How to create a single staff for piano

I wonder, how I can create a piano voice with one staff. If I choose the instrument piano in the instrument menu, always a treble/bass double -staff is created. But it must be possible, because I´ve just imported a xml-file and Dorico chose two single voiced piano instruments. But I can´t reproduce it.

If you want a single staff piano for the whole score, select one staff, right click, and do Staff / Remove Staff.

Alternatively, in Setup / Layout Options / Vertical Spacing / Hide Empty Staves, tick “allow individual staves of multi-staff instruments to be hidden”.

When you import a MusicXML file, Dorico creates instruments based on what is in the file. They don’t necessarily correspond to any “standard” instruments in Dorico’s setup mode.

Couldn’t immediately find the answer in the latest documentation… related: is it yet possible to have different dynamics for Right and Left hand in a piano single staff?

You can add dynamics to a single staff using Alt-enter to end the popover - the same as for single staff time signatures etc.

They play back correctly if the piano samples respond to note velocities and not to a MIDI controller for dynamics. Most piano VSTs work that way, but the NotePerformer piano does not.


You’ve answered my question! Thanks :slight_smile:

So with NP 3 (which I do use) there’s as yet no way to have different dynamics in G and F clefs in the same Grand Staff?

Nope, unfortunately.

For piano sounds, I strongly advise you to try pianoteq6…


Thank you: I found pianoteq6 here.

I actually already have Synthogy’s Ivory II; but haven’t investigated whether, when used as a VST instrument, I can get separate L/R dynamics.

The advantage of pianoteq6 is that, just like NotePerformer, it’s not sample-based, but modeling the physics. It’s then very small (some MB insted of GB).
But don’t buy it if you don’t need it!


This sample - despite being a little dry (can you alter the reverb, do you know, please?) - almost convinced me to buy it there and then. It’s remarkably lively, isn’t it!

Ivory II is good and I should like to try a comparison with pianoteq6.

But Ivory II will be no good if I can’t distinguish L and R dynamics. Thanks for re-drawing my attention to it :slight_smile:.

The pianoteq Bechstein isn’t as full blooded as the Steinway D. Try this demo:

You get a variety of recording options for each piano model (see attachment for an example), and if you go beyond the “entry level” version you can select your own virtual mic positions etc. There is a “built in” reverb, or since it’s a VST instrument you can use any VST effects you like in the Dorico mixer.

Thanks, Rob!

Would you say the sound and functionality of Pianoteq are better than those of Ivory II?

I’ve never used Ivory, and what people like and dislike about pianos is very person dependent. If somebody gave me a real Bosendorfer concert grand as a present (price tag between $250,000 and $500,000) depending on the exact model), I would just sell it - I’ve played one or two and I hate the things. On the other hand some people drool over them.

So, no comment - but having had a few sampled pianos before getting Pianoteq several years ago, I’m not in the market for “something better”.

As a personal comment on pianoteq, for many years my teacher had a little Grotrian-Steinweg grand (one of the Steinweg family emigrated to the USA and changed his name to Steinway, but the original company is still in business). The pianoteq Grotrian piano was a trip down memory lane to those days - it “sounds exactly the same” including the annoying little quirks the original had. They seem to have got the technology pretty well sorted out!

All understood, Rob; thanks!

The presenter in one of the videos I watched after Marc kindly suggested pianoteq was very pro Bosendorfer.

My main concern is more to be able to adjust the dynamic in the two clefs independently - as a pianist can - than with the sound.

Oddly, I played around with this in 2.2.10 and had results I was not expecting: is it perhaps the case that it actually is (now?) possible to achieve dynamic distinction between L and R with the piano that is distributed with Dorico?

And that it depends on which of the two staves is/are selected before applying a hairpin or dynamic?

HALion should respond as expected with dynamics, but it is worth the try

With apologies for hijacking this thread; and happy to have it moved to a new one if the OP’s question isn’t answered…, I tried to enter two different dynamics for G and F clefs with Ivory II as my VST as in the attached.

Although Dorico lets me do that, both staves play back ppp.

Mark, did you use Alt+Enter to close the dynamics popover, or hold the Alt key when dragging dynamics from the right panel?

In case you did something wrong creating the dynamics, this plays back with independent dynamics for me in Halion and Pianoteq.

The zip file has the dorico project and an mp3 from pianoteq (not a very exciting demo…)

Change the VST to Ivory, click the cog wheel icon, and check the expression map is “default”.
piano dynamics (700 KB)

Thanks, Leo! No I didn’t. Now I have. Better. And… is it necessary to Alt+Enter for each staff?

What - as a matter of curiosity - does that actually do; why/how is it necessary, please?

Alt makes something Voice/stave-specific rather than instrument-specific.

Try it with a time signature, key signature, octave line etc.