Right for best realistic mockups with virtual instruments or real instruments? Latency issue? VST 3 Confusion?

Hi Dorico and Cubase Experts and Pros,

I have some questions about Dorico (Elements) that occured during the frist days of the Dorico Elements Trial.
Maybe you could give me some advice for some of my questions and issues. Maybe you could also tell me if Dorico Elements or Dorico Pro suits more for my field of use.

1. Field of use:

I want to compose instrumental music for choir, for brass ensemble, piano, small orchestra, create my own arragements or educational worksheets. In particular, I want to use virtual instruments (and real recordings some time (what would be amazing)) with the same performance and possibilities as in Cubase to create best possible realistic mockups. This applies e.g. to things such as articulation, modulation, various controllers, dynamics, expression maps, velocity, midi editor, midi input, midi recording, midi processing, midi functions, mixing. Low-Latency performance is really important, especially when improvising with my virtual instruments such as East West Symphonic Orchestra and VSL Synchron Pianos within the host program. What is really important too, is that the performance is adjustable and not strictly determined by the original notation.
I don´t need microtonal things. But Accelerando or divisi possibilities can be a topic.

2. Latency Issue

During recent days of testing Dorico Elements, I noticed a slight problem with latency, but it’s still annoying especially when you are improvising and trying out a lot through direct play / playing virtual piano e.g. with VSL Synchron Pianos or other virtual instruments. In order to test that it is not my imagination, I compared it to Cubase 7.5 (which I own) and in Cubase 7.5, I definitely do not have this small but very annoying latency. I use a Roland Quad-Capture UA-55 as my audio interface.

Maybe you have some advice or tip for this issue. Is this a common problem with Dorico Elements?
This really keeps me from buying it.

3. VST 2 / VST 3 Confusion:

I am a bit confused concerning VST 2 / VST 3.

Does Dorico only support VST 3 or does it also support VST 2? Is there a compatibility?

I don´t know which VST Version East West Symphonic Orchestra with its Play-Engine or VSL Synchron Piano Player runs.
On the respective company website I can´t find any information about.

What I also don´t understand is why it is possible to block or allow VST 2 Instruments and why you can restart audio engine and delete cache and so on. What are the purposes of these options?

I have more questions, but that’s enough for one post.
Thank you for the help and have a good week.

Greeting from Germany

Welcome to the forum, Johannes915. Regarding latency, are you experiencing latency when inputting music using real-time recording? You could try slightly reducing the buffer size in the Device Control Panel for your audio device, accessed via Edit > Device Setup.

Dorico does not allow all VST2.x plug-ins to be loaded by default, but you can certainly use them with Dorico. See this support article for help. The procedure described for Dorico 2 is correct for Dorico 3.5, except for the fact that the option is now found on the VST Plug-ins page of Preferences, rather than the Play page.

English: (German below)

Hi Daniel,

Thank you for your welcome.

1.
Regarding latency, I use the same buffer size as in Cubase 7.5. I have not changed the buffer size within the Roland Quad-Capture Devise Control Panel when I started Dorico Elements Trial the first time. I also checked the devise values for equality both in Dorico and in Cubase 7.5. They are congruent. I had already reduced the buffer size, but without any effect. So that can’t be the problem.

I noticed the latency while improvising, only playing, without recording. I haven’t tested the recording latency yet. Improvising, without recording, is actually particularly important for me, first of all to get inspiration, to try out things and combinations, to check them, or just for fun to “play the piano”.

2.
To the VST2 / VST 3 subject: That means that Dorico is not only for VST 3 instruments, but also without any disadvantages or compatibility problems for VST 2 instruments, that means it is also made for VST 2 instruments?

3.
Does Dorico also allow me to record audio recording or insert audio or insert audio tracks?

4.
What are the major disadvantages when using Dorico Elements instead of Dorico Pro for my field of use?
Quote from my first post:
“(I want to compose instrumental music for choir, for brass ensemble, piano, small orchestra, create my own arragements or educational worksheets. In particular, I want to use virtual instruments (and real recordings some time (what would be amazing)) with the same performance and possibilities as in Cubase to create best possible realistic mockups. This applies e.g. to things such as articulation, modulation, various controllers, dynamics, expression maps, velocity, midi editor, midi input, midi recording, midi processing, midi functions, mixing. Low-Latency performance is really important, especially when improvising with my virtual instruments such as East West Symphonic Orchestra and VSL Synchron Pianos within the host program. What is really important too, is that the performance is adjustable and not strictly determined by the original notation.
I don´t need microtonal things. But Accelerando or divisi possibilities can be a topic.)”

Thanks and best regards


German:

Hallo Daniel,

Vielen Dank für die Begrüßung.

1.
Hinsichtlich der Latenz verwende ich dieselbe Puffergröße wie in Cubase 7.5. Ich habe die Puffergröße in der Roland Quad-Capture-Systemsteuerung nicht geändert als ich Dorico Elements Trial zum ersten Mal gestartet habe. Ich habe auch die Gerätewerte auf Gleichheit sowohl in Dorico als auch in Cubase 7.5 überprüft. Sie stimmen überein. Ich habe die Puffergröße eigentlich schon reduziert, aber ohne Wirkung. Das kann also nicht das Problem sein.

Ich habe die Latenz vor allem beim Improvisieren bemerkt, quasi nur beim direkten Spielen der Instrumente ohne irgendeine Aufnahme. Ich habe die Latenz bei der Aufnahme noch nicht getestet. Aber das wird wohl nicht anders sein. Improvisieren ohne Aufnahme ist für mich essentiell, vor allem um Inspiration zu bekommen, Dinge und Kombinationen auszuprobieren, sie zu überprüfen oder einfach nur um aus Spaß “Klavier zu spielen” oder “Streicher zu spielen”.

2.
Zum Thema VST2 / VST 3: Das bedeutet, dass Dorico nicht nur für VST 3-Instrumente gedacht ist, sondern auch ohne Nachteile oder Kompatibilitätsprobleme für VST 2-Instrumente funktioniert, d.h. es ist auch für VST 2-Instrumente gemacht ?

3.
Kann ich mit Dorico eventuell - wenn mal erforderlich - auch Audioaufnahmen aufnehmen oder Audio/Audiospuren einfügen?

4.
Was sind die Hauptnachteile bei der Verwendung von Dorico Elements anstelle von Dorico Pro für meinen Einsatzbereich?
Zitat aus meinem ersten Beitrag:
"(Ich möchte Instrumentalmusik für Chor, Blechbläserensemble, Klavier, kleines Orchester komponieren, meine eigenen Arrangements oder pädagogische Arbeitsblätter erstellen. in erster Linie möchte ich virtuelle Instrumente (und ab und zu reale Instrumentalaufnahmen, was toll wäre)) verwenden und das mit der gleichen Leistung und den gleichen Möglichkeiten wie in Cubase, um bestmöglich realistische Entwürfe zu erstellen. Dies gilt z. B. für Dinge wie Artikulation, Modulation, verschiedene Controllereingaben/bearbeitung, Dynamik, Expression maps, Velocity, After-Touch (usw), MIDI-Editor, MIDI-Eingabe , MIDI-Aufnahme, MIDI-Verarbeitung, MIDI-Funktionen, Mischen.
Was auch wirklich wichtig ist, dass die Wiedergabe der virtuellen Instrumente nicht streng durch die Notation des Notenblatts bestimmt ist.
Ich brauche keine mikrotonalen Dinge. Aber Accelerando oder Divisi Möglichkeiten können ein Thema sein.) "

Danke und viele Grüße

Hello Johannes,

You might want to split some of your questions into multiple posts - I think I’m already somewhat lost but that could be my own personal problem. :slight_smile:

First off, this statement seems to be true across the board for any product; a notation program isn’t quite a DAW, and a DAW isn’t quite a notation program. Dorico will not replace your DAW for recording (though it has some features for working with a previously made recording) and a DAW isn’t all the best for notation( though there are some features for notation). I think you are going to want both, based on your set of needs.

Sorry, I just felt the emotional need to say that before I say Dorico doesn’t record audio :slight_smile: IMO Dorico is the best tool I know for creating realistic mockups if you want to focus on writing. Some people will say its better to write in Dorico and import into Cubase etc. … and they aren’t wrong as there are additional, sends, sidechains and such in a DAW.

But I don’t want to necessarily HAVE to do that sort of mixing.

Hello Johannes915,

Regarding latency, I use the same buffer size as in Cubase 7.5. I have not changed the buffer size within the Roland Quad-Capture Devise Control Panel when I started Dorico Elements Trial the first time. I also checked the devise values for equality both in Dorico and in Cubase 7.5. They are congruent. I had already reduced the buffer size, but without any effect. So that can’t be the problem.

I noticed the latency while improvising, only playing, without recording. I haven’t tested the recording latency yet. Improvising, without recording, is actually particularly important for me, first of all to get inspiration, to try out things and combinations, to check them, or just for fun to “play the piano”.

How do you host your piano? Directly in Dorico, or you are using Vienna Ensemble Pro as external V.I. host?
Seems to me that you are hosting the piano in VE Pro. In this situation there is audible latency caused by the automatic ASIO Guard in Dorico.
In Cubase you can turn off/on ASIO Guard per plugin, and for VE Pro is recommended. Currently if you use both Dorico and VE Pro the buffer size
between both applications can’t be reduced below 512 samples, no matter what you are doing with the device buffer size.
If you would like to improvise, I suggest you to host the instruments directly in Dorico. You can use VE Pro for playback.
The team behind Dorico promised that they will resolve this issue with the ASIO Guard.

  1. Field of use:

I want to compose instrumental music for choir, for brass ensemble, piano, small orchestra, create my own arragements or educational worksheets. In particular, I want to use virtual instruments (and real recordings some time (what would be amazing)) with the same performance and possibilities as in Cubase…

You could try the trial of both Dorico Pro and Elements, but seems to me that Pro will fit your needs much better. :slight_smile:
In Dorico you can’t use real audio recordings, yet. There is no implemented Audio Tracks. Probably in the future we’ll see serious integration
between Dorico and Cubase /I hope real-time synchronized/, which will allow us to make V.I. arrangements and orchestration in Dorico, for audio material recorded in Cubase /of course the notation should appear simultaneously as MIDI Event in Cubase/.

Best regards,
Thurisaz

Hello Steinberg Experts,

thanks for your quick answers. I am happy to your feedback and support. Fortunately, there is this forum and the Steinberg support staff also in this forum.

Thurisaz and Daniel from Steinberg: Unfortunately I do not use Vienna Ensemble Pro as external V.I. host. Since I don’t have any other application besides Dorico opened, the problem is probably elsewhere.

As I said, I need the equally good latency both for improvising without any midi-recording and for midi-recording by keyboard and controllers as well within Dorico.

For me it is strange that I don’t get the same good latency as in Cubase 7.5. I had read that Dorico uses the same good audio engine as Cubase.
Is that possibly due to VST 2?
But it can’t really be because I also have the higher latency in Dorico compared to Cubase not only with VSL Piano and East West Symphonic Orchestra but also with the Halion Sonic SE 3 Olympus Choir Micro, too.
The Driver of my Roland Quad Capture UA 55 is updated with the latest version available and it is an ASIO Driver.

gdball: Yes it is getting a bit bulky with more than one subject. Still, it would be really great if Dorico could use and edit audio too. Doesn’t have to be as extensive as in Cubase;). Nevertheless, the current sequencer functions in Dorico are also great.

Did I understand correctly that in Dorico you can program the virtual instruments independently of the strict notation part???

Thanks and best regards.

Dorico has an editable MIDI piano roll including velocity and CC editors. They intend I think in the future for Dorico to support audio formats other that the current video.

As far as recording and editing audio though - seems like an awfully slippery slope where we’d always be saying “Yah, but Cubase does this one more thing…” I still think we don’t really want the hammer that also saws, drills, tightens screws, and fixes toilets. I (gasp) don’t currently use Cubase but I do use another pro DAW.

I occasionally wish for a touch more in Dorico to avoid the DAW for exclusively in the box projects. But an orchestra pushes my rig pretty hard, 12 cores or no. If I want any more significant DAW type polish, I think I’m a lot better off bouncing the tracks and unloading all those samples first. I think what I"m REALLY waiting for is a bullet proof rewire implementation (if there is such a thing) where I can freeze tracks and (again) unload samples.

What else I ask for in Dorico is not to make it a DAW, but enough sends (or other mechanism) to do stems rather than necessarily export every track individually - because its pretty good the way that it is. That and the ability to access the meta data in the project. The meta is vital to include for any library or film submissions, and entering it only once in one place is always a win IMO.

As I said I don’t have Cubase so I’ve no right to say anything about your latency question. I will offer that there is a huge difference in the latency of a generation 3 USB C or thunderbolt Scarlett 18i20 (what I have) and the somewhat older gen 2 or gen 1. Gen 3 is like 5- 10 times faster depending on the config. What year is your quad capture? Then I’d look at sample rate / buffer settings, etc. Latency is wherever you can shave it, IMO. I will affirm that Dorico is a beast at times.

For my current setup, I use a freestanding VST host for Garritan CFX Concert Grand. With my UA Apollo Thunderbolt, there is no perceivable latency that I can notice at all. I created multiple MIDI Ports and use MIDI-OX to route the MIDI signal to the port used by the Garritan VST and the port used by Dorico simultaneously. Within Dorico I have Enable MIDI Input checked, and Enable MIDI Thru turned off. This way anytime I touch my MIDI keyboard I hear a piano sound without latency, but when I play back within Dorico I hear all the different VST sounds I have loaded for that project.

I’m not entirely sure if that setup description is helpful to you or not, but it certainly facilitates latency-free improvising with a piano sound, and then full score playback of all the loaded VST sounds in Dorico.

Hi Guys,

I have noticed that I have to enable Midi Thru in Dorico, as well as in Cubase, otherwise I get no sound.
My Yamaha CLP 585 and an Akai MPK 249 are connected to my PC directly with USB. They are not connected to the Roland Quad-Capture UA 55 Audio Interface. Besides this Audio Interface only has 1x Midi In and 1x Midi Out.

Until now, I haven’t had any success on latency.

What is also strange, that sometimes when I am only playing my VSL Synchron Piano, I get tones with maximum velocity in spite of a soft touch, unexpectedly and sudden.
And what was strange, too, I pressed on record button to record some midi and nothing happened, although midi input was activated. I inserted a note by mouse and then the record button worked, but it stopped the recording when it reached the by mouse inserted note. Is it even possible to record midi notes directly?

Thanks and best regards.

Have you created additional virtual MIDI ports? If not, then you likely only have one MIDI port for your MIDI keyboard and it is being monopolized by Dorico. In Dorico, does the sound you hear when you play your MIDI keyboard sound like the VST instrument you have loaded into that particular staff? If so, then yes, you are using MIDI Thru to hear your MIDI input through Dorico.

I use my setup I as I described above, because I don’t want to use Dorico to hear my MIDI keyboard. I don’t want my MIDI keyboard to be switching between flute and trumpet patches (for example) when inputting because I find it too distracting. Any time I touch my MIDI keyboard I want it to sound like a piano, and I want it to be latency-free. There are lots of free and donation-ware programs to help facilitate this, but I used LoopMIDI to create additional virtual MIDI ports, and MIDI-OX to route the MIDI signal to both a VST player and Dorico simultaneously.

I don’t know your complete setup, but I assume your Roland interface is still processing the signal if you are using it as your DAC, regardless of whether your MIDI keyboards are actually plugged into it. It is possible that it is contributing to your latency issue as it is just over USB, rather than something faster like Thunderbolt. Hard to know without testing.

If you close Dorico and Cubase, and open a standalone VST player with the MIDI input set to your MIDI keyboard, do you experience latency? Or can you more or less play in real time latency-free? If you can play latency-free, then I would suggest you try a setup similar to what I described above, where you create virtual MIDI ports, turn off MIDI Thru in Dorico, and sent the MIDI signal to both Dorico and your standalone VST player. If you can’t get to a point where you are acceptably latency-free with just a standalone VST player, then the issue isn’t with Dorico, and the latency is caused by something in your system. If this is the case, I would assume the issue is with your interface/DAC, but if you are using an older computer it could be caused by several different components.