now that 1.1 is out, any dealbreakers left?

Like many of you I’m sure, I’ve been waiting for chord symbols before jumping into Dorico. The new release looks great and I’m eager to dive in, but I thought I’d ask the forum if there are any more “essential” features still missing. I don’t want to put myself in a position where I have a deadline and I’m unable to work around a missing feature or bug in Dorico. I’m not an early adopter type (I’m still on windows 7), so I guess I’m trying to figure out if I can jump in and get work done, or if I’ll struggle with its limitations.

Thanks all!

No drum notation (and general unpitched percussion)
No cues or cue-sized notes/rests etc.
No automatic divisi/unison staves - Finale CAN do this if you know how to do it; Sibelius can’t.
No artificial harmonics
No complex repeat structures (1st/2nd/nth time have been implemented but not D.S. al coda etc.).
Erratic playback.

These are the ones I’ve thought of in the last minute, and some of them CAN be worked around - it just comes down to how much time you want to spent “working around”.
You’ve not given any context as to what YOUR uses are - most of these things don’t bother me in the slightest.

All will depend on the kind of work that you do! So you need chord symbols (fine!), but what exactly are you writing? Jazz? Classical? Standard notation or more modern engraving needed? (Maybe posting an anonymized PDF of a typical score would help.)

Of course, you can jump in knowing that you can export into MusicXML and import that into S/F if you find some deal-breaking issue… and although I’ve never done this, I’m sure some other users here can give you their insights.

Well, thiagotiberio, my first advice on exporting MusicXML is delete all your chord symbols before exporting!

https://www.steinberg.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=246&t=121966

Hahaha, well there you go vsthem… aren’t you glad there’s a Dorico forum filled with knowledgeable and kind users like pianoleo? :wink:

aside from what’s already been mentioned:

  • no large, film-scoring style time signatures
  • no score system dividers

Well, Sugar, I’ve answered to that system dividers problem in december… You can quite easily add them as text (shift-X), but I agree, it’s going to be better when it’s implemented — it should not be as complicated as chords or cues (but I agree also, less critical)

Fingering.

Not a deal breaker, as I have purchased it, and am using it. But, it would be nice.
And, I’m patient - I’m sure that once implemented it will be great.

If you are wondering whether or not not make the plunge, you might re-phrase your question: not, what can’t it do, but rather, this is what I nee it to do - is it capable of that?

Basically, I say come on in, the water’s fine!

Yep. I’m back in Sibelius for a few days and hating it. I have to admit there’s global control in Sibelius that, (despite 8+ years of using it professionally) I didn’t know was there (like default positions!) until I started thinking Dorico - but relatively speaking Sibelius is just so stupid in the decisions it makes.

If would be easy to list 20 things “not implemented yet but there is a workround of some sort,” so ignoring those - and also ignoring things that Daniel has said will be in the next minor and major update:

  • Multi-stave keyboard instruments (e.g. piano varying between 2, 3, or 4 staves as required).
  • Ossia staffs that can start/end in the middle of a system
  • User defined playing techniques (and their playback controls, of course)
  • polymetric rhythms (not just the simple case that can be done already)
  • assignment of MIDI channels to staves, not just to instruments (e.g. for multi-keyboard instruments)

A bit more thought would probably turn up some more, but those will do for now!

Hey, thanks all for the quick and thorough replies! I do mostly string arranging and lead sheets. It looks like there are workarounds for harmonics, and I could always go to sibelius if I had a drum set part. I do hope they allow for sound customization on unpitched percussion playback.

I’ll probably make the plunge soon!

For me, it’s figured bass. I’m sure it can be done via Lyrics as a very good workaround, now that I think of it…

Even though I have two licenses, the deal breakers for me:

– Notation Playback. I’m not looking for VSL, but with 7-8 times the samples, Dorico just doesn’t sound as good as NotePerformer or in some cases how I’d expect the score to sound. Sure it’s a subjective thing, but I just don’t like how my scores sound out-of-the-box with Dorico, and it would be a substantial (and perhaps fruitless effort) put mockup with Kontakt in place. I want to be able to concentrate on scoring, not setting up playback environments (I do my mockups in Cubase and Dorico isn’t a substitute.) For basic classical orchestral stuff, it should sound right without me mucking with it. (Dealbreaker today.)

– Drum notations (yes I know it’s coming, but it’s a deal breaker today.)

– I can fake divisi, but I don’t wanna (almost a dealbreaker, but I’ve put up with not having it.)

– Cues and cues that align with SMPTE timecodes (almost a deal breaker)

– XML reliability: Dorico needs to read MusicXML from Sibelius and Finale and not make excuses over who broke which standard. Steinberg is asking us to move off our old reliables to a young and still immature program. The need to give us a good MusicXML safety net. (almost a dealbreaker, I get most of what I want today from the MusicXML interchange, but cleaning up the transcription into Dorico is annoying.)

– Steinberg’s licensing scheme (I got around it for now by paying for two licenses. It will certainly become a dealbreaker if Steinberg expects me to double the ante on every upgrade, especially to fix the dealbreakers above.) I remain unimpressed with Steinberg’s response to the issue.

– The expectation that because I was willing to pay for a 1.0 product, I should be a captive beta tester. Reporting a behavior and supplying images should be enough to taken seriously. Not everyone has the time/inclination to create test cases for the development (almost dealbreaker.)

– No real roadmap. Since Dorico is depending on me to work around it’s limitations compared to other products in the market, the “guess what’s coming next and when” approach to the feature set is almost a dealbreaker. (In my deluded state, three “almost dealbreakers” end up as equivalent to one full stop dealbreaker because of the personal time involved.)

– No real plugin and macro interface. Plugins help cover a multitude of sins. Without it, Dorico is disadvantaged (almost a deal breaker.)

Dorico is about 90% there with 1.1, but as they say, “a hole ain’t nothing but can break your neck on one.”

I think your expectations are unreasonable.

– XML reliability: Dorico needs to read MusicXML from Sibelius and Finale and not make excuses over who broke which standard. Steinberg is asking us to move off our old reliables to a young and still immature program. The need to give us a good MusicXML safety net. (almost a dealbreaker, I get most of what I want today from the MusicXML interchange, but cleaning up the transcription into Dorico is annoying.)

You cannot reasonably blame the Dorico developers for the inadequacy of MusicXML, which is an independent format over which they have no control.

– Steinberg’s licensing scheme (I got around it for now by paying for two licenses. It will certainly become a dealbreaker if Steinberg expects me to double the ante on every upgrade, especially to fix the dealbreakers above.) I remain unimpressed with Steinberg’s response to the issue.

If you bought two licenses, why do you not expect to pay two upgrade fees?

– The expectation that because I was willing to pay for a 1.0 product, I should be a captive beta tester. Reporting a behavior and supplying images should be enough to taken seriously. Not everyone has the time/inclination to create test cases for the development (almost dealbreaker.)

There is no implied expectation that you will do this. Think yourself lucky that the developers actually read and reply helpfully and in a timely manner to sensible comments and complaints written in this forum. Of how many other programs can this be said?

Dorico is about 90% there with 1.1

Actually, I am certain that the full list of “missing features” adds up to more than 10% of what will be the mature capabilities of Dorico.

Rome was not built in a day!

David

It that’s true, I’m going to be very disappointed with it. I would probably put the current number at “a lot less than 50%” for what I want a notation program to do, but this thread was about “dealbreakers” rather than how near “finished” Dorico is.

But if I compare Dorico with the competition, that “less than 50%” might still be the front runner. FWIW I would say the real technical competition is Lilypond, not the two big commercial dinosaurs.

Software piracy become more sophisticated as time goes on. I don’t care for the dongle-thing, either, and yes, I long for the halcyon days of being able to install software to umpteen machines, but Steinberg has to keep ahead of the pirates.

No other notation program available to me restricts to one activation on one dongle or one activation on one machine only. Of the other major products, each offers at least TWO activations. That’s the deal breaker-- 1/2 the number of activations of all major competitive products. The dependence on the physical dongle if you have more than one machine is not operationally satisfactory to me. Why should it be unreasonable to expect the same operational convenience as Finale or Sibelius?

My expectation is set by the competitive range of solutions that Dorico wants to exist in, today; not some posited future state of Dorico.

I think you are right. For a start I can get use to takeing my steinberg dongle with me whenever I’m shifting machines, but for a definite solution on licensing this would be clearly a pain in the ass.

Other dealbreakers for me:

  • no individual staff sizes in page layout available (yet). This one is massive to me.
  • no cue notes possible (yet)
  • the usability of the entire play window is still very low => have to revert to my main sequencer program for producing mockups
  • no drum notation (yet)…
  • the inability of customizing instrument names (e.g. like in Finale)

Apart from that, I think Dorico is and will be evolving into a GREAT tool.

I’m an occasional Finale user and a long time Sibelius user since version 1.10. So I’m quite acquainted with both programs professionally.
Sibelius’ output to me – even in its current instalment v8 – has always been looking musically AWKWARD. Even with my highly evolved tweaking and house style–setting skills. The printed music just never really looked like ACTUAL MUSIC. Yes it looked clean and orderly, but not like music. The ONLY real advantage Sibelius has ever had is its simplicity of use and the quick speed in which you could enter the music and make adjustments to it if working under massive pressure.

In the end Dorico will have to at least match Sibelius’s speed of output. I see no way around this for all those pro-users, who have been surviving under tight motion-picture industry and recording industry deadlines.

The second most crucial aspect is the visual quality of the engraved output. I’d say, overall Lilypond could serve as a benchmark here.
The final result – even with default settings – has to appear musically correct and visually organic. And I’d say the Dorico team are on a great path towards that goal.

You can change the relative size of each staff in a system for a complete flow. Select something on the staff, right click, and select “staff size”.

You also change the size of all the staves (keeping the same relative size) for each system. Create a system break at the start of the system and edit the “space size” property.

Are those two options still too inflexible?

The last deal breaker for me, which would not have been unreasonable to have expected it, as a fundamental requirement of a scoring program, is drum notation