Play Window sucks and blows...!

I apologise in advance, but I’m going to do the sandwich thing again. This program has me giggling like a schoolgirl (or schoolboy) to the point that when I talk to colleagues (that don’t have Dorico) about it, the say I sound slightly mad… :laughing: I mean I have never been this productive and a big part of it is not only the easiness of inputting music, but also of editing and moving things around. I mean seriously, this program is insanely good and truly lives up to the “creativity first”. It even performs out of the box better than most musicians I hire! Take this for example, I sent it to my usual pianist-for-hire and he actually said “huh, that’s really nice playing, who did that?” Dropbox - File Deleted what a compliment, right?

But… If you have to do any performance editing, as some times is necessary with real people too, then this program falls so flat on its face it feels like it’s a completely different program, made by a completely different set of people/developers. I can’t believe how unintuitive it is and I’m not talking just about the navigation and zoom, not to mention the lack of shortcuts for the tools (which should be on a right click menu anyway), but the lack of selectable edits, the fact that if you want to edit the right or left hand you have to click a switch, indicate a thing called upstem (as opposed to stave or hand) then unclick said switch in order to be able to edit it. And why oh why when you try to edit velocities of notes close together does it always edit the one you DON’T want to edit? Why have every conceivable controller in the menu as opposed to the usual “suspects”? e.g CC1, CC11, PB, CC2, etc. Why does it always $%&*£!"ing re-set the view??? I need velocity/CC lanes extended to maximum, but if I replay it just resets to default. And since we’re talking about that, why is the default so small? Controller lanes should be default to using maximum screen space and why are the last two vertical zoom options so far apart that you either can’t determine anything or you’re missing most notes?

Usless (zoom 1)

Missing most lines (AKA Zoom 2):

Please, please… Pretty please, with a cherry on top! Balance this out, it makes no sense to have a state-of-the-art program, that is inspiring and actually conducive to creativity and at the same time have a main feature, that is so hair pullingly frustrating, it nearly derails the achievements of the good bits. I understand that there are thousands if not a million things in music that need implementing and you’ll probably be busy till version 20 until you feel satisfied, but don’t let something so central fall so far behind that it gives the rest of the program a bad reputation…

So to finish the sandwich: a few months ago I won a composition contest but lost some points due to the illegibility of the score (made with Dorico 2.2). I made a condensed version with version 3 and sent it to the judges who replied “oh my, this must have taken you ages and it wasn’t necessary” to which I replied “no, I just clicked condense score in Dorico”… I am pretty sure they have all just bought a copy… Or at least they said so :mrgreen:
Zoom 2.PNG
Zoom 1.PNG

“I need velocity/CC lanes extended to maximum, but if I replay it just resets to default. And since we’re talking about that, why is the default so small? Controller lanes should be default to using maximum screen space and why are the last two vertical zoom options so far apart that you either can’t determine anything or you’re missing most notes?”


Cheers Bollen!
Well, I’m going to paraphrase Dan from your other “sandwich” thread
This sandwich is what we in Portugal call a francesinha
:mrgreen: :laughing:

If I may add something to this request, I would ask for velocity indicators made as just a thin horizontal line, instead of a bar. The bar hides lower-velocity notes in a chord; a thin line would allow for seeing all the velocity levels in a chord/overlapping notes.


I’m hoping the Play window is just a place holder for something better to come.

I’m sure you might be inclined to ultimately get your Play Mode design cues more from Cubase, but as a long time Logic Pro user, I hope you will consider implementing Logic’s use of color to denote velocity (to go with the lines they use that you also have) – red for maximum velocity, green for medium, etc. etc.… – Very handy (my two cents!) , especially when subsequently adjusted using key commands. Here’s what it looks like (for what it’s worth):

Of course, if the past is any indication, perhaps you’ll come up with something even more superior than what’s been done before (as you’ve done with other features)…
Best -

So here we are, in version 3.5 and barely any of these issues have been addressed. Well… In fact the only improvement (which I do appreciate) is not even mentioned in this post i.e. group velocity edit.

It’s very frustrating how many people have texted me (like I’m somehow involved in the project) or ranted about all this in Vi-Control, but not here where it matters. So I’m reviving this post in the hopes one of the Devs will at least acknowledge that we are a big group that are really suffering with these issues.

There’s actually now a thread that addresses some of this here:

Daniel asked for some suggestions for improvements to Play Mode based upon our using of the Piano Roll in other platforms (including Cubase) - here’s what I suggested (borrowing from Logic), which I’ll re-paste here:

Here are the things I use all the time in Logic Pro’s Piano Roll that I’d love to see in Dorico Pro (apologies if some of these features are already there and I just haven’t noticed!):

  • Logic has robust quantization options in the Piano Roll I use all the time - directly selecting a group of notes in a give region I’m editing and then setting whether to round them to the nearest 16th notes, swing values, etc. and also the percentage of 100% I’d like to move my performance to retain the “human” feel of the original input (but with more quantized accuracy). From what I understand, Dorico has the option of retaining the originally performed MIDI, OR “resetting playback overrides” to have the notes start times line up exactly with timing notated in Write Mode (but nothing that retains the perfect notation, but which then allows you to finesse the playback separately via quantization, other than by manually moving things note by note). For example, it would be nice to be able to have Play Mode set to show just played durations (as is now possible), and then to select those notes and have access to menu-based, more tweakable quantization options a la Logic Pro (including things like different swing values, etc.) that ONLY affect the playback (not the notation) (right now if I invoke the Quantization menu after selecting notes this way they also affect the way they’re notated, as far as I can tell).

  • Love the presence of the Velocity lane in Play Mode in Dorico (a great start). However, it would admittedly be EXTREMELY helpful if the actual notes displayed in Piano Roll were colored (as they are in Logic) according to their velocities (or to at least have the option to turn this on). For example, in Logic, very high-velocity notes are colored red, medium green, all the way down to purple. This allows one to look at a range of Piano Roll notes and immediately grasp what the velocities are. Logic also allows you to then select a range of actual notes and quickly raise their relative velocities up or down as a group, or set them all to the exact same velocity and then raise or lower them. Logic also has a separate Velocity Lane below this similar to Dorico’s, where you can further act upon the data. To this end, it would at the least be helpful to be able to grab a group of velocities in the actual Dorico velocity lane and with a key command set them all to the same velocity, and then raise or lower them as a group (right now it appears that all I can do is Draw new velocities across them with the Draw or Line tool, though this is certainly also helpful).

Just in general in Dorico’s Play Mode it feels like you could do more with the utility of color (much as you use it in Write Mode already in Dorico optionally to differentiate voices or show red notes out of range). To facilitate this, it would also (admittedly) be nice if there was much less “brightness” in Play Mode in general (understandable for more of a “notation on paper” metaphor but with Piano Roll I’ve often seen things against darker backgrounds when you have to stare at them for long periods of time and do “micro-tweaks”, etc.).

  • Would be helpful to be able to select a note in the Play Mode’s vertical “piano keyboard” (up the left hand side) and have all notes of that position/pitch be selected, as I believe others have mentioned (since right now this of course does nothing).

  • More quick “zoom” options in Play Mode. In Logic’s Project Window, for example, you can set a zoom level for a given track (by dragging the height to where you want it), and then have that zoom level automatically propagate to any other selected tracks whenever you hit “Z”. This sort of thing could be very useful for all of the Play Mode windows to zip in and out of them more quickly.

Just a few quick things -
Best and keep up the great work -

  • D.D.

Thanks for pointing me to that thread. I had seen it but thought it was different topic, I hadn’t realised it had deteriorated to a talk about the Play mode… :laughing:

In any case, it makes sense that Dorico approximates Cubase rather than a competitor, but I just hope for the basic “it works like the rest of the program!” i.e. maximum vertical usage by default, zoom and scroll like the rest of the program, tools on mouse right click, etc.