Questions on DAW functionality and development

I’m looking at a major orchestrating project sometime in the coming year, and I have no desire to do it in a DAW. I really prefer to start with written notation. And obviously I plan to do it all in Dorico, at least until the final mixing phase. To that end, there are three things I still need:

  • easy expression mapping for VSTs. I know this can be done now, somewhat, but I’d prefer to not have to set them up manually. Maybe they’re already easier to work with than I perceive, and someone can set me straight on this.
  • velocity editing and other CC data
  • tempo tap (similar to Finale, whereby you tap the tempo during playback to map the tempo changes and nuances)

Considering the development pace to this point, I have no doubt these features will come in short order.

Daniel: I know you’re unable to give specifics, but can you offer any general insights to the anticipated timeline for this category of features? I’m making plans for the year, and the availability of these items above will very much determine when I tackle this project.

Thanks! Exciting times.

What exactly do you find not “easy” in expression mapping? I suppose you mean “automatic”, or something to that effect, in which case I’m not sure if there’s even a protocol for VSTs to dump keyswitches to be automatically assigned. The systems are always quite open-ended – they’re supposed to, for flexibility. They’re often developer specific, not to mention that people then have their own mapping schema in place, and so on.

Well, perhaps I simply need to jump in then. My impression (from comments here) has been “they’re not ready yet,” or something to that effect, and so I haven’t tried fiddling around.

I certainly don’t mind needing to do some work to set up templates as I want them, I just don’t want to be bothered with expressions not working as expected.

It really depends on how complex your mapping scheme is. Something that some may find to be missing is mutual exclusion groups, or maybe a one-to-many mapping involving more instruments or channels. Other than that, most should work. What libraries are you looking to employ for the project?

Thanks Luis. CS Strings and Brass, 8dio solo winds. The scoring is conventional, no odd techniques.

I don’t comment on your other requests at this moment (though my attitude is supportive), but Dorico 2.2 could editing midi CC data.

(The editing tools may not as easy as other DAW’s MIDI editing tools to use.)

Good fortune.

You can already edit any arbitrary MIDI controller in Play mode, and as of Dorico 2.2 you can record this continuous controller data in real-time using the recording features. At the moment you are limited to viewing only one lane’s worth of data at once, and you can’t copy and paste it between instruments, both of which are shortcomings that we anticipate addressing in future. You can’t currently edit note velocity, but we do plan to add an editor for this in Play mode in future, too. We will also certainly be spending more time on expression maps in general in the near future, too.

The only one of these features that I would not be confident of us seeing significant progress on within the next year would be the “tap tempo” feature.

Great, thanks Daniel. I guess I’ll test the waters!