Adding keyswitch alternatives to percussion maps

As part of my Dorico learning process I’m attempting to create a percussion map for just the Berlin Orchestra Berklee bass drum as an individual percussion instrument not a kit. I’m using Dorico 3.5 Pro. Berlin Orchestra Berklee specifies the following keyswitches for the bass drum:

B6 Single hits Midi note 95 [Natural]
C7 Dynamics Midi note 96 [not sure what to specify]
C#7 Rolls Midi note 97 [Tremolo]

I’ve selected the midi notes that match these keyswitches (which could be where I’m going wrong) and created a technique for each to recall in playback mode (except it doesn’t at the moment} but Dorico doesn’t let me enter any keyswitch alternatives so I must be doing something wrong. In practice I find that I can audition the sounds with keys C1 upwards which seems illogical given what I’ve just described. Berlin Orchestra is showing the correct keyswitches in its GUI. When I record hitting C1 etc there’s no sound on playback. How do I enter keyswitch alternatives that Dorico will accept or is there some reason it’s ignoring my attempts? At present I can only change the bass drum technique by selecting the keyswitches in the Berlin Orchestra Berklee GUI.

OK so I’ve worked out one bit on my own. The keyswitch is not a piano note. It’s a number. I referred to google to find the equivalent numbers I needed. I also went into preferences and changed the option to use the percussion map not the staff. I also chose different piano keys to play the sounds so that bit also works now. For some reason SINE requires a C7# for the rolls. That’s above the last key on on my 88 key keyboard so heaven knows why OT needed to specify that.

I chose tremolo for the playback technique for rolls but that doesn’t seem to work.

So I’m almost there. Just the techniques side to sort out.

I might be off the track but have you assigned your custom Percussion Map to the Instrument’s channel in the Endpoint Configuration ?

Yes I’ve done that. I worked out that the keyswitch alternative was a number not a note. The technique bit is still a mystery though. Single hit (natural) works but not dynamics or rolls yet. Tremolo doesn’t work for rolls.


All midi notes are numbered (0-127 with middle C on the piano being 60, regardless whether named C3, C4 or C5)

With a perc map you must establish a connection between the notation and corresponding Midi key lines (95, 96,97). You can probably solve this with just an expression map… How does OT define ‘dynamics’…? Some accent or marcato…?

That’s very kind of you. After my first posting on the forum I realised that I needed to use the note numbers and found a note map on google to work them out. Tomorrow I will move the SINE keyswitch settings down as C#7 is out of range. I’ve discovered how to do that.

Dynamics? Good question. It sounds like a kind of rumble but I’ve not found a way of getting Dorico to play it. Frankly I won’t bother with that articulation. Just use the single hits.

Thanks for your guidance


If your problem is making dynamics work on rolls, the answer I found is you need to add an expression map (a very simple one) where dynamics can be altered with CC11.

Oh I see. I’ll have a go at making a CC11 map for it.

Thank you for that suggestion. I’m determined not to be beaten as there always seems to be a way round things in Dorico. This is where the forum is so helpful.

Thanks again


Here’s a simple dummy, in case it’s useful… (the xmap is set to use both CC1 and 11… edit as necessary)

percmap+xmap.dorico (402.2 KB)

Very helpful thank you. I also experimented with simply expression maps rather than percussion maps as in Berlin Orchestra Berklee the drums etc are in fact pitched not unpitched. At least for recording and playback it works well but I will study the one you’ve kindly shared with me. It could be that I need to treat them as kits rather than individual percussion instruments. Thanks again.

Although this thread is older, it would probably be good to keep all issues on the same topic together.

I am using the Spitfire Percussion for which MarcLarcher posted a Dorico Playback Template. This library which has variants for all playing techniques of some instruments like e.g. for the snare drum it has snares off and snares on for all techniques (using keyswitch C-1 or note 0 and C#-1=1).

As you need to enter such variations for all playing techniques this requires you to not only add keyswitch alternatives for all techniques but also to create new combined techniques. I therefore thought it was more efficient to use a percussion map with all techniques and one expression map with the variants working for all playing techniques. In Logic and Cubase that works but for some reason the expression map imported from Cubase does not seem to work in Dorico. It is very simple; just two key-switches C-1 and C#-1 on channel 1 with velocity between 1-127.

Rather than switching the snares on and off, none of the notes are produced correctly anymore when this expression map is added to the instrument. Has anyone an explanation why this does not work?

Hi. I remember having taken care of the snare on/off thing inside the percussion map… Is this not working anymore? As far as I know, the expression map had the sole purpose of performing gradual dynamics… (And actually percussions were not designed to be controlled both by a percussion map and an expression map, that could be a reason why you don’t get Dorico to do what you want)

Hi Marc, yes I have seen how you have done it. You have each technique 2, 3 or 4 times in the percussion maps dependent on the number of variants… For the snare drum all techniques are in twice using alternative percussion map lines with 0 respectively 1 for snares on and off.

If that could be done with an expression map instead you would not need all these alternatives but it does not work. You get weird results as though the expression map is only taken into account for the first note played.

I actually had a look at the expression line of the notes in the mdi editor and you indeed see that the first note played has the expression map linked to it but all other notes have expression map = none You could call this a bug or it could as you mention also be a misuse of an expression map for a percussion instrument (you also use one for some instruments the “generic” expression map activating cc 11.


My ”solution” for multiple drum sets (sticks, mallets, brushes, hands) was that I load them all to VEPro and assign to the same channel. Then I just click ”solo” in Vepro for whatever set I need to use for the current piece.

I wonder if this ”soloing” could be automated somehow by dorico? I tried using a channel switching expression map, but that didn’t work reliably. Using a percussion map for all of these techniques seems too complicated to handle for me.

That is a good method if you do not have changes during the piece as you would not be able to use articulations. Question is if you could have the different mallets lines in different staffs and then condense them but it remains a workaround as the different mallet signs « STICKINGs » as Dorico calls them are not available yet.

I still don’t understand why the articulation switches in an expression map do not work from the indication to the next (i.e. off-on) midi event. Maybe you have to select all notes you want to have the articulation for and then set it with shift-p.

In the manual it is specifically mentioned that you can use a combination of percussion and expression maps. The only limit is that in grid or 5 line view they would be applied to all instruments in a kit. This is why I do not use kits but have each percussion instrument as a separate player…