I am new to Dorico, having only purchased Dorico-3 Pro at the beginning of December 2019. I set myself the task of learning to use Dorico during my two weeks of “stay-cation” over the Christmas to New-Year period.
As an ex-Finale user, I initially found the 11 pages worth of of pop-overs quite intimidating, not realising how few I would actually have to learn by heart in order get to get going with Dorico. I nonetheless purchased a Stream-Deck XL (with Notation Express software/firmware by NYC music services) in an effort to smooth the initial learning curve. I don’t regret it for one minute. If I had my way the two would be sold together as a package deal . With my Stream-Deck perched on the desk next to my trusty MIDI controller keyboard I am as happy as the proverbial pig in …
That is not to say that my experience with Dorico has been entirely uneventful. I have thus far discovered that I can forcibly cause Dorico to crash when I manually edit the tempo track in Play mode.
Furthermore, the relationship between the instruments assigned to players in Setup mode and the resultant MIDI tracks created in Play mode is hardly 1-to-1 when I use the Note Performer VST instrument. What I mean by this is that, should I change the “instrument” assigned to a “player” under the Setup tab, then my list of Note Performer MIDI tracks/channels under the Play tab grows by 1, rather than removing the old and replacing it with a new. The MIDI channel numbers assigned to them also seems to be somewhat random. No amount of resetting the Note Performer VST instrument or manually reassigning channel numbers seems to prevent this (almost like the old days of “Sys-Ex” commands burried deep in the MIDI event list). After some experimentation I found that reassigning the Note Performer playback template under the “playback template” option caused all redundant instruments to be removed and all used instruments to be reassigned in the same order as the instruments appear on the score. Please note that I am no not blaming Dorico for this. It could as easily be a fault with Note Performer, although it is preferable for an end-user like me that the two play nicely together in future
I was also rather disappointed to find that the glissando articulation results in a stepped run on trombone, rather than a proper gliss But after some research this does genuinely seem to be an issue with Note Performer.
Well, with the above off my chest, I am now happy to share the results of my 2 week intimate get together with Dorico during the two hottest weeks of the year under the hot South African sun:
These first two are arrangements for a local school band comprising basic brass, woodwinds and drums:
And this last one is a full orchestral arrangement:
Not bad for two weeks work I reckon, although, admittedly, the first week was spent mostly getting to grips with Dorico.
Finally: My initial impression of Dorico is that it has a long way to go, but that it is going to get there incredibly fast. As a firm supporter of other Steinberg products (I started out with a Cubasis project pack bought at Manny’s Music in NYC in 2000) I will be sticking with Dorico. I look forward to many happy years of music composition, arranging and engraving using Dorico.