presser (they’re already carrying two other of my publications that were done in Dorico).
Many thanks! I can’t wait to see what the next update brings!