So for a while now I’ve been a MuseScore user, but I wanted to use notation software that not only let me compose, but allowed me to use VSTs to load high quality instruments that I could use to make woodwinds and strings sound more realistic. Dorico is actually fantastic for this, and it’s fantastic getting to use strings that don’t sound incredibly bad (like in MuseScore).
I just activated the trial of Dorico Pro 3.5. I’m going to be on the Tantacrul bandwagon and complain about some of the features when it comes to using the mouse. The software seems designed for keyboard shortcuts. I don’t have an issue with this. But some things are counter intuitive. For instance, inputting notes manually, I have to double click a rest to get the caret and sometimes this will allow me to input notes with the mouse instantly. But sometimes it doesn’t for reasons I’m not really sure of? I’ve looked up some tutorials on the official Dorico YouTube channel but none have answered why I have to sometimes type shift+N on top of double clicking to enter notes manually with the keyboard.
One feature I find slightly infuriating is note playback. If I press the select button, I can go from note to note with the arrow keys and hear playback. But if I don’t and just click on a note, it doesn’t really allow me to do this during write note. This is due to being able to select the duration within the bar where I want my next input, but it feels a bit janky compared to MuseScore’s method of just, well, keyboard shortcuts to define rests and then entering manually.
Another feature I don’t understand is having to do alt+arrow up or down to move a selected note. Why can’t this be as simple as selecting a note and pressing arrow up or down for moving a note by a semitone? For that matter, why can’t notes move by a semitone to show accidentals like in software such as MuseScore or Sibelius instead of having to use a keyboard shortcut like 0, - or = for accidentals, while selecting the note, while hovering over the area for that accidental to come into effect? It’s very slow and tedious ON a keyboard compared to a mouse in these two pieces of other software and adds more time to the process. Sure, a few seconds doesn’t seem much for one instance, but when this happens in a project over 60 bars + in length with multiple accidentals, all those seconds add up and interrupt the flow state for composition.
The reason I feel like better mouse controls, not just keyboard shortcuts, for Dorico would be better would be to use them in conjunction and to not have weird jank get in the way. Like I want to use the keyboard to input notes right? So I type EGBDE on my keyboard which gives me E4-G4-B4-D5-E5. But it goes to E5 instead of say E4. So I have to now use the following keys: Ctrl+alt+down arrow. With a mouse this is far quicker to do.
In Sibelius and MuseScore, as long as I have the same note value, I can input multiple notes to say make a chord in a given “player”, let’s say piano. But on Dorico, I have to double click or press enter on a rest or note to activate the caret, and then press shift+V to allow that second note to be entered. Like, why? Why can’t I just input that note there and then, based on the current notes value? I can see WHERE this might be useful, because your second voice within the player might have a different note value, but it’s so tediously and grinding to a halt slow that I don’t understand this. Trying to write Bach Chorale music with these shortcuts is just a nightmare.
I’m wondering if any of these issues could be fixed? It seems very much like the software is designed for you to be using a midi keyboard rather than keyboard & mouse.
If I’m being an absolute n00b and there are much faster, efficient methods of note inputting on keyboard and piano that circumvent some of these gripes, let me know. But having stuff that literally breaks your flow state for composition is a huge red flag, and for the past week watching tons of tutorials on Dorico to try and up my flow state with the software, I just feel myself gravitating back towards Sibelius or MuseScore and just importing XML files into it for using better sampled instruments instead.