Any advantages of using Dorico with Cubase?


After seeing the 50 % sale promotion of Cubase 10 Pro, I would like to know if there would be any advantages of using Dorico with Cubase?
As far as I know, there could be no advantages of using Dorico with Cubase because we export midi files in Dorico.
However, I am just curious if there is anything of that I am not aware.

Everything depends on the eye of the beholder, but you may want to hear Alan Silvestri’s opinion on this:

You can also drag and drop midi parts from Cubase into play mode in Dorico.

Hah! Never knew that. And vice versa?

I did some experiments with it, but it required some changes to our selection model which we haven’t had time to do. We hope to revisit this in a future version.

I think there are two entirely different questions:

  1. Is there any advantage to using ANY DAW with Dorico?

  2. Is there anything special about Cubase that is integrated with Dorico to make this combination work more easily?

I think the answer to #2 is no, but I guess the drag and drop into PLAY mode is something.

#1 If you prefer composing in MIDI instead of dots, but find the DAW’s notation support inadequate, then transferring the composition (via MIDI) into Dorico makes sense, but probably not worth the hassle for 99% of users.

The more likely case is to improve the sound and realism of the playback of Dorico projects. You can export the Dorico project as MIDI and run it into the DAW and edit anything to a gnat’s eyelash. Or for a simpler (but less powerful) process, you can export the Dorico project as a set of WAVs, one for each instrument. You can put each instrument into its own DAW track and carefully control volume, stereo placement, effects etc. You can actually do most of that within Dorico without using a DAW.

I have done a little of this, but it is usually too much work for my needs. If I had a contract that required beautiful scores AND a highly realistic rendering, then I would certainly export the Dorico MIDI to a DAW, and Cubase is as good as any.

In the utopian world of the future, you will not have to face such a trade-off of time versus quality of results. The notation product should integrate more tightly with the DAW such that you can have the project active in BOTH platforms. You can change anything in one platform and have it reflected in the other, all at the click of a single button. That’s the dream, I think.

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I have never composed/made instrumental music directly in DAW. I prefer to inputting notes via score (usually 5-line staves).
I do not like piano rolls. I use it to change the start point and end point of notes.
Sometimes the hairpin, the grace notes and other light alterations such as microtonality could not be controlled in score editors (I mean engraving tools.).
Then I should export it to midi files and edit in a DAW, but the final result cannot be imported into a notation software program, because MIDI protocol does not have any information on notation.

My question in the first post in this thread is related to this perspective. The drog-and-drop-into-PLAY-mode feature changes the workflow of midi file export and import, but nothing has been changed in this perspective.

The feature of reading “system-attached text items” is quite useful. It is great!
This makes me consider the purchasing of Cubase 10 Pro, but I am still not sure.

Anyway, I agree with the following opinion:

The better solution might be one of the followings:

  • an integration of Dorico and Cubase, of course
  • a perfect exchange of the notation-and-performance data using one of the following protocols: the next version of XML, MIDI version 2 or MNX

If you have no interest in composing in a DAW, and you have no interest in working with mockups that include sampled audio such as sound effects in addition to music, and you have no interest in being able to work with mixing automation etc., then no, there’s probably no particularly good reason to go anywhere near a DAW. On the other hand, if you prefer composing in a DAW or you want to be able to include e.g. SFX in your mockups, and you like being able to work with mixing automation (with a hardware controller with faders) then it might be worth taking advantage of the current discount on Cubase.

Conceptually, this is similar to what REWIRE does. I don’t mean to gloss over the complexities here. This will be a major evolution. But so was the confluence of MIDI sequencing and audio recording that gave us what we now all take for granted as the DAW. That took 15-20 years to become highly mature.


I am just beginning with Dorico. Regarding what you say “export the Dorico project as MIDI and run it into the DAW…”: does this keep the articulations, accents, playing techniques, and so on, or do I need to configurate something in Cubase? If so, I would maybe prefer to modify all details in Dorico (including timing) and the generate the wavs and import them in Cubase. Or is it simple to work with the imported MIDIs?

Thank you.

Other than recording/editing/mixing of live audio, I’d like to think that in the future Dorico should be able to take over the majority of what many currently use a DAW for - certainly, with Dorico’s piano roll editor with MIDI CC editing and the ability to insert virtual instruments and FX plugins, etc., that seems to be the direction in which they’re heading for those who like to take a notation-first approach (in fact, I’m already finding that even just using Note Performer alone and not messing with the Piano Roll at all already suffices for certain projects I’ve had, as far as mockups). Having said that, there’s still (of course) more work to be done as I know they’re aware (including editing of individual note velocities, etc)…

It is a good question. I have not done much of this with Dorico yet. I have previously used Finale (with “human playback”), sending that MIDI into a DAW and it came across with various controller commands, not just the note on/off. I can’t say accurately what comes across with Dorico’s MIDI export. Part of the issue is that Dorico has not yet implemented sufficient controller nuances.

And another issue (my own ignorance) lies with the Expression maps. I surmise that the realistic playback may depend on these maps being well supported. I have not tackled that yet. I understand that there are similar maps in Cubase, but they are different from Dorico’s and the two do not align. Clearly playback is a fertile area for the future.

At the special cross grade price, I figured it was worth a bet on future closer integration. My newest Cubase was twenty years old as I use DP and Logic. I’ve spoken to a few film guys who swear that Cubase is the way to go. I can’t remember their argument but it was something on the lines of much more efficient processor use with large orchestral sample-based templates.

When you export a MIDI file from Dorico, all of the controllers, keyswitches etc. that are part of Dorico’s regular playback will be included in the MIDI file.

Thank you for your answers, compañeros, I understand, I know now that the MIDI will conserve all additional data. But I guess that means too that I need to set up all HSO instruments again in Cubase to play the individual MIDI tracks (and maybe just to render these later to wav). I would add a comment, though: for many people that work at mixing it is preferred to render all VSTi’s to audio before processing and mixing, so that they can use the same effects and routing that they use with “real” tracks and they free a lot of RAM too. I tend to prefer this alternative, too. So, if Dorico has the same MIDI to WAV render engine (same quality), I tend to think I would prefer to work rendering in Dorico and then working in Cubase with the audio tracks, understanding that I could have done some edition work in Dorico before rendering.

At the moment there are still operations that are easier to do in a DAW, that make it better to import MIDI or xml rather than audio from Dorico. It makes sense to have templates set up in both. It would be cool to open a Dorico file in Cubase and have it set everything up.

There’s very little stopping you, but you do have to setup your own template. I have a setup where I moved all VIs out of Dorico; in addition to all the customary VI tracks, I have a “MIDI drop zone”, with empty tracks that match the order of the MIDI file tracks that Dorico exports which only route their MIDI to the correct track above. I just drag and drop the MIDI file and everything sounds as if it were in Dorico.

I meant in the future maybe drag an actual Dorico file to the Cubase icon and have it magically mine it for all info.

I understand, thank you. I will experiment, then.

If you use Vienna Ensemble Pro for everything VST, you can just close Dorico, open Cubase, load your MIDI file and direct all the instruments (SHIFT+Click) to the already Opened Vienna Ensemble and it’ll sound identical. This takes one click if you’re using 16 instruments or less, but even using vastly large orchestras you can still do the whole thing in less than two minutes!

Saludos de Londres!