Some thoughts on the new SE edition

The following points are written with tongue partially in cheek. But only partially.

  1. There will be 450,000 new users within the next week and they will flood the forum with questions that have nothing to do with those of us who paid.
  2. If people can create piano solos, organ solos, lead sheets, guitar charts, etc., etc., at no cost, what happens to the need for notation that costs money? (I mean I need to write for symphony orchestra and chorus, so I HAVE to pay, but I don’t know very many other people outside of Hollywood who need the whole ball of wax.) I think Steinberg may have just shot themselves in their pocketbook’s foot.
  3. Yes, I know this takes the place (for some people) of free trials of Pro or Elements, and is sort of an advertisement for the full package, but I can imagine thousands of complaints when somebody finishes a lead sheet and then can’t re-arrange the look of it in an Engraving mode. Just think how many complaints there have been from Elements owners about this very issue. Now multiply by a factor of several thousand.

Yikes, and wow, and congratulations, I think. Maybe.

I dunno. Certainly it will bring in new users—I plan on pushing SE to my friends to try—but I’d think the vast majority of them won’t be satisfied with anything less than Pro (maybe Elements).

One saving grace for the potential flood of questions will (hopefully) be the significant expansion of the manual over the past year or so.

I foresee a lot fewer complaints when someone’s using a version they got for free, and they know the invitation to purchase Pro will solve their limitations.

I’m not an industry insider, but I expect what Dorico needs more than anything is simply more exposure to an entrenched market. It’s not enough to have the best notation program if zillions of people still haven’t heard of it.

Are you kidding? I work at a ‘Living History’ exhibit sort of place. Four days a year we have free admission (usually $12.). On the free days we get hundreds more complaints, in spite of only 3 or 4 times the attendance. Plus nobody buys anything. Which on paid days they do. Sigh.

There’s MuseScore already.

Professional use will pay for professional features, support, and getting the job done. All of which Dorico excels at.

I disagree. The majority of people who just need to create simple lead sheets, etc. would never spring for the “pro” version anyway. Hopefully, this will scoop up the folks who might need something simple for now but will eventually purchase an “elements” version of something and perhaps a pro version later on. Think of secondary school students and music hobbyists.

I think (hope) it’s a brilliant marketing move. But ultimately the proof will be in the tasting of the pudding. To your first point, the vast hordes that dabble may not ever find their way to this forum. I guess we’re about to find out.

I think you misjudge people’s attitude to software these days. If “kiddies” download a free app and it doesn’t do what they want, they don’t complain. They just uninstall it and move on.

In any case, there are some “new users” here who have come up with thoughtful and useful new ideas in their first steps along the learning curve. A fresh pair of eyes, and all that.

We all started out with something. I think maybe that is a big reason for SE.

I think of my grown daughter who learned on Adobe products and she says that they just feels right to her now. She’s worked professionally with Avid Media Composer for a couple of years now; She acknowledges that Avid is powerful and there is nothing really wrong with it. And yet - Adobe is like home, productive and intuitive for her.

She eventually steered her company to make the Adobe switch… so big win for what she was exposed to early…

I started with Finale’s free version. It was buggy, or I may have stopped there. So I got the next version up. Disappointingly, It was also buggy. Then they offered the full version, Finale 25 for $99. It had the same bugs! I was so disappointed, but I did find some of the pro features handy. Anyway, I would have stopped upgrading but I got hooked on musical notation and now am quite involved.

Then Dorico came along and I got all excited about the idea of starting over and doing it right. I even pay for upgrades I don’t need, because I’ve turned into a fan boy and want to support this excellent product. And I’m using it way more than Finale.

Anyway, I can see students, in particular, using SE and getting hooked. The competition is Musescore. I can see professors doing one and two-instrument assignments and suggesting Dorico. It could open up quite a market. I’ll bet Musescore folks are gonna be watching this development. Now can we get a free version of CATIA? Then I can draw stuff at home.

Yes, there will be an initial rush of new users (it will wane, no doubt) and a few people will complain when they can’t use engrave mode… and the convenient answer will be: upgrade to a paid version and tweak your score ‘till the cows come home. (And rightly so.)

That said, I’m continually ASTOUNDED at the TERRIBLE scores that people put out on the web, especially on CPDL. I’d guess that the general level of engraving knowledge (or concern) is, frankly, abysmal. I imagine there will be a plethora of basic users who will be surprised at how nice their scores look compared to what they’ve previously accomplished with other programs. I pray this will elevate the overall quality of non-professional scores available on the web.

It amuses me to hear of all the “abysmal scores out there.” Just a few days ago I came across some of my first handwritten scores from when I was eleven or twelve; now those were abysmal! No wonder the first thing my prospective theory and composition teacher said to me was, “If you want people to play your music, you need to make it readable.” :laughing:

I think what gets to me is the fact that:
a) the engraving is so terrible
b) Somebody thought it good enough to share on a special website for others to use…
c) often musical conventions are completely ignored so as to render a score nearly unusable

I get it that everyone doesn’t obsess over engraving the way many of us do… but I just can’t imagine sharing things that look like that with others! I also can’t fathom putting scores like that in front of my choir. Yeesh

CPDL was good… back in the day when it was curated. Then it became a wiki and went to seed.

This seems to be an effort to counter the free and very capable Musescore that a lot of students and others use who don’t want to spend big bucks on scoring software, and who are perhaps used to downloading free software to do most anything these days. But Musescore can do a heck of a lot more than 1 or 2 players like Dorico SE so not sure SE is going to change minds there.

I will use the SE edition side-by-side with the pro edition: SE as a dorico reader and to punch in ideas whenever I am travelling.