Naïve question about Players’ playback, Condensing and Divisi

I followed the convention of the first page of the orchestral score I’m looking at and, in my Dorico project, had four Horn section Players (in two Condensing staves) and one Viola Section staff with Divisi later on into four parts.

When playing back, the (piano) horns pretty much drown out the (forte) Violas. (BBCSO Discovery version).
Naïvely, I assume this is because each of the four horns is routed to its own channel in the VST rack whereas the Viola section shares one channel.

And so it led me to wonder whether I should Setup more Viola section players (so each would have its own channel) and let Dorico worry about Condensing unison passages except that then my duplication in unison passages would inevitably introduce errors.

I’ve tried fiddling with both MIDI and VST Instrument sliders in the Dorico Mixer with little effect. What do you suggest?

As things are, their imbance makes it difficult to make decisions about arranging the piece.

If I may, I’d tell you the only vsti instrument that gives you a fair idea with balances is NotePerformer. Although not perfect, it does deliver. Spitfire products have great samples, ok, but there is some work to do with CC controllers if you really want some natural and musical sound, because… this is how their libraries are designed for (use in DAWs).
IIRC, there’s a trial version for NotePerformer, and you can even buy it in ten times (although it’s not expensive, and has probably the best quality/price ratio in the market).

Oh thanks Marc, that’s useful advice.

I really do like the BBCSO sounds and was thinking of upgrading from Discover in case my issue with the “offstage” Viola Section could be resolved, but £400 is more than I can afford right now to conduct an experiment on my own especially if, as you say, it is not so completely suited to Dorico as it is to being under a DAW’s control.

I just had a look at the NotePerformer’s website and an article on Scoring Notes and have noticed NotePerformer behind the scenes in Several Dorico YouTube videos. And I notice that Dorico playback templates with expression maps etc are included in the NotePerformer installation. And I can shell out a modest amount monthly while I continue to experiment after 30 days.

So I’ll take your advice and give it a go.

Thanks again.