Dorico Pro & VSL SYzd Percussion Orchestral PM & EM's

I’m working on creating these EM & PM’s for instruments in SYzd Percussion Orchestral with the idea of sharing them with others that have the same libraries.

So having said that, I’m looking for other Dorico & VSL users that have been working on PM & EM’s so as to have a dialogue between us on what we’ve accomplished, challenges we’re running into, how we’ve solved the challenges, test each other’s PM & EM’s for these instruments.

Anyone up for this? Would it be of any use for someone other than me?

Let me know.

Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter.


Hi Alex, Fell free to put questions in this thread. I have just finalized creating a template for Synchron Percussion I-III. To make it work and keep some clarity I did have to add a lot of techniques and additional instruments which makes sharing difficult.

For unpitched percussion I have for nearly all instruments used a combination of EM, with e.g. the beaters and PM with the actual techniques. Nearly all beaters had to be added. I also misused the EM to steer to different type of instruments which in the VSL preset have a key switch. So e.g. for high, medium and low claves, pipe or egg shakers.

I assume that Synchronized percussion has the same basic setup in the synchron player. There are a lot of samples such a glissandos, and crescendos which cannot be activated however xf rolls work well. Attention if you have not changed any default middle C, in the Synchron player or Dorico, you have to put all cc in the PM and EM one octave higher than shown in the VSL keyboard map in the Synchron player. I am not sure if changing a middle C in Dorico will automatically adapt all previously made PMs and EMs so I have not touched this setting.

The biggest issue I am still having with Dorico‘s unpitched percussion instruments is that the techniques are not saved globally in the instrument setup. So each time I open a new document and add a percussion instrument. it correctly connects with the VSL instrument but in the setup there will only be a natural technique or whatever the Doric default is in the instrument list. The edit button which would be need for a global technique per instrument list is missing in Dorico 5.

A quick workaround for this is to add the instrument with all the techniques you defined to a percussion kit, then export the kit. In a new file, import the kit you just exported with that instrument, then remove the instrument from the kit. Once removed from the kit, the instrument should have all the techniques you previously defined.

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Sure! I did a bunch of these, but most of them were just to get through a specific project and not comprehensive. I think I made fairly comprehensive Bongos and Congas maps, but everything else was just what was needed. I’d be happy to share in collaborate in a couple of weeks once my current deadlines are over.

Thanks for your replies. I feel a little less alone. :wink:
So I’ve finished the following instruments, so far, all from the SYzd Percussion Orchestral Instruments:
Steel Springs
Brake Discs
Steel Rails
Slap Sticks
Log Drums
Triangle A & B

For all of these I’ve also used a combo of EM & PM. So far so good.
I’ve been trying to use the default Playback Techniques Dorico comes with. You can get REALLY creative with new stuff that might work for me, but it sounds like it won’t work when I share my set up with others.
Here’s a chart I made for Triangle A & B with the PM & EM settings.

Everything is almost working as expected. I am running into the problem that when going from any of the options back to the single stroke (Natural), it doesn’t change; the playback has no sound.
Any ideas of what I might be missing?

Thanks Fred I know the workaround but I don’t think the techniques are saved globally that way. You have to import the saved kit(s) in each new project and remove the players and allocate them to a new player if you do not want them all to be played by one player. As alternative I use a project template with all instruments I might want in an orchestral work which I then clean up if I do not need some instruments(players for that particular piece.

Algue… That is a very nice summary. One question however how do you activate all those dynamic samples in your score? As mentioned in another recent thread the usual dynamic markers do not activate instructions given in a PM and for an EM entry you would also need a user added marker to activate the dynamic samples.

Regarding the issue of refusing to jump back to natural it is often a bit trial and error. I see that you have allocated an additional layer for the three basic techniques single stroke, static rolls and dynamic rolls yourself which you use in the EM. In the manual all switches are on the same level as given in your column “Instr. Samples” defined in the PM. So in principle you do not need the entries C#1 and D1 in the EM and they might actually prevent you from going back to single stroke C3 (your natural). Maybe adding that cc in the EM as C1 (or C3) as add-on or with your Base natural line will work.

You might also need a mutual exclusion list of all technique lines defined your in the EM to be able to jump back and forth through all.

I created Playing Technique Icons that are assigned to trigger these.
The following chart shows you what they are and do:
SYzd Percussion Orchestral Instr.-Triangles A&B playing tech. Icons.pdf (213.3 KB)

I played around a bit more with the EM and only after I added the C1 key switch to the Natural, all started working as expected. I also manually added mutually excluding list of playback tech.
I need to look into the VSL manual a bit more and understand what you’re referring to.
Here’s the updated chart I had sent before:

What I understand is that we don’t seem to be able to import/export these playing technique icons yet, even though when I bought the EM & PM for another library I have, the creators where able to include these into the original list Dorico has; I guess they must do it with some kind of coding. In any case, for now it seems anyone could get the EM & PM I’m creating, but them will have to manually create the icons/texts in the playing technique lists.
Anyway, I appreciate your feedback/questions; they are making me have to think about what I’m doing.

Very nice these markers. You can add a playing technique in the list and use a glyph to activate it rather than a text. That glyph (or the text you used) then appears in the articulations list on the right. I am not sure however if you can upload your own glyphs. There is a huge database with many different categories however you canuse. It needs some time to browse through all of them.

If it works is another matter. In a different thread I mentioned that I tried a user added glyph from that database to activate the sizzle technique but it did not work. I then used the Dorico standard buzz roll Z stem instead and it worked correctly.

Yeah. It’s a trial & error process.
All the ones I’m sharing come from the glyph lists available in Dorico, and they so far trigger the right samples. They’re a combo of glyphs & text.
About imports, the program seems to allow using pdf, jpeg or png file. I created one in another program and then imported it to Dorico to use as a trigger symbol in my score.
About the sizzle in my experience so far, you need to have that playback technique showing up in the PM, EM & playing technique. As I’m learning, you can use any playback technique to trigger any sample, regardless of the name it has.
In any case, glad the buzz roll worked for you.