Dorico test-anyone tried? disappointed...

• Nov 29, 2016 - 22:30

As of today you can download a 30 day test version of Dorico (
I had great expectations that are not fulfilled at all.
Polyphony, ornaments, repeats, speed, Windows look, no figured bass, cannot give page size in mm only in pixels, etc.
I think this is going to take 1 or 2 more years before being usable.


I use Cubase Artist 8.5. I read about Dorico but have not downloaded the trial version. Perhaps I will. Your comments re-affirm my believe that it is the inevitable goal of all high-profit software companies to release software that is barely 2/3 ready to go out the door. The world leader in that department is of course Microsoft.

Ironically, it's the third party guys who release software that fixes so many bugs in the Big Guys' crap software. These third party guys work for table scraps and donations. Meanwhile, Bill Gates earns (or shall I say is paid) about $15,000 per hour, and yet, he won't fix his crappy software (involved in the company or not!). But I digress...

I love Musescore because it does everything I need. Note entry takes time, but the developers have never claimed the program to be in the DAW category.

What was the question...:)...

I have spent more time on Dorico now and start to appreciate it more and more. It is not difficult but it is very different indeed. Fact remains that it is not ready, for me the missing ornaments (though present in the used Bravura font), missing figured bass and prima and seconda Volta are most painful. There will be another update this year, hopefully also as test version...

I just tried it and it was a battle from the start.

for starters, the first thing you must do is register with their site to be sent a link to activate an account before they will send you a link to download their downloader. I was able to do this, but then when I tried to launch it, it wouldn't stay running (would just quit). I wondered if it didn't like our proxy so I set it to bypass and then it stayed open and gave me an option to start downloading.

that's when the fun began. The download is 9GB!!!!! FFS! 99% of this is a fairly crappy "orchestral" sound font, that doesn't sound (in the end) anywhere near as good as sonatina strings.

But wait, there's more. Once the download had finished 4hrs later (I'm on 100Mbps fibre here, but they obviously aren't geo-locating the download) then all you get is an "open" button which just opens explorer showing you a zip file. Great. they don't even bother with a self-extracting zip, or just a compressed properly built installer, you have to unzip (hope you have a free 9GB in your temp folder!). Then run the installer.

One of the first things it installs is a kernel driver. Since this is my software development machine I wasn't so keen on this, but they give you no idea what the driver is for. I poked around in device manager and it doesn't show up anywhere. I wondered if it was audio-related. I had a bit more poke around in c:\windows\inf, and checked the device install log. It's a USB driver used for software license verification.. Yet another FFS moment here. I think a few attitudes may need shifting over there.

Anyway, I finally got it running and opened a project I'd exported from MS in XML format. It loaded it up mostly fine.

The initial impression of the UI is that it's clean and nice looking. I did have some trouble with some basic functions though. I like the way it sees the word rit in temp marking and slows down. I'm not a fan of having to go to a different tab to play, but it looks like you can sort of play from other tabs as well.

Playback had a lot of trouble, lots of what sound like midi sync errors / bad samples, a lot of noise between notes, unwritten digital glissandi etc.

One of the biggest resources for MS is actually this support / Q/A site. I've picked up many many shortcuts and learned how to do a heap of things right here. That's the result of years of people asking and answering questions. I'm guessing Dorico will have to play catch-up with that. It's obviously an enormous endeavour to build a system like this, and first generation is simply just going to lag the mature product for a while. I'd be interested in how it looks in a couple of years.

Anyway for now I have to figure out how to uninstall it, including their dodgy kernel driver. Didn't they learn anything from the Sony rootkit DRM driver a few years back?

The reason I chose to have a look at it is because I've had battles getting nice layout and putting text into MS. You can't seem to drag text frames around, and they lose their location every time you open the project up again.

In reply to by Isaac Weiss

yeah I hope so. I just ran the uninstall, and in fact there were about 10 things to uninstall. They completed easily, but I would have preferred to only run 1 uninstaller since I only ran 1 installer.

I think the product shows a lot of promise, and they really have put an enormous effort into it. If they keep that level of effort up for another year or two they will have a kick ass product, but it's just not quite there right now. I hope they don't get put off, since it's a bit of a suicide mission trying to introduce new expensive (to develop) product into a crowded mature market with mature free product in it.

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