MIDI note input response time

Hi, I haven’t seen this exact issue brought up here and thought I’d see if anyone has noticed anything similar. While Finale was my first “language” in music notation software, I have been using Dorico for about a year now and continue to be impressed by the elegance and thoughtfulness of its design and implementation and have happily used it on several large projects and will continue to do so. I say this because I don’t expect any new software program I learn to behave exactly the same as the one(s) I already know. The issue I’m bringing up is the fact that Dorico’s response time when I’m inputting with one hand on my MIDI keyboard (Komplete Kontrol S88) and one hand on the numeric keypad (2019 iMac 27") is just enough slower (probably by milliseconds, but noticeable) than Finale’s that I’m constantly inputting the “previous” note when I thought I had moved on to the next, if that makes sense. Same hardware, OS, etc. so it’s not that. I can see Dorico “recognize” the note on the staff if I’m looking at the monitor, and it just seems to take a slightly more deliberate set of actions (in my case, pitch before duration) than required in my years with Finale in Speedy Entry. After decades in Finale, I rarely had to look at the monitor or either keyboard and ended up with very few wrong notes or entries. And I’m not talking about learning new keystrokes or entry methods here - I’m fine with the things that are different about Dorico (although I did remap the durations to match Finale’s, an option I was grateful to have) and even celebrate them - I’m focusing only on the physical “response time” in the MIDI+numeric keypad inputting process. While it may be that this is just “how it is” in Dorico, I’m hoping there might be a setting or two that I haven’t discovered that could be causing this. Thanks for any help or insights.

Hi Doug, welcome to the forum. I assume you’re using pitch-before-duration?

I’ve experienced this as well, and I don’t think you’re missing anything. As you say, the delay is very slight, but with pitch-before-duration, I regularly get errors in inputting.

To be honest, although it took me a long time to adapt to this coming from Finale, I’ve ended up switching to duration-first for most copying work, and using pitch-first only for composing.

Thanks, Dan. I appreciate the speedy (no pun intended) response. Yes, I’m using pitch before duration. Good to know that it’s not just me or my gear, although I do wish that tiny lag weren’t there.

Since I probably won’t ever be able to completely leave Finale behind for a number of reasons, I might have a hard time switching to duration-first, but I’ll keep it in mind if I find that the inputting errors just become too annoying to catch either in real time or in proofreading.

The MIDI response time with Dorico definitely is slower than Finale, but I have no idea why. I use a software MIDI router to route the MIDI signal to both notation software and a standalone piano VST simultaneously. If I input in Speedy as soon as I hear the pitch from the piano VST it will input correctly. In Dorico, I have to wait a few tenths of a second after hearing the pitch or else I will get input errors. I hadn’t really thought about this in a while though as I guess I’ve just gotten used to slowing down a bit, but the delay in Dorico is definitely there.

I’m not very fluent at using pitch-before-duration input, but just trying to input a stream of eighth notes in a rising and falling pattern that lies directly under my hands, I find that Dorico can keep up with me. I suspect the issue is that as your project grows, note input, in common with all operations, can get a bit slower, and if you’re used to being able to input absolutely as fast as humanly possible, you may be able to go faster than Dorico. I think the MIDI echoing happens “in real time” (notwithstanding the buffer size of your ASIO device) but the actual input will take between 50ms and 100ms even in a small project, and considerably more if you’re inputting into a big project.

Thanks for responding, Daniel, and big thanks to you and the Dorico team for creating, continuing to improve, and supporting about as well-designed a software program as I’ve had the pleasure of learning and using.

I understand that all functions can slow down slightly as the project gets bigger, but much of what I’ve been doing lately hasn’t involved huge scores or large numbers of entries of any sort, so I haven’t noticed the slight lag increasing as I work. The slight delay is there from the beginning, and I’m willing to accept that I just have to look at the monitor more often than I’ve been used to to make sure everything is in order.

Admittedly I had gotten used to inputting notes at a pretty blazing pace in another program, so that’s been a longstanding benchmark. I may see if I can achieve similar results with duration-before-pitch if I spend enough time with it to get comfortable with it, but for now I’ve just gotten used to working more slowly than in the past. I may even see how it feels to zip through note entry by inputting the rhythms on the same note and then making another pass with durations locked and just playing the pitches on the MIDI keyboard. I’ve seen how well that works when writing, say, for a sax or trumpet section.