Track Delay Issues

Hi Daniel and crew, I had some quick observations about odd behavior with track delay I wanted to run through as it’s been one area of consistent friction in the otherwise great experience of using Dorico.

On the Mac version I noticed that track delay via expression maps does not delay the CC change triggered by dynamic markings along with the note delay, so the user isn’t able to use score dynamic markings to functionally control CC data if using track delay. I did notice that dynamic markings do show up in expression maps so I tried to apply offset to the dynamic markings but it did not change the location of the CC data.

Another unique aspect is delay through expression maps delays the onset of notes, but not the release. To correct this the user has to know to adjust the % duration to shorten the note lengths because the delay of onset has essentially lengthened the notes. This seems very unintuitive as typically track delay functions equally delays both onset and offset equally, but maybe there is some advantage to having control of both - so this could be a feature rather than a issue. Still I’d be concerned that this will throw many users off. Clearer labeling could also help if the functions are really onset vs offset delay.

One last odd aspect is, in selecting individual notes, you can apply note onset and offset delay in ticks, while in expression maps there’s a much more useful delay function in milliseconds. It would probably more useful/valuable for both to function in milliseconds since the value of ticks is tempo dependent, something very difficult to use if tempo mapping is being used or changes in tempo are made; also communities typically share delay knowledge in milliseconds because it is consistent across conditions.

There’s one last limitation on track delay that, if changed, would set Dorico above competition in this arear; being able to set, within expression maps, a separate delay or the first note in a legato phrase. Some libraries do not have a consistent delay between first note and remaining notes of a legato phrase. This means, even with a global track delay, you will still need to manually adjust the start of every legato phrase. I’m currently using KSP to address this, but it would be more elegant if this function were built into one consistent system and would make expression maps one of the best options out there.

Just some thoughts/concerns about the current state of track delay - Dorico is wonderful and and the addition of track delay has significantly increased the usability of integrated score notation with samples libraries. These are just a few remaining limitations that are still causing friction in the user experience. Thank you for considering the concerns, and for making such a great program!

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Welcome to the forum, Marc, and thanks for your feedback.

You’re quite right that dynamics are not currently offset by the delay amount specified in the expression map, and they probably should be. I’ve made a note of this.

I’ve also made a note that we should add an option to apply the delay to the ends of notes as well as to the starts. I know that in e.g. Cubase the track delay option applies to every MIDI event on the track, but things in Dorico are a bit different: it felt to us that the main goal was to adjust onsets to make notes sound at the right moment and not to interfere with the rest of the positions. But it would be possible to add this if required.

I’ll have a think too about the idea of specifying a different delay value for the first note in a legato passage. That’s a bit complicated, but of course it can be done with sufficient time, effort and application!


Thanks for the thoughtful reply Daniel!