Deciding Dorico or?

Hi everybody (Daniel, I’m watching your tutorials, great job!)
I’m a Cubase pro user and I’m trying Dorico for a month, some things are amazing, I just started and maybe I should wait a little before posting but:

  1. Playback is a nightmare, the cursor moves in a different place compared to the music played (I installed Halion and all the other stuff but the playback sucks)
  2. when I import a midi file created with Cubase, things like expression maps are left out (staccato etc, I must be doing something wrong)
  3. I’m a guitarist and teacher, I published 9 instructional books and spending all those money for a music software with no tab… mmmhhh.

I’ll add more while I try, hope feedback helps

By the way, a lot of the things are great!


  1. Have you checked that the audio engine is set to 48, not 44.1?
  2. You need to export from Cubase as MusicXML, not MIDI.
  3. It’s on the development radar, but you’re right, no guitar tab yet.

Also, I believe Cubase Expression Maps must be specifically imported into Dorico separately from any MIDI file using the Expression Maps editor screen. Watch the video on Expression Maps.

Thank you both, I’ll check and let you know!

I think you’ll find the first two issues can be resolved easily. Guitar tab is something they’re starting to tackle. As with anything Dorico does, when they release it, it’ll be phenomenal.

If Dorico is something you can afford, that doesn’t stretch you too much, then I recommend getting it if for no other reason than to begin to familiarize yourself with it. Guitar tabs are coming. When they do come, do you want only then to begin tackling the task of learning a new software platform? It took me a bit to figure out how to work in Dorico, and I wouldn’t say I’m yet proficient at it. But when guitar tabs come, you can bet it will be an implementation of them superior to what’s out there now. At that point all you’ll have to learn is the guitar tab aspect of Dorico, not it’s numerous unique ways of doing things.

I don’t believe standard MIDI file can carry information like Expression Maps, regardless of what software exports it. Standard MIDI is, well, a standard with specific content specifications that were designed long before Expression Maps existed.

Can anyone here shed some light on the proposed update to MIDI? Looks pretty interesting. I wonder if it would allow for things like expression mapping.

A standard MIDI file can carry the specific MIDI messages to make a particular sample library play “expressively”, but it can’t contain any generalized “human interpretable” information about the semantics of the playback.

Dorico starts from the other end of the spectrum - the basic source of all the playback information is the score, written for human player to read and play.

The Dorico concepts of “playing techniques” (standardised, human-readable, score notations) “playback techniques” (non-sample-library-specific descriptions of the different technical ways to play an instrument) and “expression maps” (which translate the playback techniques into the MIDI commands for a particular sample library) exist to convert the score’s music notation into MIDI.

Dorico does have the option to edit the MIDI data directly, but in an ideal world that would only be the “get out of jail” option for playback when all else fails.

Dankreider, don’t hold your breath. They started defining “the next generation of midi” back in 2005. It’s “only” taken 13 years to get to the first release of the initial parts of the specification - which is where they are at right now.

And note what it actually says in the release document: It “paves the way for a new industry standard MIDI protocol that could enable new features like higher resolution, more channels and improved performance and expressiveness”. “Could”, not “will”.

So far as I can see, it won’t achieve much at all unless groups of hardware and software developers can agree to use common MIDI control methods for their products - and the fact that they have never done that in the past is why we are where we are right now. The problem with a company “agreeing to use common standards with its competitors” is that it takes away its unique selling propositions - so dream on.

You might factor in how long VST3 has been available and ready to use (more than 10 years), and how much software still uses VST2!

Ah, makes sense. I was hoping for some sort of next-gen MIDI protocol. Never mind then! :wink:

I’d be careful about spending big bucks on Dorico if there’s an important feature you need that it doesn’t currently have, e.g. guitar tabs. If you buy it now, you may find that you’ll be paying a hefty upgrade fee for the next version that does support what you want. For those of us who paid nearly $600 for Dorico 1, we found that we had to pay an additional $100 for the Dorico 2 upgrade to get some basic features that were not included in Dorico 1.

If there are missing features you need and you’re not ready to buy, but you want to get a jump on Dorico, my suggestion in the interim is to watch the YouTube videos ad nauseum. And read all the documentation you can. And even memorize the key commands, if you’re serious about mastering Dorico.

That’s what I did prior to downloading the trial version. From day 1 of actually using the software, there was little or no learning curve – I had already put in the time learning the program.

Or, get your feet wet with Dorico Elements (which wasn’t available when eboats felt hard done by in the past) and upgrade later.

Rob, any change here?

It depends what you think about the word “could” in

I’ve seem some complaints on another forum that the new standard has actually “standardized” some MIDI controls which were previously used by some popular pieces of kit for other (officially nonstandard) purposes.

That’s not a good way to start a technology revolution - buy one new toy, and all your old toys instantly break :wink:

that is what I did. :slight_smile:
it’ll still take a while to get used to that insert mode. … and then there’s the tuplets… :confused: