Short feedback on initial experience as a first time user

just installing Dorico for the first time for evaluation. Sharing experience in hope it’s useful for devs.

Background: hobbyist musician. Not much formal training. Have used MuseScore and Sibelius briefly in the past but has been a while since I installed any notation software.

comments from first tries at getting a score to play:

  • No sound! The titles of the playback downloads could make it very clear they are related to each other just by including “HALion” in the name of the part or even calling them Part 1/2, Part 2/2. Currently they look like alternative choices.
  • Default should not be to take exclusive control of the audio imo. I thought Dorico had corrupted my sound driver.
  • Struggled to add notes!
  • Downloads: download assistant could do more to streamline the process. Having to make a lot of choices on where to put files without really knowing long term implications. Also running installer to … install the installer… makes the process quite ong winded.
  • Still no sound :frowning: Search the web to find help. Find recommendation to watch a youtube video on a forum.
  • HALion install part 2- I’m asked whether to install trial or full. I’m trialing Dorico but should I install the trial of this library? Isn’t it included in Dorico? clicking “More info” didn’t provide any more info to help me choose. I installed Full…
  • Sound! It works with Generic ASIO driver and allowing ASIO host application to take exclusive control. Great but I’d like to be able to listen to tutorial videos whilst working in Dorico. If I turn off exclusivity sound stops again and then it seems I have to flick between drivers on my system to get the settings that work to stick again.

Conclusion : this has to be one of the worst experiences I’ve had getting an initial test done when evaluating a new product. I’ve used up the time I had to explore Dorico this morning just trying to get sound out of it and I’m still not in a good place.

the sound engine doesn’t look integrated and that’s a potential achilles heel. I am a technical person and this is stretching my patience. I probably will have another go because Dorico looks cool and I like shiny things but if my main goal was to be productive, the story might end here.

Update: I returned and, paying more attention to the help I’d already found online(*), worked through the initial pain to get sound working and notes entered.

Main reasons for lack of sound were: first, not having installed all the HALion content and my sound driver being set to 48000hz, 24-bit. The latter was stopping me from using non-exclusive mode.

Wasn’t keen on HALion sound so worked out how to ge tNI Kontact VST2 plugin “The Grandeur” working. This was also a hassle as I didn’t find the best youtube video until after I’d finished.

That was the last hurdle I remember. The rest was alright. At a point now where I’m hopeful that more practice will allow creation closer to the speed of thought.

A good motivational factor for me was that the first sequence of notes I added came together naturally into a musical fragment that I liked. This spurred me on to actually produce something with Dorico:

I’ve watched a lot of the short intro tutorials now and feeling more confident about the basics.

(*) found via the first time users forum post here

Welcome to the forum, and thanks for your feedback on the installation process. There are some limitations in Steinberg Download Assistant at the moment that prevent us from being able to show more detailed information there, but as that tool continues to be developed, the plan is that it will both allow better documentation and also a more streamlined installation experience.

I’m glad you’ve been able to make some further progress after sorting out the sound problems!

Thanks for the response Daniel. I bought a copy of Dorico Pro that same day: there’s something about the product that brings confidence it will “get out of the way” to let me grow at exploring and expressing creative ideas in time, if I invest some of my own time upfront.

Here’s to your growing success.

Thanks, efi0ng. I hope you find Dorico a valuable and enjoyable partner in your creative work.

Regarding your audio issues, I have the following suggestions and you may pick up one of them:

  1. Use macOS in lieu of Windows.

  2. If you have to use Windows, then you could try the free “FL Studio Asio Driver” which is shipped by the latest FL Studio (either Demo or Retail version).

(I know someone may disencourage the necessity of using “non-Steinberg-made” FL Studio Driver, but my test proves that it works without taking exclusive control of your on-board audio chip.)

P.S.: I put the driver files as a zipped attachment in this post. However, the attached driver only supports manual installation. Please read its instruction text file.
FL Studio ASIO (123 KB)

I’m sorry, but this is simply not helpful advice. Plenty of users have had problems with play back on macOS until they went through the necessary troubleshooting steps. And plenty of users are running Windows with no issues at all.

Not to mention the massive headache this would be if you’re accustomed to one OS, and have no other compelling reason to switch.

And, for that matter, 2) is unnecessary - the OP figured out the problem and figured out the solution, which works just fine. [I’m not “disencouraging the necessity of using “non-Steinberg-made” FL Studio Driver”, but stating that there’s no need - the Steinberg driver works fine without “taking exclusive control of your on-board audio chip”.]

Déjà vu all over again?

I accustomed to both.

To me, the CoreAudio seldom has such issues. Please give me case numbers and links related to Dorico playback issues on macOS.

Also, your reply looks like you were totally omitting my 2nd suggestion (for users who have to use Windows).

I dunno why you quote this. Dorico Pro 2 (as for now, to me) seems to have (almost) no problem regarding UI responsiveness on macOS.

Now the issues of current Dorico Pro (2.2) I feel “need-to-resolve” are the following:

  1. If using volta brackets in a project with a project-wide piano pedal setup, the piano pedal playback problem:

// This issue is under investigation, and Daniel is busy on other daily works. Prioritizing things is hard to him.

  1. Painful experience on macOS switching between VST windows and Dorico window.

// Note that the 2nd issue could be SOLVED by non-Steinberg approaches. Someone could write an app enumerating all Windows (incl. title names) to a menu which could be shown by clicking an icon at the right side of macOS system menu bar. Maybe the macOS built-in Automator could do this thing in a similar approach. Hence the closing of this issue 2. If anyone is gonna write-and-sell an app doing this, an ideal price could be (as I assume) between 25~60 Canadian Dollars.

That doesn’t surprise me at all.

But if somebody who is a relatively new member of the forum reads that thread and the current one (and I could have linked to others that I remember, but I didn’t feel like spending my own time finding them) they can draw their own conclusions.