When you score with a notational software is very important being able to import a video file in order to have a correspondence between images and music. This operation is possible with most notational software: Sibelius, Finale (but not in the latest version), Notion, Dorico.
A common problem
However one usually encounters an issue since most cues won’t start on the very first frame of a reel.
Imagine we have reel 1 of a movie, its initial timecode is 01:00:00:00. Inside this reel we have several cues. The first one (1M1) is at the timecode 01: 05: 32: 12, therefore we need to precede it with 5 minutes, 32 seconds, 12 frames of silence.
We need to calculate the time so that the beginning of 1M1 in the score falls on the beginning of a bar. What you want to do is set an initial time signature and tempo to divide this empty time in a whole number of bars.
Let’s pretend we want to drop the beginning of 1M1 on the first beat of bar 51. We’ll need to set a tempo of 36.092 in the first bar of the score 36,092 bpm.
Setting playback at bar 51 we can verify that it falls in deed at 5 minutes, 32 seconds and 480 milliseconds (or 12 frames).
Starting from bar 51 we can change the time signature and the time as we prefer.
It would be really good if the notational software allowed us to create a score for 1M1 starting from bar 1 of the cue. instead of having the 50 empty bars at the beginning. Until now this was achievable cutting the video file with a video editing software.
Luckily, thanks to Dorico, we now have a better, more practical solution. When we create a new project in Dorico we can define the scores as flows.
The Dorico project can be made up of multiple scores that are independent with each other or that share musical elements. In our case we’ll specify that flow 1 is 1M1.
We’ll then click inside the flow area 1 and select video/attach to link the video file to our score.
In the video properties window it’s possible to indicate the time offset to start the score from the 1M1 start marker.
We have given an offset of 5 minutes, 40 seconds and 12 frames because the timecode of reel 1 starts 8 seconds before the beginning (00:59:52:00 instead of 01:00:00:00).
Finally we’ll check that bar 1 corresponds indeed to timecode 01:05:32:12 setting the beginning of 1M1.