Interpretive playback

This would be amazing to have but not at all easy to do. Perhaps it’s more a long term direction than a feature.

At the moment, playback has a few weaknesses. Tempi are rigid and dynamics are a bit lacking in subtlety. Obviously the instruments have no sense of playing in an ensemble and so have no idea whether they are ‘leading’ or ‘supporting’ or ‘working together’ at any given time, so they sound like they are not ‘listening’.

What would be wonderful would be an interpretive layer that sits between the score and the playback engine and modifies tempi and dynamics (short and long term) based on heuristics or machine learning, mimicking something of what experienced musicians and conductors bring to a performance.

If they doubled the size of the development team and suspended all work on Dorico for 10 years while they researched it, I’m sure they could achieve some results.


You may be right there!

The problem with that is data, if you had millions of recorded performances and the Dorico scores for them it would be straightforward ML problem.

In the meantime I think the classical humanizing techniques they are presently working on should be good enough, all that’ll leave is for us to touchup the performance, I’m hoping.

Isn’t this what Noteperformer is attempting to do?

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Strange that ‘humanizing’ playback actually tries to eliminate the need for human interaction…

As far as I know it doesn’t do exactly this.

Yes, partly, but also it would enable composers to get a much better idea how things would sound with a real orchestra - which might encourage people like myself to develop our orchestral writing skills.

Tell me you don’t have a good idea of how Beethoven’s 7th would sound with a real orchestra after listening to this:

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The best way to [develop our orchestral writing skills] (IMHO) is to study scores and listen to as many different (real) interpretations of those scores as you can.


For sure that’s a very good way.

A good idea yes, but I think it could be much better. The emotional impact of a real performance is partly missing, and as a composer emotional impact is what I’m trying to achieve. For me, having playback that has more of that would be a great benefit. I could ‘trust’ my music more - I don’t have very good mental hearing.

I am certain you can develop your mental musical hearing just as with any other musical skill. Practice, practice, practice, and experience. As also @Janus has said. You are not stuck where you are. It’s amazing what skill you can develop if you put in the time. Read orchestral scores while listening. And there are thousands of scrolling music videos on youtube. You can do it!



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