Export Dorico xml for import in Cubase


I exported a Dorico project as xml and imported this into Cubase (8.5). I imported the expression maps to Cubase, assigned them to the tracks in Cubase. All is running, but the piano expressions and the articulations are not imported, not recognized in Cubase. I am using VSL Library Ensemble with it’s expression maps. Isn’t it possible to transfer the articulations, dynamics?

Regards Wolfgang

If you by piano expressions mean key velocity data, that will not be part of a musicXML file, as notation programs generally generate these data on the fly, based on the notation, but the information is not stored in the file. Articulations (or playing techniques) are currently not exported by Dorico.

isn’t it possible to transfer the articulations, dynamics?

thank you fratveno,
Thanks for the description of the XML -process. But I want to do the same in Cubase. Will there be such opportunities in the future, or is there another way?

Hi, thank you for your response!

Sorry, piano expressions meant dynamics…

What’s about pizzicato/arco? This didn’t function after the export/import in cubase…

Dynamic Markings (f, pp, etc & harpins) are exported and I would assume Cubase can (re)create dynamics based on these (never tried it :slight_smile: ) pizz, arco is not exported, and even if it were it wouldn’t necessarily convert into cubase xmap techniques…

One method (probably the easiest and fastest), is to export the file as MIDI from Dorico as well, (Set the Humanization in Dorico’s Playback Options to 0% first) and import that into Cubase on fresh tracks along side your XML import. Dorico will export the type of MIDI translation for what ever expression map you have loaded at the time.

Once you import this MIDI file into Cubase, you could either treat playback and visual tracks independently (mute the score tracks from playback), or you could then extract ‘just the CC events’ in Cubase from the MIDI tracks, and move that onto your Score Tracks (or onto VST lanes). For the Velocities, you could then use Cubase MIDI Logic Editors (simple booleen scripts you can make inside Cubase) to replace the note-on velocities of your XML score tracks with the note-on values of the MIDI tracks in one or two quick passes.

Also, you can use the MIDI Logic Editor in Cubase to fairly quickly build some natural sounding dynamics in Cubase from scratch.

So another pretty quick method, if it’s an instrument that uses CC1 or CC11 to control dynamics, is to simply ‘insert’ at the same position as the note, a CC event that’s the same as the MIDI Note Value using a batch “MIDI Logic Editor in Cubase”. At this point phrases will get louder as notes go higher, and softer as they get lower. If the instrument uses velocity instead of CC1 or CC11, the same logic applies, but instead of ‘inserting’ CC events, you’d ‘change’ the note velocity to be equal to the note-on value.

From here, you could set ‘ranges’ in subsequent Logic Editor passes to ‘scale’ things up/down (either by percentages or fixed amounts) for balance, and getting your ‘terraced dynamics’, OR, you could opt to enter some expression map entries that will interpret and scale your terraced dynamics using Master Volume (CC7). As for hairpin dynamics, you’ll simply have to draw them in on CC lanes, or ‘replace them’ with interpretive hair-pins entered in Cubase’s own Score Editor. It’s also possible to just select ranges of CC events on a lane in the key editor using your MIDI Logic editor, and then simply ‘grab and drag’ them en mass to scale them about.

Sadly, unless things have changed in Cubase 9, Cubase doesn’t interpret ‘imported’ terraced dynamics, nor hairpins from XML. You either have to go through the whole score and ‘replace them’ with equivalent marks from Cubase’s own scoring tools (The MIDI Logic Editor doesn’t let us mess with notation VSTevents in mass batch-style like we can with regular MIDI-like events either), or create some extra expression map entries that are ‘text based’. That’ll at least get terraced dynamics if you simply search for things like p, mf, f, etc, and change the master volume (CC7)…but it won’t cover hairpins, or things like sfz changes over time. You’d probably also need to create extra entries in your expressioh maps in Cubase to get things like accents, tenuto, and alter existing ones a bit to get the ‘technique changes’.

Some threads of the topic of MIDI Logic Editors in Cubase:
(If the image links are missing, try again later…sometimes that image server gets a bit flaky here lately, but they usually come back within a few hours).



If you export a MIDI file, doesn’t it contain the dynamics changes as note velocities (e.g. hairpins) and the pizz etc commands as controller changes?

It’s been a while… I’ve been importing more XML from Cubase than working the other way with MIDI.

Here is an example of what I get when I have my own expression maps (For GPO5 in this case) loaded during a MIDI Export from Dorico, then import this into Cubase 9 Pro:


  1. My custom expression map key-switches are there.

  2. My custom Legato Techniques are in place.

  3. CC1 dynamics are quite robust, including sfz type dynamics, hairpins, etc, and with slight variations on almost every regular note (seems to scale a bit with pitch, plus some nice variations on repeated notes…nice that it does that to cut down on ‘machine gun’ effect for instruments that don’t have round-robin sample sets).

  4. I also get some rather terraced velocity changes on the accented notes as a bonus (aligns with what is set in Playback Options).

  5. Note durations seem to coincide with the Playback Options.

  6. It provides GM Compliant Program Changes at the very beginning which I did not inject myself in any way.

So it would appear that Dorico exports MIDI Files according to the “Playback Options” and expression maps one has loaded. This is consistent with how Sibelius and Finale work as well.

So, if someone wanted to export a ‘simpler’ Standard MIDI File (GM1 or 2 protocol, perhaps with more variation to the note velocities), one would probably want to use the “Default” expression maps. For changes to Pizzicato (PC45) and Tremolo (PC44), one would also want to add techniques to the expression maps to send the proper Program Changes. I’m not sure if hairpins would be done via CC7 or CC11 in that case (or at all). I’ll test it later and post my results.

Seriously… Dorico is a good product … Cubase is a good product… why doesn’t someone at Steinberg understand the simple concept of seamless integration between the two. You should be able to access Dorico right with in a Cubase menu and vice a verse… An export should not be needed. You click on the menu link what your working on in Cubase is brought over into Dorico and as well as the other direction. They should be seamlessly integrated as a Product Suite…

It just irritates me one a company makes separate products and don’t take the time or effort to make them play well with each other. There both Steinberg products… come on guys… get your head out of the sand…

It’s probably never occurred to them, I’m sure. Perhaps Steinberg could hire you?

If they did and I was put in a software development product manager role… it would get done right and the users would be better for it. Both of these products would be seamlessly integrated as well as other Steinburg products to make a complete music creation suite of tools… wavelabs pro… etc…

Your right… most likely integration will never happen… users will not be the better for it… a lost opportunity for Steinberg to really come out on top…

Alas, the greatest minds of history have often been under-appreciated!

Your funny my new friend… well we can only hope… the light bulb goes off… and Steinberg moves forward to make the next suite of integrated music creation tools… Cubase, Dorico, Wavelab Pro … fully integrated within there menu system. They become the new Microsoft Office… of music creation :slight_smile:

Personally I would prefer using music creation tools that actually work, even if the interface between them is a bit clunky. :wink:

The fact that they actually work is a good thing… :slight_smile: To make them better is full integration between there products… Then there product line would be so far out in front… The Best of the Best… :slight_smile:

I just bought Dorico… hoping that a better integration path between Cubase pro and Dorico will happen sometime in the future… I would rather write my music in Dorico’s notion then Cubases Midi editor…lol