I’m a former user of Notator on Atari in the last century, and I’ve been using several versions of Logic as well as Sibelius. I also work with FinalCut, data bases, Affinity triad, etc.
I’m a new user of Dorico, and I may not have understood everything. I’m quite enthusiastic about Dorico. I find many interesting features, and I feel that there is a creative team behind.
But I find a few drawbacks that made me waste a lot of time. And that remain without easy solution. Dorico seems awfully complicated to make an instruction that would have taken a line of MIDI instruction in the last century applications (= around 30 seconds !). I’m talking about ‘channel change’.
The general problem : to make a simple relationship between what I see, what I name, what I hear and what I mix (I guess it’s certainly what all users do).
What I try to do : I work in a project including several flows. I need to program many sounds to be played by a keyboardist and a percussionist.
Keyboad I need different sounds for the right hand / left hand, for flow 1/ flow 2, and even sound changes within a flow. How can I tell play el-organ1, clavinet or synth3 ?
Percussion I need sounds belonging to a different drum set as the basic one, who are not not listed in the playing techniques (ex. brushes, corresponding to the note C3 in the Jazz kit). How can I tell the note of this percussion line tell Dorico to play C3 in the Jazz kit ?
What I need : A path to realize those simple tasks within minutes.
_Write_a visible element in the part (text or symbol) that I relate to a sound.
_Play_a simple way of choosing the channels in relation to the instrument (eg. el-organ1, clavinet, synth3, brushes).
_Mixer_names of the slices related to the sound (ex. el-organ1, clavinet, synth3, brushes).
Write The relationship between the color of the voice and its name (ex. upstem voice 1) isn’t obvious. It would be useful to identify and to manipulate the name in the property panel, with all the names used in local and global way. If I choose a blue color voice in flow1, and I want another sound in flow2, which color is to be chosen ? Should I have a color for each sound ? How do I see immediately the relationship between a color and ‘clavinet, synth3 or brushes’ ?
Play No easily visible relationship between the voices and the sounds. The dropdown menu is too complicated : no click should be involved, I should see in one glance all the voices and channels. Confusion between color, name of the voice and sound.
Other big problem : confusion between assignment to local sounds (flow) and global sounds (project). The buttons work in an aleatory way, switching from one mode to another, disorganizing the whole project by going global.
Mixer Problem with the names of the sound.
Expression map I have been able to give a name to a sound, using a playing technique instructions to trigger the channels. BUT so much work for a so simple task : you have to open so many dialog boxes, and of course you make lots of mistakes on the way. BTW, some of the secondary dialog boxes aren’t user friendly (one hour to find out where to click !).
Write : I can see easily a relationship between the eye and the ear.
Play : I gave an arbitrary channel to the instrument, the channels being controlled by the playing techniques instructions.
Mixer : no relationship between the names and the sounds
A different instrument for each sound Possible, but really awkward for a simple task. Difficult to have a simple view in write mode. Difficult to alternate sounds within a flow.
Unfortunately I feel very confused so far with Dorico after spending days of experiments. As I now understand Dorico, what I need isn’t possible in a simple way. There is no simple channel change instruction. All the channel changes are playing techniques of an instrument. The playing techniques belong to a subset of an instrument controlled by one slice in the mixer, named by the instrument (and not by the sound/channel). Why not (only a wording problem), but the use of many different sounds related to an instrument/instrumentalist should be easy and fun to customize.
On some aspects, Dorico appears to me to stay behind Notator (you know, the good old program of last century . I understand that it is a general database problem, hierarchy of instructions, etc. However, the modern databases have developed fantastic tools to open different doors to manipulate the data. The conflict between playing techniques and channels should find a creative solution. The needs that I wrote about seem quite basic to me, at least for the people writing for keyboard and percussion.
And the mixer is really too slow or not working.
Please correct me if you see a better path than the ones I tried.