Film Scoring Features


I offer this feedback for film scoring. I’ll compare to Cubase as I imagine you guys will be more familiar with it than other DAWs. I know film features aren’t in v1, at least yet. But I hope this input helps either way.


Sibelius tempo markings made sense for an engraving tool.
Cubase markers + video viewer work really well for film.

The reason why those two features work well for film (for me anyway) is because the tempo track interacts with them in real-time. If I drag a dot up or down, I can watch a marker or “hit-point” for the film move to the bar number I need it to line up with. I can watch the video with time code update in real-time. Rather than doing any math, I have an effortless and fast way to sync to picture. I’m not sure what the ideal solution is for Notation. It may include many more considerations than just my own. But I’d love if I could drag the tempo up and down to both change the number and watch the film project update in real-time… in some form or another.

“Get framerate from video”, as it works in Cubase, is brilliant. Personally, I don’t need a timecode display. Most everyone includes it and if they don’t it’s easy to ask for.

One major draw back moving to Dorico will be the lack of being able to import and process audio files. I’m not saying that type of thing “belongs” in Dorico. It obviously is more foreign than native. But it is a legit weakpoint for film users. Where Dorico will already host many great Cubase plugins, a way to insert audio files into the score and perhaps process them might be advisable. I know that’s tricky. And it borders on something programmers may not love as it’s so foreign to the idea of notation. But as a point of feedback, it’s really one of the only major universal conflicts I can see outside of people’s individual workflows.

In Cubase, you can split a film’s video and audio on tracks. Then you can move the separated events around. You can also load multiple audio tracks, which is essential when working with dialog and FX on separate tracks (a must when FX is a heavy part of the film). Sometimes you need to mute one or both. Sometimes you need to split events and move them around because sometimes you have to work with a rough cut of a film, where timings aren’t locked by the time you’re writing. It depends on the film, the composer, and often the needs of others.

In short, I can’t stress enough just how helpful it is to have track views for video, audio, and tempo.

Possible Solution 1

I almost want to say that Dorico should have a Film tab, a sequencer view really.

Possible Solution 2

Maybe forget adding film features altogether. Just integrate Dorico with Cubase. Dorico looks to have much more promising MIDI playback than Cubase IMHO. So just have Cubase do Video and Audio Tracks and leave the rest to Dorico when used together. You could even have tempo markings be a slave to the tempo track, the way that hairpins will be slaves to the CC lane in Dorico already.

I’m not sure if you guys will love that input. It’s big picture for sure. But I hope the benefits from tracks are clear and that it will at least help to create effective user-oriented solutions. I understand you’ll get input from others as well. So I’ve tried to at least keep this fairly general about how these Cubase features inherently just work and why that suits film effectively.


Hi, here’s Rainer, german filmmusic composer, orchestrator, conductor …
I do totally agree to the suggestions of the user “scoredfilms”!

If Steinbeg will make it to combine all features needed for scoring films, you will have an outstanding product for multi purpose use.

From your perspective you should ask yourself which user would need an sophisticated playback feature for a score that is anyway going to be performed by live musicians? A good playback sound would be a nice to have feature, but is not essentiell, since its just for demo pupose.

But: if you provide an all-in-one-solution as suggested by “scoredfilms” (cubase + video playback, video file management, several audio tracks, good tempomap-handling), sound quality really matters since you can an final product. That’s a key point in my opinion.
In this scenario all features you already have in Cubase etc. will sit in the right place.

Only then it will become a software for film music professionals …

kind regards,


It occurs to me that ReWire will the solution to both the points listed above.
ie Re-Wire Dorico into Cubase as a slave. That way you’ll get the Video/Audio features of Cubase and the Scoring/playback features of Dorico.
The only two caveats are:

  1. Will Dorico be able to control the tempo of a particular project while it is a re-wire slave?
  2. One “feature” of ReWire that I’ve noticed across the board is its inability to decently cope with tempo and time signature changes if using a midi tempo map to control tempo. I must admit to not using Cubase for this purpose, but I have tried this with a number of other DAWs. In essence, importing a Midi tempo map to control the playback speed of whatever program is the Slave causes a real issue with stuttering sound. The Midi tempo map has to be converted into the DAWs native tempo envelope to get clean sound. If this can be done automatically, so much the better.


ReWire will keep Dorico in sync with the DAW program, but the core issue imo is the ability to have a great degree of control over playback within one system, i.e., Dorico; so being able to choose which VST to use, to tweak things like velocity / expression / mod wheel etc. / tempo, not in a separate DAW program, but in Dorico. As far as I understand it, that will be happening, not as sophisticated and detailed as in e.g. Cubase, but certainly on a basic level; with the ability to create certain preferred “default” settings where, for example, dynamic hairpins can be translated into the correct behavior of whatever VST you are using.

If you are able to do all of that in one program, it will save a lot of time, and you end up with (a) a nicely engraved score that (b) gives good enough playback for a midi mock-up. If the cues are approved then you can take it from there by further tweaking the playback in a sequencing program if necessary, and preparing for a live recording session by adding film scoring engraving things like big time signatures etc. (if you haven’t set those up from scratch already).

I Agree that this is where the emphisis should go while developing Dorico. Getting a great looking score, and then getting a great deal of control over playback, based on how the score is written.

Adding the additional features of Cubase into Dorico risks Dorico becoming ‘bloatware’, doing a decent job of a lot of things related to scoring and video editing but not really excelling at anything. If, however, time is spent on getting decent rewire integration between Dorico and Cubase, you can treat the two programs as one efficient production system. In essence treat Cubase as the “Film tab” discussed earlier

The key IMO will be Dorico’s ability to export its tempo/time signature map into Cubase’s internal tempo envelope format so as to have the projects line up nicely and work seamlessly.

In conclusion, an analogy

You do not give a film/movie to the orchestra and task the conductor to get all audio associated with the production into line. Rather, you bring the orchestra and conductor into the studio to work with the audio/visual people instead.