Impossible to add new bars (Dorico Pro 2.2.10)

Hi there,

It’s been a while since I first tried Dorico (1.1) and put it aside because it wasn’t capable of live MIDI recording…

Now this feature is available, so I installed the trial Dorico Pro 2.2 version but faced an unexpected setback right at the beginning - the score wouldn’t let me add any new measures regardless of the input method (SHIFT+B->Enter or Insert Bars button)…
No error messages appear after Enter or Insert Bars are pressed, but no bars are added either.
I did highlight the rests in the first measure before trying to insert bars.

WTF? Help!

Win 7/64 bit, Dorico Pro 2.2.10 trial.

You need a time signature first. You can’t add bars otherwise, since Dorico doesn’t know how many beats they need to be.

Thank you, dankreider!

I am curious why there was no kind of error message though.
(admittedly, this process of “stare at screen -> scratch head -> post question on forum -> wait for explanation”, does seem to work :slight_smile:

You can argue the merits of error messages for specific actions, but in general, if you attempt something impossible Dorico simply ignores the attempt.

For example if you select a passage containing notes and rests and then add an articulation, the articulation is only added to the notes, and you don’t get an error or warning that you can’t add articulations to rests. That is probably what you would want to happen since it matches “musical common sense”.

But if you select only some rests and then (try to) add an articulation, you get the same behaviour - i.e. “nothing happens” with no explanation about “what you did wrong”.

a) Well, I frankly see nothing impossible or useless in creating measures without a time sigature or key signature. The size of the measures or their appearance can’t be affected by a time/key signature. :wink:

b) I see no reason why a time signature cannot or should not be set AFTER any number of blank bars have appeared on the screen. Dorico’s concept of a totally purged initial staff, which stealthily waits for a time signature, is unusual compared with the default templates of the majority of competitors.

c) Dorico enables a conventional input of notes WITHOUT any time signature but sets a ridiculous protocol for a live MIDI recording…

d) To make matters worse, neither tutorials nor GUI, highlight this peculiarity, and I am sort of thinking: ‘Another year has gone by. They have announced a live MIDI recording feature. OK, let’s take a look… WTF? Does cracking the riddle how to add measures to the score come with the territory??? And I haven’t even started testing…Finale, I’m back!’ :laughing:

Well… that’s sort of just how it is. If there’s no time signature, what’s a bar? What does a bar even mean?

I was a Finale guy for 20 years. Finale’s way of dealing with non-metrical bars is hardly superior. In fact… it doesn’t deal with them at all. You have to hide the time signature. How is that better?

Key signature is entirely irrelevant.
Time signature is also irrelevant if you can be bothered to manually add rests or start typing notes - Dorico will expand the first bar accordingly.
If you want automatically generated barlines, you need some sort of a time signature. End of.

Well, if you’ve only been away from Finale for a year, you won’t have anything much new to learn.

The first version of Finale I used was back in 1995 (it was installed from two floppy disks back then) - and some of the bugs in that ancient version still haven’t been fixed :wink:

Gentlemen, it seems you’ve missed the point. The live MIDI recording should not be a hassle involving a scrutiny of the GUI and making you guess ‘what’s misssing’. My goal is neither to ‘generate barlines’ nor to solve riddles; my goal is to start a live MIDI recording asap!
If Dorico has been an ardent proponent of ‘time signature supremacy’, which is totally spurious and contradicts its own concept of the mouse input, they should consider some existing conventions: a certain number of measures with a set time/key signature is available by DEFAULT in any template of their competitors. You just press record button and start the process instantaneously. You don’t have to check ANY score attributes. By the way, the competitors enable you to see notation as it is unfolding in real time.
OK, Dorico insists on its own conventions - no problem. Just lay it out to your prospective users!
It could have been highlighted in the manual, video tutorials, error messages, etc. What I’m saying is just Dorico, be more user-friendly, will you? :slight_smile:
PS. Let’s not confuse the conventions of MIDI recording, which I described above, with the importance of a time signature.

Read page 19 of the Version History, here:

You had the choice to download it when you updated (or installed).

If you want MIDI recording without a time signature, what beat value does a click represent?

MIDI recording is still young in Dorico. I’m sure the requirement for adding bars before recording will soon be removed.

Honestly though, adding a time sig and bars takes, what, 3 seconds?

Dear Paul,
I’m sorry to pop in like that, but I must admit your first post has had a toxic impact on me when I read it.
I understand you’re upset, and you’d like to make a suggestion to make this program even better.
But do you realize the tone you’re using? You’re writing on a forum with nice people willing to help “anyone” in need — I tell you yesterday night, I surely did not want to help you! No pun intended here. If you could just ease the tone, everyone will probably feel better.

I’ve been trying to understand why I couldn’t add bars for an hour, before finding this post. A workaround I discovered was to simply enter Input mode, select the longest duration, select a pause, and the continue pressing the spacebar until you get enough space in the measureless bar.

While I dislike error messages continuing to pop-up, maybe an auto-closing message in a corner of the screen would work. In this and in other cases. Do something wrong, and there are no modal dialogs, nor alarm beeps: just a discrete message automatically fading away.


I was confused by this when I first started using Dorico. The confusion was only because I was used to other notation software doing it one way and couldn’t understand why Dorico didn’t do the same. In hindsight it was just part of the process of learning how Dorico is set up.

So what do we think? Did Beethoven sit down and draw 20 bar lines first, or enter a time signature?