Compose your own music for free with Dorico. Create beautiful music notation for one or two instruments quickly and easily with the on-screen keyboard, drum pads and fretboard. Play back instantly with the included sounds and shape the performance with powerful MIDI editing tools. When your piece is finished, share it as PDF, audio or MusicXML, or print directly to your AirPrint-enabled printer.
Dorico is the next-generation music notation and composition software from Steinberg, already used by tens of thousands of musicians worldwide on macOS and Windows, now available for the iPad. It’s easy enough to learn and use that it is used by students in schools, and deep enough that it satisfies the needs of the most demanding professionals in the worlds of concert music, music for film and TV, and music publishing. Dorico for iPad is fully compatible with Dorico for macOS and Windows, so you can work on your projects on the move on your iPad and in your studio on your desktop or laptop computer, or share projects with musicians using Dorico on any platform.
Dorico’s interface is split into four modes. In Setup mode, you can add and change instruments, create and reorder sections of music (called “flows”), and choose how your music will be formatted for your musicians into layouts. In Write mode, you can input and edit music and other notations using simple, well-organized toolboxes and panels. In Engrave mode (included if you buy a paid subscription to Dorico’s advanced features), you can make graphical tweaks to every item in your project. Finally, in Play mode, you have access to powerful sequencer-style MIDI editing tools, including piano roll and velocity editors.
Dorico includes built-in virtual instruments and effects to allow you to play back your compositions, and you can also easily use any compatible Audio Unit plug-in (with optional in-app purchase), and tweak playback using the on-screen Mixer.
Input music using an on-screen piano keyboard, or by connecting a MIDI keyboard to your iPad directly via USB or using a compatible USB-to-Lightning adaptor. If you have a Magic Keyboard or other external keyboard, you can make use of extensive keyboard shortcuts to work quickly and efficiently.
Dorico is free to use, allowing you to write for ensembles of one or two players (such as solo guitar, voice and piano, etc.). Register with your free Steinberg ID to increase the player limit to four, allowing you to write for ensembles like string or wind quartet, or SATB choir. If you want to take your composition and arranging to the next level, you can buy an optional subscription to unlock more features and power: write for ensembles of any number of players, and gain access to Engrave mode, allowing you to make graphical tweaks to individual items anywhere in your project.
• Best automatic engraving of any software
• Easy note input using on-screen keyboard, MIDI keyboard, or external keyboard
• Intelligently adjusts notation as you write
• Any number of movements or pieces in a single project
• Automatic layout of instrumental parts
• Expressive playback using included sounds and effects
• Supports Audio Unit virtual instruments and effects processors
• Sequencer-style piano roll MIDI editor
• Sophisticated chord symbols, unpitched percussion and drum set notation
• Unbarred music, tuplets across barlines, etc. all handled correctly — no workarounds
• Transfer to and from other apps via MusicXML, MIDI, PDF, etc.
Learn more about Dorico at www.dorico.com
For support, please visit www.dorico.com/forum
If you like Dorico, please support us by rating this app in the App Store. Thank you!
This update includes a number of bug fixes and minor improvements:
• Kinetic scrolling – where the score continues to scroll after you release your finger after flicking the score in a particular direction – has now been implemented for the music area
• Audio Units will now always appear correctly in Dorico for iPad, without sometimes requiring you to run another audio app before they will appear in Dorico
• Audio Unit plug-ins that include MIDI support as well as audio (known as "music effects") – including those developed by FabFilter – now appear correctly in Dorico for iPad
• It is now once again possible to interact with the controls in Audio Units correctly
• Audio Units are now shown in alphabetical order in the track inspector in Play mode
• A new 'Bluetooth MIDI Devices' button has been added to the 'Play' page of Preferences, allowing you to pair Bluetooth MIDI devices from directly within Dorico, instead of requiring the use of another app
• The hands-on tutorials on the 'Learn' page of the Hub are now provided in all languages supported by the app, not only English
• Dorico for iPad will periodically request that you leave a rating in the App Store – if you enjoy using Dorico for iPad, please leave a five-star rating
• Editing commands for pedal lines – such as adding or removing retakes – now apply at the caret position, if shown, or at the position of each selected note in the pedal line, rather than only at the position of the first selected note
• Under some circumstances, when the number of staff lines of the staves at the top and bottom of adjacent systems differ, system dividers could be incorrectly centered; this has now been corrected
• Improved the matching of abbreviated instrument names in the ensemble picker
• User-defined custom ensembles now correctly appear in the 'Choose' page of the ensemble picker
• If a project was previously saved in the desktop version with multiple tabs open, Dorico for iPad will now correctly only open the active tab, which provides a performance and memory usage improvement
• The 'Page size' option on the 'Create New' page of the Hub now correctly takes into account changes to the chosen default page size in Preferences
• When choosing a different template on the 'Create New' page of the Hub, the page and rastral size values are now always correctly updated if necessary
• The performance of the contextual menu in the secondary toolbar has been improved
• The contents of the contextual menu in the secondary toolbar are now automatically updated when the subscription starts or ends
• Some unpitched percussion instruments were incorrectly loading the pitched 'Steel drums' patch; this has now been corrected
• When resizing the lower zone, the touch targets for the drum pads now always correctly match the drawn positions of the pads
• It is now possible to create rhythmic feel items via the Shift+T popover, as it is on the desktop version
• A handful of dialogs were not correctly positioned in the display and would not accept keyboard input; this has now been corrected
• Under some circumstances, alerts shown to the user could not be dismissed by tapping on them; this has now (in almost all cases) been corrected
• The Backspace button in the lower zone toolbar is now disabled when note input is not active
• The button in the lower zone toolbar for reordering drum pads now only appears once there is at least one drum pad shown
• When switching to Read mode, the page number shown in the toolbar now always matches the page number shown in the music area
• Entering multiple notes via the fretboard panel in Write mode in quick succession now works more reliably, inputting separate notes rather than modifying the pitch of the last note
Ratings and Reviews
Best notation app on iPad
Easily the most complete and versatile notation app for iPadOS, of course the bar was pretty low. Please add two finger drag support from external trackpads. It’s frustrating having to reach up and touch the screen just to scroll around within the app. Also please add more features in Engrave mode. I shouldn’t have to use my other computer just to add a subtitle to a piece or a composer field.
An amazing port of desktop Dorico to the iPad
When Dorico 1.0 first came out for the desktop, its first year showed amazing growth which continued in subsequent years. Considering where Dorico for the iPad has begun, it is clear amazing things are in store. The free app reflects the Dorico SE capabilities, and for c. $4 a month or $40 a year, the app expands to resemble Dorico Elements, but in both cases the iPad version shows hints of capabilities like the on-screen keyboard, fretboard, and drum pads still to appear on the desktop versions. I can only imagine where this app will go in the coming year(s).
I am not a fan of subscription payment models, but Dorico could hardly offer a one-time app purchase for anything like the $4/month or $40/year subscription rate to account for the Apple Store’s lack of an upgrade path. If one wants to rely on the app while away from one’s desktop, the cost hardly seems prohibitive.
Given digital music’s sometime disagreement whether middle C is C3 if C4, I’d like to see a different color key for middle C on the on-screen keyboard so I could easily spot it when sliding the keyboard around to reach various notes, and tool-tips on the various buttons would help those new to the app; but this is an app worth owning and one worth supporting for the kind of further development the Dorico Team has shown with their desktop program.
Developer Response ,
Thanks for your positive feedback, javProjects. We'll definitely think about potentially differentiating middle C in the on-screen Keyboard window.
The most powerful creator app I’ve used
Because it’s the most closest to the desktop version. Photoshop, Lightroom, Numbers and many other apps for doing work are either stripped down, or have greatly different interfaces that frankly are too hard to work with for any serious business. The Steinberg team did an amazing thing here in that the app is just like the desktop version, minus features which were pulled for the first release (mainly Engrave mode).
I’m completely impressed with how much they managed to do on an iPad, it’s finally (with Dorico) fulfilling it’s promise that you can do work on the device. In my experience, other than word processing, the iPad is only good for content consumption.
Since there’s a subscription model, I wouldn’t be surprised if it more or less gets parity with Dorico pro, minus the sample library handling of course being we’re on iOS. But meanwhile it’s allowing me to ditch the paper and pencil finally for initial sketching out. So pull out a MIDI keyboard and computer keyboard paired with your iPad and you’ll forget you’re not using Dorico on the desktop.
Developer Response ,
Thanks for your review. We are working hard to continually improve Dorico, and your feedback that the app is working well for you is really helpful for us to read.
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- Steinberg Media Technologies GmbH
- 825.8 MB
- Requires iPadOS 13.0 or later.
- Age Rating
- Copyright © 2021 Steinberg Media Technologies GmbH
- In-App Purchases
- Dorico Monthly Subscription $3.99
- Dorico Annual Subscription $39.99
With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.