Better Sound Output

Getting deeper into Dorico and LOVING it.
However, somewhat disappointed with the playback sounds.
Halion Sonic SE3 is passable, but I don’t seem to get the same quality as my Genos produces.
Ideally (though I can find nothing to verify this being possible) one could simply output parts to an external synth like my Genos.
Since that, apparently, is not yet possible (maybe in the works?) what can be done to “enrichen” the output sounds for parts like piano, strings, woodwinds, etcetera?
My thanks to Daniel and all the good people at Steinberg and forum users.
… Frederick

Have you tried Note Performer? Amazing sounds right out of the box.

I would have thought that you could use your Genos as a playback instrument using the MIDI out stuff in Play mode. You’d probably have to take care manually of all the routing/settings of course (I don’t think old MIDI can handle all this information)

surely the Genos will only output its own sounds which can be recorded as a MIDI performance – which could in theory be imported into Dorico but I don’t see (and perhaps I’m missing something) how notation from Dorico can be used to trigger those sounds. Almost certainly you can do better than the Genos anyway if you want orchestral instruments. Surely the Genos is really designed for live playing?

NotePerformer is a start and easy to use with notation software but for best results, you’ll need to investigate one of the bigger producers of sample libraries like VSL, Spitfire (the BBC Core/Pro orchestras are popular), Cinematic Studio or Orchestral Tools. It all depends on how important the best quality sound is and how much work you’re willing to put in.

I will try Note Performer. Has to be better than Halion Sonic SE3 … but, frankly, very surprised that Steinberg doesn’t have better sounds. I have also Cubase 11 and, presumably, the sounds that load with it, but Dorico sees Halion, and the piano sound is attrociously bad.

I’m my opinion the Halion sounds are pretty good.

Steinberg does have better sounds, such as the Iconica Library – but if they were bundled with Dorico, you could expect Dorico to retail at a much higher price. HALion is a basic library, just to give you a default that covers a wide range of instruments.

You have to remember that many --perhaps most?-- people are using Dorico primarily to produce printed notation, and high-fidelity playback may be nice to have, but not essential.

Any sounds that you can access in Cubase should be available in Dorico.

If you want every articulation in your score to just playback without much fuss the I think NP is the best option. It doesn’t match the sound quality of the bigger libraries VSL, Spitfire, Orchestral Tools and EWHO and countless others but the functionality versus the headaches is really quite amazing. I load up anything in Noteperforner and it just plays it most of the time.

If you want a real orchestra playing from a sound module or external device, it’s all really gonna take some thought and time to get the workflow you want. I’ve been working on playback for years now and it’s only starting to take shape. I think it’s about workflow and how you want to write. All the knowledge on this forum and a few sample libraries would probably be less fiddly than trying to get your keyboard to do it. I can’t even think of some of the headaches you might have trying to manage the articulation switching, routing etc, and then you’d probably have to re-route the outputs from your keyboard into your interface to ‘hear’ the midi that’s being triggered, etc… If you love your keyboard sounds though and also have limited funds it may be a different story. The good thing about hardware is it does take a bit of stress of your computer if you can make it work. I’m pretty sure VSL may have some trials and there is the free (via survey IIRC) BBC Discovery with templates from John Barron to try out. I need a good sound to feel like I can engage with instruments and have something that feels close to the real thing. There’s a great thread of free samples on V.I. Control (Composer’s forum) some people probably have more libraries than they could ever use but the libraries mentioned in one of the earlier posts would all be great if you can afford to get your hands on them. If you want a nice piano the free soft imperial from VSL sounds pretty nice to me. I started with EWQLSO back in the day with Sibelius sound sets and even with the sound sets I still had to really spend a lot of time to get the results I wanted.

Some folks can get it all done in a DAW but I like to see the score so I’m at home with Dorico now. It’s DAW like features allow sample libraries to coexist pretty well so it’s at least worth exploring if you have the time. Good luck with it all whatever you end up deciding to go with. Cheers Simon.

While I suspect Ben is right, to take devil’s advocate for the sake of argument: even if a huge contingent of users wanted Dorico for playback first (and no doubt there are many who do), Dorico—much like many other music making programs—serves the function as a platform, from which other more advanced products can be launched. There are oodles of third-party libraries available out there; Dorico’s function is not to be the producer of the sound, but the host for these other libraries.

As ben says, they have to draw the line somewhere, and halion, while basic, is enough for many people who don’t want to futz around with detailed manipulation. For those who do, these other libraries, some of which cost $1,000 themselves, are the ticket.

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Having started with Cubase 30 years ago (when it had to be loaded from cassette tape) I find Dorico heads and shoulders above Cubase for the way I work, but in Cubase I can set a range and have the playback loop and loop while I “kick” notes around until they “sound just right”.

You advanced people who just want to write music for others probably “hear” what you write in your heads and need not hear it in your ears as I must.

It seemed (having done quite a lot of programming over the years) that the same MIDI files that are clearly being recorded by Dorico could be “sent” to an external sound device and even be looped while playing out to the external device from EDIT mode so an amateur like me could decide if I wanted, for example, eighth note triplets or some other “sound”. I cannot “hear” the notation on the screen. Ergo the idea that Dorico COULD be made to output back to the same external keyboard from which I enter notes … without too terribly much programming.

My thanks to all who kindly responded to my earlier posts.

It will be centuries before any orchestra is going to play what I print. I just want basic piano parts with occasional other instruments. Not clever enough to write a symphony and wouldn’t be able to find an orchestra to play one even if I would write it in Dorico. :sunglasses:

You certainly CAN point midi to a hardware controller if you set it up properly in Play mode. There are a few other threads about this.

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exactly and there have been numerous requests for this feature in Dorico as well.

So, a consensus seems to be that Dorico does NOT provide for MIDI output to an external synth AND does NOT provide for looping within “markers” as does Cubase?

Is this a feature that is planned for future releases?

There seem to be 2 WORLDS and a gap in between. Working with “sound” and working with “score”. Ideally, I would hope some of you might agree, the two could be combined in future generations. Yes?

It is correct that Dorico does not provide looping between markers, at least at the moment: this has been requested before and will no doubt be added in a future version.

You can send MIDI out to your MIDI devices, but handling program changes etc. to select the desired sounds on your synth will require you to create an expression map.

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Oh, good morning, Mr. Spreadbury.
God gave me a knack for melody and lyrics, so Dorico promises a fantastic way to share my music with others … but, for example, when I “play” something on my keyboard that I like the “sound” of, it takes me a bit of tweaking to figure out, for example, that a phrase is triplet eighth notes. Once I get that in Dorico, it sounds great. Getting there is another thing … because my EAR has to be involved in the process to get it right. I can’t “hear” the scored notes.
Your kind and amazing feedback, please.

Moreover, kind sir, the “setting” to play a score to MIDI output baffles me.
Cannot for the life of me find anything in the documentation but, then, this old man is getting on in years.

My hope for 30 years of being baffled by each ensuing iteration of Cubase has been to capture my “tunes” and print scores for musicians … but Cubase is too verbose these days, and I get lost in the complexity. When I found Dorico my heart leaped, thinking the answer was there for me at last.

My goal is melody on one staff, something like accompaniment on another one or two staves, lyrics, and chord names. Not planning to write a full symphony. Pushing 80 years of age I don’t think I have time. :slight_smile:

That seems like you want to play in real time, and let Dorico create the notation. Are you doing that?

Mozart and Haydn would pop out a symphony in just a few days, so your age and time left aren’t at issue here. You have time – you may not want to use the time to write a symphony but that’s a different matter. :grinning:

No. I don’t play “that well”, and I can never play my ideas to a metronome, since they are emotional with accelerando and retards and triplets and such … so getting them to “line up” in Dorico or Cubase is impossible. What I like to do is get the “general idea” in the computer then tweak it while listening. Other people in this forum are truly talented. I just bump along, but people like my songs and some people even play them in public … but not from audio recordings they listen to. I give them the score with melody, chord symbols, and sometimes a very rudimentary accompaniment.

That’s all I need from the DAWs … but for me it is Chinese most of the time.

Oh, how I wish I could write something like Beethoven’s Eroica, my favorite of all time. Or Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2, another of my favorites, a cosmic realm of emotion unlike anything else we humans feel with our ears. But until I can master the software for simple things, I’d better let the masterpieces wait awhile.