Dorico on MBP M1 Pro

Well, my new MBP arrived first thing this morning, and I’ve been downloading, installing, configuring and updating since then.

Dorico runs effortlessly, despite being under emulation. I’m currently installing some of my larger sample libraries, to see how it copes under load in Dorico and Logic. (I’ve only got the 16Gb.)

But compared to my 2018 Mac Mini, it’s noticeably quicker for things like adding a player to a large work with 50 Players, 12 flows, 150 pages.

The sound from the speakers is really nice. The screen is amazing. Even zoomed out below 100%, the staff lines and beams are crystal clear.
Pressing the TouchID instead of typing my password is very nice.

I think the disk should be able to cope with loading samples.


Ordered mine yesterday!
Please post some findings… especially how it perform with big libraries loaded!

I don’t have really huge libraries to test. I’ve tried using an orchestral score of Star Wars with BBCSO Discovery, using 25 separate VSTs and 29 Players; and a Bach orchestral piece for 16 players. (using OT’s Miroire Baroque library, where each instrument comes in at 500 Mb.)

Even getting the VST Engine up to nearly 7 Gb of RAM (though that’s virtual addressing), the whole system is only using around 12Gb of RAM in total. I guess if I were using bigger sample libraries for bigger works, I’d want the extra RAM. But I think I should be OK.

But the battery life is awesome. I’ve been off-cable for about 4 hours, installing and configuring stuff, and at 71%, it says I’ve got well over 7 hours left.


Nice to hear that 16Gbs are efficient. I want to order but I just can’t decide if I should get 32 og 16 Gbs of RAM. Btw, I’m not using any sample libraries, I’m pretty ok with Halion and Noteperformer. I’m trying to find a reason to buy more RAM but I can’t think of one. Maybe if I go into sample libraries in the future or want to work on Cubase and Dorico at the same time.

Jealous that you’ve had yours already, Ben. I guess it’s because I opted for some tweaks from the standard configuration I’m having to wait for mine to arrive. It’s allegedly been picked up (presumably in China) by DHL, but I’ve had no further updates to tell me when it’ll be getting here. To say I’m looking forward to receiving it would be an understatement – like my birthday (which is actually coming up next week anyway, on the ninth anniversary of our first day at Steinberg) and Christmas rolled into one.


Perfect for evaluating Dorico 4 then Daniel…

Jealous! I need a new laptop but it’s currently too rich for my blood…

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I have an old 2010 mbp that barely boots up and can’t hold a charge. I only use it once a blue moon though, so it doesn’t matter much. But part of the reason I only use it once a blue moon is… because it’s slow and doesn’t hold a charge lol. My 2013 iMac is still chugging along, but I’d really like to upgrade. The problem is I need 64gb ram and it’s just crazy expensive. I just can’t justify it until the prices start to fall a bit. I know I could get 64gb on a windows machine for much less, but the integration between all my devices is magnificent. Couple that with the once-in-a-decade advancements of the m1 platform, which—despite any faults it may have—are quite exciting, now seems the worst time to jump ship from Mac.

Look at this Chart from Rene Ritchie:

I understand this is video rendering, so a different animal than what were are doing in music and notation - but shows a heavy use of the SoaC and how it performs under stress and battery life.

(he has a typo, the last column is the 14" MBP Max)
The 2019 i9 rendered ProRez 27.53 minutes and left the batter with 25% charge.
M1 Max did the same test in 2:54 with 90% battery left.
Amazing!! Even the original M1 is crazy good (until you see the Max)

You can watch the entire video here

Are you sure you need 64GB? I have a friend with the M1, 16GB Air and he is opening and running 98 track Logic file - super heavy High End VI libraries without a stutter!!

I believe we are very close to RAM becoming like Megapixels in cameras - we just don’t think about them anymore. With the integration they are getting with these chips, I have think we need to redefine our memory needs.

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I don’t know the situation in UK. However, if in Canada, it ships from Mainland China to the US Apple Headquarters first, and then shipped again from the HQ to Canada.

My last two (in December 2019, replaced January 2020) came via Alaska and a European hub (Frankfurt IIRC). Cupertino didn’t appear anywhere on the tracking.

Oh, and in both cases eight days from dispatch notification to delivery.

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Innocent question, I realize, but I’m quite sure. I run Hauptwerk which is a pipe organ simulator and some of the sample sets are well over 100gb. As it stands now, at least one of the samples that I already own needs about 52 gb, so I can only load half of the perspectives at 20 bit. I’d like to load it at 24 bit with multiple mic perspectives and I cant. Entire pipe organs are recorded pipe by pipe and you can play them back in realtime but the only reason this works is because the samples are held completely in the ram. (And Organteq is not an option for me… at least not until I see what improvements they’ve made for the upcoming V2. As it stands now, the reeds are horrendous.)

In fact, if I had my druthers, I would have a separate PC just for my organ (many HW users do just that) with at least 128gb ram, but I have to economize.

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Fascinating. Thanks for the info. I have no experience what so ever in what you are doing. (I could tell you a story about my 3 week adventure as a absolutely pitiful church organist)

I would be very interested in how this plays out for you. Have you thought about getting a 32GB Max and just seeing if it works? There is a 30 day return policy. :slightly_smiling_face: Might make sense to wait until they are regularly available.

I also think a lot depends on if the software you are using is M1 native - if not, everything needs to run in Rosetta, which isn’t ideal. But again, I would argue we are quickly getting to a point where RAM isn’t going to be a concern. We may not be there yet, but we are getting there. If the OS can see the SSD and RAM as one “device” and move things as fast as it is getting - we could have machines with 1TB of “RAM”

Hauptwerk insists on loading all samples into RAM, regardless of how big or fast your SSD is. Until they change that, Romanos (and others) are stuck needing lots of RAM.


I can run smaller samples on an m1 now. I was really hoping for a 64gb mac mini; that would be my ticket. As it stands now, I’m trying to cobble together a faux continuo / box organ instrument, and I will likely put one of the 16gb m1 minis in that since they are very cost effective, all things considered (and small organ samples fit perfectly into that amount of ram).

In the meantime I’ve got to figure out the box itself; so far I have the software, the samples, and this wonderful 2 kb stack which have full-length wooden shank keys intended for a pipe organ console but that never made it that far. (I do have to wire them up, but I have all the electronic components for that already.) I also have some lovely 2’ wooden flutes to make the facade of the box to really cement the ruse. I will repurpose either 4 or 6 of my old studio monitors for this as well, so there will likely be 6 channels of audio inside.

But, like with all things in life, we are dealing with compromises here… I need to buy a piano, some more electronics for this contino project, a new HW organ (for my big console at home) etc. which is why I can’t justify dropping 4k on a laptop right now.


Wow James looks like a big project! I’m sure we’d all love to hear progress reports every now and again. Best of luck with it.

Hauptwerk is a mega beast of a programme. Could do with some optimisation and modernisation IMO

One thing that many of the users on the HW forum have complained about is the fact that it’s essentially a one-man dev. team, and he really lost steam for a while. The company has released two (relatively) recent updates, however. But yes, no doubt some of it could do with a bit of a makeover. It is incredible though: the pro tier can generate up to 512 channels of discrete audio in real time, and the polyphony limit is around 25,000, if memory serves. (No pun intended) For all its faults, it is a formidable piece of software, there is no doubt.

I was inspired in my continuo project by Richard McVeigh who has done something similar:

Also, my church has a royal turd for an organ, and I have to accompany the choir most of the time on piano that needs $1,000 worth of new bass strings, and I don’t like it. I’d love to shove the old piano out of the way and slip something like this in it’s place.


That is brilliant. I’d love a dedicated Hauptwerk-powered chamber organ like this!

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