Painful experience on macOS switching between VST windows and Dorico window.

Note: This issue now excludes the discussion with Mixer Window. Even though Mixer Window is actually having the same problem, one could always use F3 or FN+F3 (according to the operating system settings) to call it out. I initially tried to talk about this issue at Dorico facebook group, but John Barron kept talking about the Mixer window, making me feel the necessity of starting a new topic here.

Some quotes of my texts from Dorico Facebook Group:

I see currently the Windows version of Dorico assigns each VST instance window a taskbar icon-buttons, offering conveniences for people to switch between Dorico window and VST plugin windows by mouse-click > or simply ALT+TAB> . Meanwhile, according to my experiences, switching between VST windows and Dorico window on macOS is not that convenient at all. I couldn’t see similar icons on the macOS Dock.

Please make sure Ctrl+Tab on macOS could help users switch all Window instances created by Dorico. The CMD+Tab is to switch among applications and Ctrl+Tab is to switch windows within an application. Dorico at this moment on macOS couldn’t do the Ctrl+Tab yet.

With that being said, the Dorico itself and its parralel VSTAudioApp are separate applications (Plus, VSTAudioApp is a hidden application which is not shown in the lists enumerated by the CMD+Tab screen), hence the necessity of an alternative approach to switch between Dorico and the VSTAudioApp. TBH I would suggest a special icon at the right of the macOS menu bar which offers a click-down menu enumerating all available VST Window processes to switch.

P.S.: This may be a bigger problem on desktop macs than that on genuine mac laptops: On MacBook laptops we could simply use finger gesture on TouchPad to trigger mission control (and it enumerates all currently-displayed Windows from all running applications). However, TouchPad is not a common equipment for desktop macs (incl. Mac Pro and Hackintoshes), and using Keyboard to trigger Mission Control is not a way as efficient as the other operations performable in Dorico (every music input is achievable by performing keyboard shortcuts).

Hope that this issue could get improved in the next major release of Dorico, alongside with the solution of the missing “audio mixdown export progress” window on macOS.

The problem is that the VST instrument windows don’t belong to the Dorico process at all, so they cannot easily be made to stay on top of the Dorico window, nor can they easily be included in the list of windows belonging to the application. This is a consequence of the VST audio engine being a separate executable rather than being part of Dorico itself. It would be a reasonably major architectural shift to change this, so I’m afraid it’s very unlikely to be something that changes in the next release. In fact, at the moment I would go so far as to say we have no plans to change this in the foreseeable future.

What about modifying the VSTAudioApp to do either of the followings?:

  1. let it show dock icons for each VST window instance.
  2. VSTAudioApp applies an icon at the right side of the macOS menu bar, enumerating VST window instances for switching.
    These options are less likely to counterfeit the architectural relationship between Dorico and the VSTAudioApp.

Still ignorance? Okay.

By reading Daniel’s reply above, I could see the following things:

  1. Daniel refuses to think that this issue may be solved by only modifying the VSTAudioApp’s interactive behavior with macOS Dock or macOS system menu bar icon.

  2. mac users are secondary citizens (regarding user experience) which are not worthy enough for developers to rethink what being said in 1).

  3. the audio mixdown window missing issue with Dorico for mac is less worthy to be mentioned / addressed.


May I respectfully suggest that you reconsider the conclusions you are drawing - particularly about Daniel’s and the Steinberg team’s approach to its Mac users… for instance look at the time of day at which Daniel’s courteous and transparent reply to your first post was made.

I’d hazard a guess that the vast majority of users of this forum trust implicitly that Daniel in particular is the best placed person to juggle what I imagine are dozens, scores if not hundreds of requests for possible enhancements/fixes in future releases. And that if something needs doing, and can be done, he sees to it that it is!

As you’ll see as you continue to use Dorico, their assessment of such issues as the one you’ve brought up here is always thorough, accurate and taken thoughtfully in the best interest of its users.

Eighteen months’ development of this complex system points irrefutably to complete parity between Dorico for Mac and Dorico for Windows. (I would agree with you, though, that - implicitly - we Mac users do sometimes get a raw deal in other areas. But never with Dorico.)

Happy composing :slight_smile:

I was thinking similarly with you one year ago, and a really long time till now I still see the Dorico audio mixdown window is missing on macOS.
What else should I say? Switching to Windows? My Overwatch account was suspended multiple times due to middle-leaved Competitive match (caused by Windows Update forced reboot), and I don’t dare to use Windows as my primary working platform.

P.S.: I am not composing this semester but using HALion 6 to reassemble my patches from Presence-XT, bringing possibilities of using my favorite patch directly in Dorico without loading non-Steinberg VSTs.

+1 from a Mac user, as are not only the original poster, Shiki Suen, but also Mark Sealey and Daniel, as well. I appreciate the frustration users may feel when they learn their suggestions are not on the “must do sometime soon” list. However, I have never experienced a software development team that is more responsive to the suggestions of its users or more skilled at prioritizing what will accommodate the largest number of those users, even though numerous changes I would like to see are also not due anytime soon.


I hardly think it’s reasonable to make a suggestion on a Saturday and then bump the thread at Monday 4.55am GMT complaining you’re being ignored.

The Dorico team work Monday to Friday and your suggestions likely require TEAM thought, not just Daniel thought.

Shiki… why all the hate? Ouch.

The answer is written in 1). Daniel’s attitude is written in his reply deliberately denying all other possibilities uncovered by his reply.

Off topic mode ON
Shall I suggest you’re not alone in this world, dear ShikiSuen?
Your request has been read, even answered to, and this answer probably upset you because… well, it’s not the one you were hoping for.
Don’t get angry about that, that’s what life is about : appreciate what you have and keep making youself a better human being.
Off topic mode OFF

Daniel’s answer only covered with the topic of “using only single CTRL+TAB to switch between VST windows and Dorico”.
If that’s only what I appealed, then his reply makes sense.

However, I wrote certain statements of alternative approches (including the only modification to the VSTAudioApp by changing its interactive behavior with macOS Dock and macOS system menu. ACCORDING TO Daniel’s reply, there is no discussion about it (alongside the audio mixdown window missing issue)… which means that he really doesn’t care about mac user experience (regardless the fact that both him and John use mac).

The priority issue, according to what John replied on Facebook, from Steinberg folks’ perspective, is what troubles here. What made me furious is the issue of their attitude towards “seeking other possibilities to improve mac user experience to make sure it is not worse than that on Windows”.

You wrote questions on a Saturday. You complained in the early hours of Monday that those questions hadn’t been answered. Not cool!

Thanks to you guys for addressing the essence that the folks surely are not obliged to reply during weekends.
However, seeking my problem won’t help this product.

What made me furious are already written here:

And as for the suggestion about mac users being ignored, it really is ludicrous.

I’d not be surprised if Dorico’s user base is actually more than 50% mac!


(Having begun to use computers on the ZX81 and as a user and reviewer for over 30 years) I’d be hard put to think of another piece of software - let alone something as complex as Dorico - which has developed so robustly, quickly, steadily and met so many demanding users’ needs.

And to have its team - including senior staff and Product Manager - regularly posting here to help people late into the night (literally).

Sure, there are times when things aren’t as we would want. But Dorico, Daniel and Steinberg have done and are doing an amazing job. Please let’s not criticise from one small corner.

I’m constantly surprised to get help from Daniel when I post at 1am… The team definitely go beyond the call.

Too all people above except Daniel:
Instead of replying with useless things ignoring the real matter, you guys could see how HALion team responds to issues of their product:
So simple, so Trump, so essential, so exact. I love it.

That’s delightful. Halion’s been out for 7 years. Dorico’s been out for 1.5 years.

My opinion (and it’s just that) is that the Dorico developers have considerably more pressing issues than the one that’s bugging you - seemingly ONLY you.

If you’d like to try mature notation software there are two commercial products that have been on the market for 20+ years and a few open source products too. I challenge you to find a more helpful, insightful, quick customer service or development team at either of these companies (or within the open source development communities).

Besides which, the two examples Shikisuen listed were acknowleged bugs. That’s not exactly the case with what he wants changed.