Input on Multiple Staves at the Same Time: real-time playback

When I input notes on multiple staves at the same time as described in the manual, I can only hear the top instrument (violins I in my case) as I enter the notes. Is there a way to hear every instrument I am writing for as I input the notes in real time? Thanks!

-When I play the passage back after entering the notes I can hear every instrument.
-I am using Dorico Pro 3.5 on a Mac running Big Sur.
-I am using a default String Ensemble (Setup, Add Ensemble, String Section), and Dorico’s default library (the default libraries in HALion Sonic SE).

Welcome to the forum, How are you inputting the notes themselves? Are you using a MIDI keyboard to input the notes? I assume so, otherwise you wouldn’t be able to input more than one note at a time in any case. Or do you mean that you’re inputting a single note with the computer keyboard and it is input onto all of the staves across which the caret is shown, but you hear only the instrument of the top staff? If so, then that is at present the expected behaviour: Dorico only echoes the first staff during input.

Thanks for your answer @dspreadbury. Sorry if my question was vague, I will detail the process:

  1. I select pitch before duration because I want to try different voicings before I enter the chord.
  2. I extend the caret to all the string section (2 vln, 1 va, 1 vc, 1 db)
  3. Using a MIDI keyboard, I play a 5 note voicing (1 note per instrument) and I see the notes for each instrument in light gray as expected. The problem is only the notes in the violin range will play as I enter the chord, and I would need to hear what all instruments are playing before choosing a voicing. Just for clarification, the violin is the top staff in the extended caret.
  4. I choose the note value and the notes are entered correctly.
  5. At this point, playback for the voicing works as expected and all instruments are playing. But I need to hear it before I enter it and not after.

On a last note, if Dorico only plays the first staff during input, extending the caret to other staves and exploding music automatically wouldn’t be useful to me since I am composing and I want to use my ears.

Thank you so much again for your help and thanks for Dorico, just switched to it and I absolutely love it.

Right, I understand what’s happening now. Thanks for the additional clarification. At the moment Dorico will only audition using a single patch, because it does that as soon as it receives the notes you play, rather than waiting to find out which staff each note will end up on, and then playing each note using that sound. However, I agree that would definitely be a useful thing to be able to do, and I’ll talk to the team about how we might achieve that in a future version.


Thank you! Until then, I will use a full orchestra patch for the first system so Dorico plays all the notes I’m trying to input, even if they are below the violin range. Thanks!

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particularly for works which are predominately harmonically rather than contrapuntally based, this could be really helpful and I’d welcome such a feature if it could be implemented.

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Has this feature been implemented in Dorico 4? Thanks!

No, I’m afraid not.

This is a rather frustrating omission in the playback engine that sets Dorico apart from the competition in many areas. I often find myself cursing at the screen because I cannot audition doublings in real-time with my keyboard. Since I’m also unable to extend the caret to non-adjacent staves, it feels very cumbersome to input notes in one staff, copy them around, find and select the parts again (often spread across the score) and finally hit p to audition the combination, when a simple control click to select the staves I need to audition with my midi keyboard would do. And if I want to try something else, I have to do it all over again. Honestly can’t wait to have this implemented. Thanks!