I’m going to describe what I would call a bug as I don’t think it’s the intended behaviour and is something I’m extremely disappointed with. I put a post on the Facebook group about this but here it is for the benefit of more of the Dorico team.
In my scores I will need a LOT of note duration alteration if I want to get a pleasant playback experience. It’s a fundamental aspect of my “urtext” Duke Ellington transcriptions. In a vast number of cases, off-beat swung notes whether written as a crotchet, two tied quavers, or a quaver tied to a crotchet, are all short notes in most contexts. Using Sibelius for many years this has been very easy to deal with - one can set the playback duration of each and every note without affecting other characteristics.
Dorico has that facility. It can be done either graphically in the Play “piano roll” or numerically using the Properties panel in Write mode. One can set a Playback End Offset and/or a Playback Start Offset. But it is broken.
If you drag the end position of an off-beat (swung) note in the piano roll, the start position of the note is instantly snapped back to the 50% (straight) position. If you do the operation using the Properties → Playback End Offset you don’t see the problem happen until you try playing it back because the Playback Start Offset remains disabled (unless you have touched it).
After switching off in a huff last night, it occurred to me that I could use Playback Options → Timing to switch the project back to “straight” and then immediately back to “swing” again and expect Dorico to reset all off-beat notes to the appropriate “swung” start position.
But this doesn’t work. Dorico only re-swings notes which have NOT got a Playback End Offset even though it correctly extends the duration of all the preceding notes, meaning that some pairs of notes then overlap by up to 1/6th of a beat.
When I bought Dorico I’m sure I asked about this and was assured it was as easy as it is in Sibelius but it seems that isn’t correct. I don’t believe it is the intended behaviour that Dorico doesn’t set the swing start position of some notes simpy because you have changed the end position.
To get round this, I will have to manually set a Playback Start Offset for each and every off-beat note that I have set an End Offset for. The value of the offset will depend on whether it is light swing or heavy swing.
This is off-putting in the extreme.