Why is Dorico so poor?

I purchased Dorico 2 a couple of years ago to replace my now very out of date ‘Encore’. I am an experienced composer arranger and am accustomed to turning out several arrangements a week for fairly large ensembles. So why don’t I use Sibelius? - because I play all the parts in using a midi keyboard in ‘real-time’.
I purchased Dorico because it appeared that it had that ability - how wrong that seems now.
In Encore, you set off recording and the nice little program lets you keep playing, adding more and more bars as you record. In Dorico you add the bars before you set off? - Fine - I’ll set up a template and add 200 bars using shift +B - OHHHH NO I WON’T! - you press shift + B type in any number from 1 to 200 and guess what happens! - NOTHING! No bars appear . You have a single bar with a crotchet rest to record in - VERY USEFUL.
How did the company that created Cubase create this dreadful piece of software.
Can anyone help?

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You have to add a time signature. In more recent versions of Dorico you now get a warning if you type Shift-B without a time signature.

If you don’t add a time signature Dorico can’t possibly know how long to make each bar. It really is that simple.


It is worth pointing out though that the warning only pops up (in my experience, at least) if you try to add bars via the right panel. No popup if you try to add bars via the popover.

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You can also add a load of beats without adding a time signature - so in the Shift-B popover, enter something like “200q” to add 200 quarter note beats.


Thanks Leo - this is such a frustrating piece of kit. Encore is a tiny little program but it knocks the socks of Dorico for ease of use!

Thanks Lillie - I’m determined to get my head round this but it does seem ridiculously over complicated

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Thanks for your reply - I didn’t actually get a warning…It just sat there giving no guidance as to why it wasn’t performing the requested action! Not helpful! You were though - Thank you!

The warning was introduced in Dorico 3.5. Unless you update from Dorico 2 you’ll never see such a warning.

The beautiful idea and unique STRENGTH of Dorico is the fact that you can write music without the limitations of a time signature. As stated above, if you do want to create or add an amount of bars, just tell Dorico which KIND of bars by creating a time signature. How else you think Dorico CAN add the bars?

I admire the patience of people who replied the OP’s post. If a person doesn’t have a clue what he is writing about, he uses wording like “How did the company that created Cubase create this dreadful piece of software”. Please, Arrangerman, don’t ever do this again. At least be careful when you boldly want to reveal that you don’t understand something. Thank you so much.

As I said, I admire the kind patience of the people who above replied the OP’s message. Unfortunately, my patience ran out even I saw what he write and HOW he wrote it. That kind of nonsense doesn’t belong to the wonderful world of Dorico.

I know I in turn will be flamed for my response. But Arrangerman, try to LEARN Dorico instead of showing your ignorance about it. You sure sound anything else than “an experienced composer arranger”.


Welcome to the forum, MSTS_Music.

To be fair, many of Dorico’s competitors assume you’re in 4/4 when you start a new file. It makes some things incredibly easy, and others (that Dorico does with ease) incredibly frustrating.

All that said, this forum does advertise itself as a “civilized place for discussion”. We (me included) could all do with reading FAQ - Steinberg Forums every once in a while :slight_smile:


I’m sure you will! Learning a new software takes time, and in some ways I think those who come from other notation softwares can have a trickier time because you’re used to other ways of working and approaching things. Give yourself time and space to get familiar, and I’m sure the ducks will all line up.

If you haven’t yet watched some of the introductory videos on the YouTube channel (such as this playlist aimed at SE users, which might be a bit below your skill level, but nonetheless covers a lot of the basics) I would recommend doing that, as my colleague Ant does a great job at demonstrating key functionality.

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Looks like I have you to thank (or blame) for this! :rofl:



Why do you assume that new software should comply to the conventions of the software you’re used to? When I came to Finale from Professional Composer (Mark of the Unicorn), I made the assumption that I would have to start the learning process from scratch. So, among other things, I read the manual and did the tutorials. When I went from Finale to Sibelius, I followed the same path. For Dorico (starting with version 1), I also didn’t try to force old conventions onto new software, but read the manual and did tutorials. I have never been disappointed by any of the music softwares I’ve used, using this method. Of the music softwares that I have used, Dorico is my favorite. It would behoove you to shed old conventions and start fresh. You will be rewarded and do upgrade to version 3.5, you won’t be disappointed.


Just a little hint, ARRANGERMAN, for purchasing software in general: If there is a trial version, it is there for a reason :wink: Especially if you rely heavily on one feature and that’s the only feature you’re buying it for.

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I agree on “learning a new software”, and Dorico is awesome.
BUT some issues persist, it seems, forever.
Import XML, fine, then, no more sound, then (I know the workaround), copy and paste into a new score).
Sound is back, save fast, otherwise, Dorico will crash.I think it happened to me maybe, 20 times?
If it does crash, reboot the PC, otherwise, Dorico won´t start. Half an hour lost again (20 times?).
Life is too precious.
Btw. don´t give me “solutions”, I already got them, and it is pretty much what I am doing.
Powerful PC, I bought the Steinberg UR22, exactly to avoid problems like being able to run Cubase and Dorico at the same time (not easy at all!).
Everything is possible and doable…hours of work when you add it all up though.
(never ever had those issues with good old Sibelius).
Oh, and we better not get into the e-licenser nightmare here, talking about wasting people’s time.
Time, by far the most precious asset cause it is the time of our lives!
Again, Dorico is awesome, but guys please try and save us at least a little time.
All the best, stay happy and safe.

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I once had to switch to using a mac instead of my windows pc for working purposes.
It was frustating at first… how do you install something, where are my shortcuts…
But it didn’t cross my mind yelling at Steve Jobs, telling him why he made something like this.
Instead I learned by doing…
In the end it turned out to be the best machine I worked on till then.


But did your new Mac crash every second time you imported a Doc?
And btw. I am not yelling!
Constructive criticism.
All the best.

That’s not a typical experience, so must be something unique to your setup. But I’m sure the team have been as helpful as they can be to help you and identify the problem.

Searching the internet will show some people who can’t get Photoshop to work, or Word, or Safari – or Sibelius or Finale, for that matter. That’s just the nature of things.
Saying “Please try to make it better” is unnecessary. I’ve never known a team more committed to making it better.


I have used both Encore and Dorico. IMO Encore is to Dorico like a jellyfish is to a dolphin. Very different programs, both with their strengths and weaknesses, and coming from Encore expecting to pick up Dorico and immediately use it as fluently as Encore will only lead to disappointment. To fully unleash the true power of Dorico, you will have to familiarize yourself with its core philosophies and study the new ways of doing things (as with any other new software). Needless to say, patience is an instrumental key (no pun intended) but in the end it’s worth it beyond any doubt.

However, I must agree with you about the lack of automatically adding new bars when using the real-time recording feature (which is also available in Sibelius btw). Having to calculate how many bars a certain passage requires before playing it kind of defeats the purpose of saving the time not having to worry about its notation. But considering all the advantages of using Dorico compared to Encore, its a relatively small concern that I can live with (probably because I’m more of a notation kind of guy :smirk:).


I, too, am a former Encore user. I switched to Sibelius then to Dorico. Each time was a giant step but I would never go back. Dorico is, hands down, the best music software available if you like to work with visual scores. My training was with pencil and paper so it is a great fit.

I also am impressed with the level of support available and the remarkable evolution of the software with each new release. The design philosophy is solid and, once you understand how to do things correctly rather than trying to force the software into another mould, the results are first rate. We are very fortunate to have such a talented team developing this product.