Switched to Dorico from Sibelius - Having problems

Hello there,

I have just switched over to Dorico from Sibelius and I am finding the difference in note input and VST instrument assignment difficult to comprehend. Just to give you some background, I am normally perfectly capable of teaching myself software; in the past I have taught myself Photoshop, SolidEdge CAD software, Creo Parametric 2.0 CAD software, Cubase artist, Logic Pro X, Sibelius etc. I am also an A-Level Music (trad) and Music Tech student.
However, when I load an orchestral score from the templates or anything else for that matter, be it an imported XML file or a piece I am struggling to write as I get to grips with the program, the VST instruments do not auto assign themselves to the corresponding staves, so when I go to try and input something or play it back, I hear nothing. It only works if I painstakingly assign each VST instrument to the instrument stave, MIDI channel etc. myself.
Of course, this is needlessly time-consuming and frustrating, since I have never had to do this before with non-DAW notation software.

Furthermore, I wonder if it would be possible to allow the use of the computer keypad arrow keys to change the pitch/arrangement of notes on the stave in the next update. From an ex-sibelius user viewpoint, it is somewhat annoying when I type in a wrong note and then I have to retype it in on the keyboard, or if I’m trying to write a melody without my MIDI keyboard (It’s currently sitting in the attic and I don’t have the time or resources to get it out of there at the moment).

I would be extremely grateful if the Steinberg team are willing to help me with these issues. I’m sure that there are other people in my current position.

Thanks in advance

Kerz :slight_smile:

  1. If you’re having to painstakingly assign sounds then something’s wrong - this is normally handled automatically.
  2. You can move pitches up and down using Alt+arrow keys. This is an intentional decision - in Sibelius it’s too easy to alter a pitch by accident.

Kerz, welcome to the forum. Have you acquainted yourself with some of the resources for new users? You’ll find that learning the interface and philosophy first will help minimize frustration.

Indeed as Leo says, the functionality for entering and manipulating notes has been carefully considered, and is unlikely to change much in the future. When you learn how Dorico does it, I think you’ll find it comfortable to use in short order.

Here’s a beginners guide you may find helpful: https://www.dropbox.com/s/6d2qmdapwqpxyn4/A%20Beginner's%20Guide%20to%20Dorico.pdf?dl=0

Have you loaded the HSSE playback template? It should load automatically, no need for faffing (I think that’s the word… :laughing:)…

XML imports can get wonky. Instead of changing the VST assignments, try doing a ‘change instrument’ in Setup mode. This insures you’re using a natively defined Dorico instrument. It can solve a lot of issues in the long run.

In regards to your poll: don’t take offense at this, and of course I’m just a user like you. But I wager not a single Dorico user here on the forum with any moderate experience in the software is going to vote “yes.”

I came from 20 years using Finale. You must ditch your Sibelius preconceptions and try to learn the Dorico way. Don’t decry Dorico’s way just because it’s different. I understand the initial difficulty in making a complete change. But now that I’m accustomed to the interface, the thought of arrow-alone being able to move notes would completely throw me. Just add Alt to the arrow and you’re good to go…

You probably know that the Dorico development team used to be the Sibelius development team, but when they were hired by Steinberg, they spent a LONG time before they wrote any code at all, thinking out how notation software ought to be structured from the ground up. The result isn’t “Sibelius/Finale/Overture/Score/Whatever with fewer bugs and a prettier user interface”, it’s “something completely different”.

FWIW I used to be a Sibelius user, and I resisted the temptation to try to make Dorico work like Sibelius, because that’s not how it is designed to work. I have changed some of the default Dorico short cuts for note entry from a computer keyboard to be more convenient for what I personally want to do most often (for example I’ve assigned every key on the numeric pad except Num Lock to functions that I use a lot) - but I haven’t changed them to match Sibelius!

For your playback problem, as others have said something is wrong if you have to do that. Make sure you have installed ALL the pieces of the audio engine and the free HALion samples that come with Dorico. Things have changed since I installed version 1.0 so I don’t know exactly what you need to do now, but go back to the installation instructions you have and make sure you didn’t miss one of the steps.


As a Sibelius user (actually from back in its Acorn days!), I too found that, Yes, the transition to Dorico required presence of mind… and an open mind.

I would wager a large slice of Christmas cake (perhaps even the whole cake) that, by sticking with it, Dorico’s ways of doing things will quite quickly become the default ones. Only occasionally (especially if I’ve not done anything with Dorico for a little while) will I reach for Escape to halt playback.

In particular the model on which Dorico has been built, as others have pointed out, really is a sounder and more musically appropriate one.

Please continue to post here with questions; it’s a friendly place and there’s always someone to help and guide willing users. Good luck!

I second everything that everyone else has said, apart from Mark’s offer to wager Christmas cake. Even a 1 in 20 probability is too great to risk losing Christmas cake.

The one I have baked has an invisible force field that bounces it back to the rightful eater; so in the case of a lost bet, no-one loses out.

Thanks guys. I appreciate your responses. As for the arrow keys, thanks for explaining - it wasn’t exactly an obvious thing, but hey, I understand.

As for playback, I have installed the orchestral library but I keep getting an error message saying that it can’t find it.
I know it’s in the correct folder as the other sound library was fine. Unfortunately, I have checked out some other threads but I don’t have administration rights on my laptop and I don’t know the password, so am unsure how I can get it to work.

Oh, and I wouldn’t mind a bit of Christmas cake. :rofl::cake:

Would you post a screenshot of the error message, please; it ought to help by knowing where it’s coming from?

This might help: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BcPJd92zqU

Hi again,
attached is a screenshot of the error message.

What happens when you do what the message says?

Note, the playback library is installed in two parts. Taking the message at its face value, you only installed the first one.

Nope, I definitely installed both, because I do get sound when I playback. It’s just that I end up having to manually configure the parts with the VSTs.
Literally, I watched the installation process, so I know it downloaded both.

I’ll try some more of the stuff in the video you sent me. Thanks for that, by the way! :slight_smile:

Hi Kerz, I bought Dorico today and when I installed it I got the same error message you posted here. In my case both the Hallion Plugin and Orchestra Library were downloaded but not installed automatically. So you might try to look in your download folder to make sure they are installed properly.

Hi Danny.
Yeah, I’ve realised that I only am able to access Halion Sonic SE, not HSO, the symphonic Library. It is in the folder, but I reckon some re-installing might be in order when I update to the latest version of Pro 2. It’s great that you’re all so friendly and helpful, though.

It appears that you likely have the same situation that Danny describes, ie that the orchestral library isn’t installed correctly (or at all). Note that HALion Sonic SE is just a sample player that has its own basic content. If HALion Symphonic Orchestra is installed then it’s content will appear within HSSE (you shouldn’t need to use the HSO Plugin itself, as it’s very old and more limited than HSSE).

One thing I found really helpful, as a desktop user (e.g. keyboard with a real numpad) was remapping the basic note entry shortcuts onto the keypad using the old Sib mapping (e.g. Keypad 3 = 8th note), as I find them much more ergonomic than dorico’s defaults.