Changing an instrument during playback.

I’m using EastWest Symphonic Orchestra for playback. The 18 Violins master keyswitch set has no entry for muted violins or col legno battuto; these effects have to be loaded as distinct instruments.

Having a “player” keyswitch on a single instrument for particular articulations works great, but what is the method for automatically having a “player” switch to a different instrument entirely during playback? I can see the two other instruments that I’ve assigned to the “player” underneath his rollout in Play mode, but they’re never actually used for playback, despite my having placed articulations in the score that I’d want to trigger those piano rolls. (The MIDI channels assigned to these instruments designate expression maps that have the articulations defined in them, and they correspond to the instruments that I’ve loaded into EastWest Play, where their channels match the channels defined in Dorico’s Play interface.)

The following images illustrate my set-up: &

It’s not currently possible to route a single Dorico instrument to multiple channels, however we do hope to support this in a future version. The way we anticipate this will work is that you’ll be able to route the instrument to multiple channels (or even different plugins) and then the correct channel would be picked according to the playing technique.

This is a work-around of sorts until future versions of Dorico get built in support, but if you need this ability NOW (Not just in Dorico, but in all your DAW applications) one can use a third party app called Bidule to serve as a kind of host within a host. This app has been the ultimate Swiss Army Knife for me in supplementing all of my DAWs (low level custom stuff that might not otherwise be possible in current versions of our hosts).

I can build my own unique instrument layout inside Bidule that actually mixes and matches entirely different plugins. I.E. I could use arco from HALion, martele from Garritan, pizzicato and tremolo from Kontakt, etc. The options are nearly unlimited…as Bidule can host all your VST/i/au plugins, and it can route and transform MIDI on the fly. It also can manipulate the audio stream sample by sample.

Since Dorico, in its current state can send key-switches and/or CC events, I use those to tell Bidule how to route the MIDI stream to any plugin(s)/channels I like. So if Dorico sends a Key Switch on MIDI note 3, Bidule knows to re-route the stream to a different plugin/channel.

Dorico doesn’t yet support Rewire that I know of, but if you’d like to experiment with the free demo version of Bidule to see if it’s something of interest (Only the paid version will run as a VST or VSTi), you might could set up some virtual ports and set those up as a “MIDI Instrument” in Dorico. In this scenario the audio stream would NOT come back directly through the Dorico mixer itself though…so you’d need to mix from inside Bidule or find a way to patch it back into Dorico.

If you don’t know how to set up virtual MIDI ports:
For the PC one simply installs loopMIDI
For the Mac one makes some ICA settings.

If you’d rather set up instruments on a totally separate PC, it’s possible to send the MIDI over your LAN.

Thank you, gentlemen. Brian, Bidule sounds very cool, I will have a look into that!

Maybe I am misunderstanding the original post, but I think you can get what you want today.

You’ve already setup the player with three instruments.

For the muted and col legno instruments, you don’t need an expression map since there is only one articulation. You can just use the default expression map for these.

In write mode, galley view you’ll see three staves. One for each instrument in the player. You just enter notes in the staff you want. Then when you switch to page view, you’ll see an instrument change (automagically) wherever the notes move to a different staff in galley view. Note that you need to ensure that notes are mutually exclusive among the staves.

dbudde, wow, that actually works. Almost perfectly. :slight_smile: Thank you very much!

Playback is perfect, and it’s all on one staff. The only thing now is that Dorico has added actual instrument change directives to the staff, is there some way to suppress that?

Also a minor annoyance is that the staff takes on the name of the instrument that plays the first note, not the topmost staff of the three. So I have to rename my instruments, depending on which one plays the first note.

But overall, it works! Thanks much, sir.

I think you can use a ‘blank’ name for your auxiliary ‘players’ in the Setup tab (Select the player first, then click on the > by the player you wish to rename, and choose ‘edit name’, then remove any text in the form’s blanks so they become empty).

At that point you’d need to manually set up any instrument change instructions you want throughout the score with text.

I’ve used this method before in a score to go from Tutti to Soloist and back.

For the solo player, I just kept all of the name fields empty in the Setup Tab. I selected the first note where of the measure where the solo begins, pressed “shift-x” (to enter text), chose the font/size/color I wanted, then typed “Solo”.

Brian, that almost works.

My Violins I staff, with instrument names supplied:

With the instrument name fields empty:

(Galley view for all four staves:

As you can see, Dorico still curiously leaves “To” text for the muted violins staff. The directives to change instruments for all of the other staves (none of which are prepended with “To” regardless of whether instrument names have been supplied) are completely removed. The engraving options for instrument changes do not include a flag for turning on/off the “To” prefix.

Any ideas about getting rid of that “To” text?

See Layout options> players, instrument changes section.

Thank you, dbudde. That did the trick. (Setting “Prefix for instrument change labels” to “Custom,” and leaving the “Custom prefix” field empty.)

So, the steps I had to take to marry playback to notation successfully were:

Setup Mode

  1. In Layout Options ► Players ► Instrument Changes, set the prefixing option for the player’s layout to “Custom” and leave the custom fields empty.
  2. For each sample not represented as a keyswitch, add an instrument to the player.
  3. Empty the singular name fields (long and short) for the new instrument.

Play Mode

  1. In the VST interface (invoked with the “e” button), add the required samples and set them to unique MIDI channels.
  2. Back in Dorico, properly set the VST and MIDI channel for each additional instrument.
  3. In the MIDI options for the VST (the gear icon), set the expression maps for the MIDI channels to the same expression map as the main instrument. (This is done to ensure that all playback effects, e.g. dynamics, are consistent with the main instrument staff.)

Write Mode

  • When actually writing the music, make sure that notes are applied to staves according to the desired playback. (This requires writing in Galley View.)

It’s still not perfect, because now I have no instrument names on any of the staves for that player, but it’s close enough for now.

Thanks loads for all of your assistance, gentlemen! :+1:

Good. So a question. Are you able to get the Layout options>players>instrument changes to work when trying to set it to To or Take for the prefix? I am not able to get these to show again now that they are turned off. Maybe a bug somewhere.

Yes, dbudde, if I go into Layout Options ► Players ► Instrument Changes, and I click “To” or “Take,” I see the prefix text again, as expected.

LOL, five days into a new notation application, and already I am pretty deep into playback hackery. :stuck_out_tongue: Oh well, at least I don’t have ugly greyed-out text all over my score just to get basic articulations and techniques playing properly!

Now to see if I can do something about my dynamics markings not being respected…

For me, to get more noticeable dynamics for things like crescendos, I jacked the curve for dynamics up pretty high in “Playback Options”. Usually somewhere between 3 and 4 (I’m typically using a mixture of HALion 6, HALion Symphonic Orchestra, and Garritan libraries).

In HALion 6 it’s also possible to go in and tweak the dynamic curves of individual instruments…so that helps out when trying to mix and match some other library.

In Garrtian, it’s possible to fiddle with instrument dynamic curves as well, but one needs to be comfortable working with sfz mark-up in a text editor…

Since I use Bidule, that gives me even more options for real time scaling and manipulation of these things.

Dorico’s dynamic curve translations are still not how I’d do the dynamics personally if unfurled into a tracking DAW, but I can at least get the point across that dynamics should be there with Dorico ‘out of the box’ if I fiddle with that power curve for dynamics. It’s also a decent starting point if I want to export as MIDI to tweak out a more polished mock-up in CuBase (Logic Editors make quick work of scaling and moving things about as I like them).

Someday I anticipate that Dorico will include more user adjustments on a stave by stave basis for automatic dynamic interpretation. We’ll also gradually see more and more support for this sort of thing in the expression maps from release to release. I’m also looking forward to seeing more tools in the Play Tab to get fine control over controller/note expression and individual note velocities. Add to all that the potential for LUA scripting, and the long term future looks very bright.

I’ve been playing around with Dorico since it was first released to us general public customers (Also been working with Sibelius, Finale, and MuseScore since their very early versions, so I’ve got anecdotal points of reference). Every release has indeed offered fixes and extra abilities for the play-back engine. It’s actually been progressing a little faster than I anticipated, so I’m really optimistic about the future of Dorico’s playback engine! I’m already impressed with the score entry and engraving work-flow…so the whole package is working towards being outstanding :slight_smile:


Jumping through all the multi-stave display hoops when working with advanced sample libraries in various Notation programs is exactly why I finally broke down and registered Bidule. It’s pretty rare for me to be the first to bring up a third party ‘work around’ in a forum like this (I sometimes chime in if others have already brought it up), but when I see someone cares enough about playback quality to invest in nice sample libraries that sometimes cost more than my entire hardware layout, I can’t help but mention Bidule (VEP might also be a great option, but I don’t have personal experience with that one).

Such an App/Plugin helps me avoid 95% or more of the score layout issues we’re battling in this thread TODAY (no waiting for future versions, where priority lists for various feature sets are large and tedious mine fields). It also lets me create a more or less universal set of instruments that I can control in a somewhat uniform manner no matter if I’m using Dorico, Sibelius, Finale, or my favorite Tracking DAW. It makes it really easy for me to 'build my own sections/articulations/etc." using mixed and matched plugins, and easily access them all…even in the most BASIC of hosts or DAWs with only rudimentary General MIDI playback abilities (I.E. I’m even able to patch this stuff into MuseScore…and convert Velocities into CC messages).

So for folks who care enough about playback quality to shell out half a grand or more for nice advanced sample libraries and try to use them with a Scoring Package…something like Bidule or VEP is worth the investment. If you’re not already…I’d start checking out Demos today…it’ll put you well ahead of the curve on the development of the native play-back engine for ALL of your plugin hosts.

I am definitely going to continue to look into Bidule, Brian – thanks for the great tip. After reading your praise for it and perusing the Plogue web site (and watching a couple of videos demonstrating the application), I almost bought it. It costs $100, though, so I’ll need to wait a bit before committing to a purchase.

I’ve spent WAY over half a grand for sample libraries. I’ve got two high-quality sets of complete orchestras, I’ve got Steinberg’s The Grand 3 piano package, and I’m planning on picking up a few more libraries later this year or early next year. It’s come out to nearly $3K already, and it’s just been endless frustration for me as these music notation developers always make comprehensive, intuitive, and feature-complete playback a low priority (presumably of necessity; as a long-time developer myself, I can certainly understand having to prioritize features according to the needs of one’s clientele).

Thanks loads for the tip, and I’ll likely be bugging you for pointers later on, man. :wink:

No problem MiloDC…
IM me any time :slight_smile:

Given your investment in nice libraries, something like Bidule or VEP does seem right up your alley at some point in the future.

The stand alone/rewire Demo version for Bidule is good for a solid 4 months with no restrictions, and I’ll try a few things here and send you a message on how you might get that working in some form with Dorico for experimentation if that is of interest. Of course the VST version would be more ideal, but I’m fairly confident one could get enough going with the stand alone version to take it for a good spin and see how it stacks up in your work flow.

I IM’ed you a short while ago, actually. After messing around with the demo version, I bought it. Had to have it, man.

I can’t figure out how to get Dorico to find the Bidule VST, though.

directions here:

Thanks, dbudde! Got it loaded, now.

OK so Bidule is completely super awesome and all my troubles are over. Hottest tip ever, Brian, you are THE MAN.

I don’t want to flood this thread with Bidule questions, so I’ll just IM you as I need more tips/pointers (if you don’t mind).

Thanks a million, gents!

I’d be interested in hearing about this. So please consider posting about it here or somewhere else.