Is better playback of repeats in the pipeline?

So, a little context here.

I started making an in-depth youtube video along the lines of “Musescore 4 vs Dorico - which to choose?”, but I abandoned it because it was going to be a really boring video, and because the process of making the video changed my previous opinions about both. Basically, every category I looked at Dorico was either streets ahead, or faster, or easier, or in some way clearly better.

Basically, the end conclusion would have been “use Musescore - because it is free - to arrange your church hymns or pop songs or GCSE music project, but as soon as you have to do your first big or complicated project, and have therefore shelled out for Dorico, you will never use Musescore again”.

This is no disrespect to Musescore; it works, and works well, and is free. Lovely. Had I done a Sibelius vs Musescore, I think it would have been a lot closer, but I didn’t and it wasn’t.

…with two exceptions.

First, Musescore is way easier to set up and use as a new user. And of course the conclusion was “well, duh. Simpler software is simpler to learn”. (That, and “Musescore uses the older, more conservative tropes in notation scoring; Dorico has made up its own”.)

But second - playback, specifically playback of repeats. I found a good workaround for my lack of experience with, ownership of, and cash to buy a massive orchestral VST - which was to buy/rent Noteperformer. I found a quick and easy way to make pauses play back the way I wanted them to, customised to each pause, every time. I have gotten used to the places where Dorico’s normally-excellent way of laying things out is annoying (such as alternate bars of (3+2)/4 and (2+3)/4).

But I can’t get a proper workaround to the “play in the first repeat only” problem. I have attached a snippet here to illustrate the problem, and it’s driving me bonkers. Probably more than it would otherwise do, because I came from Sib 6, which does it with ease.

Is this feature going to be added any time soon? It’s the major flaw in an otherwise most excellent program.

So why don’t I just go back to Sib 6? Well, because of everything else in Dorico.

Any workarounds people have discovered in the interim?

Thank you!

Example 1.dorico (519.7 KB)

oh, and before anyone says “just expand the repeated sections out?”

Nope. If you are writing a Beggars-Opera style extended kids work with lots of folk tunes, you have a lot of repeats. That’s pretty much the way folk dances work, and it would make it twice as long…

Plus, I want vamp bars. Plus, I want it the way I want it!

Your are right, there are some topics around “repeats” that still need improvement, like playing only on certain repeats, starting playback on another repeat when pressing “p”, or tying notes into the second house…

But hope never dies :wink:

A cursory search of this forum will uncover many, many threads on the topic of repeats playback. It has been discussed ad nauseam.

Er… OK? How does this help? Are there solutions in these posts? Is there a timescale to have the error fixed?

Yes - I have that issue sometimes, such as in this example.
The issue here though is that I don’t know if the ability to do what I have crudely drawn in would be helpful or not for the performers.

No. No (It is not an error, it a limitation)

No. No (It is not an error, it a limitation)

Fair point.
Mind you, a pretty basic limitation which you say has been raised loads and loads of times. Annoying, for such an expensive piece of software.

Although, I wonder if I would be quite so frustrated if the rest of the software were not so good? I mean, Windows 11 has got some pretty egregious moments, but I think we have been conditioned to accept over the years that Microsoft doesn’t remotely care.

In Dorico’s defense: In the many (many) years that I was using Finale before switching to Dorico, Finale also had this limitation…

I can’t say for sure when the feature of specifying on which pass items like notes etc. should be played, but it’s definitely on our backlog. (At the time of writing, it’s not implemented even in our internal development builds.)

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Personally, I disagree that this is a “basic limitation”. For me, Dorico has always been a notation tool. It handles (almost*) everything I need to produce fabulous scores/parts for real musicians to play from.

(*Please @dspreadbury sort out ties into 2nd time bars; repeat bars allowed in parts, but not score; and vertical spacing above first stave (to permit all sorts of preamble material)),

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Thank you! I’ll keep an eye on the changelogs then…

Yah - as far as I’m concerned Dorico output stems are a very convenient way to produce temps - that’s it. If you want finery like fermata playback, multi channel, repeat this/that and sophisticated mixing then push the darn thing over to Cubase and do it there.

Personally, I’d hate to see Dorico become a kitchen sink and better for limited developer time spent on notation IMHO.

100% agree. Please, better textual/annotation/stage directions/footnotes (oh, I’d really appreciate staves in footnotes) features ahead of more playback enhancements.


Why not just change the size of the music frame on the first page to create a large quantity of free space which you can then fill with a text box?

Wow! Really illustrates the difference use cases for Dorico, don’t it!

The answer for me as to why I don’t just push it over to Cubase is that a) I don’t want to sell my children for medical experiments to buy Cubase, and b) Dorico sells itself as the best notation software by miles. Ignoring all the playback stuff would totally defeat the point of having it for me.

When I pitch a specific piece of scoring or music for a client, amazingly enough they don’t usually want to hire a full orchestra to play every revision, or listen to it in their heads like F. Murray Abraham in Amadeus… Playback matters, because if Dorico doesn’t do it well enough, you may be sure that Sibelius or Finale (or Musescore!) will.

Who said anything about ignore? Daniel has said multiple times that high quality playback is a priority - and that can be seen in the sophistication mixer and present capabilities. I’ve talked about the importance of temps (for those clients you mention) The question here is of how far it goes … do clients really care that about multi channel and that every repeat is perfect in a temp? I doubt it - rough idea is good enough and present day Dorico is more than capable.

The comment about Cubase/Nuendo is about quality you can use for finished stems (like going into a movie or a game), and the cost is negligible as a business expense you can write off (I did).

Anyhow you’re excited over nothing here … we’re just discussing how much further it needs to go in playback, in my and others estimation it’s pretty damn good already. If you think it should be even better than just say so and don’t get excited about it.

Peace otherwise -

Ok. Thanks for telling me what my emotions are!

Please support musicians!

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