I was rather eager for this program to come out, but I find it rather primimitive as an engraving tool…maybe there are hidden aspects in the software that I need to discover?

Perhaps if you could provide a little more context over what you have tried to achieve and what problems you have encountered, I might be able to provide some assistance, but unfortunately you haven’t given me a great deal to go on!

For example, how can I manually adjust distances between staves in, and only in, any given system? By the way I am really looking forward to leaving Sibelius behind…

At the moment, you cannot manually adjust the distance between staves and systems beyond what Dorico does on its own. We know this is anathema to many users, and of course we intend to add this functionality as soon as possible. Our aim has been to make the default behaviour of Dorico as good as possible, and often this has meant that we have devoted time and energy towards improving the program’s automatic behaviour before we have devoted time to making it possible to tweak things individually. I think this has been a very good discipline during the development of the software as it has encouraged the team to continually be looking to refine the software’s default and automatic behaviour.

I understand your point; however, as you well know this means that the program is not yet quite ready for any serious publisher, and many composers won’t be able to use it at this stage…I will stay tuned, and hopefully I will be able to use it for my work in the future.

I hate to say it, but I’m starting to strongly agree. This feels like an alpha, not a 1.0 release. I don’t really understand why it was released in this state and called “1.0”. It’s an impressive tech demo, but it’s not really usable software for real world use.

Just one day after release. I have already spent many hours tinkering with this software and achieved almost nothing. Intuitive UI? I don’t really think so. Just try inputting accidentals on a non-English keyboard… And there’s still so much you can’t do. Moving lyrics in relation to the staff, moving staves closer together or further apart, changing the font for instrument names and page numbers, hiding unwanted staves on a page of full score, copying and pasting longer passages of music: this and much else is either not implemented, not properly documented or simply not working. The lack of a full, referenced manual is a further disappointment.

I’m going to freeze Dorico down for about nine months, then take another look. At the moment this is more promise than reality. And I feel less like a customer than a crowd-funder.

I agree 100% with Antony Beaumont. I wish for very generous upgrades for us crowd-funders.

Were you around for the initial release of Finale? I was. It cost $1000 and was arcane as all get out. But it got better, and I expect Dorico will as well. Right now I must still depend on Finale, but I will practice Dorico both to support its development and develop my own chops at the same time.

While I understand those who are disappointed, my hope and expectation is that before too long things will be much improved and more fully functional. I think it IS legitimate to take into consideration that this is a 1.0 release.

My brief and low-level experience in the software business opened my eyes to the challenges and competing priorities of such endeavors, among which is the need to pay the substantial costs of employee salaries and benefits.

It may (or may not) be true that Steinberg had to generate some revenue from Dorico before it’s developers were fully ready, and in a less functional state than it’s customers might have hoped. But the alternative ought to give us some pause. Steinberg has invested a lot of time and money in this team. At some point revenue is needed to support it’s continuation. That’s just a business reality. If their alternative was to abandon the project and cut the team loose, we’d all be much worse off.

The part I understand is that people don’t enjoy paying full or even crossgrade pricing to use software that is less than fully functional. Daniel has been forthright in managing expectations, and he’s been equally adamant that better functionality will be available soon with free updates.

Meanwhile, I intend to use this interim time to familiarize myself as much as possible with some of the amazing features that are working quite well. That way, when better functionality arrives, I will be better prepared to learn it and take advantage of it.

Beta testing? Perhaps, but not at all uncommon for 1.0 software. Testing teams can only do so much, can only reproduce so many variations of the vast possibilities of what customers might do.

(FYI, I have no relationship at all with Dorico or it’s team. I’m simply a customer.)

I have to admire Steiberg’s bravery. By cross-marketing (via discounts) to a couple of very sophisticated, established products, they are inviting feedback from a very demanding set of users. Ultimately that should help Dorico improve–rapidly, we hope–in a way that satisfies the demands of the market.

Antony, we’re sorry to hear of your frustrations during your initial outing with Dorico and certainly take them seriously. Please be assured that we continue to work tirelessly on improving Dorico, in ways outlined by Daniel on previous occasions.

In the meantime, can I at least assure you that some of the features you are looking for are already implemented:

  • there are options to control the vertical positioning of lyrics in relation to the staff found in Engraving Options (Ctrl/Cmd+Shift+E) > Lyrics;
  • the font for instrument names can be changed in Engrave > Engrave menu > Paragraph Styles > Staff Labels;
  • page number styles can be customised using the same dialog
  • hiding empty staves can be achieved via Layout Options (Ctrl/Cmd+Shift+L) > Vertical Spacing > Hide Empty Staves, though stave-specific overrides to the general option are not yet available.

The other features you mention are definitely on our list, and if I can help familiarise you with any other areas of the program I would be very happy to.

Many thanks for trying Dorico,


As a Nuendo user and working composer, I was really looking forward to some tight integration between my Steinberg DAW and Steinberg notation program. Is it there? Am I missing something? As a small example : Are expression maps in Nuendo/Cubase able to interact at all with Dorico? I respect that this is an initial release, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’m currently disappointed. I can easily use another top notation program for making scores, but I can’t make a demo generated from notation sound good with any of those. Some unique (Steinberg exclusive) functionality between Nuendo/Cubase and Dorico would be amazing. I’m certain you have been working very hard on this product. I can appreciate that. I hope you have some big plans for including functionality down the road. I just thought you might like to hear from someone who uses your products all day, every day. Thanks.

We shall be adding expression map support soon and continue to work on closer integration between Dorico and Cubase/Nuendo as the application matures. We certainly do have big plans in this area!

Anthony, that is great news! Thank you for the reply. I will stay tuned. Cheers, Tim

For me as a Cubendo user I too am really looking forward to this tight integration and where I think some of your biggest success will be. There isn’t another DAW out that has super great Score support with all the benefits of a DAW. DP, Logic and Cubase all do a great job and each have different things I really like but nothing quite like Sibelius or Finale. For me some sort of souped up Rewire between the two applications would be idea since I would like to keep my key commands and menus separate and not get into all the complicated layers of commands that Logic has had for years (though that is a very cool feature). That way it would just make it much simpler for my brain to think oh this is for the notation and this is for the DAW.

I say souped up because things like we have currently where we can pull the chord track into the score and have markers and things linked. I don’t simply want MIDI in and out and audio coming back to the DAW from the score. I thought Pro Tools was going to have that kind of integration long before now but hasn’t made any progress in years in this arena.

I totally agree with you. I am very sorry I trusted Steinberg and jump right away and bought it. Now I feel like having being forced or mislead into a crowd-funding situation. NO REFUND they told me. Why do I have to be crowd-funding a project I did not chose to do so?

“I am very sorry I trusted Steinberg and jump right away and bought it.” - Sounds as if you didn’t do much research, then. It’s not a question of trust - it was made clear here and elsewhere that the engraving capability of the program was well developed, the rest less so.

“Now I feel like having being forced or mislead into a crowd-funding situation. NO REFUND they told me. Why do I have to be crowd-funding a project I did not chose to do so?” - “Caveat emptor” I believe is the legal phrase.

I find it hard to be sympathetic with the people who have complained here that Dorico does not live up to their expectations. It is not as comprehensive as its two main competitors - yet. If there was any sense of uncertainty about it then people should have held off buying until they had either done their background research or read this forum to find out what the program does not do. Why anyone would be believe it was possible to build a scoring program from scratch in four years that would have all the resources of programs that have been going for over five times as long beats me. (Sibelius was originally released in 1993.)


I understand what you’re saying. You are correct. It is unrealistic to expect a program as deep as Sibelius in four years. I think the program does some great things and personally, after some initial disappointment, I will be sticking with it as it grows. You are certainly entitled to your opinion. I can also understand why some, who may not be as saavy about the industry as you, were surprised by the ‘Work in Progress’ condition of this release. Patience isn’t exactly everyone’s default position (myself included). I do intend to give the team at Dorico time to make this program awesome. Would you agree? Cheers, Tim

Hello ChrisC, no, you are wrong! I read everything about Dorico–the blog of development from the first article to the last, and watched the presentation online. I do not know where you are coming from so aggressive. We did not know a lot of the things that are missing. Such an expensive program should have a decent user manual and there are plenty of basic features that are not working, read any where in this forum.

I got the idea that the program was working fine but that certain areas were not implemented, as chord symbols, playing articulations, etc.

Don’t get so upset, I am not making up my disappointment, I am so exited that the Daniel team is working in a new notation program. I am just not in the position to expend such amount of money to help developing a software at this point in my life. So Steinberg should have a way to un-authorize my license code and refund me. Not to have a very unhappy costumer who after two days of using the program do no want to expend one more minute on it. I am 60 years old and I can assure you that every single piece of software that I have purchased in the last 30 years came with a manual that you sat with and excitingly read from top to bottom many times to learn what very intelligent people had developed. This includes Notator on the Atari St, much later the first release of InDesign, etc.

I just can assure you that this is Not a normal regular release of the first version of any software from any great company, as it is Steinberg. If this software would have been released by an unknown company most of us would have waited for a demo version and not jump right in which is what I regret.

I am sure that in time it can be the best player on the notation world and I wish the team the best luck with it. I am positive that the developing team are suffering Steinberg`s policy of not waiting for the project to be a little more mature and I feel for them because they have been doing a wonderful job all along, that is why we are talking here.

Given the state of the program, How long is going to be to implement the missing features? They are going to have to develop basic things yet, like selecting all, moving staves, and more.