playback issues

I’m trying to learn Dorico, and have successfully copied a solo work (violin). Now I’m trying a chamber orchestra work. I have encountered a few problems (besides percussion, which I understand is pretty limited right now, not up to the challenges of a single part that has multiple instrument changes).

A curious problem is that my contrabass part is playing back down two octaves (instead of the expected one). It didn’t do that when I began, but suddenly started to happen. Did I accidentally do something? How would I fix this?

Dorico promises that it will read any vst instrument. I have Garritan Orchestra installed (the full version, not simply the one that comes free with Finale). I was pretty certain that it installed as a vst as well as audio units (Mac). But I can’t find it or figure out how to find it in Dorico.

Right now, Dorico is not playing crescendos/decrescendos. This renders playback of limited usefulness (especially for a program that advertises itself as something for composers to work in directly). Is this on the list for future updates?

David F

This is a known problem discussed in other threads,

Dorico will read VST3 instruments. As announced in advance, not all VST2 players are supported. The latest Aria player will be supported, and if you are handy at changing some XML files, a number of folks have been able to get Aria to work with Dorico already. Check


for more details.

Dorico will only play dynamics for instruments for which it knows how to control the volume of the instrument, which would typically be using something like note velocity or channel modulation, or another MIDI controller. At the moment, a good deal of this is hard-coded for the HSO/HSSE sounds that come with Dorico, but a high priority for the forthcoming 1.0.10 update is to start to expose some of this functionality for other virtual instruments and plug-ins using VST Expression Maps, a technology from Cubase that we are borrowing and building upon.

Thanks Daniel.

Using other vst instruments isn’t so much a priority, as long as the Steinberg instruments are more-or-less on a par with the competition (Garritan in Finale). I’d prefer to use the built-in, as Garritan has some funny (and non standard) features that likely would cause headaches. But even for a scratch track, pretend playback on the way towards a chamber or orchestral work – things like trills, tremolos, cresc/decresc on held notes, harmonics, mutes and stopped horns, etc.-- all this needs to work (or be able to be gotten to work through a workaround). Otherwise, ones ears will take one back to whichever program does this best and most easiest (for now, that’s Finale – though PLENTY of issues there!).

Already, though, some of the things Dorico does right that Finale doesn’t – especially note spacing and system spacing and flexible layout – those are simply awesome, and are making my choice to buy early and spend time learning the program seem like a wise investment. I look forward to a time when my choice of programs for a new piece will include (or lean to) Dorico. Then it will be great also to be able to teach this to my students.