Moving Mac -> Win10 checklist

Dorico is so central to my workflow that it convinced me to finally pitch Logic in favor of Cubase, because it’s inevitable once Dorico->Cubase ‘integration’ is here*. So I made the leap by purchasing Cubase 11 which just came out and have been coming up to speed**. And now I can buy PC hardware for a fraction of the price! Here are the things I’m thing are the possible issues


  • License Is the best thing to wait until the Web licenser is released? I assume moving the two licenses to a PC would be problematic otherwise. I have the Dorico license installed on this Mac and Cubase using the USB dongle.
  • MIDI Virtual Ports In the meantime I’ve got a setup for Dorico to use Cubase as a VST host backend over virtual ports. There is a PC equivalent from some utility somebody wrote. Wish it was built in as with the Mac but that’s what we’ve got.
  • Navigation Trackpads on PC’s really stink. The Apple trackpad is one of the things holding me back. But Dorico has the ‘z’, ‘x’ and ‘H’ (hand) keys which make this much less of an issue (good job on that guys!), so I think I’ll survive here.
  • Audio The audio handling looks a bit clumsier on the PC (I’m testing with a trial license over there), but serviceable.
  • Interfaces My Focusrite RED4PRE isn’t presently supported on Win (thunderbolt 2), but they say support is coming this month as it happens. My Apogee interface will have to get sold which is fine, it’s not that great. Going Focusrite all the way.
  • Look and feel The Mac version - with Dark mode, looks better honestly. The PC window frame isn’t respecting Win10 Dark mode. This coul dbe improved but isn’t a deal killer.
  • PDF Output Win10 has a built in PDF driver now I believe so no issue there.
  • Rainbow wheel Hoping for greater stability overall

I think that’s it, anything else or corrections?

  • The defining feature for me is all the MIDI writing Dorico does for me automatically via the Maps. I want to write music not MIDI!
    ** Bonus - so far Cubase is kicking Logic’s butt. Much faster and cleaner.

I’m not going to try and address everything here, but off the top of my head:

Elicenser - certainly the Dorico license can be moved from your Mac to your PC via the usb dongle. If your intention is to permanently move from one computer to another, rather than moving the license via dongle, log in to your MySteinberg account and ReActivate the license on the PC. Anecdotal evidence suggests the software eLicenser is more reliable than the USB eLicenser.

Navigation - a mouse with a scroll wheel goes a long way. If you’re planning on going down the laptop route, yes, you may find the trackpad experience poor. My own experience is that on my Macs I can scroll horizontally and vertically with two fingers on the trackpad. On my Windows machine I need Shift in order to scroll horizontally (but vertically is fine). I’ll confess at this point that I’ve not checked this recently, so I may be anomaly here (and I only have one Windows machine at my disposal).

Audio - get your hands on a decent soundcard. Integrated ones tend to be pretty poor.

PDF output - Dorico has its own PDF exporter, on both Windows and Mac. There are limited situations in which it makes sense to use either the MacOS Print dialog or a third-party Windows PDF driver, but most of the time Dorico’s own graphics export functionality does a better job.

Leo - on the USB licenser Daniel said something to the effect (I believe) that once you push to the dongle you’re stuck there. My only concern is how that might affect the future web licensing system.

Navigation - good points and reminds me - the biggest issue is score navigation. The mac trackpad is so easy to swipe back and forth. I’ll have to test this more with my temp license and look at peripherals.

Audio - take a look again - Focusrite RED4PRE :smiley: I’ve spent probably a years salary or more on this studio

PDF - you are correct!

Re eLicenser. Indeed. I’m suggesting you use the ReActivate process instead of using the dongle. This won’t actually deactivate 3.5.10 on your Mac, but it will mean that your Mac version can’t be updated in future.

(Oh, and sorry - I read “Audio” but skipped over “interfaces”).

Oh that’s interesting, so I could continue to use Dorico on the mac (if I don’t sell it), while using on the PC? That would be very, very handy as I have two studios here, hmm, thanks for the tip. I’ve actually considered buying two copies of Dorico, the only issue is paying upgrades on two!

Yeah on audio I meant drivers and OS support. There’s an oddity with the PC version about locking the audio engine. At any rate my scores are huge, full modern orchestra, couple dozen electronic and world instruments. Dorico starts to fall apart with a full classical orchestra, and is really only usable if I push the audio generation off to Cubase and connect the two via MIDI virtual ports.

It’s not in the spirit of the license, but yes, that’s how it works. You’ll be able to continue using 3.5.10 on the Mac and have a usable, upgradable license locked to the PC (but whatever you do, ensure that your Cubase dongle is not plugged into the PC when you reactivate Dorico, or there’s a minimal chance your Dorico license will end up on the dongle rather than on the PC’s soft eLicenser).

I don’t know quite how complex your scores are, but I recently worked on a 36-stave orchestral project using HALion and didn’t encounter playback difficulties - on my newest Mac. I don’t think I’d have risked trying to open it on either of my other machines!

I’m not sure what you are using, but I use loopMIDI to create the virtual ports. Works fine.
https://www.tobias-erichsen.de/software/loopmidi.html

Fred - thanks yeah I’m testing loop MIDI. Seems fine, but for such a central bit of kit I’d prefer a vendor or open source. Maybe I can find some time to boot an open source project to do the same thing and put it on GitHub. Been programming on Windows for a couple decades so maybe I could bang it out.

I’ve been using LoopBe for a while - seems to be pretty reliable and also has shortcut detection (to prevent feedback loops). It’s a question of what your time is worth to reimplement something where low level timing is critical: https://www.nerds.de/en/loopbe30.html

Leo “I don’t know quite how complex your scores are, but I recently worked on a 36-stave orchestral project using HALion and didn’t encounter playback difficulties”

46 staves presently and that’s counting unpitched percussion as one. Expanding that I’m almost 60, and at least another dozen before I finish. The game universe I’m composing for has some diversity. But anyhow HALion works like a treat, the problem is anything else. BBCSO pro with the works bogs it all down, and I’m beginning to add in EastWest.

Paul “I’ve been using LoopBe for a while” OK that sounds good I’ll use that. Which is fine, it’s probably relatively temporary as it seems a Cubase bridge is in the works. It solves the other problem which is I need a commercial license.