Ornament Playback

Hello dear colleagues,
Yes, the playback of the ornaments in their variations is very important. By the way glissando/portamento weren’t mentioned. Dorico 3.5.12 is still unable to properly play them.
Instead of sliding it plays the note chromatically.
For the integration of ornamentation playback some ideas could be taken from Overture 5, which provides a popping window for every ornamentation with option to choose how so it should performed.
Another missing, and very important things is the Ceasura, Fermata and breath marks customizable playback.
@dspreadbury, there is another thing that would be useful “attacca” which will provide a controllable options for jumping from one Flow to another. Currently we can control the pausing time between the flows only globally by editing some Dorico file, but we don’t have such global function in the Preferences. Attacca generally means to move from one piece to another without a pause, but due to usage of reverbs we may need to put some short amount of time between two adjacent Flows in order to preserve the impression the following piece is a new movement.
We hope to see many improvements regarding the ornaments, breath marks, fermata, ceasura… etc. in the upcoming Dorico 4! :slight_smile:
I’m sure there are a lot of expectations about Dorico 4 due to the long release gap between version 3.5.0 and 4.0.0.

Best wishes,


There will not be any significant improvements to the playback of glissandos, fermatas, breath marks, ornaments, and so on in Dorico 4, I’m afraid. I know lots of users are waiting for improvements in these areas, and we will work on them as soon as we can, but they haven’t been among the things we have chosen to focus on with our very limited development resources over this cycle. They remain high priority items for the future.


we really must distinguish between portamenti and glissandi. Although it’s of course far from a hard and fast rule, port. tend to be mainly associated with strings and glissandi – which is more of an even slide often over a larger span – is something which can be particularly effective with brass.

The main point is that sample libraries mostly support portamento and thus by definition is supported by Dorico as the patches are present. Glissandi are supported to a lesser extent, for instance by having just an octave or other option or frequently none at all. It is here where Dorico could really make a contribution with a simulation and the current stepwise movement is seldom of much use so I’m a bit disappointed also it hasn’t made it into this release.

Just one question – NotePerformer does have built-in support for glissandi unlike most conventional libraries and this works very nicely in Sibelius. Is it to be assumed that this as well won’t make it into the initial v4 release? Here things may also depend on Arne and it seems rather quiet over there these days.

@dko22 hello,
Well, to be more accurate at least for bowed strings glissando and portamento is the same, just term portamento is used for more distant slides, and glissando for shorter.
Yes, most of the currently existing libraries have sampled port./ gliss. patches, but they don’t perform very accurate, unfortunately. We can’t control the speed of the portamento/glissando performance. In the libraries the speed depends only on the interval between the adjacent notes, and starts only in the area where the two notes overlap.

On the “paper” you could have more controlled performance. If you would like the major third glissando to be performed within duration of half note, and the next note to sound as half, then you write two halves in the bar with gliss. line between them. Then the glissando is performed for the duration of the first note of the gliss. pair.
Dorico, currently plays back the port. / gliss. half-way correctly, the problem is that it plays them stepwise, not slide.
When I was an Overture user, there was an option to decide how the port./gliss. to be performed. Internally, by the Engine, or by the library (by using Expression Maps). The internal playback was very well designed, with popping window per symbol, to choose between internal, or Expression Map playback.

So, I personally prefer Dorico to have well designed internal port. / gliss. playback, than using those integrated in the libraries.


Once Dorico has decent gliss / port playback it will be also available in NotePerformer. Currently this is impossible in NotePerformer because of Dorico, not because of NP.

Best wishes,
Thurisaz :slight_smile:

Hi Thurisaz, I take your points but nevertheless would require proof that Dorico could emulate a portamento as well as a carefully recorded sample. We have an obvious comparison point with trills – the generated trills are indeed more flexible but I can always hear immediately that they they are simply that — unpleasantly artificial and so I virtually never use them. I’m not sure which libraries you’re basing your observations on.

Anyway, of course I’ll keep an open mind until I see the results when they come in!

@dko22 hello,
I have observation on BBC SO Pro, Cremona String Quartet, Embertone - Joshu Bell Violin, Orchestral Tools - Berlin Strings (Kontakt Player Edition), NotePerformer (the latest).
Well, the gliss./port. is far easier to be emulated than trills. :slight_smile:
The trills generated by Dorico, and even by Overture sound very artificial because there is no dynamic, or duration differences between finger hits, or rebows, and they sound exactly with the very same pitch. Of course the team could maker a per trill symbol setting (popping window), where we would be able to humanize the performance of the trills, in order to make them sound slightly unequal dynamically, per hit/rebow and per pitch. This depends on Mr. @dspreadbury and his great team. :slight_smile:

Best wishes,
Thurisaz :slight_smile:

I would also expect a glissando (perhaps using pitch bend) to be easier to programme than the trills but Daniel and his brilliant colleagues no doubt have their own views on that one!

Another thing I’d like to see in this area it an improvement in the rendering of two note tremolos where samples are usually lacking. I must say I agree with @Alberto_Maria and others who say that ornaments are a virtually impossible job because of the huge varieties in interpretative practice.

Well, the Dorico team gave us condensing, smart cues, divisi, harp pedaling… and on and on! :sunglasses:

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I said “virtually impossible” :smiley:

This is an idea : an ornaments editor. You can use a library of different variations of an ornament, create new versions… and apply them to the playback. A kind of box you can use if you need it. Same result as the hidden staff, but clearer from a GUI point of view.


@MarcLarcher hello,
This idea is great, and something like that already exists in Overture 5. I offered many times Daniel, and the rest of the team, to explore some aspects of Overture 5, because it has many features which are designed in a very musically logical way. They could gather many ideas from there.
Overture offers two ways for assigning Expression Maps and ornamentation - Global and Per Symbol, which is great. In Dorico we have only the Global way, which is very limiting.
In case one likes how staccato, or marcato sounds in lower register in some library, but doesn’t like them in higher register, in Overture one can simply set different library for those higher notes. I hope @dspreadbury and his great team will think about to improve this situation in Dorico and make Per Symbol mapping available! :slight_smile:
This will open a vast opportunity for creation of multiple libraries Expression Maps and layering different libraries much easier.
Dorico isn’t far to fully replace Cubase for MIDI - Virtual Instruments, for those users who prefer to work mainly with notation.
Personally I would love to do the who work related to virtual instrument arrangements and orchestration in Dorico, and everything audio related - in Cubase.
Not longer after the release of the initial Dorico 1.0, I asked Daniel for Piano Roll in Write Mode, and told him that it’s important to have an instant access to the mock-up and midi data without jumping forth and back between Write and Play Modes, or having another Window opened, because this is uncomfortable for single screens. Back then he replied to me that they don’t have plans to add the Piano Roll, and that they don’t want to make major design changes. Now Dorico for iPad has the Piano Roll in Write Mode, and Dorico 4 is going to have it, too. :slight_smile:
So, now I have to keep asking them for more flexible Expression Maps and Ornamentation. :slight_smile:
I would like to have an opportunity to create Expression Maps on fly, alongside with the music. This how the musical thinking flows. Of course we should start with something basic, but we could improve the Expression Maps sets without leaving the notation. :slight_smile:

Best wishes,

Yes, we’ve noticed…


Hello @dankreider,
Yes, haha.
I know how problematic and unstable is this piece of software, and that’s why I moved to Dorico, but still it has many features that could be taken as an idea and implemented in Dorico, in a more stable way.
Dorico as a notation software is much more advanced than Overture, no doubt, but Overture is much stronger in the area of DAW, than Dorico. And at the moment only Dorico and Overture are in the same group of notation software - “Hybrid DAW/ DAW-like Scoring”. That’s why I’m giving Overture as an example that often. In the near future MuseScore will join the same category, and if there are functions that deserve any attention, I will gladly present them here. No doubt there will be something interesting, since Tantacrul is Head of the team, and Muse Group acquired Staffpad. Most probably MuseScore will benefit something from Staffpad.
By, the way, would be great if Dorico for iPad has Hand Writing recognition, like Staffpad and NotateMe + option for real-time synchronization with Dorico for Desktop. :slight_smile:
This will allow the users to write notes by hand and they automatically to appear on their Desktop. :slight_smile:

Best wishes,
Thurisaz :slight_smile:

Overture must doing something wrong, I have never heard about them - I just went to their website, clicked around and still have no clue what it is or does. But anyway …

I’d really love to have working Glissandi Playback in Dorico! :wink:

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Hello Daniel, little X-Mas question, are turns able to playback?
I’m writing a piano piece and the playback of turns would be just great!
Or should I wait for the Dorico 4 update?
Thanks for your help.
Seasonal Greetings from Paris!

Turns currently do not play back. You would need to add a second staff for playback only.

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I can make the glissandos read.
Wait for my video that will be released soon on the playback mode.

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Interesting :wink:
I guess I could use an ossia staff to get some playback out of my turns!
Thanks Dan.

Of course ossia staves do not play back.


Hi @nazimkilic,
Can you ellaborate on the process of creating custom playbacks in VIP Sequencer and integrating it with Dorico?