Next big update?

It has been relatively quiet concerning the next big update of Dorico, I have a few questions:

  1. I assume the next big update will be a paid one, can you give an aproximative price and date?

  2. Will Dorico follow the update rhythm and price of Cubase or will Dorico follow its own update rhythm and price?

Here the upgrade prices and dates of Cubase in the last years:
January 2013 - Cubase 7 - 150,-€
February 2014 - Cubase 7.5 - 50,- €
January 2015 - Cubase 8 - 100,-€
December - Cubase 8.5 - 50,- €
December 2016 - Cubase 9 - 100,- €
November 2017 - Cubase 9.5 - 60,- €

To sum up:
A paid update each year (usually at the end of the year)
Price for updates with a new version number: 100,-€
Price for x.5 update version: 50,- € (the last one for Cubase 9.5 was 60,-€)

3. Here are the most important features I really miss in Dorico at the moment, which of them can be expected and when?
. The possibility to choose wether items properties are in sync or not between score and parts
. Tabs and fingerings for frets instruments
. Separate font and font size/style for bar numbers in score and parts
. Master Pages Export and import
. A few alternative SMuFL fonts (also jazz) AND (OR?) a comprehensive (meaning made easy) tutorial (preferably from the meister itself) on how to edit/create SMuFL fonts (Though the SMuFL standard introduces amazing features the complexity is overwhelming! It is indeed much easier to edit a few things in a not SMuFL notation font)

There are already a number of different SMuFL fonts available, and there have been threads about using them in Dorico. The only real difficulty with creating SMuFL fonts is the large number of glyphs, compared to a standard 8-bit music font. The process is identical, just larger!

I cannot imagine that with dorico an update would be to be paid.
In the feature list of dorico are still many points with which still small mistakes must be repaired (which are also promised here in this forum).
I work with dorico already nearly one whole year, but I cannot close my projects completely because always small workarounds are to be used.

For an upgrade (= new functions) one could already require money (one could :cry: ).
But, I hope, for those who must fight around today with workarounds, a free upgrade would be a welcome reward :wink: .

I am aware of existing SMuFL fonts.
I spent already quite a lot of time trying to understand SMuFL and the Metadata files and I succesfully could convert a few Fonts to SMuFL.
Nevertherless I would be glad to find easy understandable informations on one place and also step by step instructions on how to deal with SMuFL.
And yes, I know everything is deeply explained here:
But it took me hours and days and weeks to go through all this and I had to ask a few people too as well as post here on several threads despite the fact that I earlier created my own fonts for several graphic purposes.
SMuFL is complex and not only because of the huge amount of glyphs but also because of the metadata and because of the lack of informations for beginners.
But hey, it’s only a wish.
And for the first part of my request, I think it would be really great if Dorico came with more than one ready to go fonts :slight_smile:

No font needs to cover the whole set of SMuFL-recognized glyphs. Bravura does this to fulfill its duty as flagship for the standard, and it includes glyphs that might never even be applicable to Dorico.

We have said before that the next Dorico update will indeed be a paid update, and aside from the usual grace period for people who first activated Dorico within four weeks of the release date of the new version, everybody who wants the next update will have to pay. We will not announce the release date or the price ahead of time, but our aim is to price the update fairly, and it will more or less in line with the pricing of e.g. Cubase updates. I understand that some users will feel that they do not want to buy an update, and of course that’s your right. But I hope that users will consider that we have produced no fewer than seven significant free updates to Dorico 1.x, and that eventually we simply have to charge for an update in order to bring in further revenue to support the application’s continuing development. If you value Dorico, please consider buying the update, even if the issues at the top of your own personal wish list do not get addressed.

I have also already said here that unfortunately guitar tablature and other guitar notations will not be part of the next update. We try to add features when we can take the time to do them well, and we had to make the difficult decision some time ago to delay working on guitar features for a future release. I’m sure if you search you can find my previous posts on this subject.

We are working on a handwritten font for Dorico, but I’m not sure whether it will make it into the next release. Building music fonts is incredibly time-consuming, and we do not have any full-time type designers on staff, so work on the font has to fit in around other things. The hope is that SMuFL stimulates font designers into making new music fonts available that work across a variety of applications, thus reducing the overall work required to produce fonts for a number of applications, and increasing the potential market size for selling those fonts. I would never have been able to put the hundreds (if not thousands) of hours into designing and building Bravura had I not been doing it as part of my job here at Steinberg, and if you value beautiful fonts, you should be willing to pay for them.

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I paid for Dorico the day it was released. And I would gladly pay that price again with the next release, even if all of my dreams aren’t met (I know I am in the minority on that). I have absolutely loved the software, and will continue to support it to see it improve.

I understand the time frame and pricing concerns… but one thing that I have enjoyed immensely about Dorico, was how open the development team was about what was being worked on. And maybe that was just a version 1 benefit. But I would love to see more blogs, or more descriptions on here of things that are being looked at, etc. Maybe this is bad, as Sib or Finale might try to copy… so I understand some concerns. But I always felt excited getting to read about how things were coming along, and what was “in the works”. Any chance of something similar ahead of this upcoming update?

I love the idea of SMuFL fonts. And wish I had the time to get into making some of my own. I wish other companies would adopt SMuFL a little quicker, so people would be making fonts. It seems, SMuFL is slow to take off because not everyone has adopted it yet. Just my 2 cents…


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Shall not use the character above the equals sign and then that below the exclamation mark now of course.

But I do agree about the trajectory of Dorico and feel it’d be hard - if not impossible - to disagree with the spirit, openness and excitement of Daniel’s post. Thanks to him and the team :slight_smile:

I agree with Robby and share his enthusiasm and think Daniel’s points about a paid upgrade are fair. I’m willing to pay for the next upgrade even though Dorico already does about 99% of what I need. The last 1% for me is coda and sego signs and such that I won’t have to work around with shift x.

I look forward to seeing the handwritten font, Daniel. As you know, I have several designs in progress, a few of which are handwritten styles. And thanks for reminding people of the amount of work and time involved in good typeface design.

At least with SMuFL, there’s actual documentation. With other music notation software, such as Finale and Sibelius, the encodings are not documented (even internally at some companies). The typical response for documentation requests is to look at existing fonts. MakeMusic is working on SMuFL support for Finale and Sibelius claims to, so eventually (hopefully) type designers like myself can focus on a single encoding instead of converting fonts to work with each application.

Eventually, there will be more font options available and perhaps more tips and documentation details available.

Well said. Personally, I’m more than happy to fall in line with a Cubase-style update schedule and pricing (which I do with Cubase, anyway).

Paid updates please - I have an irrational hatred of subscription services.

thanks for your answer.

On my side I find it ok with paid update as I am used to this being a Cubase user since such a long time :wink:

You write that “it will me more or less in line with the pricing of e.g. Cubase updates”
But what about the update rhythm?
Will Dorico also aproximately follow the described rhythm of Cubase updates?

I was of course aware that tabs and fingerings for guitar will not make it into the next update, my question was more about to have an idea if we will have to pay two or three or more updates until it will be there?
I am also aware that you cannot give precise informations, I just would like an aproximation.

Please could you say a few words about aproximately when the awaited feature to sync item properties in score and parts will be available?
It seems to be an essential feature for many users.

I am really glad to hear that some day a handwritten font will appear for Dorico.
I am also aware how incredibly much work you already have done with SMuFL and is indeed one of the best proof for this.
Nevertherless, building SMuFL font is not only incredibly time-consuming as you wrote but also not very easy to do.
What about some tutorials to help the music-font-makers-community to grow faster?
Sorry for being insistent on this point, but I do believe this would help a lot.

@Robby Poole
Just try to deal a little bit with SMuFL and I am quite sure that you will realize pretty fast that this is a very complex field!
I strongly believe that this is the main reason why it grows slowly.

It’s too early to say. Although we will aim for a reasonably regular cadence for updates, there are lots of factors that could affect the release schedule.

It’s impossible to say for certain until something is actually implemented, but guitar features are among the highest priority areas for us to work on, so the plan is to start working on those features as soon as possible.

I agree this is a crucial feature, but at the moment I’m not sure when this will be added. It’s possible that it will not be in the next release, but if it is not, then you can expect it to follow as soon as possible thereafter.

As the expression goes, “Shut up and take my money!”

Even in its current form, Dorico has started to meaningfully improve my workflow and experience with music notation. True it’s a nascent product, but anyone buying Dorico knew that from the start. We’ve gone a long way since the first paid version. I’m ready to shell out for V2.

It’s also worth noting that the alternative to paid upgrades are subscription payments, which greatly weaken developer incentive to improve the product.

I hope and expect that most Dorico users will be not only willing but also happy to pay the upgrade price in order to support Steinberg, and especially the Dorico team, to continue their commitment to introduce new features that are up to the level of excellence of those already incorporated! To write a new program of Dorico’s complexity starting from the ground up is a gigantic undertaking and the Dorico team have succeeded in spades while also providing users an unparalleled level of support and openness. As well, many others share a horror of programs available only by subscription, mentioned by David Tee, above. We can help avoid this by investing in updates as they become available.

I don’t mind paying for an update if that update has substantial improvements. I completely expect this will be the case, and will happily pull out the card to pay for the update (well, happily is a bit overstated…). There was another notation program that had the same philosophy: release an update when you have something significant to offer; that same software one to a yearly plan - some updates good, others not. It we feel the program is going in the right direction, that our concerns are being heard, and that our money is giving us a great product, then we are all on board. I hope this positive trend will continue as Dorico moves forward!

Fortunately the development team are not at all motivated by how you choose to pay for it. Rather, we’re motivated by having a product we’re proud to put our names to.

Steinberg must distinguish what is an update and what is an upgrade.
You must give each the opportunity download free updates, include bug fixes and minor enhancements. In the current version are even small improvements in the range, e.g.:

  • Write arpeggio on different voices
  • Playback of grace notes at the beginning of a line/score
  • Playback of repeats, Segno…
  • Deficiency in General-MIDI export/import,
  • etc… (want to search not the whole forum now)
    If one have to pay for these corrections, then they have sold really a half finished product, whose price is growing dynamically without that it has been aware of the buyer at the beginning of the contract.

Thanks Daniel for your answers.

Until now nobody can indeed complain about the very great number of important additions made to Dorico with each update.
But from now on we will have to wait and see how much features will be added with each paid update.
I would say it is quite evident that it will not be as much as in the previous updates.
Yet how much features it will be begins now to be relevant from a financial point of view.

On my side some missing features prevent me to 100% port my scores from Finale to Dorico.
That’s why I am really interesting to know how much paid updates will be necessary in the end to be able to achieve all what I need without time consuming work around.
According to Daniels answer it seems that it will probably need at least 2 bigger updates (eventually more?) and this probably mean a few hundreds € more :frowning:

If I may, Piano-EK, this is far too harsh: not only “glass half empty’”, but also (I’d wager to guess) not the experience of the vast majority of users. The conception, development and huge leaps in features has been phenomenal… very unusual in the history of such highly complex software. As Daniel says, it needs to be funded.

I like to concentrate on what Dorico can do. Not what it cannot. And I know that before long it will be covering those things still in development. A paid new version seems totally reasonable.