Should Dorico be just part of Cubase?

In a 21st century we can buy car and then fight whole year to get update like “please add fourth wheel, because it is a bit difficult to pass corner”. As you understand, it’s about Dorico. It seems that we bought cheap used car with a corrosion and then for a little annual payment we take part in restoration.
When Dorico came out the first and only question was - why? Why they didn’t finish the score section in Cubase? And after VST Live came out I talked to developers and asked why we don’t have one modular system that holds everything in one place and have modules (dorico, wavelab, vst live, plugins, libraries and download managers etc)?
Returning to the car… After some discussions with Daniel I felt that on this high speed highway are too much “No Entry” signs and it’s really difficult to stop with three wheels :wink: And better is to be quiet. It means “pay and shut up”. It means if Alan Silvestri or another prominent person would say that he is tired to drive this car with only three wheels, then they will add fourth in a second while he still drive :slight_smile:
Dorico 4 has new manager who implemented rounded corners, but still three wheels. Nice update!
Dorico 3.5 was brilliant version. Why just not to make 3.6 with all new features? Now additional graphics in D4 really slow down the program. I use it, but the use of it leads not to satisfaction. Faster is to compose in Cubase, switch to Score section, fix errors, print and then write everything in Dorico just to print beautiful sheets.
It’s 21st century.

That, then solves your problem. Dorico was never designed to replicate Cubase.
(And there have been cars made with only three wheels, even tractor-trailers, since they enjoy–or enjoyed at one time–a better tax rate in the UK.)

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Typical software just.

I also think composing is faster with Cubase - but not better. Two worlds - it depends. And when Dorico is as old as Cubase…

I didn’t mean that it should. Read carefully, please.

Sorry, don’t think that UK is the center of universe. I did mean normal cars with 4 wheels. And car isn’t tractor, nor trailer. What an arrogance! :slight_smile:

Therefore I describe the best way for me I often use - compose in Cubase, then write the same in Dorico.
Another way I really like is to compose like grands did - silently write notes, let music is playing in mind. So seeing staves and playing them all together in mind leads to the catharsis. But this feeling is stolen with the slow motion software.
But Cubase which technically is more difficult, runs smoothly and faster than Dorico. Why? Because of poor graphic libraries used to build Dorico. In Dorico the visual features is more important than functionality, but it should be this way only on printing stage, not composing. They don’t understand that.
Lightweight car will get to the target faster than train of enormous size. To understand what I’m about imagine you wear winter clothes in summer just because soon will come winter again. This is how modern graphic libraries are made. Just to have everything, every function and procedure available at any time even it’s not needed.
Here is the question to @dspreadbury and the team - did anyone have complaints about the look of Dorico 3 and 3.5? If yes, how was it in percentage? If not, why Dorico accepted someone from beauty salon to change things that already works great?

Cubase Score Editor was a side project lead by more or less a one-person “team” and not widely supported internally at Steinberg because at the time many came from studio background and didn’t use or need notation. Note Expression, Chord Track progressions, Expression Maps - from what I understand there simply wasn’t a lot of demand for many features in Cubase and they didn’t see a lot of development subsequently.

It’s obvious that Steinberg made a lot of business decisions opportunistically - meaning spotting and taking opportunities as they arose, such as bringing the entire team onboard when it became available. I think that’s pretty smart and a hundred times better than assembling a brand-new team in-house.

If there was an internal debate at the time about integrating the new team into Cubase from Day 1, giving it 3 years lead time and creating Dorico as a module inside Cubase, I’d be genuinely curious to learn more about it, as well as why the decision was ultimately taken to treat them as two standalone programs.

But even acknowledging your incredible powers of hindsight, I have to assume there were reasons behind that decision. Do you know what Pro Tools + Sibelius; Studio One + Notion are doing that Cubase + Dorico isn’t?

Purely from the feeling behind the Cubase Score Editor I see something like a faster, but difficult to maintain ‘spagetti code’. (smile)
With Dorico I expect a more modern, cross-platform, object-oriented programming. And the development of UI responsiveness since 4.0 to 4.2 gives me hope. For me and the tempo of my music, Dorico is always fast enough.

Cannot compare because I’m loyal to Steinberg. Yeah, I know, it’s my fault (to be loyal) :slight_smile:

Plugins are modules - we have Halion6 / Halion Sonic / HSSE as plugins and as standalone. Why? Every time I run something standalone (also Kontakt), I end up with nice idea and while I start Cubase or Dorico I loose half of idea. So the standalonity (if can say so) does also bad.

About modular system - you described why score section is in Cubase and why it’s not mandatory. Just for “one man’s” fun? We were working with this “one man’s” product for years (team was updating it more often than Dorico) and contrary to the fact that it might take less time to update it to meet the needs of more composers, they create a new team that produces a new product just to shock market and many users of other systems.

So why such “appendicitis” is still in Cubase if it were not so good to finish? Maybe some MB of RAM could be freed by cutting this out? Do you see? - In modular system user could add only things he really need. Like plugins. But in non-modular - load Engrave and Print functionality even you don’t need them today nor this month. This is why Dorico is slow.

I agree. But please understand that I would be more quiet if Cubase would be as slow as Dorico on my setup. But no! Cubase and WaveLab runs like rocket. I will join the team of happy Dorico users when I buy something with i7 or i9 processor. Nowhere in system requirements was mentioned that D4 will need next generation processor. At least I didn’t read that. This is why I’m not happy about the change of look while we need perfect functionality.

I don’t think this has anything to do with Dorico’s MIDI export functionality.

I’ve split this into a new topic. Please don’t hijack other people’s topics like that.

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Okay, thanks for splitting. I just “hijack” that topic because of the ignorance of current century. It’s the same on both problems. No, on all problems.

But no, I don’t agree with the title you wrote in this topic. I would like that Dorico uses the same graphic libraries Cubase and WaveLab uses even they both uses different libraries for development. So better change it to “Slow Motion Software” or something like that.

I see you are coming from a DAWs perspective, and your thoughts are reasonable. But you have to understand that Dorico comes from a notation software’s perspective, which is a totally different approach to music.
Sibelius and Finale are mentioned often here, and I think you should try one of these to understand what it actually is Dorico is trying to do.

It’s not trying to be a DAW with a fancy notation output. It’s a fully equipped and powerful notation program, with the goal to provide in depth playback controls.

While a DAW can easily make use of multicore systems (each track and their effect can firstly be calculated separately by different cores before being summed in the master bus), Dorico’s notation is mostly purely linear. You cannot calculate page 4 before you calculated page 3, and so on.
Additionally, Dorico’s architecture and features indeed depend on more resources than other (notation) software. I read somewhere that the decision was deliberate, anticipating the increase in computing power in the future. But only this allows such features as condensing or the way Drum Sets are handled. These features, together with many other like automatic instrument changes, automatic beautiful layout, handling of rhythm-durations, the flow/player/layout-trinity etc., are incomparable to other notation software and the true game changer with Dorico.
I understand how all these things might not appear important coming from a DAW, but they are the modern approach to notation, and they were highly needed by the engraving/composing/notation-community!
In the end I of course would appreciate a faster response time, too. I am currently writing a concerto for drums and orchestra, only 12 minutes and 200 bars, but my 2018 Macbook Pro needs several seconds per action. On my M1 Max, it’s significantly smoother, and I can consider myself lucky being able to use such a powerful device.
But I wouldn’t like to miss any of the above mentioned features, which I all use heavily in this piece.


Understanding and agreeing with almost everything you wrote, this bit seems a bit strange to me.

If Dorico wants to provide in depth playback, where is the point where the distinction with a DAW becomes meaningless in practice? And if Dorico’s playback goal is to be “passable” but not as good as DAW, then what’s the point?

To me the dilemma is: does it really have to copy playback controls of a DAW and therefore always remain behind it; or can it somehow integrate existing DAW playback controls instead? I do think it’s a very complex issue.

Is there a feasible way to slow down Cubase? Asking for a support forum.

But wait! If we will divide who is coming from where, then we should look on the whole perspective and now I will ask you - why they implement Key Editor in Dorico if DAW functionality isn’t needed in Dorico and not needed by composers who are working only with notation program why Dorico is built at all as a separate program? So, do you see this question in reverse asked here before? I mean that DAW doesn’t need notation functionality or existing “one man’s product” should not be updated to have the same good print output. Of course, should not. Nobody needs score printed from Cubase. For that we have Dorico that works pretty well importing Cubase project in 21st century with no problems. Do we have problems?

So going this way that “somebody will be happy to edit notes in Key Editor like many do it in Cubase”, the same “somebody will be happy not closing Cubase just to print perfect score already written in Cubase”. Do you feel the consequence?

Really? If I have 10 pages full of notes, it is 1% of the amount of information (text and formatting) of the book I write in OpenOffice Writer (some 500 000 characters, it means some 200 pages of text in A4 format) and then produce a printable PDF in Adobe InDesign - they both are the same linear as you mentioned. And both programs run like a rocket. So where is the problem? The problem is that Dorico team didn’t take best GUI system Steinberg had polished for decades to build new notation program, but created new system using the slowest development libraries. This is the biggest mistake the company has made. IMHO of course.

No, all those notation things are important for me. Therefore I bought Dorico Pro couple years ago.

I’m sure it should not take that long. I asked my wife how it is in her workflow - the same - 200 pages of text and no delay on any action. Why I’m comparing? Because inner structure of OpenOffice Writer’s document is the same XML structure as Dorico has. Every formatted object have it’s XML record that is bigger than we see on screen.

Well for one, a DAW, unlike Dorico, is actually made to work with audio files. Then MIDI came along and joined.
A DAW only knows a timeline, it doesn’t know pieces or flows. It doesn’t know players but rather tracks.
You can easily mix and combine audio and MIDI there, and there is no need to quantize anything, if not wanted.
But the perspective is always to have an audio file as output and to work towards this goal with editing, mixing and mastering tracks.
Dorico on the other hand thinks of quantized (notated) music, tries to apply the language of music notation (dynamics, playing techniques etc.) and go from there to tweak the output.

Your question is similar to “if Dorico wants in depth layout options, whats the point in distinction to a DTP program?”
And the answer is: it’s coming from the perspective of music notation. Are there things you should rather do in a DTP program? Sure! Is the implementation and expansion of features in that direction therefore unnecessary? Not at all.

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See the answer I posted to ebrooks above. I don’t know why Logic and Cubase implemented notation (in case of Logic it’s very bad…), probably to cover some fundamental need. But their capabilities are nowhere near Doricos.

That is exactly my point. And people publishing music in written form will chose Dorico, which is purpose built for that, and people publishing music in audio form will chose Cubase. Where’s the problem with that?

I think your comparison is flawed. I would rather compare Dorico to LaTex (or Lilypond, to be even closer) than Word or Open Office. There, compiling my thesis of only 70 pages took several seconds, too. Why? Because complex algorithms determine the most elegant way to layout the content.
The result was much more beautiful than I could’ve achieved with Word or OpenOffice.

Both programs - both Cubase and Dorico - are also loudly advertised by Steinberg as composition tools.
The requirements for such a tool are comprehensive and certainly very individual…

I compare to the text processors because the functionality is the same - if you edit text in page 5 (enlarge font, manage paragraph size - space before and after) it will move the whole text till the end of project. Virtually, not on screen. The same in Dorico. You don’t see all 70 pages of score at once. So both programs (text processor and notation software) have to calculate every page you select to show on screen.

LaTex is also a text processor. And again, the way its layout algorithms work is (IMO) much closer to how Dorico operates.
If I add something in one bar, it might lead to push a bar into another system, which in turn might lead to the previous systems having more space and therefore some other pervious bars landing on other pages, too. The calculating therefore needs to be done from the very beginning for the whole document every time. This also happens in LaTex, but not really in Word or OpenOffice, where maybe one or two lines are being moved to another page. The formatting of the previous pages stays intact.
(And to be clear: this behaviour of Dorico is not a bug, it’s a big feature!)

Sorry, this is incorrect. The original DAW didn’t have any audio, only MIDI. You say it’s easy to mix audio and MIDI in a DAW but the actual development to integrate audio with MIDI into the same program and make it easy was a massive and highly complicated process. MIDI is measured in PPQ, audio is measured in seconds. They had to be synced somehow and that combination is what gave rise to “the grid” and much of modern music. It is also the reason the “tempo track” has always been shown in a separate window and as a separate entity.

There are of course differences in the treatment of notational graphics, but both Dorico and Cubase rely on MIDI in the same exact way and there isn’t much difference between “Flute 1” and “MIDI Track 1” for playback purposes as opposed to display. Both programs accept “free-hand” recording and note input and then both programs quantize the recording itself as well as the “notated” result. Most playback features in Dorico are taken from Cubase. In some cases, they are improved, in some others they are used very creatively (independent voice playback) but in the majority of cases it’s hard not to think of them as anything other than porting existing Cubase functionality into its own development environment.

I use Dorico every day, and of course I want it to succeed. This is why I genuinely don’t understand the constant attempts on the forum to defend the developers by pretending there is some kind of unbridgeable gap between playback and notation. This is completely misguided in my opinion and ultimately misleading. My first DAW was Cakewalk and it supported both MIDI (no audio) and basic notation. This was in 1996.

The major difference between Dorico and Cubase is that one chose to specialize in engraving, and it naturally prioritized that capability over everything else including playback, at least for now. But there is absolutely no technical reason why Dorico cannot eventually provide Cubase-level playback - it’s the question of time, resources and commitment.

Which brings me to my original point: it would be great to know what ultimately is the level of playback Dorico developers want to provide? Something that’s merely “passable” or something that’s Cubase-quality even if a couple generations behind?