My concerns about Dorico

Let me first say, I love Dorico and I switched from Sibelius the day it was released BECAUSE it was basically the same team that produced Sibelius. I have one concern that seems to come back over and over, percussion. I do keep a license for Sibelius but haven’t even opened Sibelius until today when I downloaded the current version. While going back and opening scores I had done in Sibelius years ago I realized again that Dorico is FAR behind Sibelius in percussion notation ease and I saw that most of the scores I did in Sibelius would not be possible to import into Dorico simply because of the way percussion is handled. I also have realized that 99% of workarounds I have had to learn in Dorico were percussion related. It has gotten better but the team really needs to step up this one area.

I understand keeping up with the competition and releasing an iPad version, it’s good business (and I actually paid for 12 instruments, although that doesn’t work in the Band world). How much progress was lost on the desktop Pro version because focus was on an iPad version.

The team knows how percussion works in Sibelius and it’s the one thing that’s handled better than Dorico at the moment. Please focus now and fix this. I have included a score done in Sibelius showing percussion staves I would never be able to do in Dorico.

There’s literally nothing in your screenshot that I can’t do in Dorico 3.5.

Please be specific about the problems you’re having.

(Oh, and note that the issues with percussion rests are fixed in the iPad version, and thus likely in the desktop version of Dorico 4 when it lands.)

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What are you unable to create in Dorico?

I don’t think it’s a big matter of lost progress. I think desktop users will benefit from quite a lot in the iPad version before the end of the year. Also, new platform = more income = more development resources.
This blog post gives some insight to the process. Doesn’t seem to have fully occupied more than 4-5 of the development team for less than 7 months. Although I’m sure they’ve been hard at work, I think the gain makes it worth it for every Dorico user.

The iPad version includes (at least) two new improvements that will vastly improve writing for percussion:

  • Editable rests in percussion kits
  • Using Player names as staff labels.

I would be surprised if these improvements didn’t find their way to Dorico 4.

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I thought I’d best double-check. The project’s attached.
I misused and renamed some instruments (in order to get single-staff Marimba and Synth Strings) but other than that there’s nothing I’d describe as a workaround.
perc for kevin.dorico (1.0 MB)


Thank you all for your responses, I am embarrassed now for posting. Have a good night.


I have a post up here elsewhere to the point that porting a project to a different platform has always, in my 30 years, been of great benefit to the main branch (meaning Dorico desktop). It uncovers undetected bugs, gets you to see things in a new light, improves the architecture and is great fun for the team. I’ve never seen that it takes away from the main project but it has always enhanced it. Besides what they do with their code is their business :slight_smile:

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No reason to be embarrassed. It was an honest and considered post. The world of software is fast-changing and it’s easy to feel a bit overwhelmed when things don’t go the way we expect. Dorico is in the hands of a great team though; that always puts me at ease in the long run!