Record mode doesn't add more measures after you hit the number of measures

Title says it pretty much. If I start with the default number of measures provided by Dorico (32), then try to record something, the recording stops automatically once the 32th bar is recorded. That makes recording mode a bit useless for composing as the program stops you in the middle of recording an idea you don’t know how long will be, as you’re not doing an engraving job to begin with.

Unfortunately this is a known limitation (3rd prerequisite).

It’s probably worth adding a lot of extra bars if you’re doing open-ended MIDI recording. You can always trim the flow later.

Yeah, I don’t see that this gets in the way of the creative process. Add a thousand empty bars, and when you’re done recording, Shift-B, trim.


You can’t even add 1000 bars as the maximum measure number is 999. But sure, the method works but it’s not intuitive. And I don’t see much of an efficient workflow with you having to use a keyboard shortcut, then type a word, which seems to mimic how CAD software works, except on CAD you can start typing straight away without this middle man.

Not so. Here’s the top of the final page I get after shift-B 6000 (done on an empty project in Dorico SE)

It’s perfectly intuitive if you read the manual. When recording MIDI create enough space before you start. If you don’t know how much you need, make sure you create lots.

Efficient Dorico workflow is predicated on the use of popovers. And shift-B trim is extremely efficient compared to other programs, where you run the risk of losing data by an accidental poor selection of what to delete.


I don’t want to start another thread on the “intuitive” topic, but… This very answer is the perfect definition of the opposite of it. If somebody has to google an answer or look up the steps to achive a certain goal in the manual, then it is, per definition, not “intuitive” (for the respective user). :wink:
(This, of course, does not mean that the solution is in any shape or form bad - but it’s not “intuitive”, and it doesn’t always have to be.)


Then the list of ‘intuitive’ software would be: { nil }.


Sure. Now try to create a score with 6000 measures from the Hub.

Even after reading the manual, I still think it isn’t intuitive. It requires two different types of workflow (Shortcut then a typed command after) which can easily lead to user error, as my experience with it goes as follows:

  • I created a score with 999 measures, then wrote some random stuff in the first few measures.
  • After selecting what I wrote and pressing Shift + B , I wait a few seconds (since Dorico is very slow and every command takes 1-2 seconds to happen) and nothing happens.
  • At first I thought “Well, maybe I have to enter how many measures I want to trim?” I go and do just that. Then I look confused as it created more measures instead of trimming them. And not only that. Those measures were created before what I had selected.
  • I then tried a few permutations of it, still not getting anywhere. Stumped, I went to the documentation and I had to read it a few times, then go: “Oh! You have to type trim in that dialog!”
  • Then it worked as documented.

This is not intuitive. Intuitive would be just the shortcut trimming or me typing something related to the task I’m about to do, like the number of measures I want to trim. Or maybe selecting what I want to keep, then the shortcut trimming everything else.

As per the whole MIDI thing, I don’t understand why a piece of software created in 2016 has to adhere to limitations from 1983. MIDI files are just a few KB in size and no other app which uses it has any issues extending them on the fly. Even your most modest computer from 20 years ago has no issues dealing with MIDI files.

This workflow also represents a challenge for people which have issues typing regular words, especially since they could perform some other action unrelated to trimming, as the tool does multiple functions.

Subjective or not, this is how it is.

One can deal with it (as many have) or complain about it. Dorico is a powerful, logical program, but one has to learn how to use it. Creating extra measures before recording is a simple process, whether one can accomplish it from the Hub or not. I cannot imagine how many scores of 6000 measures I could create in the time it takes one person to complain about the process.

There is no intuitive, only biases based on previous experience. I don’t want Dorico to work as Finale or Sibelius does; I do not want Dorico limited by trying to do so.

1 Like

Similar to not resembling Finale or Sibelious, Dorico also doesn’t seem to work like Cubase does in many areas (and I suspect other DAWs, although I don’t know for a fact). And Dorico obviously doesn’t translate very neatly from the paper/pencil model, since it’s computer software.

In other words, it doesn’t use any of the small handful of existing mental models the users of notation software might have coming in. I think this is what you’re pointing out as something valuable and it’s great if you like that.

But, according to this article from Princeton University, this is actually a real issue because it increases the cognitive load on the user and reduces efficiency, not to mention the additional expense needed for training, education and support.

There is absolutely no reason for anyone to perceive “not intuitive” comments as an insult or to respond defensively, even when people use it in frustration. I use Dorico every day and I love it, but feedback like this can be a net positive for Dorico because it is an opportunity to make it even better, IMHO.

1 Like

Two words that do strike me as overused are intuitive and bug.
I can understand someone saying that a means of doing something was not what they expected. I can understand someone asking “how can I…?” or “Is this supposed to work like this?” But some folks seem to relish classifying something as a bug as if they collect them or as if they want to blame someone else when they can get something to work. If something is really a bug, Daniel and his team are quite willing to acknowledge it. If something confuses a new user, Daniel or Lille are ready to help.

Particularly when someone is new to the program, I think it inconsiderate to seem to blame the programmers as if they were supposed to be mind-readers or don’t care about users.

A number of us here (you included) have been working with the program for a while and are often eager to help. Users only need to ask–or look through the manual. But expecting the entire program to be completely transparent without some investment of time (especially when someone wants to make their first project transcribing something along the lines of a Wagner opera) seems to me to be asking too much.

Forgive the length of this response. I am not heated about this but wanted to explain as clearly as I could why I think the word intuitive is overly loaded as a way to absolve the user of responsibility.


I hear you and I agree to an extent. But!

I don’t think users come here to scream and vent after having tried and failed to achieve something just once. I think users spend an inordinate amount of time trying to solve something on their own first, googling and/or reading the manual. That’s been my own experience in the beginning too. By the time they post here, they are usually very frustrated and angry because the forum seems to be the last resort for many.

We need to accept the reality - many of these users will be very emotional when they post. Some will be polite, many won’t. As the article I linked to earlier says: "When someone is using software, they are usually thinking hard about the problem they’re solving. If they also must think about how to work the interface, they’ll have a tough time. "

I found the second part - thinking about how to work the interface - can indeed be immensely distracting and therefore frustrating and it’s responsible for much of the tone, even from the frequent posters who tend to be quite polite and constructive.

And still, even that type of feedback can be useful and valuable.

P.S. I also noticed that in the last several months (perhaps half a year?) there has been a very notable shift in the reactions to highly emotional posts. The responses now tend to focus more on the solutions rather than on bad manners and there have been threads where it even seemed like a couple of rude and upset skeptics were won over to Dorico’s side in the end. That’s a wonderful trend (hopefully that’s what it is and not just wishful thinking on my part).

Since I’ve never used either Finale or Sibelius, I can’t relate to that experience. I find Dorico in general to be extremely strict to the point it gets in my way. You shouldn’t have to think about managing the number of measures you’ll using before you wrote a single measure of notation. I’m composing music, not engraving it. It’s not like I’m gonna run out of resources if I don’t use the exact amount of MIDI. We’re not in 1983.

It seems Dorico wants to be the polar opposite of Sibelius, almost as if Daniel and his team (which were Sibelius developers, so whatever was wrong with it is also their fault to a point), but it wants to do it to a point of not having the amount of flexibility people like myself are potentially looking for in a scoring software. I’ve seen comments from people that doing scores with Dorico feels more like writing MIDI than doing a score. Considering how flexible Cubase is with MIDI, I find weird that the Dorico team decided to go this direction.

Dorico does have potential IMO, but it needs to be more flexible in some areas also in order to be attractive to more people than just Sibelius users.

I don’t know who has written such thing and how acquainted they were with Dorico, but I respectfully disagree. It’s utterly absurd.
There’s a workflow built up to make sure the user won’t inadvertently modify the music, and it’s sometimes considered by former Sibelius users as a drawback — I feel it’s very convenient. All in all, choose the right tool for the task. Usually Dorico is better, but the user should learn the workflow, not fight against it.

The hub should certainly provide the possibility to add as many bars as needed, the Team will probably correct this in due time, as they always do :wink:


The Hub already allows you to change the number of bars in the new project you subsequently create. Unless you meant automatically creating new bars if required during MIDI recording?

No, I specifically meant that if a user wants to add 6000 bars through the hub (exactly as it’s possible through the shift-b popover), it should be possible :wink:
999 is certainly enough for me (and I don’t use the hub anyways) but Bruno seemed to say it was not enough :person_shrugging: and why this limit?

My main issue is not so much that, but the fact you have to think how many bars you’ll need before you write a single measure into the score. This was suggested as workaround to the fact that Dorico doesn’t programmatically add measures when it’s necessary and that also applies to recording mode. IMO, that renders recording mode a bit useless, as requiring the user to pre-size whatever idea they want to engrave beforehand puts extra burden on the user and, coupled with some of the strict ways Dorico can be, makes it not ideal for composing, despite hinting at and having a workflow which would theoretically allow you to do so.

While I do understand that what I’m talking about is not how people use Sibelius when they’re writing stuff, Dorico doesn’t have the same integration with Cubase/Nuendo as Sibelius does with ProTools.

yes…ish. Adding an arbitrarily high number of bars is not difficult and takes essentially no forethought, hence the very early suggestion to add 1000 bars, record, then trim. While I wholehearted agree it seems reasonable to want dorico to add time (when necessary), to draw a parallel, we don’t curse our manuscript paper booklets for not magically producing more paper when we run out. We make sure there is enough paper to write in our score. It’s very similar, if you think about it. Make sure there is space (bars) to write in (record) music, then record.

As for having to think before you write into the score, other programs open with a default number of measures that rarely coincide with what you actually want. Is that somehow better? Not really, IMHO. So at that point you still have to do some thinking. You are writing music, after all.


The fact is that this is only true if you are recording MIDI input! Note input using kbd or step input using MIDI keyboard will add space as the caret advances. You appear to have a very narrow definition of writing music.


You being able to have more measures added automatically doesn’t change the fact that it doesn’t do it during recording mode, which is what the whole post is about in the first place.

But I guess this goes with the whole “when you have no arguments, you discuss semantics” type of deal.