Dorico 5 Most Wanted

OH! I just thought of one that would be REALLY useful:

Being able to create a “footnote” in the score, with the added ability to specify whether or not that footnote will appear in a part or multiple parts.

For example: in my violin concerto, there is a section where the soloist plays in 3rds, a somewhat technically demanding passage. I give the option to have the soloist leave out the bottom notes of the group.
This is indicated by an asterisk in the score at that spot, on that staff.
The actual indication (option to leave out notes) is inserted as a footnote in the score.
But it would also be nice to have that footnote in the soloist’s part.
In the score, it’s page 20, but in the solo part it’s page 4.

It would be nice to have the footnote text appear just OUTSIDE the bottom page margin. Not in the area used for staves/music.

Right now to achieve the desired effect, I have to make text in the score, attached to the measure in question, then drag that to the bottom of the page and space it correctly.

It would just be nice to have a “footnote” feature: click the spot desired in the score, then choose the “footnote” function, and have Dorico insert an asterisk or number (you choose which you prefer in the options) at that point above or below the staff, and then show the text that is to appear in the actual footnote, correctly placed at the bottom of the page.

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This has been requested before, you will be unsurprised to hear, and it’s on our wish list for future versions.


Numbered footnotes (and endnotes) that update automatically if new ones are inserted would be a great time saver in making scholarly editions. 1), 2) etc. is a style often used for these, since they stand out. Completing this would be a way to integrate musical examples into the footnotes and wrap text around them.

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Hello all,

I have not been able to read all the posts. I hope I’m not repeating myself here. For my work with Dorico, it would be an insane time-saver if I didn’t have to switch so often to a graphics programme (I use Affinity Designer) for this kind of notation. (See example).

My wish is to be able to select any bar or section and have it automatically converted to a section with sound durations as duration lines.

Thank you and have a good time


It seems to me that Steinberg may be selling yourselves a tiny bit short in how you position the product. Clearly, it is first and foremost a music notation product, so it is natural that would be the main headline.

However, I think you would do well to broaden your marketing message a little bit. I have often talked about convergence with the DAW world as an inevitable direction (just as the DAW world itself was a convergence of the MIDI sequencer world with the audio recording world). Recent Dorico releases have made significant strides in at least making the product more “DAW-like”, if not actually converging with DAWs.

But there is another convergence, which encompasses many of these comments. That is the convergence of music notation and publishing in general. The fact is that Dorico (unlike any other notation program I am aware of) has publishing concepts built in from the very foundation. I mean, you could take away the music frames and still almost have a useful publishing application.

I think this music/publishing convergence could be given a bit more emphasis, considering there really isn’t anything else like that in the market as far as I know.


Indeed. Sheet music is a subset of publishing, and any given sheet of music contains all sorts of blocks of formatted text – like the footnotes asked for. (Moveable type was used for both music and text for many years.)

A decent notation app must also be able to add graphics, lines, text items, etc – and control their interaction, such as stacking order, transparency, etc.

How exactly is Cubase integration supposed to work in a way that keeps both Cubase and Dorico as seperately marketable products, and doesn’t piss off the users? Should Cubase just inherit full Dorico functionality, and keep its price the same, making Dorico redundant? Yeah, it doesn’t surprise me that Cubase users would want that.

But ultimately, doesn’t Steinberg have a product line conflict-crisis coming up between Dorico and Cubase anyway given the amount of DAW-like features Dorico has now? Better not actually make Dorico that good, guys, or else nobody will want to buy Cubase anymore! So as I see it, there’s a conflict of interest between both programs’ development. I would love to see a statement from Steinberg on that, by the way.

Personally, I think the only real long-term solution to keeping both products alive is to not develop crossover features. (But I personally would like to see Dorico bridge the gap entirely as the ultimate winner) – and at this point it’s too late because Steinberg has already opened that Pandora’s box, the crossover features are here, and now there’s a clear redundancy crisis to resolve at some point. Add too many Cubase/Daw features, Cubase users go ‘what gives’ and vice-versa.

Think about how insulted Cubase users would be if they added another tab to Dorico’s workflow, a mode that for all intents and purposes – was basically cubase, perhaps without a digital audio recorder. Would Dorico users be any less rightly insulted if Cubase inherited the same thing (i.e. notation features, the entire CORE of what Dorico is) … ? Why should Steinberg put themselves in such a position?

How much of Cubase’s codebase should exist in Dorico and vice-versa? Do we get a discount on each program based on that code crossover, as well?

If Dorico is to be the game changer it wants to be, this crisis will have to be resolved and Cubase may well become entirely obsolete pending Dorico actually reaching gamechanger status. You can’t have both, guys, and to me being a game changer means making the DAW as we know it obsolete, the same way DAWs made old fashioned midi sequencers and multitrack recording hardware a thing of the past! Otherwise we’re asking for Dorico to be pioneering, but not to pioneer ‘too hard’ … :slight_smile:

disclaimer: I only bought Dorico this year despite having followed its development from the very first posts of the Making Notes blog, because and ONLY because they added all the DAW-like features last year, allowing me to use FAR less of my preferred DAW than normal. I don’t see a strong appeal to Dorico over any competitors without the continued expansion and development of DAW-like feaures. And if I saw such development cease to make progress, I might not consider upgrading in the future.

Not sure about pissing off the users, but it’s possible to think about it in several different ways. For example:

  • Dorico is a notation/engraving/tempo-MIDI extension that sits on top of Cubase “audio production studio” and integrates via VST Connect or whatever; or

  • Dorico and Cubase are are based on the same various Steinberg technology modules (the mixer, the audio engine, the MIDI editor, the notation module) and combine them in their own, user-relevant packages. In other words, they are “front-ends” sharing the underlying technology, much like modern cars share chassis and electronics.

There are advantages and disadvantages to each. I personally would prefer the first one since I already own Cubase. But if the second is preferable in order to compete with other notation programs, that’s fine with me too.

I figure I’ll just enjoy the capabilities Dorico and Cubase provide and leave the marketing worries to the very capable folks at Steinberg to work out.

[quote=“ebrooks, post:405, topic:760444”]
There are advantages and disadvantages to each. I personally would prefer the first one since I already own Cubase. But if the second is preferable in order to compete with other notation programs, that’s fine with me too. [/quote]

So basically, provided that both programs were written to specifically be modular elements of one another, [which they weren’t] you see no problem with that, provided both programs get rewritten in order to be mutually-aware. Spoken like a true end-user!

I’m not talking about the marketing, I’m talking about product line redundancy. You’re talking about the marketing in order to dismiss me, because you don’t care about my points, because you and the other person I quoted own both. If you don’t have anything to add, there’s no reason to share that you’re not worried. Continue to not worry, while those of us who have concerns will continue to share them.

I’m talking about marketing because you are too, even if indirectly. Telling a company how to change and present its products is a marketing suggestion.

I would also like to point out that this is a discussion board, and only the moderators have the right to say a post should not be posted.

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This statement from Daniel might shed some light on the Cubase/Dorico integration thingy.


This statement from Daniel might shed some light on the discussion thingy:


My guess is that it’s easier to add Cubase-like stuff to Dorico as a long term direction, given that the basic information associated with notation is more complex than the basic information associated with midi. But what do I know?

I think it could be a mistake to assume it’s a good idea to fully combine the apps, not because it would annoy people, but because there aren’t many people who need both full sets of functionality at the same time, compared to those who don’t. I use both Cubase and Dorico, but for different things.

The more complex the app, the harder it is to use and to develop.

This is clearly the conclusion that Steinberg have come to, and I think it’s completely correct.


Yes, this should be the goal — and it clearly has been an important priority for the Steinberg team. In the past, nearly 100% of the focus was on at least having something useful for the musical notation, even if the rest of the publication was not so manageable. Dorico is already well down this path and will continue to improve as some of the suggestions here find their way into the product.

For me, it is useful to think of it as “a desktop publishing system for those working with music notation” rather than a “notation program that has some nice layout options…”

There is no danger of that happening. Even though Dorico has incorporated many concepts one commonly finds in a DAW, Dorico probably delivers only 1% of the function a DAW user would look for. And a DAW user isn’t going to crawl over all those hemidemisemiquavers to get to the parts they really need.

A DAW user wants to work in a UI that feels like a recording studio. For most DAW users, notation is either completely irrelevant or else something one deals with at the end of the project if wanting to publish or prepare parts for live musicians.

It seems pretty clear to me that Steinberg is committed to a “two separate products” world. For example, when pursuing the chord harmonization enhancements recently added to Dorico, they could have looked at how Cubase does its chord track, which allows a lot of freedom for chord substitutions. What they did instead was very much driven off the current chords and the notes already in place. I’m not complaining about that choice. I’m simply noting that if there were a strong desire to bring Cubase and Dorico together, that would have been one opportunity.

I do hope that at some point the Dorico team does bring some of the chord track functionality across, including:

  • Given an existing chord, offer some alternative chords that might be worth considering
  • When a chord is changed, automatically fix (or at least identify) notes that are no longer ideal with the new chord.
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I will say that, while I’m sure you said 1% to emphasize your point, I think it’s fair to say that dorico posseses a lot more “DAW” power than that.

I use dorico as my primary orchestrating and programming tool for orchestral work. I have created a playback template for Cinematic Sample Series and I use my Wacom tablet to draw in CC automation using the 4.3 key editor tools and I find I’m having a lot of success.

Given, I still end up in a DAW (a “matching” pro tools template) where I import midi and give it the final mixing polish and do some layering. However, I feel comfortable staying in dorico for that process until client final approval. Which, ngl, would be nice to have video export for that reason.

For me at least I live neither in a DAW or notation completely, notation and specifically dorico are essential to how I write and I’m also under demands to deliver something beyond a note performer export, which is what has made the 4.3 update so exciting for me and I really hope Dorico continues on the same track they’re on.

I don’t think so. DAWs are used to create tracks: audio or MIDI. You can’t really do any audio recording with Dorico. You can do MIDI recording of a fashion, but the workflow is “inside out” and would not appeal to any DAW user, IMHO.

Dorico lacks things like punch-in/out and comping lanes, which are in every DAW I know of. The Dorico mixer is really minimal. And there is no support for control surfaces.

Dorico has some “DAW-like” functions, but they are mainly to help the Dorico user manipulate the playback so as to not have to transfer everything to a DAW just to tweak a few notes. That’s all good, but it isn’t a DAW. 1% might actually be generous, because that clearly isn’t Steinberg’s objective, at least at this stage.

On the whole DAW integration topic…Dorico will continue to get abilities and features that might seem to some as being ‘DAW Like’, out of necessity, but I don’t see that is Dorico trying to ‘become and replace’ the mid-range or high-end tracking DAW’.

For a while yet, any features making it into a scoring app that seem DAW like will be out of necessity to translate written music into sounds. Not so much to compete with, or attempt to replace a dedicated tracking DAW.

I think it’s important to understand that there are many different sorts and levels of applications for ‘DAW’ users, just as there are many different applications for people who need Scores/Parts/Worksheets/etc. in notation form.

There is a pretty big difference in the capabilities of something like Cubase Elements to Cubase Pro, and going from Pro to Nuendo is mega leap in working with enterprise class hardware, more tools to time/sync music with video/film, and gaining post-production features.

It seems reasonable to me that someday Dorico will pack many of the power/abilities of Cubase Elements right out of the box (better mixer/new-improved VST effect plugins, ability to record audio [probably just one stereo track at a time at first, maybe more eventually], and sync a decent number of audio tracks), as these are basic needs of the average composer who wants to work with notation; however, I don’t expect it to ever fill the shoes of Cubase Pro (precision editing of audio wave-forms, hundreds of included audio processing plugins, etc)…and most certainly not Nuendo (scads of conversion tools, surround sound support, tools to integrate with video/music/gaming-engines, mastering and packaging data for professional streaming/distribution, and more)!

As long as one of the goals of Dorico is to provide an ability to translate marks on a score into ‘sounds’…then ‘DAW-like’ features (at least from the VST and MIDI instrument realm) will always be part of the plan. I don’t really see that as attempting to wrap a ‘DAW’ into a scoring app. Some of the sound making interfaces might be modeled after various DAW workflows, and some might not be…either way, they are necessary elements if the software is going to translate scores and parts into sound.

Handling VST and MIDI instruments will be redundant to some degree with what modern tracking DAWs are expected to do, but that in and of itself isn’t sufficient for Steinberg to ‘market’ Dorico as a DAW.

Focus 1: Notation with a good workflow for composers and publishers.
Focus 2: Ability to translate the score into sound, with ever improving features to eventually make it possible for ‘some people’ with the right ‘third party’ additions to do higher quality mock-ups of said scores.

If the day ever comes that Dorico can stand alone and do all the precision audio editing of Cubase Pro, and the post production wizardry of Nuendo…then they’d most likely have more versions at different price points depending upon your needs.

Right but what I was saying is that a “DAW user” and a “notation user” aren’t necessarily discrete.

No, I wouldn’t use Dorico a lot if what I was working on required a lot of audio recording and synth patches. There’s a score I’m working on now where I don’t even touch dorico. However, if I’m doing virtual orchestration, their recent updates have allowed me to remain in a notation environment much longer than I was previously able to do, which for me is a game changer! That’s why I think steinberg continuing to implement DAW-like functionality is a very worthwhile endeavor. It’s like people complain about the overlap between cubase and nuendo.

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