New to Dorico, beginner's luck

I am mew to Steinberg and Dorico but not necc to composing with the computer. What I do is write out a piece then come back to the computer, enter it, to be able to hear it. I have been away from the computer music world about twenty years, since my Mac + and hard disk broke down in 1997, but I am attempting to take up where I left off. At the time I used a program (VERY rudimentary!) called Deluxe Music Construction Set. It was mouse-based note entry, it required setting up the required number of measures for a piece before copying, but it was elementary and simple enough to work with, if requiring mucho patience (entry note-by note…). I am working on the piece I left off with, an eighteen-stave work for orchestra of some 422 measures (the first movement alone.) I figure once I work out the bugs and I get really going I’ll g o into the next two movements.) I do not want to sit here all spring just trying to get my gears going, I am hoping to get through copying the entire work by winter…
But I am encountering problems, at sometimes, so discouraging as to make me sit at the computer scratching my head… if the only stupid questions are the ones that don’t get asked, well, I’d like some help from the community here in getting started.
For one thing, I’ve found it quite hard to add measures- I would like to have the whole thing ready so all I need to do is throw in the notes. But it won’t allow me to add, for some reason…unless I am entering notes. It also insists on throwing in rests when I am working, or, more irritatingly, ties sixteenth and eighth notes together which should be discrete without top-bars between them (the 8ths and 16ths) . I want to turn off the rests and also to start with an empty 422 measures, but it seems only to add measures as it goes, and like I said, if I am working with a time signature, especially (I removed that), it wants to throw rests in ahead of my work as I go along.
Also, the tympani sound (supposed) in the Halion sounds sounds more like a synthesized trumpet than a tympani. One of the problems I had with DCMS was a similar one- I could never enter any midi channel on the percussion line because either there was no corresponding sound on the midi box I was using, or like Dorico, it gave me a synthesizer-horn sound. That is frustrating since I conceive all my work as highly percussion based and I thought Dorico would offer accurate sampled tympani. Or maybe I am just setting up something the wrong way?
In any case I would appreciate help from more experienced users of the software and tips on how to accomplish the various things that are hanging me up. Time has been wasted enough already in trying to get back to computer-assisted composing for me (due primarily to economics) but now that I have the tools again I hope to be able to get up to speed right quickly.

You can only set up the measures you want to write into if you have a time signature. So first create your time signature, then select a note or rest, and open the Bars and Barlines panel on the right-hand side in Write mode, type the number o bars you want to add into the box there, and click the ‘Insert Bars’ button.

You should find that HALion loads the correct timpani sound for you provided you have created the right instrument in your score.

How do I keep the new added measures from throwing up a whole note rest in front of what I am entering? Or, if they automatically put in a whole note rest, can I edit all the new ones out so that I have blank measures?
I presume I should enter the new measures where I left off, (I only have about 8 measures on the score so far).
As well I noted a topic on the forum regarding the beams on the 16ths and 8ths, tied together. I will try the solution suggested there before I go further either.
I will double check what’s entered on the tympani stave. I had thought it loaded correctly. Also I noticed that the Halion console only shows 16 voices. Is the work I am doing limited to just those 16 staves? the parts are NOT doubled, so I can’t enter them as sections.

I tried what was suggested to add measures, but nothing’s happened.

When you start Dorico you are presented with staves containing a quarter rest. Double-click it, and you’re taken to Write mode. Hit Shift-M, a box called a popover appears, type your time signature into it, e.g. 4/4 and hit enter. Then immediately type shift-B, and in the popover enter ‘+421’. You now have a score with 422 measures. To get the default whole rests to disappear, click on Setup (upper left) and from the Setup menu select Layout Options. Select the category Players from the top left dropdown menu and scroll down to Bar Rests and Multi-bar Rests, then deselect “Show bar rests in empty measures”.

You can both break beams and rebeam manually (and very easily, if you set up keyboard shortcuts for it) but at some level one has to accept that Dorico is always trying to be helpful and will suggest the most common ways of doing things.

Each instance of HALION can handle 16 Midi channels, but if you need more channels, additional instances of Halion will be added automatically as you add instruments.

Regarding the HSO timpani sound, I would say that it’s rather good compared to the competition. BUT, being a professional composer working with orchestras, ensembles and soloists every week, I’ve learned one thing: almost no human beings will agree on what is a good or a realistic sound…

The I would need to create a whole new flow for the score- I can’t just take up where I left off, (measure 8) is that correct?
I would like to be able to copy from the first flow and add it to the new one, but as I experienced, and others have as well, it’s not that easy to switch between flows and copy and paste material.

That kind of explains the Halion console-track problem. I saw there was a console that started at the bottom end of my staves (two extra “players”- instruments- were added inadvertantly) but if the original 16 are still there then that presents no problem.

I will be working on this score during the Easter vacation week when I have a good deal of time to myself so I will apply all these solutions to the question.

No, you can add and delete measures at any point. Copy/paste between flows is no problem, but you can’t yet copy whole flows.

There are many short video tutorials on the Dorico Youtube channel and especially for somebody just becoming familiar with Dorico, they are very helpful.

I have a new problem, the others have more or less been resolved. This is, how do I remove a tuplet once it’s set? I have many, many phrases with triplet eighth notes. Dorico wants to continue adding the tuplet to the following quarter or half notes. How can I remove the tuplet from its following notes? Once I have these few glitches mastered I think I can go on with working steadily. But it is unnerving to always have to go back and forth hitting undo, or to unbeam things when all I want to do is keep inputting what I have on my plate. Sometimes, also, it will pick an eighth note, when I mean to place a quarter note, and I have selected quarter note on the marquee.

Press : (shift-semicolon), or click the “tuplet” icon on the left hand side panel to deactivate it.

I don’t think there is a way (yet) to convert notes in the score into tuplets, or vice versa.

I don’t understand exactly what you mean. Can you explain step by step exactly what keys you pressed, or what you clicked with the mouse?

when I think I HAVE deactivated the tuplet, it still continues it over to the next note outside of the three eighths I have set,
(OR) continues an eighth note if I want something longer. I"ll try the semicolon method and see if that helps.

You can’t convert notes into tuplets yet, we’ll get to it eventually. You can however remove a tuplet. Select it (but not the notes), hit delete. Try with insert mode enabled or disabled to preserve or overwrite notes that follow the tuplet.

If I could attach the file to one of these posts I would. That might get some clear feedback about the instrument issue. FOr one thing I can’t SEE the HAlion consoles while in write mode. Sometimes while in write mode, I don’t know what I do or how it happens, but the score will PLAY and I will have to go into play mode, seek out the transport, turn it off and rewind it. I converted the instruments to VST instruments to get rid of the synthy noises, but the tympani part still sounds like a synthy horn. Maybe I need to readjust individual instrument settings? As well, when I added the 421 measures as suggested, I don’t know if it was inadvertent or not but the program added long “breves” into everything that followed where I am working – and I cannot get rid of them! Hitting delete does not work for these and hasn’t really worked (though backspace often does) in many situations. I am back to feeling I should scrap this file and move on to a new and empty file setup & try again, possibly cutting and pasting portions that I already have.

I guess what I want to know most at his point is, how can I get the Halion console back on my screen? It only seems to be available when I am doing set up and adding instruments. I may have done something to the sound parameters on the tympani early on- I have made a couple experimental files which seem to show the tympani sound pretty realistically- however on the file I am working on, they really are stretched out, synthed, and utter unrecognizable, although the strings and horn sounds seem fine there. So all I really need to know is how can I bring up the Halion console(s) to readjust things back to the original default.


Make sure that you don’t have the ‘Suspend audio device in background’ option switched on in Preferences, too.

OK I finally DID manage to get in adnd tweak the drum sound to what it OUGHT to be. Now, the issue is where did my 422 bar lines go? After measure 8 all that seems to be there are these vertical looking “rests” (something I have never used nor encountered before in all the years I wrote things) and there’s no longer bar line separatiop\ns. With the ability to sound the drum however I am more encouraged to keep on working on the score. If only the bar lines existed again… would I need to insert new ones one at a lime? Remember, now the piece is at its proper e
length. I’d also like to know how to DELETE Measures if it comes to that.

Try creating a new time signature at the point at which the barlines have disappeared. If you’re still having problems, zip up your project and attach it here and we’ll be glad to take a look.