Dorico is too slow!

Dear readers,
I’ve been a Cubase user for many many years ever since it was launched from an Atari computer. In all these years it contributed to my musical development.

On the other hand, I have been always very disappointed with the scoring possibilities of Cubase. Through the years of updates I gave up waiting for real scoring with Cubase and I went to learn to work with Finale.

Now Finale is not perfect either so for real bookmaking layouts I started to learn how to use Adobe Indesign. From finale I export the score in pdf files that I then combine in Indesign.

Now whith Dorico I saw the philosophy of Adobe’s indesing and Finale’s music scoring combined into one program. So I enthusiastically started to newly score one of my guitar instruction books, 82 pages and 140 flows.

I’m really sorry to say that the program, unless I’m doing something wrong of course, is so slow that it absolutely takes all your inspiration away of working and developing something.

It’s not enough to say that Dorico has to do a lot of calculating, yes of course ….that’s what it does….it’s a program on a computer. But we, the users, don’t care how it is designed, we only care whether it works or not.

So the philosophy of Dorico I embrace but the performance of the program is absolutely not accurate.

I really hope that Steinberg is going to listen to us. I’m afraid I’m not the first one to write about this.

I bought Dorico 2 straight away, left it after 5 minutes finding out that tablature was not on board yet.

I tried Dorico 3 but will wait until the team fixed the performance of the program. Come on…it should be easy to create a book of only 100 pages and 200 flows!

Friendly greetings,
From Amsterdam,

Welcome to the forum, Vincent. Can you tell me a bit more about your computer specs? An 82-page project, even one with 140 flows, should generally be within Dorico’s capabilities. Obviously you are using the option to allow multiple flows in the same frame, which definitely increases the computation required (because then an edit to an earlier flow can potentially have a knock-on effect all the way to the end of the layout). You should find that using galley view for input and editing (aside from graphical editing, of course) is still nice and fast.

Hi Vincent - I’m also a relatively new user and strangely had the same experience as you initially. I found two thing helped. I starting using the program in with the Silence Playback template, which got me up and running with the program very speedily. Once I had the basics under my belt, I started using Wallender’s NotePerformer as a playback engine. It’s not perfect, but as a composition aide, its amazing. Also - make sure your score is not in Condensing mode. That slows things waaaaaaayyyyy down…


Hi Daniel - Thank you so much for your quick respons.
I’m working on a MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2017,)3,1 GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i5, with 8 GB 2133 MHz LPDDR3 ram.
Im actually using 1 frame per 1 flow. I allowed multiple flows on a page but each flow is in it’s own frame.
I see quite some similarities with Adobe’s indesign and once again I embrace that philosophy but it’s by far not working as Adobe’s indesign itself.
That runs so much smoother on any page in your book wherever you are and whatever you do.

Friendly greetings,

Vincent, my findings are similar to yours. Look at the specs of my two computers in my footer. My dual-core MacBook Pro is seriously laggy with projects such as yours (I’ve just been working on a violin teaching method that contains 136 short flows), but the good news is that my quad-core machine doesn’t struggle with that project at all.

The long and short of it is that Dorico runs into bottlenecks with fewer than four cores.

Hi Ed,Thank you for your tips and tricks. I’m not in condensing mode and even in silent mode I experience the slowness of the program.
Actually I haven’t even started to talk about the play back options. I’m not so happy about that either. What I thought first is that Dorico would be an extension of Cubase. So you would have all the benefits of playback on Cubase and then go seriously graphical in Dorico. But unfortunatly there is no overlapping intergration of the two programs at all. I think a missed chance at the Steinberg team.

Friendly greetings,

Hi Pianoleo,

Thank you for your post.
If thought my MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2017,)3,1 GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i5, with 8 GB 2133 MHz LPDDR3 ram should be good enough to run Dorico.
I’m curious what Daniel thinks of that.
Anyway thanks again for your findings.
Means I have to start saving some money.

Friendly greetings,

My understanding is that it doesn’t matter what dimension you expand your project in. Whether it’s more flows, more players or more layouts, you need more processing power. Daniel’s written about this before:

Vincent, if you had the expectation that Dorico would basically be all of Cubase plus a professional-level scoring application, then I’m afraid your expectations were unrealistic, and indeed that is not something we ever promised. Bringing Dorico and Cubase closer together so that the interoperability between the two applications is richer and more powerful is certainly a goal, but it takes time to bring this kind of ineroperability to fruition.

I’d be interested to see your project itself, and to hear from you about which specific editing operations you find to be slow. If you don’t want to attach it here, please email it to me at d dot spreadbury at steinberg dot de.

Hi Daniel,
Thank you again for your message. It was the most logical thing for me to expect. Dorico and Cubase interacting together, coming from the same Steinberg family. Cubase as the real Audio Production Machine with Dorico at the side as the real Graphical Machine. What a marriage that would have been! It would have been my total musical match.

Anyway who knows what fruits the future will bring us. I did sent you a copy of my work. Thank you for looking into that.

Friendly greetings again from Amsterdam

I’m having similar issue on my computer. Maybe it’s a Windows version (1903) specific issue but my Mi 15 Pro (with i7-8550U and 16GB of RAM) actually struggles when I tried editing the Dorico Prelude demo project, though most significant for note durations, slurs and dynamics I think, and I don’t remember switching to gallery view had fixed that, and I wouldn’t want to use that anyway, at least not until the changing individual vertical spacing in gallery view option becoming a thing.

My own project usually only has a few pages so it’s not very apparent, though, but still, note durations, slurs and dynamics seems to have most performance issues.

The prelude has condensing turned on by default. Did you try with no condensing? I have 8 cores, which might not be a whole lot better than 4 really, and it skips along great for editing with condensing off. I’m on Windows 10

The long and short of it is that Dorico runs into bottlenecks with fewer than four cores.

Actually I have 8 cores and it happens to me. However, simply restarting Dorico clears it for me.


What I meant was that it takes more to slow Dorico down on a computer with more cores. By “more”, I mean either a bigger project (whether that’s more flows/players/layouts or layout overrides), or Condensing, or having multiple layouts open or cached.
The violin teaching method I previously spoke of is laggy from the second I load the project, on this (dual-core) machine. It isn’t laggy at all on my quad-core machine.

The reason is probably related to the fact that when you close and re-open, Dorico is only calculating for one layout (the one displaying when you opened the project). As you view and edit more layouts, it’ll slow down.

I only have one layout open but they are large files.

12 cores, runs like a drunken pig (sorry, but true).

Do you mean “swiftly, while squealing” or “falling over when it bumps into things”?

Still, it might be preferable for future updates to switch automatic re-calculating off an only activate it again if desired, or have it recalculate by means of a shortcut.

I’m sorry guys but I’m not a programmer…I’m a musician!
I’m a consumer of software that I expect to work.
I’m really not interested in deep details, nor do I have the knowledge nor the time.
And please no difficult trics to make the software “kind of work”

It took me almost three minutes waiting time to; 1 unlink a frame, 2 then select a flow, 3 then change the player.
And I’m only on page 62…!!!