Best way to import drums/percussion to Dorico?

I have started to transfer a lot of my music to Dorico, some from Sibelius via xml, and it works quit well so I have no problems with that, but most of my music is in Logic, and now I wonder if anybody has some tips how to proceed in making the transfer without a lot of hazzle?
The problem I have encountered so far is to import Drums and Percussion instruments.
I would love to have the ability to import via “mapping”, just as when “mapping” the output from Dorico via “percussion maps” to external libraries, I would like to be able to use a, in this case, “logic percussion map” when importing drums and percussion. Either via xml or midi import.
Or to be able to import directly into a custom made drum kit inside Dorico (if it was possible I could have a “Logic drum kit”
ready to import to)

(The ability to make a custom Drum kit inside Dorico is a great feature that I love, and I would love it even more if I could have my custom made kits to load and import to when needed)

As it is now, if I import a drum kit containing instruments that doesn’t exist in a regular Dorico Drum kit, those instruments will not be visible and will not be editable when in Dorico, same goes for percussion kits or even a single instrument as a tambourine, it will not show up.

Importing music containing a drum kit from Logic via midi, I have to move some of the Toms before exporting from Logic, and of course I have to know exactly to witch midi number I shall move it so it will show up when importing.
If I have an instrument in the Drum kit that doesn’t exist in the Dorico Drum kit, I also have to move those notes to a “free” instrument that is not occupied already. If they are occupied I have to extract those notes in to a new track in Logic, and put them on the bass drum or any of the existing instruments in Dorico drum kit.
After exporting from Logic and importing all in to Dorico I have to “edit drum kit”, import corresponding instrument, transpose imported midi notes to that instrument to get it to work.
As you can understand this is very time consuming and I really could need some help.
Maybe I don’t understand what possibilities I have, and that my way of making this work is overkill, I don’t know?

Any insights, anybody?

(Maybe there’s a good idea to have a “dummy” showing all imported midi notes but not sounding? if so we could be able to move/transpose them to the right instrument?)

Regards Ulrik

I’m afraid I don’t think I have any particular words of wisdom to offer here, Ulrik, but perhaps it might make sense to map your percussion in Logic onto a standard drum set and then import that into Dorico, then use the Change Instrument feature within the Edit Percussion Kit dialog after importing that file into Dorico to restore whatever your original instruments were?

Hi Daniel and thank you for the answer!
Yes, I guessed it was the way to go.
What about the suggestions I had about that Dorico could import all midi notes (ch 10) into a drum kit and make the notes, not belonging to the instruments in the kit, visible and editable? In that case it would be easy to make use of the “change instrument” feature to restore the right instruments?
I don’t know anything about coding so maybe that is not possible, but I thought I should ask anyway.

Regards Ulrik

If you have a track in your MIDI file that uses General MIDI percussion, it’s on channel 10, and you specify in the dialog when importing the MIDI file that it should treat channel 10 specially, you should find that Dorico indeed does this already.

Hi Daniel!
Yes I know that Dorico import general midi percussion on ch 10 but…, and this was my question, could we have Dorico to view all imported notes (ch 10) even if the note numbers doesn’t have a correponding instrument available in Doricos drum kits?
In my example I referred to a Tambourine, if I want to import (via midi) a drum kit track from Logic, and the drum kit also contains a tambourine, Dorico will not show the Tambourine midi notes, dorico will only show the midi notes that correspond to the existing instruments in Doricos Drum Kit.
It would be so much easier if we could import the whole drum track as is, and then when imported in Dorico, assign instrument to, or edit the midi notes so it will correspond to an instrument in Doricos Drum Kit.
Would it be possible?

Regards Ulrik

Tambourine won’t import because it’s not part of the General MIDI percussion map. It would be difficult for Dorico to import something that doesn’t map onto any instrument in the percussion map or the destination percussion kit, I’m afraid. Could you change the pitch of those notes in Logic before you export to something that does map, and then change the instrument in the kit to (e.g.) tambourine after import?

Ok, I understand, thank you for the information!

Regards <ulrik

2 - Sibelius GM Drum Import.png
1 - GM Drum Test (368 Bytes)

Whilst a vast majority of the time you are spot on with your posts I take considerable issue with your comment that Tambourine is not part of the General MIDI percussion map. It most certainly is and has a note number of 54.

Whilst on the matter of GM drums, I am wondering if any progress has/will be made to correct the (very poor) implimentation of MIDI importation with regard to the GM drum map.

If the Drum set (Full) is selected there is a low wood block assigned to MIDI note 47 (B). This of course should be a ‘Low Mid Tom’.


I have attached three files to this post.

  1. A MIDI file (channel 10) drums comprising of 21 notes ranging from C1 to G#2 (in a xip file) and the results produced by (2) Sibelius and by (3) Dorico.

Whilst (as you know) I love Dorico I have to say this particular aspect of Dorico is quite bad. For Sibelius to import all 21 notes sucessfully and for Dorico to only recognise 14 will prompt you to review this in time for version 3.

NB. I have actually mentioned this to you in an email when dorico was ver 1. something. You told me someone from Germany would be in contact me with regard to this. I’m still waiting.

Whilst this may be a moot point to those ‘pros’ who write straight into Dorico, I am sure there are many educational establishments, whose students may have used GM drums and wish to use Elements to display their work would find this a big problem.

I welcome any other users in the forum and any beta testers who may be reading this to verify my findings.



and the Dorico results…

I misspoke in my original reply to Ulrik in this thread: tambourine is of course present in the General MIDI percussion map, but it’s not part of either of Dorico’s default drum sets, neither ‘Drum set (basic)’ nor ‘Drum set (full)’. You have my unreserved apologies for my mistake.

Sibelius has some logic to add unmapped notes to the drum set staff type when importing MIDI files, which allows it to handle notes that are not part of the staff type: it simply assigns them to the first unmapped notehead type on the bottom staff position, and then works its way up through the noteheads and staff positions. This ensures that every note is imported, but doesn’t produce any kind of sensible result, and you have to then spend a decent amount of time not only editing the staff type to make sure that the new instruments are mapped to sensible noteheads and staff positions, but also to editing the imported music to move those notes to the appropriate staff positions, and change their noteheads. I’m not sure this really represents a particularly efficient workflow, though I grant that in the specific case of the tambourine this is mapped to the middle staff line with a triangular notehead in Sibelius, so assuming that’s where you think it should be, there’s no post-editing work to fix that up.

Dorico, however, doesn’t have any logic like this in its MIDI importer. It will map notes that it finds onto matching instruments in the kit, but it won’t go and add new instruments to the kit in order to import any notes that do not have equivalent mappings in the kit. This is something we hope to return to in the future, but it is not something we are working on at the moment. I’m sorry that you find Dorico to be “very poor” and “quite bad” in this regard. I think this is putting too fine a point on it, since Dorico does, for example, correctly produce open and closed hi-hat markings when importing MIDI files automatically, something that Sibelius doesn’t do. I think it would be fairer to say that Dorico and Sibelius take different approaches to the importing of General MIDI percussion, and you prefer Sibelius’s approach.

I will have to go over our previous correspondence to find out what I apparently meant by asking somebody in Germany to come back to you on this, because I have no recollection of that. I apologise if I gave you the expectation that somebody would be in touch with you and you were subsequently disappointed.