Dorico 5?

I have been enjoying the Dorico 4 trial and have decided that at some point I am going to make the switch to Dorico, (probably Pro), from Finale. I am waiting for a good time to pull the trigger and the current sale is certainly tempting. Dorico 4 was released in Jan. 2022 if I’m not mistaken… my question: is Dorico 5 just around the corner? Should I wait for 5 or jump in now?

From the blog post yesterday, D5 will be “later this year.”

It could be six months away, for all we know.

To be honest, I’d jump in now. No time like the present.

The Finale Cross-grade price is pretty good, and you’ll find lots of former Finale users here.


We can’t comment on when future versions of Dorico might be released, nor on when we might run special offers that would allow you to buy or update the software for a lower price.

At this stage, Dorico is really quite mature and capable of pretty much anything (with the notable exception of some early music things, and some modern contemporary classical notations such as cut-away scores, aleatoric frames, staves with changing number of staff lines, etc.). If you buy Dorico 4 today, you’ll be buying an incredibly capable and well-rounded program that even if you never bought a future update would suit most needs for years to come.

Of course we are always working on new features and improvements, but even when a new version appears, it doesn’t reduce the capabilities of the version of the software you’re already running. Unless there are features that you know will transform your workflow, there’s no need to suffer from FOMO about the new version when it appears: there will always be an opportunity to buy an update at a discount at some point in the future.

That’s not to say we would discourage you from buying an update if you can afford it and if it has features that would provide value to you – far from it! We need as many users to buy updates as possible to allow Steinberg to maintain its investment in us, the team that builds Dorico, so that we can keep working on it indefinitely.

But we always try to do the right thing by our customers. Dorico 4 came out in January 2022 and has received 12 free updates since then, the most recent one just this week, many of them adding significant functionality. When Dorico 5 appears, you can think of it as the start of a new development cycle. It will no doubt be followed by free updates that add more functionality and fix bugs, for a considerable amount of time. It’s up to you when you jump in.


There are sales multiple times a year. In addition, if you buy 4 close enough before 5 coming out, in many cases you MAY get a free update, but at least a good upgrade price. In this business/hobby, if we held back every time we were waiting for the next release, we would never buy anything.
From personal experience, I did end up getting Steinberg products during Thanksgiving sales season, and the new version of one of them came out a few months later, and I got a free upgrade to a substantially new version of the product. Even if I had to pay the upgrade price, it was literally 20% of the price of the product, and there was no forced upgrade.

The only thing I would tell Steinberg is to put the upgrade eligibility note at the TOP of the product page, not all the way at the bottom where only a few people scroll before hitting the Buy button at the top… Now Steinberg has to deal with customers asking for refund and it takes up valuable time for everyone involved.

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Thanks Daniel. All of your points are absolutely valid. The fact that you took the time to reply just strengthens one of the things I love about Dorico; the engagement of the Dorico team and the community here in the forums. I think I will be going ahead and pull the trigger on Dorico 4 Pro. The Finale cross grade combined with the current sale are worth it. The money I save on the sale would probably cover the cost of an upgrade to D5 should I decide it is useful to me.


Even the Dorico maintenance updates include more than years of Finale updates!


Indeed, and one thing Daniel didn’t mention above is that Dorico has thus far been extraordinarily friendly about opening files saved in a later version, with a little warning that of course new features of the later version will not work when opened in an earlier version.

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Yup - ever since the key editor updates I’ve been calling Dorico “feature complete” - for me at least, and I imagine the majority of users. There’s nothing missing for you to go from sketching, to composing, orchestrating and finally to humanized stem out.

On top of that it’s darned easy to use.

Indeed. I was one of those former Finale users, and jumped into Dorico for the crossgrade price. Dorico changed my musical life. It has been a paradigm shift in my composing life. I’ve almost forgotten (after more than 20 years of using it) how to even use Finale. It was great for what it was, but Dorico is in a different class. I cant imagine going back to anything else. Plus, the Dorico folks and forum members provide the best help and support I’ve ever experienced with any other application I’ve ever used🙂


I’m also a recent convert to Dorico, after 30-some years using Finale (started with version 3.1).
I simply cannot imagine going back to F. after the last year of using Dorico.
Sure I’m not 100% comfortable with Dorico yet, there are still a few things for which I rely on the online manual, and my trusty little notebook of Dorico shortcuts.
But otherwise, Dorico has saved me MONTHS of work.
I’ve had performances of orchestral and chamber works over the last year, scores and parts done in Dorico, that I could never have done in the short time it took, had I been still working in F.


Hi @trumpetjazz,

Don’t think too much, I’m sure that you won’t regret if you pull the trigger on Dorico 4.3 Pro.
Despite the fact that Dorico still doesn’t fully support contemporary classical and aleatoric notation, still there are temporal workarounds that make most of the things possible. :slight_smile:
I hope in Dorico 5 we will have much more improved aleatoric music scoring and playback! :slight_smile:

I’m quite sure that you’ll save even more money on the current sale than the upgrade price, if you buy the upgrade when it’s on discount.
Typically the upgrade price for the newest major version is 99EUR on regular sale, but there are discounts during the Summer, Black Friday, Christmas/New Year…

So, don’t need to wait for version 5 to be released. Dorico 4 Pro is mature enough + the workarounds, for pretty much everything. :slight_smile:

Best wishes,
Thurisaz :slight_smile:

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One can end up suffering from update-itis but I must admit if there was a coincidental and complimentary release of Dorico 5 and Note Performer 4 later this year…well, I think that might well excite me a tad.:grinning::grinning:

Dorico 4.3.30 is fantastic anyway. Every Dorico version update is packed full of new features and is worth every penny (cent/euro). The thinking that goes into it is first class.


I´ve been user of Finale and Sibelius for many, many years. I can only recommend Dorico if you ask me which one I would choose.

I have gone through both of John’s getting started tutorials and also the Build A Big Band tutorial. Immersing myself for the last 3 days. I have a lot to learn but I am super impressed at all the little efficiencies, popups, jump bar, etc. I can see why all the enthusiasm is for Dorico. Going through with these tutorials is waaay better than just clicking around the app. If anyone is thinking of switching to Dorico do what I did; download the trial when you have a block of a few days where you can spend some time working through the tutorials!

I must say I am a bit disappointed with the default Halion Sonic sounds for big band writing. The brass sounds are mushy and lack core, at least to my ears. I don’t need realism or anything, but even for checking notes & harmonies the brass sounds are almost useless. I think even Finale’s Soft Synth sounds are more usable, and even Musescore’s MS Basic soundfont sound better than Halion. I have watched tons of video and tutorials on playback templates, expression maps and it is just baffling. Any one able to direct me to a tutorial on Halion/Dorico more directed to neophytes? Sound playback is not a deal breaker but I was hoping a better solution out of the box.

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A lot of folks here use NotePerformer, but that is more geared to orchestra than jazz groups.

It is relatively inexpensive and can be purchased on a monthly rent-to-buy plan.

Hi @trumpetjazz ,

First of all the Muse Sounds are AI based, and they are directly integrated within MuseScore 4, while Halion Sonic isn’t AI based player, and bot the player and the libraries are kind of a 3rd party for Dorico, no matter that they are produced by Steinberg.
In Dorico you could use any high-end library, or NotePerformer. Soon a newer version of NotePerformer is coming. I really do hope it will bring even better sounds than Muse Sounds and more controllable interface! :slight_smile: Would be nice if we have a bit more control over the performance, not to relate only on the AI.
At some point it’s possible even the team behind Halion, Groove Agent and the VIs at Steinberg, to create an AI based player with far better sounds for Dorico and Cubase. Who knows?!

Best wishes,
Thurisaz :slight_smile:

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Yes thanks for the advice! I am aware of NotePerformer. It’s awesome but it does some really weird things when you try to play back big band parts in a swing style. It’s not too bad in a latin (straight feel) groove but still not great. Musescore’s Muse Sounds are indeed AI, but for big band swing they suffer from the same incorrect ability to interpret jazz articulation, so for that style I prefer Musescore’s basic MS Basic sound font set.

Yes I am looking forward to NotePerformer 4 which I understand is going to be released very soon! I have heard somewhere in a forum that there may be (down the road) a jazz version of NotePerformer. If a jazz version of NotePerformer could do for jazz styles what it does currently for orchesrta, concert band,and other classical ensembles, then that would be a game changer!

As I said the Halion sounds are not a deal breaker. I still plan on buying Dorico. What I have experienced while working with the trial has been a revelation. Guess I will have to figure out how to manipulate halion sounds better! BTW, thank you to Dorico for not hobbling the trial and making it fully functional!

If you are evaluating notation programs on the basis of their built-in sounds/playback capabilities, then I fear you are on a fruitless quest.


Nope. As stated playback is not a deal breaker for me, just surprised the tech still sounds like 1998 (NotePerformer notwithstanding). In fact I have been so impressed with my trial of Dorico 4 that I just now bought my very own version of Dorico Pro! :grinning: