How do I sync a Dorico file to a recording?

I have a new challenge I need to figure out. I’m writing an orchestration over an existing recording that’s piano-voice only.

I know how to import it to Dorico, but how do I synchronize the score to the recording?

I should add that the original recording wasn’t time-mapped in any way.

Do you have Cubase? Its warping feature may help you align varying tempo with measures.

I don’t, no. I use Studio One. If Cubase provides a good solution to this, I’d get it just for that. I’ll look into it.

Edit: it looks like it does the opposite of what I’m looking for. I want to keep the original performance exactly as it was recorded, and set the tempo changes as needed to match it.

I’ll ask on the Cubase forum to see if there’s any feature like this. Sounds like it something that might have to take place outside of Dorico, then.

Is that not what the Dorico Find Tempo dialog does? Treat your original as a video without pictures.
(just guessing here)

Cubase has a feature called ‘tempo detection’ where it analyzes a piece of audio or midi and creates a bunch of tempo changes to make the strong transients it finds, match the grid. I have experimented with this feature and it works, although not in the context you are talking about…I’ve only used it with midi recordings played in without a click. Not sure quite how easy it would be to get the resulting tempo map into Dorico, but I expect it be possible….I’m thinking you could save the resulting Cubase song with the tempo changes as a midi file and import that into Dorico. Logic also has a similar tempo detection feature apparently. I’m surprised that Studio One doesn’t have something similar….the Cubase tempo detection feature has been around for several years I think.

I have done this succesfully simply by drawing into the tempo track of dorico. It is not as hard as you might think once you get the hang of it!

So load in the audio as an video file and draw the tempo in manually (it is probably easier in dorico 3.5 at the moment)

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Oof, that seems tedious…

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I guess it depends on the original material - my piece was quite consitently in tempo so I needed to check the timing every 4 bars or so. But I just simply started from the beginning and made tiny adjustments whenever dorico was ahead/behind the original audio. The line tool seemed to be the best for the job.

I guess you could map the tempo somewhere else and then import to dorico, but I felt that with this method the workflow was as fast in dorico as it would have been in a DAW.

Well, I think I just found a solution! Melodyne 5 can do complex tempo detection in one click. That creates a tempo map, which I can import into Dorico. Sounds perfect; we’ll see…

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Good luck, looking forward to hear how it worked out! :slight_smile:

FWIW, I asked John to do a discover session on exactly that, and asked Cubase experts exactly that, but so far, I’ve been doing exactly what SampoKasurinen does, which works but takes time, especially when many rubatos are involved. Still wishing some input from a Cubase specialist to get a nice, consistent, efficient workflow for this kind of task.