Working with very large scores

Hi all,

I’m editing an opera for my master degree. I am writing it in Finale, but Dorico is becoming so good that I would like to use it instead. The problem is that, besides some features Dorico doesn’t have yet, it is so slow when dealing with big scores. I would like to know your experience using the software when working with those king of projects, specially what Dorico team has to say (is that slowness expected in this stage of the software, would I encounter problems because of the length of my project, etc).

In my case, the score has woodwinds a 3, full brass, timpani, some percussion, 2 harps, 3 soloist singers, SATB choir and full strings (sometimes each instrument divided in 2 staves). The whole work has about 250 pages with an average of 3 measures per page. Right now I am only interested in the fullscore. Parts will not be in my final work. But, of course, I want to be able to create it when I need them. Have you done something similar or bigger?

I would strongly recommend that you finish your project in Finale. As many on this forum will know, I’m 100% dedicated to Dorico, and I can honestly say that I truly believe it will develop into the de-facto standard for music notation very soon. It isn’t quite there yet, though, despite a VERY IMPRESSIVE development. I’ve worked professionally for several hours daily with Finale since the week it was released back in 1988, and have typeset well over a hundred huge (many opera) scores and over 50000 pages of orchestral parts with it.

I found a noticeable performance regression on large scores in Page View. However, I found that Galley View was considerably faster. Also, do you use flows at all in your opera? If you do, making a “Focus Layout” for working on the section of the opera you are currently working on by selecting one flow at a time is very helpful

I’m with Fratveno on this.

This is NOT the time to experiment, my friend. :wink:

fratveno is wise, and one should take heed of his advice. I’m just as much dedicated to Dorico, nowadays, but since you’ve already started working in Finale and you’re most likely on a deadline, even one that might be far away, you should just continue working as you have been thus far.

Paul Walmsley found what is wrong and has a temporary solution:

Thank you all for your replies.

My “deadline” is June 2018…so, I have some time. :smiley:

My question was about the response of the software with large projects. But, what I’ve seen so far is that Dorico is still very slow when dealing with them. In my case, I tested an XML file exported from Finale 25.4 with 710 measures, 305 of them with music, and 253 with all articulations, dynamcs, etc, and all that instrumentation I cited above. I do not know the difference between a project done direct from Dorico and one imported from an xml file, so I can’t say if that matters. Another thing I noticed in this forum is that apparently some users do not experience this slowness, and it looks like the Operating System has something to do with it. I use Windows 10.

I work with Finale for more than 10 years and I am very confortable with it. But Dorico has some features that I think could save me some time, like dynamic groupings and automatic vertical spacing. Considering all, you are right, I will continue with Finale in this project.

I am not using Dorico to write this opera because I began writing it last year, so I cannot say much about the problems writing it in Dorico, but I tested note input, changing layout, adding articulations. When inserting notes I did not notice a difference. In fact, change to gallery view was very slow, but going back wasn’t.

It didn’t work for me in this case.

If you see the other messages on that thread you’ll see a bit more about some findings from fratveno’s test score. This has exposed some areas that are slow in larger scores which I hope we can look at soon. So check back when the next update is released to see if it works better for you.

Hi Paul, thank you. I am following that discussion as well.

I sent an email to Daniel with my project if it could be of some use to you team. But, as I said, I will not use Dorico in this project (although I am very curious to see how it would behave).