Importing Midi Files

Midi files of Drum tracks from Logic Pro X as well as from EZDrummer don’t get correctly imported to Dorico (I have Dorico Elements 3.5), drums get imported as flute (screenshots attached

Similarly, midi files of Drum track made in Dorico also don’t get correctly imported into logic. I seem to be doing something wrong but can’t figure out what, been trying for weeks now. Can someone give me a solution please.


The problem with MIDI files is that there is nothing in them to say that they are drums - they are just a sequence of notes. So neither Dorico nor Logic can tell whether a MIDI file is drums or not. There’s a few things you can do though. In Logic, set the drums to be on channel 10 and call the track ‘Drums’ or ‘Percussion’, and then when you import into Dorico, select the option to import channel 10 as drums, and/or set the option to identify instruments from track names.

Also, you can add a Drum Set instrument to your Dorico project and switch to Play Mode, then just drag and drop the MIDI file into the Drum Set lane. If you are using EZDrummer then I’ve written a percussion map for it - if you set the instrument in Dorico to use this percussion map then you’ll get better results if you drag and drop from EZDrummer:

Thanks a lot Paul for the quick response. I tried using the EZDrummer expression map but it didn’t work. I also tried your suggestion for Logic Pro x, while it did work once and Dorico interpreted the midi correctly, however, subsequently it was interpreting as Flute despite the channel 10 having been selected in logic for exporting midi drum tracks.

Ya, this is a real drag, that Dorico can’t really handle this smoothly, coz it would save me MASSIVE time if I could import drum midi.
I’ve set the name of the track to “drum set” in my DAW and selected the option to recognize Channel 10 drums in Dorico, but the track still gets imported as flute. :frowning:

Is there any plan for Dorico to make importing and exporting midi for drums work any better? If so, when will this be available. It seems like there is a lot of great stuff to a point then it all just quits working when you try to work with the outside world. If someone is getting this to work, I would be so grateful to know how you did it?

We certainly do plan to expand Dorico’s capabilities in importing drum kit notation from MIDI. The problem is that MIDI does not provide any means for any application to know what instrument each pitch in the drum track corresponds to, so you need some kind of mapping such that the application can understand that MIDI note 36 corresponds to a kick drum, MIDI note 48 corresponds to a closed hi-hat, MIDI note 49 to an open hi-hat (or whatever).

In Dorico, that mapping is provided by percussion maps, which you can create and edit in Play > Percussion Maps. Provided you have a percussion map that correctly describes the role of each MIDI pitch in the track in terms of the drum and playing technique it represents, you’re halfway there.

The missing ingredient at the moment is that Dorico cannot automatically add new instruments to the drum kit you are using in your Dorico project, even if it recognises the MIDI pitch and knows what instrument it corresponds to because it exists in the percussion map. This is the main improvement we need to make in the future, such that Dorico can automatically add new instruments to the drum kit when it encounters notes for those instruments in the incoming MIDI data.

In the meantime, if you set up your own percussion map with all of the right pitches, and if you create a drum kit in your project with all of the expected instruments already mapped, and if you then connect the two together using the Endpoint Setup dialog (i.e. choose the right percussion map for the right drum kit instrument), you can then drag and drop MIDI from Cubase onto the drum kit in Play mode, and Dorico will import the data and assign all of the notes to the instruments you’ve created in the kit.

If you simply import the MIDI file in the normal way without first setting up an expanded drum kit held by a player and a corresponding percussion map, you’ll only see the notes for the instruments that exist in the default drum kit and which are mapped in the default Yamaha XG drum map.

Thanks very much! I’m setting up a project to try that with SD3 now.
I have another interop question. Is there a way to import a swung midi groove and have it display as eight notes instead of the actual underlying triplets? I know you can do this with music you have written in Dorico, but I’m not sure that functionality is usable in this scenario.

Dorico cannot interpret played swing in this way as yet, I’m afraid. You should straighten this out via quantization before you export your MIDI file, then apply the rhythmic feel in Dorico.

Creative! I like that. Will do.

Thanks for the explanation of drum kits, precussion maps, and end points. I got a basic kit to work with SD3 short of any alternate playing techniques (that next). However, I discovered that if you don’t get everything exactly right, you get random unexpected results (including crashes) and no error messages. Very time consuming.

I’m now wondering if I should wait for a more stable version or if this one is good enough to justify my putting in hundreds of hours using this?

Can you tell me roughly when the next version is coming and if what I’m experiencing is a small thing or something that will significantly slow me down.

That said, I love the software and am very excited about the possibilities it has!

I’m afraid, by the looks of how every update has happened (and there have been quite a lot of them), you’ll never know when it will be available until some days before it happens. Neither will you know what is in it.
Personally, I expect D4 to happen next springtime, but I could be absolutely wrong : I am no fortuneteller…

I can’t say when the next version of Dorico is coming, except to say that it’s not going to be soon. Whether or not this will slow you down too much is impossible for me to judge. It depends whether you only plan to ever start projects by dragging and dropping or importing MIDI drum parts from another application, or whether you anticipate that you will be doing other kinds of work with Dorico. It is possible, after all, to input drum notation directly in Dorico, either in step-time or using real time recording, and you might well find that you get closer to the results you’re actually looking for by inputting the music that way in the first place.

You’ve got a full 30 days to try Dorico out. Try different workflows. See whether you can get on with inputting the drum parts directly in Dorico, for example.

And if you’re experiencing crashes, please do Help > Create Diagnostic Report and attach the resulting zip file to a reply here so we can take a look and see what’s going on.

Thanks for the response. I am seeing that there are many possible workflows explore. Some more musical, some more labor intensive. Is there some place where people who are experienced at this discuss their methods?

Not sure if this will help you but here goes…
I often use GarageBand when transcribing. I first input all tracks into GarageBand and give each track a simple “GM-friendly” name (e.g. “piano” instead of “Steinway Grand”); I also prep the conversion by quantizing simply and making note-lengths exactly the way I want them. Then I combine all regions of a particular track into one. In the File drop-down, there’s an option to “Add Region to Loop Library”. Selecting this will make create a .aif file (e.g. “piano.aif”). This file can then be converted to a midi-file externally from GB via this online app: Next, I perform a search for the .mid file on my computer. Once I locate it, I “Open with” Dorico. I then select all the notes in the Flow that Dorico just created and copy them into my actual Dorico project. I do this for each track in GB and then do any extra tweaking of the parts in Dorico and voila! (This method works nicely for all instruments with the exception of drum set. You have to use a GM drum set and keep it a very basic, standard layout.)
I think Logic Pro and other DAWS have better ways of exporting midi files that Dorico can use, but this is the work-around I’ve been using with GB.

Thanks! Here is what I hope for if not now maybe in the next version of Dorico (forgive me if this is long winded) =>

1.) Use Groove Monkey libraries in SD3 with the song creation, ‘Tap to Find’ and groove filter tool to get the basic structure of a song and save tons of grunge work.

2.) Quantize and import the file into Dorico using the SD3 drum map and drum kit I’m building.

3.) Make edits using 5 line precussion music notation instead of a grid editor. Thank you Dorico!!! Maybe use SD3 VST at this point to humanize and massage dynamics etc…

4.) With SD3 loaded as a VST in Dorico, export audio for my DAW and record bass, guitar and vocals on top.

5.) Mix, massage, edit and repeat as needed.

This could be heaven or hell depending on the how well SD3 and Dorico can be coaxed to play together. Both have tons of extremely useful features that the other does not - not that they should.

Regarding 3), you can already do this. Percussion kits can be represented on a five line stave, separate lines or a grid, and you can even use different representations in different layouts for the same kit in the same project. It’s in Layout Options > Players > Percussion (which will only exist if there’s a percussion kit in existence in the project).

Thanks! I’m that far. The part that I’m still working on is completing my SD3 map with all of the alternate playing techniques in hopes that I can import and export files between Groove Monkey, SD3 and Dorico without too much difficulty. Still working on this part.