What's wrong in the world of notation softwares ?

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DaddyO
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Re: What's wrong in the world of notation softwares ?

Post by DaddyO » Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:55 am

Re: The merging of DAW/Notation functions into one product, it seems to me that interoperability will be a necessary middle stage. If well done by one company, it might be enough on it's own. (Clearly Steinberg wants to sell us two mainline products, and does not want one to eclipse the other.) Presonus Studio One is in the early stages of attempting this with it's purchase of Notion.

I'd be fine if Dorico and Cubase could seamlessly exchange detailed musical data (including virtual instruments, tempo, dynamics, articulations, etc.) in such a way that tedious editing is not required. Further development of Music XML or a new, proprietary musical language would be needed for that. Steinberg has pioneered a number of things that gradually became more generally supported standards (VST 3 is an example). My guess is they will end up taking this road instead of making Dorico into a mere module for Cubase.

I do agree with those who are saying that users will continue to demand a more intuitive, efficient GUI, and while there are many these days whose only needs are notation and publishing, any attempt to fence Dorico into this domain will be counterproductive going forward. Dorico for publishers and Cubase for producers is a path forward, but I don't believe it is the best path forward. The future may well be an integrated tool for musicians, from soup to nuts, sketching > composing > scoring > mockup > production > post-production. It doesn't absolutely have to be one product, but it will need to be integrated.

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Re: What's wrong in the world of notation softwares ?

Post by Rob Tuley » Tue Jul 18, 2017 2:26 am

Sorry, FlowerPower, but I'm not too good at mind reading. If you write "a DAW with a 100% pro score editor" I can only assume that's what you meant.

(And I can't imagine why you think Sibelius is better for "composing" that Dorico either - unless "beast for composing" was actually what you meant to write, and not a typo for "best for composing" - but that's a different topic...)

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Re: What's wrong in the world of notation softwares ?

Post by Rob Tuley » Tue Jul 18, 2017 2:35 am

DaddyO wrote:
Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:55 am
It doesn't absolutely have to be one product, but it will need to be integrated.
I agree. The trouble is, right now we have two "standards" for integration, incompatible with each other, and both horribly inadequate: MIDI and MusicXML.

And if I had to guess how long it would take to define a better way that was acceptable to all the parties involved, I would guess somewhere between 10 years and "for ever" - based on first hand experience with standards committees in other fields than music! It's far too easy for a "standard" to finish up as the lowest common denominator of the features that everyone's software can handle - which no use to anybody.

(It isn't just a music-related problem. The default method of interchanging geometry data for 3D printing technology is about 50 years behind the current state of the art in computer geometry systems, for pretty much the same reason....)

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Re: What's wrong in the world of notation softwares ?

Post by FlowerPower » Tue Jul 18, 2017 12:47 pm

LSalgueiro wrote:
Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:11 am
Call me old-fashioned, but I think a great DAW will always be a great DAW, and a great notation software will be a notation software
That's old fashioned. :-D

You asked for it, right?

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Re: What's wrong in the world of notation softwares ?

Post by LSalgueiro » Tue Jul 18, 2017 12:56 pm

FlowerPower wrote:
Tue Jul 18, 2017 12:47 pm
LSalgueiro wrote:
Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:11 am
Call me old-fashioned, but I think a great DAW will always be a great DAW, and a great notation software will be a notation software
That's old fashioned. :-D

You asked for it, right?
I did!

Hopefully I was clear in my post, but any type of blanket solution really worries me. I figure that's an impossibility: no tool will ever be able to do everything, nor should we even want them to, really. I welcome Dorico's push towards greater integration — as I said, I'm very much open to being surprised by areas it tackles that are not within my current needs — but I still think specialized tools are of greater benefit to its users. The learning curve is steeper, but it can only help the overall health of the industry if a single user can partake in different communities of practice, even if not in an advanced level.

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Re: What's wrong in the world of notation softwares ?

Post by FlowerPower » Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:27 pm

"any type of blanket solution really worries me"
Not sure what you mean by that, but here's a typical scenario:
Music starts with ideas, inspiration, composition. So I start fumbling around with an idea for strings. In order to make things sound right (I've never relied on the internal string sounds in score apps) one needs to deal with articulation changes, or at least automation of dynamics (and vibrato changes) - other wise it wouldn't sound like strings. This is probably best done in programs like Cubase and Logic, bu neither of them have a score editor that has been developed actively enough for this kind of work. So after some ideas have been recorded or note has been entered, one by one, in Dorico - the editing process starts. If I want to switch back and forth between chords, Sibelius us the best solution, and the same goes for dealing with several user ideas inside the same project. But Dorico looks better, Steinberg is dedicated to keep developing D., so it's more tempting to use D. But at some point, I'll go back to the typical kind if editing which Cubase and Logic (etc is good at). Sio I need to export the material into a DAW again - and since I also prefer to record things in real time, and D. can't do that yet, it's tempting to leave D. for a while. but back in my DAW, the score will look different - and while piano roll editing can be good for certain kinds of editing, notation is, after all, the alphabet we have in the music world. Also - Logic has Articulation IDs, which will be brilliant if they are going to be developed further, Cubase is more mature in terms of Expression Maps and also has Freeze and Unload Samples which works with the Kontakt libraries I have. So while developing this idea, I can't really rely of on of this apps. And not only that, but I simply can't understand why someone would *want* do rely on two or more apps for something which should be doable in one. Why would would I *not* want better "DAW functions" (of the types I described and more) in Dorico? And why would any Cubase or Logic user not have a score module which behaves as if it simply was the DAW's own, built in score editor - without any need to export/import files?

I'm in the slow process of learning Cubase, and I don't know how usable the score editor is, but hadn't it been for Apple's extreme lack of interest in developing the stuff I mention (notation, composing features of the kind we find in Sibelius, better articulation control and a proper/mature way of dealing with automation of Kontakt parameters), Logic would have been quite close to the kind of app I'm talking about. But that never seems to happen, since all these areas have been ignored for years. So I'm more optimistic about Dorico's future, and a possible merge or very tight integration between Cubase and Dorico. But I fear the 'oldfashionness' of it all, the too many old-ish men like myself have been used to a cumbersome workflow for so long time that they don't even see that all this could have been much easier, with a one-app-approach (or totally transparent integration).

OTOH, if engraving and good looking score is pretty much is the important focus, many will become happy with Dorico. But I don't think Steinberg - having put all this effort into making a new, note based program - can *afford* not to acknowledge the fact that 'hybrid' users like myself represent a much, much larger market than the engraver market. So I'm... kind of optimistic about all this. Ish. :-)

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Re: What's wrong in the world of notation softwares ?

Post by andgle » Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:53 pm

FlowerPower - I totally agree with you that the process you describe here would be easier if it all could be done in one application. And I almost take it as granted that most of these functions are on Steinbergs roadmap for Dorico (I think real-time midi recording, automation lanes and expanded expression maps are already confirmed for the future).

However - when it comes to audio based DAW functions, such as multi track recording, time- and pitch stretching, loop based playback (ableton), and so on, the scope might be too big for one app.
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Re: What's wrong in the world of notation softwares ?

Post by Brian Roland » Tue Jul 18, 2017 3:51 pm

I'm not seeing many reasons why at some point Dorico's editor modules and score events cannot be integrated into CuBase.
VST and MIDI events are VST and MIDI events; plus, xml is xml; etc, etc, etc. I suspect we'll eventually get full integration; however, Dorico is currently focused on making Dorico all it can be as a stand alone application. This makes plenty of sense, since it is targeted to a specific audience as a package that will ultimately include everything one needs to produce top quality scores with industry leading playback interpretation right out of the box.

Playback interpretation for Dorico will improve by leaps and bounds in the future. It shouldn't be long before Dorico has most of the VST/MIDI controller event automation abilities we currently get in CuBase in the Play tab mode for people who prefer to work this way over using expression maps. It should not be long before Dorico supports the same expression maps, with exclusion groups, and the ability to make custom techniques for scores. Some degree of remote control for VST Automation is certainly possible for Dorico in future versions as well. It has the audio engine under the hood, already, to do pretty much anything CuBase can do. The Dorico team simply needs the time and resources to decide how best to incorporate things into the work flow, and design the UI and implementation standards for features already supported by the underlying DAW engine that they wish to implement. All that takes research and time, and chances are very good that Dorico started development with sets of standards and a road map that should some day make integration with CuBase/Nuendo not only possible, but fairly simple (compared to the very difficult work they have already accomplished, and yet ahead of them specific to the Notation and engraving).

So Cubase calls things in its worklfow "tracks, parts, channels, and events", and Dorico calls them "flows, parts, instruments/players, and notes". To the 'machine' it is all the same stuff...MIDI and other data in VST containers. At the end of the day, there is no reason I know of that CuBase cannot create a 'folder' with the same name as a Dorico "Layout", and pull all the "Instruments" into subfolders, and "players" onto "tracks". and then access the Dorico compiled modules to throw up windows/editors/or processes called for by CuBase to work with them when required.

Of course I cannot say for certain that Dorico follows all the rules to be modularized into the CuBase UI as a new set of seamless 'editor options', but I strongly suspect that they will probably do their best to try keeping things in exiting *Steinberg* schema/standards/protocols. The same goes for the CuBase side of things. If the Dorico team communicates that something they need is 'missing from the DAW engine', there is no reason they can't create a set of rules and standards that they will need future versions of the CuBendo and HALion engine to conform with.

Determining all this requires loads of meetings and strategy sessions. It'll take some time, but I think we'll see a fair amount of progress each year. Once Dorico is solid and a bit more mature as a stand alone application (the team does have a dedication to Notation and Engraving first and foremost) I figure playback and DAW integration features will start coming about fairly rapidly. We just need to let Dorico get his skeleton firmly in place...then we'll start to see all sorts of options for his 'skin'.

Will Steinberg ever release a version of CuBase and Dorico that is 'integrated'? Who knows...but in theory it seems highly possible for them to do it at some point if they so choose.

Personally, I envision CuBase more or less keeping the editors it already has in place, but simply adding the Dorico 'engrave mode'. I suppose they could also add the Setup, Write, and Play tabs as editors in CuBase as well, but that will be rather redundant and increase the the resources demanded to do score editing in CuBase.

As for document interchange....I honestly don't see any good reason from a purely technical perspective why scripts or compiled modules can't be integrated into CuBase to directly import a dorico document with as close to a 1 to 1 import for CuBase's existing score module as possible. It won't be 'the same' in terms of formatting and engraving/printing, but much of the information (notes, symbols, rests, articulations,etc ) could be preserved and imported, as well as the setting up of virtual instruments and effect chains.
Last edited by Brian Roland on Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What's wrong in the world of notation softwares ?

Post by -steve- » Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:04 pm

I'm not seeing many reasons why at some point Dorico's editor modules and score events cannot be integrated into CuBase.
How could you possibly see any reasons at all, if you don't work on the dev team?
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Re: What's wrong in the world of notation softwares ?

Post by Brian Roland » Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:13 pm

-steve- wrote:
Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:04 pm
I'm not seeing many reasons why at some point Dorico's editor modules and score events cannot be integrated into CuBase.
How could you possibly see any reasons at all, if you don't work on the dev team?
Look, there may be some minor technical set-backs, or even valid 'business/marketing' reasons NOT to integrate the apps.......maybe even 'visionary reasons' that'll be better than anything we users are currently anticipating....but the core audio engine of Dorico and CuBase is essentially the same. VST is VST. MIDI is MIDI. A dll module is a dll module. Unless they are going out of their way NOT to make the apps compatible, it should be very doable.

Since it is all based on the same sequencer and playback engine.......it stands to reason that the modules of all Steinberg products built around this engine are somewhat compatible and interchangeable. A hosting UI could call up any portion of any of the *Steinberg* suite of applications it wants, and let them all have access to the same data-pool, as well as pipe commands and such between the hosted apps. I could be wrong, but I kind of doubt the Dorico team started from the ground up, and totally redid aspects of the CuBendo audio engine. I could be wrong, but I also doubt they went out of their way to buck any standards already in play for maintaining full compatibility with any existing development standards for that audio engine.
Last edited by Brian Roland on Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:25 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: What's wrong in the world of notation softwares ?

Post by LSalgueiro » Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:23 pm

FlowerPower wrote:
Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:27 pm
"any type of blanket solution really worries me"
Not sure what you mean by that, but here's a typical scenario:
Music starts with ideas, inspiration, composition. So I start fumbling around with an idea for strings. In order to make things sound right (I've never relied on the internal string sounds in score apps) one needs to deal with articulation changes, or at least automation of dynamics (and vibrato changes) - other wise it wouldn't sound like strings. This is probably best done in programs like Cubase and Logic, bu neither of them have a score editor that has been developed actively enough for this kind of work. So after some ideas have been recorded or note has been entered, one by one, in Dorico - the editing process starts. If I want to switch back and forth between chords, Sibelius us the best solution, and the same goes for dealing with several user ideas inside the same project. But Dorico looks better, Steinberg is dedicated to keep developing D., so it's more tempting to use D. But at some point, I'll go back to the typical kind if editing which Cubase and Logic (etc is good at). Sio I need to export the material into a DAW again - and since I also prefer to record things in real time, and D. can't do that yet, it's tempting to leave D. for a while. but back in my DAW, the score will look different - and while piano roll editing can be good for certain kinds of editing, notation is, after all, the alphabet we have in the music world. Also - Logic has Articulation IDs, which will be brilliant if they are going to be developed further, Cubase is more mature in terms of Expression Maps and also has Freeze and Unload Samples which works with the Kontakt libraries I have. So while developing this idea, I can't really rely of on of this apps. And not only that, but I simply can't understand why someone would *want* do rely on two or more apps for something which should be doable in one. Why would would I *not* want better "DAW functions" (of the types I described and more) in Dorico? And why would any Cubase or Logic user not have a score module which behaves as if it simply was the DAW's own, built in score editor - without any need to export/import files?

I'm in the slow process of learning Cubase, and I don't know how usable the score editor is, but hadn't it been for Apple's extreme lack of interest in developing the stuff I mention (notation, composing features of the kind we find in Sibelius, better articulation control and a proper/mature way of dealing with automation of Kontakt parameters), Logic would have been quite close to the kind of app I'm talking about. But that never seems to happen, since all these areas have been ignored for years. So I'm more optimistic about Dorico's future, and a possible merge or very tight integration between Cubase and Dorico. But I fear the 'oldfashionness' of it all, the too many old-ish men like myself have been used to a cumbersome workflow for so long time that they don't even see that all this could have been much easier, with a one-app-approach (or totally transparent integration).

OTOH, if engraving and good looking score is pretty much is the important focus, many will become happy with Dorico. But I don't think Steinberg - having put all this effort into making a new, note based program - can *afford* not to acknowledge the fact that 'hybrid' users like myself represent a much, much larger market than the engraver market. So I'm... kind of optimistic about all this. Ish. :-)
Oh boy… See what I mean?

In order to make the thing sound right, you don't need to "deal with articulation changes": you need to have a solid understanding of orchestration and just write the thing!

If you're writing exclusively for a synthesized performance, you certainly need a score insofar as you need symbolic notation to manipulate, but not a score in the traditional sense. We've known since the very beginning of jotting down things what the limitations of a score were. You're essentially complaining that a score won't hold precisely the type of information that we've always known would go beyond the scope of notation, whereas the specific tools you need for that task are the very essence of a digital audio workstation.

And if you're not writing for a synthesized performance but for musicians, even if you do need to synthesize the performance with any kind of detail, the score takes precedence, and you'd be better off taking it to the DAW after the score is done.

Do you demand as much from notation software as an engraver? Do you demand as much from a DAW as an audio engineer? Your solution, no matter how convenient to you, seems to bog down the features of both types of software. That's what worries me.

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Re: What's wrong in the world of notation softwares ?

Post by PaulWalmsley » Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:29 pm

The model of music notation in Dorico is *completely* different to the data model in Cubase and the audio engine. There is a many-to-many mapping between a notated note and a played-back note, and maintaining that relationship so that you can perfect round-tripping between Dorico and Cubase is *incredibly* difficult. And it probably isn't what most users actually want. There are about 10 phases of processing in Dorico that are required to turn a note in the score into the (possibly) multiple events required to play it.

We anticipate that integration between Dorico and Cubase will improve over time, however we don't know yet exactly what form that will take.
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Re: What's wrong in the world of notation softwares ?

Post by -steve- » Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:39 pm

Brian Roland wrote:
Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:13 pm
.but the core audio engine of Dorico and CuBase is essentially the same. VST is VST. MIDI is MIDI. A dll module is a dll module. Unless they are going out of their way NOT to make the apps compatible, it should be very doable.
PaulWalmsley wrote:
Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:29 pm
The model of music notation in Dorico is *completely* different to the data model in Cubase and the audio engine.
Please- to those who have insisted on ignoring the dev teams clear discussion regarding this in the blog and here in the forum. Take this post of Paul's to be authoritative. You can spell the product name as you wish, but that doesn't change the actual spelling ;) , if you know what I mean. :P
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Re: What's wrong in the world of notation softwares ?

Post by Brian Roland » Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:42 pm

PaulWalmsley wrote:
Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:29 pm
The model of music notation in Dorico is *completely* different to the data model in Cubase and the audio engine. There is a many-to-many mapping between a notated note and a played-back note, and maintaining that relationship so that you can perfect round-tripping between Dorico and Cubase is *incredibly* difficult. And it probably isn't what most users actually want. There are about 10 phases of processing in Dorico that are required to turn a note in the score into the (possibly) multiple events required to play it.

We anticipate that integration between Dorico and Cubase will improve over time, however we don't know yet exactly what form that will take.
I see.

More or less what I had in mind is that Cubase incorporates Dorico flows (even if it's from Dorico's own code base, but simply shows it visually in the normal CuBase way in the main overview). If you call up a 'Dorico Editor" it's actually calling up Dorico modules to work with compatible 'tracks'. Performance data could optionally be extracted to pure MIDI tracks and the like if desired.

CuBase itself wouldn't be responsible for displaying or manipulating anything in a Dorico track. Dorico itself would do that........meanwhile Cubase would ignore anything but the pure playback properties of the Dorico track (or extracted performance tracks).

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Re: What's wrong in the world of notation softwares ?

Post by andgle » Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:51 pm

Brian Roland wrote:
Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:42 pm

More or less what I had in mind is that Cubase incorporates Dorico flows (even if it's from Dorico's own code base, but simply shows it visually in the normal CuBase way in the main overview). If you call up a 'Dorico Editor" it's actually calling up Dorico modules to work with compatible 'tracks'. Performance data could optionally be extracted to pure MIDI tracks and the like if desired.

CuBase itself wouldn't be responsible for displaying or manipulating anything in a Dorico track. Dorico itself would do that........meanwhile Cubase would ignore anything but the pure playback properties of the Dorico track (or extracted performance tracks).
Seems to me that the only thing you would gain from this versus some sort of "Rewire 2" is a pricetag that I think neither Dorico or Cubase users would be particularly happy about.
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Re: What's wrong in the world of notation softwares ?

Post by FlowerPower » Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:58 pm

Rob Tuley wrote:
Tue Jul 18, 2017 2:26 am
Sorry, FlowerPower, but I'm not too good at mind reading. If you write "a DAW with a 100% pro score editor" I can only assume that's what you meant.
Semantics... :-) All I mean is that we don't need to think of it has a DAW with a pro score editor, or as two different things... after all, the difference between the current DAWs with score editors (Cubase, Logic and others) is that the score editors in dedicated score editors are better. And the difference between Dorico and a DAW is that it has a better score editor + lacks audio and video tracks (with the extra tools and functionality that demands).

Besides, many have asked for the ability to have multiple video tracks in DAWs, to have audio tracks in Dorico etc. For a number of reasons that would be a good idea. Think of composing to a movie track, for instance.

So the bottom line may be: does Steinberg (and the others) really want to keep developing two or three apps, each with unique code, different key command sets, file formats and all that - if it's possible to simply sell one product? That one product would need to run audio, video and MIDI tracks, and when being on a MIDI track, one should be able to select either piano roll or score editing (or a combination, actually) - but the score editor would be developed by the Dorico team with the same intensity it is being developed now.

Imagine that some company, secretly, has worked on a such a product for 6-7 years already. They release it this year, and it does all these things (for those who pay the full price). It would allow you to do exactly what you can do in D, but add audio tracks, a video track or two if needed, you wouldn't any longer need to maintain (and learn) two or three apps, but could learn one app, one set of key commands, one "user interface philosophy", and apply that knowledge experience across your various needs... audio editing, MIDI composing, high end notation. You could see the movie you compose music to in there as well. If that product suddenly is released, and it is done well, I'm sure lots of us would be interested in investing time in learning it. I'm also pretty convinced that the other DAW (and score editor) developers who have been stuck in the idea of having two or three different apps as the optimum solution would have a really hard time catching up with the product.

Regarding why I think Sibelius is better for composing, Rob, I believe I have written something about that earlier (some important key commands are missing in D (especially for composing piano music), an Idea Hub for user ideas is missing in D, and some other stuff). More about that later if you are interested.

Back to the original question about what's wrong with the world of notation software... in addition to the baked in limitation (the fact it's only notation software), and related to what DT-Sodium started this thread with:
I think a main part of the problem (or "problem"), is that both developers, product designers and users are thinking along the lines of what we have seen already. We look at one product, or product type - and try to make (or ask for) something a la that product, only better. But personally, I'm not even sure we'll have "programs", as we know them today, in a couple of decades. Maybe we'll just have functions, and that the OS itself takes care of the various... wait, that'll be too complicated to explain in this thread. But in short, we may in the future simply be able to start anything we want to create with one blank page, and add a text block there if we want text, a video track there if we want video, and audio tracks, notation and so on... all with one, single modular concept. One could write a book, educational material, write a symphony or a dubstep album with msuic video all within one single concept.

And - a reason, DT Sodium, that Dorico has manual VST2 activation, no possibility to add correctly formatted drum parts, and that D. may be especially good at dealing with classical music while other apps are particularly good at dealing with everything but classical music... may be exactly due to the topic some of us are talking about: that there are several teams working on isolated products, and that this means a lot of extra work.

But If Steinberg had merged the Cubase and Nuendo teams a few years ago and hired 12 (?) people for four years to make better notation tracks for that merged product, Steinberg would have maybe been close to that universal product already. That would mean only one set of code for expression maps to maintain, only one automation engine, only one score editor, and nobody would miss the ability to add audio tracks or a movie track in Dorico, because Dorico would exist only as score tracks in Cubendo, which already has audio tracks. So the two topics we have discussed here actually are connected somehow. Not bad. :-)

I miss Cubase and Logic functionality in Dorico, and miss Dorico/Sibelius functionality in Logic - and so on. Still, while Logic may be the product that's closest to become a modern all-in-one app at some point, Steinberg is the company that most likely to have the right people to do it, due it it's focus on notation, expression maps, freeze-and-unload-samples, VST/Note Expression, chord inversion (and drop), better Kontakt automation and so on. Someone would have to kidnap them all and lock them into one building and work one the same product for some years if these dreams should come true. :-)
Last edited by FlowerPower on Tue Jul 18, 2017 5:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What's wrong in the world of notation softwares ?

Post by Brian Roland » Tue Jul 18, 2017 5:10 pm

-steve- wrote:
Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:39 pm
Brian Roland wrote:
Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:13 pm
.but the core audio engine of Dorico and CuBase is essentially the same. VST is VST. MIDI is MIDI. A dll module is a dll module. Unless they are going out of their way NOT to make the apps compatible, it should be very doable.
PaulWalmsley wrote:
Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:29 pm
The model of music notation in Dorico is *completely* different to the data model in Cubase and the audio engine.
Please- to those who have insisted on ignoring the dev teams clear discussion regarding this in the blog and here in the forum. Take this post of Paul's to be authoritative. You can spell the product name as you wish, but that doesn't change the actual spelling ;) , if you know what I mean. :P
For those who are 'not forum moderators' ignoring and openly trying to shut down conversation on everything optimistically discussing the VST3 protocol and what it stands for, the long touted virtues of modular software development, inter-hosting capabilities of multiple modern apps, etc.....the very things that sold many of us on Steinberg products in the first place, people like me are not 'ignoring' the blogs and discussions.

We are simply throwing thoughts out there, into the 'discussion' just in case some of the Developers see it and get some ideas from it. They can agree or shake their heads in disbelief all they want in their private spaces and meetings. They can ignore it all, or jot it down in their little note books. That is their personal call. So, what is the harm of 'discussing' it?

No one is saying it's 'definitely going to happen'. If it does happen, no one is saying it will happen quickly. All I am saying is that two teams in the same company should be able to do it if they are communicating and establishing the protocols and standards needed during the development process.

If it is true (as is being suggested here) that this is not the case........well, I'm thinking about the O ring in the solid rocket booster of Space Shuttle Challenger. Or the air scrubbers on Apollo 13. OK, it's just software...nothing so catastrophic......but there will probably be some sort of price to pay at some point in the future. At what point does Dorico fork off with its own branch of audio engine code that heads off in a totally new direction? Does it lag behind or jump ahead? Do all these branches of code 'inter-compete'? If they do eventually end up with significantly different branches, what happens when CuBendo is ready to push VST4 (or whatever), and Dorico is still stuck in VST3 land?

The fact still remains that CuBase is supposed to be a very modular system, that we're led to believe is capable of integrating new types of data tracks, and calling all sorts of editors and interfaces to interact with those tracks. Of course there are rules, standards, and protocols to follow to make it happen. If something is missing from the CuBase side to make it possible......send them the information so they can build the pipelines necessary.........etc.

I suspect this sort of communication between the Steinberg teams is happening, but if I'm told otherwise, oh well...I'll be wrong (and a bit discouraged, and maybe even slightly more sympathetic to AVID, who I really don't like much after the way they treated their Sibelius people....but if all this is true, and this is the sort of thinking going on....maybe AVID had a valid point?).
Last edited by Brian Roland on Tue Jul 18, 2017 5:49 pm, edited 8 times in total.

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Re: What's wrong in the world of notation softwares ?

Post by robjohn9999 » Tue Jul 18, 2017 5:15 pm

I personally love your thinking, FlowerPower, especially as a composer myself who routinely does extensive mockups in Logic for clients but then ultimately has to go through the painstaking and absurdly antiquated step of exporting as MIDI into (currently) Sibelius to produce a proper score for others to subsequently play. What you described, to me, is truly the "holy grail" of DAW/notation integration - this is one of the reasons that I became obsessed, for a time, with Overture, which was clearly attempting to do that even many years ago (although they never produced a suitably robust notation engine). It always seemed like a no-brainer to me that in Overture, for example, you could press a button and immediately see piano roll notation superimposed on the existing notation, with midi controller editing lanes visible below and full plug-in integration, with your score's playback based upon all this data versus a much less exact interpretation of dynamics symbols, etc. One can still hope (and Dorico is at least slowly on a road towards this path, it appears, even though I'm not as confident about the extent of DAW-like editing/playback that will ultimately be allowed)…
- dj

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Re: What's wrong in the world of notation softwares ?

Post by Traubitz » Tue Jul 18, 2017 5:25 pm

I would personally love to feely go back and forth between score and full VSTi mock-up of the music. Admittedly I've been dreaming of that happening for 25 years. Dorico looks like it has the right infrastructure to go further than others on that front, but I would definitely temper my enthusiasm by the knowledge that Notation is a small market with small development teams and I suspect that there are a lot of priorities on the plate to keep the the current development team rather busy for quite a while. (It certainly can't hurt to dream of two-bridge with Cubase or even an all-in-one solution, though. :D)

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Re: What's wrong in the world of notation softwares ?

Post by Brian Roland » Tue Jul 18, 2017 5:44 pm

andgle wrote:
Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:51 pm
Brian Roland wrote:
Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:42 pm

More or less what I had in mind is that Cubase incorporates Dorico flows (even if it's from Dorico's own code base, but simply shows it visually in the normal CuBase way in the main overview). If you call up a 'Dorico Editor" it's actually calling up Dorico modules to work with compatible 'tracks'. Performance data could optionally be extracted to pure MIDI tracks and the like if desired.

CuBase itself wouldn't be responsible for displaying or manipulating anything in a Dorico track. Dorico itself would do that........meanwhile Cubase would ignore anything but the pure playback properties of the Dorico track (or extracted performance tracks).
Seems to me that the only thing you would gain from this versus some sort of "Rewire 2" is a pricetag that I think neither Dorico or Cubase users would be particularly happy about.
No, you'd gain actual integrated Dorico editors, as well as the ability to manipulate the performance data independently of the score data. It could effectively extract a performance stream into a performance track and keep that independent of what is displayed via notation if desired/needed, but otherwise it'd play it back exactly as entered in Dorico.

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Re: What's wrong in the world of notation softwares ?

Post by Rob Tuley » Tue Jul 18, 2017 5:55 pm

FlowerPower wrote:
Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:27 pm
Not sure what you mean by that, but here's a typical scenario:
Music starts with ideas, inspiration, composition. So I start fumbling around with an idea for strings. ... So after some ideas have been recorded or note has been entered, one by one, ... So I need to export the material into a DAW again ... So while developing this idea, I can't really rely of on of this apps. ...
Sometimes (not very often!) I feel sad at being old.

Not because of any problems it causes ME, but because of how much more recent generations have never learned to do without continually relying on crutches like computer software.

Sure, I create music pretty much the same way as FlowerPower described. But I can do most of what he said anywhere, anytime - and while doing something else at the same time, like driving a car. That's because I do it pretty much the same way as every musician did it for centuries when there were no other options - IN MY HEAD.

Writing down the end result is just "the easy bit at the end of the process!"

Would anybody seriously argue that someone like Bach would have written either more music, or better music, if he hadn't been limited by the technology of quill pen, ink pot, and paper? We know Mozart used to compose while travelling on the public transport of his day (i.e. stage coach, over roads too bumpy to permit writing while traveling) because he said so in his letters...

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Re: What's wrong in the world of notation softwares ?

Post by FlowerPower » Tue Jul 18, 2017 6:19 pm

Rob Tuley wrote:
Tue Jul 18, 2017 5:55 pm


Sometimes (not very often!) I feel sad at being old.

Not because of any problems it causes ME, but because of how much more recent generations have never learned to do without continually relying on crutches like computer software.
If the younger generations missed learning to do things without computers, but your and mine generation learned it (I'm born in the 1950s) learned that, we should be happy being old, shouldn't we? :-)

And regarding writing down the end result being the easy bit at the end... yes and no. I work both ways. I can compose in my head and certainly without software or a DAW. But I don't mainly see sample libraries and good software as a poor substitute for being Bach or Mahler with an orchestra at hand, but as a different way of making music. And *when* we use the computer method, it should IMO behave in an as transparent manner as possible.

It should be easy to forget the method and focus on the actual music. And with 10 steps needed only to reassign a key command and other limitations (all programs have such cumbersome areas), it's often easy to forget the music, let alone inspiration, and focus on the tools we need instead.

"In order to make the thing sound right, you don't need to "deal with articulation changes": you need to have a solid understanding of orchestration and just write the thing!"
But when we deal with sample libraries - and many of us do - we deal with articulations. I actually like that I can use current libraries in the process of figuring out how things will sound before it turns into notation. In the midst of that process, many of switch back and forth between composing, notation, editing, automation, articulation changes, storing ideas etc - many times.

Some good players don't even need to compose - they can improvise really well in many styles. I've heard Jarrett create 'Bach pieces' on the fly, live, and it's quite impressive. But that doesn't mean that I want to forget the process of composing, or that when composing, I don't need to deal with articulation changes. ;-)

Hearing a relatively good version of what I'm about to create actually influences what I'll create in the next bar. That's why some of us have spent a small fortune on libraries from Spitfire, Orchestral Tools etc, it's not because we don't want to record our music with real orchestras - right?

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Re: What's wrong in the world of notation softwares ?

Post by Brian Roland » Tue Jul 18, 2017 6:39 pm

Rob Tuley wrote:
Tue Jul 18, 2017 5:55 pm
FlowerPower wrote:
Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:27 pm
Not sure what you mean by that, but here's a typical scenario:
Music starts with ideas, inspiration, composition. So I start fumbling around with an idea for strings. ... So after some ideas have been recorded or note has been entered, one by one, ... So I need to export the material into a DAW again ... So while developing this idea, I can't really rely of on of this apps. ...
Sometimes (not very often!) I feel sad at being old.

Not because of any problems it causes ME, but because of how much more recent generations have never learned to do without continually relying on crutches like computer software.
Newer generations don't have a choice. Our 'crutches' to include REAL PEOPLE in the process have been decimated by the slash and burn, high and mighty, snob infested, hazing tactics of our predecessors.

Try to build a real 200 piece marching band, or a local Suzuki String program in 2017 (every accomplished Conservatory performance graduate started somewhere). The resources, support and training from our academic and religious institutions, and the disciplinary and administrative clout to pull it all together has been all but decimated. No one led the way to preserve the system or enhance it, and did everything in their power to push any 'trouble makers' out of the industry. The few brave men and women I remember standing up in all the 'associations and union meetings' in the 70s and 80s who were voicing concerns or 'rocking the boat' towards meeting some of the on coming industry challenges head on were flat out black-balled and forced to find other occupations.

You can't even get a decent modern brass instrument (beginner, intermediate, nor professional, yet still costing into the thousands of dollars per unit after the families finance them) that doesn't fall apart within 2 years (with no way to fix it due to all the new electro-bonding processes involved). Even so....we're sending kids home with bills at over $75 a pop to put on a stinking water key, or replace junk pads that fall out a week later. Families are trying to pay for this on nutty high interest revolving credit schemes (when music companies used to simply finance in house for a small interest fee...and they had a good safety net for families that did not pay as well...thus not taking it out on 'poor kids'). "Do the repairs yourself" the old heads say.....but the truth is, you can't anymore....none of it really works the way it did 30 or 40 years ago....the materials and methods available have changed that much. Plus...one needs time to actually TEACH and PERFORM music at some point.

You can't ask parents to help raise funds anymore, and you can't ask a kid to practice and give an honest assessment without possibly getting sued into oblivion. You can't do instrument inspections, or enforce any kind of maintenance regiment (even if YOU offer to pay for it out of your own pocket, it's offensive, and a possible law suit waiting to happen).

You can't find anyone that will come tune a piano anymore. The few that try are clueless and end up making it WORSE. Try to find a school to learn how to do it properly, and they'll take your money for a while, then HAZE you out in less than 6 months with a bunch of social/fraternal nonsense that has nothing to do with maintaining musical instruments. So yeah, the churches are putting out beautiful and massive pipe organs on the curb for disposal, and moving in Digital pianos and wiz bang multi-media karaoke systems. Not so much because they 'desire this', but because they don't have many options anymore. Even if they are fortunate enough to find someone that can (or want to learn) how to play the old organ.........getting someone to fly in from 20 states away to maintain it is no longer practical (provided you can even find someone that can/will still do it).

Believe me....'my generation' tried with everything we had to be loyal, and devoted to our mentors and their guilds. We begged to keep our local instrument makers and service companies going strong, and locally financed, but the advice from YOUR GENERATION was to 'keep your mouth shut and keep your band hall clean. These things are NOT your problem." Then ya'll retired with tri-state trifectas for pensions and benefits, and never looked back. We practically WORSHIPED our mentors....and tolerated endless HAZING B.S. rituals that wasted YEARS of our lives, while our 'peers' were out there 'mixing and mingling with people from different lifestyles and ambitions', 'establishing a wide variety of connections', 'having a personal life', 'starting and maintaining successful families', and even making millions to put together simple 4 track 'pop tunes'. We 'kept our band halls clean' as directed....and THIS is what we've inherited. The good, the bad, and the ugly.

As for buying 'stock arrangements' from the publishing houses.....well, in 2017 it's notoriously difficult to build an ensemble that actually fits the ideal model. One ends up having to rearrange stuff to fit whatever odd-ball instrumentation you can manage to cobble together out of a rapidly changing community. We can have as many as 9 different pedagogical ability levels in the same ensemble to account for...so a good 60% of the time we end up having to re-arrange everything anyway...thus the growing popularity for Scoring software and some sort of personal or portable PC. We need custom arrangements on a daily basis, but we do NOT have time to sit down and hand write all fifty-some odd parts, in all the clefs and transpositions we need (which literally can change from day to day, week to week, as players come and go on about their lives). We can no longer ask for 'volunteers' to do it...be they students, parents, or paraprofessional community members (school rules often strictly forbid it). Even if we had a budget for it, we can't wait around to hire a 'professional arranger' to do this either....so we plug along and do our best (and yes, the quality of our arrangements suffer these days for it, but we have to put it on the field 'yesterday', then trash bin it, and start the whole process over again).

We know our theory, pedagogy and learning theory, and we know many of the old rules, methodologies, and processes for building fine performers and ensembles. To this day, a good ole Rubank or Arban book is golden, but we don't get a schedule or a pedagogically leveled group of students that those methods will work in anymore. We could do it if we had the OLD 'people' systems in place....but all those systems and support groups are long gone, and attempting to rebuild them is pretty much professional suicide among modern school districts...so please keep all this in mind. As things currently stand, we often pretty much have to create our own daily methods exorcises from scratch (constrictivists call it differentiating instructional methods for learning styles and group composition). We don't have much choice.....to keep our jobs we must turn in daily lesson plans linked to individual IEP paperwork for each student....and on and on.

Our school districts are all into 'constructive' learning theory these days. Situated cognition, and the sorts of methodically structured pedagogy prevalent in the world's finest methodologies for developing individual performing musicians is not only frowned upon by Curriculum designers, but nearly impossible to cobble together with the modern schedule blocks that Music Teachers have to work in these days. Where we once got the 'same group of students' every day for a solid hour a day......these day's we are LUCKY if we can get a 'different group' together for a solid 30 minutes at one time. So you might get 11 kinds of some weird assortment (varying grade levels and instruments) for 20 minutes on Monday, a different set for 70 minutes on Tuesday, etc...then be expected to cobble all that together for some sort of high profile public performance by Friday. And there you are with 'beginners' all mixed in with 'grade 5 performers' on the same stage...who've not really had any opportunity to 'rehearse' together. So yeah....we cheat........and the overall performance quality is rather poor...we don't have much choice though. It is the plate we have to work with, and without modern technologies (I.E. asking kids if they'll practice a part by rote and record it, then submit that for some sort of assessment/grade/reward....after all, we can no longer arrange any 'private instruction' outside of the 'school day' when the 'buses are running'). Without our computers and other technologies, we'd most definitely be dead in the water in trying to keep up with all this modern 'constructive learning theory' that is all the global craze these days (not by our choice....if we take the gig, it's what we have to work in).

In Nineteen Seventy weird, your typical school music program for a student body of 500 kids to build a talent pool from had 6 to 8 people on music staff. If you wanted to keep oboes and bassoons in inventory, and develop people to play them...you could do so. It's not that simple anymore though. There is no money for a bassoon, which cost as much as a small fleet of beginner line trumpets. These days we are lucky to get ONE quazi certified teacher for EVERYTHING music on campus, who is expected to do Instrumental, Vocal, and General Music for all grades K-12. They demand we field up to 6 performance groups open to public scrutiny in any given month, incorporating all kinds of dance and movement drills, full uniforms, etc...with zero budget, and all that is expected with less than 90 minutes rehersal time per week (all scattered minutes, mostly spent setting up and breaking down in a 'temporary' classroom at that).

So...forgive us if we find 20 minutes and a set of technologies to sketch out and communicate ideas. It's not our fault the unions have died (and we were never 'good enough' to join them anyway), and getting a group of studio musicians together is not only extremely difficult, but far more expensive than quite an elaborate home studio. It's not our fault that universities and conservatories no longer graduate enough specialists in various instrument families to set up studios for private lessons in every decent sized town anymore (or that we might be sued for even thinking about referring a kid to a private instructor). It's not our fault that a kid right out of college, will be expected to lead two choirs, 4 bands, and teach 12 general music classes in a single day can't develop oboe and basson players for 'traditional' wind band stock arrangements (that are ironically still on required lists for program evaluations). It's not our fault that budgets are not provided, and that arranging various booster or sponsorship organizations is now a taboo (considered unethical) practice.

Forgive us that our 'peers' that we might attempt to organize into reading and session groups, who majored in some instrument 20 years ago hasn't had time to pick one up and PLAY in more than 20 years....because he's got a family, and a life, and is always slogging popcorn and cokes in some two bit concession stand to help pay for that $6,000 community tuba and twelve $200 mouth pieces that'll be shared among a dozen kids.

Enjoy the 'superior generation' complex, but in all honesty, you didn't leave much of a legacy to keep us on your dream path for the way music 'should be done' throughout the ages. What we have, is what we have. We do the best with it that we can.

"My Generation" was set up for a 'stuck in the middle of at least 3 inflexible and incompatible paradigms' failure. People still demand a band that can rip an ASCAP Published John Phillip Sousa arrangement as if it were effortless, while marching an elaborate field show........but they want it with no talent building system at the primary school levels, and with less than 2 hours per week of rehearsal time, on a zero dollar budget. from a single Music Instructor. When the 2017 band is a joke musically compared to the 1950s band....the end conclusion is that modern Band Directors are 'lazy and incompetent' individuals who cannot do anything without a 'crutch' like a PC.

Heh......I'd love to direct a 1950s band or orchestral program. I know for a fact it was not 'easy'.......in contrast it was damn hard work to keep so many people cooperating and in line....but it was very DIFFERENT times, and SOCIETY was very different too. Those old conductors and teachers certainly had their 'crutches' as well. You could discipline people, and you could set up social support and reward systems. Your code of accepted work and social ethics from which to work with PEOPLE was a very different ball game. People wanted the musical models, and believed in the people systems necessary to achieve and maintain them. While it's not 'impossible' to do in larger cities these days.....it is very difficult......legally, ethically, and financially. Get out into smaller cities and more rural areas, and you're definitely on your own...your DAW and folks creating it is going to be one of your best allies at nearly every stage in music-craft and performance.
Last edited by Brian Roland on Tue Jul 18, 2017 10:08 pm, edited 32 times in total.

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Re: What's wrong in the world of notation softwares ?

Post by LSalgueiro » Tue Jul 18, 2017 6:56 pm

FlowerPower wrote:
Tue Jul 18, 2017 6:19 pm
"In order to make the thing sound right, you don't need to "deal with articulation changes": you need to have a solid understanding of orchestration and just write the thing!"
But when we deal with sample libraries - and many of us do - we deal with articulations. I actually like that I can use current libraries in the process of figuring out how things will sound before it turns into notation. In the midst of that process, many of switch back and forth between composing, notation, editing, automation, articulation changes, storing ideas etc - many times.
Hey, I don't write music for media (let's call it that), where the use of sample libraries is most common, I'd say, but I do write electronic and mixed music, where the feedback process you describe is even more intense. Again, unless you're writing for a synthesized performance, sample libraries — while useful pedagogical tools — are a crutch. As with crutches, they are absolutely vital when you can't be on your feet (when you're learning or experimenting, in this case) and not using one can in fact impede your development. But when there's nothing keeping you, they are not beneficial. Unless the material is so far out as to absolutely kill the internal ear of 99% of composers, tinkering with sample libraries is far removed an activity from composing. And, like walking with a crutch when you don't need one, it'll slow you down.
FlowerPower wrote:
Tue Jul 18, 2017 6:19 pm
Some good players don't even need to compose - they can improvise really well in many styles. I've heard Jarrett create 'Bach pieces' on the fly, live, and it's quite impressive. But that doesn't mean that I want to forget the process of composing, or that when composing, I don't need to deal with articulation changes. ;-)
That really doesn't work as an analogy, the first reason why is that improvising is the (virtuosic) manipulation of an interface in real time, whereas composing or even working in a score mockup take place outside time. In fact, I find it more defensible to say that one should practice engaging keyswitches during performance than saying that you have to deal with articulation changes to be able to compose at a computer.
FlowerPower wrote:
Tue Jul 18, 2017 6:19 pm
Hearing a relatively good version of what I'm about to create actually influences what I'll create in the next bar. That's why some of us have spent a small fortune on libraries from Spitfire, Orchestral Tools etc, it's not because we don't want to record our music with real orchestras - right?
I should steer clear off replying to this, but here goes: small fortunes are spent on libraries because a whole lot of music today is not to be performed by live musicians at all, either because there is no budget (indie productions and the sort) or because, say, the jingle, while important, won't be the most important aspect of a commercial. And because, let's be honest, it's not because we don't want to record our music with a real orchestra, group or musician — it's because most won't have the chance.

To be perfectly clear, this should not be read as a sweeping statement for or against anything. My point is the following, and only the following: extrapolating from a (minor) personal gripe towards the modes of working of not one but several industries cannot and should not be done. The team has consulted — discretely, as they should — with top pros from all kinds of areas in many different points of the development of this wonderful software. That doesn't make it useless to talk here, but hey, they know what they're doing.
Last edited by LSalgueiro on Tue Jul 18, 2017 7:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What's wrong in the world of notation softwares ?

Post by RichardTownsend » Tue Jul 18, 2017 7:21 pm

Brian Roland wrote:
Tue Jul 18, 2017 5:10 pm

I suspect this sort of communication between the Steinberg teams is happening, but if I'm told otherwise, oh well...I'll be wrong (and a bit discouraged, and maybe even slightly more sympathetic to AVID, who I really don't like much after the way they treated their Sibelius people....but if all this is true, and this is the sort of thinking going on....maybe AVID had a valid point?).
Brian, don't be discouraged. I think it was the right decision to let the Dorico architecture be different from the Cubase one. building Dorico must have been architecturally very challenging, and to try to constrain it to the Cubase model might well have made it impossible to build properly. There are many potential models for future integration even given the differences between them. And if I understand Paul correctly, part of the difficulty is unavoidable, i.e. Dorico stores notes, and Cubase stores midi events, and there really is a many-to-many relationship between them.
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