StaffPad-quality playback in Dorico?

Not trying to start an argument about the relative merits of Dorico and StaffPad. It’s just that I’m absolutely fascinated by StaffPad’s high-quality playback, especially when using the Berlin series of sample libraries. Does anyone know how this is achieved, and whether I can use Dorico to create playback with a similar “wow” factor?

For example, does StaffPad’s playback algorithm have anything in common with NotePerformer? Have the Berlin series sample libraries (available in-app purchases, I understand) somehow been optimized for use with StaffPad? If so, how? How much work would it take to get a similar sound from Dorico, given sufficiently high-quality sample libraries?

Here’s an example of what I mean:


Yes, they optimise, and each library is much smaller than its equivalent if purchased as a sample library for DAW or Notation program. I remember reading about their optimising of each library exclusively for its use in StaffPad. You might find discussions/blog on this with a search (if I find them I will post here).
If I want a realistic sound, I use StaffPad; I like the process of using the “pen and paper” equivalent, its (reasonably) realistic sound for what I am doing. (I usually then transfer each rendered instrument’s track to Nuendo then add other tracks as necessary.)

I use Dorico for print/notation sheets and use Note Performer which I am very happy with, but I always go for StaffPad for quality of playback and realism (such that it can be with a sample library.)

This might be interesting to read:

Apologies. To my ear that sounds horrible! But probably not helped by the appalling arrangement.

Thanks for your replies! I wish I could be happier about NotePerformer, because it would make things a lot simpler. But while it does have its strong side (especially woodwinds and brass), its weak side is even more conspicuous. I’m talking about the strings, which, to my ears, sound like a not particularly good synth version of strings.

Anyway, I will definitely consider a setup where I use Dorico/NotePerformer for composing and StaffPad for playback. Maybe in the future Dorico will have the same (or superior) playback capabilities as StaffPad.

You’re entitled to your opinion, of course. But, setting aside the quality of the arrangement, to me Berlin strings as played back in StaffPad definitely sounds like a major step up from, say, NotePerformer’s strings.

Here are a few examples that sound great on StaffPad:

I’m delighted to work with Dorico and NotePerformer, but when it comes to go further for realism, I export an XML from Dorico, import it in StaffPad, setup the Berlin orchestra and then export all instruments audio files to a DAW for a final mix (have to dig in actually).