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Dorico for iPad - Initial Thoughts


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Dorico for iPad - Initial Thoughts

Wed July 28, 2021

Today, Steinberg released Dorico for Apple's iPad.

Here is the reveal stream: Get ready for the big news – Dorico live stream - YouTube

Some quick highlights:

  • It's Free!
  • Read-only features don't even require a MacOS/Windows license
  • Those with a Dorico License can expect to be able to edit up to a 12-staff score
  • Landscape AND Portrait orientation
  • Easy-to-use keyboard and guitar interfaces for note entry
  • Bluetooth pedal compatibility on scores AND parts
  • MIDI interface compatibility (likely only keyboards, but no clarity on this yet)

There are, admittedly, more highlights than these but I feel as though these are the bits most interesting to me.

The free pricepoint for this app means it is a whole lot more accessible, and will allow for anyone with an iPad to download and start using it as a composer, or performer/collaborator. It also means that you get more value out of your desktop license. That's a HUGE win here!

If you don't own a license, then using it still has a lot of features including part-reading, the bluetooth pedal support, and more as a performer. This really opens up collaborative opportunities and will allow for players to quickly give input on a piece or section of music without the need to print it, email to them, etc. If you know a performer you can simply have this ready to go on your iPad, hand it to them, get their input, then be on your way. Alternatively you can do first reads of a more raw, unedited/lacking polish piece of music for, say, String Quartet without the need to go through paper, mess about with emails, etc.

The keyboard and guitar interfaces for note input, while becoming standard, are still a very welcome feature to allow for guitarists and keyboard players to quickly sketch ideas on the go.

Things I still have questions about that haven't been answered as of the time of writing:

  1. Will there be some sort of Steinberg "Score Cloud" to make sharing your pieces easy between your desktop and iPad?
  2. Will an Android version come out? (I highly doubt this given Steinberg Dorico's seemingly Apple-focused mentality but one can hope!)
  3. Will there be a way to live edit a score and have it show up in parts on different iPads? This would make live reads of in-progress works incredible!

I do not own an iPad at the time of writing this initial reaction of Dorico's newest version for iPad, but I'll be honest I'm looking into budgeting for one now.

What do you think about this?


Zachary C. Daniels