Drumline Sounds for Dorico 4

Hey all,

I’m looking for a decent drumline sfz for snares, bass drums, and tenors. Unfortunately I don’t have access to the fund necessary right now to dive into VDL.

For me, something either free or reasonably affordable is preferred. If anybody has any suggestions, let me know.

I tried to see if I could get Musescore’s MDL to work with Dorico, to no avail yet. Unfortunately I’m pretty inexperienced when it comes to making custom percussion maps and whatnot. I have Musescore’s sfzs for their MDL instruments, and I have .drm files (drumset files, I believe) which are what Musescore uses to create percussion maps, but the .drm files are not compatible with Dorico so when putting the MDL sounds into Dorico I can’t get them to map currectly to the actual notation. If anybody has any pointers on how to make this work (or has done it and can share their resources with me) that would be fantastic as well!

For sfz file playback

Musescore files will not (on their own) be compatible with Dorico.
You do not say which Operating System and version you are using. I am not sure whether the Plogue player is VST2 or VST3 now. VST2 will not run on recent Macs unless under Rosetta.

See also

for free sounds.

Dorico already comes with lots of drum sounds in HALion, and if you have Dorico 5, there’s Groove Agent SE, too.

Does GA have drumline sound kits (either free or add-on)?

Apologies. I’m using a Mac on Ventura 13.5, and I do have Plogue (which, based on what you’ve stated, must be VST3). The new MuseSounds files will not work with Dorico, but MDL drumline sounds are SFZs and aren’t technically available with Musescore 4 yet either. You can download them right out of the program files from Musescore 3 as sfzs, and using that plogue vst3 player as my audio engine for my drumline instruments in Dorico 4 allows me to hear the mdl sounds when providing input from my midi keyboard, but will not provide playback, meaning that I can hear them but they aren’t latching to the notes I’ve written. I tried making a custom percussion map, for example:

  • MDL assigns a regular hit on the snare drum to C4 (midi note 60).
  • I want that “pitch” to be notated as a C5 on my score.
  • In order to achieve this, I created a percussion map that theoretically should route note C4 to the C5 staff position, so I’ve gone and done this:
  1. Created a new percussion map
  2. Added note C5 (midi note 72) to the list of “used” notes
  3. Gave it all necessary information
  4. Set the “key switch” to 60, which is midi note C4

My hope was that doing this would mean that when I press C4 on my keyboard it would route to C5 on the staff while still providing the correct playback, etc.

Hope this gives the necessary context

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I’m no expert, but I thought a percussion map mapped the notes to the instrument name/type, e.g. C4 is Snare. I’m not sure you can map C4 to C5.

However, SFZ files are text, and fully editable documents. You should be able to remap the keys that trigger the sample to what you want.

Alternatively, you can transpose the Expression Map, or perhaps even with clefs.

This is news to me! I will certainly look into that, that might be the solution. So far in my tinkering I’ve gotten it so that I can map pitches correctly for playback purposes, but when writing it looks like I am not able to hear those correct pitches in real time. It will play back when writing in real time as whatever that note is associated with in the sfz, but in playback dorico will route it to what I’m looking for - weird problem to run into, but I will try editing the sfz itself.

You don’t need to use the Keyswitch field in the percussion map. That is intended for use when you need to additionally play another note along with the specified note in the percussion map to trigger an extra sound, e.g. note 60 produces a simple snare hit, but if you also hold down note 48, note 60 will produce a snare hit with a different kind of stick.

The basic steps for setting up custom percussion mappings are outlined here:

I think it should be possible to set up the MDL sounds in Dorico without too much trouble following these principles. Let us know if you run into further problems.

Another update - been messing with this all day, lol.

So, I’ve found relative success with editing the sfz’s in the text editor, which has allowed me to just type away on my midi keyboard and input notes easier than ever.

HOWEVER - playback is still weird.
I can’t for the life of me get Dorico to play all three instruments at once.

What’s happening is this: I plug in my notation, set up the audio routing, and hit play. As soon as I hit play, no matter the setting, Dorico chooses (or the VST chooses) to mute all instruments except for one. It seems to prefer the bass drums for some reason.

More in depth explanation:
I’m started out using Plogue’s Sfortzando plugin. Using this you only get one channel, so you have to create a separate instance of the VST in your VST rack to get all three instruments. Not necessarily a problem. However no matter what, when doing this, you get only one track. Couldn’t figure that one out, so switched to a different plugin.
Tried using Aria (default for Finale I believe, also from Plogue) which has multiple channels. You can set this up similarly to Halion in that you can assign each instrument a channel in the VST which, in theory, should output each instrument when playing.
This is not the case. For some reason, on this one when I hit play it auto-mutes two out of theee of the used channels (within Aria, not within dorico) causing me to lose audio in those channels and hear, in most cases, only the bass drums.