Setting Default Mix Levels in Dorico

I use Dorico 4 for primarily composing piano music. I need to go to the mixer to bring up the instrument level to 0.0 db so that I can hear a reasonable volume. I notice that a new project always default to -6db. I understand that the rational for this is for composers who are using multiple instruments in full orchestra scores, that this prevents clipping.

This is strategy is no practical to my use and I would like a way to set this in preference for all instruments to come in at 0.0 db (like in Cubase). I can then decide how I would like to mix the instruments.

From an earlier discussion about this…

Can anyone recommend a good software package (other than Audacity) to (peak) normalize audio files after exporting them?

I found Adobe Audition very good for this and of course much more. And you can rent it for a month at a time. There’s a free trial.

For Windows this claims to normalize, and it’s free

Or you could use Reaper

and perhaps Izotope Ozone

(Reaper is very reasonable and Ozone Elements can be bought pretty cheap these days)

As far as ‘good’ goes - Cubase Pro has a very good normalize function. As far as cost goes, not cheap (although it’s 40% off at present). Perhaps overkill - but then you have one of the best DAW’s available which does everything. Adobe Audition is also excellent but then you are chained to Adobe subscription model for eternity, or at least until all protons decay and the universe evaporates into nothingness. Reaper does normalisation easily and a personal licence for the full version is $60 only. Reaper is a full featured DAW. Purely my personal opinion but I don’t think the NCH audio products are professional standard (sorry).

I don’t see it mentioned very often, but I’ve used Audiofinder from for maybe 10 years or more and find it very useful. I open all my audio files using this app. and you can do a lot of editing to an audio file including boosting levels and normalizing etc. It is a Mac only program though and is $80. There’s also an app from TC Electronic called ‘Loudness Correct’ which analyzes your audio file and tells you how loud it is in terms of LUFS…it can process your audio to a desired level of loudness. This is $99. Professional quality though.

I have Cubase 12 and all I can find is the capability to normalize samples. Can one use that to normalize and export an entire audio file (mine are not that large)?

Also, thanks to all who responded to address my query.

What’s wrong with audacity?

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Thanks for your comment RobF. Again, for those that compose with multiple instruments I understand the thought process of lowering the floor to -6db. Hopefully the Dorico team will give us the ability to set our own default levels for VST’s in the preferences in a future update. This has been requested by others as well…

If you write mostly for Piano, why don’t you simply setup your own Piano Project Template with all your settings pre-defined?

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