When using ‘divisi’ to create a Solo + gli altri situation for the first violins, one wants a solo violin sample to play the Solo part and a violin section sample to play gli altri. As well, one doesn’t necessarily want the articulations that are assigned to one part to apply to both parts.
My (limited) understanding of how to do this is — in Play mode — to divide Violin 1 into ‘Voices’, and assign Upstem Voice 1 to one of the parts (i.e., ‘solo’ or ‘gli altri’) and Upstem Voice 2 to the other, and then – for each – to choose a separate channel in one’s VST instrument and load the appropriate samples (Violin solo and violins). Is this the proper method? (If it isn’t, is there a video tutorial around anywhere?)
As soon as you have a divisi passage and you enable Independent Voice Playback, you will see a Staff (a) upstem voice 1 and a Staff (b) upstem voice 1. the staff (a) would be your solo part. The staff (b) is the gli altri.
If you play unison it will use the staff (a) upstem 1.
So you need a second voice for the solo violin or the tutti (not gli altri).
I’ve been reading about “independent Voice Playback”, but I can’t find it in Dorico. I’m using Dorico 3.5 – I wonder if anyone knows whether this exists in that version?
This is the part that I don’t understand. Would one use this method (independent staves for the soloist and the rest of the violins 1, rather than a solo/gli altri split) in order to let the solo be part of tutti passages? Would solo/gli altri be an appropriate method if the soloist is never called upon to be part of the tutti?
Short answer: Probably no.
The divisi exist do divide a section into subsection (two groups, Solo-gli altri, etc.). The layout created will include all divisi you created.
If your soloist will never play with the section. You probably should create a “Single Player” (i guess those are Solo Players in 3.5) and a “Section Player”.
If you have a solo violin (who never plays the tutti) as @Derrek and @Nukkul say, you should use a separate player, not least because you want the soloist to have their own part layout, rather than appear in the tutti violin 1 part layout.
When you restore unison, the music has to go on the staff that remains, which is the upper staff.* Then in page view the unison music automatically appears on both staves until the end of the system.
*) So, unless I’m mistaken, the line for the rest of the section has to jump from one staff to the other and back. To the team: I encountered this situation in a score just today, and it felt wrong. The solo staff goes above gli altri, but there’s no way to add the solo staff above. (Is there?)