Balancing instruments for chrous practice midi/mp3

I am preparing a score for the cast of the show and I’d like to know what are the best practices for rendering the audio file (mp3/midi).

I currently assign VSO combi instruments (flute/clarinet/oboe/bassoon) for the voices and Yamaha S90ES.

The problems I’ve encountered:

  1. Sometimes it does not sound like all the voices are really being active in the playback especially when there are multiple voices (e.g. SATB chorus)
  2. The levels are unbalanced and I have to manually set the “Amplifier” levels (should I be setting levels in the Amplifier section or in the “mix” mixer?)
  3. Don’t know how to efficiently render separate audio file with individual parts + piano for practice

See attached example of how I’m setting things up in the Halion Sonic SE2 interface

Thanks in advance! the <3 the Dorico community!

#1. Vocal “instruments” do not always contain the full range of, say, a tenor or bass. This could account for what you hear as missing voices.
(I consider it a critical flaw in the vocal “instruments.”)

One large component to this problem that I’m happy to report was that my “Channel expression map” was incorrectly set for the instruments.

Now when I have a VSO Flute Solo channel expression map set for a Flute combi, etc, etc. It all just works like I would expect it without setting amplifier levels. Concerns 1) and 2) I think are addressed. [SOLVED] Playback of voices on Violin Combi switches to plucking? - Dorico - Steinberg Forums

  1. I still would like to get a handle on what workflow could allow me to generate individual audio files for parts + piano as well as slow versions for practice.

In the top of the Play Mode window, select an individual part, and then go to File->Export->Audio. Only that part should be exported. You’d have to do it individually for each part, obviously, but it’s pretty fast.

As for tempo, I think your only option is to actually change the tempo on the score, export the audio and then change it back. Or create a duplicate of the flow and change the tempo there, but that seems overkill.

Or… just export MIDI and do all this work in a DAW, where you can change tempo and solo/mute parts as needed. And also manage levels better.