Integration with Cubase

Discussions about our next-generation scoring application, Dorico.
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Hans Nel
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Re: Integration with Cubase

Post by Hans Nel » Tue Oct 04, 2016 2:42 pm

Alberto, I totally agree with you as well. Sibelius is (currently) my engraver of choice. I guess it is a matter of "need" what the musician wants. I do not, however, see WHY the "needs" have to be seperated. Why not package it all into ONE!?

I, for one, would like superior engraving and superior audio built into ONE software. WHY NOT? Like I mentioned above, there ARE developers that already create software that is a NOTATOR-DAW hybrid. I'm pretty sure that Steinberg is going to do the same...even better. As I can see, Dorico's engraving capabilities is going to be superb! Having Cubase's Audio Engine built into Dorico the world is our oyster.

I know there are MANY needs and features that muso's want built into Dorico...even esoteric needs. Is this possible? It's going to take a long time to provide all the features users wants. But we should also accept that not ALL needs can be met...specially esoteric needs...the spectrum is too broad.

I think Steinberg should firstly focus on crearting the best standard engraving possible while providing the best audio possible. THEN Dorico should be enlarged by adding esoteric needs. I mean...how often does performers need a 5 line stave system that is in the form of a circle?

One last thing that could possibly create a bitter taste is the VST2 vas VST3 issue. Most of us have spent THOUSANDS obtaining samples, and as you know, companies like EWQL, Vienna etc. are not cheap. I'm sure MOST users are NOT in the film and advertising industry...those who can afford to purchase libraries every time software creators decide to upgrade hosts.
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Re: Integration with Cubase

Post by wcreed » Tue Oct 04, 2016 4:33 pm

It's been stated by Daniel that Play and Kontakt will be sported. VSL isn't an issue since VE/VEP are VST3
Last edited by wcreed on Tue Oct 04, 2016 5:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Integration with Cubase

Post by GTBannah » Tue Oct 04, 2016 4:44 pm

wcreed wrote:It's been stated by Daniel that Play and Kontakt will be sported. VLS isn't an issue since VE/VEP are VST3
Right!
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Re: Integration with Cubase

Post by Peter Roos » Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:31 pm

Alberto Maria wrote:
Hans Nel wrote:Agreed, though, I think Notion's playback is superior to that of Sibelius.
Yes Hans, may be, but in my opinion the win factor resides in an engraving superior quality (if a decent integration with Cubase is reached)...
If Daniel's various blogs over the past 3 years and the interviews he has given are any indication, then Dorico will be absolutely state of the art; not only when it comes to engraving, but also in terms of easy of use. The latter should not be underestimated; many of us are often under tight deadlines, and speed is of the essence.

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Re: Integration with Cubase

Post by GTBannah » Tue Oct 04, 2016 10:13 pm

Peter Roos wrote:.... many of us are often under tight deadlines, and speed is of the essence.
Sibelius has saved me hundreds of hours, since switching from Finale.
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Re: Integration with Cubase

Post by Mike Dunn » Tue Oct 04, 2016 10:23 pm

Peter Roos wrote:
If Daniel's various blogs over the past 3 years and the interviews he has given are any indication, then Dorico will be absolutely state of the art; not only when it comes to engraving, but also in terms of easy of use. The latter should not be underestimated; many of us are often under tight deadlines, and speed is of the essence.
Agreed, totally. Speed is everything, for a composer certainly and engraving also. So speeding up the transfer from Dorico to Cubendo and vice versa is a must must crucial thang. Which is why so many people here are preoccupied with it. The more I hear, the better I like what's coming though. Heads down for the Winter Solstice folks :P
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Re: Integration with Cubase

Post by Hans Nel » Wed Oct 05, 2016 1:13 pm

I don't doubt that Sibelius was a God sent over the years...it has been for me (also an immense improvement from Finale), but I agree with Peter. Dorico is going to be the "State of the Art" Software! Time for a new season in music engraving. I cannot wait anymore!!! :-)
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Re: Integration with Cubase

Post by Daniel at Steinberg » Wed Oct 05, 2016 1:54 pm

I've been wondering at what point I should step into this thread to try and tamp down the excitement a bit, and perhaps that time was actually a while ago!

I think it's important to separate what Dorico is today from what it will become in the future. I think several people in this thread are tuned in to this, but quite a few may not be. The last thing I want to do is dampen anybody's excitement for Dorico's release, but while we 100% agree with the destination that you all have in mind, the first release of Dorico will only be the first step on the journey.

I wrote about this at some length in my most recent blog post, which I posted a couple of days ago, and which I recommend that you read, in particular for the description of what the capabilities of Play mode will be in this first release:

http://blog.steinberg.net/2016/10/devel ... y-part-15/

The tl:dr version of this is that Dorico 1.0 does not have any real-time integration with Cubase; its support for expression maps is currently very limited; it has no automation control as yet; it will be possible to use third-party VST 3 instruments (and some VST 2 instruments) but because there is very limited expression map support at the moment, you cannot easily trigger keyswitches etc. from markings in the score; there is no ReWire or other transport synchronisation with another host, and so on.

On the plus side, it has a pretty functional Mixer (with some slightly ropey UI at this stage, but we can fix that up), including inserts, sends, global effects channels, an integrated EQ, and a suite of useful effects plug-ins; it has the foundations of a useful event display/editor that will allow the adjustment of note onsets/offsets without affecting the notation; and it does basic interpretation of tempo and dynamics in the project.

It is definitely the case that we had hoped the initial release of Dorico would be further developed in this area than it is. Separating the audio engine from Cubase/Nuendo in order to allow it to be integrated into Dorico, and then successfully integrating it into Dorico, were both more difficult and time-consuming than we expected, and as a direct consequence of that we have been unable to develop as many features for playback as we originally planned.

I hope that none of this comes as too much of a surprise, as I have been pretty open about the state of playback in each of my blog posts, including saying, at the end of June this year in my last update, that Play mode was not yet sufficiently well-developed to write about it in detail. On the positive side, the rate at which we have been able to extend the functionality of playback over the past several months is very encouraging for being able to make further rapid improvements following the initial release, and we have committed publicly to a number of free updates following the initial release of Dorico 1.0 to continue extending its functionality.

We are trying to be completely transparent with everybody about Dorico. We have achieved an incredible amount in the nearly four years we have been working on the program. But we are a small team building an enormously complex application that is expected to meet the needs of a very divergent set of customers and requirements. It is inevitable that some people will be disappointed with our first offering. The last thing we want is for somebody to buy Dorico and feel that they did not have enough information up-front to help them to make an educated purchasing decision.

I hope that despite the basic level of playback/MIDI editing functionality present in the first version, you will be able to see where we're going, and I hope that you will be patient with and supportive of us as we work to shape Dorico into the tool that we all want it to be.

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Re: Integration with Cubase

Post by -steve- » Wed Oct 05, 2016 2:28 pm

I want to pop in here and say that this candidness on Daniel's part is in a way, a main feature of Dorico. I've learned in the Steinberg forum that the way things are communicated have the largest effect on users' expectations, and a frank, straightforward message aimed at lowering expectations goes a long way to building trust, and avoiding the jaundiced view many of us software users develop toward the dev teams (of whatever company) when they are secretive.

It's an art that Daniel is more or less a virtuoso in, so, yay. :D
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Re: Integration with Cubase

Post by TheMaestro » Wed Oct 05, 2016 4:31 pm

Daniel,

thank you for taking some of your precious time again to provide these clarifications, especially about Expression Maps which in my opinion is the key feature to the whole playback.

You have always been clear about the playback possibilities for the first release and I had no particular expectations for version 1.0.
The fact that you succeeded in integrating parts of the Cubase audio engine into Dorico in such a limited time is an achievement in itself !

But, what I would have liked to read, like others here, even if it's too soon, is your plans about the opposite side integration : Dorico "into" Cubase. After which version do you think you would focus on that ?
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Re: Integration with Cubase

Post by GTBannah » Wed Oct 05, 2016 5:22 pm

Daniel at Steinberg wrote:I've been wondering at what point I should step into this thread to try and tamp down the excitement a bit, and perhaps that time was actually a while ago!

I think it's important to separate what Dorico is today from what it will become in the future. I think several people in this thread are tuned in to this, but quite a few may not be. The last thing I want to do is dampen anybody's excitement for Dorico's release, but while we 100% agree with the destination that you all have in mind, the first release of Dorico will only be the first step on the journey.

I wrote about this at some length in my most recent blog post, which I posted a couple of days ago, and which I recommend that you read, in particular for the description of what the capabilities of Play mode will be in this first release:

http://blog.steinberg.net/2016/10/devel ... y-part-15/

The tl:dr version of this is that Dorico 1.0 does not have any real-time integration with Cubase; its support for expression maps is currently very limited; it has no automation control as yet; it will be possible to use third-party VST 3 instruments (and some VST 2 instruments) but because there is very limited expression map support at the moment, you cannot easily trigger keyswitches etc. from markings in the score; there is no ReWire or other transport synchronisation with another host, and so on.

On the plus side, it has a pretty functional Mixer (with some slightly ropey UI at this stage, but we can fix that up), including inserts, sends, global effects channels, an integrated EQ, and a suite of useful effects plug-ins; it has the foundations of a useful event display/editor that will allow the adjustment of note onsets/offsets without affecting the notation; and it does basic interpretation of tempo and dynamics in the project.

It is definitely the case that we had hoped the initial release of Dorico would be further developed in this area than it is. Separating the audio engine from Cubase/Nuendo in order to allow it to be integrated into Dorico, and then successfully integrating it into Dorico, were both more difficult and time-consuming than we expected, and as a direct consequence of that we have been unable to develop as many features for playback as we originally planned.

I hope that none of this comes as too much of a surprise, as I have been pretty open about the state of playback in each of my blog posts, including saying, at the end of June this year in my last update, that Play mode was not yet sufficiently well-developed to write about it in detail. On the positive side, the rate at which we have been able to extend the functionality of playback over the past several months is very encouraging for being able to make further rapid improvements following the initial release, and we have committed publicly to a number of free updates following the initial release of Dorico 1.0 to continue extending its functionality.

We are trying to be completely transparent with everybody about Dorico. We have achieved an incredible amount in the nearly four years we have been working on the program. But we are a small team building an enormously complex application that is expected to meet the needs of a very divergent set of customers and requirements. It is inevitable that some people will be disappointed with our first offering. The last thing we want is for somebody to buy Dorico and feel that they did not have enough information up-front to help them to make an educated purchasing decision.

I hope that despite the basic level of playback/MIDI editing functionality present in the first version, you will be able to see where we're going, and I hope that you will be patient with and supportive of us as we work to shape Dorico into the tool that we all want it to be.
No apology needed; we got your back. :)
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Re: Integration with Cubase

Post by GTBannah » Wed Oct 05, 2016 5:37 pm

TheMaestro wrote:....
But, what I would have liked to read, like others here, even if it's too soon, is your plans about the opposite side integration : Dorico "into" Cubase. After which version do you think you would focus on that ?
Maybe, we should save this for after the release of V1?
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Re: Integration with Cubase

Post by Mike Dunn » Wed Oct 05, 2016 9:47 pm

Daniel at Steinberg wrote:
I hope that despite the basic level of playback/MIDI editing functionality present in the first version, you will be able to see where we're going, and I hope that you will be patient with and supportive of us as we work to shape Dorico into the tool that we all want it to be.
Thanks Daniel, very thoughtful of you to post this but you don't need to explain yourself or (nearly) apologise for what you think people are going to miss. I think most people here are keeping an eye on the forum and your blog so know what is not there yet, and what is. However expressing where they would like to be taken with the app is what a forum is for, even if it is sometimes wishful thinking. As an earlier poster said 'we got your back' - I think I speak for most people here when I say we have a whole lot of respect for what you are trying to achieve with Dorico and are not gonna knock you if V.1 (or even 2 or 3) don't have everything all at once. Meaningful progress takes time.
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Re: Integration with Cubase

Post by TheMaestro » Thu Oct 06, 2016 9:18 am

GTBannah wrote:Maybe, we should save this for after the release of V1?
Sure, I did not, for one moment, think of version 1.

As the team has colaborated with other Steinberg developpers to implement parts of Cubase code into Dorico, I guess that they now have a more precise idea of the complexity of the process of integration in both directions.

Given that, I just wanted to know if Daniel or Steinberg had now any clearer vision of the future regarding this project.

And the purpose of this thread is precisely the integration in this direction.

And, I "suppose" that integrating Dorico into Cubase should be even a simpler task because, Dorico inside Cubase would act as a MIDI editor only, and the Dorico team wouldn't even have to deal with audio playback, mixer, plugins, effects, video and so on.
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Re: Integration with Cubase

Post by Daniel at Steinberg » Thu Oct 06, 2016 9:34 am

We haven't done any serious investigation into the specifics of how to integrate any of Dorico into Cubase, though this is definitely the long-term goal. I wouldn't like to speculate as to how hard or otherwise it might be to achieve this in comparison to integrating the audio engine with Dorico, but there is so much functionality in Cubase's score editor, and it is so tightly integrated with all of the other MIDI editing features in the application, that I'm pretty sure it won't be at all easy. We would want to allow Cubase to have the beautiful graphical results that Dorico produces, but retaining all of the familiar and consistent workflows that Cubase users are used to when switching between its various editors.

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Re: Integration with Cubase

Post by TheMaestro » Thu Oct 06, 2016 11:29 am

Daniel at Steinberg wrote:We would want to allow Cubase to have the beautiful graphical results that Dorico produces
Amen :)

And thank you for sharing your thoughts and the information about your investigations.

As a side note, your presence and that of Paul and other members of your team, here in the forum, are invaluable and more than any user would have ever dreamed of from Steinberg !
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Re: Integration with Cubase

Post by notator » Thu Oct 06, 2016 12:23 pm

Daniel at Steinberg wrote:We haven't done any serious investigation into the specifics of how to integrate any of Dorico into Cubase, though this is definitely the long-term goal.
Apropos long-term goals: I think its important to think about the very big picture -- not just about how to integrate Dorico into Cubase...

The very big picture includes the integration of "esoteric" notations such as classical Asian notations (that read from top to bottom of the page) or scores written on circular staves (pace Hans Nel). :)
Dorico would become very unwieldy if everyone had to have a score editor that could cope with things like that, so it has to be possible for specialised editors to use a format that can be read by a DAW. And DAWs should be able to use the graphics provided by such editors in their user interface.

I think these goals could be achieved if we had a (public) standard way to embed MIDI information in SVG files.
Note that it would be possible, in such a standard, to define an abstract page->system->staff->voice->chord container hierarchy. How the containers look, and how time flows in space on the page, would not be part of the standard. All that is necessary is that the containers contain well defined, but strictly separated, graphical (SVG) and temporal (MIDI) information.
So its possible to define an SVG-MIDI standard that would a) be the same for both standard and esoteric notations, and b) be an interface between any DAW and any music score editor. As I said before, this standard could come in two flavours: Internal (plug-in) and External (file). Lets just do it! :-)

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Re: Integration with Cubase

Post by PaulWalmsley » Thu Oct 06, 2016 1:38 pm

I can't see this working. The representations required for the visual, semantic and playback properties of music notation are several orders of magnitude more complex than can be represented by something like SVG and MIDI. Even for playback MIDI itself is woefully inadequate (note expression? routing? 'expression map'-type data?, device descriptions?, sound loading?). Similarly SVG is great at describing a vector graphic, but has no semantic meaning above that. MusicXML *does* describe a page->system->staff->voice->chord hierarchy (of sorts), but there are many problems with that.

I wish you luck with this SVG-MIDI project, but I can't see how it would solve any of the problems that we currently face. Even if you were to come up with such a standard, the complexity in implementing it would be enormous.
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Re: Integration with Cubase

Post by Alberto Maria » Thu Oct 06, 2016 2:14 pm

Daniel at Steinberg wrote:... how to integrate any of Dorico into Cubase, though this is definitely the long-term goal. ...
:D
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Re: Integration with Cubase

Post by notator » Thu Oct 06, 2016 3:44 pm

PaulWalmsley wrote:I can't see this working...
There's a working example here:
http://james-ingram-act-two.de/open-sou ... ormer.html
This application uses a prototype SVG-MIDI file format to describe a non-standard music notation that I would not expect to see implemented in Dorico. There are no tuplets. The bars dont add up except at the millisecond level. See, especially, Study 2.
It would, however, be quite straightforward for Dorico to write MIDI info embedded in its SVG, and so create scores that could be performed interactively on the web by applications like this one.

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Re: Integration with Cubase

Post by PaulWalmsley » Thu Oct 06, 2016 4:16 pm

In the fullness of time we will have extensive scripting support in Dorico (Lua is currently integrated into our core libraries, but isn't currently accessible as our score model API needs a lot of work). This should open up plenty of interesting opportunities for import/export into custom formats for script developers.

It really isn't the case that it would be straightforward to write MIDI inside SVG in Dorico as the playback and layout engines arecompletely separate subsystems.
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Re: Integration with Cubase

Post by -steve- » Thu Oct 06, 2016 4:21 pm

I must comment again about the dev team's communication skill and readiness to be candid. How many other developers frankly discuss the limitations of the technology in a program about to be marketed? Few. This kind of communication bodes extremely well for future development, and also the tone of forum discussions.

So thanks Paul, for being real, not marketing. :D
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Re: Integration with Cubase

Post by notator » Thu Oct 06, 2016 5:29 pm

PaulWalmsley wrote:In the fullness of time we will have extensive scripting support in Dorico (Lua is currently integrated into our core libraries, but isn't currently accessible as our score model API needs a lot of work). This should open up plenty of interesting opportunities for import/export into custom formats for script developers.
That sounds very interesting. But it doesn't solve the problem for non-standard music notations, and the script developers are still going to need a standard target SVG-MIDI format for interoperability. We might as well start working on it now.
PaulWalmsley wrote: It really isn't the case that it would be straightforward to write MIDI inside SVG in Dorico as the playback and layout engines are completely separate subsystems.
You said that your score model still needs a lot more work. I'd expect that to include making it easier to relate symbols (the graphics) to their (temporal) meanings. Of course it might take some time, but we are talking about long-term goals and the way to achieve them as simply/elegantly as possible.

I hope I'm not being a pain, but I've been working hard on this subject for many years and have the feeling that the penny still hasn't really dropped.

All the best,
James

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Re: Integration with Cubase

Post by PaulWalmsley » Thu Oct 06, 2016 9:18 pm

Just my personal opinion here, but I can't foresee Dorico (or any other mainstream notation application) dealing with these more esoteric notations: they would be far better served by with by custom applications that deal exclusively with them. We have around 1 million lines of code that are required to deal with Conventional Western Music Notation (excluding the many common notation features we haven't yet implemented) - could you imagine the scale of the complexity required to deal with the many additional variations?

I don't expect to be a One Tool To Rule Them All notation system - that simply isn't our focus.

As it stands, there isn't a standard format for data interchange of non-standard notations. I've never seen one proposed. The problem is that something like SVG + MIDI is devoid of semantic structure which makes it very unsuited to an interchange format. However, the hope is that our scripting interface will open up possibilities for third parties to develop such formats.
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Re: Integration with Cubase

Post by notator » Thu Oct 06, 2016 10:35 pm

PaulWalmsley wrote:Just my personal opinion here, but I can't foresee Dorico (or any other mainstream notation application) dealing with these more esoteric notations: they would be far better served by with by custom applications that deal exclusively with them.
We agree completely about that then. Editors should be geared to specific notations. Dorico is for standard practice western music notation (ca. 1970), and should not be expected to do anything else. Things like Gregorian Chant are a bonus, but could actually be handled by much simpler code.
I was just trying to say that Dorico should be part of a musical eco-system in which the more esoteric editors and notations also have their place.
PaulWalmsley wrote: As it stands, there isn't a standard format for data interchange of non-standard notations. I've never seen one proposed. The problem is that something like SVG + MIDI is devoid of semantic structure which makes it very unsuited to an interchange format. However, the hope is that our scripting interface will open up possibilities for third parties to develop such formats.
I'm not proposing an interchange format (like MusicXML). SVG+MIDI is simply a way to synchronize graphics with temporal information in order to enable a large number of applications. Having no semantic structure (apart from an agreed container hierarchy) means that SVG+MIDI is suitable for synchronising graphics and temporal information in any music notation, not just CWMN. Its up to the authoring software to enforce the semantics for its particular notation.
By the way, I'm still wondering why it should be so difficult for Dorico to synchronize graphics (space) with audio (time). Presumably you can display a moving cursor in the graphics during playback. If you can do that, you know which MIDI info belongs to which chord symbol. Continuous controllers are on a different level, but the principle is the same.
Of course, you know your software better than I do, but I'm still puzzled.

All the best,
James

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