Come and see Dorico in London and Vienna

Daniel Spreadbury

In two weeks, there will be two special events taking place at which you can get a closer look at Dorico.

On the evening of Tuesday 18 October from 7pm, we will be holding a special event at which I will be giving a public introduction to Dorico at Bush Hall in Shepherd’s Bush, London — and a limited number of free tickets are available if you would like to attend. You can only attend if you have a ticket, so reserve your ticket as soon as possible: the remaining tickets are allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Composer Thomas Hewitt Jones

Composer Thomas Hewitt Jones

The event will include a presentation of Dorico itself, given by yours truly, but most excitingly the event will also include the premiere of a short work for string quartet and piano that we have commissioned from Thomas Hewitt Jones, which will be performed by the composer and members of renowned chamber music group Ensemble Perpetuo. Thomas is writing the piece in Dorico, and on the night we will talk a little about how he has found using the software to put it together.

Two days later, on Thursday 20 October from 7pm, a German-language event will be taking place at the Synchron Stage in Vienna, Austria. Although I will be in attendance at the event, you will be pleased to hear that I will not be attempting to give a presentation of the software in German: instead, my colleague Sebastian Mönch will be capably handling those duties in his mother tongue. In Vienna we will be joined by the Radio String Quartet, who will be performing a new work that they are putting together in Dorico. As with the London event, a limited number of free tickets are available, so if you would like to attend, please register now to secure your ticket.

If you can’t make it to London or Vienna, don’t worry: the London event will be streamed live on Facebook and YouTube, and available to watch after the event as well. Make sure you like and follow Steinberg on Facebook and YouTube to receive notifications about the live streams. But if you’re able to make it in person to either event, please do come along.

Development diary, part 15

Daniel Spreadbury

It feels quite strange to say, but this is the final instalment of the Dorico development diary before the first version of the software is released. As October begins, so too does the fourth quarter of the year, and Dorico will be available to buy before the winter solstice. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

As I stand here on the threshold, I find myself reflecting on what we have achieved since the last diary instalment at the end of June, and on what lies ahead.

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Development diary, part 14

Daniel Spreadbury

When we finally announced Dorico’s name last month, and let you know when you will finally be able to use it for yourself, we were inundated with responses on Facebook, Twitter, on the new dedicated Dorico forum on our web site, and by email. Knowing that there are so many musicians out there waiting for Dorico and looking forward to adding it to their toolboxes is great motivation for us as we work hard to ready the application for release.

In the meantime, it’s time for another development update. I know that many of you are waiting for details about playback, and I will share some in (I hope) the next instalment of this diary. Our team in London and our colleagues in Hamburg continue to work very hard on the integration of Cubase’s audio engine with Dorico, but there is still much to be done. In this instalment, then, I’m going to tell you about Dorico’s page layout features, and also talk a little bit about lyrics.

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Meet Dorico, coming in Q4 2016

Daniel Spreadbury

At the Major Orchestra Librarians’ Association conference in Helsinki, Finland this past weekend, I was honoured to be invited to give a presentation on our in-development application, and we chose this event to reveal the name, expected availability date, and provisional pricing information for the project we’ve been working on for the past three and a half years.

So it gives me great pleasure to announce that Steinberg’s new scoring application will be called Dorico, and it will be released in the fourth quarter of 2016. If you’re interested to find out more about the name and how it was chosen, read on.

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Development diary, part 13

Daniel Spreadbury

Since the last diary instalment just before Christmas, another three months has very nearly sped past, and as winter finally gives way to spring here in London, we can reflect on the progress we have made over the dark and cold months now behind us, and look forward to the work that still lies ahead.

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Development diary, part 12

Daniel Spreadbury

It’s been a long time since the last entry in this diary, and as the year draws to its close, I know there is an appetite for news on how our project is progressing. I hope this update will bring you some festive cheer and excitement for the year ahead.

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Development diary, part 11

Daniel Spreadbury

After the last instalment’s detailed discussion of beam grouping and sloping, today’s development update is going to focus on some of the issues around laying out a page of music, in particular working in the horizontal dimension, including casting off and justification.

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Watch Daniel on the SoundNotion podcast… again

Daniel Spreadbury

Very nearly two years since my last appearance on the SoundNotion podcast, hosts David MacDonald, Nate Bliton and Sam Merciers invited me to return this past weekend to give an update on how things are progressing. In the hour-long conversation we covered a wide range of topics, including how our new application can help with building an understanding of music theory as well as music engraving, and a variety of new tidbits about what we’ve been working on… plus how much older (and in my case, how much beardier) we all look two years on from our last conversation.

You can watch the podcast on YouTube, listen to the audio via the SoundNotion web site, or if you would like to listen to new episodes of SoundNotion weekly, search for it in your podcast application to subscribe. Enjoy!

Development diary, part 10

Daniel Spreadbury

As a wise man once said, there are as many rules of music engraving as there are music engravers. This is a joke, of course, but perhaps only half of one: although there are certain aspects of how music notation should be presented that more or less everybody can agree on, there are many more that provoke lively debate.

One of these latter areas is beaming; specifically, the placement of beams relative to stave lines, and the amount of slant or slope that should be applied to beams given notes of different pitches, the amount of horizontal space occupied, and so on.

Advance warning: this post goes into a lot of detail about subtle aspects of engraving practice concerning beam placement. Engraving nerds only need apply.

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Development diary, part nine

Daniel Spreadbury

As the year draws to a close, thoughts naturally turn to the events of the past twelve months, and indeed to the promise of the year ahead. For us, the past year represents a lot of forward progress on our project, but the year ahead will bring more milestones on the road towards the release of our new application.

A year ago, we were around nine months into the development of the music engine at the heart of our application, but really had no functional application to speak of: we had a test harness that could display only (unbeamed) notes and rests imported from MusicXML, but nothing in the way of interaction. Over the past year, we have chosen and adopted a new application framework, introduced the basic editing loop, built the skeleton of a functional application, developed our step-time input method, added grace notes to our music model, added ties, articulations, ledger lines, time signatures, key signatures, clef changes, accidentals, beams, and so on, and so on.

We are still building up the core of our application’s functionality, but our approach remains to focus above all on quality, rather than speed. If our application is going to be worth the time and attention of professional composers, arrangers, engravers, copyists, and teachers, then it must not only have a critical mass of features, but it must also have both a more efficient workflow and a faster path to excellent results than the tools professionals are already using. That’s a high bar for us to meet, but we are determined to clear it.

Don’t get me wrong: we are going as fast as we can. But we are committed to developing an application that will redefine the state of the art in scoring software, and that can’t be done overnight.

Enough with the ghost of Christmas future. Let’s talk about the ghost of Christmas past – what we have been working on since the last instalment of this diary at the end of September.

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