Tap tempo

Is a tap tempo function any closer?

It seems such a basic requirement but has never been addressed with any sense of urgency.

No, it’s not something that we are working on at present, though it remains something we intend to work on in future.

“Urgency” with this tiny, trivial thing, which I sure don’t oppose, compared to huge amount of ESSENTIAL features needing improvement or implementation? You must be joking. Funny. :joy:

It’s important not to denigrate others’ feature requests – it’s a matter of personal circumstance and priority whether something is a “basic requirement” or an unnecessary frippery.

Either way, we have to try to juggle all of the thousands of requests and ideas we have in our backlog to try and come up with a set of features that will be useful to a reasonable cross-section of our users. But please leave that prioritisation to us!


Comprehensive support for all aspects of traditional notation is my personal priority but if there is a single thing that most improves playback, I would suggest that it’s the humanization of pulse. The same functions could perhaps be used to fit music recorded without a metronome to bars and beats (in both cases one would be telling the software how time and notation would correspond). I could do this twenty-five years ago with Cakewalk’s Fit to Improvisation function and it would be useful to be able to do it in Dorico in 2022. It’s essentially being able to conduct playback. I’d use it in every project where the audio output mattered.

I’m surprised you think it’s such a trivial matter (to the extent that you’re prepared to mock). It’s been mentioned regularly in the forum over the years but, as I’ve said, has never been recognized as any more than vaguely desirable.

Well, I hate to be bearer of good news, but Dorico 4 already has Tap Tempo in Write mode.

Screen Shot 2022-05-21 at 7.17.07 PM

@wonner that’s not what the OP was referring to. The idea of “tap tempo” is the ability to tap in real-time to record in humanized tempo changes in the score.

I have to agree that a feature like this is not trivial, either in value or (I imagine) in development cost. It will be incredibly valuable for life-like performances whose tempos are constantly in flux.

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I should have left my reply on this thread instead of creating a new one yesterday… But honestly, tap tempo is not a solution to this problem, unless you can change on the fly the rhythmic value you’re tapping (just like a conductor does, to explicit a gradual change). And then it becomes quite complicated!

Well, it works reasonably well in Finale with a constant unit. It’s really quite fascinating to hear the music follow the tapping of the spacebar in real time. The result is very organic.

If I remember correctly, Finale records the time between key presses and interpolates the tempo changes as a straight line. A simple subdivision generally gives you everything you want in a ritard for this function.

Domo arigato
Mr. Rubato :slight_smile:

On this day Mr. Larcher did invent the concept of music software that follows a conductor via camera. Riots ensued.

It is the solution. No one says you would have do the whole piece in one go. There’s no reason you couldn’t do a bar (or less) at a time (punching in and out might be nice). With Dorico, I could imagine being able to switch rhythmic value on the fly to some degree if necessary.

Another approach would be to prepare a reference track that you would play along with and the computer would create a tempo map from following your playing. In your case, I reckon you could copy and paste to create a track for Vissi d’arte (for example) in no time. I think reference tracks were used for a ‘Virtual Reality Orchestra’ nearly twenty years ago (see also here – I knew someone involved but didn’t see a performance myself).

Conducting in this way is so effective that I don’t understand why there isn’t a clamour for it. People spend a fortune on sample libraries but neglect something that immediately betrays the performance as synthetic.

One could create the tempo map in other software (I notice Cubase – which I don’t have installed – has Merge Tempo from Tapping) but I do think this is something that belongs in Dorico.

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(I was just kidding Marc, but then I thought about the power if they could actually pull it off)

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