Dorico 3.5.12 update supports M1 Macs via Rosetta


Steinberg has released Dorico 3.5.12, the first update since the July 2020 release of Dorico 3.5.10. Although the odometer has barely budged (no, you didn’t miss a 3.5.11 release), the 3.5.12 update is significant for its official support for the latest Macs with an M1 processor under the Rosetta 2 translation environment.

In a blog post announcing the Dorico 3.5.12 update, Steinberg product marketing manager Daniel Spreadbury said:

Dorico 3.5.12 has been tested on the new Apple M1 processors used in the new late-2020 13″ MacBook Pro, MacBook Air and Mac mini computers that are the first models using the new architecture, and has been found to work just as well as it does on Intel-based Macs. Dorico 3.5.12 is not a Universal application: it has not been rebuilt and fully optimised for the new architecture. But the good news is that it runs beautifully under Rosetta 2, with performance that is comparable to running on the Intel i9 processor in the mid-2019 16″ MacBook Pro.

Releasing a Universal version of Dorico that takes full advantage of the new ARM architecture will require more time. Dorico is a complex application with many dependencies, both on third-party technologies and on components built by other teams within Steinberg, including some – like the audio engine – that have been extensively fine-tuned and optimised for Intel processors, and which will require additional work to get the best out of the new ARM platform. We are planning to release a Universal version of Dorico in the future, but it is not planned for the current version, Dorico 3.5.

On a Scoring Notes podcast episode just before the end of 2020, Daniel gave us a sneak peak into how work was progressing on Dorico to make it compatible with the latest M1 Apple Silicon-based computers. Daniel made us all jealous by showing off his screaming fast M1 MacBook, and with today’s 3.5.12 update, Steinberg has made good on his promise that “from a point of view of our development work, there’ll be some news on that front very soon.”

Daniel Spreadbury showing off his new M1 Apple Silicon MacBook Pro, which now runs Dorico under Rosetta 2

A Universal version (i.e., one that runs natively on both M1 and Intel Macs) is coming, but not for a while, Daniel said. “Because of the big technology transitions that are ongoing, including the transition to a Universal version of Dorico, the next major version is still a long way off.”

For now, whether you have a fancy new Mac, an older Mac, or even a Windows box, Dorico 3.5.12 is recommended for all users, as a handful of fixes has made their way into this update. The details are provided in the version history document, but we’ve listed them here in case your favorite issue has made the list:

  • Bracketed noteheads: Under some circumstances, the round brackets around chords could fail to draw; this has now been resolved.
  • Multi-bar rests: A problem whereby multi-bar rests in divisi passages in layouts with condensing enabled would not be reliably consolidated has been resolved.
  • Note input: On some computers, Dorico could hang when a MIDI input device is connected or disconnected while the application is running; this has now been resolved.
  • Performance: A problem that could cause edits in large scores to be slower than expected has been resolved.
  • Playback templates: Under some circumstances, restoring the saved state of VST plug-ins used by a project could fail if the loading operation lasts for more than one minute; this has now been resolved.
  • Text: A problem that could result in Dorico hanging when editing paragraph styles if the frame showing chord diagrams used in the flow is shown has been resolved.
  • VST plug-ins: On some Windows computers, some VST instruments, including NotePerformer, could be incorrectly blocked; this has now been resolved.

The Dorico 3.5.12 update is supported on macOS 10.12 Sierra/10.13 High Sierra/10.14 Mojave/10.15 Catalina, and Windows 10 (64-bit only). It is a free update for existing users of Dorico 3.5 and may be downloaded from the Steinberg web site or via the Steinberg Download Assistant.

For the latest information about compatibility for Finale, Sibelius, Dorico, and MuseScore, as well as links to the latest news and reviews about product releases, please see the Scoring Notes Product Guide.

And to keep tabs specifically on the latest updates to M1 Mac support for all of these products, please see our post “Music notation software, macOS Big Sur, and Apple Silicon M1 Macs“, which we will continue to keep updated as more news arrives.

One more thing

If you read Daniel’s blog post carefully, he teased this message at the end: “In the meantime we plan to bring you something else that is new and exciting, but you will have to wait until later in the year for more details.”

Whatever could it be? Our money’s on a 3D version, giving a whole new meaning to the term “popover.” But feel free to let us know your predictions in the comments.


  1. Ricardo Matosinhos

    I would love to see an iPad companion app, at least a Dorico reader to annotate ideas with the pencil on the go. Now that the Macs can run iOS apps maybe it becomes easier to do the opposite too.

    1. William Kay

      Agreed, I’d love to see a Dorico reader app (along the lines of Scorch for Sibelius). Knocking up lead sheets for accompaniment jobs with amateur singers often means on-the-spot transposition when we meet up. It’s great being able to do that with Scorch (and various other apps from sheet music stores). Something similar for Dorico would be most welcome!

  2. Mike

    I can make no sense of your reference to a possible upcoming 3d version and assume it was made in jest, intended only to highlight our lack of knowledge what the Dorico team might come up with next. Please enlighten me if there is something more.

    1. Philip Rothman

      Hi Mike, yes, it was rather typical of our poor attempts of humor around here :-)

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