Frequently Asked Questions

How did Dorico come about?

Steinberg set up a new London-based research and development centre in November 2012, and hired as many of the former Sibelius development team as possible to start work on a brand new scoring application for Windows and Mac called Dorico, the first version of which was released on 20 October 2016. There are currently 14 of us in the team, and almost all of us were formerly part of the Sibelius development team.

Can I try Dorico out before I buy?

Yes, you can! A fully-functional 30-day trial of our advanced music notation software, including the HALion Sonic SE 2 sampler and the full HALion Symphonic Orchestra library, is available for download from our web site.

I’m interested in buying Dorico. Is there any special pricing?

If you are a teacher or a student in full-time education, you can benefit from generous educational pricing. Visit the online Steinberg education store or contact your local dealer for more information.

If you are a registered owner of Sibelius, Finale, or Notion, you can buy Dorico at a special crossgrade price for a limited time. You don’t have to give up your existing software, and you can continue to use and upgrade your existing software as you wish. You can buy a Dorico crossgrade from your local dealer, or from the Steinberg online shop. (Please note that Notion users are not eligible for the crossgrade price in Japan. Sorry!)

If you are a teacher or student and you are also a registered owner of Sibelius, Finale, or Notion, then you can buy the crossgrade at an educational discount, for even greater savings.

The Dorico crossgrade will only be available until 30 June 2017, so don’t miss out!

Can Dorico open Sibelius or Finale files?

No. Sibelius and Finale use proprietary file formats and reverse-engineering of proprietary file formats is illegal in some countries. In any case, simply being able to read the contents of a Sibelius or Finale file would not be sufficient to be able to import the music contained within, because both applications rely on algorithms and rules contained in the software itself rather than the files saved on disk to work out how to display and format the music in the files. So in order to import music from Sibelius or Finale files, we would have to additionally reverse-engineer many of those algorithms and rules, which is impractical (as well as illegal in some countries). However, our new application will support MusicXML for both import and export, and both Sibelius and Finale have very good support for MusicXML, so that is the recommended way to transfer data between different programs.

I’m using Dorico already, but I’ve got a technical problem. How do I get help?

The quickest way to get help with your new music notation software is to post on the Dorico forum, where you can join a lively and friendly community of composers, arrangers, engravers, copyists, teachers, and students who are all using Dorico and are willing to share their expertise. Several members of the Dorico development team, including me, are available every day to answer questions, and we really take the feedback and questions from our users seriously so that we can do our best to improve the software and make it into the ultimate tool for music notation.

There’s a helpful Frequently Asked Questions thread on the forum, which I recommend. You can also search the Dorico documentation online, and we have been producing a series of short, focused tutorial videos that you can find on our YouTube channel – each one is typically between 3 and 5 minutes in length, and tells you in detail how to get started with composing or arranging with Dorico.

Does Dorico have this or that feature?

Dorico’s features are described in depth on the main Steinberg web site. Dorico has many unique and powerful features not found in other music notation or composition software, but it is a young application and does not yet have every feature that its more established rivals have had more time to develop. The goal is that Dorico will be the ultimate tool for music notation, and it will take some time to achieve that goal, but we have made an excellent start.

You can also find a list of the features Dorico does not yet have that are planned for inclusion in the near future at the bottom of the What is Dorico page, together with a very detailed PDF listing all of Dorico’s features.

Are you working on improving the scoring features in Cubase and Nuendo?

No, we are working on a wholly separate application. The scoring features in Cubase and Nuendo are developed by the expert developers in Hamburg who have been working on this area of the program for many years. In the long term we expect there to be some cross-pollination of technology between our application and Steinberg’s other applications, but in the here and now we are totally focused on building a separate application.

I have another question not answered here. Can you answer it for me?

Sure. Just drop me a line or send me a tweet and I’ll be happy to answer it for you.