TAB - near or far horizon?

Hi Daniel,

As the title says, is tablature something within a year of the autumn release? I’m writing a bunch of guitar arrangements and would love to have tab. I also have Sibelius so I can export from Dorico but I’d rather be contained in the one application, particularly now that string fingering is coming in the Autumn release.

Would tablature be as big a development project as drum and percussion support was? I’d be happy with an initial implementation that doesn’t import or export tab - that could come in a 2nd phase.

In general, how are future features such as tab prioritised? Do you get a gut feel from the forum discussion or do you survey a small focus group of users or is it the squeaky wheel that gets attention?


They have a roadmap.

TAB = TBA - to be announced :wink:

In reply to a question I asked a few days ago in the Facebook group regarding guitar fingering in the new update John Barron said there wouldn’t be right hand fingering (p, I, m, a, c), position or barre markings in 1.2.

With the lack of tab support and no way of knowing when it might arrive or what the price will be for the update it appears Dorico is not the software for scoring guitar music, which is a real shame.

I would agree that Dorico is not yet ideally suited for producing editions of guitar music, but the key word here is “yet”. Dorico has very sound foundations for handling even the most complex guitar music, with its peerless handling of polyphonic music, but it is definitely missing some of the notations peculiar to guitar music that mean it is a case of “so near, and yet so far”.

However, I would refer you to our track record to date: when we have added a set of functionality for a particular area of notation, we have done so to a high level of completion and sophistication, and without exception to the point that Dorico’s support in said area immediately surpasses that of its competition. We intend to keep doing this, including for guitar music.

It is an unavoidable fact that we can only work on so many things at the same time, and we have to prioritise very carefully the things that we work on. We are trying to do things that have the broadest appeal and the greatest applicability across a wide range of idioms and ensembles. Guitar is very important, and I am sure that when we come to address its specific needs, you will be very happy.

Hi Daniel,

Thanks for your reply. You are right, so near but so far. You astound me with how each feature you add reinvents the wheel. It is truly amazing! Unfortunately the ease of creating multi voice guitar scores is almost entirely negated when you can’t then easily enter the fingering and position markings to go with it. These are a prerequisite in the guitar world not an added extra.

As the next update will have a price tag is it too much to ask that we are given an idea what features will be included and when they will be available even if a very rough timeline? I would not have got my hopes up for this coming update to only have them dashed if I’d known guitar fingering for left and right hand was not to be included.

I can’t say what will be included in the next update, because we haven’t decided yet. When we have finished the forthcoming update, the next job will be to sit down and plan what we will be able to do next, in the time available to us. Even then I would not be able to share detailed plans with you, because plans always change. (Was it Mike Tyson who said something along the lines of "everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face”?) When we start to implement things, we almost invariably find that things are more complicated than they first appear, and very often quite a few things that we had planned to include in a given update unfortunately get pushed off the end.

I know this is frustrating, but we really won’t be able to say with any certainty what will be included in an update until reasonably close to its actual release, because until that point the risk that things will go wrong is always there.

Hi Daniel,

Thanks for the post above. I’m one of those who dips into the forum occasionally so I may have this wrong - but am I right in thinking that the forthcoming update will be the last one before we get to Dorico 2.0 (i.e a paid-for new version)?

Part of the reason for asking the question is I’d always assumed that - as a general rule for all software - a new paid-for version would take a bigger step forward than interim updates. That would tend to imply a pretty clear idea from a while back of what that next step might be - and I’m not getting that from your reply. I fully appreciate that at least a couple of Dorico’s updates have been huge, and therefore any expectation for a paid for new version to be over and above that might be unreasonable. Nevertheless, I’d be interested in your thoughts - the differences between free updates and paid-for version updates.

I don’t think you can use the Dorico 1.x cycle as an indication of how things will be in future. There have been more, bigger updates to Dorico 1.x than you should expect for future versions of the software. We had a long list of the most important functional areas we needed to address as quickly as possible, and we have worked very hard to implement as many of those as we possibly could over the last year.

Our goal now is to get onto a similar kind of release cadence as other Steinberg products. Although there are always exceptions to the rule, in general Steinberg’s main professional applications get a big update roughly once a year, with some smaller free updates in-between. Usually those updates are larger every other year, and those larger updates attract a higher update fee for existing users. Existing users are free to update or not as they see fit, and there is no penalty for not buying an update, except that if you are not already on the most recent version when a new update comes out, you will typically pay a higher fee for the update. This is how it works for all Steinberg products, and I don’t expect Dorico to be exceptional in this regard.

So the next major update will very likely be version 2.0, and we will of course include as many valuable, useful and exciting things in it as we can. If you want to update to version 2.0, you will need to pay, unless you bought the previous version very soon before the announcement and release of the new version (as a matter of policy, that grace period is usually four weeks). Although no final decisions have been made at this stage, I would expect the update fee that we ask our existing users to pay to be modest, similar to the kind of price that you would pay to move from, say, Cubase 9.0 to Cubase 9.5, since by definition all existing users are on the most recent version, as it’s the first one.

Thanks Daniel - appreciated as always. As a Cubase user I’m well used to the Steinberg way of handling versions and updates and I think its absolutely the right way to go for Dorico to implement similar arrangements. There’s usually enough in a release to justify buying into it, the costs are generally reasonable and the interim free updates aim to add value rather than being simple fixes.

You mean the team will finally be able to get some sleep somewhere in late 2018? :slight_smile:
Thanks for the insight, Daniel, and for all the other replies you posted yesterday! Much appreciated.

Again, just to remind you :wink:

Please have in mind all the numerous guitarists who want to leave the sinking ship and enter Dorico ASAP…

TAB and fingerings for guitarists…:wink:

Daniel I’m also waiting for Guitar TAB, I have stated before it is very important to have the ability to click on a staff line and type fret numbers. Guitar Pro, MuseScore and Sibelius (maybe your idea at the time) have this ability.

Notion and Finale fail in this area.

e.g. First 3 notes of the G major scale. Click on the 6th string and type 3 --> 5 --> 7

I hope to see Guitar TAB with this capability soon.

When we do support guitar notation, you can be sure we will try to come up with a smooth and efficient workflow for inputting tab.