Frequently asked questions: try this thread first

Here are a few of the common questions we are seeing a lot in these early days of Dorico.

How do I select lots of music, to repitch it or copy it to another staff?
Dorico’s current selection tools are very basic and we are hard at work on expanding functionality in this area. For the time being, the methods available are:

Ctrl+click to select individual items; you can Ctrl+click again to deselect a selected item
• Marquee selection: by default, clicking and dragging will drag out a rectangle that will select everything that is completely enclosed within it at the time you release the mouse button (if you have the option set to drag the score when clicking and dragging, hold Shift to make a marquee selection).
Shift+left/right arrow extends the selection in the direction of the arrow key you press, but this doesn’t yet work very reliably and likewise cannot yet be used with up/down arrow.

If you need to select a passage of music spanning a long distance, switch to galley view (View > Galley View) and zoom out so that you can see more of the music, then use the marquee selection.

How do I change the pitch of notes I’ve entered?
To change the pitch of a selected note, use Alt+up/down arrow. Use Ctrl+Alt+up/down arrow to transpose by octaves. Use Shift+Alt+up/down arrow to change the pitch by a smaller amount, normally a half-step (semitone).

How do I transpose my music into a different key?
From v1.0.10 you can use Write > Transpose. You can also move notes by a diatonic step using Alt+up/down arrow, but this will not change the key of the music.

How do I change the enharmonic spelling of a note or chord?
Select the note or chord you want to respell, and use Alt+ (minus) to respell using the note name below (e.g. this will respell a B flat as an A sharp) or Alt+= (equals) to respell using the note name above (e.g. this will respell a B flat as a C double flat). These functions can also be found in the Write menu.

How do I choose the octave during note input using my computer keyboard?
Dorico always chooses the octave closest to the last note in the voice you are inputting notes into: if there is no previous note in that voice, it chooses the octave closest to the clef’s hot spot, i.e. the line around which the clef is orientated: for a treble G clef, for example, the hot spot is the second line from the bottom of the staff representing G4 (the G above middle C), so if you type C you will get C5, the C a fourth above G4; for a bass F clef, the hot spot is the second line from the top of the staff representing F3 (the F below middle C), so if you type C you will get C3, the C a fourth below F3.

To specify that the next note should be input in the octave above the last note, hold Shift+Alt and type the letter name of the note to be input. To specify that the next note should be input in the octave below the last note, hold Ctrl+Alt (Windows) or Ctrl (Mac; n.b. this is not Command but rather the key that says Ctrl on it), and type the letter name of the note to be input.

How do I input notes using my MIDI keyboard?
Dorico will accept MIDI input from any MIDI device connected to your computer: there is at present no interface for choosing which input device should be used. Make sure your MIDI keyboard is connected to your computer before you start Dorico.

To actually input notes, make sure that you double-click the staff or select a rest and hit Shift+N or Return to show the caret before you play any notes on your keyboard: no notes will be input unless the caret is visible.

How do I add more bars?
To add bars, you can simply hit Space during note input (i.e. when the caret is visible) to extend the end of the flow.

You can also use the Insert Bars section of the Bars and Barlines panel on the right-hand side in Write mode.

You can also insert bars to the right of the caret position by typing Shift+B to show the bars and barlines popover, then type e.g. +16 (plus followed by 16) and hit Return. This specified number of bars will be added to the right of the caret position. Note that this does nothing in open metered music, in which case you should extend the duration of the flow by hitting Space instead, or simply by adding more music.

How do I delete bars?
To delete any empty bars left over at the end of your current flow, simply choose Write > Trim Flow.

To delete a range of bars, double-click at the position from which you want to delete bars, then type Shift+B to open the bars and barlines popover. In the popover, type e.g. -24 (minus followed by the number of bars you want to delete) and hit Return. The specified number of bars will be deleted.

How do I find out what key commands or keyboard shortcuts I can use in Dorico?
Choose Help > Key Commands to see a list of all of the key commands that are currently defined.

To change the keyboard shortcuts to match your own preferences, use the Key Commands page of the Preferences dialog (in the Edit menu on Windows, in the Dorico menu on Mac).

How do I write for multiple voices on the same staff?
To start a new voice during note input, type Shift+V: notice that the voice direction indicator to the left of the caret now shows a little + with a down-stem note. This indicates that the next note you input will be in a new down-stem voice. If you need an up-stem voice instead, press Shift+V again, and the indicator will now show +2 with an up-stem note. You can add as many voices as you like in this fashion: no new voice is actually added until you type in a note after preparing for a new voice.

To switch between the existing voices you have already set up for a staff, simply type V to cycle through the voices you have started.

You might find it useful to switch on View > Note Colors > Voice Colors to see which notes and rests belong to which voices.

How do I hide rests?
The simplest way to do this is to select the rest or rests you want to hide, and choose Edit > Remove Rests. You cannot currently remove rests on 5-line percussion staves, or on percussion grids.

If you are writing in multiple voices on the same staff, you may want to hide rests before or after the notes in a secondary voice. To hide the rests before the first note in a voice, select the first note or chord in that voice, then open the Properties panel (Ctrl+8, or choose Window > Show Bottom Panel in either Write or Engrave mode). Find the property Starts voice and switch this on: any rests in that voice prior to the selected note will no longer appear.

To hide the rests following the final note in a voice, select the last note or chord in that voice, then open the Properties panel and switch on the Ends voice property, and you can choose between ending the voice Immediately, i.e. straight after the selected note, or After barline, i.e. after the next barline.

How do I show information like the title, composer, lyricist, etc. in my project?
See this thread for a list of all of the tokens you can type into text frames in Engrave mode.

I get no playback. What do I do?
The Dorico YouTube channel features an in-depth video that walks through the troubleshooting steps you can follow to get sound. Watch it 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 > Load Sounds for Unassigned Instruments.

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.

If after all of these steps you still cannot hear any sound, then please zip up the VSTAudioEngine_64 folder (Windows) or VSTAudioEngine folder (Mac) and start a new thread describing your system configuration and the steps you have tried to resolve the problem to date. The relevant folder is found in this location:

• Windows: C:\Users_your-user-name_\AppData\Roaming\Steinberg\VSTAudioEngine_64
• Mac: /Users/your-user-name/Library/Preferences/VSTAudioEngine

Please also attach that simple piano project as created before, because that might also contain information that helps us identifying the problem. Before attaching you also need to zip up the project file as it otherwise will get refused.

How do I use a different VST instrument or sample library than HALion Sonic SE and HSO?
At the moment, Dorico’s support for virtual instruments other than HALion Sonic SE is very basic. Any VST3 compatible plug-in will appear correctly, but with the exception of Kontakt, no VST2.x plug-ins will appear in Dorico.

To allow Dorico to use a specific VST2 plug-in, follow these instructions.

The VST instruments that Dorico has loaded are accessed via the menu in the VST Instruments panel in Play mode. VST effects processors can be added as inserts or sends either in an individual output channel or in the FX channel in the Mixer.

Note that VST 2.x plug-ins must be located in the following locations in order to be found by Dorico:

Windows: C:\Program Files\Common Files\VST2
OS X: /Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST

There is more detail, in this Help Center article.

Some of my instruments don’t seem to respond to dynamics during playback. What do I do?
See this thread for help.

I don’t get sound in other applications while Dorico is running. What should I do?
See the Help Center article.

Dorico seems slow. Is there anything I can do to speed it up?
Input and editing operations are certainly a lot slower than we would like them to be at the moment. We are hard at work on the first post-release update for Dorico, which will speed up a lot of editing operations significantly.

Dorico is crashing. What should I do?
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: (469 Bytes)
Now when Dorico crashes, open a Windows Explorer window and go to %LOCALAPPDATA%\CrashDumps (you can copy and paste this into the address bar), then zip up the files you find in there and send them to us.

On Mac, crash logs are written to /Library/your-user-name/Logs/DiagnosticReports. The quickest way to get there is to type Shift-Command-G in a Finder window and paste ~/Library/Logs/DiagnosticReports into the Go to Folder dialog and hit Return. Again, zip up the relevant dorico_*.crash files you find in there, and send them to us.

It would also be useful if you could include the file application.log with your report: this file includes a list of the commands that were performed in the last Dorico session, and can be helpful in troubleshooting specific problems. This file can be found here:

• Windows: C:\Users_your-user-name_\AppData\Roaming\Steinberg\Dorico
• Mac: /Users/your-user-name/Library/Application Support/Steinberg/Dorico

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.

I can’t install Dorico on Mac – it tells me the installation has failed. What do I do?
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.

I’m using the German version of Dorico and no key commands or keyboard shortcuts are working. What do I do?
Unfortunately a new bug introduced in version 1.0.30 is preventing key commands from working in the German-language version of Dorico. Fortunately the solution is quick and easy: please click here for the solution.

1 Like

Let’s keep this thread clean, please. I reserve the right to delete any posts added to this thread, so if you would like to suggest an additional FAQ to be added to this thread, please send me a PM with your suggestion, rather than posting it directly in this thread.

Dorico or the audio engine is behaving strangely. How do I reset things?

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.
cleanup_prefs_and_engine (459 Bytes)
cleanup_prefs_and_engine (469 Bytes)


Attached is a PDF document that lists all of the things you can type into the various popovers in Write mode in Dorico, as of version 1.0.10. (Unfortunately the PDF has to be zipped up in an archive as PDF files themselves cannot be attached here on the forum.) (379 KB)

Fixes for common Dorico issues

HALion isn’t showing me a list of instruments
If the sound browser in Halion or other plugins is blank then you can force the MediaBay database to update by deleting the following folders:


 %appdata%\Steinberg\VSTAudioEngine_64  (for 1.x)
 %appdata%\Steinberg\VSTAudioEngine2_64  (for 2.x)


 ~/Library/Preferences/VSTAudioEngine  (for 1.x)
  ~/Library/Preferences/VSTAudioEngine2  (for 2.x)

Then restart Dorico in order for the update of the MediaBay to be actually executed. Start-up will take a little longer than usual due to the new scanning of the disk.

Dorico’s fonts are all messed up after installing the update

You need to reboot after installing

The updater for Windows fails with “severe installation error - code 1603”.

If you’ve made any modifications to Dorico’s files in the Program Files folder (e.g. replacing the German keyboard shortcuts) then the updater will fail in this way.

The solution is to uninstall Dorico and use the full installer rather than the update.

Clarification: It is not necessary to uninstall Dorico if the “severe installation error 1603” occurs. Just install and run the Steinberg Download Assistant, click on “Dorico 1” and select the Dorico 1.1.0 installer (ca. 250 MB). The Halion engine/samples do not need to be reinstalled.

Don’t forget to reboot after installing.

Side question: Can we get an updated version of the popover reference PDF? Thanks!

The link for “I’m using the German version of Dorico and no key commands or keyboard shortcuts are working. What do I do?” leads to a non-existant page.

This was only needed for the 1.0.30 version. If you have problems with the shortcuts in Dorico 1.1., you should go to
Bearbeiten → Programmeinstellungen → Tastaturbefehle → Tastaturbefehle zurücksetzen.

Dorico not starting on Windows 7 with message "Audio Engine Process Died

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 Platform update for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 - Microsoft Support and then reboot your machine.

Besides that Windows update, you also must have Windows Aero enabled, then Dorico shall just run fine on Windows 7.
Here a link that explains how to enable Aero: How to Turn On and Enable Aero in Windows 7 (Enable Aero Peek) « My Digital Life
For how to enable Aero on Windows 7 Home Basic read the advice from user ShikiSuen: Win7 users MUST READ: Enable Windows Aero and Install KB 2670838. - Dorico - Steinberg Forums

I’m unsticking this thread now, in favour of this new one. This thread has served us well for two years, but I think it makes sense to consolidate the information into one place, and to more strongly recommend the various resources for learning Dorico that exist now but which did not exist when Dorico was a baby.

A post was split to a new topic: Dorico SE does not start

Is this FAQ from 2016 still good for those relatively new to Dorico, or is there a more up-to-date version that addresses a lot of the frequently asked questions?

Sorry, never mind. As soon as I clicked send I saw the link to an updated version.