Returning Dorico-- This Thing Is Terrible

I was really excited for this software, but good lord some MAJOR issues here.

Most importantly the MIDI import function is horrendous. I understand that it’s complicated, that it’s trying to decipher ticks, but you can’t use this argument when you compare how easily Sibelius imports MIDI with the dumpster fire that is Dorico.

Here’s a sextuplet imported into Sibelius (yes this is a score I already started formatting, but aside from the instrument name, this is exactly how it was imported).

Here’s Dorico with the same file

I mean let’s ignore the fact that it’s importing on a grand staff by default, trying to force it into a tuplet didn’t even work. I’m sure there’s a learning curve here, but I remember the first time I used Sibelius, I got it going in about an hour. I sat with Dorico for 3 hours trying to get this one file even close to how Sibelius did. And to top it all off, the thing froze and crashed about a dozen times.

Paul, I’m sure it’s frustrating that part of that perfect Sibelius import is your code (as I understand you were heavily involved in Sibelius before Avid took over and I think I read on the forum that you specifically helped write the MIDI import code), but this is such a major oversight of functionality.

I’m trying not to be too harsh but really how are you comfortable taking people’s money for this? Moving mock-ups from DAW to notation software has to be one of the most essential features out there for a large part of the notation software market.

I’ve made a number of improvements to tuplet handling in midi import which will be in the forthcoming update. If you attach a midi file here then I can take a look at it.

can’t attach it here for some reason

also the tuplet button would not work when i tried to force the duration.

also the piano roll view is insanely small, the impression I got from steinberg’s website was that you could edit your score easily in piano roll, doesn’t seem to be the case. needs much better grid functionality, should be able to include keyswitches but ignore them for score.


May those of us who have been using Dorico for the last year respectfully invite you also to consider the wider picture - at least for a moment?

I think most of us would disagree with your use of ‘terrible’ :slight_smile:

Most of us too - including (in a different way) the highly supportive and gifted development team at Steinberg - went into this knowing that Dorico has many strengths over parallel products (I’ve used Sibelius for years). Four of these without doubt are:

  1. it’s been written from the ground up… no bloat; no need to work around; contemporary code; latest technical advances
  2. it’s designed to work as real composers work, not computer scientists… look at the way something as basic as note entry works in Dorico!
  3. it’s always been made clear that each version is a work in progress… it’s grown and is growing
  4. it has a superb support team and the resources of Steinberg (who clearly fully believes in the project) behind it

Doesn’t that inspire you to hang on and see how it develops, safe in the assurance that any shortcomings will be eliminated?

Thanks for attaching your MIDI file, DonnyLuvd2Bowl. The tuplets import pretty cleanly into the forthcoming version, though Dorico doesn’t work out that the instrument it should use is a clarinet. I imported it and did a couple of little clean-up steps: in the MIDI Import Options dialog, I switched off the option to create a split point, then in the resulting project I ended up with a piano with all of the music in the left hand staff. I used Change Instrument in Setup mode to change to a clarinet instrument, which then put both the voices from the right- and left-hand staves onto the same staff. I used Edit > Voices > Swap Voice Contents to swap the voices over, which removed the empty rests and tuplets that were originally in the right-hand staff. Then I simply deleted the extremely low notes near the start, which I guess were keyswitches. The result is attached. I think the edits took me about 30 seconds to do.

You can resize the piano roll in Play mode: click in the area between the toolbox on the left-hand side and the track header and you’ll find you can make each track taller. You can also use pinch/zoom gestures in the piano roll itself to zoom it both horizontally and vertically.

You will have this updated version with improved MIDI transcription in a few short weeks. I hope you’ll find the program more useful then.

Sibelius’ initial release: April 1993; 24 years ago.

Dorico’s initial release: 19 October 2016; 12 months ago.

Yet you expect it to be just as mature, or else call it a dumpster fire. How reasonable.

Daniel, I tried expanding the Piano Roll, which I think works; but it doesn’t seem to show any pitches (even when it plays back). Any thoughts? Tried attaching it but “Board Quota has been reached.”

In your particular case, Derrek, you need to choose the right flow in Play mode: if it’s empty, you’re looking at your empty ‘Flow 1’, but if you use the flow selector above the track header in Play mode to choose your ‘Of White and Red’ flow, all will be revealed.

Thank you. I had not realize the additional Flow was there, so I will keep an eye out for additional flows when I import an XML.

Again, many thanks for your help and your prompt response.

In response to the original poster and any other prospective users - yep there are some growing pains with the software; right now I’m also doing a project where I’m importing midi information extracted from Cubase. My main problem is incorrect enharmonic spelling from the midi imports, it’s a large composition and it’s causing a bit of a headache…BUT… I’m never going back! Not in a million years.

The whole approach of Dorico is so much better to work with. Hands down superior in the state it is now, forget about a year or two from now. It’s all about overall concepts and how the dev team has implemented those concepts. From note input to the concept of flows, to all the points Mark Sealey mentioned above. My suggestion is to hang out a little while for the next update before you press the eject button… once you get comfortable with the workflow it is a pleasure to work with.

I think it’s awesome that there are so many protective fans of Dorico-- I wanted to be one of them.

The issue here is that I don’t have time to wait around, nor does anyone who is on deadlines; they need to have something that works right away, not something that can work if you do X amount of workaround steps.

And especially not after buying the product!

Believe me, I dig all the concepts about Dorico, I can see how it will destroy Sibelius in the future, and I look forward to telling Avid to stuff it.

But it’s not there yet, and asking full retail for what is essentially a beta product is kind of messed up on Steinberg’s part.

I guess I’ll wait around because at a minimum, it’s clear that Paul is here breaking his neck trying to get everything working right and that’s a lot more than you can say for Avid. I sincerely hope we get the software being promoted long before Steinberg asks for more money though.

Paul: aside from the MIDI import function, there are really just some poor design choices on the GUI. The fact that I can’t grab the piano roll and resize it either by right clicking and selecting a size or dragging it, or change the grid value with a button that’s right in front of me when nearly every other sequencer works that way is a little silly. And the sequencer view is something huge that Dorico has over other notation software, I really hope this feature gets proper love and care for the update. Again, I appreciate there’s a learning curve, but I can sit in front of most music software and get the hang of it in an hour or two; Dorico was impossible (and again it crashed multiple times).

Hi Donny,

please stay cool and let the DORICO team continue their good work :wink:

I’m surely on your side: AVID’s commercial strategy made me furious and let me change to DORICO, especially when I saw that Daniel is now in the DORICO developer crew…

And I also got a lot of problems while switching from SIB to DORICO - see my posts…

If you are dedicated to deadlines, here’s my advice: do your deadline work with SIB and wait for the next DORICO update.

I’m sure that the DORICO team has a very close look at the forum posts and will develop the software depending on what we post :wink:

Yours Peter

Don’t worry, it won’t work after three years either.

1 Like

That’s odd. I find that the attached (zipped) MIDI file imports like this, as long as I have my Quantization settings set appropriately.

Maybe you’re running a very old version of Dorico? (903 Bytes)

1 Like

34 posts were split to a new topic: First-time user struggles (coming from Finale)