It is very difficult to compare Dorico with the other products because
Dorico operates on a different plane. Whether that different plane is
good for a person might depend on many factors. I am not here to claim
it is better for everybody, but I definitely am far more productive with
Dorico than I have been with any other notation product. I don't do
anything very exotic in my scores. I mainly write jazz band
arrangements, straightforward full-orchestra pieces, lead sheets and
similar things. I don't do any "experimental music" that might call for
daring, unconventional or very complex notation. So I cannot comment on
how well Dorico does with those things.
There is one major architectural piece that makes a big difference.
Beyond that, my productivity comes from a minute saved here and there.
It all adds up. The big architectural piece is that you don't actually
enter notes in the traditional sense. You give Dorico pitches that have
a starting place and a length. They don't even have to be within
measures that have a distinct time signature. Dorico uses its own rules
(that are highly customize-able) to express that information as notes.
So it seems like directly entering notes, just like any other program.
All programs let you easily change pitches. But the big difference is
that Dorico makes it very easy to change the starting point and duration
of any item. And here's the big thing: it is IMPOSSIBLE for the updated
information to be notated badly because Dorico is in charge of
expressing the notes, separate from the internal storage of the music.
With Finale, when you drag and drop a passage, if it ends up in a
different rhythmic place, you may have to spend several minutes cleaning
up the notes to make them show correctly. You never do that with
Dorico. Similarly, things like cautionary accidentals are applied
automatically in real time. It is impossible to miss a cautionary
accidental or do it wrong. There are more cases like this. This really
makes a big difference and obviates the need for most of the situations
for which people have relied on plug-ins in Finale.
Similarly, chords have an internal and external representation. There
is only one internal representation for Maj7 for example. However, you
can select rules that govern how you want the chords displayed (e.g.
Cmaj7, CM7, Ctriangle7, etc). It is impossible for the symbols to be
displayed incorrectly, and you can change your rules at any time without
ever having to change your score. It instantly re-draws according to
the rules. And chord entry is far more forgiving in Dorico. You can
type in chord spellings using any of the typical conventions and Dorico
will handle it. It is as easy to enter chords into Dorico as into
Band-in-a-box, if you are familiar with that. Huge time savings for me
on that item alone.
Lots of little things. You can copy any text element and place the copy
anywhere you need it; and this is rich text that has lats of formatting
The big time savings come from the final parts layout. I literally
spend 5-10 minutes per 2-page part in Finale editing the layout. You do
very little of this in Dorico. Most automatic decisions are pretty good
and you can quickly tweak the things you don't like. On a big band
chart with 17 parts, I will easily save an hour in final editing,
usually more than that.
I know you are deeply invested in plug-ins. I'd bet half of the current
Finale plug-ins would not be needed at all in Dorico, but some of the
others might be badly missed. So it becomes a question of whether the
necessary changes in workflow would give you a faster, higher-quality
end product. I cannot answer that. I know the trade-off is heavily in
Dorico's favor for the things I do, but it might not be so clear cut for
On 1/25/2019 11:03 AM, Robert Patterson wrote:
I would be very interested to know more specifics about the things that are
"well beyond Fin/Sib". Graphically, I know about flexible slurs, and I
would be curious to know if lines (like 8va) also have multiple inflection
Beyond that, I would be curious to know what makes Dorico so much more
superior for part layout.
Do you use any 3rd party plugins with Finale? In my experience, working
without key 3rd party plugins in Finale is the slag mines. But I've
developed a workflow using several key plugins that is very fast for many
of the things you mentioned. In fact, it is difficult to imagine them being
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