The much anticipated version Dorico 4 is now available and WOW! it is sure worth whatever wait you might have had. I am thrilled to be able to bring you some GOOD NEWS in the midst of some very bad times. THIS IS A MAJOR UPGRADE TO AN ALREADY SUPERLATIVE PROGRAM!
The NEW LICENSING SYSTEM is probably the first thing on most people’s minds as it has been floating around the internet for a while now. So it’s goodbye e-licenser (dongle or software) and welcome to running on up to 3 computers on one licence.
The Import MIDI Editor is one feature that you may overlook in all the excitement but it has amazing flexibility to split a MIDI file into the orchestra (or other ensemble) that you want. There are so many options here I will suggest that you check them out on the new Dorico Help system, but I have to mention my favourite: If you have multiple parts such as Violin Short Bows, Violin Long Bows, Violin Staccato, etc. you can now merge them into a single part (as they actually SHOULD BE) with all of their appropriate articulations intact! I have been hoping for that for years.
The Write Mode can now be used with a “lower zone” that can hold different views of the data represented by the notes. One example is the Key Editor, where you can use the “piano roll” style along with the MIDI cc controller data to make subtle changes in the notes without losing sight of the score. The Link button allows the editors to jump to position changes in either one so that they stay in sync. In short, it’s like having Play Mode as well as Write Mode open together. VERY handy.
Also available in this lower zone are instruments: a piano keyboard, guitar and bass fretboards, and drum pads which you can use to input notes if you like. Guitarists will be happy to hear that capos are now supported here. (See below)
The Mixer (now F3) can appear in the lower zone or free-floating. It is re-sizable. Instruments can have inserts, and of course there are amp simulators (heads and cabinets) as well as stomp boxes and other goodies.
Play Mode has been re-written to include more information. Once again the lower zone can show the Key Editor. Each track can show its routing information, with the ability to edit the instrument’s host (e.g. HALion). There are also the channel effects and fader on the left side, so yes, some have moved over from the right side.
Filters allow you to edit a sub-set of your score, but still hear the entire ensemble during playback. A nice way to fix up or ornament a part without creating clashes within the whole. There are even pre-set groupings that you can call up with numbers assigned to these.
The Jump Bar combines all sorts of previous features with a few new ones, but all in just TWO options: GoTo and Commands. For example, you can GoTo to Flows, rehearsal marks, specific bars, and all sorts of other places. Command is very similar to setting a shortcut, but with a few more options.
You have more freedom in creating your own templates, ensembles, etc. One subtle change in adding players is that you can distinguish between single players and soloists, which can be critical in concerti and similar types of music.
A wonderful addition to Insert Mode is the ability to create a Stop Line beyond which changes will have no effect, so adding notes won’t move others out of alignment. A second option moves everything for the player being edited (up to the Stop Line), while a third moves everything for ALL players. A fourth option lets you add music to the end of one bar, extending it (with the time signature changing, or not). Most of this is based on user feedback and it makes Insert Mode much more user-friendly so thank you to the folks who requested these!
Transform now contains all sorts of compositional tools like inversion, retrograde, rhythm options, changing scales into others, and all sorts of things that only a composition major would love. I have to point you to the Version History file, which I recommend reading in any case, but specifically there is a lot on this type of “musical manipulation”.
Even basic things like Copy & Paste have new uses via Paste Special where you can choose to paste only articulations, or other information rather than the whole bar (or more) as is. There are all sorts of new options for display of music, such as showing how many bars are just repeats of the first bar (like a drum pattern).
The Library Manager function can compare the options that you have set that are different from Dorico “factory settings”, or it can show you the difference between two different scores or projects. You can also import some of these, or all if you like. This may be most useful to publishers or anyone else with a “company style”.
The Power Button now actually DOES something. If it’s on, your sounds are loaded; if off, they are not. There is an option in Preferences to ALWAYS load sounds, which I plan to have ON. You can also have Dorico ASK you if you want the sounds. I guess that might save some time in loading. I guess. Maybe if you are comparing two scores or just don’t need sound in one.
Guitarists can now use Capos! Chords can show the sounding chords as well as those used with the capo (e.g. a capo on the third fret playing in C will sound in Eb). There are options for how to show the chords and distinguish between them. Many more options are available in Engraving options.
If for some strange reason you have “Finale envy” over the ability to move a bar to the previous system (or the next one) you can now do that in Dorico as well. A simple thing that was overly complicated in previous versions but is now simple.
This is just a PARTIAL list of some of the new features in this MAJOR UPGRADE! There are so many new options that it will take a while for you to get used to them. I would suggest that you learn those that fit into your common workflow, and gradually add to them.
This whole post is based on John’s LiveStream at:
There’s lots more information at https://blog.dorico.com/
What a great start to the new year! Thank you Steinberg!