Forthcoming Dorico update

Recommendations concerning notation and publishing software in a non-partisan environment.
jrethorst
Posts: 94
Joined: 09 Apr 2016, 18:48

Forthcoming Dorico update

Post by jrethorst » 05 May 2017, 16:19

Details at http://www.scoringnotes.com/news/will-i ... co-update/.

I wonder what sales figures are like. For that matter, I wonder what relative sales are for Fin and Sib.

John R.
John Rethorst

benwiggy
Posts: 156
Joined: 11 Apr 2016, 19:42

Re: Forthcoming Dorico update

Post by benwiggy » 06 May 2017, 15:14

I deliberately bought Dorico before the cross-grade deal expires, even though I doubt I'll use it for much at the moment. It holds promise, and while it often achieves printed results that are better and easier than Finale, there are still things that Dorico doesn't yet do; or that Finale does better. I'm thinking primarily about methods -- note entry, note/measure selection and manipulation, etc.

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John Ruggero
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Location: Raleigh, NC USA

Re: Forthcoming Dorico update

Post by John Ruggero » 07 May 2017, 16:55

John R., I would love to know the user base for each of these products.

Thanks for your appraisal, benwiggy. I am waiting to try out the demo until the software is more mature as reported by members of this forum.
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Finale 2014d with GPO 4, JW Plug-ins, SmartScore X Pro, Adobe InDesign CS4,
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NicholasG
Posts: 28
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Location: Hyde Park, NY

Re: Forthcoming Dorico update

Post by NicholasG » 26 May 2017, 13:07

A Peek at some of the updates in Dorico coming sometime toward the end June 2017
I really like what I see..."It's getting better - all the time."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3gPiLN2duVg
MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Late 2013)
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Knut
Posts: 864
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 18:07
Location: Oslo, Norway

Re: Forthcoming Dorico update

Post by Knut » 30 May 2017, 12:11

NicholasG wrote:
26 May 2017, 13:07
A Peek at some of the updates in Dorico coming sometime toward the end June 2017
I really like what I see..."It's getting better - all the time."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3gPiLN2duVg
This is indeed a major improvement. I'm particularly excited by the pedaling implementation, while I remain somewhat sceptical about the typographic quality of chord symbols. I'm looking forward to trying them out, though.

Manual note spacing and filters are prerequisites for me to work in Dorico at all, so they are most welcome. I really hope the note spacing feature is as easy to work with as it seems in the video.

dspreadbury
Posts: 22
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 10:57

Re: Forthcoming Dorico update

Post by dspreadbury » 31 May 2017, 08:52

I will say that getting the typography of the chord symbols to look good has been at least as challenging as the underlying musical knowledge about how chords are put together and what they represent. Because it has been our ambition to be able to use any text font you like for chord symbols, this has required us to develop a number of new capabilities. Chord symbols are made up of individual components: for example, a chord symbol like Bbm7b5(b9) is made up of the root note (B), the root accidental (b), the quality (m), the interval (7), and the alterations (b5 and b9). This means that we have to lay out six individual components for a single chord symbol. Each component's default appearance is governed by the current Engraving Options in use – e.g. the root note could be displayed as a German note name with a German accidental, so it would be only "B" and there would be no root accidental, and the "m" for minor could be "mi" or "min" or "-" etc. – and each component likewise may be positioned on the baseline, or superscript, or "subscript" (it's not really subscript, because it doesn't begin below the baseline, but it means reduced in size and sitting on the baseline).

Because these components draw upon different fonts – e.g. the root note, quality, and interval all use a regular text font, while the root accidental and the accidentals that are part of the alterations are taken from Bravura Text – we cannot rely on simply laying these characters out in a rich text string with changes of font between them. Instead, we manually lay them out, and we have developed a way of describing kerning pairs between pairs of components (e.g. between each root note and each root accidental, between each root note and each quality, between each root accidental and each quality, between each quality and each interval, etc.), with separate pairs for components at their baseline, superscript and subscript positions, as dictated by the possibilities of the options. This kerning table already has more than 1800 pairs in it, and we still have a lot more to add.

Furthermore, you can edit an individual chord symbol's appearance by double-clicking it in Engrave mode and drag each component around independently, move them to arbitrary positions, and scale them by any percentage scale factor (you can only scale them while retaining their regular scale factor). You can also design your own components, though you cannot extend the options provided in Engraving Options, so you can either edit the default appearance of one of the existing components so that it will be used in future (e.g. replace "-" with "MI" or whatever), or you can create a new appearance that you can substitute in individual chord symbols as needed.

I have also designed new accidentals specially designed to be more visually coherent with regular text characters (e.g. more regular stroke widths, larger counters, a shorter stem on the flat so it has more similar proportions to the lower case "b" in a regular font, slightly longer vertical strokes on the sharp and natural to make them more prominent, etc.) which will be used, and I have also added optical variants of the circle, slashed circle and triangle used for diminished, half-diminished, and major seventh which will be used when you choose to use these symbols either superscript or subscript, so that they have a consistent stroke width at both sizes. I have likewise designed two sets of parentheses that will be used when stacking two or three sets of alterations above one another, and so on.

We are developing chord symbols with the same meticulous attention to detail that we have lavished on every other notational aspect of Dorico, which is why they have taken the best part of six months to implement, with just about everybody on the team involved in some significant capacity along the way. But I really do believe they will look the best of any chord symbols in any scoring program.

dspreadbury
Posts: 22
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 10:57

Re: Forthcoming Dorico update

Post by dspreadbury » 31 May 2017, 08:54

Oh, and just to say that the development build John was using for the Discover Dorico session last week does not use any of the things I have described above in its layout of chord symbols, e.g. it doesn't use the kerning pairs, it doesn't use the new accidental characters, and so on. So don't judge the typographical quality of the chord symbols you will see in the released version of Dorico 1.1 based on what John showed in the video.

Knut
Posts: 864
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 18:07
Location: Oslo, Norway

Re: Forthcoming Dorico update

Post by Knut » 31 May 2017, 09:19

dspreadbury wrote:
31 May 2017, 08:52
I will say that getting the typography of the chord symbols to look good has been at least as challenging as the underlying musical knowledge about how chords are put together and what they represent. Because it has been our ambition to be able to use any text font you like for chord symbols, this has required us to develop a number of new capabilities. Chord symbols are made up of individual components: for example, a chord symbol like Bbm7b5(b9) is made up of the root note (B), the root accidental (b), the quality (m), the interval (7), and the alterations (b5 and b9). This means that we have to lay out six individual components for a single chord symbol. Each component's default appearance is governed by the current Engraving Options in use – e.g. the root note could be displayed as a German note name with a German accidental, so it would be only "B" and there would be no root accidental, and the "m" for minor could be "mi" or "min" or "-" etc. – and each component likewise may be positioned on the baseline, or superscript, or "subscript" (it's not really subscript, because it doesn't begin below the baseline, but it means reduced in size and sitting on the baseline).

Because these components draw upon different fonts – e.g. the root note, quality, and interval all use a regular text font, while the root accidental and the accidentals that are part of the alterations are taken from Bravura Text – we cannot rely on simply laying these characters out in a rich text string with changes of font between them. Instead, we manually lay them out, and we have developed a way of describing kerning pairs between pairs of components (e.g. between each root note and each root accidental, between each root note and each quality, between each root accidental and each quality, between each quality and each interval, etc.), with separate pairs for components at their baseline, superscript and subscript positions, as dictated by the possibilities of the options. This kerning table already has more than 1800 pairs in it, and we still have a lot more to add.

Furthermore, you can edit an individual chord symbol's appearance by double-clicking it in Engrave mode and drag each component around independently, move them to arbitrary positions, and scale them by any percentage scale factor (you can only scale them while retaining their regular scale factor). You can also design your own components, though you cannot extend the options provided in Engraving Options, so you can either edit the default appearance of one of the existing components so that it will be used in future (e.g. replace "-" with "MI" or whatever), or you can create a new appearance that you can substitute in individual chord symbols as needed.

I have also designed new accidentals specially designed to be more visually coherent with regular text characters (e.g. more regular stroke widths, larger counters, a shorter stem on the flat so it has more similar proportions to the lower case "b" in a regular font, slightly longer vertical strokes on the sharp and natural to make them more prominent, etc.) which will be used, and I have also added optical variants of the circle, slashed circle and triangle used for diminished, half-diminished, and major seventh which will be used when you choose to use these symbols either superscript or subscript, so that they have a consistent stroke width at both sizes. I have likewise designed two sets of parentheses that will be used when stacking two or three sets of alterations above one another, and so on.

We are developing chord symbols with the same meticulous attention to detail that we have lavished on every other notational aspect of Dorico, which is why they have taken the best part of six months to implement, with just about everybody on the team involved in some significant capacity along the way. But I really do believe they will look the best of any chord symbols in any scoring program.


All that sounds really compelling, Daniel, and I commend you and the team for taking this so seriously.

Will you be able to use different optical sizes within a chord symbol as well (e.g., regular weight for the root and caption weight for the alterations)?
Since you seem to be relying on reducing the size of the regular numeral glyphs, rather than utilizing dedicated superscript/subscript glyphs, this seems like a rather crucial feature to ensure a good balance of weight within an entire chord symbol.

dspreadbury
Posts: 22
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 10:57

Re: Forthcoming Dorico update

Post by dspreadbury » 31 May 2017, 09:27

Unfortunately we do not yet have access to stylistic sets within arbitrary text fonts using the current font APIs available to us, though this is definitely something we plan to add in the future somehow. We can use the optical variants within the Bravura font set because we know what their code points are, but in an arbitrary text font the only way to determine the location of things like lining figures etc. is to be able to query them via the font tables. When we are able to add these features more generally to our font engine, we will then be able to include these features in chord symbols as well.

Knut
Posts: 864
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 18:07
Location: Oslo, Norway

Re: Forthcoming Dorico update

Post by Knut » 31 May 2017, 09:35

dspreadbury wrote:
31 May 2017, 09:27
Unfortunately we do not yet have access to stylistic sets within arbitrary text fonts using the current font APIs available to us, though this is definitely something we plan to add in the future somehow. We can use the optical variants within the Bravura font set because we know what their code points are, but in an arbitrary text font the only way to determine the location of things like lining figures etc. is to be able to query them via the font tables. When we are able to add these features more generally to our font engine, we will then be able to include these features in chord symbols as well.
I see. That makes sense. Although, to support different optical weights, you would 'only' need to implement the ability to chose different fonts for separate elements like root and alterations. That being said, being able to use specifically designed glyphs for these elements within the same font is an even better solution, which I hope you will be able to implement in future.

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