How to Work With Automation in Dorico Pro 2

🎬  This article is a transcription of one of the excellent tutorial videos posted to the official Dorico YouTube channel.

Presented here in written form with the kind permission of its creator, Anthony Hughes, this tutorial is titled “How to Work With Automation in Dorico 2″…


Hello, I’m Anthony Hughes, and in this video I’ll be showing you how to use the automation features in Dorico 2, the advanced music notation software from Steinberg.

(00:15) Dorico 2 now includes new tools that give you fine control over tempo and continuous MIDI controllers,

expanding the capabilities of Play mode, and paving the way for even more functionality in the future.

Time track

(00:30) At the top of the event display in Play mode, you’ll now find the time track, which allows you to edit the tempo of your music. Immediate tempos appear as step changes and gradual tempo changes — like an accelerando or ritenuto — are shown as angled lines between two points.

With the Select tool active — the key command is S in Play mode —

you can click and drag any handle to adjust the tempo at that point. A readout of the current handle is visible while you drag. If you hold down the Alt key while you drag, you can make more fine-grain adjustments.

(01:10) Select the Draw tool —

or press D — and click to insert an immediate tempo change. Clicking and dragging will let you input multiple tempo changes at once. The frequency of created events is tied to the grid resolution.

(01:26) To make a smoother, gradual tempo change, use the line tool, clicking and dragging between the two desired positions.

(01:35) Remove tempo events by using the Erase tool — the key command is E —

clicking to delete individual points, or dragging a marquee around several to delete many at once.

Increasing the height of tracks in Play mode

(01:47) You might find it easier to input and edit tempo points by increasing the height of the time track. (drag from the space between. tracks… or…)

You can now do this with the keyboard. The active track in Play mode is now highlighted, and pressing the key command Shift+H will increase the height of the track lane. Shift+G will decrease the height of the track.

How tempo changes are displayed in Write mode.

(02:09) Tempos created with the draw tools in Play mode are (initially) displayed as signposts in Write mode so they don’t change the appearance of your score.

(02:19) If you do want to see any of the tempo changes, simply select the signpost and in the Properties panel choose to show the metronome mark, or add the text you would like to be displayed.

(Note: in the Tempo section of Engraving Options, you can control the resolution of the visible tempo marking. This allows you to have accurate playback combined with rounded visible tempo marks in the score.)

MIDI controller tracks

(02:31) As well as a global time track, each instrument can now display a lane for editing MIDI controller data.

This new button found on each instrument track header will show the controller lane, and then you can choose which MIDI controller you would like to edit. Any controllers that have existing data will show an asterisk.

(02:55) You also choose to show or hide the playing techniques lane that gives a readout of the current playing technique an instrument is using for playback.

Use the same tools as we did for the time track to achieve your desired results and create a more nuanced performance of your music.

MIDI export

(03:13) And all automation events drawn in the time and MIDI controller tracks are included when exporting MIDI files.

I’m Anthony Hughes, thanks for watching.


I very much hope you’ve found this video transcription to be helpful. If you have, please subscribe to OF NOTE and follow me on for ongoing music notation news and info. And don’t forget to subscribe to the Dorico YouTube channel to see many more videos like this one. ~robert puff

2 Replies to “How to Work With Automation in Dorico Pro 2”

  1. Thanks so much for taking the time to produce these lovingly transcribed transcripts (!) …it is very much appreciated . best wishes

    1. Thank you for your good words, Henry! Authoring a blog can be a bit of a vacuum at times, so your feedback is very much appreciated. ~Robert

Leave a Reply to Robert Puff Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.