My Troubles Importing a MIDI File (Pain)

Hi again guys,
Unfortunately I have found some things about Dorico that were very unpleasant to use.

I have this piece violin + piano I composed in my DAW a few months ago (Studio One). I did the necessary MIDI clean up procedures (fixing durations, separating the piano left and right hands, which ALWAYS cause trouble regardless of which notation software you import it to), but when I finally imported it, Dorico had placed random time signature changes throughout the piece (the piece does have a few time signature changes, but only one or two.

Dorico for some reason placed multiple even where there should have been none), meaning I had to change a bunch of those manually, and boy was it a pain.

Because for some reason when changing time signatures, Dorico doesn’t do the proper calculations, meaning I ended up with random 1/4 bars throughout the piece that couldn’t be changed.

What is worse, there were some bars of displaced music. I had to fix those manually as well. And I found out that Dorico can break when editing triplets. For example, there were a few triplets that when deleted, afected notes from adjacent bars (???). Deleting some triplets also caused other triplets from adjacent bars to break into regular 8th notes.

Musescore had this bug when importing the same piece where it would respell chords that didn’t need to be respelled, and there was no way around it. It was what made me curious about what if I imported into Dorico. Well I didn’t even have time to double-check the note pitches because of all I mentioned above. At least Musescore doesn’t screw up time signatures and triplets. A free notation software people. I know I’m relearning Dorico so I can make more advanced stuff, but this was so frustrating.

Anyways, I hope the above mentioned bugs are known at least. I can upload the midi file if you wish to test importing it on your own.

I’d also like to know where is the command to automatically respell pitches (doing this manually would just take too much time. It’s a long piece, almost 300 bars). Using the respell up or down options make the score unreadable (too many double sharps or double flats… maybe I’m not understanding what the respell up/down actually does?)


EDIT: I’m adding the MIDI file:
piano and violin_midi.mid (61.8 KB)

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I tried looking up how to add an open/atonal key signature (found this: Types of key signatures), but, once again, the article tells me, in detail, what an open/atonal key signature is, but not how to do it. For christ’s sake, I KNOW what an atonal key signature does Dorico! Just tell me where to find it already! Jesus! Please PLEASE revise these help articles eventually (which most do tell you how to do stuff, but not all).

It will help you if you search the correct manual (v3.5 rather than v2)!


I typed “atonal” into the Help Search Engine and then selected Key Signature Popover, which went directly to…

(Ninja’d by Janus! Good sleuthing to notice the manual version.)

That may help us, though usually GIGO applies.

You might find the edit>filter>notes by pitch tool useful.

Links at the bottom of this topic to take you directly to the tasks that outline the steps for how to input key signatures would be useful, I agree. I’ve now added that in-house, so the next published manual should include those additions.


Ok guys, thanks! Will try every one of your posts.

What is a GIGO?

EDIT: Also, I’ve used the Edit>Filter>Notes but I’m still not sure how to respell the pitches. This just selects them.

EDIT:EDIT: Oh no, it’s happening again! (This is just how the pitches were imported into Dorico)

Garbage in, garbage out.

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Select the chords with flats and use Write > Respell > Respell Using Note Name Below.
(When you do that, the redundant sharps will also disappear from the bottom staff.)

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Cool, it worked! Thanks.
Another bug I found by accident (this has to be a bug I hope), every time I reopen the project, a bunch of empty measures in the end show up. Probably because the MIDI file had these empty measures to begin with, but every time I reopen the project they show up again. Can this be replicated in your guys’ end? It’s weird because this doesn’t happen with the two empty measures in the beginning of the piece.

Are u saying my piece is garbage? Just kidding :joy: :joy: composers are a sensitive bunch…

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There will be something that exists in the last bar that reappears that’s forcing Dorico to show rhythmic time up to that point. It could be a marker, or an item with very long duration perhaps. Search the forum, as I know this has come up before but I can’t remember what the specific item involved was on those occasions.

Yes, indeed, in this case there is a marker labeled “End” at the very end of the flow, and you should delete that if you also want to remove the empty bars.

This was an interesting exercise, so I spent half an hour working with this MIDI file to see if I could come up with a decent result quickly. I did use a development build of Dorico 4 rather than Dorico 3.5, which helped, but the general principles are the same.

Firstly, the piano RH and LH are expressed as separate tracks in the MIDI file, so I imported the MIDI file, combined those two resulting instruments into a single one by way of copy and paste, then re-exported the MIDI file again so that the piano would then be on a single track. We’ve been doing a lot of work on a voice separation algorithm (which is already in Dorico for iPad) so we’re able to do something reasonably smart with keyboard music now, producing separate voices and also allowing the split point to move freely with the hands on the keyboard.

The result was a piano part already rhythmically much more legible than what you would get in Dorico 3.5. There were a couple of classes of common problems that took perhaps 10 minutes to fix: sometimes there were octaves that clearly would ultimately be played by the left hand where Dorico decided to put the upper note in the octave in the right hand, because the right hand is playing a rising triplet figure that starts at the same register as the upper note. Solving that was very easy: just select the stray note in the RH staff and type Alt+M to move it to the lower staff.

Conversely, Dorico decided from time to time to put the final note of a triplet pattern where the left hand had been holding a low octave into the left hand staff. Selecting that chord and typing Alt+N to move it to the upper staff, then deleting the leftover tuplet in the left hand staff took care of that too.

The only other significant edits I made was to go through and put in some clef changes in the RH staff of the piano to try to handle the big changes of register in the piano part and make it a bit easier to see what was going on.

Finally, I hid the staff labels after the first system, and I made the violin staff 75% size as would be customary in the piano score. And that’s it!

An investment of about 30 minutes to get to a pretty legible score that can form the basis of further useful editing feels pretty good to me. The resulting project is attached.

piano and violin.dorico (1.9 MB)


Great insight as always Daniel, thanks a lot! More reasons to be excited for Dorico 4.