Whether to upgrade from Dorico 2.2 to 3

I bought Dorico 2 a few months ago, and overall I’ve been quite happy with it. The minimal amount of fixing engraving needed, the proper handling of so many cases that the competitors don’t handle properly, and the semantic approach are all really refreshing.

One of the biggest benefits of Dorico to me is actually the accessibility of the devs on these forums. I can much more easily forgive issues if I can personally report bugs and get a quick response from the devs–this makes me feel that I’m contributing to something great, not having to fight with the limitations of a program which is never going to change (at least, never for the better!).

Unfortunately, having to pay another $100 only a few months after a $550 purchase requires a bit of thought. I do not object to supporting the program’s continued development, but I was expecting my purchase to be relevant for a couple of years (or at least get updates for a year). Presumably Dorico 2 will not receive any updates now, unless there’s some major security vulnerability or something, so I have to move to Dorico 3 if I want to continue as part of the active development.

Most of the big features added to 3 are not things I expect to use–in fact 2 is reasonably complete for my purposes. There are lots of little issues or non-idealities in features throughout the program, but the only two big issues I’ve had with it are:

  • Performance, especially relating to operations which require re-laying out the whole flow (e.g. adding/moving instruments), switching modes, and audio engine related performance (e.g. saving a large score takes ~2 seconds with “Silence” configuration but ~10 seconds with the built-in VST3s)
  • The lack of an instrument editor. I’ve edited the XML file of instrument definitions, but this only works for new scores, not within an existing one.

I don’t think I saw anything about an instrument editor being added in Dorico 3. So, my questions are:

  • How much work was put into performance improvements between 2.2 and 3? How much work is planned during the development of 3 (before 4)?
  • How much work was put into bugfixes and improvements of little features throughout the program between 2.2 and 3? Presumably there were hundreds of changes like this, but is there a full changelog? How much difference do these changes “feel” like they make to typical users?
  • Any vague ideas on how long Dorico 3 will last before we will have to again consider upgrading to Dorico 4? 2020? 2021? Of course this would not be a promise, I’m just trying to decide if I should skip 3 and go directly to 4.

I think the simple answer to the fundamental question is that if you’re happy with the functionality provided by Dorico 2.2.20 and there’s nothing introduced in Dorico 3 that is especially useful to you, then it makes sense to skip the update. As and when we release further updates, you can reassess your decision, and at the point at which there are cumulatively enough useful improvements that provide enough value, jump back in then. I really do appreciate that our customers feel sufficiently invested in the success of Dorico that they are willing to pay for an update to support the application’s development, but I would prefer that we earn your update fee by providing features that add value, save you time, and help you achieve the results you want more quickly and efficiently.

There are certainly hundreds of smaller changes and improvements in Dorico 3 beyond the headline features like condensing, guitar notation, playback templates, and so on. Take a look at the Dorico 3 Version History PDF (linked to in the Dorico 3.0.10 announcement sticky thread, or available for download via Steinberg Download Assistant).

We cannot share our future product plans in great detail, but as things stand there will be one more feature-focused update for Dorico 3 before the end of 2019. After that, there may be a further bug-fix update if one is warranted, but we will then turn our attention to the next paid update, which will be available sometime in 2020.

I would suggest upgrading to Dorico 3 for its stability now.
Dorico 3.0.10 is more stable and performance-optimized than Dorico 2, and I don’t want to touch Dorico Pro 2 anymore.

Just my personal opinion.

Good morning Sauraen,

If I understand you correctly, they DID add a pretty comprehensive answer in version 3 to both of your issues - with the playback template editing, expression maps, and some fixing. This is the version (after its 3.0.10 stability patch at least) where I feel it contains all of my “must haves” to deliver my own projects on time at broadcast quality.

Keep or sweep man; Regards

Download the trial, now available, and give that a go for 30days - see how you get on… :wink:

I believe you can install and run it alongside your existing version, without harm (correct me if I’m wrong folks.!)

I believe you can install and run it alongside your existing version, without harm (correct me if I’m wrong folks.!)

You can have 2 and 3 alongside on your machine, but AFAIK, you shouldn’t run them at the same time, as they share some resources that might interfere.

Yeah, they battle each other for access to the audio engine and thereby kill it, the rascals.

Thanks for the input everyone. I will stay on 2.2 for my current project and then download the 3 trial and see how much it feels improved.