I am so desapointed

Yesterday, I have open for the first time Dorico, and tried it. I wanted to enter “au clair de la lune”, a french 4 bars children song. After 1 hour, I did not get to the end and I gave up. Nevertheless, I am an advanced user of scoring SW. Score editing is a second job for me, I spend more than 4 hours a day in front of Sibelius.
What happened. Installation of Dorico, no problem, everything is fine. Then I open Dorico, new project OK
I perfectly understood the 5 tabs that organize the workflow. I created one solo instrument, fine, and now I want enter notes. My way of working is to use the mouse as I used pencil and eraser on music paper. I select quarter note. I enter the first note. OK it works. Now I want to enter the second quarter note. I clic the mouse and Dorico changed my first quarter note to an eighth note. What is this mess. I dont want Dorico change what I entered because I dont clic at the right position on the stave.
I erase everything and restart. This time I made a mistake in the height of the note. I imagine it is easy to modify it. Just select the note and drag it at the right height. Nothing happens. Use the down Arrow as in Sibelius. Nothing happens. OK it is now time I read the users guide. Where is the users guide? No users guide. OK go to the help. Oh, the online help is not in french, my language. OK I read it. The help file has absolutely no added value. It is just a paraphrase of the topic items. Let us use the search facility : too basic for being pertinent, no valid answer. OK, lets go to the forum. and here I discover there is a topic " read this before doing any thing" I open this topic and I got the answer to my question. Why what you have written in the forum was not in the help file?

So what is my first impression. Dorico is COUNTER-INTUITIVE AS POSSIBLE. I felt like I was going back 15 years back when I was using the Finale. The reason I moved one day to Sibelius was that I was sick of having to look permanently into the documentation how to do things. Nothing was intuitive. When I discoved Sibelius 7, after 10 minutes I was fully operational. I understood the behind concepts and how things are organized and everything became natural. This is not the case with Dorico. I will give you another example. I wanted to change the name of the instrument at the beginning of the stave. Changing “violoncello” to “Cello”. In Sibelius I have just to double clic on Violoncello and I change the name. Doing a such simple thing in Dorico has no effect, you need to go in the configuration tab.

I was expecting a lot from people that have made Sibelius and the result is really a huge desapointment. I was able to accept an uncomplete tool if I have had a WAOO effect. Nothing happens and according to the state I see the product is, I think that nothing will be really usable before 2 or 3 years.

You are far from what users want. Before implementing complex features make sure that the basics works fine. I think that now is time to listen users if you want to keep credibility. By reading the forum I got some warnings on the fact that you not really listen the users. first the big debate on the licensing policy where after thousands of post nothing happens. Personaly, I sent 2 posts about ergonometrics in dorico and the replies you gave me was more for stonewalling me than considering my point of view. You work in a vacuum. You are champion to make marketing noise but in the end the result is far from the promise.

Dorico has not have a massive beta release plan. Now I unserstand why, the product was not ready at all. Please look how Adobe proceeded when they have decided to launch Lightroom, a product specially made for the photographer community. They first ask the community what could be the dream product and they listen them. Then they have proposed a massive plan of alpha and beta releases (as I remember about 5) and things was becoming smoother and smoother, and at the end the product was perfectly endorced by the whole community. I feel I have to pay for using the alpha release.

Today I consider that I have wasted my money. I will continue to follow what will happen but discreetly. I return to Sibelius, apologizing for having wanted to be unfaithful. I hope that Avid will know how to react to your misstep by showing us how they want to keep their market share.

Dear Pascal,

I understand your concern, yet if you wanted a software that works the same way Sibelius does to do the same job, why would you change ? And why not just use the trial instead of buying it ?
We all know the software is not totally finished by now, and yet I have been able in no time to produce professional work for an opera here in France, even with the repeats missing (but I acknowledge it is a real problem !)

I hope you will give Dorico another chance (I am just a normal user), and I would be glad to help you if you would like to, in french, in order to be efficient with the software.

Hey pascalPPPP,

Thank you for your post. It’s good to express how you feel about things, and it’s interesting to hear your thoughts about the program. I must admit, I disagree with a lot of what you’re saying, but I will agree that I was very disoriented when I opened the program for the first time. I believe the was because I was in recognisable territory, yet things were slightly different. I went in expecting all of the same keyboard shortcuts and nuances as Sibelius, and this was the wrong mindset to have. Once I started to relearn the shortcuts, I realised that they were actually very close anyway. For example, moving notes up and down can be achieved by holding Alt or Cmd and then the arrow keys, and then you can move by semitones by holding shift, or octaves by holding Control. What’s fantastic about Dorico is that it really thinks about the correct spellings of notes, it looks at the context, rather than just the single note.

“You are far from what users want. Before implementing complex features make sure that the basics works fine. I think that now is time to listen users if you want to keep credibility.”

I do have to disagree with this, I’m afraid. So far, I think that Dorico is everything I want, and that it’s only just going to get better and better. I imagine there are the majority of people on this forum who also agree with me. The basics do work absolutely fine, indeed I’m currently arranging a 700 bar piano duet of Gershwin’a An American in Paris, and I have every faith in the program being able to produce a high quality, professional engraved, publish ready copy. I have had a few queries along the way, and have posted on here as well as emailed Daniel. Gee, I’ve even had responses on this forum from Daniel at 12am, and he’s always replied to emails within the hour.

I will agree that some parts of the program feel counter-intuitive when you first go to use them, but once you get it, you’ll realise why it’s better than Sib or Finale. I’ve had my fair share of problems with Sibelius over the years, and some things today after all these years are still impossible to achieve on Sibelius if you want to use it the correct way.

Stick with it, persevere, there are countless numbers of users on here who would be more than delighted to show you how to use the program, including myself! Just PM any of us or ask your questions on here. Take care :slight_smile:

pascalPPPP, I can understand your first experience. I take your post as an indictment of the lack of documentation more than what the program does offer. Dorico is built on new and different concepts of how to store and edit music notation. Perhaps it will become more intuitive for mouse users in time.

Sibelius definitely excels in ease of UI. But the way it is structured makes musicians bump into many limitations in editing and display. Dorico is addressing all of these limitations, and it’s very exciting.

An idea for the Dorico team, and/or perhaps helpful users: As a stopgap for proper documentation, perhaps the soundtrack of some tutorial videos could be overdubbed in multiple languages. What is most needed is a first introduction to the interface. How to do exactly what pascalPPPP tried to do.

Operations Guide:

Popovers Guide attached.

I also think the program is odd and not intuitive, and this may well dent Dorico’s ingress into the educational market.
BUT… it is extremely powerful and (once you get it) extremely quick.

Stick with it! If you want basic answers and can’t find them it is worth creating a post. A hundred other people will be stuck on the same thing.
dorico-popovers-1.0.10.zip (379 KB)

Hi PascalPPPP

Regarding note input. When using Dorico if you add bars before you start you will find mouse entry much easier as you can then click notes into bars where you want them without accidentally changing existing crotchets to quavers etc as you described. Dorico is generally much quicker to use if you use keyboard shortcuts, rather than the mouse though.

Regarding moving the height (pitch) of a note. We have made it very easy to switch staves when entering notes using the up/down arrows, considering that a common case. Therefore you use Alt + up/down to change the pitch of a note when you have (less often) accidentally entered the pitch incorrectly.

User guide. We are working on adding lots more to the user guide, including (hopefully very soon) the translated versions. There are also youtube videos of Daniel showing how to get started with Dorico, this forum and even Facebook. As it isn’t the same team that work directly on the help documentation it is sometimes quicker and easier to add information to a forum post - and that often gets more notice.

Changing instrument names. Sometimes in Sibelius it is a bit too easy to drag / change something accidentally, and in some cases like instrument names it makes sense to change it globally in one place rather than potentially change the score to find that the part and plural versions of the name also need changing.

Basic vs complex features. There are some features that are not yet included in Dorico as we prefer to release them when they are completely finished. That is why some of the things we have released also have many complex options included. So yes we have very complex e.g. meter or beaming options, but no chord symbols.

Licensing. We are listening to the many posts about licensing, but it isn’t just a decision that the Dorico team on their own can necessarily do anything about. We have made some changes e.g. using a soft eLicenser option, which I believe is a first for Steinberg for a professional product, and depending on how it goes maybe we’ll be allowed to make more changes in the future.

Working in a vacuum. I’ve checked the other posts you have written and you have had very good responses from Daniel and Paul regarding the points you have made. Daniel explained about the dynamic collision, and the topic about HF interaction and testing was also discussed. I’m not sure what else we could have said on either subject.

Beta testing. Dorico was extensively beta tested and many people are very happy with the v1.0 (and now v1.0.10), the features it contains and are producing great music with it.

Our work is far from done, and I hope you’ll continue with us in the journey and please ask if you have other questions.


Can you give me any more details on what you feel is not intuitive / odd? I’m interested to know.

Let my put my 2 cents in and say that one of the things, to me anyway, is music frames. I’ve played with them for quite a while and still can’t really understand how to use them.
Another problem I have is when I’m in note input mode and click space bar to designate a rest, I don’t see the rest until I enter a note. That’s not intuitive. If I enter a note, I expect to see the note. If enter a space(rest) I expect to see the rest before I enter a note. I had occasion where, in 12/8 time, I had to enter dotted half rest, dotted quarter rest, 2 eighth rests and a sixteenth rest and only then a sixteenth note. Then only after entering the sixteenth note I see the rests. It’ only after entering the sixteenth note that I found I made an error in one of rests. To me that’s unintuitive.

Frames are generally fine to be left alone and it’ll do the right thing. Playing with them is a more expert-type thing and probably requires more explanation than just diving in - so well done for experimenting :slight_smile:
I’ll see what we can do to explain them in more detail. Would some use-cases help? Or…?

Regarding note input, using the spacebar doesn’t really enter rests, it just moves the caret along by the length of the note you have selected in the left panel - similar to the right-arrow, although that uses the grid length. In your example above, using the right-arrow to get to the last 16th of the bar and then entering a note would have been easier / quicker?
FYI - shortcut for changing the grid is Alt + [ or ] (square brackets).

Thanks, I understand about space vs arrow for movement. What I don’t understand is why, when I press space/arrow the rest only appears after note is input. The rest should appear as soon as space/arrow are pressed. What I transcribed had to be an exact copy. If I just entered the 16th note at end, the rests would be different than the original. Another example of having to break established engraving rules.

Dorico works using the content of the music, not its appearance in the score. This is different form most other software like Sibelius, Finale, etc.

In Dorico, “rests” don’t actually exist. They are just “gaps between notes”, and the correct symbols are drawn depending on the rules for how to divide the notation into beats and bars. You can move the caret anywhere you like in the score, but until you actually enter a note, you haven’t changed the music.

If you delete a note that precedes or follows a rest, Dorico will automatically rewrite the rest using the correct notation. You don’t need to edit the rests yourself (for example combining two quarter rests into a half rest).

If you experiment with “insert mode,” and do something like inserting a single 8th-note in the middle of a score in 4/4 time, Dorico rewrites all the music after the inserted note using the correct note and rest values, tied notes, beaming patterns, etc. Once you get used to the fact that Dorico sometimes rewrites the previous music when you enter the next note, this can save a lot of time.

You can force Dorico to “break the rules” if you really need to do that. If you press O (letter O, not number zero) or click the “G-clamp” icon on the left hand panel, Dorico will not rewrite any notes or rests you enter.

You can enter an explicit rest by pressing “,” and then entering a note (i.e. select the note duration and press any key A-G).

If you select Notation Options from the Write menu, there are many “rules” that you can change to control how Dorico automatically formats the music.

Yes, I tried the override (clamp) but it seems to work with notes, not rests.

Basically Notes AND rests are meaningful to musicians at all times, Grids may be more attractive to designers and programmers. This has been discussed before. I find the difference between how rests aggregate musically when entered in open meter and not when entered in a time signature puzzling. By all means I do understand they are not REAL rests, but they sure look like it…

Why in the world would you try to click every single note onto the staff??! Yes, that’s the way pencil and paper work but computers aren’t pencil and paper. That’s like trying to engrave a piece of music into an old-fashioned copper plate using pencil and erasers and not scalpels and stamps and expecting it to work. If you want the tool to work properly, you must use the tool the way the tool was intended to be used.

Force Durations does work with rests, too, but you have to type a note name, e.g. A to G, when rest mode is active (shortcut ,) in order to input an explicit rest. We deliberately make inputting actual rests difficult because we don’t think you should need to do it!

Ah, I see, thanks very much. I agree with your philosophy on rests, but it would be less confusing If one could see the rest while in the process of engraving. Maybe you could think about adding this as an option in preferences.

I get the feeling you did not honestly try and forget old habits about rests. I must say I am absolutely convinced by now (I own Dorico since october 19th) this is the right way to handle them. And that it took me about… five minutes to be convinced. Move the caret (with arrows or with space bar), input notes and that’s all. And if really the result does not meet your needs, change some engraving options or (in the end) go for the force duration tool.

You may be right. Maybe you CAN teach an old dog new tricks. I’ll give it the old college try.

John, there’s a long list. I’m getting used to Dorico now but I’ll post as I find.

Master Page Editor: Why can’t I click on a frame and ‘select all’? What is the method for copying one master page to another e.g… L to R?
Why can’t I drag pages in the Engrave Mode pages panel to rearrange them? Intuition from using macs for decades says I should be able to. And drag almost anything else.
Why can’t I select a bar?
Why can’t I reliably select a note (to do something like make into system) without it selecting the stem et al?
Why does selecting a note that is tied sometimes select the whole tied length (and thus put system breaks in the middle of a bar, which I don’t need 99% of the time) but sometimes select just the note?
Why does ‘undo’ take 30 times more presses to do anything than any other program I’ve ever used? Actually, I understand what its doing, but definitely not why - It seems to have no intelligence on what is a useful stage to undo and the twenty selection mistakes made on the way.
If I select the barline at the end of the 4th bar and make into system I get a four bar system. But if I then select the one at the end of the eighth bar I don’t get another? Or next try, select the 4th and 8th? Nope… Maybe 5th and 8th? nope. Shift-S? Yes! ??
Why when I type crescendo do I get a hairpin? These are not equivalent.
Why does ‘show transposition in staff labels’ not affect all transposing instruments?
Why can’t I type -1 in the final empty bar to delete it?
Why does the octave transposition shortcuts sometimes affect the last note input but sometimes do nothing?
Why do some things that I type in popovers just disappear?

None of these are questions. I understand how and at least something of why. I can see the genius in some of it and the pain in the arse of other bits, but none of these things are ‘intuitive’. I used Sibelius on Acorn when it came out and have scored music nearly every day since. I have a head-start.
Has your beta testing included giving it to a classroom of music students and watching them scratch their heads?