FR - A few Note Input requests

Typically you don’t need to enter rests in Dorico, you just enter the notes and let the program figure out the rests automatically. That’s even quicker than entering them!

Here’s an gif. For this, I had my left hand on my MIDI keyboard and my right hand never left the numpad with my thumb resting on right arrow next to the numpad. Play the F, hit 6, right arrow, play Bb, hit 5, right arrow x2, play the Eb, hit 6. None of the rests needed to be entered at all in this case.

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That works great until you need to enter a 16th rest. Yes, I know I can change the grid resolution, but my point is I just want to be able to directly input the notes and rests without having to think about which key combination, toggle, etc., do I need to press to make it work. I’ve been doing notation work so long that I literally think in numbers for durations and my brain sees a note duration and a rest duration as the same value/process, one has a pitch and the other doesn’t.

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Rhythmic duration key + Space = moving the caret by that duration.

e.g. 4 Space will advance the caret by a 16th, and as soon as you type a note Dorico will precede it with a 16th rest.


… and that’s why I have Numpad 0 set to Advance the caret by the current duration, as said earlier. It’s identical in effect to Finale Simple Entry adding a rest.

So to enter a 16th rest, it’s 4 0.


Ah, I get it. That’s certainly closer to what I’d love to see. Thanks!

This much, at least, is worth recalibrating in one’s head in order to get the most out of Dorico and the way it thinks. A note and a rest are not the same sort of thing in Dorico, and there’s a value in not fighting the software on that point.

Yeah, I’m getting there. Something about old dogs comes to mind…


This is really quite handy, but doesn’t work in pitch before duration.
There I press the rest key, and then the duration. Might be even closer to what OP is after, since I am sure the rest button can be mapped via MIDI.

Like others, I have the Numpad 0 set to Advance caret by current duration – and I have created external macros to emulate Finale’s Simple Entry functionality, using “double press shortcuts” like holding down * and pressing 1.

Maybe a solution for you (with Autohotkey if you are on Windows) could be something like

Numpad0 & Numpad6::Send, o{,}6{,}o

will enter an explicit quarter rest. So with a set of these, keep the Numpad 0 down and enter rests.

If you want to enter all notes with force duration, this

Numpad6::Send, o6o

for all your durations would do the trick.

(Edited to delete the script that would not work.)

Yes it does. In pitch before duration I can still advance the cursor by the selected note duration, and then play a pitch, and enter a new duration for a note.

I suppose it’s ‘rest after duration’, which may be confusing.

that’s true, but if your previous duration was say a quarter note, and you’d like to advance by an eighth, one cannot hit “5” to chose a duration and then hit space, as “5” would re-enter the same pitch as before as an eight. One needs to first chose the rest-button and then hit “5”.


Ah yes. I see what you mean.

Aha! I didn’t try that, so maybe my script above would not work either.

Not if pitch before duration is the entry method, which tbf most Finale users would probably stick to.

But as I said, in that case it’s easy enough to assign some unused (highest or very lowest) MIDI-Key from the Keybord to the rest-button to activate it and hit it, instead of a regular note.

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Yes, this came up when pitch-first was introduced in Dorico. My suggestion, and my continued hope, is that MIDI-off could eventually be added, so it would function like Finale: a note depressed plus a number gives a pitch, and number-only gives a rest.


Another big advantage of MIDI-off would be that the user could roll awkward chords with one hand, leaving the keys depressed, then input it, like you can in Finale. As of now as soon as the user plays the next non-simultaneous note, the input caret loses track of the fact that the first note is still being held.


you mean with a sustain pedal? Else it would be rather annoying, if I’d like to try out different chords or pitches

With a sustain pedal, or literally my fingers still pressing the keys. If I’m doing a score reduction, or have the input cursor extended over 4 Trombone staves, I’m often not going to be able to easily play the entire chord at one time. Certainly I would not want the chord still active once a MIDI-off signal was sent, as that’s one of the whole advantages to composing with pitch-first input.

I could not agree more with bkshepard. I have been having a long and sometimes unpleasant discussion in this subject here: DORICO 4, its MIXER and PLAY mode
The crucial idea is put by bkshepard in this phrase “And I especially don’t like having to go back and fix what Dorico “fixed” because it thinks I don’t know what I’m doing, I do.”. In my case it was a fight to get Dorico play staccato by dotted quaver and quaver. While for dotted quaver Dorico activated staccato samples, the quaver was turned into tied semiquavers and despite having staccato articulation played natural of 75% length. In a ton of exchanges I was explained “why it is as should be” and that every time something like that happens I should use forced duration. And it seemed that using a common sense like having forced duration on/off in preferences was close to sacrilege. Ex users of Sibelius know that such notation is not a problem, but purist users of Dorico called it “Sibelius allows for bad notation”, etc. Similarly to bkshepard I do not want Dorico to treat me like I do not know what I do and correct me like a schoolteacher. So YES, I would love to have forced duration as an option in preferences, not an action button I have to use whenever I fancy to go against Dorico’s “wisdom”.

Even when I’m in Force Duration mode, what I manually enter probably agrees with the Dorico settings >90% of the time. The problem is that other 10% or so. It’s just a hassle to have to switch to that mode–and remember to switch to that mode before I start entering notes. I can input notes just as fast in Force Duration as I can when Force Duration is off, so why not let me have the option to leave it on? Please?!