Is it now possible to create a professional mock up in Dorico?

I am thinking of switching to Dorico from Sibelius because I would like to be able to create a professional midi mock up as I compose so I can eliminate having to use Cubase.
Is it possible and is it easier than Cubase?
Are there any libraries that are well integrated with Dorico to make it easy to use?

At the moment (and just my opinion), you’ll still have to create your score in Dorico and then export the MIDI to your DAW, as the MIDI editing features of Dorico are somewhat limited, though improved from previous versions.

Dorico can use any of the big libraries through Kontakt/EastWest PLAY etc. Also, Note Performer is popular too, though I haven’t found it to be particularly ‘real’ sounding in all cases.

It depends on how real you want the mock-ups to sound. If it’s just to check your work before performance by an orchestra, then you can stay in Dorico and use the library of your choice, but if you want to take the editing further, to create something a lot better, then you’ll have to use the editing features of a major DAW.

Dear Maximuss,
There are numerous files demonstrating the audio output quality directly from Dorico, with many different libraries (NotePerformer, Spitfire, VSL, Iconica…)
You might want to try the software (30 days trial available) with your libraries and scores, to have a better idea. You will find plenty of information on this forum (it’s an unvaluable asset to Dorico), the user base being especially helpful, educated and wise.

Thanks mate, very helpful!

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Hi Maximus,

I have thousands of dollars of libraries, but I solely rely on NotePerformer now. It’s easier, and it sounds that good.



I more than agree with what Mike above is saying. Also I have “everything” available, but I love NotePerformer.

NotePerformer might not be perfect – what IS? –, but it still is absolutely FANTASTIC. It saves me hours of work every time I need to create a mock up. Those hours I can use for WRITING music.

Composing, not tweaking already finished written music to simply produce an audio file, is my way of working.

Thank you Dorico, thank you NotePerformer. What a pair of great tools. :slightly_smiling_face:

Let me just add that I have done HUGE amount of tweaking and editing etc. using more or less all music software ever existed like sequencers, MIDI synthesiser sound editors (do you know those ones?), samplers, studio software and of course notation packages since 1983. As a long-time teacher and trainer of all that stuff, I cannot tell you how happy I am that we TODAY finally have tools that, as I said, let you WORK, not waste your time with technical stuff (which in itself can be very enjoyable and interesting) that used to be necessary every time when dealing with any big or tiny music project.

Well, I still have to do lots of tweaking all the time, when the project calls for it. But Dorico and NotePerformer is the first pair of tools ever that have saved me a lot of time. I tweak when it really is NEEDED, which still happens all the time, but when it can be avoided, I am ecstatically happy to not have to do it.

I do miss the ultra fast writing on paper by pen. It is still the only way today to write or draw ANYTHING ANYWHERE on a page in a fraction of a second. But while waiting for the perfect notation software, we must be extremely grateful for Dorico and, to get back to the topic, its time-saving companion NotePerformer.

What a boring message. Sorry. :joy:


Unless one writes SLOW music for strings, NotePerformer can be pretty convincing … :wink:


yes - another way of looking at it is that the faster and more rhythmical the music is and the more instruments are used, the better it is. Conversely, the more individual instrumental timbre and detail you want, the poorer it is.

For well integrated into Dorico without requiring a lot of user intervention, it’s arguably the only reasonably musical choice. And of course that it is unique in being the only samples base+modelling orchestral library. It’s quite a long time since v3 came out and I wonder whether significant progress can still be made along this path. After all, the Dorico version is actually still officially beta.

As to the original question of doing a professional mockup only in Dorico – well that depends on what you mean and who you ask. :confused:

For woodwind quintets NP is stunningly convincing.

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Speaking as a string player, please don’t write slow music for strings! I once played a piece that required 2 solo violins and a solo viola to hold a pianissimo triad for 2 minutes. It was agony!


depends on the kind of music. For my wind sextet, I quickly reverted to VSL after trying out NP.

I don’t use NP often (I typically work silent with an external pipe organ VST that isn’t linked to Dorico at all) but the last time I did, I was shocked at how convincing (at least in my particular arrangement) the bassoon and clarinet were.

I, too am a fan of NP. What is interesting is the varied responses to it which I suspect reflects the instrument of the listener; at least that is often the case. I agree that the ww quintet is very good - but when I play the flute samples for a flutist, they are not impressed. Similarly, as a classical guitarist, I’m not too taken with the guitar sounds - they work fine, give me what I need for proofing, but I would not use them for a mockup to send; again, others really like the sound ( I suspect they aren’t guitarists!).
No library is perfect, but for the price, NP is a superb value. Arne Wallander is a very responsive developer, and is intent on continuing to improve the library.
We all bring our instrumental preferences to bear when listening to mockups - we just need to remember that the word “mock” is there, and proceed accordingly.

Of course, another approach is to use NP but then substitute other sound libraries for specific sounds. I like to use Trilian bass, Ivory 2 piano, and Superior drummer for example, often in conjunction with NP. Overall, I agree that while you can technically do detailed mockups using “better” sound libraries within Dorico, it’s so much easier to program them in a DAW - but for “instant gratification” in a notation program, NP rules (as much as I still hope that Arne comes out with a dedicated “jazz”-tuned version).

  • D.D.

I’m pretty much the same way. The OP asked about a “professional mock-up”, which some might consider an oxymoron. For my purposes (providing a rehearsal reference and a realistic approximation of the arrangement) I find this is “professionally” acceptable, and additional twiddling in a DAW is not usually justified.

But if the “professional mock-up” is supposed to sound realistic, barely distinguishable from human musicians, then this isn’t good enough.

It is the eye of the beholder.