DAW/DCC live link?

I’m a game composer and my present workflow is Paper->DAW->Final mixing in game engine. Being a musician I fundamentally think in notes and score and not MIDI data (e.g. Piano Roll) and so hate working in a DAW for music creation work. I’d like to keep that to just the technical work of mixing, stemming etc. Dorico has matured to the point that I can do most of my composing on it and just use paper for early sketching, which is wonderful. The issue is that in working in games there’s a lot of back and forth between the game back to the orchestration. Let me give you an example from art (I’m also a game artist on our small team)

In game art you have to use a lot of applications. First there’s the main DCC tool (Digital Content Creation), I use Blender for modeling. Then it goes to Marmoset for mock up. Back and forth until the model looks approximately good with normals and edges all looking good. Then Substance Painter or Quixel Mixer for texturing, finally it’s output from all of those apps to Unreal where it’s assembled and play tested. Now the lighting conditions in the game are different than what was used to make the piece, so there’s a back and forth to get it all working.

Because of this developers have created really wonderful Live Link plugins that go from one app to another so it’s seamless. I can, say, work on a character in Blender, hit a hot key and it instantly shows up in Unreal. I’ll work on the animation and rigging, tweak it, create some animations and test how they work in game until I’m satisfied. The back and forth is seamless.

Short answer: I’d like to see a Live Link for Dorico->DAW. Since Logic doesn’t support plugins AFAIK this means at least and maybe only Cubase. THe way these work is the receiving app (Cubase) opens a host port that waits for JSON commands. The DCC (Dorico) sends over JSON data and you get seamless integration. Since Dorico has expression maps I think those can probably be used over to Cubase to interpret the musical content. We’re all using the same virtuals anyhow. What I’d like to see is the following workflow

  • Start Cubase and Dorico
  • Start writing in Dorico
  • Hit some hotkey (there must be a few left :slight_smile: ) and send the whole score over to Cubase
  • Cubase receives the JSON MIDI data (or maybe there’s a seperate MIDI network port and the JSON is used for control) and sets up the project to mirror Dorico, with all the proper virtual insts and tracks set up with MIDI data
  • Edits in Cubase can be sent back to Dorico, for speed it should only send the changes (timecoded)
  • Edits in Dorico seamlessly update Cubase
  • and so on

The keys are it should be as seamless and intuitive as possible, which is Dorico’s deisgn philosophy already. Thoughts?

This is the dream. :slight_smile: