Please excuse me for my English, I hope you will understand what I would like to say.
As a professional musician I’ve been working with scoring software for quite a long time.
I like the unique conception of Dorico very much, I’m sure this software may have a lot of fans in the future.
Importing Music XML files are just great for example! Really, Dorico does a stunning job during import and it is almost nothing to do after (if you are working with some easy stuff like romantic piano music, pieces for non-large ensembles, etc.). But it is absolutely crazy to work with large orchestral scores on the same time!
Dear colleagues, let’s create a list of must-have features without which this software cannot be professionally used.
Ability to adjust spaces between staves. Unfortunately, Dorico doesn’t always set perfect spacing between staves even in 2-staves piano music. Sometimes it is unreasonable too wide/narrow on the same page and there is no way to change it. With large scores it is a mess. It is very helpful to be able to set the minimal possible gap between some empty or slightly used staves to save space for others.
Ability to hide/show staves individually. It is not looking good when some pages in orchestral score have only half space used because of auto-hided empty staves. To show empty staves on any page in a score is critically important.
Ability to move notes individually on staves left or right in engraving mode. Probably with the further development process it could became totally unnecessary, everything will look perfect, but to have this flexibility now is important.
Maybe it is a dream, but anyway. This is usually a huge waste of time during preparing and engraving individual instrument parts of a big work for symphonic orchestra. As a Sibelius user I have to say that this is a really painful to extract instruments from a group (2 oboes to Oboe 1 and Oboe 2, for example). When they play two voices, the high and low voice could be filtered and deleted from the part of another player. But quite often they play in unison: a2, a3, etc. And if you are very limited in time with your score say for rehearsal, is it easy to miss this and delete music that must be presented in both parts. It could get even worse when you have 30+ individual parts.
I wonder if it is possible to make a clear way for automated extraction such a voices in absolutely correct way just by letting the program read your marks in the group part: 1 solo, 2 solo, a2, etc.? And create individual parts accordingly. Is it so impossible? I understand that composers and engravers must be very careful in writing the right marks to the right place and to the right instrument in the group, but still I don’t think this is unbelievable difficult task for software developers to reach this level of automation when the work by engravers is done correct. It really could save enormous amount of time for us, composers. I personally will be grateful to the programming team till the end of my days. Parts itself look very good already in Dorico, except the group instruments remain in group, not individual. The Dorico statement is to be real tool for musicians, why not to try and to make a big step in this particular direction?
You will be able to adjust the distance between staves very soon, possibly as soon as the first post-release update, and if not, then very soon after that.
You can already hide unused staves: see the Vertical Spacing page of Layout Options for the options.
You will also be able to adjust the horizontal spacing soon, though not until after vertical spacing is adjustable (the same developer will be working on both things).
Your dream will become a reality: we have already put a lot of groundwork into the solution to this very complex requirement, but it’s a very big engineering challenge and there is quite a lot of work left to do. Rather than splitting parts from a condensed score, in Dorico you will enter the music for each player individually, and then Dorico will produce the condensed score. Given the other more pressing things we need to work on in the short-term I think it best not to talk this up too much, but we have big plans in this area, and I think you’ll really like what we come up with.
+1 for this ASAP! The vertical spacing algorithm is beautiful, but definitely not able to work 100% of the time at a professional level.
Right now, this is a global setting, right? We will need more granular control to make beautiful orchestra scores – some pages we need to show some empty staves to create consistency (cf “Filling out a score to create even page depths”).
There’s much to love in Dorico, can’t wait for the future!
Thank you very much for your prompt reply, Daniel! I know you are going crazy with so many responses after the first days of launching Dorico. I believe for the very special place for this software.
I can hide the staves only after 1st page, or everywhere. I am not able to show them up again where I need to. By the way it seems I cannot hide empty staves on the first page also.
SO glad to know that the idea will be realized someway in observed future! Thanks a lot, that could be a real advantage comparing to other competitors. Hope the team of developers will survive in the next few months of updates)
Anyway, outstanding now, potentially great job!
By all means attach a project that shows where you’re having problems with the existing hiding of empty staves, and I’ll take a look to see if I can figure out what’s going wrong. Zip up your Dorico project before you attach it here.
I’ve taken a look through your project, and it looks to me as if Dorico is happily hiding empty staves after the first system. Can you point to a specific place where it’s not hiding a staff that you think it should?
The reason manual control over hiding staves is important, is because even if a staff is empty, it’s not necessarily desirable to hide it. E,g, it is usual to have the same number of staves on facing pages etc.
I would like to hide all the second (unused) staves in strings on the first staff also. Cannot do that. Also I don’t understand why there is a piano brace on strings and how to change it without removing string parts completely and start from scratch (copy-paste)?
The way you explained about creating individual parts - sounds good. I only hope that it won’t be a problem to create large scores, because it is a bit intricately to see each player on its personal staff while you are working on some 30-40 parts score.
Thank you, Daniel. Looking forward to the updates.
This is because Dorico’s approach to bracketing multi-stave instruments is very rudimentary at the moment: simply put, if an instrument has more than one staff, it ends up with a brace. We’re in the process of changing this at the moment, and it won’t happen in the first post-release update.
I have two professional composer friends who are waiting for this:
" wonder if it is possible to make a clear way for automated extraction such a voices in absolutely correct way just by letting the program read your marks in the group part: 1 solo, 2 solo, a2, etc.? And create individual parts accordingly. Is it so impossible? " – Kunstderfuge
“4. Your dream will become a reality: we have already put a lot of groundwork into the solution to this very complex requirement, but it’s a very big engineering challenge and there is quite a lot of work left to do. Rather than splitting parts from a condensed score, in Dorico you will enter the music for each player individually, and then Dorico will produce the condensed score. Given the other more pressing things we need to work on in the short-term I think it best not to talk this up too much, but we have big plans in this area, and I think you’ll really like what we come up with.” – Daniel at Steinberg
They tell me that once this is a reality, every composer who writes orchestral scores will be onboard with Dorico – in their mind it is the killer feature.
When Dorico will be ready for chords notation, it would be great if Dorico not only write chords symbol but could also read it (as chords track on Cubase).
An option to transpose chords as the key is changed would also be very usefull.
Some king of chords sheet should be another interresting features.
Another thought about Dorico’s implementation of chords:
Finale is able to implement slash-notation for chord/root-note, a fairly standard practice; but the playback is incredibly quirky in that when Finale adds a bass tone (particularly important for inversions or pedal notes) it suddenly adds a note in the bass register quite out of character with the range of its normal chords.
It would be nice if in Dorico chords supplied a bass note in a suitable register not only for chords with an added (slashed) bass note but for all chords, so a bass note would not suddenly appear out of the blue when the program encountered an alternate bass.