(My post will consist of two parts, which are marked: preamble and criticism. Feel free to jump to the latter )
first of all thank you for your work!
Dorico 3.5, on the short amount of time I was able to test it, looks and feels amazing.
Not only have their been new features, but a lot of bug fixes and requests by the community. I at least felt a little proud to have contributed in some small way and I think a lot of us might think similarly.
My post now doesn’t want to take anything away from that - but rather be a friendly warning/opinion and share of thoughts. (As I heard, these are valued by the developers).
I am a Tonmeister and composer, both mainly in classical music, with adventures to other fields too.
As the latter, I used Sibelius prior to Dorico, but was never happy with it.
Switching to Dorico was the best decision in this field for me, and I hope my expression of gratitude in this forum elsewhere as well as my attempts to contribute here and on Facebook in my limited capabilities will underline not only this statement but also the friendly sentiment of this post.
My following criticism will therefore not be a “why doesn’t it work the Sibelius-way”, as some recently released videos on YouTube already covered that.
No, my criticism relies on my first profession.
As a Tonmeister I use many different “industry standard” software, such as Sequoia and Pyramix (mainly), but also ProTools and Logic.
I know therefore powerful audio software, which was developed over years and has features added incrementally.
From this perspective, the above mentioned software differ IMMENSELY in how they remain an overall thought through experience.
As I am rather young compared to the (assumed) average age on his forum, so my first contact with these programs were in more developed stages of them.
I had to learn them (and still do to some extent) and their capabilities quickly. Good UI and structure was crucial. Of course not everyone delivered. This experience, learning fully fleshed, industry standard softwares(!) is what I base my critique on.
But since this is a Steinberg forum, I will use the software I never really got warm with to explain my criticism.
Of course I tried Cubase. But I never really was hooked by it. Of course, it is powerful.
But I actually just yesterday gave home recording tutoring, where my student was using cubase. And again, I encountered the same issues.
This post is not about cubase, but let me briefly explain:
The GUI is overloading, one can access the same settings in many different ways. Some of them are in my opinion wrongly categorized. I just lose orientation, and I know my digital signal processing facts and lingo.
All in all, I felt cubase was overloaded with Junk (new features) that sometimes rather got jammed in instead of carefully implemented.
(No, I don’t need help with Cubase, I’ll find myself around )
Some of the features of dorico 3.5 got me thinking similarly:
- the new properties options are a lot of new small buttons placed at the properties panel. It felt really “cubasish” but I cannot tell exactly why yet. Definitely not the cool Dorico way (correct me if I am wrong, but it seems to me they are the smallest button in dorico with text yet?)
- The Transposition of layouts is in some context menu, instead of directly clickable in setup mode. Why is it not in the layout options, by the way? Wouldn’t that make sense?
- System breaks carry a lot: staff size changes and now even hiding staffs. Again, this seems a little jammed in to me.
- Graphic slices: shouldn’t they be in print mode? I understand: one can draw frames in engrave mode but… the essential semantic is to export graphics - which has nothing to do with engraving, following doricos logic.
These are all not big issues per se honestly. But add these things up until Dorico 10.0 and you have a problem.
Apple solved this with final cut and logic quite drastically: basically programming it from scratch. I welcomed this decision, but back then I was far from being a power user. But there are also always new users to be kept in mind, and the wide spread use of these programs still speak in favor of this decision.
On thing I liked about Dorico 1, 2 and 3 was something that surprised me in the same time: it was - as cubase - a Steinberg product, but so much cleaner, neater, more thought through. I LOVED the design choices and the smartness, such as popovers.
It looked modern, simple, yet so powerful.
The graphics in the Options were so helpful! (Also I feel these are getting rarer with new dialogues being added)
Comparing that to my old notation software foe — I had found a friend in dorico.
This is a post, which is calling for looking again for the long run.
Implementing features and fixes in the speed the team does is astonishing, but might result in losing the oversight a little.
The dorico team has proven in the past that it’s capable of doing so, and I hope this will remain.
Thank you very much for reading and have a good day. Also be proud of yourselves, you accomplished a lot!