More human sounding quantization options for Dorico?

Hi, I was wondering, what improvements in the quantization options is the developer team from Dorico currently planning? I would like to use Dorico as my main DAW and score editor in my workflow. The only thing which is holding me back doing this are the limited quantization options.

Right now you can either record your parts without quantization for playback by chosing ‘preserving note positions’ or quantize this 100 percent by unchecking that option.

It would be so much better if it would be possible to quantize the underlying note positions to a certain percentage like in Cubase, Logic or any other DAW. With that functionality Dorico would enable a large user group to actually record parts into Dorico without making them either sound as a robot or on the other hand as a big mess. I also heard from many other users (especially film composers) that that is what holding them back for moving to Dorico.

I was wondering, is this someting the developers team from Dorico is working on? And if not, is this a functionality the team would be willing to implement? I think this could be a big improvement for Dorico:)

Welcome to the forum, Jorrit. This isn’t something we’re actively working on at the moment, but I’d be curious to know how you would like this to work in Dorico, as it’s certainly in principle something we could add.

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Thanks:) and nice from you as to react so fast as one of the pioneers of Dorico:)

As you know from inside out , Dorico makes a clear disctinction between ´notated note durations´ and ´played note durations´.

    1. In preferences, I would add next to the checkbox ´preserve note positions´ a checkbox named ´advanced´. When you click on that, you will see: `quantize played note positions to notated note positions by … percent´ and perhaps some additional settings in future releases, such as for instance can be found in Cubase.
    1. Furthermore, I would add a ´quantize played notes´ button in the midi editor which appears when you have the ´show played note positions´ button enabled. This button should have next to it a settings tab where you can adjust the percentage of this quantization andperhaps some other settings as well in future releases.
    1. Also a great future in a later release could be similar options under ´playback options´ in play.

Does this make sense? I think that if only the first option could be implemented, this would already be a great win.

Anyways, I am no usuability expert, but still a user:) and I really hope the Dorico team will implement such a feature, because this will make it possible to make really convincing sounding mockups in Dorico, without having to play in the parts over and over again. Futhermore, it would also save me and probably others a lot of time and convince other users to use Dorico as their main program for making mockups or score to picture. For now I either compose in Dorico if many hits are important or Staffpad if that is less important, and re-record everything in Cubase, basically because partial quantization is currently not possible in Dorico.


I agree, this would indeed be a huge deal. Most VSTs are really designed for MIDI input, not notation. Aaron Venture Winds and Brass is a great example. The VST relies on lots of small humanization data that arises naturally from human input in real time. In Dorico these libraries are mostly unusable at the moment for exactly the reason the OP said: they sound robotic. The issue isn’t CC, but timing.

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Great:) Do you also have suggestions/ideas on how to implement this?

I’m just a fellow user, sorry. At present I just use NotePerformer within Dorico. If I want a mock-up, I export the MIDI to a DAW and adjust it there.

I currently use Dorico with VEpro and VSL synchon libraries, and export when I am done with the composing the midi files to Cubase connecting to the same VE pro instances. And then I re-record most of the parts. I also have a workaround if needed to sync Dorico to Cubase over SMPTE, for when I want to compose more hybrid tracks. I would prefer though to be able to do all in Dorico except for the mixing and mastering.

A fellow composer is doing it the other way round, first composing in Logic and then export to Dorico, which can also be really time consuming. He also would prefer to work in only one program in which he can write great scores and good sounding mockups at the same time:)

By the way, if you export note performer midi tracks to you daw, does this include convincing timing as well as CCs for expression, modulation and vibrato, or is all that just performed by note performers playback engine?

I just send the MIDI and redo the CC, since I’m using different libraries.

But does noteperformer humanize the timing also in the midi?

No, only in playback.

That is unfortunate. I like the timing of noteperformer, but not so much how it sounds

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There is an updated version, NotePerformer 4, in development now. I don’t know more than that. I’m sure it will be a huge improvement.

I heard, but I like the flexibility of my VST libraries and was errantly thinking of noteperformer as a way to humanize my midi tracks from Dorico when exporting them to Cubase, because of the 100 percent quantization issue. But I am diverting off topic:). Anybody else having ideas on how to implement more human quantization options in Dorico? Or having feedback on my idea on its implementation?

The ability to control the strength of quantization would be a huge help to me in making arrangement demos; conversely I’d like to be able to modify and have more control over the “humanization” of notes I’ve entered manually (i.e., not recorded).

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Good point. Getting more control over humanizitation over manually entered notes would also be great, as now this is only possible for velocities on an indicvidual basis or from the playback template for all notes. I would suggest for this also a button named ’ humanize played notes in the key editor next to the ’ quantize played notes’ -button, with also a settings menu next to it.

Then you could for instance play in the parts that need more ‘humanization’ than randomization, using the ’ quantize played notes’ button and enter for quick results the other parts manually, using the ‘humanize played notes’ button.

But how would you envision such functions?

Daniel and I have been talking about this. I’m a great fan of Cubase’s Iterative Quantize, and I can see where functionality like this would be useful in Dorico. We already have Edit > Requantize, which would be a natural place to add more quantization options in the future.

We have no immediate plan for this, but it’s certainly something we’ll consider for a future version.


Was just going to mention both Cubase’s iterative quantize, and also that you can set an accuracy percentage so that the changes are more approximate than the robotic exactitude of old. I generally work to get that side of things done in Cubase before importing to Dorico, when working with MIDI files.

Great. I know the question I am going to ask will be difficult to answer, but I ask it anyways:) When well this become something the development team will consider and if they would like to implement it, when could we as users expect this to be implemented? I think this functionality is a must have for any advanced mockup artist or movie composer who wants to work only in Dorico for the most part.

We can’t comment on timescales for future releases, unfortunately, but I do personally think this would be a good addition to Dorico at some point in time.

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