With Dorico’s first free update due in less than a week, I spoke with Daniel Spreadbury to get the real facts on what we can expect it to contain. I also asked specifically about the questions that were most on your minds (from your emails and comments).
About this update, Daniel says: “Our 1.0.10 update is focused on fixing the most important bugs reported by our early customers, improving the performance of the software, and adding a handful of new features.”
To improve playback, VST Expression Maps will be supported, so we will hear the effect more expression marks.
A transposition dialogue will be added to transpose by a specific interval.
The ability to edit staff spacing directly in Engrave mode will be there.
Several performance enhancements will speed up certain problem areas as well as the program in general.
As with any version 1.0 software, there is a need for general bug fixes, and these will be integrated as well.
While not specifically addressed, we hope to see pitches sound as notes are selected; more options for selecting multiple objects; and sub-bracketing and sub-bracing.
MANUALS AND TAB
By far the greatest number of you wanted to know about the manuals and if there would be tablature included in this update.
OK, the bad news first: there will be no tablature or chord symbols added in this first update due to the amount of time they will take to develop. We will definitely see them, but we don’t know when.
The good news is that the manual will be greatly enlarged, and continually updated as new features are added. As far as Daniel could say, the manual will be available in Japanese, German, Spanish, French, and Italian, as well as English. Because it is a work in progress, along with Dorico itself, it is unlikely that a PDF version will be available in the near future.
HOW USEFUL WILL THIS MAKE DORICO?
I still believe that Dorico will be the future of notation software. Several people have told me that they have completed non-trivial projects in Dorico with no problems. For them, the update will make it even better. Those of you who have written about doing lead sheets and guitar or bass with tablature will have to wait a bit longer, and either use whatever software you currently have (I’m using Sibelius 7.5 for these, although it is hardly bug-free!) or you can get a free copy of MuseScore 2.
ONE FINAL NOTE
Remember that this is Dorico’s first update, and that it has only been out for 6 weeks (or will have been when the update is released). Given that it has taken four years to get to its current state, it’s unrealistic to expect major additions just yet. The next few updates will give us a much better idea of where Dorico is headed. Meanwhile, learning its interface and getting comfortable with the different modes is valuable training.