Cello and piano balance with NotePerformer

For what it’s worth I just want to say I appreciate your video and I’m saving it for my own future reference – I wasn’t aware that you could do dynamic overrides on an instrument basis by duplicating the EMs, so that will surely come in handy in the future, as sometimes you encounter “runaway” dynamics if you will on certain instruments and you can go absolutely crazy with excessive hidden dynamics and hairpins and automation just to fix it, when all along probably creating a modified EM would do the trick :slight_smile:

Thanks! Yes, the fewer hidden dynamics and manual automation adjustments the better. Not only to save work, but also (I think) to make it more likely the dynamics will work in a real performance.

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I have used PianoTeq for years and have been very happy with it. It is especially responsive when playing live, the RAM requirements are minimal, and I appreciate having access to pianos from different makers.

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I’ve used Pianoteq and I like it too. The dynamic response is very smooth (no sample layers). Sometimes it can sound a little ‘clangy’ but it’s generally very good.

Just to clarify, @Mike_999 and @RichardTownsend: you’re both talking about subbing it in for NP’s piano in Dorico projects, yes? (So far I’ve been “lazy” and just accepted NP’s instrument in my ensemble pieces; I haven’t used Dorico for a solo piano works yet.)

(When I originally purchased PianoTeq it was for live performance also, Mike_999.)

Yes. You can set up a playback template that uses Pianoteq for piano and NP for everything else.


These are my first, very early experiments with getting anything “non-stock” out of playback, my focus having always been on engraving. Playback was always just a tool for auditioning errors.
While this is for sure me not knowing what to do, when I go to Play > Playback Templates, press the + button and try to create something new, I do not see much I can do. Even duplicating the NotePerformer (or another) template then doesn’t give me a clue of how I would set up something else as an override.
Is there some very, very basic tutorial for getting started with this? Something for dummies :smiley:

Yes. Like @RichardTownsend I use Pianoteq with NP all the time and enjoy the hugely improved piano sound over NP. I use Pianoteq with Dorico’s default expression map and other than adjusting the volume of Pianoteq in its own interface, don’t generally make other adjustments.

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I’ve been using NP+PianoTeq for years. I usually set PianoTeq to -10dB in its app for it to sound balanced with NP.


Hi Marc, do you have a playback template for that setup that you could share with Michele (if that would help, Michele - You would need to have Pianoteq!)


I am a big fan of Synthogy Ivory Steinway, but have been using VSL Bosendorfer because I haven’t had time to look into setting up an Expression map–or whatever is required–for another VST. In future pieces that have a more prominent piano part, I will research this. (I agree that PianoTeq is a lot of sound for a very small CPU load. The first versions were good, but the current versions are fantastic.)


It’s a big topic. There is a comprehensive video but it’s an hour and 20 minutes long!

However, I don’t think all that’s necessary to do something relatively simple. I may be able to put together a short video on this.

You can also set up a VST in Dorico and directly assign it to the piano instrument, without needing a playback template.

The advantage of a playback template is that once it’s assigned to a project, as soon as you create a piano instrument it will load the appropriate VST with the right patch and assign it to the piano completely automatically.


Thank you so much!
It will be a good start!

Since I also have Finale, I tried to play with this assigning NP to the cello and Aria Player to the piano, but it didn’t work. NP protested that I had to assign NP as Playback Template. Once done, the Aria Player would be kicked out.
Trying to create a composite template starting from a copy of NP didn’t work because I could not select Aria Player anywhere.

I’m sure I’m just doing everything (and more!) wrong, so I will just study more!

@Michele_Galvagno1 , I have successfully (and without too much difficulty) loaded in Garritan JABB’s Upright bass sounds to jazz projects, since NP’s is so amorphous and low-ƒ heavy. Is there some helpful info I can provide?

Ha! My mistake was trying to apply some Playback Template again (and of course I can’t reproduce the problem!)
The issue I had with NP only was that even if both instruments are playing, only one fader is “alive” in the mixer. Editing any other fader has no effect on either piano or cello dynamic (am I trying to edit in the wrong place?)
Screen Recording 2024-05-14 at 00.33.13.zip (1.7 MB)

Now, adding ARIA Player as a VST seemed to work and gave me a second active fader in the mixer.

Noteperformer has its own mixer. This has been explained on many threads.


Open the NP mixer by clicking on the slanted “e” in the Play page where NotePerformer is assigned. You can adjust the instrument levels there (it’s separate from the Dorico mixer).

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Great, thanks!
The faders are very little and do not react perfectly well to pointer drags, but it works!