Drum Set Shenanigans

There are so many things that I’m loving about Dorico right now, but I’m really getting bogged down with drum set notation.

Last night I had the snare drum sound disappear from playback seemingly for no reason and couldn’t figure out how to get it back. I copied and pasted the part into a new player, exported my drum set kit, imported it back into the new player and the snare sound came back. BUT - the mapping from my MIDI keyboard stopped working on the imported kit. In fact that last bug seemed universal, whenever I export a kit and import it, the MIDI keyboard won’t communicate the right MIDI notes to the staff any more. I’m using the “Use Percussion Map” option in the preferences btw; it seems to work ok when I switch it to “use staff position” though. Odd bug in my opinion, and I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to reset everything to get it to work again. Ultimately, I ended up just rebuilding my drum kit from scratch and now it works fine. But… it all seems a bit unstable in my opinion, especially considering everything else in Dorico has been working like clockwork on my computer for quite a while.

And then there is this. Check out the 3 screen grabs. So, I finally understand the process of voices in the drum kits, you’ve got to choose up or down stems for each instrument in the kit setup and then if you want to override that in certain locations you use the Edit>Percussion>Change Voice>Down-stem or Up-stem Voice 1. Works great… except when there are tuplets involved… apparently.

The first image is what I entered, the second image is what I selected and the the third image is after selecting Edit>Percussion>Change Voice>Up-Stem Voice 1. Obviously I want an 8th note triplet in the snare with up stems and a quarter note in the bass drum. This is what Dorico gives me… and I have no idea why, and I can’t seem to finagle the program into giving me the proper notation here. As a test I also tried this in a fresh Dorico default file and got the same result. What’s going on here? I’m so close to being able to employ Dorico full time, but I got to have drum set notation figured out.


The work-around I found, by the way is to create a second snare drum instrument in the Kit editor with up stems. So, now my kit has two snare drums in it. But it’s still a little finicky getting that second up-stem snare notated.

There are certainly some problems inherent in using tuplets in multiple voices at the moment. I think you should be able to sort this out by selecting the faulty up-stem notes and choosing Edit > Percussion > Change Voice > Extra Up-stem Voice; that may be enough to make the tuplet bracket and beam reappear, or it may not, in which case selecting those notes and tupletifying them by typing ; and then 3:2 into the tuplet popover should take care of it.

Thanks for the suggestion, Daniel. But neither of those solutions seem to solve the issue.
Anyway, I believe you guys are aware of some of the other limitations in percussion notation like not being able to force the duration of a rest or even just remove a rest. I’m looking forward to having all of this sorted out as I happen to write a lot of drum set parts.

It’s an interesting take on dealing with drum notation that Dorico has taken. In some instances when you’re inputting a very basic kick, snare, HH pattern you can input it all at once and Dorico magically puts the notes in the right up or down stem orientation… that’s a pretty helpful behavior. But it seems that when you start notating even slightly more complex drum set parts Dorico’s intelligence seems to get in the way a lot. I find myself flipping voices, extending durations and generally manipulating (man-handling, really) the notes in drum set parts a lot. In many cases it seems it would be more efficient for the user to be able to say “hey, I’m inputting up-stem voices here” then “and now I’m inputting down-stem voices” in the same manner that you would do that on any other staff.

Just my 2 cents… for whatever that’s worth! lol

Yes, certainly in future we do intend to make it possible to edit rests on five-line staff and grid percussion presentation types, but it’s not something that’s likely to be coming immediately. I agree that doing complex parts where you need to have the same instruments showing notes in different stem directions or want to combine them onto stems differently is tricky with the present design, but I don’t think we will be changing the fundamental approach that we’ve taken.

Yeah. I don’t DISlike the current design per se… it just needs a little… finessing I guess.

Carry on… :wink:

I don’t understand why you can’t just choose the colour of a rest in a percussion notation and change the opacity like you can do it with normal pitched notes. This would at least help with making rests ‘invisible’.

Percussion kits are unlike other staves, in that they dynamically condense music that internally is stored on multiple staves (one for each instrument). As such, the rest aren’t real.

I would love to be able to edit rests in percussion grids as well. I just needed it and found out about the problem.