A Competent PLAY engine/tab?

Discussions about our next-generation scoring application, Dorico.
scoredfilms
Junior Member
Posts: 185
Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2015 6:28 pm
Contact:

A Competent PLAY engine/tab?

Post by scoredfilms »

Dear Dorico Dev team,

For me, Dorico is still far from where it needs to be in order to be an adequate composer AND mockup tool. My hope is that Dorico will get there eventually. I bought v1. It wasn't there. I've since accepted that it may take a few versions. But I have a software brick I can't use right now. I have used it strictly to notate something to be performed. So I'm happy enough with Dorico for now. But if I'm to get out of Notion and into Dorico with all its engraving epic jedi mastery, then several features have to happen to get there.

Personally, I feel like the PLAY tab has been seriously neglected and continues to be in most updates. I want more and I grow as impatient as a child having a tantrum (at least I admit that the childishness is on my side here). ;) I just feel that my user profile needs to be represented in the forum and hope to see coming features to get things moving. That's all.

1. Add Rewire

2. Add Expression Map support for Rewire (not just VST's as it currently seems to exclude MIDI out)

3. Expanding tracks & zooming ABSOLUTELY needs CTRL + Mouse Wheel support. Note editing & basic navigation all feel very frustrating in PLAY right now. Though I recognize this input is coming from a long time Cubase & Studio One user.

4. Allow me to get rid of Halion Maps. I use Spitfire, VSL, and leading libraries, not stock defaults. Dorico's defaults make Dorico feel cluttered for users like myself. FYI: the number of people who buy sample libraries isn't a small crowd. ;)

5. I can't seem to find a way to even edit articulations on the PLAY tab. Is this graphic dependent on the WRITE tab? It absolutely shouldn't be, given that many sampled articulations... er, playing techniques... are things like "fast legato" or various timed length tenutos.

6. No CC editing. Yeah... no. And don't you dare ignore the fact that we all have wanted curves for CC for years in certain DAWs. lol Curves are the way, not dotted insanity.

7. My most passionate request here... please don't make me browse through an ocean of engraving symbols just to try to remember (and fail to remember) which ones will actually trigger a sampled articulation. Notion's "technique pallete" was sheer genius, except that it only works with Notion's own presets. Seriously, what's with notation companies and worshiping their own crappy stock sounds? Anyway, no one wants to work with a tool that has 200 more options in front of them than the 50 they can actually use. This is especially true for a viola vs a trumpet. I guess I could start writing spiccato for trumpet players and see what they try. It could get ugly though.

I realize Dorico is young. It will take time to add features, optimize the UI and the code not only to work right but to be responsive. I get it. So I'm not complaining. I may have in the past, but the more I code myself, the more I know to be patient. Still, it needs to be said that I won't "make the switch" until these things are addressed adequately. I'm but one user, but I believe my "switching workstations" requirements also represent a lot of turn-offs for users in general that are hoping Dorico will eventually become the workstation to rule them all. If it helps... I know I've sort of teed up Notion on here, but in order to get Notion to work the way I want it's taken an insane rabbit hole of xml editing (with a serious lack of documentation to help me get there) just to figure out a way to essentially pervert the program into behaving how it should. I've managed to get it there, but anyone with even half a UX-oriented brain would know that handing users XML is a way to lose users, not gain more. I have something that works. But believe me when I say I want something better and eagerly watching for someone to get it right enough. Then again, how many of us have been waiting for decades for that? Yet decent (or any) CC editing (something as old as MIDI itself) still doesn't exist in Notion programs. I'll never understand why. To each user their own needs I suppose.

Good luck and Godspeed!

-Sean

Peter Roos
Member
Posts: 313
Joined: Tue May 17, 2016 7:12 pm
Contact:

Re: A Competent PLAY engine/tab?

Post by Peter Roos »

Check out this morning's "Discover Dorico" presentation by John Barron, you'll be surprised that a lot of what you mentioned is possible already (but not the cc automation lanes).

https://youtu.be/MG8mH1slj0k

scoredfilms
Junior Member
Posts: 185
Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2015 6:28 pm
Contact:

Re: A Competent PLAY engine/tab?

Post by scoredfilms »

Peter,

Most aren't possible in Dorico right now, unless I'm missing something.

1. Rewire [no]
2. Maps for MIDI out (eventually rewire) [yes, glad to be wrong]
3. Zoom via Mouse Wheel gesture for both track and piano roll [no and no]
4. Remove Halion Maps from cluttering Dorico [no, the trash can is greyed out with Halion maps selected]
5. Edit played articulations on the Play tab [no]
6. CC Editing [no]
7. View only mapped articulations [no]

#3 - There is no mouse gesture option for making tracks larger or zooming in on a piano roll editor. The track sizing one bugs me most. I tried assigning a Key Command but Dorico doesn't support the use of the Mouse Wheel here. Call it a small complaint but if it constantly frustrates me then I avoid using it. Mental health comes first. ;)

#5 & #7

While inputting notes on the Write or Play tab, where do I actually input a "trigger this articulation" for such and such notes? Creating maps is obvious enough. But how do I actually use them? Is it all via pre-defined Dorico symbols on the Write tab? Can I not define the played articulation on the Play tab?

If it's exclusively tied to the engraving and Dorico doesn't have an conditional rule system or a manual way to hardset the articulation to perform (both of which Notion has btw)... then how can I use my different recorded lenghts of tenuto to get the right performance? How can I have the score read that sul pont AND tremolo have been noted, so playback my SulPontTrem articulation in Kontakt? If there's a way to set the articulation independent of the notation, then none of this is an issue. But I can't even see where to set the articulation in the first place... unless it HAS to be via notation.

Assuming it HAS to be via notation and assuming those problems can be resolved, I have another concern expressed in that list: Click the WRITE tab, then click Playing Techniques > Strings. If my Spitfire samples have half of these techniques... how do I know which ones are available for playback? What's worse... I have multiple sample libraries, so different instruments have different articulations available. I'll certainly never have them all memorized, especially as these libraries continually get developed. Looking at Dorico right now is like looking an an engraving ocean of symbols, and not being able to locate the 7 things I can actually use. Again, assuming it has to be tied to a symbol.

Conclusion...

Because of this confusion alone, I haven't even bothered to setup my samples for Dorico yet. I've made a test expression map and let Dorico sit on my Task Bar for a year. The icon is pretty. I printed something once with Dorico. That's it. I see potential. I just don't see how it will work yet so I've stuck to my current setup for now. It's frustrating, but please know that I do WANT Dorico to work. It truly is a beautiful program in so many respects. I just can't get past this hurdle. I keep checking in on the updates in hopes that these things will improve. But every time it seems you guys seem to say it works and every time I try to get in... it doesn't even seem functional.

Maybe I'm just the world's slowest learner and it's all there. But I'm just lost on how to even try using Dorico. I've admitted defeat. Sorry. :(

-Sean

Peter Roos
Member
Posts: 313
Joined: Tue May 17, 2016 7:12 pm
Contact:

Re: A Competent PLAY engine/tab?

Post by Peter Roos »

Sean: all good things to those that wait ... all these playback features will come eventually. Right now it's a bit bare bone, my own "strategy" if you will is to learn the program by spending an hour a day tinkering around, and then once the playback features are being introduced, I can create my own expression maps for my VSTs (I have pretty much everything by EW, including the Hollywood Orchestra and Symphonic Orchestra, NI, etc.; well over 2 TB in samples).

The developers are well aware of the desire of not just you but plenty of other users, I have no doubt that they will come up with something brilliant in due course. There are SO many discussions across all social media on Dorico and playback and integration with Cubase (whatever that means by the way), it certainly hasn't escaped their attention.

There are a few programs out there that allow you to tweak the midi notes and automation etc., Notion and Overture 5, but frankly I'm just not super impressed with the user friendliness of entering notes (Notion) or the engraving quality of Overture especially. Rather than trying to learn all these programs I'd rather stick with Sibelius, Dorico, Reaper, Pro Tools (for delivery of tracks) and learn those really well.

User avatar
DaddyO
Member
Posts: 511
Joined: Sat Mar 09, 2013 2:25 am
Location: Kennewick, WA USA
Contact:

Re: A Competent PLAY engine/tab?

Post by DaddyO »

We don't necessarily have the same specific needs, but those of us who share your pain when it comes to Dorico as a composer and mockup tool are glad you have added your online "voice."

Those who don't see the need (for whatever reason) often respond, "Why not just use Cubase and let Dorico be an engraving tool?" My answer? Because some people prefer to experiment, compose and audition using notation. To audition you need adequate playback using third party VST's (for me it's VSL) matched to articulations with reasonable effort. You need the ability to flexibly select material to audition. You need to be able to capture complexities with CC values with reasonable effort. Sure, final mockups can be done in Cubase, but prior to that you need an adequate provisional mockup. I agree with you that the Halion stuff just gets in the way.

Just because some people prefer the engraving aspects of Dorico almost exclusively doesn't mean everyone must think the same way. As you say, Notion has been the best platform for this type of work, but it is needlessly tedious when setting up and using third party VST's. Overture 5 apparently has some promise, but it's essentially a one-man operation so far as I know.

I get that some people, a lot of people, have no need at all for such features. Just like I have no need at all for sophisticated engraving. All I ask for in that department is reasonable capabilities implemented with quality. That has already been accomplished before any paid update. I wonder why so many engraving users often don't seem to get that others have different priorities, and that's okay. It's as if, "Duh! Dorico is a notation program! It's all about the engraving!" Ah, but Dorico was promoted as much more than that. On that basis, I bought it to supplant Notion. Like you Dorico is a software brick for me at the moment. I have hopes that it will not remain so for too long, but I admit my hopes are beginning to fade off into a years-long future of mandatory paid updates (since updates will be cumulative) with no assurance at all when my brick will turn into a tool.

Your voice is not a lone one.
Last edited by DaddyO on Fri Dec 22, 2017 5:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
Hobbyist
VSL and Noteperformer
Dorico Pro 3.5
Windows 10 - i5 9600K - 64GB - M.2 and SATA SSD's.

scoredfilms
Junior Member
Posts: 185
Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2015 6:28 pm
Contact:

Re: A Competent PLAY engine/tab?

Post by scoredfilms »

DaddyO,

Thanks! I appreciate the moral support. lol

I think in notation. I grew up with it. I have perfect pitch. (I don't see this as a bragging point as other people have several true musical skills well beyond my own). Point is... I see a G#. I HEAR the G#. I THINK in notation as much as I do improving at a piano (the real thing of course). I need convincing mock-ups. But I just can't do the piano roll. First world problems.

"I wonder why so many engraving users often don't seem to get that others have different priorities, and that's okay. It's as if, "Duh! Dorico is a notation program! It's all about the engraving!" Ah, but Dorico was promoted as much more than that. On that basis, I bought it to supplant Notion."

That's my exact mentality. I'm happy enough so far. I'm just eager and due to past experience, very cautious about making sure they don't forget film users and mock-up enthusiasts. Also, Overture is indeed a one man band.

scoredfilms
Junior Member
Posts: 185
Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2015 6:28 pm
Contact:

Re: A Competent PLAY engine/tab?

Post by scoredfilms »

Dear Dorico Dev,

Initially, I requested these:

5. Edit played articulations on the Play tab [no]
7. View only mapped articulations [no]

The only reason I wanted #5 is due to a problem in Dorico's current design that halts all usage for me. But the PLAY tab may be the wrong place to solve it, in part. Let's assume Rewire & CC editing will come in v3. For now, I propose 3 specific design ideas that may at least help illustrate why I requested the features I did.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

1) When I add a custom articulation, which Dorico doesn't have a symbol for. Where does it go? How can I use it? Custom articulations should show up in the playing techniques, or somewhere else more relevant. They at least need to show up somewhere, no?

Image

2) When looking through the techniques listed in that picture... how do I know which ones will actually work? If my "job to do" is to make a mock-up, then Dorico isn't helping me do that job here. It's still just an engraver. If I'm working on a cello staff, does Dorico know the type of instrument I'm working on? If it does, then my request is to have the AVAILABLE (mapped to sounds) technique icons highlighted, so I know what I can use. If you were working with as many samples as many users these days have, you'd realize why I'm asking. I simply can't know every sound I have. There's far too many to navigate. Again, the "job to do" is harder in Dorico right now.

3) All that may not even be impossible, as I can't see where my "feta cheese" test articulation ever ended up. It's surely IN Dorico, but where? On the PlAY tab, where you set which expression map applies to the track... my request is that Dorico should then ALSO associate that map with that instrument type automatically... OR let me toggle such an association... so it can show up via request #2. My guess is that this (or an alternative option) would be required for #2 to be as automatic as it is.

Hopefully you can see why I can't actually get all my samples into Dorico as of now. Even if I could, I can't see how the current design helps me know what mock-up sounds I'm working with. When it does work, I'll actually put my Spitfire sounds in there and can actually start giving less frustrated feedback. I apologize for my frustrated attitude on here. But it's worth saying that a large part of my impatience is a credit to Dorico. If it weren't so brilliant in so many ways, and so freaking close to what I want... I wouldn't be as impatient. Keep up the great work. Just don't ignore me... I beg of you! lol

Thanks,

-Sean

scoredfilms
Junior Member
Posts: 185
Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2015 6:28 pm
Contact:

Re: A Competent PLAY engine/tab?

Post by scoredfilms »

Also, I realize I'm asking for Playback functionality to show up on the Write tab. But I think a little crossover doesn't hurt here. Ultimately we all want to work in notation and I'm not asking for the Write tab to change in any significant way other than highlighting icons and showing articulations which frankly... should show up somewhere on the score. lol

-Sean

LSalgueiro
Senior Member
Posts: 1039
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2016 12:51 am
Contact:

Re: A Competent PLAY engine/tab?

Post by LSalgueiro »

scoredfilms wrote:
Fri Dec 22, 2017 3:45 pm
1) When I add a custom articulation, which Dorico doesn't have a symbol for. Where does it go? How can I use it? Custom articulations should show up in the playing techniques, or somewhere else more relevant. They at least need to show up somewhere, no?
You didn't add a custom articulation because you can't. What you did, at best, was adding Text — plain text — over something on the score. That's why it doesn't show up in the Playing Techniques.

It will most likely, some day in the future, but not now.
2) When looking through the techniques listed in that picture... how do I know which ones will actually work? If my "job to do" is to make a mock-up, then Dorico isn't helping me do that job here. It's still just an engraver.
A technique doesn't "work". Expression maps are called that because they map certain inputs to certain outputs. That's it. It has no business in what's on the other end of the map. It's like you're suggesting that we shouldn't be able to write a note outside a certain sample library's range because that note wouldn't play. You have to understand that yes, notation and playback are fundamentally decoupled. And it's not because of some bias that's out to get you, the end user — it's because of the fundamental difference in one and the other's data models.
If I'm working on a cello staff, does Dorico know the type of instrument I'm working on? If it does, then my request is to have the AVAILABLE (mapped to sounds) technique icons highlighted, so I know what I can use. If you were working with as many samples as many users these days have, you'd realize why I'm asking. I simply can't know every sound I have. There's far too many to navigate. Again, the "job to do" is harder in Dorico right now.
Neither can Dorico, by the way.
3) All that may not even be impossible, as I can't see where my "feta cheese" test articulation ever ended up. It's surely IN Dorico, but where? On the PlAY tab, where you set which expression map applies to the track... my request is that Dorico should then ALSO associate that map with that instrument type automatically... OR let me toggle such an association... so it can show up via request #2. My guess is that this (or an alternative option) would be required for #2 to be as automatic as it is.
Does any DAW or notation program automatically and dynamically load expression maps, other than the ones from its default library (on which it is hardcoded to do so)? I'm genuinely curious.
Hopefully you can see why I can't actually get all my samples into Dorico as of now. Even if I could, I can't see how the current design helps me know what mock-up sounds I'm working with.
Another genuine question: what are your setup and workflow right now (so I can understand where you're coming from)?

Traubitz
Junior Member
Posts: 194
Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2014 4:25 am
Contact:

Re: A Competent PLAY engine/tab?

Post by Traubitz »

LSalgueiro wrote:
Fri Dec 22, 2017 4:39 pm
You have to understand that yes, notation and playback are fundamentally decoupled.
I thought the point of notation is to directly tell player how the composer wishes the music to be played. I'm not sure I understand the claim of "fundamentally decoupled"...isn't the point of notation to make the coupling between the composer and the player? Sure, there is wiggle-room for interpretation, but the system of notation handed down to us is surely to maximize synchronicity between the composer and player. Any playback dictionary or expression map should ultimately make that coupling between the score (composer) and the VSTi (player).

I think the fundamental problem here is that makers of sample libraries have different interpretations of how to arrange the available articulations and the control channels that modulate those articulations. Spitfire has, for example, tried to give some degree of universality to articulation selection with UACC, VSL has approached it differently with their custom sample player, and again East-West with their player. In fact the arrangement of control signals has become so diverse for VSTi's the Native Intruments, Alesis and others need to offer "control frameworks" of how buttons, sliders, and keys are to interplay for consistent playback.

So then, the next natural questions are:
  • who will be responsible for the "bridge" between the score in electronic form and the VSTi players available
  • how will this bridge be managed and customized
Taking the first question at face value, the three obvious vectors of solution are 1) the scoring program owns the interpretation 2) The VSTi instrumentals own the interpretation or 3) neither do the job.

Let's take those in reverse order:

For a long time we all lived with 3) neither do the job. Hence, orchestral mockups were the domain of those with time and inclination to work the MIDI and available samplers with a traditional DAW. Other composers, lucky enough to have orchestras of live players available on a regular basis, simply waited until they could present the score the orchestra. There are a lucky few that fall into the camp of having an orchestra of live performers readily available. There are many that have to settle for mockups and then months (if ever) to hear there piece performed.

Most of the VSTi vendors have subscribed to having a DAW, with a human driver as the primary source of delivering the signals for playback. Only a few have given serious consideration to the idea that a scoring program can serve as the main driver; Noteperformer, Garritan (after their merger with mMakeMusic) and VSL come to mind as putting some work into it. Spitfire and Eastwest are largely engineered around the idea that a DAW or similar MIDI engine will be the driver, with the tools to capture performance subtleties, usually as MIDI control channels, from the composer or other performer working the mockup, usually from a piano-like keyboard, mod-wheel, expression pedal, etc.

This brings us to the current, point in question, what if the scoring program owned the interpretation between the score as it would be printed and the VSTi performers. This has been a tantalizing "holy grail" in the scoring industry for a while. It isn't a simple task. Here I will confine my remarks to what I perceive as the "Big Three" in professional scoring programs (though some of my colleagues will berate me to call it the big two-and-a-half for different and conflicting reasons), and which I have some degree of personal proficiency, which are (in alphabetical order) Dorico, Finale, and (boo-hiss-Avid-is-evil-etc-etc) Sibelius.

Finale and Sibelius have taken this on through the use of playback dictionaries which can be customized by the end user, sometimes supplemented with ability to integrate simulations of human playback or recorded human playback. They have also favored some specific libraries of curated sounds to make this happen: Finale with Garritan, Sibelius with it's own library and Noteperformer (mostly through the brilliant engineering work of Arne Wallander. Both offer open access to more VSTis through a VST2 interface, which can be harnessed with varying degrees of success through the playback dictionary mechanisms. Many enthusiasts have, over the years, tried various ways of making VSL work, with which (IMHO) mixed results compared with VSL in a DAW mockup.

Dorico, has replaced the the playback dictionary approach with their own unique attempt at solving this problem. The main function of the playback dictionary has been replaced by Steinberg's expression maps technology and they have included the beginnings of a piano roll-type editor to ultimately support more refined modifications to the playback that can't always be captured standardized notations or whimsical directives of the composer ("play as if riding on a merry-go-round".) IMHO opinion, these are a good start, but are handicapped by two serious issues. First, only expression maps have been though out for Halion Symphonic Orchestra, and these are annoying incomplete and somewhat unbalanced in playback (again IMHO.) Second, the piano roll lends the impression (despite repeated claims to the contrary) that they have DAW-like capabilities. This second factor is compounded by their marketing which really over plays their hand in this department (again IMHO.) I think time will have to tell if these nascent features will live up to the hype in some future iteration of the product. For now, they don't offer the same level of interpretive capability out of the box as the others (although I am including Noteperformer as an out-of-the box capability although it is a priced add-on from a third party.)

Of the two main approaches, Dorico has the upside of much greater interpretive capability with its expression maps and piano roll than the others, but as delivered, they have not been fully built out as far as they need to be for most who care about the quality of audio performance from the scoring program.

My personal desire would be for Dorico to get the playback system up to the level of the others in so far as it Noteperformer (or similar) level of accuracy. As much as I still need a DAW for mockups, merely synchronizing with Cubase would be more than enough for me. An underlying issue for me is that despite some wording to the effect that "playback is important", after a year I'm seeing the course of investments aren't really going into this area. I can live with a scoring program that is missing a lot of helps (exploding staves, proofreading and note ranges, or a full plugin interface)--I'm having a hard time with composing on a program that doesn't sound so good orchestrally (again IMHO.) I think the team has to get this far to be fully competitive in the broader scoring market.

My apologies to LSalguerio for using his comment as the springboard for this essay. He's probably saying to himself, "Jesus wept; how long is this guy going to go on about automated score interpretation? Doesn't he have anything better to do?" I was bored and wanted to at least capture my thoughts. :)

I am still excited for the future of Dorico, but I do wish they would clearly spell out the direction of playback. If it's just going to be a clunky proof-listener tool, that's OK. If they're really interested in solid playback capability, I think some users are going to be wondering as to when, especially when the price for upgrades starts falling due.

LSalgueiro
Senior Member
Posts: 1039
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2016 12:51 am
Contact:

Re: A Competent PLAY engine/tab?

Post by LSalgueiro »

Put that into context. I meant technically, id est "in the computer" (to simplify). Besides, if you really want to pull composers and players into your argument, doing so while discussing VSTs would be one of the worst possible moments, in my opinion.

You certainly can't mean that the expression maps are "annoying incomplete and somewhat unbalanced in playback" because an expression map really can't be unbalanced in playback when it outputs no sound. You must be thinking of the sample library itself, which is hardly a problem of Dorico. It's this conflating of very different parts in the mechanism that leads to confusion — and a belief that there's a cabal out to get the people who want or need better playback.

Peter Roos
Member
Posts: 313
Joined: Tue May 17, 2016 7:12 pm
Contact:

Re: A Competent PLAY engine/tab?

Post by Peter Roos »

Oh dear --- notation versus engraving. That's a discussion which is pretty similar to mac versus PC, and equally pointless.

Just a few thoughts here, which repeat what I wrote before.

1. There's no war between engraving and playback, and never has been.

2. When Daniel and his team were hired by Steinberg, their primary job was to develop a world class engraving program, that would be better than the existing programs out there (notably Sibelius and Finale). "Better" means more logically laid out, more intuitive, more musician / composer oriented. Better designed under the hood, meaning using 2015 ff software coding capabilities, not 1990s software conventions on which Sibelius and Finale were written. Clean start.

3. While the primary goal was engraving, they have not ignored the playback, and in fact, the most recent Dorico webinar by John Barron clearly demonstrates that they have great plans for the future.

4. Sadly they have only a dozen of employees, not 2,000, or it would have been implemented already.

5. As to the implementation with third party libraries, the best thing really that Dorico can do - and they have that planned, from what I understand - is to give the users of Dorico the tools to create their own expression maps. And then encourage people to share them. Given the unlimited amount of VSTs out there, and everyone's personal preference, it is impossible for the Dorico team to take primary responsibility for this.

6. The whole "integration with Cubase" thing is a distraction in my opinion - if Dorico's playback engine is good, as I'm sure it will be, there's no need for "integration" with Cubase. The groundwork for a good mockup would be possible inside of Dorico, any finetuning could be done in any DAW program.

7. On top of the expression, there is a need to tweak individual notes through midi cc lanes - that's not there yet but in the planning also.

Just my $0.02.

scoredfilms
Junior Member
Posts: 185
Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2015 6:28 pm
Contact:

Re: A Competent PLAY engine/tab?

Post by scoredfilms »

LSalgueiro,

If you don't understand where I'm coming from... and your post makes it more than obvious that you don't, then getting into a discussion with you is completely unproductive for me. I'm sure you're competent and a decent fellow. But where my user needs are very different than yours and this post reflect some complex design dynamics (some of which you didn't pick up on and I wouldn't expect you do), I suggest that this just isn't the thread for you. I mean this with respect.

I'm not saying that Dorico should only show me what note ranges are available, but what playing techniques are available to trigger playback. If you don't get just how significant that is, and why it's a pain to work with an ocean of symbols when you need to identify only a handful of them, then you clearly aren't doing the same kind of work mock-up heavy users are. That's respectable. But it makes explaining every request I make, to you, a pointless chore.

Cubase only shows you only what you define. AKA: the UI and workflow is literally "optimized". Dorico is the opposite. It's optimized for engraving, but not for playback-oriented usage.

Expression Maps support customized text-based articulations. Cubase supports this as well. Put in text, it shows up in Cubase, and when you set the articulation... the functionality "works"... the code triggers the output for that articulation. Dorico neglects the way maps were designed, and currently ONLY serves Halion, or libraries which have sampled only articulations which can be explained via Dorico's current library. They put great work into making Halion compliment Dorico. I'm asking them do merely do a couple tweaks to making Dorico work with the tools that far more people in the music industry actually use. It's hardly a big ask.

By your "Neither can Dorico, by the way." comment, I assume you meant Notion...? If you do, then technically you're wrong. Notion actually can. It's called the Technique Pallete. It's just not rewire friendly as of now. Having hacked away at the XML of Expression Maps and Notion rules probably more than anyone alive, I'd know a thing or two about this. I've even created an tool that creates Expression Maps and Notion rules for me automatically. My point in bringing that up earlier wasn't to blame Dorico's dev team for an industry-wide problem. It was to call map making what it is... low level design. It's leaving more to users than any UX expert would ever accept as sane and reasonable. It's to point out that a lot more needs to be done before these programs are going to get me on board. I keep trying to make it happen. They keep falling short. And the same thing has been said by many for decades now. So hopefully you can forgive my impatience.

-Sean

scoredfilms
Junior Member
Posts: 185
Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2015 6:28 pm
Contact:

Re: A Competent PLAY engine/tab?

Post by scoredfilms »

Peter,

Rewire exists for a reason. A lot of people use it. It's certainly not a distraction.

Rewire would allow me to use a DAW's features with Dorico:
- Video Features
- Plugin Automation
- Audio Tracks & Editing tools
- Far more capable Mixing tools

While you may not care for those, someone scoring films just might. ;)

[Edited to remove text which was deemed pointless babble.]

-Sean
Last edited by scoredfilms on Sat Dec 23, 2017 3:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

LSalgueiro
Senior Member
Posts: 1039
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2016 12:51 am
Contact:

Re: A Competent PLAY engine/tab?

Post by LSalgueiro »

I meant in terms of your specific workflow, because I don't use Notion. Besides, understanding someone's workflow is pretty much paramount to be able to implement something that makes sense for the user, and it's a kind of conversation that is very usual in these forums whenever one talks about new features. But hey, if you prefer to openly complain, be my guest. I'll leave you to it, if that's more productive than engaging with someone who's been dealing with the software for several hours a day since day one. If you want to ignore that Dorico does not parse Text as actionable triggers read by an expression map, then by all means keep adding Text and wondering where your articulation went. And it's not just me: if you want to keep replying to points Peter didn't actually make, no one's stopping you. I'm telling you you have insufficient information about how Dorico operates — naturally, since it is different from the tools you're used to — and you're incorrectly extrapolating. I believe I can do very little beyond that. Cheers.

scoredfilms
Junior Member
Posts: 185
Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2015 6:28 pm
Contact:

Re: A Competent PLAY engine/tab?

Post by scoredfilms »

LSalgueiro,

Good luck with your future, friend.

-Sean

User avatar
DaddyO
Member
Posts: 511
Joined: Sat Mar 09, 2013 2:25 am
Location: Kennewick, WA USA
Contact:

Re: A Competent PLAY engine/tab?

Post by DaddyO »

Wow. Some of the responses above are moving my chagrin toward pessimism.
Hobbyist
VSL and Noteperformer
Dorico Pro 3.5
Windows 10 - i5 9600K - 64GB - M.2 and SATA SSD's.

Peter Roos
Member
Posts: 313
Joined: Tue May 17, 2016 7:12 pm
Contact:

Re: A Competent PLAY engine/tab?

Post by Peter Roos »

scoredfilms wrote:
Sat Dec 23, 2017 1:51 am
Peter,

Rewire exists for a reason. A lot of people use it. It's certainly not a distraction.

Rewire would allow me to use a DAW's features with Dorico:
- Video Features
- Plugin Automation
- Audio Tracks & Editing tools
- Far more capable Mixing tools

While you may not care for those, someone scoring films just might. ;)

[Edited to remove text which was deemed pointless babble.]

-Sean
I didn't say that Rewire was a distraction, I said that the focus on "Dorico / Cubase integration" is a distraction. To wit, just look at the Dorico / Cubase integration thread elsewhere on this forum. Just judging on amount of replies and views, you'd think that that is the single most important thing Dorico users have on their mind. And the opinions are all over the place, as are people's workflow.

For any of the features you mentioned (video playback, plugin automation, audio tracks adding to a session) you should not need Rewire. You can run video inside Sibelius, to give one example, without the need for Rewire. I expect that Dorico will be able to do the same at some point in the future, as well as have the capability to add audio tracks, without trying to become a full fledged DAW.

I've done dozens of film scores, and I have worked with upcoming and established film composers; everyone has a different workflow, from DAW to scoring program or the other way around, so there's no magic formula that will work for all. I know that Daniel and his team have talked to a lot of pros in the film scoring business and beyond, and based on the feedback they got, they laid out a roadmap as to how they wish to roll out features. I fully trust their judgment in that.

scoredfilms
Junior Member
Posts: 185
Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2015 6:28 pm
Contact:

Re: A Competent PLAY engine/tab?

Post by scoredfilms »

Peter,

I appreciate the enthusiasm you have about branding some features that come with rewire to be unnecessary. But that assumes Dorico will develop every other feature I'd use adequately to my workflow... and everyone else that would like it added. Software quickly becomes a Frankenstein when it tries to do everything. I don't want 10 audio tracks above the staff natively in Dorico. I do want them in the DAW and playing back at the same time as my orchestra... MIDI controlled via notation and VST hosted in the DAW, where I'd house the video, tempo track, and other features I'd use that Steinberg may never WANT to implement in Dorico... and rightly so.

If we compared the track record of DAW vs Notation for how quickly features are developed for MIDI, video, and audio...
If we bother to look at a growing pool of DAWs, with a wide variety of innovative features that no single program houses...

Then it becomes very clear that expecting Dorico to do it all... and get it all perfectly right... is far less reasonable.

I'd rather they put their focus on getting notation to look and sound right before anything else. Video and plugin automation may or may not be effective if they ever do it. But if they did Rewire, they wouldn't have to code any of those things. With respect, I see it as something that could only reasonably be on the higher list of their MIDI/Playback list of things to do. I just wish that list was a bit more coequal with engraving. But I'll probably never win that one. I've already tried.

-Sean

scoredfilms
Junior Member
Posts: 185
Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2015 6:28 pm
Contact:

Re: A Competent PLAY engine/tab?

Post by scoredfilms »

I'd love to get a Dorico developer to chime in here... at least if anything to get input on how I can better use Dorico if not get the features I want added.

Here's a full list of all the percussion techniques between Spitfire's Redux (orchestral perc) and Zimmer Percussion 1 (large ensembles):

Code: Select all

Hit
Roll
Swell f
Swell mf
Flam
Rim
Closed
Puili
Open
Soft
Soft Roll
Edge
X stick
Brush
Brush roll
Bass
Tone
Slap
Roll sfp
Roll side
Side
Mute
Rute
Rub
Swell
Short
Long
Zip
Zip fast
Sfz
Flick
Shake
Twist
Twist (alt)
Hand
Hand Flam
Tap
drag
Rim Roll
Rim Roll (Puili)
Finger
Rods
Beater
High
Low
Misc
Pop
Choked
Scrape
Bow
Superball
Hit 2
Hit 3
Hit 4
Hit 5
Hit 6
Hit 7
Hit 8
Hit 9
Hit 10
Roll 2
Roll 3
Roll 4
Roll 5
Swell mf 2
Swell mf 3
Swell mf 4
Swell mf 5
Swell f 2
Swell f 3
Swell f 4
Swell f 5
Swell 2
Swell 3
Swell 4
Swell 5
Scrape (short)
Scrape (long)
Scrape (Choked)
Scrape (spatial)
Spatial Rolls (L2R)
Spatial Rolls (R2L)
LH - Bass
LH - Bass (damped)
LH - Snare Hit
LH - Snare Hit (damped)
LH - Side Hit
LH - Gliss - Pos 1
LH - Gliss - Pos 2
LH - Gliss - Pos 3
LH - Gliss - Pos 4
Bass-Snare Flam
Snare-Bass Flam
Snare Flam
Side Hit Flam
RH - Bass
RH - Bass (damped)
RH - Snare Hit
RH - Snare Hit (damped)
RH - Side Hit
RH - Gliss - Pos 1
RH - Gliss - Pos 2
RH - Gliss - Pos 3
RH - Gliss - Pos 4
Normal
Roll Muted
Hard
Motor Off
Motor On
Tight
Esp.
Damp
Why the list has redundant labels:
There's a few cases where you need an extra hit version "hit 2", but most of the redundancy in this list is due to limitations with how the samples could be conveniently mapped for use with notation. I set this up for Notion originally and suspect it wouldn't be much better in Dorico, but that's only for a couple instruments. It's due to the fact that Spitfire sampled each tom size with multiple swells, rolls, hits with RR's, etc. Each tom size gets it's own key and should be loaded on the same keyboard together to allow the notation to sound as it looks. But it come at a cost of having multiple hit techniques with their own mappings somehow.

My struggle to use Dorico here:
Most of these hit types can be added as techniques (or a combination of techniques) in the Expression Map. But Dorico certainly doesn't have superball (a mallet) in the Expression Map editor. So what do I do?

Once I've added these in, I can certainly print sheets that tell me which mallet types and techniques are mapped to which drums, and paste 10 letter-sized cheat sheets around my monitor. But I hope it at least makes sense why I'd like Dorico to highlight mapped symbols for the currently active instrument. There can be no arguing that it would at very least make the software easier to use for people who actually want playback to happen when they mark something. ;)

I'm hoping this extra information will at least help to illustrate why I haven't started using Dorico yet. It's not a complaint. I just can't see how to map my samples yet. I'll give in and accept that I'll have to live without a few orchestral samples. It's not a long list of missing items. It's annoying to my inner idealist, but I can kick the habit. But for percussion I only see a third of these options in Dorico. I have both lists in Excel and I'll give an exact number if it helps. But what should I do with my samples in the Expression Map window? If I'm the one missing something, I'll gladly adapt.

Cheers,
Sean

User avatar
PaulWalmsley
Steinberg Employee
Posts: 2008
Joined: Tue May 17, 2016 9:24 pm
Location: Steinberg, London
Contact:

Re: A Competent PLAY engine/tab?

Post by PaulWalmsley »

Currently I'm afraid I don't think there's any simple way to get this degree of control for the large orchestral libraries. There are various tricks that some people have discovered, such as re-using random playing techniques (eg pizz on a clarinet) in order to access another sound layer. One of the current limitations is that the list of playing techniques isn't editable, which makes it hard to extend to cope with the many techniques in the sample libraries. These are all areas that we really want to improve on in a future version.

One question: how would you distinguish between these techniques in the score?
Looking at this list it appears to be that there are really two types of technique in it: ones that would be explicitly marked in the score (eg open, closed, mute) and those where you are making a decision about the preferred sound you wish to hear which may not be evident from the score (roll 1 vs roll 2, beater type, roll variations). The first type map reasonably well onto the Dorico playing technique concept, but I'm wondering whether we need a different mechanism in the future to deal better with those of the second type.
Architect & Developer - Steinberg London

steveparker
Senior Member
Posts: 1653
Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2016 4:19 pm
Contact:

Re: A Competent PLAY engine/tab?

Post by steveparker »

Paul, this hits the nail on the head, especially if the score is to be placed in front of players as well. I'm not sure it makes sense to have something like two different popovers for visible (in the score) or invisible techniques, but allowing descriptive names, mapped to sample library key switches (etc.), with switchable visibility.
I often want invisible things in the score for all kinds of reasons, so it would also be great to be able to preface popover text with something like [h] to hide anything, without going to the properties panel.

scoredfilms
Junior Member
Posts: 185
Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2015 6:28 pm
Contact:

Re: A Competent PLAY engine/tab?

Post by scoredfilms »

Paul, thank you for replying.

Expression maps in Cubase were originally designed to allow the combination of techniques, up to 4 layers. It allowed you to define [Staccato/sustain/legato], then also have a sort of Mute VARIATION on those articulations. The variations are referred to as groups. Cubase supported up to 4 max. So you could have "mute + sul pont + staccato" if you have it sampled. I found 4 groups very limiting, but the way it worked does address the point you brought up. In the score, if you've said "mute" or "con sord"... then Dorico should know that from that marking and forward... that instrument should be muted (aka: the way a real player knows this). Staccatos, accents, sustain, legato... everything else should be recognized and played... ACCORDING to that Mute qualifier.

Notion uses flags to do this and allows far more flags than 4 groups in Cubase, in a rather messy way. To set "arco" you have to first say "unset pizz, and this, and every other bloody articulation you have"... NOW you can set the Arco flag. That part is messy. But the mere rule creation is more straightforward and also solves this in a way similar to Cubase, but far more flexible for playback. You can add conditions. If "under slur" and "staccato" then... change duration, send keyswitch, cook my breakfast. It's very flexible. To Notion's credit, it's also a bit more robust than expression maps for altering playback. But it has to be said that giving users conditional statements makes the amount of setup to get notation to be 'fully functional' higher. As a user it feels like being handed machine code when I want to compose music.

I can also tell you about the only way I've effectively setup all my pipe organ stops in Cubase (not via expression maps cause it won't work) if you want. But we'll save that for an extremely rainy day.

Point is... I do think flexibility is called for, but in a way that is first as automatic and easy to use as possible. Daniel made a great point once about how Dorico should be as automatic as possible, but let you make the exception when you want. Well, there's absolutely nothing automatic about getting a world class sample library (like Spitfire or Orchestral Tools) up and running in Dorico (or any notation program). I'll gladly share every map I create to help make that easier. I just want to get it right first.

* Every playing technique I have should be able to be defined in Dorico somehow.
* The score should read combinations of markings intelligently if we want the final usage to feel natural and be easy to use.
* There needs to be a way to have multiple percussion one one staff. See this thread: viewtopic.php?f=246&t=129827

While this thread is originally about many things I consider necessary for Dorico to be a true film score workstation... those 3 are needed to get playback working as it looks, not to mention CC editing.

I hope I brought relevant and useful insight to this instead of just rambling. It's not like this is a simple topic. lol

-Sean

scoredfilms
Junior Member
Posts: 185
Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2015 6:28 pm
Contact:

Re: A Competent PLAY engine/tab?

Post by scoredfilms »

Steve,

My last post to paul was intended to make Dorico as automatic and intelligent as possible at reading the score and translating it to proper playback output. That's not to say that simply letting me mark "switch to this articulation now" in an invisible way wouldn't be ideal for some people. I currently can't use my fast legato patches cause there's no fast legato in Dorico. And I'm hardly likely to tell violinists "use your fast legato here". So I see the value in invisible markers. BUT... having basically done that very thing in Notion right now, I can tell you it's a bit of a chore to manage. It feels like adding CC does to Sibelius. It's absolutely NOT intuitive and easy to work in. In the end, the DAW still wins that way and I'm still not working in notation. The only reason I'm sticking with Notion right now is that I at least have half my symbols working and triggering playback (the most common ones). While Dorico should ideally work with the common stuff as well... I just think it's worth saying that the more automatic the score can read proper articulation markings, the better.

I INITIALLY thought that I'd setup a Notion rule that says "if playback gets faster, use my fast legato patch". The problem with this is that some phrases I'd never actually do this. That's fine... but there's no way to override notion's automatic rules. With most articulations, like staccato and tenuto and sul tasto, it's not a problem. But I have found that while I do want automatic for most of it, there are exceptions. So I'm not saying invisible shouldn't happen. I just don't want to have to tell Dorico everything to do for every note either. Combining slurs, accents, and staccatos and con sord markings should all do the right thing on their own... without me having to do extra work during the composing process.

-Sean

User avatar
Stephen Taylor
Member
Posts: 634
Joined: Tue May 17, 2016 11:06 pm
Location: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Contact:

Re: A Competent PLAY engine/tab?

Post by Stephen Taylor »

steveparker wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:04 pm
I often want invisible things in the score for all kinds of reasons, so it would also be great to be able to preface popover text with something like [h] to hide anything, without going to the properties panel.
That is a fantastic idea Steve - very Dorician! Or Doric?
Dorico Pro, Sibelius 7.5, Logic Pro, Max, Kyma; 2019 MacBook Pro 16"
www.stephenandrewtaylor.net

Post Reply

Return to “Dorico”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 11 guests