Copying notes from one open file to another without reloading sounds

Hi guys,
this is driving me nuts!
I’m arranging a piece for a different orchestration. So i open the “old” file with the old instrumentation and the “new” blank file containing the new instruments. Then i would simply rewrite the notes or copy this from that instrument and paste that into this instrument in the new file and so on… Since both files use a rather large instrumentation, do i really have to wait after every switch between the windows until the whole vst’s are reloaded? I didn’t need the sounds of the old file, but would like to have the sounds of the new file fix loaded. Is there a way, except using “Silent” for both files? Please say yes!

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You could import the old file as a separate flow in your new project, and copy and paste from there? When importing, you can choose to have separate players, which you can then select and delete once you’re done.


Hm… yes thanks, that’s better than my method so far. But far from ideal, since you have to jump between the flows and find every time the position you currently are. :thinking:

Why not just add the new players to the imported flow, do the copying and pasting vertically, then unassign the old players from the imported flow when you’re done? Or leave them assigned so that you have one arrangement above the other, then unassign them from the layout?

This is certainly the method I use if I need a piano reduction of an orchestra, for instance - all the reduction happens in the one flow, then I print a layout that doesn’t have any piano and a layout that doesn’t have any orchestral players.

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Do you use this approach also with bigger orchestrations? Say arranging a orchestral work for a wind ensemble (both with say 20+ staves)?

I can’t see why not. I’d just set up one set of players above the other (in the left panel of Setup mode. I have a relatively large monitor here, but even with a smaller display I’d much rather scroll vertically than jump from flow to flow.

If you don’t want to hear the original players, mute them in the mixer.

Ok thanks, will give it a try!

Ok, this workaround is better, but it seems to me quite labor-intensiv to achieve such a simple task as to work with two sheets. And after writing some dozens of bars i have to change my mouse-wheel, i fear… :wink:

I would also like to see some improvement in this area, in time.

Dorico currently has a power “button” - it looks and acts like a button, but at least on my system (Windows 10, Dorico 3.5.12) it doesn’t actually do anything - it’s just a visual indicator for which project is active (which directly correlates with which window most recently had focus). The fact you can click it, coupled with the documentation labeling this as “activate project” (as opposed to “active project” or “active project indicator”) - i.e. suggesting it actually does something, and isn’t just an indicator - had me a little confused when first using Dorico and switching between projects, trying to keep one project active and another deactivated.

I would like to see this button utilized to its full extent. In an ideal world:

  • Have the default behaviour as it is now: Each project is in a “passive” state, it becomes active when in focus, and gives up that active state when another project takes focus.
  • Clicking the power button enables a “force active” state, where the project is always active. Clicking away to any other project will not deactivate a project that has been forced active. A project that gains focus (is clicked on) that is in the “passive” state, will no longer become active, if any other open project is “forced active”.
  • Multiple projects (if the audio engine can support it) can be “forced active” at the same time. All of these projects will load their VIs into RAM, allowing for switching between two projects and playing back audio without any interruptions.
  • If the audio engine cannot support multiple active projects, then clicking on the power button in any other project will “steal” the forced active state away from any other forced active project, and become forced active itself.

With this workflow, a user can:

  • Work as they do now (leave everything at default)
  • Have one project always active (force activate it) and another never active (it won’t activate because the first is forced active) - which is the workflow @frave is requesting
  • (If possible) have multiple projects active at the same time, by force activating each of them

I like to compose by first creating a sketchpad of ideas, and then drawing from those ideas as I form the complete piece. Currently I use flows for that, but I’d like the flexibility to have the ideas kept in a separate project, so that my main project is kept clean - only containing the actual “final” musical flows.

If possible, being able to have two (or more) projects active simultaneously would be a huge production boost for me. I could switch between my ideas project and actual project instantaneously, be able to playback in either, enter notes/record in either, without any time spent waiting for samples to load.

On a related note, VEPro could perhaps offer this kind of functionality today, since it allows running VIs in a “detached” state - each project, when activated, simply connects to the existing VEPro instances (an almost instant process, versus loading samples into RAM). The only thing I haven’t figured out yet is how to use VEPro with something like NotePerformer. As far as I can tell, the two are incompatible due to NotePerformer relying on Dorico to send program change messages so that it loads instruments into the appropriate channels. Even if I figured out routing those messages via VEPro, I’m guessing two projects might have the instruments loaded in a different order (based on how they were added to the project), meaning that a detached VEPro instance wouldn’t work for multiple projects. So, for now, I’m not using VEPro with Dorico - if anyone knows how to wire Dorico, VEPro and NotePerformer together to support switching projects instantly, I’d love to hear from you!



I was just going to say, until you beat me to it, that using VE Pro will allow the sort of thing which @frave is asking for. That is provided that a bit of work is put in to create a template which includes the complete orchestra (excluding any one off instruments which could be added manually if necessary). Unused instruments in individual scores would simply be ignored. Another advantage of VE Pro is that instruments from different libraries can be combined as required. Swapping between projects then takes no more than a few seconds.

As for NotePerformer, I think it’s unlikely that it can be made to work but I can’t really see the need as NP loads very quickly anyway. The issue is really with the heavyweight libraries from vendors like VSL and Spitfire.

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The power button in Dorico’s toolbar has been there since version 1.0 but as yet is still just a pretty icon, but we certainly do intend to implement the ability to have only one project active at any given point. Hopefully (hopefully! not a promise) this will be done in the next major version of the software.


If the power button can’t be implemented in the next major version (which would be a great pity), consider please changing the behaviour of the “Silence” template as follows: if a project uses “Silence”, do nothing… rather than unloading all vst’s! So the instruments of the other project are kept in the memory. Maybe this is a simpler implementation and would be a huge benefit nonetheless.

At the moment VEPro has been a big help for me in these situations. Another workflow is to import the other file as a flow and work from there.

Quite often when I try to copy notes from one project to another dorico hangs or crashes, so I’ve learned to be very careful with that.

Yes, this happened to me, too.