Future possibilities: Pitched & unpitched percussion in percussion kit?

I just came across another one’s post right here: Percussion Staff Collision - Dorico - Steinberg Forums
It’s something I have been wondering a bit myself off late how Dorico can handle this currently or in the future.

Let me maybe first explain my main use case for Dorico. I am a percussionist and often have to re-write parts because I’m having to combine multiple parts (at the moment I’m reworking 3 percussion + timpani part to be played by myself alone. With omissions off course :slight_smile:).
I choose Dorico because I like the possibilities with the “percussion kit”, it’s really flexible, easy to set up and adjust, … Also the combination between 5-line staff (for printed parts) with single-line notation (for working score) is really nice for me.

However I often come across the situation where pitched & unpitched percussion have to go on the same part. And then the struggle begins.
I can of course create a percussion “kit” for all the unpitched, then add more (pitched) instruments to the same player. When there is sufficient rest between pitched and unpitched the instrument change will be clearly labelled with “To percussion” and “To Xylophone” for example. This already poses a first issue: no automatic labelling of the unpitched percussion instruments. So instead of telling me “To triangle” I get the not-so-informative “To percussion”.
Second issue is when there is a quick change between pitched and unpitched (within the same bar for example). Then the percussion & treble/bass clef are put somewhere in the middle of the bar which is absolutely unnecessary (see also the screenshot in the linked post).

I think both issues could be solved if we were allowed to place pitched and unpitched percussion in a percussion kit/instrument.
Are there any plans to do something like that in a future version of Dorico? If not at all, then I’ll just have to learn the most efficient way that exists.

I’m a bit confused. If you’ve added Triangle as an instrument, shouldn’t it say “To Triangle” when you switch to it? “Percussion” is not the instrument here, that’s the player.

It does seem silly that the treble clef appears twice wen both instruments are treble clefs anyways. I suspect this is due to the marimba being a grand staff instrument that I just hid the bass clef from.

Yes indeed this is what happens when using Triangle as an instrument. But not when the Triangle is part of a percussion kit (because there is also suspended cymbal a little further, …).

Additionally, it quite unconventional to see these single line instruments. As long as it’s only for myself that’s not an issue. But when writing parts for others it might be confusing because they simply are not used to see it written in that way.

Check 22 minutes into this video:

In properties, you can customize the text for when you’re using a kit.

Regarding the line changes, I’ve seen that before so I don’t think it’s that confusing - though it can be cleaner if you maintain the 5-line and assign the different lines to different instruments so what you’re doing is good too. Just that the switch to 1 line for triangle and whatnot is not a big deal, I don’t think, if that were to happen.

Hmm, I’ll have to make some time for the entire video. It might be very interesting to what I’m doing most of the time. Thanks for pointing me in this direction!

The part at 22 minutes shows some workarounds which is good to have. But it only addresses the “labelling” part. And it’s a lot of work.
On a quick check, I don’t have the “Paragraph styles” in Elements 4. Maybe there is another way to change these defaults? Because if not, then it’s going to look messy.

Dorico Elements 4 doesn’t provide the ability to edit paragraph, character or font styles, but this is included in Dorico Elements 5, if you’re interested in updating.

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Another good reason to upgrade then. :slight_smile:

As an example of what it would look like when using separate instruments in my current project:

This could be so much more elegant if the suspended symbal is just displayed on the 5-line staff of the Timpani, with label for “Sus. Cym.” on the first note, wouldn’t you agree?

I don’t know my way around percussion kits (despite having played percussion all through school, I mostly work on strings/winds/brass these days when in notation). I just used a couple minutes of google and skimming that video to find the bit on custom text (I didn’t watch the whole thing either).

You had 2 problems, and it sounds like if you upgrade to Elements 5, you’ll be down to 1! Improvements!

In my few minutes poking around at this, the clefs situation doesn’t seem to present immediate solutions. That’s unfortunate, but hopefully someone here will have a better understanding of Dorico who knows how to deal with the clefs problem.

The text bit might be a bit tedious, but I don’t really see much of a better system. If you think about it labelling every instrument in the kit every time, that’s going to get cluttered and redundant super quick.

You can use a five line staff for the cymbals if they are in a kit.

Keeping everything on a five-line staff might be elegant, but what you have already is a lot clearer showing when switches occur.