divisi and midi ports / channels

Hi there

My first post so apologies if not appropriate. I couldn’t find an answer in the search. I am still in my 30 day Dorico trial and loving it VERY much. But now starting to do more realistic things such as div. Here’s my problem - I want to div my cellos because half of them will play pizz and the others nat. However both sections play pizz. I have EWQL Gold and am using the KeySwitch sound. I have created the relevant expression map in Dorico so that a pizz instruction on the score works perfectly (without me having to remember the keyswitch note for pizz - this is FAB).

But in div my EWQL sound (e.g. on port 1 midi channel 4) will be unable to play both pizz and nat simultaneously. Therefore I guess I need to install two separate instances of my EWQL cello keyswitch sound (e.g. on port 1 channels 4 and 5), and have one cello subsection route to channel 4 and the other to 5.

Does anyone know if this can be done or am I forced to using the same sound for all my div subsections (not really realistic)



Welcome to the forum, Andrew. At the moment you can’t route different staves or voices belonging to the same instrument to different channels or devices, but that is something that will be possible in the next major version of the software.

Wow! That is big/great news!

This is indeed excellent news! This is one of the things I’ve been dreaming for since before Dorico was released (even since before it officially had a name).

Here’s hoping there will also be a way to route the same music to multiple channels simultaneously, useful e.g. for layering different libraries together, in situations when crafting a unified xmap to control both isn’t possible.

I’m afraid I don’t think it will be possible to route the same endpoint to multiple channels simultaneously in the next release, but that’s something we do plan to include in future.

I understand the desire to do this directly within Dorico.

But you should be able to accomplish this today without too much trouble by using something like LoopMIDI to send your output directly into a DAW. From there you can route it to your heart’s content.

I think you can do this kind of thing with Bidule also.

You can set the Garritan Aria Player in such a way that multiple sound slots have the same MIDI input channel for different instrument sounds, but if one wants to use two separate Players, that would not be possible. One would then have to use Plogue’s Bidule or another such intermediary.

Hi cparmerlee and Derrek,

Thanks for the input. Maybe if you’re willing we could talk more in another thread? I do own Bidule but so far use it in a very limited way, because I’m a dunce when it comes to anything that isn’t dots-on-paper … I’m willing to learn the audio engineering and MIDI side of things, but it certainly doesn’t come naturally to me! (I don’t even use a DAW, just Dorico and VEpro to host the plug-ins. Things like piano roll edit will always feel like a foreign language to me; I’m just not wired that way.)

I’ve tried to use Bidule in the past for what you describe, but gave up in a number of cases. Can’t remember all the specifics right now, but I kept running into situations where certain virtual instruments were very inflexible in that they wouldn’t let me change how they were set up. Sometimes I could work around this using Bidule’s transformers and re-mappers and whatnot, but I remember several cases where I just gave up, concluding that a separate expression map for each library was the only viable option in those situations.

I may have given up too early; the failures might just be down to not having invested enough into the learning curve with Bidule (for instance, I still can’t understand how the math bidules work, and every explanation I read online just leaves me more confused). If either of you is willing to spend some time answering stupid questions, I could dive back in sometime soon and remind myself what questions to ask.

No worries if you don’t have time though; far more important that you create music than help some random clueless guy! :smiley:


I have a rather strong tech BG – that was my professional career for 40 years starting with IBM 360 mainframes onward (actually I worked on some earlier computers than that, but I really don’t want to admit much of that.) Even so, I also gave up on Bidule. It seems very clever and powerful, but also seems to be its own ecosystem that one must invest heavy time to understand. As I work with both DAWs and notation programs heavily, I really didn’t want to have to learn an entirely separate ecosystem. Lazy, I guess.

If you have not worked on DAWs, then you will probably find that a heavy learning curve. However, the good news is that there are a dozen or more popular DAWS, but they all have essentially the same core set of features and mostly the same workflow options and terminology. I would suggest it may be worthwhile to start to get comfortable with the DAW world because we will be seeing plenty of convergence between DAW and notation. There is already a lot of overlap. Working with a DAW, one finds that most of the real action is actually in the VST effects and VST instruments, which are mostly 3rd party plug-ins. And almost all of those plug-ins work directly within Dorico today. So it may not be such an overwhelming thing to become at least DAW-aware. That doesn’t mean you have to compose in the piano roll.

In addition to Cubase and Nuendo, which are high-end products with a huge array of features (and price tags to match), you might want to look at Reaper (not very expensive and excellent,) or Cakewalk by Bandlab (completely free and also excellent.) That’s a way to get started without spending a lot of money.

I would be happy to participate in a thread devoted to that particular topic.

I could be wrong, but as I currently understand things without digging for a closer look…

In the case of getting multiple timbers from the same stave divisi style, I’m not sure Bidule is going to solve the issue with any precise degree of predictiblity. While it might be possible work out some bidules to do some voice splitting (check some gates for open notes, and route the higher note to one instrument, and the lower one to another)…it wouldn’t be a simple bidule, and you could easily run into some major issues as you teach Bidule to ‘guess’ how it should be divying up the notes. I.E. What if the parts sharing a stave cross voices? Not all that uncommon if some of the players are doing arco, and some pizzicato.

Another possibility for a bidule might be to send a CC with EVERY NOTE, on the same tick as the note_on, to control a routing gate. This could work, but it’d require you to do a lot of extra fiddling making sure every note gets a tag of some sort, and perhaps shifting a lot of note start times around ever so slightly in Dorico’s play mode when things clash and don’t seem to be working right. Some of this we can cover with the expression maps, but ultimately, I don’t think all this extra work would be worth the trouble. By the time we finished and debugged the bidule…Dorico 3 will probably be here…with improved support for divsi voicing and condensed score needs.

What I suggest instead, is make a couple of independent staves for each divisi part as well. Ultimately, you’ll just connect your visual condensed variety of staves to a dummy instrument that makes no sound, and have your independent staves being in charge of playback. Later, you’d use filters to hide your ‘playback staves’ from engrave or page modes (while they’ll still show up in galley mode).

If I understand correctly, Dorico 3 may well have some advanced features on the way that’ll help a great deal with doing condensed scores, or working with divsi part writing. I think it’ll more or less guiding us to compose each part on its own staff from the very beginning, with options to easily toggle between condensing players to fewer, or more staves.

As for things Bidule CAN help you with…these would be more along the lines of:

Monitoring and Trouble shooting. If you ever want to know ‘exactly’ what a stave is sending at its lowest levels…route it through a bidule instance, as it has quite a set of MIDI monitoring abilities. I.E. While working on that uber expression map, something isn’t right, but you need more information as to why? Bidule to the rescue. It can tell you things about the stream that the status line in the Play tab cannot.

Mixing and matching sounds coming from multiple plugins, or bouncing channels around for multi-timberal plugins. I.E. Say you’d like a single player/stave who has arco coming from East West, some harmonics coming from HALion, some UP/DOWN bow variations coming from ARIA, and so on. Bidule would allow you to easily bounce about between different plugins for a given player/stave.

Instrument Layering. One could build up sections of instruments, even coming from a wide variety of plugins.

Reducing the number of drum maps you might have to contend with…while also having a given percussion layout ‘portable’ across different hosts. Again, you could mix and match plugins, but you could keep a more or less uniform/universal drum map for Dorico if desired.

ARP Engines. Sometimes you might want to build an ornament of some sort that Dorico can recognize as an interpretive sign, but doesn’t know how to interpret or playback in and of itself.

Special Effects…endless options and abilities here. I.E. Crossfading between different sounds (even if coming from different plugins).

Locking an audio file in sync with Dorico. Dorico doesn’t have audio tracking capabilities, but you can fudge them in to some degree with Bidule. It’s not going to be tracking DAW precision, but it can still be rather helpful.

Rendering staves to an audio format. I.E. If after loading up a bunch of VST/i plugins, you start running out of system resources, you could render some staves to pure audio, mute out the plugins, and sync up the resulting audio with Dorico’s transport. This can help free up resources for loading/using new and different plugins.

Mixer Slot Plugin Chaining…what if you run out of effect slots? With Bidule you can chain in all your heart desires (up to your system’s resource limits).