Notation Express for Dorico 4 is out

Just upgraded to Notation Express for Dorico 4. (I have the std size StreamDeck)

Works a treat on both my Macbook (MacOS 12.2) and Win10 desktop (21H2). A slight snag with both however; once Dorico is launched, StreamDeck must be quit then re-started, otherwise all the icons will appear, but won’t work. Maybe you’ll be lucky and won’t have to re-start StremDeck. I understand the boffins at NotationExpress are working on a fix.

It’s great not having to use kbd shortcuts anymore to program the StreamDeck, and it seems to be more responsive too. A bargain $9.99 to upgrade.


I learned a new word today.

I can confirm this is the case for me too.

Edit: the other thing that I’ve noticed is that once I restart the stream deck software, it will not automatically change the profile to Dorico, even though I’ve set it to do so. I have to select it manually.

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Dorico team and Notation Express team are working on this, as far as I know :wink:

Yes, @RobF said as much.

The only sadness I have now is that I thoroughly customized the new profile, and I imagine all that will be undone again, alas. Oh well… Better to have to redo it with a properly-functioning profile than have to restart SD every time I open dorico.

I don’t think the profile will be changed. Something on the Dorico side must be done — at least to get the Preferences button to work. And probably to solve that unlink problem. Hopefully, it will be solved in the forthcoming update. Nevertheless, the fact everyone can use it efficiently, no matter what language they speak, is a huge feature. Especially for us non-american/non-English users!


“boffins” - UK English term for technical/scientific/coding types. Ultra-brainy and wear white coats . Not to be confused with “the men in white coats” who are sent to take you away (usually in a straight-jacket) when you’ve finally gone totally loopy.


There will be a update to take advantage of the new Dorico 4 features, so I’d wait with my customization…which you would have to do even if the forthcoming D4 profile was still using the old technology.

The StreamDeck interface does not allow editing of the API functions, so if you need additional functionality not provided by the predefined Notation Express buttons, you will have to use the old method (keyboard shortcuts etc.). I suppose the API is too powerful to be exposed to “normal users” who might otherwise shoot themselves in the foot.

Of course, you can still copy/paste/rearrange the new buttons.


Just wondering whether the new API allows bidirectional communication. It would be amazing if Stream Deck would show the current state of certain properties.

I’m gonna be completely honest here; I had no clue what Notation Express was. However, I was browsing the forums and saw this. I just looked into it and it seems very useful and cool! Any recommendations/tips about Notation Express and the Stream Deck? Should I get the regular or XL version?

The current profile is not using such a capability (if Dorico’s API provides it), as far as I can tell - it does have toggle switches like the old version (Filter Select/Deselect), but that functionality is handled on the StreamDeck level itself. But since the current version of the StreamDeck profiles is “only” a port of the 3.5 profile, I wouldn’t expect that at the moment.

But it’s a good idea, however much more complicated than for example for the Zoom plugin (showing the state of your mute button, for example) - you’d probably need three states: The property is set or not set for the current selection, or it is selected for a part of the current selection. Also, I have no idea how performant updating all the buttons with every click would be.

Get the XL version - more than twice the number of buttons, so much fewer keypresses to get where you want - and many buttons are only available in the XL version. I had the normal version first, and then bought an XL. Now using both side by side, which is cool, too.

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XL if you can swing it. I love the larger version. (I have both.)

I’m currently prepping for Undergrad, so would this device be useful for college (of music) or would it be wiser to wait until after my undergrad?

Yes, I read that they for now only ported the 3.5 to the new system. But it would be great if some of the tiny toggles from the properties panels would make it to stream deck.

[EDIT], I think the ideal state for me would be if Stream deck would update according to what is selected. Let’s just imagine you select a note or a passage and stream deck automatically updates and shows all articulations you can set for it, all the properties that are set for it and generally everything that could apply to this selection neatly sorted.

If only the stream deck wasn’t so expensive… I can see the benefit, I think, but will have to stick to keyboard shortcuts, at least this tax year…

If you can swing it, it is very useful, well-beyond Dorico. It speeds up my dorico workflow considerably for certain tasks, and I’ve also programmed all sorts of other profiles for other programs. I get a lot of benefit from my video editing software, for instance. You can not only program key commands, but for it to type text, and trigger macros, and all sorts of things. And then if you combine it with dedicated macro software (keyboard mæstro, AHK) you can really do some amazing things, and you never have to worry about remembering key strokes because you can create custom icons and they update dynamically as you switch between programs. I think they are worth every penny, personally.

With the Jump bar is Stream Deck useful anymore? I have the XL, and both the Mac and PC versions of the Notation Express, I should ask for a free upgrade … anyhow I’ve seen many here write that with Jump there’s no need for SD anymore.

Not quite true. SD has access to a few commands that the jump bar doesn’t. One that I use all the time is “hide stems”. You can’t command anything that is only accessible via the properties panel, at present. (Although I wouldn’t be surprised if this changes sooner rather than later. We discussed this a day or so after D4’s release.)

I will concede, however, that the “necessity” of the SD has certainly been diminished by the jump bar. It is quicker to use the latter, rather than the former, for many things now, especially with short aliases.

It’s especially useful when you have to deal with both Dorico and Sibelius : the functions are similar and you don’t have to learn the specifics of each app to be efficient with this tool :wink:


Ian, for what it’s worth, if you’re just starting out in undergrad, you might not need something this fancy - but I have gotten a lot of use out of mine, and I’ve only had it since November. If you’re interested, this huge thread has some cool screenshots of how folks have set up their Stream Decks for Dorico - these images have been really helpful for me as I make custom shortcuts. And Notation Express is awesome.

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