How is Dorico from someone who has only ever used Sibelius Version 4

How is Dorico? Do you like it? Did Steinberg do good job?


You’ll generally find this forum populated by passionate devotees. Dorico isn’t yet come to full maturity. And no program is perfect. There are several things it can’t yet to do, but it already far outpaces Sibelius and Finale in many ways. In short, it’s outstanding.

There is a fully-functional 30-day trial. I recommend you try it for yourself to see if it meets your needs.

Wow! Sibelius 4… that’s over 10 years old. That’s when dynamic parts were implemented!

As Dan said, it might not be the best place to ask: if we’re here, we’re enjoying Dorico. Specific questions might yield you more useful answers. But I would definitely try the demo.

The WAY in which Steinberg did a good job with Dorico was in hiring the vast majority of the people who were responsible for Sibelius 4 through 6 to design a new notation software from the ground up, without any attempt to accommodate earlier versions, like the team had had to do with Sibelius.

The result, in my opinion as a Sibelius user from versions 1.4 through 6, beats Sibelius every which way but loose, to coin a phrase, or actually, steal it from a movie title.

The caveat is that you can’t expect to switch to Dorico seamlessly or painlessly. You have to unlearn a few things, and learn a few new ones. But if you’re willing to wipe your brain clean and start from scratch, you’ll be very happy indeed. I second Dan’s recommendation to try the trial version. And I also recommend his Beginner’s Guide to the software as a real help to learning it.


Depending on how deep you are using SIbelius, the switch may be VERY fast.
I’m not a professional engraver who has deadlines to meet editors request, but I’m a bandleader who writes mostly leadsheets.
When I switched to Dorico, it gave me a good push to write better sheets.
also, now I enjoy transcribing my orchestral and piano solo works to the point that I transcribe very old stuff I composed just for the fun of it!

If you download the demo, make sure you have enough time to try it before the first activation because 30 days can go very fast…

I know quite many support forums that would be the perfect place for such questions :laughing:
The fact that the vast majority of users here consider themselves proud fans of the software is saying a lot.

Can Dorico import old Sibelius projects?

Yes! But you have to export them in XML from Sibelius, and import that into Dorico. I don’t know if you can do that with your old Sib version… If needed, ask someone who has a more recent version (I think version 6 or 7 can use the dolet plug-in)

Steinberg actually hired an amazing team. The team did the work.

Dorico really is excellent. I consider myself a reasonably able Sibelius user up to version 7. I am having to learn Finale 24 for the school that I teach at in spite of my efforts to encourage the introduction of Dorico. Both are very capable.

But it is clear to me that Dorico is in a different league already.

You can export as XML from Sibelius 7 and import to Dorico. I have done that with all of my important scores save those for guitar which I will do once the guitar functionality is implemented.

You can export MusicXML direct from Sibelius 4, but you need a plugin to do it. Go to here, and make sure you get the right one (i.e. “for Sibelius 2.1-5.0”).

THank you for the replies… I suspect sometime soon, maybe with ARA2 release… we will see cross integration between dorico and cubase.

Dorico doesn’t support ARA, and I don’t think ARA would in any case be the way we would choose to integrate Dorico and Cubase. Since we can change both applications if we need to, we don’t need to conform to any specific third-party technology: we can simply build whatever integration makes the most sense. However, you should not have the expectation that deeper integration between Dorico and Cubase is imminent: this is a big project that requires both the Dorico team and the Cubase team to align our respective roadmaps and dedicate serious resources to it. For our part, we in the Dorico team are still focused on building out the core notation and playback features of our application, though in the medium term we do expect to be in a position where starting to focus on integration with Cubase will make sense.

THank you Daniel at Steinberg.