Mouse input

Okay I seem to be lost again.

The fastest way to input notes when i dont know what notes im going to input but rather just the pitch by ear, is by clicking and dragging with my mouse. I get a note and then can adjust it to what i need with speed. But you seem to have deliberately disabled this kind of use to “not change notes while scrolling” or what ever your reason was. PLEASE just add another pointer/tool besides the marker and the hand tool that allows for moving notes around. or just enable it while holding down ALT? Just one consious decision from me and the software should just “know” that this is what i want. Disable it permanently is kind of an… Apple thing to do, isnt it?

I guess this goes in “feature requests” of some kind? Is there a forum for that here? Im new and accustomed to how Presonus work. :wink: Votes lets devs know what the users like and dont like, and what they need the most. Just a suggestion. :wink:


Hi Niclas.

Apple has got nothing to do with the way the notes are entered in Dorico. The team has thought this off very carefully, in order for the user not to mess with the notes entered by mistakenly moving the mouse, which is something that happens very easily in other software. It’s not a forgotten thing or some failure, it’s a feature. It’s ok for you not to like it, though.
What will probably appear some time in the year to come is pitch before duration input, which shall provide you with something you’ll probably like more. But I don’t think the mouse behaviour you’re requesting is going to appear, nor that any majority of us would want it there… But of course, this is just me thinking, I’m not part of the team, a mere user, simply one of the Day One Doricians :wink:

We have certainly talked many times about making it possible to drag notes up and down with the mouse, and we do get occasional requests for that feature, like yours, Niclas, here on the forum. We try to never say never when it comes to the choices we make about how we design the software, but there is something very attractive about the fact that you cannot make an accidental change to your music in Write mode with the mouse, because you can’t drag a note anywhere. Of course you can drag non-note items around, though in a limited way (you cannot drag them to another staff, for example), and I think there is certainly an argument for dragging notes in a limited way as well, but it’s not been a sufficiently high priority item for us to actually work on it yet. But I thank you for your feedback that you would find it useful.

The inability for me to quickly change pitch with a mouse-drag after input is the single feature that keeps me from being able to use Dorico as my main notation app. Editing is a time consuming pain and composition is just not an issue.

A check box in Preferences that would allow those of us who aren’t afraid of this mighty power the functionality to drag notes up and down… I’d make the switch.

At the moment, I’m writing and arranging in other apps and using MusicXML into Dorico… yea that…

Ummm… before the armchair expert fanboys jump in to say how easy it is, it’s not for me and never will be.

I’m exploring the idea of getting a Stream Deck XL and seeing what that can do to help — I’m hoping it can or I will return it, frankly. No, I’m not overjoyed that I’m looking at buying a $249 piece of hardware plus another $39 for the custom template just to be able to perform a simple task.

Life’s too short and I have work to do.

If you’re talking about Notation Express, no, it doesn’t have functions for altering the pitch of your notes (aside from accessing the Transpose button quickly). Stream Deck can’t emulate a mouse click or alter the way that your mouse interacts with Dorico, though I guess you could program buttons that typed Alt+Up and Alt+Down if you wanted.

So why is alt+up and alt+down allowed and not alt+mouse movement?!? Seems like you had this idea and are sticking to it, no matter if there is other ways than yours to get job done.

This is my issue with your way of working.
If i want to change a note i made earlier. I have to take my mouse, click on the note, take my hand off the mouse again and press key commands with BOTH hands. This is SLOW and not very efficient. If i have to use the mouse for selecting i should be able to keep using it! Allow alt+mouse to alter a pitch and everyone is happy.

In general, this program isnt very well built in regards to speed. There is A LOT of two hand key commands where there need only to be one hand really. A lot, a lot, of shift+ and alt+shift+ commands.

What you could do is to use the Caps button to trigger notes instead of commands, like many daws do, and place as many key commands as possible on only one key. Key change could be K for example. Time signature could be T. Tempo could be shift+T, just for the sake of remembering easily.

Also you could allow some edibility for the background. Black and blue is kind of hard on the eye. To be able to work long periods of time without straining the eye i could do with some softer colors. :wink:

You should find that you can easily re-select the target note without the mouse: the left and right arrow keys hop between notes in the same voice, and you can use Ctrl+left/right to skip by whole bars.

If you find the dark user interface too bold, try switching to the light theme, which you can do on the General page of Preferences.

Thanks for the reply.

Not the answer I wanted, of course, but I’m going to order one anyway. My bread-and-butter-app-that’s really-fast is still 32 bit and I just accepted a gig that requires 4–5 charts a week.

I’ll order the Stream Deck XL and see how much time can be saved, if any. By placing order from Amazon, if the purchase is a dud, I can get my $249 back should it not work out. If I can program a couple buttons like you suggest, that will be huge. My upgrade budget will defray some of the expense since I won’t need that other app anymore.

Without going into particulars, my handicap is severe enough that I work at about 10% the speed I did before and anything involving two hands can’t be done. It’s a bit disheartening to realize that, in January, I’ve accepted more work than I can deliver by December … unless I can bend a Stream Deck XL to to my will, then watch out!

PF, I think you’ll find the Stream Deck a lifesaver. I’ve programmed all sorts of custom commands, all depending on the particular sort of work. One folder for playing techniques, another for hymnal work, another for editing choral octavos…

I don’t understand why you want to use caps for note entry, considering most people enter far more notes than key or time signature changes, etc.

FWIW I have the caps lock key on my computer keyboards permanently disabled, since the only time I ever pressed it is was by mistake. It’s about as much use as the Scroll Lock and Pause/Break keys!

In any case, you can change most of the key commands to whatever you want with Edit > Preferences. For example I have remapped several “two handed” defaults that I use a lot onto the numeric keypad. It was a deliberate choice not to use the keypad for any default shortcuts in Dorico, since small portable devices often don’t have one).

And if you really like single key presses, get a Stream Deck :slight_smile:

I guess it’s all a work-habits thing. I compose into dorico all the time (with a MIDI keyboard) and I’ve never found the lack of mouse dragging to be a limitation. I don’t miss it in the slightest. The alt+arrow commands allow you to change a note after the fact without too much fuss. Perhaps staff pad might be a better way for you to interact with the score during input.

I agree. Personally I can’t relate at all to the “I don’t know what notes I’m going to input but rather just the pitch by ear” idea.

Clearly there are people who somehow write music without ever having done any ear-training, but there’s a reason why music students have to learn to write something down accurately (using only pencil and paper) after they heard it just once.

I find mouse interaction for note entry much more cumbersome and inefficient than keyboard (MIDI or computer) interaction, so I also can’t relate to this. But I guess there are people that just aren’t made for some technology, they’d rather write everything by hand if they could (similar to some people printing their emails in order to read them – yeah, I’ve read that apparently this is a thing).

Wow… this is a very patronizing thing to write. So no one without formal, classical, ear training should be catered to?
I have a master degree in classical clarinet, and i never learned to write down notes on paper just after hearing it once. I have worked as a pro musician anyway, and not one single person in any orchestra have been complaining over this lack of training on my part…

I was taught how to do it by a local music teacher when I was about 9 or 10 years old. But we all know different countries have different music education systems.

Do you also have the “reverse” limitation - you have no idea what a page of sheet music is going to sound like until you actually play it?

okay, I know I’m not the norm, but here is my thoughts:

I find jumping between bars (and then the occational page flip) makes my head dizzy from the scroll effect. I rather just move to where i want with greater speed using my apple mouse to scroll fast to where im going. Like when learning to dance, look at one object and move the body, to not get sick by all the movement. You know? I know i get motion sick easy, but so does a lot of people. 3d movies is not for me so to say… So anyway, i use the mouse to move around.

For the pitch selection i just dont understand WHY its not an option. Workflow is the new black, and finding ways of working that suits ones needs is often talked about on all forums related to music production (Studio one is praised for it. Cubase is in many aspects emulating Studio One with its latest updates with drag and drop etc. Steinberg bosses is going with the trend here. :wink:

I want to be able to change pitch with my mouse because

  1. the above. Its waay faster to just scroll 200 bars in the score than to step my way there. And way less time staring at “page sliding” effects means less motion sickness for me, that is a bonus. But the speed is the important part. If im stepping my way there i will have forgotten why i went there to begin with. I have a bad memory and get distracted easily. If im stepping past some other spot i want to edit i just forgetting about the thing i was really doing… and

  2. I often know how i want it to sound, even thought i dont know what it is suppose to look like, beeing a “ear trained” musician more than a “note trained” one. If i need to step the note up, triggering a tone on every step, I will forgot the color and chord i was aiming for. pitching with the mouse is faster and i can get to the note i want without hesitation. This is essential when finding the notes for a melody i know by ear then i can sing the right note and enter the pitch at the same time. going up a fifth by stepping is 5 strokes. takes way too long to let go of the mouse and then pressing the alt+up arrow 5 times. Compare it to finding the right note on the piano. im not trying every note on the way up if i know i need a much brighter note, right? I go straight to the general area of where its likely to be.

  3. if im holding my mouse anyway for above reasons, editing the notes with it just makes sense. Adding the OPTION of allowing one to customize the workflow to fit ones needs is not a bad thing ever, in my book.

    I see a lot of “i dont do it that way, so it must be wrong” ways of thinking. do you apply that to other aspects of life? no, i didnt think so. Not all people want to live in a white house and drive a nice bmw and eat steak every sunday. :stuck_out_tongue: The more choices the better, i think. I want a Citroen, even thought most people just shakes their heads calling them a piece of rusty junk. I often reply with “you have never tried the citroen suspension, have you?”. I take rust over a bumpy ride any day of the week.

I’m sorry for the long post, but i want to explain just why I think this is so important. Some is good at music theory, and some isnt. Do you guys (devs, owners) really want to alienate everybody that does work a little different from what you have descided is the best way? A little flexibility goes a very long way when it comes to workflow.

Not really. I can sight sing a piece of music pretty well, but that wasnt the case until i was half way through my masters degree. I have grown up playing traditional music by ear, and didnt read sheet music until pretty late (high school). So when i hear a melody i know how the rest of the parts in the arrangement shoudl sound like, but need to “transcribe” what i “hear”. Does that makes sense to anyone else but me? :smiley:

Yes music ed is very different between countries, we agree. In sweden we have public music schools. They are quite low funded and the standard is varying to extremes, but everyone is welcome, but a 140usd a year for learning to play an instrument. My first clarinet teacher was a kindergarden teacher with no training at all. Living in the country side she got the job because there was no one playing winds but her, and then the old teacher passed away…

All this aside, writing music should not be hard, or require that deep theoretical skills. I know it has been for hundreds of years, but it shouldnt have to! Follow the audio industry and cater just a little bit towards people with no formal training!
There are plenty of singers, guitarists and trad musicians that want to put their music on paper (but lack the knowledge except they know what they want to hear), that should really benefit from this approach! :slight_smile:

(when researching this topic, i found posts all over the internet, naming Dorico the scoring software with the steepest learning curve. That is after all saying something about this, i think. I even read this in the sibelius forum. :stuck_out_tongue: Something to think about, i think)

Well what would you expect to read on the Sibelius forum? It’s full of people who’ve been using Sibelius for years and a) can’t remember how steep the Sibelius learning curve was and b) expect Dorico to work like Sibelius. I’ve watched kids get to grips with Dorico in very little time at all - they don’t have expectations of how it should work!

The trouble is that having lots of different methods to do the same thing is more development time that could be spent on adding features/methods that are missing; it increases the surface area for bugs; it makes the UI and documentation more complex and confusing.

Any workflow is a compromise, to some extent. I’ve always thought of the mouse and keyboard together as one big device that needs two hands, and never considered that time spent moving my hands across the whole thing as slow or inefficient. It probably takes me about “one extra button press” of time to move my hand from a mouse to the keyboard, or the other way.

Similarly, pressing two buttons may be factually slower than pressing one, but if that extra 1/5th of a second is a limiting factor in your workflow, then you must be working at a lightning pace and not stopping for breath!

Even if you had to move your hand from mouse to keys 200 times in a hour (which is probably an over-estimate), or press the shift key the same number, then you might lose around 45 seconds on your dream workflow.

Not to mention that if you want to keep one hand on a mouse, there’s nothing to stop you using your other hand to type both required keys.

Keyboards are designed so that there’s a Shift key and an Alt key that are accessible by either hand from a regular touch-typing position. On all five of the keyboards I use (two Macbook Pro keyboards, an HP laptop keyboard, a standard Logitech desktop keyboard and an old Apple USB keyboard) the right Option/Alt and Shift keys are within reach of the arrow keys.

Shift+Alt+a letter probably does require two hands, but I’m pretty sure that Shift-Alt-V (for a new slash voice) is the only default Shift-Alt combination I’d struggle to type with one hand

I’m not trying to tell you that your workflow’s wrong or that the existing workflow is the only correct workflow; I’m pointing out that two or three fingers on one hand can easily type the commands that you appear to need two hands for.