Hi, by ‘voiceless’ mode I mean a mode which is similar to MoTu’s QuickScribe, Logic Pro’s Interpretation mode (derived from Notator/Notator Logic) or what programs like eg Musicator did on PCs many years ago.
Just to clarify: I’m a piano player, this idea isn’t meant for situations where you write a two voice divisi section for V1s. In such cases, you’ll always think in voices anyway.
If you record a MIDI file in a DAW, and imports that file into Dorico, Dorico already does its best to interpret the material- and probably does that better than most, if not all others, even if no human did anything to manually assign voices to what was played, or manually told Dorico where there’s need for rests, or where the are or are not chords.
When imports a real time MIDI recording as a MIDI file, or enter notes, either with a mouse or with a keyboard - the user will be in a “I don’t know where rests need to be placed, or which voice each of these notes should be assigned to” mode. Dorico will be in a "Dear user, just enter single notes, intervals, chords etc without thinking about voices or rests, and I’ll do my best to display what you enter in an as good way as when I deal with importing MIDI files, MusicXML, or real time MIDI recordings’-mode. So the user doesn’t think of voices; Dorico does.
Call it a sketchpad mode if you will, where all the already existing - and brilliant - code in Dorico is used to interpret what the user enters. Of course: at some point, both D. and the computer will immediately need to think about how all these piano notes shall be displayed, but the user doesn’t need that until he sees how successful D. was at displaying things.
That’s the default mode which score users in Logic and several other apps are used to. There are several ways to automatically and manually define how things shall be displayed in these apps too, including a way to define for each and every note which voice it belongs to. Since Logic unfortunately are using MIDI channel numbers to assign polyphonic voices, it has always been able to easily allow reassignment of polyphonic voices: you just change it’s MIDI channel. But Logic and it’s (lack of) development is frustrating both in the score and other areas.
And even if Logic isn’t at all a dedicated score app, it has nevertheless been used by users to prepare parts for musicians and orchestras for some years now, almost never based on a fully automatic interpretation of what has been played or entered, but based on a combination of the computer’s automatic interpretation and the use’ manually editing the result afterwards.
I can already achieve this, by entering notes manually in a DAW and import the music into a score app. Or I can enter notes, one at a time. But for someone who wants the best of two worlds, it should IMO be possible to achieve what I can achieve with combining eg step input mode in any ‘dumb’ DAW with importing that material into Dorico… without needing that other program.
This could probably be dealt with in at least two possible ways by score apps. In Dorico’s case, it could see the incoming MIDI Notes from a MIDI or computer keyboard (or mouse) the same way it sees a MIDI file or real time MIDI recording when that will be implemented. In other words, it wouldn’t be an actual ‘voiceless’ mode, because Dorico things in terms of voices when it does that. Alternatively, the score app/Dorico could possibly add an abstraction layer called Sketchpad Mode or similar, which will ‘warn’ the user that this isn’t the best Dorico can deliver, and tell users that this mode is only a way to help the user immediately see a result which looks as correct as what he already gets when importing a file or record MIDI notes from a MIDI keyboard.
There are so many situations where we’d need to do some serious thinking in order to define voices when we enter nodes manually, for instance a piano chords which starts a single voice but which during a couple of beats have developed into a chord with, say, 7 sustained notes. But I’d rather use by brain to think of ‘music’ than of ‘voices and rests’, at least in the creative process.
And I’m still a Dorico novice, so maybe there actually are relevant solutions in there which I’m not aware of. But my experience so far is that when I enter a note, defining which voice it shall belong to is a part of that process. And trust me; I hope I’m wrong! .
Of course I can enter notes and deal with ‘Start Voice’, ‘End voice’ and all that, but I firmly believe that there’s a much simpler - and good - way for users to enter notes into score apps than to thinking about voices. I already have had situations where I see a rest which doesn’t seem to belonging to a voice, and I can deal with that as well - by enabling the colour mode view which tells me which voice each of the notes and rests are assigned to.
But couldn’t a sketch-pad mode where none of this would be needed (at first) potentially develop into becoming a major time saver, even for very complex music (maybe especially for very complex music)?
I think so.