Dorico very slow and not improving

I am using Dorico on a very large project with video (just audio really, but as a video file). It’s about 620 measures and probably close to 70 staves with the piano reduction and my drafts. The program slows down to a halt on almost any operation - and especially playback related operations. Saving can take over a minute and sometimes simple things like adding an articulation can take a minute or more.

I’ve read all the suggestions I could find regarding speeding it up - including using Galley mode, audio buffer size, not loading many layouts, frame settings, not showing attachment lines - but it does not seem to help in the long run. Perhaps the file structure is faulty (it was imported originally from another program, but most of the players were added in Dorico).

I am on a MacBook Pro, 15-inch 2019 (connected to a 2010 Thundebolt Apple 27 inch monitor), 2.6GHz Intel Core i7, 32 GB 2400 MHz DDR4, Mojave, and using NotePerformer

Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

Unfortunately, I don’t think there’s much you can do at the moment. About the only thing that I can think of in addition to some of what you referenced would be to cut the file down; splitting it at a rehearsal mark, for instance, to work more quickly and then recombining the sections at the end for final edits.

Or having a separate “drafts/reduction” file. 70 staves feels kinda big - if this is a film scoring project, maybe do it in a DAW?

Thanks for you your thoughts.

It’s not a film score project - it is a concert piece for three large ensembles and a pre-existing audio track. Just after I posted the question Dorico crashed and when re-opened it is better - so I think I must have had something different going on (maybe I didn’t close out after closing layouts and they were still calculating?).

Hopefully, it continues to be a bit more manageable - I wish there was a button that would dump any memory used for anything but what is currently opened.

Thank you - that’s an insteresting idea. How would you do this? I am pretty new to Dorico and have never split or merged files unless they were in different flows. This piece is continuous, so I didn’t create any extra flows.

You can use the Split Flow feature at any point, then export the second flow. Then delete it from the original file. It’s not dangerous, but obviously you should keep a backup.

I know you said one of the things you’ve tried included using Galley mode and not loading many layouts, so you may already know this, but I just wanted to point out that once a given layout is loaded a single time in page view (e.g. after having momentarily switched to Engrave mode or any other given reason), Dorico will continue to make all the calculations for that layout in the background (significantly slowing things down) until you close the program. So, it’s not just a matter of minimizing page view use; the only way to avoid it is to not use page view at all (which requires having previously saved the file while Galley view is loaded, so that when the file opens, it opens in Galley view). I may be behind the curve, and this may have been changed since I learned it functioned this way several years ago, so mayhaps if that’s the case, someone can yell at me about it :sweat_smile:

Like I said, you very well may already be aware of this, but it seemed worth pointing out.

Thank you for this. Yes, I did know this, and yet, I think this might have been part of the issue, and only when Dorico crashed did things improve.

That’s why I would very much appreciate it if the folks here from Steinberg could, at some point, add some way of “dumping” the resources dedicated to any layout or view that isn’t currently being used and freeing up the CPU and/or memory. I don’t know how easy that would be to incorporate - but I think it would make a big difference for those of us working on large files.

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They should rename flows to movements .
Dorico is very sluggish . With all the crashes and problems with elicenser that I experience .
Version 4 had better be better for me to spend anymore money . In reality , it would be about the same amount of time to write everything by hand and less frustrating . I started out on finale years ago and with Dorico much of the fun of composing has been replaced with anxiety abd frustration . Composing music is hard enough / I don’t need my software fighting ne as well .
Carry on brave composers …

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Regardless of the number of bars I’m finding that a large ensemble does get sluggish. Best way to fix that is to use Vienna Ensemble Pro to move the VST’s out of Dorico. After that it should help, though it still won’t be as snappy as small ensemble.

With all due respect, no, they shouldn’t. You might use flows to indicate movements, but there are many other ways of using flows, even within the same movement. A flow is just a chunk of music. It could be a whole piece or just a few bars.


Sorry , I must have missed the “ flow”
lecture in music school . Tell me one reason for having a flow of a few bars . Rests worked fine for 400 years .

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There are plenty of reasons for flows. Scales, exercises, compositional sketches, preambles (like a bells-used chart), snippets of music used in a textbook format, incipits. None of these things are “movements.”

No one said “flow” was an established musical term. But the concept makes sense.

If you’re fighting the software, you might be trying to compare it to Finale, rather than learning it from the ground up. I came from Finale, and that’s what I had to do. I don’t regret it.

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Ok that makes sense. Thanks for the reply
All the best !

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Since you come from Finale, I really think you should read Dan’s Beginner’s guide, even though it looks outdated (v.2.2 I think)
The concepts behind Dorico are clearly exposed and knowing them will make your learning curve less steep.
Feel free to ask anything here too, especially when it comes down to workflow. The devs have put a lot of thought behind this tool, and they’re very experienced in this field. You might be missing some nice moves to make your work way easier than what you’re trying to do now :wink:

Here’s a link to the guide: Dorico Resources — Dan Kreider

Much appreciated . Thanks !

I did a worksheet for Rule of the Octave recently, which showed the value of “Flows” versus anything else. Each scale was a different Flow, but if it had been named anything historically musical like Movement, or Section it wouldn’t make sense. So Flow is a fluid term that means whatever makes the most sense for what you’re working on (in that case I had 50+ flows, can’t think of many pieces with that many movements! And it’s not even a piece, just a workbook, further making the point that Dorico is a engraving program, not a piece writing program)

The Development team has come up with some thoughtful new concepts which are also powerful once you understand them, but of course to all of us then can seem foreign and undesirable at first.

In addition to @dan_kreider’s examples, I’ve used flows on cover pages to show the first few bars of the theme, and I’ve used flows of just one measure, sometimes 1 beat, to illustrate something in a foot/endnote.

Cool… that makes sense now. Instead of creating a bunch of projects. Not all flows need to be heard !

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