Prepare score for Dorico import from Cubase -- Multiple busses for one track


History :

  1. I have a symphony already originally written in Cubase 5 VST Score, that I was able to import in Cubase 12 Pro.

  2. Of course it was a bad idea to write it in Cubase (which is not the best tool for scores!). But it’s now done and it’s already a chance that I could import it in a .CPR format (originally it was in an .all format…).

  3. After fixing all the MIDI Quantize bugs (note by note thousands of notes…), my intention is to try to import it in Dorrico to have a clean score for the orchestra.

My problem:
As I am still in Cubase, I need a solution to load multiple busses for multiple instruments in Halion for one single track.
For example, I have the flute that alternate from piccolo to flute in C to flute in G (3 different instruments played by one single musician). And I need this to be written on a single track (for the score).

Same problem for the percussionist who must alternate with timpani, and other drums…

Also I have the brass that needs to play at a certain moments with a mute (jazz noisy sound).

I found a solution that is not perfect, using in Halion the iconic opus sounds the standard flute, piccolo, and alto flute (in G), programming different silent sounds on the same bus, and with the silent keys I am able to redirect the correct instrument when I need it. But it’s not perfect, and I suspect some sounds in a common range of the flute and piccolo, or flute and alto flute, to be doubled…

But for the brass, if in the iconic opus vst sounds I have silent keys for the trumpet and trombone for standard sounds (staccato, legato etc…) I do not have an articulation that uses the mute! So I had to use a different VST sound : a noisy jazz muted trumpet, that doesn’t have silent notes! And the only solution was to use different tracks… which is complicated and not easy to follow on a score (as I have now a separate score for the trumpet and trombone… not easy to follow on a conductor score…

How to make it easy, without having different tracks, but only one track having multiple busses… saying that this note will be played by this or that instrument, using this or that different bus?

Maybe all this is useless and I should go to Dorrico right now, forgetting cubase which is not the good tool for what I am doing… and by the way, I do not want to export all this as MIDI sounds to Dorrico, as I will have to work hundred of hours to re-write everything back in Dorrico… (as the MIDI sounds for this symphony are already shaped for « articulations in the old cubase 5 VST score, like having a 1/16th note as a MIDI sound, but that looks like an 1/8th note on the score… and if I export MIDI sounds, I will loose all the articulations, the nuances, and what is shown in the score, that is different from you hear).


This really is a question for the Dorico forum, where people have done this, so it has been moved there.

If I am not using Dorico, how to fix that in Cubase?
Or maybe, if you think that this can’t be done in cubase, I should move to Dorico right now?

I think this from the Dorico Help Pages is what you are looking for.

I’m not sure why they sent you to the Dorico forum. You’re wanting to use Expression Maps in Cubase. The expression maps can be configured to send different sounds to a different MIDI channel, and therefore you could use a single track for both the regular trumpet and the muted trumpet.


This is exactly the use case that Dorico is made for. Move all instruments to one single player, and it will end up being rendered in this player’s single staff, together with instructions when to change to which next instrument.

1 Like

As Estigy says, I think Dorico should handle a large part of your requirements pretty well. Dorico has a concept of Players and Instruments: a Player may hold multiple Instruments, and Flute/Piccolo is a typical example. You can enter the music for each Instrument and then Dorico will combine it together into a single staff and will automatically show ‘To Flute’, ‘To Piccolo’, eg see this demo: Tip: Move an instrument to a different player – Dorico

In Dorico 4 we’ve done a lot of work on workflows for importing from MIDI which I think should make it easy to import a lot of your project. Dorico has a lot of smart MIDI import options where it will detect and notate staccato, legato, grace notes, etc, and our intention is that it’s pretty good at interpreting performed MIDI in order to create a clean score.

There are also workflow tools to allow you to import one set of tracks at a time so you can deal with strings, wind, brass separately, and you can re-import tracks with different options until you get the result you want.

For the case where you have Flute and Piccolo, you can import these initially to separate Players in Dorico and then combine them into a separate player as shown in the video above. For the case of brass with mutes, you can specify that two MIDI tracks are imported to the same instrument and one track will automatically add ‘mute’ and ‘open’ text when it switches between the tracks.

For playback, Dorico can automatically load sounds for HSO and Iconica Sections & Players, and will use keyswitches to access the different articulations (note that Dorico Expression Maps are different to Cubase Expression Maps). See Iconica Sections & Players Templates – Dorico

Have a look at the Dorico 4 MIDI import video to show some of the things you can do in this video: Smart MIDI Import | Introducing Dorico 4 - YouTube


Thank you for your answer mducharme.
I agree with you on this point, as I am actually working on Cubase 12 Pro and didn’t try yet Dorico 4.
I think I will end with Dorico, as this software seems to do the job I need much easier and better than Cubase.
But still, this will be just my next move.

At the moment, I need to fix this problem in Cubase, as in my Symphony, I am not using only VST sounds, but also wav sounds (true recorded instruments that I could not find in VST sounds).
And this topic should stay in stay in Cubase forum :slight_smile:

So please, as you seem to know how to fix my problem, can you explain to me how you do that in cubase 12 pro ?
Should I load multiple instruments in Halion 3 SE? for example a piccolo and a Flute?
Should these 2 instruments needs to be on the same bus?

  1. If yes, how to ask cubase to distinguich which one should be used? (for now, I did this, using the same bus in halion for piccolo and flute, using a different keymap for each instrument, so when using this or that orange silent trigger keys, I suppose I am having the correct sound… but still not sure, that in the common range of the flute and piccolo, I am not having a mix of both “timbre instruments”)

2)If not, how to ask cubase to play Bus 1 for this MIDI note, and bus 2 for this other MIDI note?

Thanks a lot!

Thank you for the tip Paul. I think I will end with Dorico, yes.
This is very encouraging!

Now I have multiple questions for you :

  1. You said that Dorico have a different Expression Maps… Are you saying that all what I did until now in Cubase, giving Velocity and a specific expression key, for thounsands of notes… will be… lost in Dorico? (Knowing that the correct (visual) articulation signs are already also written in the score).

  2. I also have another question : I could not find any flute in G (Alto Flute) neither Bass flute VST sounds I could use. And I need these instruments. I found of course GM sounds that are horrible… And with Halion 3 SE, I cannot use for example the regular flute, editing the range of the instrument (not sure if I can do this with Halion 6?).

  3. Atm, I am using true recorded instruments (audio recordings) that I can mix with the MIDI sounds in Cubase (muting the MIDI sounds that are played by a true instrument), to fix the lacking VST sounds as Bass flute and Alto flute…
    This is also one of the reasons why I am using Cubase, as I am not sure I can do this with Dorico?

And it’s not only about the flute in G and bass flute, I also use some tricks for the percussion, asking the musician to hit the Tam for example, with the wood of his stick, which give a specific sound that no VST can reproduce).
Can I use audio tracks in Dorico as I am doing it with Cubase?

  1. Of course, I hear you all… And I will try in the future Dorico, that seems to be a fantastic tool, I should use, but atm, I am using Cubase… (but my post have been sent to Dorico forum…).
    So, can anybody help me in Cubase? Maybe there is a trick I should use, to have multiple busses on the same track?


If you have made extensive edits in Cubase to trigger specific expression keys then these can’t be imported via MIDI. If you have created articulations for them in the Cubase score editor then you may be able to export as MusicXML into Dorico.

I don’t think there are alternative Flute sounds in HSSE or HSO. If you need these instruments then it may be worth looking at other libraries that may provide them, such as BBC SO or NotePerformer. I’m sure other users on the Dorico forum would be able to provide recommendations.

It’s not currently possible to use audio tracks in Dorico, though Dorico does support video playback, so some users create a blank video just containing the audio they want to use.

1 Like

Thanks for the tip of the black video (for Dorico).
And yes, I have the articulations in Cubase score Editor that I can export as MusicXML into Dorico and I understand and accept that I will loose all the crazy stuff I did in Cubase until now…

As I am close to finish my project in Cubase, I think I want to finish it there, before going to Dorico, as everything must be reviewed anyway… as I will not have the feeling of working 12 hours a day for 4 months for… just nothing :rofl:

Also, you just said that Dorico doesn’t support audio files (and I don’t have blank video files yet).
Which means that I will have also there, (in Dorico) a lot of adaptations to do…

So please, why nobody is helping me in Cubase, a software that I have and use, telling me what I should do to fix my problem in that software? instead of talking to me about a software that I don’t have (Dorico) :rofl:

I understand that I also asked that question in my post (that did not originaly include "Dorico in the title), as I was woundering if I was doing a mistake using Cubase (Dorico should be a better tool for me, and I will try it).

But still, there is also a lot of issues to deal with that export from Cubase to Dorico to do, make blank vidoes, etc… for a software I still don’t have.

I think my post should maybe stay in the cubase forum? I don’t know actually.
Because I need somebody to help me with the software I have, which is Cubase 12 Pro.


I’m a very old user of Cubase, certainly for Audio, but mainly for Score; and I’m very positive toward the work of Michael Michaelis. I have made many hundreds of Score with Cubase that can still be considered of more than decent quality. Obviously the last are in Dorico, and some Cubase Scores have been lately converted, mainly due to non supported features (like triple dotted rhythm, for instance). I used Music-XML, quite good both on Cubase12 and in Dorico4 and the experience has been very positive.
Certainly I miss a one-to-one interface, and post production isn’t light, even if not particularly heavy: fingering, some slurs, dynamics, texts, completely different spacing, paging and so on. I didn’t have associated audios, by the way, but I want to stress an interesting and happy experience!
FWIW… :wink:

1 Like


So suppose you loaded Halion SE as a VST Rack instrument and loaded a piccolo in channel 1 and flute in channel 2 of Halion. You would then create one MIDI Track that would be used for both the piccolo and flute. You would create a single expression map in the expression map setup for that track for both piccolo and flute. For all of the Piccolo articulations you would set them for Channel 1 in the map setup and for all of the flute articulations you would set them for Channel 2. Then, the moment you chose a flute articulation in the articulations lane, those would be sent to channel 2, and the moment you chose a piccolo articulation in the articulations lane, those would be sent to channel 1. You might also have to set the MIDI channel output to “Any” instead of “1” or “2” for the MIDI Track itself in the inspector.

You can also do this without expression maps, by changing the channel for a MIDI track to “Any” and then changing the channel for each note to either “1” or “2”, with the rest of the setup being the same. After you change the track to MIDI output “Any”, you can select some MIDI notes and change the channel to the one you want for those notes using the inspector in the piano roll pane.

I think the issue with Cubase->Dorico conversion at the moment is that either you convert to MIDI and import, in which case symbols added to the score in the Cubase score editor may be lost, or you convert to MusicXML and import, in which case your score looks the same but you lose the performance details. Until Dorico is able to open up a .CPR Cubase Project file to get both the performance details and the score data directly from the source, I don’t see how you can get both.


This answer is awsome and complete! Thank you for all these wonderful details!

In fact, your answer halped me to save a lot of time, because, maybe I should go to Dorico from the begining (and I will do in my next project), but knowing that I am so close to finish the job with Cubase, and with all of your explanations, I know now, that I have to finish the job with Cubase, as my goal is to have a recording of my symphony (and I will have it with Cubase), than, I will export this symphony to Dorico, using the MusicXML format, to make a clean score! And I will be done with this symphony.

In addition to that, I saw that Dorico will need a A LOT of ressources, as I am using Iconica Opus VST sounds, and the way Steinberg built Dorico, the software will need a lot of ressources, loading the hole orchestra at the same time.
Not only I will lose all my tuning in Halion, but also, I will have to face new technical challanges… all that, to be able to hear a 20 years old symphony, that I can hear in… Cubase.

I am saying this, because I am really grateful, you helped me saving so much time!

Thank you also to all who helped me discovering Dorico which seems to be a great tool too, I will use for my next projects :slight_smile:


Good luck!