Dear Daniel, dear All,
I’ve started to use Dorico in my real projects. It’s fun and produces the most beautiful score I’ve ever seen.
Below are my experiences and feature requests for future versions.
Dorico is great, can’t wait for the next version!
Thank you for this software to happen!
It’s very different from the others, and a lot of functionality is available only through the popover (so kind of hidden).
Fortunately, there’s a lot of tutorial on the Dorico YouTube channel, and I’ve found everything I needed to write with a little bit of Googling.
My usage of Dorico:
I’m a classically trained composer, so I’d like to use Dorico primary for composing while using my own sample instruments (the same ones I use for making the mockup, practically using a big orchestral template with Dorico) OR other instruments while on the road with my notebook.
After writing the music in Dorico I’d like to export it to MIDI to import it into my DAW for fine-tuning ONLY.
I’d like to create printed scores and parts during/after the composition process.
I’d like to hide specific and unused staffs from the printed score.
I’ve tried Dorico on my Notebook with its built-in audio card and I’ve experienced audio dropouts even with the included demo scores with HALion Sonic SE. It’s clearly a Cubase audio engine issue as it always requested a proper audio card with an ASIO driver in order to work as expected. I’m not sure if it can be fixed, but it is something that makes Dorico unuseable on the road with a notebook (at least for PC notebooks, Apple may have better audio cards built-in). It may be worked out with an external USB audio interface, but that’s not really comfortable in most of the cases (for example on a plane).
I can say that Dorico is definitely starting to get to the point when all of the above become reality.
I was able to use setup my VST instruments to Dorico and I could find out most of the mappings. There are however some notation what seem not to work at the moment.
Setting up the template was a bit uncomfortable as the instrument and channel assignments in Play mode was a bit sluggish and it scrolled away every time I’ve re-assigned the VST instrument and the midi-channel. The other difficulty was the naming of the VST instruments like 01. VE Ensemble Pro, 02. VE Ensemble Pro, etc. I use separate VE Ensemble Pro instances for all of my sections, so I had about 9 instances and this naming convention was not really helpful to find the proper VE instance. Fortunately, it was a one-time process only.
Loading a big template inside Dorico results in a huge number of staves what made a bit hard to fit on the page-setup.
Most of those staffs will not make it into the final printed score anyway, it depends on the specific music what is used and what’s not. Also, in a template I have all the instruments separated, so I have a track for flute1, a different track for flute2, etc.
It would be nice to be able to select what tracks to include in the printed page, and also to have the ability to join specific tracks to a single stave (for example the separated flute tracks to a flute 1+2 track).
I’ve spent a lot of time figuring out the expression map mappings.
Here, some things are not implemented yet (dynamics (sfz, fp), portamento, trills, vibrato/non-vibrato).
Writing a rule what changes the midi channel seems no to work at the moment (this is crucial for using libraries what relies on separate samples instead of keyswitches).
Also, please implement custom techniques for the cases when the sample library has special samples what’s usually requested by a text to the player in the score. It could also be used to switch instrument samples (for example to switch between normal, straight mute or harmon mute samples).
TL;DR: Dorico wishlist for the following versions
- Rewire (would help to run Dorico alongside with DAWs)
- Switchable playing configurations (to be able to open the same .dorico file on my notebook where my usual samples are not available)
- Optimized audio (very poor performance with built-in audio cards (notebooks again))
- Implement out of range colors
- Implement remove bars (when I do not want to trim but remove x bars only, even in the middle of the score)
- Implement guitar tabs (and make it configurable for different number of strings and tunings to be able to use it for bass guitars (4-5-6) strings, guitars (6-7-12 strings), lute, etc)
- Keep window position when working with lots of tracks (now changing the assigned instrument or the midi channel on a tracks scrolls back to the top)
- Implement the ability to set custom names for the VST instruments added (now has numbers, like 01. HALion Sonic SE, 02. HALion Sonic SE)
- Playback of repeat signs
- Implement MIDI CHANNEL CHANGE
- Implement dynamics expression maps (Sfz, Fp, dynamic maps written in expression map)
- Implement portamento
- Implement trills
- Implement vibrato / non-vibrato
- Implement custom techniques (to be able to map special samples what can only be notated by writing text instructions to the player)
- Dorico is still a bit sluggish (but improved a lot since the first release!)
Setup / Engrave:
Ability to chose what tracks to include on the page (but show everything in write mode).
The reason for this is to support bigger templates.
For example, I use 3 string sections loaded: solo strings, chamber string, orchestral strings. I’d like to write to any during scoring but may not include every section into the finished score.
Ability to join instruments to one track in the printed/engraved score. For example flute 1 and flute 2 to a flute 1+2 track.