Dorico 5 update - thoughts

I posted such sentiments on Facebook. I didn’t get what I wanted this release… but I reckon the things we did get would make more people happy overall.

I agree…
In addition to your thoughts
1.) I would welcome an ornament editor :slight_smile:
2.) Export of complete scores to Cubase would also be very fine!
But keep cool: Great work - DP 5 is definetely a step forward!!
Yours Peter

I saw a couple of features that interest me so I sprung for the upgrade.

As usual, installation was a convoluted pain but it only took a couple of hours and four reboots this time. Eventually, all the errors went away and Dorico 5 opened—then it crashed while quitting. Another reboot and it finally behaved. At least, I didn’t have to involve Support this time. The crash reports have all been sent in and I’ll spare everyone the montage of error screens I encountered during the process.

Really? Again? I’m installing in the default locations on an 18 Core iMac Pro running the latest build of Ventura with over 1TB free on my System drive. In other words, nothing fancy or unusual.

Now to see if I can use it.

Well that’s quite bizarre. I logged in, purchased the upgrade, got the download access code, copied it into the Steinberg activation manager, refreshed the SAM, and downloaded dorico. Boom. Up and running (also on Mac). So I don’t know what is going awry on your system, but it’s certainly not a given, and it should have been smoother. Sorry that happened to you, but I’m not entirely convinced it’s a Dorico problem, per se.


Given the number of posts on the thread I recall, those suggestions could take us well into the Dorico 15 or 20 cycle, even if some of them hadn’t been (IMO) trivial (in that it would save one click out of two), impossible, or not really a feature in Dorico’s wheelhouse.

I’m sorry you didn’t get what you wanted, but each one of us is only one of many.


It would be interesting if Steinberg commissioned a poll after a few weeks, asking people which D5 features they found themselves using regularly. Here is how they come in for me:

Will use regularly:

  • Scrub playback
  • 66 for dotted crotchet (who would have guessed?)
  • Multiple item creation
  • Drag and drop notes / Live note editing
  • Groove agent integration
  • Scrub playback
  • Text frame BG and border colors (People are using pads more. Color is a thing.)
  • Playback suppress on pass
  • (Un)follow playhead during playback
  • Space & Stage map / mixer
  • Pitch contour emphasis
  • Improved rehearsal mark alignment
  • Did I mention Scrub playback?

Will use occasionally

  • MIDI trigger regions (would use a lot if GA had the patterns that fit my work)
  • Alignment options for chords
  • Key editor enhancements
  • XML import/export improvements
  • Note grouping in cut time

Probably won’t use

  • Additional fonts
  • Instrument editor
  • Scripting

Reading between the lines of Daniel’s FB post that Robin posted above, and looking at recent release dates, the situation with the D5 release seems pretty clear, no? D3.5 was released on May 20, 2020, D4.0 was released half-baked (let’s be honest, we didn’t even get Play mode documentation for almost a year) on January 12, 2022 and then finally 4.3 was released with a fully realized Play mode and Key Editor on November 15, 2022. That’s 909 days between D3.5 and a completed D4. The version history for D4 is over 200 pages long and in addition to a completely rebuilt Play mode, included features like the Jump Bar, Library Manager, and the “have Dorico guess at chord symbols” feature.

By contrast, there have only been 190 days between the release of D4.3 and D5. The D5 version history is 56 pages. I’m sure the team is capable of multi-tasking so it’s not like they had to wait until D4.3 was out the door to start any D5 features, but Daniel has already mentioned how short-staffed they are, so that might not be too far from the truth.

Right around June 1 is probably the perfect time to release software like this. Most US colleges are on a July 1 fiscal calendar, so any unspent money from the previous year can be used to purchase Dorico in June, and then there will be plenty of budget available after July 1. If any students, faculty, or musicians want to try to pick it up over the summer too, there’s often ample time to learn it, when there may not be other times of the year.

I certainly didn’t get much of my D5 wishlist either, so it’s fairly intact as well. I have no interest in the Stage/Space stuff as I use MIR which does it much better, my own doricolib files work better than the Edit Instrument feature (rhythm section chords, score order, 0-line), etc., but I assume they looked at what was achievable before June 1 or so, made sure to have a couple of major new features, and accomplished what they could.

Without a calendar deadline looming in the near future, I’m curious to see how D5 will incrementally develop, or if they’ll just soon start work on D6. I may be wrong, but I’m assuming there wasn’t a conscious choice to ignore so many well-documented feature requests, they just did what they could with the team they had, under the time constraints they were facing.

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Will use regularly

  • Scrub playback (This is great and same shortcut as Finale so muscle memory already there)
  • Multiple item creation
  • Playback suppress on pass
  • Pitch contour emphasis (Easy one click improvement to playback)
  • Improved rehearsal mark alignment
  • Note grouping in cut time (wanted this for years!)
  • Alignment options for chords - centering stacked alignment

Will use occasionally

  • Groove agent integration
  • Text frame BG and border colors
  • MIDI trigger regions
  • Key editor enhancements
  • XML import/export improvements
  • Additional fonts (I already use a bit of a mix of music fonts anyway)
  • Scripting (I’d like to get more into this, so possibly could be moved up to regularly)

Probably won’t use

  • 66 for dotted crotchet (I virtually always input pitch first)
  • Drag and drop notes / Live note editing
  • (Un)follow playhead during playback
  • Space & Stage map / mixer (I’m on MIR)
  • Alignment options for chords - accidental positioning (my own doricolib file fixes not only this, but also the suffix positioning)
  • Instrument editor (again, I can currently do this better with doricolib files)

To me, this unlocks a fantastic capability that has mostly been there all along, but the playhead sync limited its applicability. There have been numerous times when I have mostly repeated material at two different points in the chart. Sometimes this can be handled with D.S. al Coda, but other times it is better to thru-compose, especially considering so many players want to use pads now.

When I make changes in one of the expositions of the material, I need to copy it to the other exposition – but maybe not 100% verbatim. For those cases, it makes sense to have two windows with the score open on two different monitors, so I can see both expositions at the same time. Without that, I often get really confused.

Great concept, but when the windows sync to the playhead, I invariably lose my place. With this new option, I can play from either score (the first or second exposition) without losing my place. I won’t use this all the time, but when I need it, it will be a godsend.


Sounds quite useful! I’m on a single 32" monitor currently, so I just don’t imagine I’ll use it much myself unless my setup changes.

If you don’t mind me asking, is it 4K? Is it clear?

Yeah, it’s 4K BenQ I’ve had for a few years.

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Hell, there are many many things we have been requesting since Dorico 1 that haven’t happened, and seem to have zero chance of ever happening. At some point the team needs to start addmitting (re: stuff tied to 2nd endings or whatever) that they are never ever ever going to actually have time to do some sort of systemic overhaul, and instead do the 10% that will solve 90% of the problem.

It’s how many releases later and there’s still no way to adjust per-stave spacing in galley view. That sort of thing is just… basic functionality.

Yet they find time to bundle demo versions of other Steinberg products no one asked for.

Sorry what is “SAM”?

I have dorico since version 3.5 and I have been upgrading, at the moment I haven’t had a chance to upgrade to version 5 but I definitely will, but I have seen many posts about errors when installing, I would like to know if there is a series of steps.

Currently I also have cubase 12 installed, and I remember that when you install the new version of dorico all the libraries appear to install l, halion and now grove agent, but in theory I already have them installed, should I install them again? Or should I skip that part?

Steinberg Activation Manager


You can also create your own patterns in GASE, for example by recording them yourself or by simply playing back a pattern that already exists in a Dorico project and letting GASE record it in midi record mode.

I think, as with some other new features of Doriko 5, the user will need his time with ‘Midi-Trigger’ to grasp possibilities and meaning and implement them for himself.

By the way, I have for Groove Agent ‘The Songwriter’s’, ‘Simon Phillips Jazz Drums’ and Simon Phillips Studio Drums’. I get a lot of mileage out of those. And all adopted patterns can of course be edited in Dorico as you like.


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I am convinced that the vast majority of Steinberg customers who follow the clearly communicated installation instructions will have the same experience as I did - there are no problems worth mentioning.
At the same time, the problem areas on the user’s side are unmanageably large and are becoming more and more obscure. You can also read about this in other DAW and notation forums.
How long will the moderators of the Dorico forum be able to keep up their admirable style, if the number of users continues to grow and the barriers to entry become lower and lower?

Ich bin überzeugt: den allermeisten derjenigen Steinberg-Kunden, die sich an die verständlich kommunizierten Installations-Emfehlungen halten, ergeht es bei der Installation wie mir - es gibt keine nennenswerten Probleme zu berichten.
Dabei sind die Problemfelder auf Seiten des Anwenders unüberschaubar groß und werden immer undurchsichtiger. Darüber liest man Entsprechendes ebenso in anderen DAW bzw. Notations-Foren.
Wie lange werden wohl die Moderatoren des Dorico Forums mit ihren bewundernswerten Stil durchhalten, wenn die Benutzerzahl weiter wächst - die Einstiegshürden immer niedriger werden.


I wish MusicXML support was a bit better, because I like how Finale interprets notation with its HP system.

However, maybe that’s more the purview of something like NotePerformer, and it’s probably fairly niche in the grand scheme of things.

But when I need to render audio I will export MusicXML and do all the extra work just to render it out of Finale. I like the way it performs the score enough to make that worth it to me.

The target audience is everyone reading the forum. Unfortunately, public forums work that way.

Is it just me, or are the Brits here just oddly prone to nationalistic passive aggressiveness? This isn’t the first time I’ve seen someone take how someone spells a word and make a comment like this. Or even the second.

Sleep easy = Don’t worry. (Common colloquialism, not funny, doesn’t signal anything as funny, and makes total sense where it’s written. I’d probably write something synonymous in the same position in a super serious comment.)

Intrinsically = Inherently. You actually meant “effectively”, which means something different.

The imprecise language is what I found cheeky, particularly given the “from up above” tone of the post; or, maybe that’s just a British thing? (see what I did there?) It is not ironic. It is nonsensical. I doubt you even know what irony is. I can’t be bothered.

And no, we are definitely not speaking the same language. I know I’m speaking English, and I’m entirely convinced you are speaking a pidgin of some sort. Maybe that is the source of this disconnect.

In any case…

Like I said, I agreed with the premise of what you were saying, even if you sound like an AH using words he’s ill-equipped to wield while doing so it. However, perception is subjective, so there is empathy to be had for those on the other side of that dialog. It doesn’t actually require agreement, only a mutual understanding.

None of us know what is on the developers’ roadmap, and it doesn’t make sense for them to divulge because it will simply create obligation where they are better off having none (as this gives them the most flexibility). I think the update is decent enough. It’s about par for the course for a 0.5 version bump, which is basically what we would have been getting had they not scrapped and moved off of that scheme. Feature planning was probably largely set when that was implemented.

Also, they are pretty good at delivering good feature updates between releases (compared to Cubase or WaveLab, which offer very little in those interim periods).

I purchased immediately when it went up, but I tend to just prefer keeping in-use software up to date. It’s running without issues on my Windows machines. I haven’t had a single crash, lockup, or anything opening and editing fairly large scores. But some problems may be attributable to third party software that I don’t use (or ASIO Drivers, etc.).

Fair enough! You go on using your brand of humour and I’ll use mine.

Particularly, I’m going to be highly ticked at the idea that us Brits don’t understand irony properly, and that our friends from the good ol’ US of A are precisely the people to explain it to us. Made my day, that!

(And for the record, thank you for carefully and patronisingly explaining the meaning of the words I used to me, and in doing so, demonstrating precisely why you didn’t get the humour. Magnificent.)


Please leave out this unnecessary diatribe. You do yourself no favours (or favors) spewing what is quite close to an ad hominem attack, both on an individual and on a nation.

Let’s stick to Dorico, shall we?

Sleep easy (lol)…