I was testing Dorico the last two days, and for sure I don’t count myself to either engraving or composing professionals. So my needs of course differ a lot from those of these people.
What I mainly do is arranging songs for my mixed vocal quartet. Most of the time I take existing arrangements - either Barbershop or other TTBB - or I arrange something new, let’s say a 80s pop song.
Some years ago I started to really do a lot of this kind of work, and I tested Finale and Sibelius. Both could do nearly everything a pro wants, but for me I knew this would mean spending a lot of time to get used to work with one of them. Then I found Musescore which actually gave me nearly all the things I needed, so it became my every-day-solution. When I heard of Notion I was really interested in it, as I really love Studio One - especially the different approach of workflow. Notion does a great job here too, but when it comes to engraving it’s really troublesome.
Then Dorico appeared on the horizon and I was sure that this would beat them all. After the two days of “testing” I’m on the one hand really enthusiastic cause I already know that this is it - at least this will be the winner in the end after some improvements to be made (I’m here referring to the forum posts).
So now back to my personal needs… Maybe I’m not the type of user Steinberg has addressed this software to, at least not primarily, but in the end I think, that also my category of users should be considered. For the work I do with engraving software I could really need 2 features to make my day easier and save me a lot of time:
- a transposing feature
- a (much) better way of selecting notes and bars
As I said, I usually take finished arrangements and rearrange it for my mixed vocal quartet. Therefore I enter the 4 voices and then I decide, in which way I would interchange the 4 voices to fit our needs best. Except the Bass, that would stay where it is, I really had to use all other possible ways of changing voices - so e.g. the Baritone could end up in the Soprano, the Alto or the Tenor in my final version. Sometimes I additionally had to interchange some parts. And in the end in most of the arrangements I had to transpose the whole thing to a new key. Sometimes - especially in Barbershop arrangements - I gave every voice it’s own line, but in many other genres I have 1 line for Soprano & Alto and 1 line for Tenor and Bass. When I’m finished with entering the original arrangement and reordering the voices I put everything together and then transpose it when needed. For this I need to easy select whole lines - or sometimes when I have 2 voices in 1 line I need to select only one of them and cut & paste somewhere else.
Right now I don’t see an economic way to do this with Dorico! Will there be a future upgrade to do this like in Notion or Musescore? Although I had a musical education I don’t work in that branch and unfortunately I do not play an instrument anymore. Without those features I am literally lost with Dorico…
Hope to hear some positive feedback!