Dear Dorico, Please enter the 21rst century and get your MIDI export fundamentals together

Dear Dorico,

Please enter the 21rst century and get your MIDI export fundamentals together.

Exporting MIDI from Dorico does not retain user given names for players/instruments/tracks!

Renaming the player slot, then again in the instrument slot (full and short name for some god awful reason) they don’t even retain their names. This naming system in Dorico is terrible and is compounded when trying to make sense of MIDI exports. How many clicks does it take to rename something? It shouldn’t be a deep dive.

This is an impediment to MIDI file export in that it adds a superfluous step to the process, and yet it doesn’t work! Then you wind up with irrelevant instrument/track names in every place that you open the Dorico created MIDI file.

As a useful utility for creating MIDI files from Dorico, I should be able to name any staff easily without the association of an instrument. Being able to create a staff without an instrument would be helpful, and renaming that staff by double clicking the name in “Write” mode - to a name that will be retained properly upon MIDI export is a very logical solution. And those names should identify their tracks properly in MIDI files.

There is also the matter of the lack of MIDI export options:
Dorico needs to add a check box list to be able to select which player/instrument/tracks are being exported.

The only other way to export parts or groups separately is to delete them from the setup, which makes for a very cumbersome process. Ask any audio engineer if that would be their preferred process for exporting stems and you would get a double facepalm.

Other options are important as well, such as a check box to bypass all playback humanization from export. It is not time efficient to go off in the weeds to adjust timing and velocity playback preferences before every MIDI export. Again, lots of diving through menus for things that should be one click away.

There is also an error in multi-channel MIDI export:

Channel 10 is not present. When exporting, anything assigned to channel 10 or beyond in Dorico playback will get shifted up by one channel. So, channel 10 inside Dorico is exported as channel 11, channel 11 as 12… and so on. C’mon.

Now, more naming-

What’s with the Flows here? Please do not implement things as a “convenience” when there are acting as obstructions on other uses, especially those of which are commonplace (such as exporting MIDI!). Flows are fine for certain uses, but let us turn some features off when not needed.

Let us name the files please- directly from the export window like any other commercial application on this EARTH does because it’s common courtesy at this point. It is a basic expectation as normal software behaviour. Now that is beyond MIDI, beyond music apps and out to the whole environment of commercial software. Dorico, sometimes you make me feel like I bought a car with 4 moon-roofs, 15 climate control zones, yet without windshield wipers or headlights. And it takes a combination of 9 moves to turn the radio on or off.

Sorry fo the rant, but some of these issues are glaring and simply unprofessional. I would love to get to ideas on feature requests someday, but we can’t have bells and whistles until the fundamental infrastructure is there.

We need better tools for making MIDI files. I suggest Dorico get its act together on this matter. MIDI files and MIDI music creation are certainly not going away!

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I’m sorry but this will never happen.

The “naming system” (ie names of Players and Instruments) is one of the key design concepts of this software. As is the Setup Mode, the place where you edit these.

I don’t know enough about MIDI Exporting to comment on the other issues you’re referring to.

The renaming could easily be achieved by the program making the assumption that the name change changes the first instrument name.
It is a completely unintuitive workflow to add superfluous clicks and steps when you take common usage into account. Most of the players in an orchestra aren’t doubling on another instrument, which means for much of the naming most people will be doing, there is an added step by having to dig further into each player setup to get to the instrument. The most common scenario is also the one that should be the simplest to implement, as a rule of efficiency. Dorico has reversed that here, as in many places.

I understand what you’re saying but it’s not designed that way. Setup Mode is for setting up your project and Write Mode is for entering musical content.

I think it’s a great way for it to work in all but a few situations. And it seems very easy, for me at least, to change things in those situations (four clicks I think). Although there are many players who wouldn’t be doubling instruments I think this design is still more efficient. I think the majority of users would set up players and their instruments and then be done.

I’m interested to know why and how often you are wanting to change names - or what your type of work requires you to do etc?

It’s possible that it’s a bad design.

Sorry, but you should never have to dig into sub-menus to rename the primary objects at hand.
It is not conducive to workflow in any application.

You don’t do it with photos, film clip editing, audio editing or mixing, graphs, charts, or video game development engines. You click, or double-click on an object to rename it. You don’t change modes and navigate 2 levels of windows and look at a bunch options that are wildly superfluous to the task at hand.

Look at this godawful mess:

What an eyesore. Almost the entirely of that needs to be hidden from view if you are just in there to rename something.

And look at those massive, right-justified spaces for text!!! Why?

They should take a cue from practically every other decent program out there and make renaming a simple process.

Click or double-click the object to name. Name it. Done.

The program can’t even do me a solid and assume my “3” will be shortened to “3”, as otherwise it will read “Grand Staff”.

It’s like getting nagging pop-ups on your mobile phone.

I can’t even imagine the uproar that would happen if Cubase/Nuendo decided that the re-naming process for audio tracks and events would work like this.

It’s a joke! And I’m tired of this “emperor has no clothes” mantra by this forum.

There are some major design problems with this software that need to get worked out.

For every one thing I get excited for (“explode” function, automatic condensing, note and rhythm transformations) there is always another thing just squeeing a nasty bottleneck into the bandwidth of workflow, making it like slogging through mud.

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As somebody who runs several Discourse forums I am well aware that the Guidelines page recommends not to respond to the tone of posts, but in this case I feel compelled to say this. There are many sincere people on the forum willing and able to help, but deprecating Dorico with insults wont elicit positive responses from people. Why should they help? It’s always possible to put things nicely. In this case, you see shortcomings in concepts around players and MIDI exports and naming. You could articulate this objectively and position your positive recommendations as a feature request. While you may be dissatisfied with Dorico and the Dorico forum, it’s relatively rare to have a product where the product managers and several developers take an active part and read everything daily, and who take all feature requests into consideration for possible future implementation, resources allowing. You may regard this as yet more “emperor has no clothes mantra” - whatever that means - but it’s something many Dorico users appreciate, the responsiveness of the Dorico team.

Now coming to your first issue, can you clarify please about the naming being missing? I made a test MIDI export of a Piano score in Dorico Pro and checked the MIDI file with a hex editor and the name Piano is in a text chunk in the header. Also, the name displays fine on import into Cubase 12. So is this about a case where having numbers as instrument names is not working? In which case, a possible defect to be addressed? As with @DanielMuzMurray I am also interested to know what the use case is that you have that requires no players or names. I’m sure it’s valid, but I’ve not encountered it. Let us know.


But in a pit orchestra many are. Consider this context:

From there:

It’s definitely the case, however, that it’s common for the woodwind players to be required to double. The woodwind parts are usually referred to as reed parts, although these also include flute music. The instruments required for each part are dependent on the show, but players can often expect to play five or even six instruments in one part.

What to you appears a godawful eyesore appears to me a very feature-rich and mature interface that allows detailed formatting of how I’d like my instrument names to appear. Even if double-click to edit were implemented, I’d still like to have these formatting options available. Note that you (happily) don’t have to click on a single one of those buttons; you can just edit your text in the text box and click OK.


To return to the issue raised by Craig in the first post in this thread: Dorico does try to use the full name of the instrument as the track name when exporting MIDI, but you’ve identified a gap in the implementation, and I’m glad you’ve reported this, so we can fix it.

I won’t get into the dirty technical details, but basically Dorico builds up data for playback purposes in response to edits made to the score. When the project is loaded, the data that is eventually used to provide the track names for MIDI files is set up (using the same code that is used when an instrument is added or changed), but if the instrument names are edited during the session, this data is not currently updated. So you would find that if you save, close and reopen your project after editing the instrument names, the track names in the exported MIDI file would be as you expect.

This obviously shouldn’t be necessary, and I have spent some time this morning closing this gap, so you can be assured that as of the next update, when you rename an instrument in Setup mode, that will take effect in any MIDI files subsequently exported during that same session (and indeed thereafter). I’m sorry for the inconvenience in the meantime.

We do plan in future versions (though I cannot say when) to revamp the way naming of exported files is handled, taking the same kind of approach we currently take to specifying filenames when exporting graphics to the other exporters, including MIDI and audio files.


Well you can’t get more responsive that that! Exactly the point I was making about caching this matter as a defect not a complaint.

@dspreadbury that’s brilliant.


8 posts were split to a new topic: Dorico should just be part of Cubase