For all that the developers have done wonderful things with Dorico in such a short time, the absence of realtime recording has prevented me from being able to use the program. Yet if Dorico could adopt the recording and expressive sequencing abilities of Nuendo and Cubase it would perhaps, and without much exaggeration, approach the most invaluable aid to composition since the advent of notation itself.
Realising there are many approaches to composition, I also know I am not alone in the way that I work, and Dorico simply does not accommodate it. Much of a work pattern is developed around the ways in which inspiration comes. When I get a melody or harmonic pattern flowing into my imagination I need to be able to quickly play and record it on the keyboard. A motive or phrase rarely comes alone, usually entire sections or often multiple sections, sometimes a whole piece, or movement will come phrase after phrase in real time. To not then capture the music in real time as it comes is almost always to loose most, if not all, of it. Once this meant days transcribing from tape recordings! But the essential thing was that a recording should be made. To have to divert any sort of concentration from creativity to the mechanical entering of note values destroys this process, utterly! And that is the crux of the matter: it upsets rather than aids the creative process. To then edit, or create variations, requires the same level of concentration which cannot be upset by focusing on anything other than the music being channeled through ones being into the expression of the fingers upon the instrument. Mostly, any attempt to write directly to notation results in unfinished ideas that then require massive work to realise in full, and often are abandoned due to being clumsy or just stilted. To write piecemeal, labouring over one phrase, or even motive, at a time, usually results in a disjointed and clunky composition.
The art of memory, so crucial to Bach and Beethoven let alone the troubadours, is all but unavailable to students suffering a present day education. I was schooled in no great exception to this travesty and as such Cubase and Nuendo have become my greatest allies in capturing what inspiration comes my way: A copy can easily be made for editing (retaining the original sketches to refer back to) and a short score very quickly developed from that. It is then something of a novelty, if not a pleasure, to orchestrate using all the expression available to virtual instruments in that environment, listening back in amazing realism while working; Wonderful! But the music still needs to be transcribed and the built in score editors fall somewhat short. I could use Dorico at this point; it may be that old habits die hard, but I find it more expedient to do it the old fashioned way.
It would be rather wonderful to record strait to notation rather than graphical representations in a sequencer, to easily edit actual notes rather than coloured bars on a grid, and the possibility that the notation could contain editable information regarding dynamics, accent and so forth. Dorico must be of tremendous use to an engraver, its layout is very clear, controllable, and even beautiful. However, I thus far cannot make use of it in composition, only finding it frustratingly incapable of its incredible potential.
My respects to all,
and many thanks for enduring my complaint!