Is Dorico now also just a "subscription" based product?

As the saying goes, most jazz players today “can read fly sh!t … backwards.” The level of (sight)reading of the younger generation of musicians right now is pretty insane, at least among serious students.


Yes but my point was that the fireworks could simply be fixing the long list of things that don’t quite work or are not quite as capable as first envisioned - choral condensing, copying and moving frames in engrave mode, ties on repeats, formatting in tokens, custom tokens, footnotes - things that fulfill the Dorico Dream of a program in which the semantics drive the end result more than the position on the page.

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FWIW, if you examine a feature I called Rhythmic compression (but I don’t have a copyright on the name and wouldn’t be bothered to see it named otherwise), it would be a massive Wow (as cues, condensing were in their time). But now that I know the Team is shrinked down to seven geniuses only, I don’t really expect this to happen. It must be a very complicated stuff to implement which would require a large team for quite some time (so many options need to live together, high level of abstraction). Any copyist that brings parts knows how valuable it would be to use local repeat bars, repeat barlines, local tremolos to make those parts both perfectly legible and with nice page turns.
A middle wow tool is the ornaments editor to provide user-defined playback for any ornament. Probably more feasible (but certainly complicated too). I’m definitely more confident on this one.
The third one was the instrument editor and… it’s there (and will probably get better and better during the 5.0 cycle).


This has to be the most ridiculous thread I have ever seen.

It’s the oldest software model I can remember.
You buy a “for life” product, then you pay to upgrade to newer versions, if you choose to, or stay with the version you bought.

The only thing that has changed is the cost to upgrade is significantly lower than it used to be.

I use Dorico very sparingly (when writing string parts for pop/rock tracks), Dorico does everything I need, but £85 (inc. VAT) for a major version upgrade is still tempting me!


But will that group pay $600 for the program, and will putting that capability into Elements be worth the time expended on it? Only the Dorico Team will be able to say.

I forgot about that one. Good catch, that indeed would be on the order of a wow feature.

Yeah, I think there’s a massive pile of medium to low ones that’ll keep them busy for the next decade at least!

Turned into some interesting side bars at least.

That’s a very good question, and the kind of market-driven decision I’d expect any successful company to address. I don’t know the answer to your question – don’t even have a strong instinct about it. But I would say this:

  • There are far more musicians with a soft theory background than those with crazy theoretical skills
  • Many of those in the former category have day jobs that pay enough that a few hundred bucks one time plus $100 a year is no big deal
  • The kinds of things I’m talking about would help professionals to produce error-free output faster, no matter how much book-learnin’ they have.

This is exactly how I feel. You have eloquently captured (for me, at least) what may not be obvious to the flock.


Heck: just think of how expanded the code base must be now. Merely maintaining what they already have is even more difficult. Couple in the fact that they’ve lost at least one dev. and have had another two reassigned elsewhere (at least for a time) to other Steinberg projects… A little grace is due, I think.


I’m finding that instead of a head rush it’s more of an IV drip (cue photoshop IV bottle with a Dorico label on it). As I’m using the new features they’re great boosts that are making my work either easier or better.

  • Scrub is saving tons of time to quick check things instead of fiddling with the playhead (Ctrl-Space)
  • Live Editing is faster and more intuitive a lot of the time
  • MIDI regions are opening up new possibilities
  • I’ve abandoned CC work for now (no problem with that!), waiting to see what happens with humanizing. The present jitter humanizing is just a starting point, I’m assuming they’ll get us at least >50% to good output which will save a huge amount of time and bother

Why should anyone be at ease with Dorico being under-resourced?


I’m not saying we should be happy about that. Just that, in light of those revelations, lets not try to swamp the few remaining developers with negativity.


The Jump bar was a big Wow for sure


And the library manager!


OMG seriously that made life easier!

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Paul once mentioned to me that Dorico has over 2 million lines of code, not counting the audio and video engines. And this was some time ago.


That’s a big 'un. Biggest I worked on was seven million, but it depends on the age of the base and how well architectected it is, and you can get fiddly about SLOC and complexity metrics blah blah. Anyhow Dorico isn’t that old, and looks to be very well architected would be my belief, and has already gone through one major refactoring. So while that’s a lot of code, I’d expect it to be more manageable than it seems … but still hefty. But it just validates the idea that it’s a lot to deal with.

And third party libraries are the bane/boon of a project, Qt is no exception here.

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Back on the original point of this thread - what were the big selling points of the latest Finale release (which also follows this model)? (I’m still transitioning off Finale to Dorico myself) SMUFL support, including a set of free 3rd party plugins by default (which are great, but also…uh, I had those already because they were free to begin with), bug fixes, and better sharing/musicXML export functionality. I paid the upgrade to v26 just because it had the one feature of “articulations auto stack to avoid collisions”!!

I dunno, in comparison to that, Dorico 5.0 seems to have pretty major feature updates. 5.0 does seem less “exciting” to me than the previous ones, but relative to a product at v27, v5 is still pretty early going! Are there certain things I’d absolutely love to get, like the previously mentioned aleatoric notation stuff? Absolutely. I work in media music, and aleatoric notation is fairly common there (depending on the genre you work in, like action/horror/thriller, although it works in beautiful works as well if you constrain the “chaos” to diatonic pitches). Still, I think Dorico is vastly superior at aleatoric notation than Finale, in any case.


I expect one of the things that make aleatoric notation difficult is how to approach playback, even if playback is only a simulation of true “chance.”

Given the Dorico Team’s way of easing into such areas as percussion kits and condensing or the Key Editor, I would expect Dorico to implement things like looping as a stepping-stone to aleatoric notation.


I feel a bit dumb that I’ve gotten so used to “lack of playback” that I wasn’t even thinking about it! I was merely thinking of ease and effectiveness of making the notation work on scores and parts!

Indeed, creating a system for the many possible versions of chance is incredibly intimidating to think about. On the basic side, you could have a box with content cycling normally (which is kinda just goofy looking copy/paste, pretty straight forward to imagine playback design for that with looping), but once you get into the rest of it - approximate pitches, diatonic clusters, chromatic clusters, play-as-fast-as-possible, individual speed ups and slow downs, playing a part while slowly gliding up or down - that’s a serious headache to imagine making that playback.