A tutorial to create custom instruments

For those who need customs instruments in Dorico and who can’t wait to the next version, I have done this tutorial.

This possible by modifying Dorico and Noteperformer configuration files. This not so difficult but you have to it very carrefully to avoid syntax errors.

English is not my native language. If somebody wants to correct my document, the Libreoffice source is in the zip file.

Note this is for Windows. It is probably the same way on macs with different folders.

Enjoy !
tutorial how to add an instrument.zip (507 KB)

Great, thanks for this!

This is NOT recommended. If you modify any system files, they won’t be properly updated with Dorico updates.

Ooo. Craig, would this require a complete re-install?

Not sure. If you can’t restore the original, it might indeed. Daniel has stated several times not to mess with system files. If you do some searches, you might find some of his posts on this.

I agree with Craig it is in general not a good practice to modify the core configuration files and we can expect this modifications to be erased during dorico’s update process.

As I’ve said this tutorial is for advanced users who have to be aware of what they are doing.

In addition I’ve just saved a score wirh a custom instrument and have reopened it on a non modified dorico. It works perfectly with playback.

IMHO it seems not to be unsafe as it is internally support by Dorico. This is as the custom instrument feature has been developped in Dorico core but not yet in the UI.

Maybe Daniel could confirm this ?

Editing Dorico’s internal files does not make something ‘supported’, but rather hacking the programme.
It would be like opening up your laptop to exchange RAM. While possible, it is not always allowed.

Sure, it’s a solution, but it is a ‘do-at-your-own-risk’ type solution.

If you save the original files and restore them before updating. This can work.

What I do is edit XML document files and import them. It’s more work but the safer route.

Craig - can you create a .doricolib file for this? That would seem to be a more stable way of getting the instrument in. Then it can just be placed in the DefaultLibraryAdditions folder.

My gut feeling is, probably not. I can look into it. Instrument definitions don’t use the scorelibrary format. I looked to see if there was a userinstrument definition for future use but did not find anything.

I wanted to try this ‘hacky’ way of adding instruments, without success.
Maybe something changed in Dorico 2.2, since this thread precedes the update?

Modifying e.g. playable range of an existing instrument works, but if I try to add an instrument (like the Mandole in the tutorial), I only see a blank instrument showing up (which cannot be added in a project):

I’m trying to use this tutorial to adjust the “advanced range” of an instrument. How do I get past the administrative restrictions to be able to save the file? I am the administrator in my Windows set up.

I’m not an expert on Windows, but you could try copying the file out of the Dorico folder, editing the copy, then replacing the copy in the folder. I would urge you not to do it, since I don’t recommend changing the factory data Dorico is supplied with.

Right click on your text editor and select Run as administrator. Then open the file for edit.

You can also view and edit any permissions for any file by right-clicking the file then choosing Properties/Security, click the Edit button, go to Users, check whatever permissions you want.

Did you ever find a solution to this? Was it a missing xml element or something else?