Integration with Cubase

“Hooking in” cuts both ways. If Steinberg had wanted to make a notation app that was constrained by a MIDI-based concept of how music should be represented, one could consider the questions whether (1) they would have needed to hire the Dorico team to build it and (2) whether the Dorico team would have accepted the job if it had been offered.

But another strategy would be to modify Cubase (or its successor) to “hook in” to Dorico, if that isn’t too much of an intellectual stretch for sequencer users who are happy working with technology that hasn’t changed much since the 1980s - i.e. MIDI.

All this is pure speculation on my part, of course.

That is not necessarily true.We know from various discussions on this forum that the Dorico design (at least at the philosophical level if not the code level as of today) includes:

  • the concept of players and parts that can map directly to Cubase tracks
  • adoption of Steinberg code (presumably derived from Cubase) as the playback engine
  • a playback GUI (eventually if not in the first release) that is Cubase-like
  • the intention to support VSTis and VST effects in a more or less open manner, although they will not support all the older VST protocol levels
  • the ability to operate on the MIDI separately from the notation to alter note lengths etc

This is a very good starting point. The part that would not necessarily come easily would be to compose in the “DAW view” and have the MIDI end up seamlessly as Dorico notation. That would be “the” big advance. I don’t mean to trivialize that. It would be a significant development task. But given the other foundations enumerated above, it just doesn’t sound that overwhelming to me.

And nothing says that all of these things must be in a single product. I could easily see the basic Dorico shipping with a “Cubase ultralight”, but also having the option to hook Dorico to full (purchased) Cubase. And likewise, Cubase has its own limited notation, so there could be an optional product that would enable Cubase users to operate seamlessly with Dorico.

I am mainly a SONAR user and also have StudioOne. I have never bought Cubase, but would do so in a heartbeat if there were good integration between Dorico and Cubase. And I bet there are loads of current Cubase users who would be happy to buy Dorico if that meant there was an easy way for their Cubase-based compositions to be notated in Dorico.

Clearly the things I’m discussing are not (and should not be) the priority for the first release or two. But it also shouldn’t be a 3-year project to add these capabilities.

Unless they come up with an integrated solution, I see no use in Dorico. I bought Cubase 7 on the premise that their notation software was good enough for me to input some music I’ve done, and then use their VST to assign instruments. I had nothing to record at that point and I figured it would still have been a valid teaching of how Cubase works. It would have get me started. And I paid more that 500 canadian dollars.
The notation software they offer in Cubase is a total scrap unless you want to spend your evenings figuring out all the maths implied in it. A Mathematician job, not a Musician job. I didn’t understand at that time why there were some notation software like Sibelius and Finale that worked with the musician instead of Cubase notation software that worked against the musician,
So until they come up with an integrated solution, it’s no use. Count me out.

That’s ridiculous. There is no “math” involved and Cubase has arguably the best notation inside of a DAW. I work a lot in Cubase notation and have no problems with it. It will never be as full featured as a dedicated notation program and there are things they could improve on but I really have no idea what you’re talking about.

Were you expecting freely-played music to be auto-magically converted to readable notation? That’s not really going to happen in any of the current sequencer or score publishing programs. They work very much on the principle that if you know what notation you want, they’ll help you get it on paper. Not ‘you play it, we’ll tell you what the notation ought to be’.

It’s coming though. Have a look at a program called ‘Scorecloud’.

A tiny example of what the crap Cubase Score can do… :wink:

Indeed. Now, if only Avid had fired the ProTools developers same time they did the Sibelius ones, Steinberg hired them all to develop a fully-integrated music production/score publishing program without the baggage of Cubase or Sibelius… we’d have to put all our eggs in one basket :slight_smile:

Pre-announcing a new product that everybody thinks they want to buy and which replaces one of your existing products can be a recipe for commercial suicide - sales of the existing product suddenly drop to zero while everybody is waiting for the replacement.

That strategy has killed many small tech companies in the past. Of course Dorico isn’t a “direct replacement” for any existing Steinberg products - not in version 1.0, anyway. Hurting your competitors with pre-announcements of products is a different strategy!

Oh, I know! I’m just dreaming of the program I’d LIKE to own. There are SO many reasons that isn’t going to happen.

Anyway, if my music production and score publishing were bundled in one application, it would HAVE to be useable on both my laptop and studio machines without messing around with a dongle.

I’ve read stuff about Dorico suggesting that it certainly will try to show notation as correct as possible - based on playback. Why wouldn’t any score do that anyway?

I don’t think anyone wants just “integration”; they want the application they work in to handle notation, editing, audio tracks if needed etc… all in one app. So I’m sure they at least have have discussed how Dorico can work together with Cubase, and maybe with other DAWs as well. The question is only how long it takes until it feels like one workflow, because I’m sure almost everybody would prefer to have one file format, one set of key commands, a consistent UI/look across the various editors (piano roll, mixer, score editor) and so on. Logic have been closer to offer such program for some years, but development in the areas important for composers using notation and virtual instruments seems to have more or less stopped several years ago. But who knows what they are working on. Anyway, I think it would be a big mistake to plan the Cubase/Dorico combo as anything less than a result which feels like working on one program with two modules, as opposed to working in a DAW and a score application.

Regarding intergration…
For many years now, I’ve used Cubase or Reaper to host all VSTs and audio. I’ve fed this setup with Midi out from Finale via virtual Midi cables (LoopBe). This works great because all the articulation switching in Finale (“Human Playback”) is Midi data only.

I do hope I’m wrong, but as far as I’ve understood, this scheme will not be possible with Dorico, as Dorico will use a variant of the Cubase Expression Map system. I assume Xmaps ares not only Midi data, and hence will require the VSTs and audio handling to reside within Dorico itself… (?)

No, expression maps are much more powerful and flexible than Finale’s human playback. You can send external midi channel change info, or keyswitches, or program changes, or really any other conceivable way of changing an articulation. It works great in Cubase hosting sounds externally in VE Pro. No reason it shouldn’t work in Dorico, as well.

but it makes me wonder why the Dorico team (apparently) has spent considerable time and effort implementing the Cubase audio engine… If the Dorico Xmap system can travel via virtual Midi cables into Cubase, they could have decided to sell it bundled with Cubase elements…

No direct integration with Cubase, no sale here. Pointless IMO

Why wouldn’t they implement the Cubase audio engine? You’d be nuts not to tap into all that expertise and development when it’s there within the same company.

Personally, I think Cubase and Dorico will link at some point in the future. Quite how and when, I’ve no idea but in strictly business terms it would make sense now for Steinberg to develop two distinct top-end programs, both aimed at different markets as opposed to inflating one major DAW with a next-generation top-end notation program - potentially the best there is - bundled as part of it. That’s selling Dorico way short, missing a bunch of opportunities that Cubase could never realise and, frankly, selling the entire notation software market short.

About integration with Cubase, earlier this week Notion 6 was released. One of the new features is closer integration with Studio One, PreSonus’ DAW sioftware program. See below. I have Notion 6 (but not Studio One), this might be interesting for Dorico as well. Although I’m kind of hoping that 95% of the tweaking could be done within Dorico itself. The ability to tweak just a few basic parameters (velocity, mod wheel, expression, maybe CC 7) and maybe insert an EQ or create buses to enable different reverbs would go a very long way.

I think “closer integration” is a vast understatement. It is very close to seamless. You can start in either product and very easily connect with the other product. Such details like instrument name are carried across automatically. In Notion (the scoring side) you can enable a view option that show the actual MIDI duration of the notes as a shaded extension to the normal noteheads, and you can make that level of MIDI adjustment right there in Notion, having it reflected in the StudioOne platform.

Basically this should be the road map that any developer of any notation product ought to be following if they don’t want to be seen as a glorified version of the 1990 engraving programs.

You reference Notion 6. Was this integration present in Notion 1? Let’s be fair. The development team has mentioned likely future symbiosis between Dorico and Cubase.

True, but if you bring a new car to market, it will invariably be compared to the current competition. Market forces are getting less and less sentimental…

Yes, and the competition is Sibelius and Finale. Not Notion. Or Studio One. or Cubase. Or Pro Tools.