Third Dorico maintenance update released


Today Steinberg released the third maintenance update to Dorico since the product’s initial release in October 2016, and the first one of this calendar year. Packed into Dorico 1.0.30 are a number of new features and fixes — more than 120 in all, according to Steinberg’s product marketing manager Daniel Spreadbury, who announced the update on his blog this morning.

You can read about the Dorico 1.0.20 and 1.010 updates and the initial release elsewhere on our blog.

Here are some of the highlights of what’s new in Dorico 1.0.30.


Remember that Dorico is unique among the major desktop scoring apps in that there is no limit to the number of voices that can be entered on a staff. For that reason (among others) Dorico approaches rests somewhat differently, in the form of implicit and explicit rests:

  • Implicit rests are quite literally implied by the gaps between the notes, and so Dorico fills these in automatically. A bar rest is perhaps the most obvious example of an implicit rest.
  • Explicit rests get their name because they were either explicitly entered during note input, or because they were imported from a MusicXML file.

Now that we’re clear on that, we can explore the new tools we have in Dorico 1.0.30 for working with rests in multiple voices.

Let’s take the following somewhat contrived example:

In the fourth bar, I’ve entered the rest on the downbeat in the second voice explicitly; without it the beat position of the notes would be unclear. But there is no way to visually differentiate between the implicit and explicit rests — until now.

Switch on the new option View > Note and Rest Colors > Implicit Rests and see the implicit rests turn gray, while the explicit rests remain black (if View > Note and Rest Colors > Voice Colors is switched on as well, the explicit rests will be drawn in color, for further contrast):

Once you’ve identified your implicit rests, you can quickly remove them, if you so choose, by first making a selection…

…and then invoking the new command Edit > Remove Rests:

Behind the scenes, Remove Rests sets the Starts voice and Ends voice properties appropriately for all notes in the selection, such that any rests included the selection are removed. This helps if you don’t want to muck about in the Properties panel every time you want to simply delete a rest.


There’s a new thick barline type, available in Write mode from the Bars and Barlines panel, or by typing Shift+B for the barline popover and typing thick:

Bar numbers

It’s now possible to position bar numbers after the clef and key signature via Setup > Layout Options > Bar numbers

…which is nice for avoiding collisions like these when bar numbers are placed below the staff…

…although I would suggest that an additional sensible option would be to place the bar numbers immediately after the clef but before the key signature.


You’ll find a new Tremolos area in Play > Playback Options > Timing where you can specify the minimum number of tremolo strokes that will be interpreted as unmeasured in playback. It will helpfully take into account the note value to which the tremolo is applied and adds to it; for instance, if you have set your playback option at 3 tremolo strokes, an eighth note with 2 tremolo strokes will count as 3.

You can also set the duration of the notes in an unmeasured tremolo, which somewhat opaquely is expressed as a fraction of a quarter note at 120bpm and set by default to 1/5 (in the example above, that would equate to 0.1 seconds).

The interpretation of grace notes during playback has been improved as well:

  • An unslashed grace note of an eighth note or longer in duration will by default be interpreted as a “long appoggiatura,” being played on the beat of the rhythmic note it precedes, and taking half of its duration (or half of its undotted duration, if the rhythmic note is dotted);
  • An unslashed grace note of a 16th note or shorter in duration will be interpreted as a “short appoggiatura,” being played on the beat of the rhythmic note it precedes, but being played as short as possible.

The 16th note threshold for a short appoggiatura can be adjusted in either direction, to a 32nd note or an 8th note, and indeed you can disable these types of on-the-beat interpretations entirely via new options in the Grace Notes area of Play > Playback Options > Timing.

As with tremolos, you can set the exact duration of a grace note, expressed as a fraction of a quarter note at 120bpm.

Daniel Speadbury has said that “there are still a few details with grace notes for us to resolve, such as ensuring that grace notes at the start of a flow play back properly, and we will return to this area in future updates.”

Other improvements

  • Accidentals are now listed in the Accidentals section of the Key Signatures and Accidentals panel in Write mode in order of ascending pitch delta;
  • Dorico now makes a backup copy of your project each time you save it. By default, backups are stored in a folder called Backup Projects inside your chosen save location;
  • Two new options have been added to the Brackets and Braces page of Engraving Options: Brace distance from systemic barline and Brace distance from bracket;
  • The Shift+C popover for adding clefs now accepts French names for common clefs;
  • More items in the score can now have their colors changed via the Properties panel: slurs, tuplet brackets, ornaments, arpeggios, playing techniques, and holds and pauses;
  • It is now possible to create forzando dynamics with higher intensities than fz by typing e.g. fffz into the Shift+D popover;
  • A new Tutorials tab has been added to the left-hand pane in the Hub window, which provides a list of the latest videos added to the Dorico YouTube channel;
  • More instruments have been added or updated, including various horn, bass, sousaphone, and euphonium transpositions;
  • A new option Punctuation for verse numbers has been added to the Lyrics page of Engraving Options, allowing you to specify whether verse numbers should be appended with a period;
  • The option Uses custom player order on the Players page of Layout Options is now fully functional, and allows you to change the order of players in one layout from the order specified in the Players panel in Setup mode;
  • Except for the Shift+K key signatures and Shift+T tempo popovers, all the popovers in Write mode are now case insensitive;
  • A new option Collate copies has been added to the right-hand panel in Print mode;
  • The File > Project Info dialog now defaults to showing you the information for the current flow, rather than the entire project;
  • A new Circa appearance option has been added to the Absolute Changes group on the Tempo page of Engraving Options, allowing you to choose whether a metronome mark that shows an approximate tempo should show the equals sign between the note value and the approximate indication;
  • A new option Position of text relative to other items has been added to the Text page of Engraving Options, which is set to Avoid collisions in new projects.

Bug fixes, version history and downloading

Approximately 70 identified bugs have been fixed since version 1.0.20, in addition to all the items classified as new features. A full list of those fixes, a version history and application updaters are available from the Dorico download page on Steinberg’s web site.

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