Using Dorico for electronic music

Hello all,

I’ve recently been interested in Dorico due to its Play mode. I am an electronic music producer and I compose in Ableton, however I have always missed writing real scores for my music as I find it is easier to write counterpoint and see the relationships between notes, etc. Of course, it really is not very practical to write electronic music first in a notation software with completely different sounds and then bring it over into Ableton - the sounds (or lack thereof) will often kill inspiration.

Seeing how Dorico has more DAW functionality than Finale and Sibelius, I am thinking that perhaps I can finally integrate traditional notation back into my workflow. While I do not expect to be able to create an entirely finished product in Dorico, I am wondering whether the Play mode will have sufficient functionality that I could load different VST synths such as Serum, Massive, etc and assign individual instances to different players. This way I could design sounds and then instantly begin scoring for them, and after I have gotten the composition itself down, along with perhaps some basic automation (cutoff, attack, release, etc), I can then export and bring it into Ableton to finalize it.

The only roadblock I would see with this is that to me it seems the Play mode allows you to load VSTs only once and then assign them to different MIDI channels. From my understanding, this wouldn’t work with Serum as you need separate instances for each different sound.

Any insight would be much appreciated. Thanks!

This should all be possible - you can load any VST3 plugin, or any VST2 Plugin that has been whitelisted. You can load as many instances as you need. In the next update you’ll be able to use the expression map editor for key switches. This will probably be of limited use to you in the current state because we don’t have the ability to create custom playing techniques yet. When we extend this though you’ll be able to create text or symbols in the score that can trigger key or control switches. Over time we aim to add automation and controller lanes to Play Mode.

Thanks for the fast reply Paul. Very excited to hear that this will work!

Just to be clear - is there currently support for automation in Play mode? I thought I saw automation lanes in some of the screenshots.

No, there’s no automation yet: we are planning to add it and had the beginnings of the UI implemented a while back, but we’ve temporarily removed it until we’re able to implement it properly.