Transport toolbar

Hi everybody

I would like to describe a feature that is missing in all the notation software and that could be very useful and be very time saving for composers and arrangers. In the creation process, what is the operation we do most often in the notation SW : modify some notes, listen, modify again, listen again, etc. a large number of times. In this, what bothers me the most : to put the playing line back before pushing the play button.

What will be great is to have in the transport toolbar a second play button that restart the playing from the position we do the last play. Very simple but what a lot of time saving!

If before pushing this special play button you moved the play line, you play start from this new position, otherwise you play from the last starting position.

Any comments ?


I don’t know if I’ve understood correctly, but this is exactly what Cubase Score does: you select in the score the start point; may be a note, a bar line or whatever. Ctrl-L to move the transport locator to the selected element. Then you press the space bar (or the transport button). Again? Ctrl-L to go to the selected element and you replay!

I don’t see why something similar shouldn’t hold for Dorico… :confused:

Most sequencers give you the option to return the playback cursor to where you started from, leave it where you finished and a myriad of other options. I agree that it would be good if, at least, we had the first two, even if there was a default operation (set by a Preference) that could be over-ridden on the fly.


This sounds a lot like Bookmarking.

We have several playback functions already:

  • play from the current position (the ‘play head’),
  • play from the selection,
  • play from the last place you started playback from,
  • play from the start of the current flow and
  • play from the start of the score

Hopefully that should give you a few options…

Thanks for your post that describes the playback functions. “Play from the last place you started playback from” looks like what I am expecting, but I would like to be sure. Can you please describe a little bit in détail. More important, is this a single clic operation ?

Can you also explain how Human Factors have been taken into account in the development of Dorico? Is there some specialist of Human Factor involved ? I am talking about professional HF specialists that study working process and working load of end users, not guys that just beautifulize the user interface.

In the main toolbar we have just one button for playback. I think the default behaviour is that it plays from the current playhead position. This is consistent with behaviour in most DAWs. In the separate transport window there are space for more buttons and we have two playback controls on there, however I can’t remember which functions we assigned to them. However you can bind keyboard shortcuts to any of these functions.

We do take our UX design very seriously and a lot of thought goes into the layout and design of the user interface, the modality of the application’s operations, and how the workflow of a project passes through the various modes. Our product designers are keenly aware of modern UI design principles.

Paul thanks for your reply. What I conclude from this discussion is that a single clic for playback from the last started position is not in the default customization of Dorico, but you provide means for making your own customization by binding key shortcuts to toolbar buttons. Please tell me if I correctly understood. This could be a compromise although I would have prefered to have this directly hardwired into the product.

Regarding the second part of my question about Human Factor, your answer clearly highlights that you have no HF expert involved in the design. There is a big difference between having developpers “keenly aware of modern UI design principles” and having a proactive approach of HF in your design process. What is performed by the HF expert ? He puts in front of Dorico a representative sample of real users and asks them to realize some tasks. In the background, there are a data logger, eyes tracking and analyzer tools running. HF expert looks at the user’s eyes path on the screen and measures distance, time, clics, keystrokes and a lot of other information that characterize the user’s workload. Then the essence of his job is to OPTIMIZE all this in order to minimize the user’s workload. And this really makes the difference.

A HF approach is very useful when you design a new product from scratch (as you did with Dorico) because it is at this time that you make design choices to be centered on the user. After, it is too late (e.g. look at Finale). Now, according to what was described hereabove, ask yourself in which category you put Dorico: user-centric, product owner-centric or developper-centric?

It would definitely be product owner-centric (i.e. me!), though we have routinely shared prototypes or early versions of important parts of the program with musicians from outside the team, and we have used the feedback we have received from them to make big changes to important parts of the user experience. For example, both the paradigm used by Setup mode and some of the more important features of note input and editing benefited enormously from this process.

I think you will find that very, very few software products you use in your day-to-day life have that level of HF research in them, largely because it’s incredibly specialised and hugely expensive. Aside from Microsoft, Apple, Google and Adobe, very few companies have the resources for that kind of analysis (and even then, I’ll bet they haven’t done research with eye trackers – that’s the sort of thing you’d only find on software for jet fighters).

What we do have in the team is 100 years of experience of developing music notation software, even more experience of being software end users in our daily lives, and the hundreds of years of music experience of the many composers, arrangers, engravers and copyists that have passed through our door over the last few years. The design of Dorico is the distillation of all that, and many, many hours of discussion in the team (often quite heated, as we are all incredibly passionate about it!).

Somewhat related, it would be nice to have the ability to move back and forth frame by frame (or time measures) using shortcuts; and secondly, to have the ability to “scrub” the notes (so they play back) as you are scrolling forward or back. The latter maybe as an option.