This release is an interesting one, while as substantial as any it doesn’t have quite the splash feeling of earlier ones, which introduced large fundamental improvements like the key editor or condensing. But on thinking on it a few days I’ve come to see that while not obvious it is as big a change as the others.
Putting aside a pile of tweaks and additions, the main focus here is playback. I think this is a continuation of last year which was the key editor, a necessary step to world class notation playback. Now we’re in the final part of that which is the VST side. So we see the introduction of a new popover which is the MIDI trigger region (oddly bound to ‘)’ or Shift-0), I’m not sure of a memory aid there). We also get the VST (MIDI) drag-drop functionality (e.g. Drum Agent patterns), and not least the Live stage and Live Space.
Finally there’s the humanization - in the blog Daniel said this would continue to improve in updates. Clearly the team has a new development model which is for really large features, release the architecture basis in the mainline release, and then build on that the rest of the year in updates. I think by the end of the year we’ll be blown away by the automatic humanizing.
So music that moves - moves you emotionally due to the humanizing, and literally with the Live Stage. I guess that will basically round out the playback side of it with the Key Editor last year and the humanizing and other parts this year.
Summary - this stuff is really a game changer for so many of us bread and butter composers, with the astronomical cost of live musicians and the quality of samples we can do so much, but the problem is that DAW’s basically suck, being 40 year old technology. Dorico is moving us into the 21st century and we finally can focus on the music and let the computer get us most of the way to good stems.
I actually think the productivity improvements – ‘intelligent’ multiple selections, double-tap dotting, and much else – are massive timesavers in an already very speedy process.
Versions 2 and 3 brought out some innovative and unique functions, like Flow Headings, Condensing and Figured Bass, which showed how Dorico had been thought out from day 1; I wouldn’t entirely expect them to keep coming up with revolutionary stuff every year; though I wouldn’t be entirely unsurprised either…
When I see what seems a larger than usual number of folks reporting trouble adapting Dorico 5 to sound cards, drivers, and the like, I figure Dorico must have made a significant change in at least one of their modules. Although the difficulties caused for some users (I feel lucky not to have had these problems yet), I expect this positions Dorico for even more capabilities in the future and I look forward to seeing (and enjoying) the developments that lie ahead.
Ooooh, that’s an interesting point. Let’s see, well I have to believe the VSTEngine just receives MIDI over a pipe or some such. Problems with sound cards has to be only related to the engine. But in response to a query of mine, trigger regions are output to MIDI, and humanizing clearly is, so that would all be done up in the Dorico part which is what I would expect.
So what if anything is going on with the Engine? Don’t know but I doubt it’s any headline feature, I’d guess maybe some work was done for better reliability or compatibility, but don’t see a case for it to be more than that. This is all guesswork of course.
Since we’re probably in a playback development cycle, an interesting speculation is how far this will go on the Mixing/DAW side of it. While MIDI creation is nothing but good for composers who want to focus on notes and not digital output, there are many who don’t want to deal with a DAW at all so are asking for more on the mixing side.
I’ve said before I’m not a fan of that, feels too kitchen sink for me. And my needs go way beyond what Dorico would ever do anyhow, as my final output is ATMOS which only is available in Nuendo (and will likely stay that way). So we did see some additions - I forget but there’s some kind of output bus or side channel addition? Anyhow, I mean sure if the team can figure out a way to keep Dorico tight and clean with more mixing I’m fine with that, but my guess is we’ll maybe see some continued small additions like that, but ultimately Dorico won’t try to replace the DAW.
Which begs the question of will we see DAW integration this year in an update, maybe towards the end as a bow on top to finish it out? That would be lovely, we can have Dorico create top drawer MIDI, we can tweak and put the final polish on it, then just send off to the DAW for final mix.
Yeah, you can add FX Channels now. Obviously then they will appear in Sends, but it seems really important to use 'em with the Space template, so you can have completely separate Reverb settings for Near and Far sends. Anthony Hughes gets a nice effect with this when he demonstrates it in one of the vids with some EQ added as well. Otherwise, when you use the Stage template, I think it’s simply a graphical representation of what we’ve always been able to do, adjust the panning, and adjust the reverb send. Having Dorico sort of balance the two sends based on Y axis stage positioning is actually what’s new with the Stage/Space templates, so it seems to me adding the FX channel is a pretty important step.
Aside - and I forgot to mention Scrub playback! Another playback feature I’m finding really useful.
OK so on the FX channels somebody here mentioned being able to do 5.1 with that? Seems like a kludge, but your explanation makes more sense in that it’s needed for better reverb. Which is a great addition, I’ve never mucked with reverb much but now it seems to be easier.
OK I’ve noticed something new, now when you pull an audio interface you get the same dialog as is used in Cubase/Nuendo, before Dorico just silently changed interfaces. So I think all that happened is that the engine got greater compatibility/code with the DAW’s is all.
Dorico’s entire audio engine comes from Cubendo, so that is not surprising.
I don’t like that they included fonts in the installer that are also installed by the Finale/MakeMusic Fonts installer. Is everything from there included with Dorico, or will users run into problems if they have to reinstall Finale and then remove everything later on (including the MMFonts package).
The license allows redistribution, so why not just use their installer and install it during the Dorico installation (optionally giving us a choice of whether or not we’d like to add them)?
Me.? I’d put money on 100% not… Nor even within the v5.x.x lifecycle. Maybe wishful thinking for inclusion during v6 .
Given all the discussion/frustrations from folk, and the team responses, over what’s in or not with v5 its clear there’s a deal of work to prioritise - isn’t there always.! However this time user feedback will, I believe, play into what really gets/deserves some attention now. Note that one or two of those areas ‘definitely wanting to be achieved’ (within v5.x.x.?) will each require major amounts of effort, said Daniel.
Lastly, Cubase DAW (audio engine) integration needs co-ordination across the whole of SB. Its possible the two teams of engineers (SB and Dorico devs) won’t be able to ‘coincide’ diaries on this for many months.