Is there any way to quickly show whether an instrument is out of range?

I thought that the actual Halion patch (for example, the default one that comes up when I choose “tenor saxophone”) would automatically NOT play notes that are outside the range of the tenor saxophone but I see that this is not the case. There also doesn’t seem to be a way to manually specify the range of the tenor it’s using (“noisy tenor sax”) in this case. There similarly doesn’t yet appear to be a way for the score to warn you if you are choosing notes that are out of range (such as the “red” notes that Sibelius offers), but please correct me if I’m wrong with much thanks -

  • rj

I don’t think Dorico has that yet and I hope they can add it soon. It’s such a time-saver!

Agreed! Of course, we should “technically” have every conceivable instrument range memorized (etc), but it’s such a no-brainer for extra reinforcement that a computer does much more easily, so why not? To me, in fact, this feature would fall into the “sooner” rather than “later” category for implementation (especially for the education market, etc.) (along with things like slash notation and swing playback, but I - like everyone - have my biases :slight_smile:)…I should add that I’m surprised that (at the least) the actual Halion sound patches built into Dorico can’t be programmed to respect instrument ranges? Again, this would seem like something that should be built-in (unless it’s already there and I’m missing it?)

  • rj

Agreed; notes in red (or some other - perhaps even more extreme such as greyed out - colour) would be very useful, please.

It was also suggested previously that Dorico’s octave selection on note entry could respect (lower) instrumental limits by default.

Copy that. An indication of instrument ranges would be GREAT to have!

I have a suspicion that the Dorico team won’t do this at all until they can actually do this right.

For example, both of the notations shown here are impossible for a single cellist playing a single cello with standard tuning. Sibelius, after 25+ years, doesn’t seem to know that.

It would be cool to have proper double-stop checking, for sure, but I think we might well implement at least basic range checking before too long, though it’s not currently scheduled for our next release.

One of the things that needs to be fixed before you get into range checking is midi note input for instruments that transpose by an octave or more – instruments such as piccolo, contrabass clarinet, double bass, and so on. During note input (with transposing score and written pitch selected), playing the correct written note on a midi keyboard for such instruments results in the correct audition note being played, but the note itself gets drawn on the staff in the wrong octave, which then has to be manually moved up or down an octave or two as required. The correct note is played back once you’ve moved the note to its proper octave. I’ve posted about this before, and I was hoping it would be fixed for Dorico Pro 2, but alas it hasn’t been. I’m not sure range checking would work correctly with this problem not fixed.

I’d really welcome both the kind of double-stopping checking that the corresponding plugin for Sibelius has; and (red-notes)-out-of-range, please.

On the other hand, I would not like it if Dorico would prohibit me to input notes that it deems unplayable. There are things like scordatura, 5-string cellos, implicit divisi in an orchestral setting, virtuoso players using advanced skills or just having big hands… A warning by the note colour is sufficient.

I have no doubt, given their track record, if the development team were to pursue this, there would be oodles of options and preferences. They seem to take their time and really consider the problem.


I would like to have the ability (flexibility?) to establish “my own” range for a particular instrument an use this criteria to help me spot out-of-range notes.
For example, I’m currently writing a piece for steel pan band. There are six different steel pan “instruments” each with its own range limitations. But the steel pan sound in Halion is just a steel pan sound; it doesn’t understand that within that one sound, there are range limitations for bass, tenor bass, cello, triple-guitar, double-second, double-tenor and lead pans. Moreover, sometimes, there are pans that are customized that have extensions. So for me to be able to just determine a range at the beginning of a staff and then get Dorico’s help locating beyond-range notes would be awesome.