Most important feature requests for Dorico 4

Apologies for beating this dead horse, but I am repeating the request to implement playback of glissandi on string instruments and voice. I would gladly pay the price of the upgrade for this one feature.

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Two words: House Styles


Ah! The elephant in the room…


Don’t apologise as it’s near the top of my list as well though as most libraries have limited or no sampled support for glissandi of this type, Dorico will have their work cut out to produce something good. Except for NotePerformer where it already does work in Sibelius.

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And a proper template / library system where we can easily import and export settings to/from existing projects without having to import every setting.


Hello Dorico team, and colleagues,
I hope you are all doing well! :slight_smile:
I would like to add some more features and improvements which are important, too:

  1. Expression Maps Improvements. For more information (there are links to other topics in the link):
    [FIR] Expression Maps Improvements for Dorico 4
  • This will surely allow the creation of large layered templates, or combination of techniques from different libraries.
  • This most probably will lead to Track Export improvement in order to Export the Channels, or Ports as separate audio tracks for further mixing and mastering.
  • Will lead to Play Mode improvement, in order to edit the CCs, Velocity… per channel and port basis.
  • Option to edit, or populate the Default Automatic Mutual Exclusion Groups is needed.
  1. Automatic detection of L/R Hands during Real-Time and Step Input recording. Just like in
    Sibelius and Overture.
  2. Native Aleatoric boxes and decent Aleatoric playback.
  3. Real-time audio (switchable monophonic<->polyphonic and sensitivity control) transcription from voice, acoustic or electric instrument by using microphone, or instrument Line-In.
  • As we all know the instrument itself has strong influence on the performer, and the way how one thinks and feels while performing piano, guitar, armenian duduk, saz, flute…
    If one is a multi-instrumentalist such way of a real-time recording will be very helpful.
  1. Left and Right locators and option to loop the playback between the locators (with option to change notes, real-time recording, etc…), and of course an option to export Mixdown, or Tracks between locators.
  2. Logic Pro-like Smart Tempo Detection:
    Scoring to Video requests - #5 by Thurisaz
  • Cubase Pro has a tempo extraction from MIDI, too, but I find the one in Logic a bit more advanced which is very important for those who score for media.
  • On the other side such function will Humanize the tempo and grid related playback even for non-media music. Which is very important.
  • The Smart tempo should be applicable even on already existing scores without destroying them.
  1. Cubase Pro like MIDI note Quantization and Humanization.
  • The real life musicians rarely “snap” the notes notes to grid, even if they play by Metronome. Most commonly they trigger the notes slightly before the grid, or slightly after the grid. This “imperfection” makes the orchestral sections to sound very spatial. Otherwise they would sound just louder.
  • Of course such feature will need the Expression Maps to have playback offset, otherwise the notes which starts before the grid will not be affected by the assigned techniques…
  1. Horizontal and Vertical Rulers, and Page Grids in Engraving Mode. Just like in Word, or other Text Editors.
  • The Horizontal & Vertical Rulers and Grids will surely improve the positioning of the objects on page.
  1. Mix Console Improvements:
  • Adding of Cubase Pro - like Control Room, a monitoring channel were we could insert plugins that will not affect the export and will open with every new project. Just like they work in Cubase.
  • Channel Loudness measurement digits. Currently the mixer loudness measurement is blank.
  • Implementation of Combined Pan, like in Cubase is needed since most of the VIs are stereo.
  • Option to configure the Default Mixer appearance, just like in Cubase. Currently we have to configure it for every project.
  • Adding of SuperVision plugin in Dorico will be great, too.
  1. Sorting of plugins by Vendor or Type + Search Bar. Both options should be available, like in Cubase.
  • This will shorten the Instrument and Mixer Insert drop down lists and will improve the workflow.
  1. Font improvement.
  • Option for Dorico memorize the users most commonly used fonts and to bring them to top, as any text editor does. It should be able to remember at least 6 - 7 text fonts, the same amount musical fonts… etc…
  • Would be nice if we have Font Search box, too.
  1. Optimization of the Screen Space.
  • HiDPI options like in Cubase:
    Cubase-like HiDPI Scaling Options in Dorico
  • Reduction of the Top app border line, just like in Cubase:
    FR: Change of the Dorico's Top Bar Appearance
    I know this isn’t a priority, but it save space, especially on laptops. We need as much as possible visible working area. This will free up some vertical space.
  • The size of the Left and Right Panels could be reduced just a little bit, too. In order to free some horizontal space. Or they could be made resizable (in all Modes), to fit the users needs.
  • In the area of Screen Optimization many ideas could be taken from Cubase. It’s well optimized for various screen sizes.
  1. Single Screen workflow improvement.
    Well for this improvement I was asking many times, and I won’t step back from it. :wink:
    Especially since some people, here, complain of performance issues when multiple Dorico windows are opened.
  • Option to have an instant access to Piano Roll, CCs, Velocity, Dynamics… per instrument in
    Write Mode > Galley View:
    [FR]:Adding Instant Access to Piano Roll in Galley View
    This won’t lead to major design changes and surely will vastly improve the workflow, and of course will save precious space when working on laptops. The Windows app container borders take space which can be saved.
  • Probably the most problematic area here will be synchronization between the bar lines and the piano roll grids, because the distance between bar lines may vary, while the distance between the Piano Roll grids is fixed. Still this synchronization could be achieved and Overture is a good example for this.
    Worth to think about this improvement more seriously! :slight_smile:
  1. Chord Track and Automatic Chord Extraction + Level of complexity option, similar to Staffpad. Such feature could save so much time…
    Chord Staff and Chord Extration Features in Dorico
  2. Bezier Curves for automations and tempo track. Just like in Cubase.
  3. Improved Audio Export, like in Cubase.
  • Option to switch the Sample and Bit rates for .WAV and .MP3
  • Option for custom naming scheme
  • Id and Metadata
  • Option to disable all Mixer Inserts (excluding the Control Room)
  • Option for Real-Time export + Volume control slider
  1. List of the Instruments in Dorico
  • Extended list of the folk instruments used in Eastern Europe and Asia
  • Option to Save Custom list of Solo, Section and Ensemble Instruments,
    as separate file which would not be affected
    after updates or upgrades, and will be presented in the Insert Instrument Window.
  • The adding of instruments and their order could be also improved as Martin Kaery a.k.a. Tantacrul suggested in his video on Dorico. This surely will speed-up the workflow
    Music Software & Interface Design: Steinberg's Dorico - YouTube to 29:35 min.
    MuseScore has automatic instrument ordering conventions integrated:
  1. Midi File Export Improvements
  1. Full control over the performance of the Baroque and Classical ornaments.
  2. An easy way to manually overpopulate a bar, by mouse (just like in Finale and Overture) without the need of adding extra beats, or use of hidden tuplets first.
  3. Staff/Track Versions, similar to the way how they work in Cubase.
  1. And option to change the Voices for Percussion/Drum Staff in normal way (directly in the score), without invoking the Percussion Kit.

I hope you would think about all these important improvements and features! :slight_smile:
Thank you very much in advance! :slight_smile:

Best wishes,


Loop the playback will be FANTASTIC to see in Dorico 4 !!! :ok_hand:

I see no point of being able to loop a section if you cannot change the notes while the playback is running. OK, I guess you could adjust VSTs to change patches, but that doesn’t sound like much of a priority for a notation program.
OTOH, being able to change notes DURING playback would be very powerful, especially if you could loop a range. There are many times that I need to experiment with harmonizing inner voices, and doing that with a continuously looped playback would be wonderful.

Well, you can currently change notes during playback, so I don’t imagine it would be a stretch to add that to playback looping, it and when it comes.

I was able to change notes during playback if I entered note entry mode before starting playback. But playback sounds the ORIGINAL notes, which rather defeats my purpose. I have to halt the playback and start it again to hear the new pitches. Am I missing something?

And the right-left arrow keys don’t work during playback, so your ability to adjust the notes is really limited.

@DanKreider and @cparmerlee hello,
Of course the loop should allow changing of notes and additional recording of ideas.
Just like it works in any DAW.
The loop gives you the ability to improvise over an existing idea and to record additional new
themes, counterpoint or harmony…
This feature is very helpful especially if someone composes mostly by improvisation method. I really miss this in Dorico.

Best regards,


I think we all want the same thing, but there is some question about what is actually possible today. It seems to me there are some big limitations on what you can do with playback running now. Ideally, playback should be completely “modeless”, that is, playback should be capable of running independently and dynamically incorporate any changes to the music without having to restart the payback – as you say, like every DAW out there.

This would be a very important advancement for Dorico, I would think.

I hesitate to bring this up, but early versions of Dorico had really severe “jumping around” problems. If playback were completely modeless, that might re-introduce many new “jumping around” cases if you are editing notes that are distant from the current playback cursor. But of course, that is an even stronger argument for the ability to set loop ranges. Maybe there would even be some wisdom in a floating playback loop that automatically set itself to x bars (or beats) before the currently edited note and n bars (or beats) beyond that.

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Indeed you can (and I suspect some may have not realised this) which is already of some help.

On the general point being raised here of requiring a seamless loop mode where we can play back all or a selection of parts and add new material as we go along which can then be overwritten or retained as desired as in a DAW, I am in complete agreement. For many composers, this is arguably the most useful single improvement that could be made to the creative workflow and I’m not sure if there’s any technical reason why it can’t be implemented in Dorico though obviously it’s not going to be an overnight job.

Do you know of a way for the changed notes to be heard during playback? I don’t. What is the use of being able to change notes during playback if playback doesn’t pick up the changed notes?

hmm - I was sure that new notes entered during playback through the MIDI keyboard in step input were played back when reached but at the moment it doesn’t seem to be working! Perhaps I was indeed mistaken and you need to stop and restart playback or I had hit on a way of doing it I can no longer reproduce. Anyway, even if that does work under some circumstances, it’s not in itself that helpful without proper looping etc.

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If looping were available I’m sure this would be a feature I would use, but for those asking for it, how do you envision note input implementation with this? If I’m looping a phrase and improvising over it, where exactly does the notation go? There’s only one pass worth of notation in Dorico as currently designed. Where would Dorico put the additional passes of notated music? Would Dorico need to auto-create “playlists” for additional passes like Pro Tools?

If the staves need to hold multiple versions of notation that can be selected for use at any given point, this seems decidedly non-trivial to implement (to put it mildly). Is this the sort of thing y’all are envisioning, or do you have another type of structure in mind to hold the notation for each pass?

as looping is primarily a tool for listening to what sounds correct in context, I would be happy for the results to be stored for selection and display only in the Play module piano roll (and perhaps just the changes for clarity). The preferred pass would be selected after exiting record mode and the notation created. The other variants could then be immediately cleared. This should make for fewer complications and stop wool-gathering but still put an end to the endless start/stop workflow.

That’s often not how it works in DAWs though. Wouldn’t you usually not be selecting an entire pass, but a phrase from pass #2, another phrase from pass #4, etc. and combining them? Maybe in Galley there could be some sort of checkbox to expand the staff to show all passes so the notation could be cut/copied, and the top staff level could remain the “master” that is used for display, cues, condensing, etc. When the box wasn’t checked only the top master level would be displayed. I obviously have no idea of the inner workings of Dorico so maybe this is easier to accomplish than it appears, but I would assume something like this would take a ton of programming resources.

Personally I might not use it for multiple takes of improvisation – at least that wasn’t my initial interest. My desires are more basic. I’d like to see the looping be able to repeat a few measures indefinitely as I experiment with different voices or tonalities.

(For purposes of discussion, I suggest we refer to this as “lanes” because that is the Cubase terminology.)

Having said that, a lanes feature with the ability to later do composite tracks would be awesome. Most DAWs have that feature today. Philosophically, it makes perfect sense to have several lanes of a player, instrument, and the implementation should follow the model that is (AFAIK) universally used in the DAW world. That is to say, there is always at least one lane, which is what we have today. But you could have a record mode ( / note entry mode) where you can enter additional lanes of the same passage. By default the latest lane would be sounded and shown in the score, but you could always expand the lanes to assemble composite tracks. If I had that capability, I probably would be much more inclined to enter “improvisations”.

As far as the development, I doubt that it would be trivial, but the basic elements are in place already. I don’t see this as colliding with the concepts of Dorico at all. Adding looping would probably be a relatively minor feature. A robust track-lanes-with-comping feature would probably be the centerpiece of a major release, comparable to the score consolidation.

(I note that the Cues feature in Dorico already does something similar to lanes. That is to say the notated instrument is able to obtain some of its material from another source (another instrument in that case. I’m not suggesting the code could be reused, but just noting there are already examples of Dorico having comparable capability…)

this is what I also really had in mind – I mainly just want to be able to loop indefinitely and hear and enter different variations as I go along and stop playback/recording when happy. The extra step of Dorico recording the changes per pass in a list I suggested is actually unnecessary. This ought to be the easiest to implement, surely, and could suffice for many composers?

Which is not to say that more sophisticated functionality couldn’t be added later.