Divisi, IRV, and Unison


I’ve search the forum for similar questions and, though similar questions do arise, I think what I’m trying to do is a bit different.

Let’s use an ensemble, let’s say, of just two horns. I’d like two modes:

  1. Unison (both horns)
  2. Divisi (each horn as a separate voice)

I can get the notation to look great, and when I turn on IRV, it almost gets exactly what I want. However, I would love to route the unison line to both voices, rather than just one. So, something like this:

  1. Unison: MIDI channels 1 and 2
  2. Divisi Voice 1: MIDI channel 1
  3. Divisi Voice 2: MIDI channel 2

Is this possible?


Hi David, you can use 2 voices in the unison line.

Hi mmka,

What do you mean exactly? When I have a unison line, it automatically copies to the notes to the other staves.

Do you mean adding a second voice, with the same notes, to the unison line? Agreed that will work, but it’s a bit inconvenient (unless there are shortcuts).


Hi David,

You are right. That is a little unconveniant. I just didn’t realize enough that it is not only just one staff, but 2 instruments, playing the same note. Sorry for that.
I was just thinking: if your vsti is a multitimbral instrument, you can put 2 instances, 2 instruments with the same channel number into it. So 2 instruments are playing then the same note. Or if you are using Vienna Ensemble or Vienna Ensemble pro, you can put 2 instruments with the same channel number in it. That gives also the result you want. Hope this helps more. Good luck.

Ah, yeah, in that case, I would move one of the divisi lines to a separate voice.

Do you know if, in Kontakt for example, you can have the same instrument respond to 2 MIDI inputs and have two outputs?

Can you post an image of what the notation looks like? The 2 horns are sharing 1 staff? Why can’t you use Condensing for this?

I could have this in Galley, so each staff clearly can have it’s own playback assignment:

With Condensing turned on it will look like one staff in Page view:

Maybe I’m not understanding what you are trying to do though. If you could post an image of what the notation actually looks like it might help.

Hi FredGUnn,

For your example, I assume you are not utilizing the divisi feature and just adding multiple solo horn players, allowing condensing to simplify the notation? Please correct me if I am wrong.

That seems like it’ll work, but it’s a bit less convenient because you would have to copy the notation between staves when they are in unison. Not a deal breaker, but a bit inconvenient.

Here’s a very simplified example of what I’m trying to do:

In the first measure, despite it appearing as two staves, Dorico handles the copying of the notes to the second staff, so you’re only editing it in one place (and it would be condensed to a single staff if the system had no divisi sections).

Here’s what play mode looks like with IRV:

Notice that Staff (b) doesn’t have the music from bar 1. That’s the only change I would want.


Ah, got it. To be honest, I’ve only used the divisi feature with strings. I’m not sure it’s really designed to route playback for multiple individual instruments like this. I would think either Condensing or mmka’s suggestion of multiple voices would work to get the playback you want, although you’ll obviously have to copy and paste the unison lines with either of those options.

EDIT: Divisi also has the downside of both staves then appearing in the one part layout, which is not the usual practice for individual instruments. (Brass and woodwind players typically hate this anyway.)

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Makes sense.

In that case, is there a way to have one instrument mirror another instrument for a certain region? That would accomplish the same effect, without the drawbacks you describe.

Otherwise, manually copying seems fine :slight_smile:

You can extend the caret over those two staves to input the music at both staves at once. Otherwise it is propably fastest to simply copy the notation after it is finished on the upper staff.

Dynamics will then be linked, so if you change dynamics on the upper staff they will change on the bottom staff as well.