Dorico (alternative to Sibelius / Finale / Lilypond)
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 933
    Greetings all,
    This is slightly OT, but I know that Sibelius and Finale have been discussed here before. I just wanted to let anyone interested know that Dorico released a new version for ipad today, so if anyone is interested in trying Dorico out for free, this is a good chance to do so. the new ipad version is limited to two instruments (four if you log in with a steinberg account) although that can be expanded up to 12 if you pay a small annual fee.

    FWIW, I use dorico pro (currently 3.5) and I LOVE it. I use it to make all my scores and it is very flexible for choral works and for transcriptions of chant. The new ipad version released today is nearly the full desktop program; it's actually quite surprising how much of it they were able to port over and keep the interface and functionality the same. To be clear, it's not 1:1, although it seems that is the end goal (or something close to it). Dorico 4 is expected this fall.

    In future, if anyone has any Dorico questions, I'd be very happy to help. I'm active on that forum, and obviously I haunt here as well; my specialty is choral and chant engraving (and organ works) so I know many of the tricks to make these types of projects turn out very well.

    Cheers,
    James

    ---
    article about the new ipad version: https://blog.dorico.com/2021/07/dorico-for-ipad-available-now-free/
    link to the homepage for the desktop version: https://new.steinberg.net/dorico/
  • Schönbergian
    Posts: 856
    The only aspect of Dorico that keeps me away are the slurs and ties, which retain the same ugliness inherent to Sibelius's slurs; I much prefer the results one can achieve with LilyPond or even Finale in that regard.
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen MarkS
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,694
    David Hughes is also enthusiastic about Dorico and used it during the Virtual Colloquium in June, in his talk about preparing your own scores of musical works when the commonly available ones are hard to read or are in an inconvenient key.

    That week he released a new score of a Mass by Casciolini, which was sung at the annual CMAA Requiem Mass on Friday, June 25; and I assume he used Dorico for it.
  • m_r_taylor
    Posts: 225
    I recently got Dorico after having Sibelius 6 for so long, and am pleased with a few things:

    1. How much easier it is to accomplish some tasks than Sibelius 6 despite being more familiar with the second program
    2. How engaged the developers seemed to be with their user base on their own forum.
    3. How much nicer the default font is than Sibelius' - only with a large amount of know-how and revision does Sibelius produce scores that I would feel comfortable selling. (Though I will probably upgrade Dorico's font to something else at some point)
    4. How easily Dorico guides you to making high-level changes to the engraving instead of easily lost individual spacing edits.
    5. How easy it is to produce multi-movement works and put them on a single page and in a single file. Gone are the days of Piece1a.sib, Piece1b.sib, collated onto a PDF only after the fact...
    6. How I don't have to set a time signature before engraving, which is extremely useful for some chant adaptations and for some of my unmeasured music.

    And there's more, but I've found it extremely easy to get used to. I'm sure the current versions of Sibelius and Finale are also just as good, but...I had to pick one, and decided to trust the vision of Daniel Spreadbury who as the original man behind Sibelius seems to be doing the right things.

    Someday I would love to see a mode for 4-line chant - Spreadbury said they didn't have the time to make that now, but that it could be something for the future.

    I might hit you up for advice now and then!

    Final note: I do admit, Dorico is still not beautiful by any means. Some of the old scores (and new) manage to be, I wonder if there are any particular new fonts which can get closer to that for graphical-software newbies like me?
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 933
    The only aspect of Dorico that keeps me away are the slurs and ties, which retain the same ugliness inherent to Sibelius's slurs; I much prefer the results one can achieve with LilyPond or even Finale in that regard.

    There are quite a few parameters that you can adjust so you are by no means stuck with the default options. I counted no fewer than 64 current options and settings that can be manipulated in the engrave menu for slurs alone.
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 933
    David Hughes is also enthusiastic about Dorico and used it during the Virtual Colloquium in June, in his talk about preparing your own scores of musical works when the commonly available ones are hard to read or are in an inconvenient key.

    That week he released a new score of a Mass by Casciolini, which was sung at the annual CMAA Requiem Mass on Friday, June 25; and I assume he used Dorico for it.


    I'm sure he did. I spoke to him about Dorico in Philly two years ago; he was about to make the switch back then. I believe he was waiting on figured bass at the time which came shortly thereafter.
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 933
    6. How I don't have to set a time signature before engraving, which is extremely useful for some chant adaptations and for some of my unmeasured music.

    This is one of my absolute favorite things. Most of what I do these days is unmetered. It's so wonderful. And you can add and take beats away wherever you like with the popovers.
  • Schönbergian
    Posts: 856
    There are quite a few parameters that you can adjust so you are by no means stuck with the default options. I counted no fewer than 64 current options and settings that can be manipulated in the engrave menu for slurs alone.
    And none of them alter the basic shape, which is what I have an issue with and which looks nothing like fine hand-engraving.
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 933
    That is incorrect. There are thickness and shoulder offset values, which definitely affect the arc & contour of the slurs.
  • BruceL
    Posts: 1,060
    Technical question: I believe there were big issues (at least at debut) with Dorico importing MusicXML and the like from existing files. A lot of us don't want to re-engrave the last ten years...

    If that got fixed (it was claimed to be fixed at release, but wasn't), it'll be a great program.
  • ghmus7
    Posts: 1,332
    This looks fascinating. I think Finale will eventually fold, as they have been hemorrhaging customers, partly because they make such a rotten software product. Errors and problems have been going on for 20 years! Everyone is frustrated and ready for something better.
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 933
    There was only limited xml support earlier on. It is still somewhat limited but every program has its quirks. Increased support is promised and Daniel (done of the dev team) helped sus out the new xml spec, if I’m not mistaken. They add richer import and export support with every version; I’m very curious to see what d4 will bring in the relatively near future.

    Fwiw, I’ve imported dozens of xml scores from places like cpdl and haven’t had any glaring issues, although I suppose it’s fair to say they were relatively straightforward scores.
    Thanked by 1BruceL
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,546
    it should open sib files directly.
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 933
    Finale, Sibelius, and Dorico are all proprietary file formats. None of them can open the others’ files, nor should they. Further development of the universal xml spec is a good thing though.
    Thanked by 1BruceL
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,546
    At one time I remember quark could open pagemaker
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 933
    Unless that was an open file format or they had a license agreement, that would have been illegal.

    Some companies do license the ability to open their files elsewhere (you can open or save a Microsoft office .doc file in Apple pages, for instance) however this is the exception, not the rule. In the case of the three warring music notation clans, that won’t be happening, especially since there already exists a neutral interchange format (music xml).