DAW vs. Notation

Just curious who out there uses notation software for composing, versus DAW/MIDI? I use both, but mainly use DAW and VSTs when writing epic/cinematic style, but use Dorico Pro with NotePerformer when trying to write traditional or classic Hollywood/John Williams-esque as NotePerformer sound so realistic and “human.” Has anyone tried writing their orchestral parts with notation software and bouncing it to audio in their DAW, then used VSTs to layer or add sound design elements? Was the outcome good or no?


I only use notation for sheet music for education, practice etc. I have to be honest though that my reading skills for music sheets is simply too slow, as I used DAWs (piano roll) all my life, so I basically feel at home in my DAW. :slight_smile:

The main power of notation to me is the overview you can get (bird’s eye perspective) compared to a DAW.

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Yes. I find trying figure out what’s playing what note-wise makes my eyes crossed using the MIDI piano roll but so much easier with an actual score. I guess being raised on the classics makes me a bit more old-school when it comes to composing. But I really like Dorico Pro with NotePerformer, as it uses an AI to scan the score before playback, which really gives it a much more human/live feel. There’s also the option of rewiring your other VSTs to Dorico and using them for playback as well. I’d like to see what CSS sounds like with that approach.

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Well I think you have an advantage with that background to be honest. Another downside with sample libraries though, is that we are forced to put the notes ahead of the beat, depending on instrument and articulation. I wish there was a built in standard way for sample libraries to adjust by “pre-reading” the notes/articulations and play them back accordingly. While still showing “on time” in the sequencer.

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