Writing fro string Quartet

Hi Everyone,

I am new to Dorico and all software for composing music. I would like to use Dorico for writing and playing music, particularly for string quartet. The thing I am unsure about is how much control I can have over the sound produced. I tried Dorico 2 and I was frustrated that I could not even change the loudness of the instruments with e.g. ff or <. Do I need to buy something else as well as Dorico?

Thank you,

If you find dynamics such as ff or hairpins are not affecting the volume of your instruments, you are definitely in an atypical situation.

Are you using the HALion sounds provided?
Are you using the corresponding HALion Playback Template?
(Both these things should apply automatically to a new file but may need to be manually set for an XML import.)

If you are using outside VST’s, have you made sure you are using appropriate Expression Maps for the instruments? Some instruments use CC1 for volume, others CC7 or CC11 (IIRC).

(If you are new to Dorico, you could do far worse than to read Dan Kreider’s Beginners Guide.)


I use Dorico 3 for String Quartet all the time. Dymnamics work fine. Most everything works fine. The only gotcha is that slurs don’t play back very well. For some reason the Halion people assume that at the beginning of a slur nobody can hear the bow attack. You have to go into the playback control and reset the legato setting. There’s a thread about this somewhere on here, with instructions from Daniel as to how to fix this issue. I’ll try to find it and post a link to it.

But other than that one thing, string quartet playback is great. I can’t imagine what is causing your issue with dynamics.


Above is Danie’s comment in that other thread I mentioned. If you do this ‘fix’ then the slurs work fine. (Works in both Dorico 2 and Dorico 3.)

By the way, welcome to the forum. It’s a great place.


It should “just work,” but lots of people telling you that isn’t very helpful because we are only guessing what your problem is.

Post a project that doesn’t play back properly here (or make a new one just a few bars long if you prefer) and somebody will probably find out why.

You need to create a .zip file containing the .dorico file to post it here.