Just been playing around with PRO2…all I can say is WOW!

I bought Dorico initially because I thought after seeing it, that given a few years, it could become something really worthwhile. I wanted to show my support by investing in the product and the recent upgrade has really hit the mark. I don’t do a lot of writing to picture these days, but I made a film about a poem by Imtiaz Dharker which is on the current English Lit. GCSE paper, called ‘Tissue’. I set some music to it that I’d improvised almost a decade ago by fleshing it out in Cubase 9.5 PRO with my newly acquired Native Instruments Symphony Series sample orchestra. You can see the initial film here:

In order to make this film, I took the original improvisation (a WAV file) and imported it to Cubase. I then set about reconstructing the string parts in midi. After that, I took a recording of the poet reading the poem from this performance.

I feel Dharker always reads her poems too quickly. There is too much imagery for the listener to take in, so I broke the poem up to fit my composition. I then used various films on YouTube to compile my film, cutting the film to the soundtrack I now had. I used an ancient video program called ‘Liquid 7’ (Avid did their usual thing…bought a great program, then let it die…sound familiar?) that I have got to run on Windows 10. Anyway the reason for my post is that this is not what usually happens when writing to picture. Usually the composer is the servant of the picture not the other way round (unless you’re making editing pop videos).

So when I saw that Dorico now has this ability to alter tempi to video, I decided to try and recreate what I’d essentially done in Cubase, but now within Dorico. I had already scored out my soundtrack and put it into Dorico a few months back, so I took the film without soundtrack, exported Dharker’s lengthened (broken up delivery) poetry reading as a WAV file and imported them both into Liquid so I could have the film with Dharker’s reading on the film’…just like you would receive from a director.

I imported the film to the Dorico file I had and within an hour or so, managed via tempi changes to line up the score with the original reading, sounding for all intents and purposes very similar to my original finished film. I have yet to understand markers and how hit-points could have made this process probably quicker, but it’s really great to see something like this being implemented. I can only say that I am more than happy that the team are marching forward at an incredible pace. Well done all round!

Thanks for sharing that story. Clearly Dorico 2 is a major achievement. That might sound a little discouraging to the developers who put in so much long and hard work getting out the various flavors of Dorico 1. But it is Dorico 2 that constitutes the “Full function product” that is the threshold for many customers.

IMHO there are two major opportunities for Dorico (as a business plan). One is the obvious one, which is simply better, more productive, nicer-looking, better sounding notation projects. And that has been the majority of focus so far.

The second opportunity gets me a lot more excited, and that is convergence. I have talked a bit about a vision for the convergence (or at least more seamless coexistence) between the DAW world and the notation products. But the world of video scoring is another important area of convergence. This is not just about Hollywood, Netflix, Cannes or local movie festivals. I find myself doing more video projects of all types every year. I never planned to be involved in video at all, but increasingly I have clients who want to have their content delivered as video.

So far, I nave not been doing any underscoring or anything else that required tight timing between notation and video. But the way things are going, I bet this will be a reality for me in another 18 months. (Actually I have been approached about two speculative projects that would require exactly that. Before this week, I was thinking Cubase, but now maybe I should be thinking Dorico.)

By all means, everybody involved in getting the product from inception to Dorico-level-2 should take some time to reflect on the importance of what has been accomplished and how it will actually change the world in important ways. And then, back to work on the next phases of convergence. :slight_smile:

I’m sure this release has got everybody associated with Dorico and other Steinberg products thinking about what you outline above. I suppose the biggest challenge / distinction would be what is the purpose of the score? If it’s for real players to reproduce your mock-up, then that’s reason enough. Real players who are recorded in real places will always offer extra possibilities up to the composer /producer /director. I am just talking of music to picture here. The situation within absolute music (music for its own sake) is quite different, especially when you add in real voices. I can’t imagine a sample library ever coming close to being able to reproduce what a choral ensemble can achieve.

For me what Dorico offers is a different way of ‘seeing’ my music. DAWs primarily offer a way of hearing your music. I see Dorico (and all notation) as a way of understanding the nuts and bolts of the construction. In that way, I could see them (notation and recording packages) existing alongside each other for quite a while. As it is, the packages have so much depth to them these days, that the biggest constraint to my compositional aspirations is time.