Reaching out to our Finale- (and Sibelius-) using friends.

Discussions about our next-generation scoring application, Dorico.
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dankreider
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Re: Reaching out to our Finale- (and Sibelius-) using friends.

Post by dankreider »

adrien wrote:
Sat Sep 07, 2019 4:13 am
Just to hammer home the point. If I had to send you the MusicXML and you were going to use Dorico to edit it, you'd be royally shafted, you'd have no way to know what should be pizz or arco unless I sent you a PDF as well or something.

And even if I sent you a PDF as well, you'd have to spend a large amount of time making sure you didn't miss any, because you'd need to do that manually.

It's really an unfathomably bad decision to strip these.
You don’t have to give hypotheticals. I import XML almost every day, including string scores that had already been previously bowed. ;) I get it, it’s a bummer.
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Re: Reaching out to our Finale- (and Sibelius-) using friends.

Post by John Ruggero »

When Dorico can do everything I can now do in Finale, as easily, and with better results, I will switch. Unfortunately that is not the case yet. Maybe Dorico 4. Maybe never. Meanwhile, life must go on.

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Re: Reaching out to our Finale- (and Sibelius-) using friends.

Post by cparmerlee »

adrien wrote:
Sat Sep 07, 2019 4:13 am
It's really an unfathomably bad decision to strip these.
Well, to be fair, I doubt it is a case that somebody decided to strip out or ignore those items just to be mean-spirited or proprietary. I think you (and others) have made great points about the difficulty of mapping MusicXML's presume structure to the more abstract (and powerful) structure that Dorico uses. I think you also make a good point that some clever programming could map at least the most common items into a highly usable form as the XML is imported into Dorico.

But that takes time, and therefore resources that must be prioritized.

V1 was about getting a functioning program in place.
V2 was about getting the bare essential that a majority of writers needed.
V3 is about enabling large score, guitar tab and a whole bunch of really useful foundational items that couldn't be tackled earlier.

That leaves some big areas:

More advanced playback (scrubbing mode, observance of rit/fermata, scoops & bends etc.)
Better DAW integration and/or more DAW-like control over the MIDI
Document interoperability (i.e. better MusicXML import/export)
Hand input (draw notes, articulations. dynamics, slurs, on a multi-touch screen, etc.)
OCR (probably outside the scope of Dorico proper, but hopefully some advanced technologies in the future)

... and probably many others. I'm hopeful V3 is not the last release. :)
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Re: Reaching out to our Finale- (and Sibelius-) using friends.

Post by mducharme »

John Ruggero wrote:
Sat Sep 07, 2019 4:27 am
When Dorico can do everything I can now do in Finale, as easily, and with better results, I will switch. Unfortunately that is not the case yet. Maybe Dorico 4. Maybe never. Meanwhile, life must go on.
This is holding it to an impossible standard - have you really worked with Dorico long enough to properly evaluate it as its own entity?

Certainly some functions will be faster in Finale (like the particular fingering things you are doing), but isn't that made up by time savings in other ways? Dorico is not perfect, but if I held off on moving to it because some other notation software X does function Y better, I would never end up moving. Then I would end up spending more time notating a score than otherwise just because of function Y. That would have to be a function I used all the time and was super critical to me for it to be worth it.
Last edited by mducharme on Sat Sep 07, 2019 4:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Reaching out to our Finale- (and Sibelius-) using friends.

Post by cparmerlee »

John Ruggero wrote:
Sat Sep 07, 2019 4:27 am
When Dorico can do everything I can now do in Finale, as easily, and with better results, I will switch. Unfortunately that is not the case yet. Maybe Dorico 4. Maybe never. Meanwhile, life must go on.
Can you share the top 3 things that you find lacking in Dorico compared to what you can do in Finale today?

I'm not trying to be difficult. It is just that my experience is that with 2 months' experience on Dorico 2 I was much more productive on Dorico then I had ever been on Finale. I am just curious what kinds of things you see deficient. These are probably not things I do very much.
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Re: Reaching out to our Finale- (and Sibelius-) using friends.

Post by adrien »

dankreider wrote:
Sat Sep 07, 2019 4:21 am
adrien wrote:
Sat Sep 07, 2019 4:13 am
Just to hammer home the point. If I had to send you the MusicXML and you were going to use Dorico to edit it, you'd be royally shafted, you'd have no way to know what should be pizz or arco unless I sent you a PDF as well or something.

And even if I sent you a PDF as well, you'd have to spend a large amount of time making sure you didn't miss any, because you'd need to do that manually.

It's really an unfathomably bad decision to strip these.
You don’t have to give hypotheticals. I import XML almost every day, including string scores that had already been previously bowed. ;) I get it, it’s a bummer.
Yeah I think bummer is a bit of an understatement. For some people it's a show-stopper. What about a publishing house wanting to move to Dorico, they just couldn't even contemplate trying to transfer their existing catalog via MusicXML given the work that would entail and the errors that would introduce.

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Re: Reaching out to our Finale- (and Sibelius-) using friends.

Post by mducharme »

adrien wrote:
Sat Sep 07, 2019 4:35 am
Yeah I think bummer is a bit of an understatement. For some people it's a show-stopper. What about a publishing house wanting to move to Dorico, they just couldn't even contemplate trying to transfer their existing catalog via MusicXML given the work that would entail and the errors that would introduce.
I honestly don't think that is ever going to be the case that any publishing house will be able to transfer their existing catalogue via MusicXML to another notation software program and have it be readable without a lot of reformatting being done. You're going to have to continue to have a Finale (or Sibelius) team at any publishing house for revisions of an existing score. MusicXML is not going to be enough.

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Re: Reaching out to our Finale- (and Sibelius-) using friends.

Post by robjohn9999 »

I actually thought I’d convinced a prominent Broadway orchestrator to switch to Dorico. I had done the entire piano vocal score in Dorico and had - I mistakenly thought - made a convincing case, since the benefits of Dorico should be obvious to anyone who takes a close look. However, I ultimately was unable to continue the job because - I was told - Broadway is ultimately just such a deeply engrained Finale town, and there was simply no practical way (due to Dorico’s weaker musicXML export functionality currently) to be able to work back and forth with the Finale-based orchestrator going forward. They later, in fact, even went so far as to take the pdf of my entire 350 page piano-vocal score I’d done in Dorico and to re-enter it manually into Finale, just so they could continue with what they were familiar with and - having no practical way to work with them further, I (disappointingly!) couldn’t continue beyond the work already completed.
.

So I’m definitely of the belief that it’s important to ease the transition by having good tools to easily go back and forth - at the least to improve Dorico’s musicXML’s export so it’s at least on parity with its rivals (just as Dorico’s musicXML import already is) - at least until the whole world inevitably makes the switch to Dorico whole cloth :-)...I’ve already been told this is a high priority so fingers crossed, and in the meantime I will continue to encourage others to switch also and to enjoy Dorico’s new and in many cases revolutionary new features.
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Re: Reaching out to our Finale- (and Sibelius-) using friends.

Post by Claude Lapalme »

mducharme wrote:
Sat Sep 07, 2019 2:06 am
I've thought about this and here is the big problem I have noticed. You mention the 'mental transition' and I think this is precisely where the problem is. The people who "give up" immediately say it is because Dorico is unintuitive and too much work to do simple things they could do in their old software. I feel this is often due to not understanding how much their own mental programming is impacting their views. It seems like the brain creates a 'mental map' of certain software - it is almost like it rewires itself and programs itself to work with the software.

...

So, when we switch notation software programs, what happens? Our brain tries to take the 'mental map' it made of the old notation software program and apply it to the new notation program. The result is that the new program feels unintuitive and frustrating simply because it isn't what you are used to.

...

All in all, I think reasonable expectations would help. People who give up on Dorico often expect that they will just need a few hours of experience and they will be off and running, but that just isn't realistic.
A story I often tell - and which I have shared here before - is that my first notation software was Encore (wild eh!). As I started to write more more and decided to balance my life between performing and writing, I realised that Encore would not fit my needs, and I started looking for bigger software; this was in 1999. I downloaded the trial for Sibelius. After two days, I HATED it. I couldn't make heads or tails of it, and kept on looking. A few months later, I tried again. That time, the penny dropped and I fell in love with Sibelius and used it for 18 years, while also preaching the Sibelius gospel.

The reason i find my little story interesting, is that Sibelius was famed for ease of use, and I still couldn't understand how to make it go. Everything takes time. I too find it difficult to go back to Sibelius, which I sometimes used and as xml transfer intermediary from PhotoScore (sometimes it works better that way). So that's one more thing in your arsenal, some folks out there found switching to Sibelius rough-going way back then. I'm sure it' the same with Finale. You gotta invest real time. I didn't "get" Dorico right away either (but I knew early on it was the way to go!)
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Re: Reaching out to our Finale- (and Sibelius-) using friends.

Post by Robert01 »

I use Finale for over 25 years. And for 20 years in my music publisher. In 2016, I bought Dorico 1 because I loved how Steinberg and Spreadbury "had the balls" to defy Sibelius. Dorico 1 completely failed me. So many missing features at this price. I simply need the functions in my publisher. Dorico 2 was already better. And Dorico 3 again. Fine. But .. there is a lot missing and some things I find simply impractical. For example, as # 1: enter a number for the note value and then chord the keyboard. In Finale it's the other way around. Where do I make more mistakes? When chord grab or the selection of the clef. Except pianists.
I use the German version and yes, I bought Dorico 3 as an upgrade. For upgrades of Finale, I can leave the previous version for security still installed and use. Dorico / Steinberg locks this. I use the German version, which is not optimally translated. And technical terms in German and English can be very different. There is neither a German forum nor a German manual at all.
The sound and the Musicxml import Dorico is really good. The export partly bad. I could go on writing here, but some are like believers here. The advertising of Dorico is embarrassing for me. No. 1 as a gold standard already call. And again - the best - the most advanced - well. Can you really compare the progress of Dorico 2 to 3 with Final 25 to 26? That's unfair. It would be better with Finale 2 to 3. At that time.
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Re: Reaching out to our Finale- (and Sibelius-) using friends.

Post by MarcLarcher »

Dear Robert01
For the sake of clarity and accuracy, note that Dorico 2 is still in your computer, totally functional and untouched by the update.
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Re: Reaching out to our Finale- (and Sibelius-) using friends.

Post by pianoleo »

...and that the translated manuals are “tantalisingly close”. With the exception of pitch before duration, what is it that can’t do in Dorico 3 that you’d like to be able to do?
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Re: Reaching out to our Finale- (and Sibelius-) using friends.

Post by lucas_r_r »

I also have had my frustration with Dorico. At first I was amazed and thought of it as a game changer. Then I encountered problems, almost immediately, and my mental map wasn’t ready to change (I still press 3 for an eighth note). When my trial expired, I came back to Sibelius and, oh my dear, that was clunky. After some months, with the second trial, I gave it another go. Slowly I started to gain traction with it and now I really enjoy it while thinking how would I’d have done the same thing in Sibelius. I’m enjoying engraving with Dorico!
What works for me when “preaching” Dorico is actually show it in action. I know “where to touch” when dealing with Sibelius. Sometimes I get a “wow!” and sometimes I get an “I can do that in Sibelius placing a symbol” (e.g. local time signatures.
I’ve had recently a conversation with a renowned composer that was like this:
Him: So you use Dorico? Tell me about it
Me: look how I work with microtones
Him: I’m sold.
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Re: Reaching out to our Finale- (and Sibelius-) using friends.

Post by benwiggy »

mducharme wrote:
Sat Sep 07, 2019 3:28 am
Finale I think is secure for the foreseeable future in terms of its core base - too many publishing companies use it as the standard, too many established composers are so used to it that they wouldn't even consider using anything else. However, given the way things have been, I am expecting Sibelius to be discontinued in ~5 years time. Avid doesn't really seem to care about the pro
There's certainly a lot of inertia in 30 years of legacy documents, and muscle memory. But for commercial publishers, time is money. As a former Finale user, what impressed me most (and what is likely to attract others) is "See how much quicker it is to get the same result (or better)"; and "See all the stuff that Dorico does for you that you no longer have to do."

There are still some areas where Dorico cannot (easily) match Finale: Individual system staff-hiding, for one; and some inflexibility, like compulsory cautionary sigs. Die-hards will point to any of these as a showstopper. But MM's developers can't even keep pace with Dorico, and when they introduce new features, their userbase traditionally doesn't like the change.

Finale will become like SCORE - a declining band of enthusiasts, keeping old hardware to run it on.
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Re: Reaching out to our Finale- (and Sibelius-) using friends.

Post by Romanos401 »

mducharme wrote:
Sat Sep 07, 2019 4:14 am
The Dorico developers should easily be able to program it to interpret certain text indications as playing techniques. So arco and pizz. text being interpreted as techniques properly is entirely doable from a programming perspective.

The only challenge though is if the original file has something else in the same text block as the arco or pizz., for instance "unis., arco" it should split into two playing techniques, unis. and arco. What if one doesn't exist as a playing technique? When do you fall back on system text?

Those challenges can be solved by the programmers (I have no doubt about it) but it just takes time and priority vs. other things.
I wonder, if much like their missing fonts dialogue, there could be a dialogue that allows you to opt to replace text or select a different playing technique if there was any directive dorico couldn’t parse automatically.
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Re: Reaching out to our Finale- (and Sibelius-) using friends.

Post by Romanos401 »

I was a dorico early adopter (gave up on Sibelius as soon as I could since there was no life in it at that time). That said, even though I was Willing & EAGER to learn Dorico, I had a few frustrating moments too.

I distinctly remember working on one document with a bit of a time crunch and spending close to 15 minutes going through all the same menus because I couldn’t for the life of me remember where a setting was that I needed to adjust. Engraving options? Didn’t see it there... I think I went through all the appropriate sub-areas that could have house the feature.... didn’t see it in notation options.... layout options? I don’t see it... where the heck is it?!!? Repeat. By the end I was getting terribly frustrated. All of that said, now that my mental map is clear, I fly through most tasks in a way I never did with Sibelius (or certainly finale before that!). Now that I know the settings I need to adjust the most and where to find them (and their respective key commands) it is a breeze. It just took the effort of plowing ahead through that period of frustration.
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Re: Reaching out to our Finale- (and Sibelius-) using friends.

Post by Rob Tuley »

mducharme wrote:
Sat Sep 07, 2019 4:14 am
The Dorico developers should easily be able to program it to interpret certain text indications as playing techniques.
The trouble with MusicXML is that recognising the words (like pizz or arco) is the trivial bit.

The hard problem is figuring out what they are meant to apply to, because it's perfectly valid for the MusicXML data just to say "write the text 'pizz.' on page 37, 4.93 inches from the top and 2.78 inches from the left margin" completely independent of any instructions to create staves and notes.

It just happens that was the right place to put it, in whatever app created the score, but when Dorico reformats the music, it might not even be on page 37 at all.

In other words, the XML parser really needs a complete copy of all the proprietary code of Finale, Sibelius, and every other app that might have generated MusicXML, just to figure out what it means semantically.

If you are now saying "but that means MusicXML is a pretty poor standard," you are quite right. To be fair, it was a good standard for doing what it was first intended to do (which was reproduce the appearance of a page of sheet music without taking any account of what it meant) - but that's not what people are now trying to use it for.

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Re: Reaching out to our Finale- (and Sibelius-) using friends.

Post by John Ruggero »

mducharme wrote:
Sat Sep 07, 2019 4:31 am
John Ruggero wrote:
Sat Sep 07, 2019 4:27 am
When Dorico can do everything I can now do in Finale, as easily, and with better results, I will switch. Unfortunately that is not the case yet. Maybe Dorico 4. Maybe never. Meanwhile, life must go on.
This is holding it to an impossible standard - have you really worked with Dorico long enough to properly evaluate it as its own entity?

Certainly some functions will be faster in Finale (like the particular fingering things you are doing), but isn't that made up by time savings in other ways? Dorico is not perfect, but if I held off on moving to it because some other notation software X does function Y better, I would never end up moving. Then I would end up spending more time notating a score than otherwise just because of function Y. That would have to be a function I used all the time and was super critical to me for it to be worth it.
I don't understand "impossible standard". Why would anyone move to software that didn't meet their needs? Having planned to purchase Dorico 3, I eagerly checked the Dorico 3 documentation for the missing fingering "function that I use all the time and is supercritical". Not finding it, I asked about it on this forum. A senior member responded that it was not there yet. I still plan to do a Dorico 3 30-day trial (I did one for Dorico 2) to be sure I really can't use Dorico 3.
cparmerlee wrote:
Sat Sep 07, 2019 4:34 am
John Ruggero wrote:
Sat Sep 07, 2019 4:27 am
When Dorico can do everything I can now do in Finale, as easily, and with better results, I will switch. Unfortunately that is not the case yet. Maybe Dorico 4. Maybe never. Meanwhile, life must go on.
Can you share the top 3 things that you find lacking in Dorico compared to what you can do in Finale today?
Not having actually tried Dorico 3 (see my reply above), the following list of Dorico lacks is based on my trial of Dorico 2:

1. Assigning multiple finger numbers to a single note with the fingering function.
2. Drawing lines.
3. Organizing my workspace the way I need to. I have multiple windows open on two monitors as I work and the fixed Dorico setup takes up too much room. I need floating palettes that I can position here and there for functions that I need to access that way.

In addition, since much of what I do follows older engraving norms and features unusual notation and I do so much hand work, Dorico's AI didn't save time; in fact, it generally got in my way.

What I have been hoping for from Dorico was greater control than Finale. Time saving is not a big issue. I found greater control in some areas (slurs, ledger lines) but less in others (piano braces). On balance it was a wash. Also, I missed being able to instantly input common markings in the music exactly the way I want them with single key commands from my library. I missed being able to instantly move measures from line to line and systems from page to page with single keystrokes so I could easily compare different layouts. etc.

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Re: Reaching out to our Finale- (and Sibelius-) using friends.

Post by adrien »

Rob Tuley wrote:
Sat Sep 07, 2019 1:26 pm
mducharme wrote:
Sat Sep 07, 2019 4:14 am
The Dorico developers should easily be able to program it to interpret certain text indications as playing techniques.
The trouble with MusicXML is that recognising the words (like pizz or arco) is the trivial bit.

The hard problem is figuring out what they are meant to apply to, because it's perfectly valid for the MusicXML data just to say "write the text 'pizz.' on page 37, 4.93 inches from the top and 2.78 inches from the left margin" completely independent of any instructions to create staves and notes.

It just happens that was the right place to put it, in whatever app created the score, but when Dorico reformats the music, it might not even be on page 37 at all.

In other words, the XML parser really needs a complete copy of all the proprietary code of Finale, Sibelius, and every other app that might have generated MusicXML, just to figure out what it means semantically.

If you are now saying "but that means MusicXML is a pretty poor standard," you are quite right. To be fair, it was a good standard for doing what it was first intended to do (which was reproduce the appearance of a page of sheet music without taking any account of what it meant) - but that's not what people are now trying to use it for.
This isn't the case at all. Looking in the XML file I just tried, the pizz directive is included within the measure immediately before the note to which it applies. In fact it's the same kind of XML node as dynamics - <direction>. Subtype is "words" rather than "dynamics", but their location is fixed by the bounding direction tags.

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Re: Reaching out to our Finale- (and Sibelius-) using friends.

Post by loff56 »

Lol - You sound like you want to start a conversion therapy group for Finale and Sibelius users!

I have all three installed on my computer. I've been a Finale user for 25 years, Sibelius I'm less familiar with and currently my Dorico chops have actually surpassed my Sibelius chops. Here's the thing... as it stands right now Dorico is an amazing program but there are still certain things, very specific things that have not been implemented yet. If you don't need those things than Dorico will produce a product that's just as good if not better than Finale and Sibelius. So in the short term Finale and Sibelius will be essential to copyists simply for the things that Dorico is still catching up on. In the long term... Finale in particular has been around for 30+ years. Think of all the files that exist in the world in Finale format. It's likely in the MILLIONS or tens of millions of files! Making a simple change to a file is a lot quicker in the program it was created in then converting it through XML and importing into Dorico before making the change. There are also thousands of composers, arrangers, orchestrators etc. that use Finale and Sibelius and have been using them on ongoing projects for years or even decades. They have templates, they know the programs and it takes them seconds to get going on a new chart. It's not about a mental block and people not WANTING to convert, it's literally about productivity. IF someone has the time (and I happen to have some time) they could start learning Dorico, but when you're on a deadline and you've got files set up for your project in Finale or Sibelius... you're gonna do what's most efficient. It took me several years just to set up my Finale Templates, btw. I've started that process in Dorico already but... like I said it takes a while.

Also, think about when you're working with teams of people. EVERYBODY involved has to use the same program. If you've got a composer, an arranger, and orchestrator and 3 copyists on a project and ALL of them know Finale but only 2 of them know Dorico... the project will get done in Finale. It's just gonna take a long time for Dorico to gain that type of an institutional foothold in the industry and that's not because Dorico is better or worse than either program, it's just logistics.

All this being said, I love Dorico - it has the potential to blow both programs out of the water eventually in terms of its flexibility, ease of use and efficiency. But I'm not about to delete Finale off my hard drive any time soon! And aside from that, there's room for all three programs in the space. Sibelius was designed well after Finale and at the time was heralded as modern and what not and yet here we are still talking about Finale. It's not an either/or conversation at the end of the day. I have all three and I use all three so... that's probably the way it's gonna be. imho

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Re: Reaching out to our Finale- (and Sibelius-) using friends.

Post by Rinaldo »

As an early adopter/enthusiast for Dorico, I'm not out to criticize its lacks. I find it fun and gratifying to work with.

But as to important things it lacks, I can mention two important features of a full score of a musical that I prepared for publication 20 years ago in Finale, which cannot as far as I know be achieved in Dorico:

1. The ability to change the vertical order of 5 doubling reed parts from system to system, so that standard instrument order is preserved when instruments change (Piccolo at the top even if its Reed 4, etc.). The published full score of West Side Story is an example of this procedure.

2. The creation of a doubling part for a single percussionist, alternating among timpani, mallet percussion, and 5-line drum set.

If either or both of these have become possible in an upgrade, I apologize. I'm not complaining (the score is already finished, I haven't begun work on the next if there is a next, and my interest at the moment is largely recreational), but describing a situation vis-a-vis other software.
Last edited by Rinaldo on Sat Sep 07, 2019 7:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Sibelius 20.6 | Finale v26 | Dorico 3.5.10
[Retired] Associate Professor (music theory, history, & orchestration)       Editor of critical full-score editions

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dankreider
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Re: Reaching out to our Finale- (and Sibelius-) using friends.

Post by dankreider »

@loff56 makes a very valid point. I guess I can see that XML improvement is maybe more critical than I previously thought.
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MarcLarcher
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Re: Reaching out to our Finale- (and Sibelius-) using friends.

Post by MarcLarcher »

… and that's probably why it's high on the list now!
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Opera singer (lyric tenor), photographer, sound engineer, XeLaTeX user and music engraver (Dorico Pro 3.5.10, and Photoscore Ultimate 2020.1.14(9.0.2))
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Re: Reaching out to our Finale- (and Sibelius-) using friends.

Post by Derrek »

The question that comes to mind is how much clutter and diverted programming time should the Dorico Team add to Dorico programming in order to program around SIbelius's (or Finale's or MuseScore's. etc.) shortcomings?

It's clear that different people have different opinions about this.
Dorico Pro 3.5.10.1045, Finale (v26), GPO, JABB3, GWI, NotePerformer 3.3.1, CuBase Pro 10.5 newbie
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Re: Reaching out to our Finale- (and Sibelius-) using friends.

Post by Robert01 »

Many here scream like Apple Fan Boys! What do you want to read here? Everything is great, finale is crap? Who does not think so must be treated? Dorico has his weaknesses and I'm not a finale fanboy. The completely exaggerated self-praise mudd sure times at Dorico put the reality. The audio conversion e.g. in Dorico, straight with Noteperformer is better than in Finale. For this I use currently Dorico.
@MarcLarcher For me, Dorico 1 was disabled on the eLicencer when I installed Dorico 3. Unasked. :shock:
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