Dorico and Display Quantize

Does Dorico support Display Quantize (AKA Cubase Score)? I think not?

Are there plans to include this mission critical feature?


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Could you expand? I don’t see that display quantise is needed in Dorico as it operates in quite a different way to Cubase Score.

If you take a decent performance of any piece, and view its MIDI it comes out as spider scrawl, even though it may be a very good performance of a written score. Display quantize allows the performance to be retained whilst creating a legible score.
Some instruments (classical guitar) have note durations that are not represented in the score (dependent often on whether a string is open or not). Notation is only an approximation of a performance and many things are necessary which are not represented in score

So you are looking for something similar, but not quite the same, as Finale’s “include performance data” only you want to import the performance data into Dorico and quantize it there so that Play mode keeps the performance data but Dorico’s quantize shapes it for notation.

Is that your idea?

I have never used Finale. I use Cubase score, tried Sibelius, but could not live without this feature - all playback was Musak

Dorico’s data model is the opposite to that in Cubase: Cubase stores the MIDI notes and then uses Display Quantise to turn it into notation. Dorico stores the notated notes, ie at their quantised positions, and with tuplets as required. Each notated note event has optional properties to control its exact playback position and duration, and you can edit this in Play mode (we hope to improve the editing experience of this soon). When Dorico imports a MIDI file it doesn’t currently preserve the original exact playback position, but this is something that is on our list to implement.

Thanks. I assume this to mean that Dorico quantizes the performance in some for of ‘destructive’ way (within Dorico). I do hope that later you shall be able to implement something where both the humanity of the performance and the instrument specific idiosyncrasies (i.e. ringing ‘open’ notes that sustain past their notated value, casual hammer ons, breaks in slurred passages compelled by changing strings) can be maintained, and a legible score be constructed. At that point I shall buy. This is very important IMO. Only then can composers hear real performance and see legible scores - simultaneously.


This is already possible in Cubase Score, not a “major development task”, essential to future DAW integration. All that is required is two electronic images of the score, a real time image and then a display image. All scores are simplifications - gross simplifications, of real time performance.

Unfortunately it’s a great deal more complicated than that: there is a many-to-many relationship between MIDI notes and notated notes. Consider tremoloes (single & double), trills, ornaments, tied notes, layout-specific transpositions, etc. Cubase and Dorico have totally different models of the data: Cubase’s preserves the playback data exactly and then adds extra events so that it can generate notation from it. Dorico stores the notation data and adds properties so that it can generate playback events from it.

Our goal is to get towards the point where importing a MIDI file or recording live MIDI results in a score which reflects the user’s original intention, whilst preserving the timing and velocity of the MIDI events so that they can be replayed. This goes well beyond basic quantisation and into articulations, playing techniques, in addition to the other examples you give.

Also, in an actual real performance, from a notated score, one can lag behind the beat, go slightly ahead of it and so forth, if this results in hemi-demi-quavers it makes a mess of the score and does not really convey the intention of teh composer. Players always play with a certain amount of rubato and any conductor does not stick mechanically to the written beat, it can be the difference between music and muzak