Frequently Asked Questions: new users start here

Thanks for downloading and trying Dorico Pro or Dorico Elements.

About this forum
This forum is very active and has a thriving and very helpful community. You can ask any question you like about Dorico on the forum, and you can be sure of receiving assistance either from a fellow user or a member of the Dorico development team.

All we ask is that you use the resources in this thread and the tools to search the forum in order to try and find the answer to your question before you post. You may receive a gentle suggestion to search before you post in reply to your question – please don’t take offence.

Click the magnifying glass icon in the top right-hand corner of any page on the forum to enter your search term. For an advanced search, click the options link in the pop-up that appears when you click the magnifying glass.

Resources for new users
There is a wealth of information available to help you get to grips with Dorico.

Online documentation
Dorico’s documentation can be found at Steinberg.help. Online documentation and a PDF version is available. The documentation is currently more extensive in English than in other languages, but we are working on updating the documentation in all localised languages as quickly as possible.

The online documentation is designed to be Google-able: if you’re not sure how to do something in Dorico, you are encouraged to simply Google for it. For example, try typing a simple query like add dynamics in Dorico into Google, and you will usually find both a YouTube video (see below) and a link to the relevant pages from the online documentation within the first couple of hits.

We have also prepared a dedicated First Steps guide that is designed to provide you with a project-based introduction to Dorico’s key concepts and workflows. Over the course of a few hours you will create a short Romantic-era piano miniature, and an excerpt from a blues song with lyrics and chord symbols, and this will provide you with a solid grounding in how to use the software.

Version History
The Version History PDF provides a useful summary of all of the new features and changes in one place, and can be helpful as a reference. The Dorico 1.2.10 Version History is around 150 pages and contains detailed documentation for important features like cues, chord symbols, unpitched percussion, and more. The Dorico 2 Version History likewise contains documentation for working with video, divisi, ossias, rhythmic notation, etc. The Dorico 3 Version History includes detailed documentation for condensing, guitar notation, guitar fingering, dynamics lane in Play mode, chord diagrams, comments, and much more.

We strongly recommend that you read these documents in conjunction with the online documentation.

Dorico 1.2.10 Version History PDF
Dorico 2.2.10 Version History PDF
Dorico 3.0.10 Version History PDF

YouTube
Dorico has an extensive YouTube channel with over 100 short, concise tutorial videos that explain almost every major feature of the program in detail.

You are encouraged to subscribe to the YouTube channel and click the little bell icon to be notified when a new video is added.

Our product specialist John Barron also runs a monthly live stream called Discover Dorico on the YouTube channel, and you can request topics for him to cover in these sessions by emailing discoverdorico@steinberg.de.

German-speaking users may also find these German-language videos from educator Marcel Vonesch helpful.

Getting Started documentation
John has also produced a couple of simple tutorials to help get you started with Dorico. You can download two handouts, one introducing you to note input, and the other to page layout for producing worksheets and teaching materials, from the Dorico blog here.

Community-led documentation
Dorico user Dan Kreider has written, with contributions from other users, a beginner’s guide to Dorico that many users have found helpful. You can download this guide from Dan’s web site here.

A French-language translation by Marc Larcher is available here.

Other supplementary documentation
As you become more familiar with Dorico, you will start to rely on features like popovers, which provide the fastest way to create items using the keyboard, and tokens, which are used in text frames to automatically show appropriate information (e.g. for headers, footers, page numbers, composer name, etc.).

Separate documents detailing what you can type into popovers and what tokens are available can be downloaded from Steinberg.help.

Feature overview
Finally, you might be wondering whether or not Dorico has a particular feature. You can download a comprehensive list of all of its features from here.

More resources
You can also check out the Resources page on the Dorico blog for more useful resources, organised by category.

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Troubleshooting common problems

Installation fails on Mac
If you encounter an error during the installation of Dorico on Mac, then it is most likely because the Dorico installer was unable to update or install the necessary components for the eLicenser. Make sure that you quit any applications on your computer that might be using the eLicenser (e.g. Cubase, Nuendo, WaveLab, any Steinberg VST instrument, VSL Vienna Ensemble Pro, etc.), then run the installer again.

If you still encounter an error, please restart your computer and then run the Dorico installer before you run any other applications, and it should complete successfully.

Fonts are messed up, no music symbols appear
This can happen on Windows after installing a Dorico update. Simply reboot your computer to fix this problem.

Playback problems
If you are unable to hear sound on playback, or have some other kind of audio problem, we have produced a troubleshooting video that walks through all of the common problems you might experience with playback. You can find that video on YouTube here.

If you get no playback, first use Edit > Device Setup to make sure that the appropriate audio output device is chosen. Quit and restart Dorico after making a change to the audio device, to make sure that your choice has been saved correctly (this will not be necessary in the long term but is currently required).

If you don’t get sound in a particular project, try switching to Play mode and choose Play > Playback Template and reapply one of the default playback templates.

If you’re not getting any sound at all, start a new project and add a player with a piano instrument, then switch to Play mode, and in the VST Instruments panel on the right-hand side, check that one instance of HALion Sonic SE is shown as loaded. Click the little e (for editor) button to show the HALion Sonic SE window. You should see that the Yamaha S90ES Piano patch is loaded: click any of the keys in the keyboard at the bottom of the window. You should see the VU meters in the window light up, and you should hear some notes playing.

You can also try resetting the audio engine back to its default state. The attached cleanup scripts will:

    • kill any running Dorico and audio engine processes
  • removes the Dorico application data, including any preferences, key commands or custom options that you have set.
  • removes Dorico’s cache directories

It should get you back to the state when you ran Dorico for the first time. This can be helpful if the audio engine hangs on startup, or was tripped up by a crashing plugin.

If in any doubt, back up your system before running this script.

Windows
Mac

HALion Sonic SE won’t show me any patches/sounds
If the sound browser in Halion or other plugins is blank then you can force the MediaBay database to update by running the above clean-up scripts for the audio engine, or by manually deleting:

Windows:
%APPDATA%\Steinberg\VSTAudioEngine_64 (for Dorico 1.2.10)
%APPDATA%\Steinberg\VSTAudioEngine2_64 (for Dorico 2x)

Mac:
/Users/your-user-name/Library/Preferences/VSTAudioEngine (for Dorico 1.2.10)
/Users/your-user-name/Library/Preferences/VSTAudioEngine2 (for Dorico 2.x)

No sound from other applications when Dorico is running.
Read this article.

BlueTooth Headphones with Dorico
If you are having trouble setting Dorico up to play out via BlueTooth headphones, here is the general guide of what to do.
Windows:

  • Stop Dorico
  • Make sure that sound comes through your BT phones when using other apps.
  • Open the Windows Sound Settings (on the taskbar is a little speaker icon, right click on that).
    – Look for the BT phones device and click on the Device Properties, a new window opens
    – Look for the Advanced Properties, click on it and yet another window opens.
    – Choose the Advanced tab. There you find the option “Allow applications to take exclusive control”, make sure that that option is NOT selected. Also check for the default sample rate and remember.
  • Close all the little windows and start Dorico
  • In Dorico go to Edit > Device Setup. In there set the sample rate to the same value as you just remembered.
  • Choose the Generic Low Latency Driver and then click on the Device Control Panel button, another little window opens.
    – At the top is an option called “Allow ASIO host application to take exclusive control of the selected port configuration”, also this one, make sure it is NOT selected.
    – In the middle of the window is a listbox with output ports. If that “Allow ASIO…” option is not selected, your BT phones shall turn up there. Make sure that they are checkmarked at the front, then close that window.
  • Close the Device Setup dialog and reload your project, after that Dorico should put sound out through your BT phones.

Mac:
On macOS, AirPods and Bluetooth headsets easily bring Dorico’s audio engine into trouble due to the low spec built-in microphone. So here is the recommended way of dealing with them on Mac:

  • Stop Dorico
  • Make sure that the AirPods or Bluetooth headset is working with other apps, e.g. Apple Music.
  • Launch Applications/Utilities/Audio MIDI Setup
  • On the Audio Devices page create a new Aggregate Device
  • In that device let only the stereo outputs of the AirPods or Bluetooth headset participate, nothing else
  • Optionally, rename that device to your liking
  • (In case of need, here is a more detailed article on how to create an aggregate device.)
  • Start Dorico and go to Edit > Device Setup
  • In the list of ASIO drivers your newly-created aggregate device shall turn up now. Select it, close the dialog, done.
  • Don’t get tempted to select the other AirPods or Bluetooth headset related entries in the ASIO driver list: you might end up with situations where only the left audio will play out and it’s difficult to recover from that.

Dorico will not start on Windows 7
Although it is not officially supported, Dorico should also run fine on Windows 7.

If you are on Windows 7 and Dorico hangs during start-up with the error message “Audio Engine Process Died” then chances are high that you are missing a certain Windows update.
Please download and execute KB2670838 and then reboot your machine.

Besides that Windows update, you also must have Windows Aero enabled. To enable Aero, read this guide. For how to enable Aero on Windows 7 Home Basic read the advice from user ShikiSuen here.

MIDI keyboard problems
Make sure that your MIDI keyboard is connected to your computer and switched on before you run Dorico. Dorico will not detect your keyboard if it is switched on or connected after the program is already running: you will need to quit and restart Dorico for your keyboard to be detected.

Dorico is crashing. What do I do?
Although we make every effort to ensure that Dorico will run stably on everyone’s computer, you may occasionally encounter a crash. To help us troubleshoot the problem, please follow these steps.

On Windows, applications no longer produce a crash dump by default. You can make your computer generate the minidump files we need to diagnose your problem by downloading, unzipping and double-clicking this Registry key:
dump-config.zip (503 Bytes)
Now when Dorico crashes, Dorico will create mini-dump files that we can use to determine what happened before it crashed.

If Dorico crashes, run Dorico again and choose Help > Create Diagnostic Report, which will create a zip file on your desktop. Send that to us, either by attaching it to a post here on the forum, or by contacting technical support. The zip file contains various logs, crash dumps, and other files that we can use to diagnose the problem.

If your crash is reproducible with a particular project or set of steps, please also include the steps needed to reproduce the crash, and ideally the project, MusicXML or MIDI file you need to reproduce the problem along with your problem report.

Other useful resources

A few other posts on this forum contain Dorico projects that you might find useful to copy and adapt from:

• Swing indications using system-attached text
• Roman numerals for harmonic analysis
• Figured bass using Florian Kretlow’s Figurato font
• Printing blank manuscript paper from Dorico

Tutorials on other sites

• Scoring Notes: Working with master pages in Dorico, part 1
• Scoring Notes: Working with master pages in Dorico, part 2

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