Instruments don't show up separately in the mixer (Dorico 4)

Most reviews, tutorials, or general showcases of Dorico and its operations review the “Play” window at some point, and in each of them, every instrument added to the score gets its own set of pan settings, volume settings, and mute/solo settings in the mixer. Only the “Instruments” and the “FX” buttons are set as visible; the other three are off. When mute/solo is selected from the track selection, it only mutes that one instrument that was selected. And of course, it’s possible to route different VST plugins to each individual instrument.

In my case however, no matter how I add instruments to a score, the “Play” window only recognizes and gives volume, pan, and mute/solo controls to one instrument, usually the first one I added. All other instruments then get grouped in with that one instrument. The rest of the instruments, including the first one I added, get assigned under “MIDI” in the mixer.

This ends up meaning that I can’t route different VST plugins to each individual instrument, and I can’t mute/solo, alter the pan, or change the volume of just one instrument, because it’s labeled as a MIDI track.

I’m not sure how to solve this, because I can’t seem to nail down exactly why all the instruments get assigned as MIDI with only one instrument control panel for all of them. I have only been using Dorico for a few days, and the first thing I did with it was import a .musicxml file to continue my work from a previous program, and when I did import the file, after returning an error that the file could not be confirmed as .musicxml, Dorico grouped together each of the instruments under just one instrument (with one set of controls), and labeled each track as MIDI. Not sure if that has anything to do with it.

I’d appreciate any help with this issue if possible.


You need to help us out a little more here. What VST are you using? NotePerfomer sends all its audio out through a single channel. To make adjustments you have to open the NP mixer itself (not the Dorico Mixer).

Garritan/Aria only sends output on one stereo channel unless you use the Aria MultiPlayer and specifically route the difference tracks to different channels in the Aria Player.

Doubtless some other VST’s work in a similar fashion.

Wow, I did not know that, Derek! I’m glad you warned us all! If I had purchased NP, which I intend to do someday, I would have been befuddled by this. Glad I now know in advance!


I’d like to add some things to what Derrek has written : you say you opened a musicxml file. It’s not Dorico’s “natural” behavior, so there’s a number of things to do in order to benefit from all the automatic things Dorico can do for you.
In Setup mode, make sure each instrument that must be held by a different player has an individual player (or a section, for strings in an orchestra). You can create single players with shift-P, section players with shift-alt-P. If you have one player that holfs all the instruments (this is what I understood reading your original post), you can open the player’s card (little chevron next to the player’s name) and drag and drop the instrument into another player.
You should probably use the instrument local menu (next to the instrument name) to Change instrument. The instrument picker will show and you will be able to choose the right instrument. Even if the name seems right, it’s safe to do that step to make sure everything is correctly “wired” inside Dorico.
Once all this is done in Setup mode, go to play mode, Play menu>Playback Template. Choose the one you want to use (probably HSSE if you’re trying the software…), then Dorico will assign all your instruments to the correct vstis and your mixer should be automatically filled as you expect.

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The easiest way, @_Andrew_G , for us to see the problem would be for you to send us a cut-down Dorico file of, say, just the first two measures of the music you are struggling with; but since this is your first post, you will need to build up some “exposure” within this Discourse forum to be able to attach anything more than a link.

See here for details about Discourse levels.

Thanks for the help. I am using NotePerformer3 currently, and the channels do split again if I switch over to HSSE. It looks like NP3 is one of the VSTs you mentioned that routes all its sounds through one channel, so it makes sense that it would merge all the instruments. Thanks again for your guidance.

As mentioned before, NP does have its own mixer, where you can alter levels, pan, and reverb, if not other effects.

If the NotePerformer mixer doesn’t open on its own, in Play mode click on VST Rack, then the funny-looking “E” under Noteperformer. The mixer will open then (sometimes it opens behind the Dorico program though; you may have to cycle through the Windows tabs to get it back on top).