Missing percussion instruments to complete a Perc map

Dear Daniel, dear Team, dear fellow Doricians,
I am currently building a comprehensive set of percussion maps in order to use Spitfire’s Percussion library (which is on sale until… today, I think), and I have some recurring problems.
• There is no Rain sheet instrument available in Dorico. What could I use instead?
• There is no Trash instrument available in Dorico. etc.
• There are no Cymbals lo, Cymbals med., Cymbals hi in D…
• In the Percussion map, I can choose “Toms” instrument, which would fit for the Tom ensemble, but I cannot choose Toms as an instrument in the instrument picker, in Setup mode. Why is that? What’s the purpose of Toms in the Perc map then? (I’ve had to use Stomp instrument in order to fool D, but it’s not really clean although it works. One has to remember to pick Stomp when he/she wants to use Toms).

There’s maybe a way to hack the instruments file in order to create the missing instruments? I understand it’s not possible for the team to implement any possible instrument available in every library out there. The task is absurdly vast. But I’d like to come through this task so that we can use that library. By the way, I have had an interesting chat with Angus from Spitfire, he was not aware that Dorico could handle key switches as smoothly as it does. I’ve sent him my work with the snares and hope he’ll like that. So far, I’ve finished Drums low and Drums hi, and unpitched metal is on its way, but I have too many problems with it. I’ll go on when someone from the team helps me with those problems described.

As always, thanks for listening!


This is a tricky one, Marc. In theory it would be possible for you to create new instrument definitions that could be part of a set of files that you distribute along with your playback template, but there would be a bit of manual work involved in setting this up for distribution. So it is certainly simpler if you can use built-in instruments rather than creating your own new ones.

You should find you can create the “Toms” kit with no problems, and it comes kitted out (pun very much intended) with four toms and a floor tom.

For the others, perhaps for cymbals you could repurpose some of the various marching cymbals? There aren’t really any good substitutes for the other instruments you mention at the moment.


Thanks Daniel for this very fast and complete answer. I’ll try to find some instruments to make up for the missing ones, and hopefully when the time comes, there will be an instrument creator inside Dorico so this won’t be a problem any more.

P.S. I wish I had understood the “Toms” thing… Thanks for the explanation!

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Somewhat related to this …

When the Instrument Creator arrives it would be good if user defined instruments could be shared here - as is the case with expression maps.

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A little OT, but as I started this thread yesterday and it’s totally related to what I was doing, I hope it’s ok.
I just finished the Unpitched Metal percussion map (changing instruments as Daniel suggested me to), and I just ran into a very strange problem on the last sound… (there are around 70 different sounds to be triggered, without counting the different dynamics versions).
Last sound is Wind Gong FX bow. If I map it in the perc map as Wind Gong instrument, Playing Technique Bowed, and do the appropriate settings in the Edit percussion playing techniques window, it’s the natural version that gets triggered. I could not understand why. Then I changed Bowed to Buzz roll (totally arbitrary) and it does work !!! What’s wrong with bowed? Is this a known bug? Now I’m going to double check every instrument where I used Bowed…
Edit : as a matter of fact, the only problems I encounter here have Bowed as a playing technique… Every sound with that playing technique is reverting to the natural sound.

I’ve finished that HUGE work. Here’s the PDF of the Dorico file that contains all the percussion maps (five percussion maps), with the correct end points, so that all that this takes is one instance of Kontakt 6 with five slots loaded.
Spitfire Percussion Unpitched - Full score - 2021-04-01 - 1642.pdf (111.1 KB)

Let me know if anyone’s interested. I’ll have to share my .nki files, because I had to remap them all, and the doricolib files.
I also made the pitched instruments’ Expression maps, but those are really sooooo much easier to build up… I suppose the need is not really there!

I think this could be because internally the bowed playing technique considered the ‘natural’ state for strings, and so it becomes a synonym for natural. We don’t currently have a model for bowed percussion. I would suggest creating a ‘Bowed percussion’ playing technique to get around this ambiguity.

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Great ! I finally used “Bow on bridge” playing technique to make it work :wink: But indeed, Bowed (percussion) would be more accurate. Thanks Paul for this explanation !