Things that need to be more obvious in Dorico

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FlowerPower
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Things that need to be more obvious in Dorico

Post by FlowerPower »

When I look at score in the Write window, there's AFAIK no way to see where playback will start from. There is if I switch to another window, but I'd like to start and to playback from the window I'm working in. I hope there's a way to a) define where I want to start playback from in the Write window, and also some secret trick to actually see, graphically where playback will start from (in Write mode) - other than pressing Play and see what happens?

D. starts with Setup, Write, Engrave and then Play - but play is certainly something one wants to do - many times - before printing anything...

Also - defining which sounds I want to use is also something I'd like to do before I write, play etc, but I can't find a way to tell Dorico that I want to use my Kontakt sounds in the Setup section. I finally found it in the Play section - but only the 16 output variation of Kontakt. Wouldn't it make more sense to offer all configurations, and at least the stereo out version?

I also needed to define that the piece was in 4/4 - and find out how to do it. Wouldn't it make more sense to start all pieces eg. in 4/4, with a super obvious way to change 4/4 into anything these user wants? That would reduce the number of "I have to find out how this works" situations by one. Unfortunately, there are quite many of them.

I would also have preferred to have a constantly visible playhead in the Write mode (with an obvious way to change to "show playhead only when playing" mode.

There seems to be no way to have the name of selected Kontakt instrument displayed neither in the VST Instruments list or in the track list in Play mode.

When I click the little "v" in Play, where it says Flute (I started with an orch. template), the first thing I see is another line of text which says Flute with a "v" next to it. It's not obvious why it behaves like that.

I found out that the Play window allows a mini piano roll for each track (which is great), but I can't find a way to use it. The key command for transpose etc doesn't work if I select a note event in that piano roll window, and nothing seems to be able to grab and move with the mouse.

It's good that the green playhead is constantly visible in Play, but it should IMO be possible to simply grab it and move it. That doesn't seem possible.

I found that I can open Kontakt several times, but I expected that there would be a way to double click on where it now says Flute and enter another name but neither of the two instance of the word Flute (etc) can be changed from this area - which leads to another "how does this work" situation. Where can I change that name?

Why do I seem to have to switch between different modes and windows to perform basic tasks? IMO these basic functions (track names etc) should be editable wherever they appear - or at least, since Dorico still is young, there could have been a way to display the info I need... for instance, if I double click something to edit a name, and I have to do that in another window, there could be a message saying "To change track name, go to *********" and so on.

There are a few missing features I need to be able to have before starting to use D. for real (real time MIDI recording, fingerings, a way to grab notes with the mouse and transpose or reposition them etc), but I'm kind of surprised about the basic structure - and in particular than many simple functions seems to need to be searched for. One more example of that: if I have selected note in any window and want to start playback from that note, I couldn't find a way to just press a key and achieve that. Some DAWs has 20-25 play functions, but so far, I have only found one in Dorico: "Play". I hope there will be more soon, simply to reduce the number of clicks needed to get basic stuff done.

Maybe the problem is more that what I'm looking for isn't possible yet (more than the fact that it isn't obvious how things shall be done) - but maybe most of all, that so far - it seems as if Steinberg has decide to find out what they thing is the best way to perform a given task, and implement that - instead of offering several ways to perform that task. Double-clicking on something should IMO always either offer a solution, some help text, or.... something else which helps the user find out how to do something with whatever he double clicked (or right clicked).

So far, I'm back to the Setup area, but can't find a way to tell D. that I want to base all my tracks on Kontakt instances.

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Re: Things that need to be more obvious in Dorico

Post by LAE »

In write mode, select a note, press p to play from selection.
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Re: Things that need to be more obvious in Dorico

Post by Rob Tuley »

FlowerPower wrote:When I look at score in the Write window, there's AFAIK no way to see where playback will start from. There is if I switch to another window, but I'd like to start and to playback from the window I'm working in. I hope there's a way to a) define where I want to start playback from in the Write window, and also some secret trick to actually see, graphically where playback will start from (in Write mode) - other than pressing Play and see what happens?
In write or engrave mode, just select the note you want to start playback from and press P.
FlowerPower wrote:D. starts with Setup, Write, Engrave and then Play - but play is certainly something one wants to do - many times - before printing anything...
Sure, and you can play back in Write and Engrave mode. You only need Play mode to set up the playback options.
FlowerPower wrote:Also - defining which sounds I want to use is also something I'd like to do before I write, play etc, but I can't find a way to tell Dorico that I want to use my Kontakt sounds in the Setup section. I finally found it in the Play section - but only the 16 output variation of Kontakt. Wouldn't it make more sense to offer all configurations, and at least the stereo out version?
In Play mode, the VST Instruments panel on the right should show all the instruments that Dorico knows about. Maybe you need to add the other Kontakt players to your whitelist.
FlowerPower wrote:I also needed to define that the piece was in 4/4 - and find out how to do it. Wouldn't it make more sense to start all pieces eg. in 4/4, with a super obvious way to change 4/4 into anything these user wants? That would reduce the number of "I have to find out how this works" situations by one. Unfortunately, there are quite many of them.
Why should people who want to write music that doesn't have a time signature at all have to delete the 4/4, just because you always want it? ;)

The icons on the right hand side panel in Write mode should be a pretty good starting point for "guessing" how to do things. Even if you can't guess what the "3/4" icon might do, hovering the mouse over it will tell you.
FlowerPower wrote:I would also have preferred to have a constantly visible playhead in the Write mode (with an obvious way to change to "show playhead only when playing" mode.
In the edit menu/preferences, there is an option show the playhead when playback is stopped.
FlowerPower wrote:When I click the little "v" in Play, where it says Flute (I started with an orch. template), the first thing I see is another line of text which says Flute with a "v" next to it. It's not obvious why it behaves like that.
The "top level" list in Play mode corresponds to staves in the score. If your flute player doubles on piccolo, you will see separate entries for Flute and Piccolo at the second level.
FlowerPower wrote:I found out that the Play window allows a mini piano roll for each track (which is great), but I can't find a way to use it. The key command for transpose etc doesn't work if I select a note event in that piano roll window, and nothing seems to be able to grab and move with the mouse.
You can do some limited things with the MIDI editor, but it's not fully functional yet. Try searching the forum.

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Re: Things that need to be more obvious in Dorico

Post by FlowerPower »

LAE wrote:In write mode, select a note, press p to play from selection.
Thanks for the response, both of you! :-)
I actually searched for key commands containing the word Play, but only "play" came up... and obviously that wasn't, as I understand it now, a key command, but a "folder" containing other key commands, and inside that "folder", there's another folder, containing more key commands, including this one. Thanks again for helping me find that out (but again, it shouldn't take so much fooling around to find a simple key command. D. only has a handful of play commands, so why "hide them" inside a multilevel structure?

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Re: Things that need to be more obvious in Dorico

Post by FlowerPower »

Rob Tuley wrote:
FlowerPower wrote:D. starts with Setup, Write, Engrave and then Play - but play is certainly something one wants to do - many times - before printing anything...
Sure, and you can play back in Write and Engrave mode. You only need Play mode to set up the playback options.
Sure, I just think that defining your playback options should be moved to the let in that structure, because you need to use it before your print etc, and also: there should be shortcuts to get to the relevant areas from all around the Dorico system. Many of us use many apps, and IMO it's essential that all functions are available as menus, key commands and by using a mouse, and particularly that one shouldn't have to read the manual in order to get basic things done. Daniel, the other staff and many users here are very helpful, but I really think one could simplify the user experience a lot but not havinng to go to other areas to get simple things done.
FlowerPower wrote:Also - defining which sounds I want to use is also something I'd like to do before I write, play etc, but I can't find a way to tell Dorico that I want to use my Kontakt sounds in the Setup section. I finally found it in the Play section - but only the 16 output variation of Kontakt. Wouldn't it make more sense to offer all configurations, and at least the stereo out version?
In Play mode, the VST Instruments panel on the right should show all the instruments that Dorico knows about. Maybe you need to add the other Kontakt players to your whitelist.
 I don't think I have added anything to the white list, don't even know where it is... but if D. wants to simplify things, I believe more people use stereo out than 16 outputs...

"Why should people who want to write music that doesn't have a time signature at all have to delete the 4/4, just because you always want it? "
Why should a large majority of users need to manually add a time signature (and need to find out how that is done) only because a a small group of people write music that doesn't have a time signature? ;-) If D. came preassigned to 4/4, selecting that time signature and press Delete should be all that it would take to remove it.

"The icons on the right hand side panel in Write mode should be a pretty good starting point for "guessing" how to do things. Even if you can't guess what the "3/4" icon might do, hovering the mouse over it will tell you."

I found that, but there was no effect of hovering, and it seemed to do nothing. Maybe it inserted a time signature in n area I couldn't see.


"In the edit menu/preferences, there is an option show the playhead when playback is stopped."
Thanks a lot - but I searched in Preferences and only found "Move Playhead to Start of Flow" and "Play from Playhead Position"?


"The "top level" list in Play mode corresponds to staves in the score. If your flute player doubles on piccolo, you will see separate entries for Flute and Piccolo at the second level."
Thanks, but wouldn't it have been easier if one could change that name (and or instrument) right there - and not having to (in my case) look at a menu which said "Kontakt 5 16out" (all items in that list has the same name, because I only use Kontakt). And IF there's a way to rename those instance, it should IMO be possible right there.

Sorry if this sounds complaining/moaning - I'm just trying to combine learning something new contributing with some feedback. It should be in Steinberg and everyone's interest that the program is as self-explanatory as possible...

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Re: Things that need to be more obvious in Dorico

Post by Rob Tuley »

FlowerPower wrote:D. only has a handful of play commands, so why "hide them" inside a multilevel structure?
I suppose the shortcut structure is set up to contain the Play Mode commands (including MIDI editing) that are planned but not yet implemented.

From various comments by Daniel and others (going right back to the MOLA presentation before anything had been released), I get the impression that plugging the Cubase playback engine into Dorico turned out to be a bigger task than was anticipated.

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Re: Things that need to be more obvious in Dorico

Post by TylerE »

One thing I'd like to see is for all the icons in the toolbars to create various things to show the corresponding popover entry on mouseover.

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Re: Things that need to be more obvious in Dorico

Post by Daniel at Steinberg »

TylerE, the buttons in the panel don't show you the popover shortcut because they're not the same thing. All of the popover shortcuts are, however, listed in the Write menu.

FlowerPower, the reason that Kontakt's 16 output version appears rather than the stereo output version is because the stereo version would be pretty much useless in Dorico. If you use the stereo output version, you only then get two faders to balance all of the sounds available in your instance of Kontakt in Dorico's Mixer, which would force you to do all of the mixing directly in Kontakt's UI instead, which wouldn't make much sense.

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Re: Things that need to be more obvious in Dorico

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Daniel at Steinberg wrote:TylerE, the buttons in the panel don't show you the popover shortcut because they're not the same thing. All of the popover shortcuts are, however, listed in the Write menu.

FlowerPower, the reason that Kontakt's 16 output version appears rather than the stereo output version is because the stereo version would be pretty much useless in Dorico. If you use the stereo output version, you only then get two faders to balance all of the sounds available in your instance of Kontakt in Dorico's Mixer, which would force you to do all of the mixing directly in Kontakt's UI instead, which wouldn't make much sense.
What about having one stereo instance of Kontakt for each track/voice?

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Re: Things that need to be more obvious in Dorico

Post by Derrek »

Isn't that what the multi-output does--with far less processor overhead than what you are requesting?

(And do you really have to quote a person's entire message to respond to it?)
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Re: Things that need to be more obvious in Dorico

Post by FlowerPower »

Derrek wrote:
(And do you really have to quote a person's entire message to respond to it?)
I was on my phone and made an exception - sorrisomo!


Regarding the other question - I don't know. In Logic and Cubase it seems that most people open a stereo out version of version of Kontakt on each track, and if Dorico's solution is better, why don't all DAWs do that?

NB: I'm not saying that that solution is better, I just wonder why Dorico has chosen another solution. "

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Re: Things that need to be more obvious in Dorico

Post by FlowerPower »

Btw, I still can't find a way to make the playhead constantly visible in Write mode. Anyone?

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Re: Things that need to be more obvious in Dorico

Post by Daniel at Steinberg »

The 'Show playhead option when stopped' option in the Playback section of the General page of Preferences is what you're looking for. I believe this is included in 1.0.20, but if not, it will certainly be included in the forthcoming 1.0.30 update.

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Re: Things that need to be more obvious in Dorico

Post by misohoza »

Regarding the other question - I don't know. In Logic and Cubase it seems that most people open a stereo out version of version of Kontakt on each track, and if Dorico's solution is better, why don't all DAWs do that?
Hi FlowerPower.

This is primarily a notation software. Trying to force a "Daw workflow" might not be the best way forward. Don't get me wrong, I'm not arguing or trying to prove you wrong.
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Re: Things that need to be more obvious in Dorico

Post by PaulWalmsley »

There is nothing to stop you from using a separate stereo instance of Kontakt (or any other plugin) for each instrument, and you will still get the same ability to control each audio channel. However, if you have a large number of plugin instances then I think that this will have substantially worse performance than a fewer number of 16-output plugins. Having a larger number of plugins increases the load on the system (more UI elements, extra memory per instance).

We did some tests on this a while ago with HALion. For 128 instruments we tried having 8 instances using all 16 channels, compared with 64 instances using 2 channels and found that memory and CPU usage was halved if we only had 8 instances.

The reason why many people use individual stereo plugins in Cubase (I don't know about Logic but I guess it's similar) is probably that it's conceptually simpler if you are using Track Instruments, as you can just have a single fader in the mixer. In order to use all the input channels you need to use a separate MIDI input track and the audio return channel from the plugin.
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Re: Things that need to be more obvious in Dorico

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PaulWalmsley wrote:There is nothing to stop you from using a separate stereo instance of Kontakt (or any other plugin) for each instrument, and you will still get the same ability to control each audio channel. However, if you have a large number of plugin instances then I think that this will have substantially worse performance than a fewer number of 16-output plugins. Having a larger number of plugins increases the load on the system (more UI elements, extra memory per instance).

We did some tests on this a while ago with HALion. For 128 instruments we tried having 8 instances using all 16 channels, compared with 64 instances using 2 channels and found that memory and CPU usage was halved if we only had 8 instances.

The reason why many people use individual stereo plugins in Cubase (I don't know about Logic but I guess it's similar) is probably that it's conceptually simpler if you are using Track Instruments, as you can just have a single fader in the mixer. In order to use all the input channels you need to use a separate MIDI input track and the audio return channel from the plugin.
There are quite a number of discussions on the VI-control.net forum about this issue. Many take the position and have data to back it up that it is better performance for large ensembles to organize the playback as one instance per instrument. I agree that this seems counter-intuitive and is usually not recommended by the DAW developers for performance reasons, but it's hard to argue with actual users data. I haven't had the occasion of a large enough ensemble for performance to matter in either event, but I have tried it both ways. I prefer minimizing the number of instances for simplicity, but the other way is not all that bad either.

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Re: Things that need to be more obvious in Dorico

Post by PaulWalmsley »

YMMV. Our experiments with HALion showed a smaller number of instances was preferable. It may be different for other plugins. Dorico will allow you to work with both.
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Re: Things that need to be more obvious in Dorico

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Daniel at Steinberg wrote:The 'Show playhead option when stopped' option in the Playback section of the General page of Preferences is what you're looking for. I believe this is included in 1.0.20, but if not, it will certainly be included in the forthcoming 1.0.30 update.
Thanks, I'll find it when 10.0.3 is out then.


misohoza, I don't see this as trying to force a DAW workflow onto a score program. I think most people want to be able to do the things they need to do in an as simple way as possible, and if that can be seen as forcing DAW behaviour... so be it. :) And for the records, I'm pretty sure that in a few years from now, we'll see that Dorico either seamless integration with Cubase or that they merge into one advanced DAW which cab enable advanced notation features for those who want it. But right now, all I want is to a) have to learn as little as possible (hence the need for "obvious", see thread title), and b) need to rely as little as possible on using different apps (with different workflows, key commands, windows and so on) and c) be dependent of as few clicks as possible and d) be as independent as possible of having to learn "secret gestures"; typing in things that need to be memorised in order to get things done. So the main thing I guess I miss in D. is things like being able to right click anywhere to get access to relevant functions and most of all: local menus in the different sections, which contains access to everything one needs. And IMO that isn't about DAW workflow but about having an app which will let me mainly focus on music instead of finding out how to get things done (or on actually getting things done).

But don't get me wrong - there's lot to like on Dorico already! In spite of my frustration with Logic's (lack of) development for my kind of work, I'm spoiled by having access to maybe 1500 key commands, extended help options + contextual menus almost everywhere. And I think almost everybody who use Dorico + a DAW would have preferred to deal with only one app if the workflow was good and (and of it was free from potential noise and clutter from all the possibilities).

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Re: Things that need to be more obvious in Dorico

Post by FlowerPower »

I just found out that some notes I have entered have been entered at bar 16 and onwards, and not at the beginning of the Flow. What is the easiest way to move that area (that Flow) or these individual notes left or right by eg one bar?

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Re: Things that need to be more obvious in Dorico

Post by John at Steinberg »

Click on the first note, press 'enter' to get the caret and then press backspace till they get to where the notes want to be?

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Re: Things that need to be more obvious in Dorico

Post by fratveno »

I couldn't get that to work unless Insert Mode was active AND there was already a note in the first bar...

What I did: Select the bars you want to move and alt-click the start of the first bar, then delete the source notes/bars. You can move bars/notes left or right by selecting them and do alt-L/R-arrow. Note that this works differently if Insert mode is active.
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Re: Things that need to be more obvious in Dorico

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John at Steinberg wrote:Click on the first note, press 'enter' to get the caret and then press backspace till they get to where the notes want to be?
If I press Enter Dorico starts to display the green playhead and then playback starts. Which command is supposed to be executed when I press Enter?
And Backspace deletes selected notes (I may have set that up manually). What is backspace supposed to do?

But in general, how does one select a group of notes and nudge them left or right, say, by a bar, or by 1/8 note, or 1/4 note etc?

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Re: Things that need to be more obvious in Dorico

Post by FlowerPower »

fratveno wrote:I couldn't get that to work unless Insert Mode was active AND there was already a note in the first bar...
Well, there isn't a note in the first bar, and the notes aren't supposed to end up at the beginning of bar 1 either.
I believe I have looked through all key commands and all menu commands, I found both Move Left and Move Flow Left, but my experiments gave surprising results - and I don't know how much D. is going to move the selected events or flow by this key commands anyway.

In lack of being able to grab a flow (or some notes) with the mouse and move it/them (with the mouse) manually, menu or key commands which would allow us to nudge the selection left or right by a variation of intervals would be very useful.

"Move to playhead" would be good as well, especially if one could-double click the area in the upper right corner (where the current position is shown) to enter a new position for the playhead first. But that doesn't seem possible.



"Note that this works differently if Insert mode is active". I'll experiment with that (and find out what the differences are between Insert mode being active or not).

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Re: Things that need to be more obvious in Dorico

Post by fratveno »

I'm probably dense, but it's not totally clear to me what you want to achieve... However, you can copy and paste from anywhere to anywhere within and between flows. Select what you want to copy, then select the target measure, activate the caret (enter) to see the grid, move it to the desired beat/subbeat (you can increase or decrease the grid resolution with alt-[ and ]) then paste. You can reorder flows in Setup...
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Re: Things that need to be more obvious in Dorico

Post by John at Steinberg »

> If I press Enter Dorico starts to display the green playhead and then playback starts. Which command is supposed to be executed when I press Enter?
> And Backspace deletes selected notes (I may have set that up manually). What is backspace supposed to do?

That's what backspace does - I presumed since you wanted to move some notes earlier that you therefore want to delete whatever is already there (I also presumed it was one or more rests).
By 'Enter' I mean on the main part of the keyboard - it sounds like you are using the one on the numeric keypad, which is another 'play' shortcut to match Cubase.


> But in general, how does one select a group of notes and nudge them left or right, say, by a bar, or by 1/8 note, or 1/4 note etc?

If you select a note or series of notes and use Alt with left/right arrow it will move them but by the length of the selection. E.g. select 3 quarter notes and it'll move them by 3 quarter notes.

I presumed therefore that backspace was more what you wanted to do (with insert mode on).

To move notes forwards, (I prefer) with insert mode on, simply enter the note(s) or rest(s) that you need and it'll push the music in front of that forward.

Maybe I'm not explaining it well. I feel a Discover Dorico or other video session coming on...

Regarding playback.

Go to Edit > Preferences (on PC) or Dorico > Preferences (on Mac) and at the very bottom of the General section is a tick box for 'Show playhead when stopped' - then you'll always see the green line.
Then when you press Spacebar you'll always know where playback is going to start from.

Other useful playback shortcuts:
Shift + spacebar = play from last start position - so you can play something, make a small change and play from the same point again to hear the change.

Or select and note and press 'P' to start playback from the selected note.

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