Patching-in Drum VSTs is a *horrible* experience

I’m sorry, but this is a nightmare.

  1. No two drum kits are alike, so you better seriously expect this to be a high-ranking issue
  2. I have to rename subbed-in kit pieces in two places only for there to be a third place where that name change never updates (namely the kit editor), and also the mapping editor
  3. Why should it be necessary for a full-blown custom instrument editor to be made, when the actual problem is multiple (more than 2) cymbals in the drum kit profiles, for example?

I’ve tried the XML tricks for making a custom instrument and instrumentnames_en.xml doesn’t even exist in my installed Dorico folder. So that trick won’t work.

Subbing another eclectic percussion instrument didn’t work for me, despite updating it in the kit editor and the instrument to be triggered in the mapping editor. (Yes the MIDI note was correct), so that workaround is out, too.

Right now I have to make custom Playback Techniques to trigger every single kit piece that isn’t in line with Dorico’s definition of what a drum kit is made up of. That is extremely annoying, and I don’t think an entire custom instrument wizard is necessary to address this, as I’ve seen mentioned here.

This is not a technical support post, just a rant/plea to make creating custom kits NOT a huge PITA as it currently is.

edit: I found out that instrumentnames_en.xml is located in a different place as the other two files, and I’m going just fine with manually patching the XML as long as that continues to work/be possible!

On Windows at least, that’s not in the default Dorico folder but in Program Files\Steinberg\Dorico4\l10n. It’s better and safer to use doricolib files for new instruments now though, as they won’t be overwritten with any update. What instruments do you need created? If I can do it quickly, I’ll post a doricolib file later tonight.


Hello, thanks for getting back to me. What I need is:

Modo Hi-hat
Modo EFX 1 (it’s just another kind of cymbal)
Modo Crash 17
Modo Crash 16
Modo Crash 18
Modo Crash 20.

I’d like them to all be accessible as unpitched percussion instruments. They are all single-line instruments that I only need to add custom articulations to (I can do that). All I need is to be able to add them to a custom kit.

I can’t use the stock hi-hat instrument either, because that comes with a bug related to the Open-articulation in the piano roll editor which I might bring to attention at some other point. (I actually want something that doesn’t have that open-articulation, but that’s just ‘called’ a hi-hat)

If you could do this for me I would very much appreciate that. I’m pretty capable with the XML stuff, using vim and doing lots of command line stuff etc but I found this to not work and I think the doricolib is probably better anyway.

Ok, here 'tis: (1.7 KB)

Unzip and add to your user DefaultLibraryAdditions folder. It will add a new Setup category called Custom …

… and looks like this when added:

I’m not sure but it might only work on files created from File/New so you may need to copy or import your existing project. Feel free to tweak as needed.


Thank you so much, I can’t wait to try this out later. :slight_smile:

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@FredGUnn, I appreciate your effort, but it appears that the doricolib approach doesn’t allow for the custom instruments to be mapped in the Percussion Mapping area (!!), because the doricolib custom instruments do not show up there to be selected as the destination instrument. It does still work to create a custom drum kit, which is what I asked for, though :wink:

But even more so … Thanks for pointing out where I can actually find the instrumentnames_en.xml file, with that crucial tidbit of information I was able to actually get the Dorico XML files themselves patched, which does have the added benefit of being able to use the newly patched instruments as destinations/sources to be mapped in the percussion mapping window.


Ok, take 2. I had forgotten about this, but I think Dorico only looks for percussion instruments in specific InstrumentFamilyEntityDefinition locations. It won’t be able to find them in the Custom folder I created then. I pasted them on the end of the existing “Unpitched Percussion” category instead of Custom, and they seem to be selectable now.

Give this version a try. In Setup the instruments will appear in Unpitched Percussion. (2.8 KB)

Right as you sent this I was getting ready to do the rest of the cymbals myself.

Thanks for potentially saving me some work.

I just omitted all references to the Modo hi-hat in your V2, as I needed a hi-hat without the open-articulations which cause bugs I can’t quite explain in the piano roll, but you didn’t know that).

Next, I will hopefully be able to cleanly merge your cymbals (in Doricolib) with my hard-coded HH (in the Dorico XML.) I will simply put my edited version of your V2 in my DefaultLibraryAdditions location and hope all is done! Fingers crossed!

edit: Dorico doesn’t seem to like this mixed-approach. What I will try later in this case is reverting my Dorico XMLs to their defaults, and patch my specific Hi-hat from there, whose behavior I prefer, into your doricolib file.

(clarification point: now I can map your cymbals but my hi-hat isn’t available anymore, hence why I’ll try getting everything over to your doricolib file later). I’m also trying to avoid adding all my custom playback techniques for the HH again, but maybe I could also just delete the articulations causing the bugs [would that work?] (specifically the open, half-open ones, open 2 especially) from your unmodified V2.

I appreciate that you’ve helped me thus far, I understand at this point that it’s my messing around to do, and I’m just a couple more edits away from having all my custom kits on the same page now :slight_smile:

tl;dr is that your doricolib works awesome but it broke my hard-coded HH, lol, but I will be able to fix it so your doricolib V2 is the only modification I have.

edit 2:

I think what I will do is copy one of your cymbals over as the new Hi-hat, so that the hi-hat articulations don’t mess things up for me. Those are what I’m specifically trying to avoid (again, I know I didn’t tell you that lol). I add everything for the HH as a custom playback technique later and map it all myself.

@FredGUnn, what I’ve done is:

Revert Dorico XML to factory state, then I deleted the playback techniques I didn’t want on the Hi-hat from the unmodified doricolib V2 you sent. That seemed to be the easiest path forward, and it’s all working now. However, when I go to correct my percussion map, I’m running into this strange situation where I cannot clear the old entries I had mapped to my previous Hi-hat, and I also can’t re-use the existing ones, only changing the instrument, because hitting apply causes the same note to appear twice now in the mapping window.

I’m trying to think what the solution is. Start my percussion map over, again, maybe? [seriously that’s no big deal if it’s the only sure way to fix this]

Is it possible the percussion maps themselves are XML files that just aren’t capable of deleting entries for instruments that no longer exist? This doesn’t appear to affect functionality as long as I remap everything to the correct kit piece, although it will be annoying to have those duplicate+blank entries I can’t get rid of just chilling there in my percussion map. Hmm. Maybe starting a new map from scratch isn’t such a bad deal at this point. So close!

If you want to attach the project that contains the troublesome percussion map here, I’ll take a look at it.

@Dan, here you go.
Forum copy.dorico (621.2 KB)

This happened specifically when I changed my hard-coded Hihat to the doricolib ones, after restarting Dorico, and after changing the old, no-longer-there Hi-hat in the kit editor to the new one in the doricolib.

Also, note that I deleted the all the half/+open-articulations playback techniques from FredGUnn’s doricolib V2 because they cause me bugs and I’d rather add those as custom playback techniques myself, that’s unrelated to this issue of course. Unfortunately I can’t give you a procedure to replicate the bug.

At this point I’d like to start re-assigning the already mapped stuff I did, from the old, to the new instruments made available via FredGUnn’s doricolib file. By the way I haven’t checked to see if this issue happens when reassigning from a stock Dorico instrument, in fact I’m sure it probably doesn’t. It seems to hinge around the old Hi-hat which I hardcoded in the XML, no longer being there.

Yeah, I just copied the regular hi-hat from instruments.xml as a starting point, and then duplicated it. I forgot that some of the techniques wouldn’t make any sense with regular cymbals. Obviously edit as needed. You can of course do all this with the factory xml files too if you want instead, I was mostly curious to see if it could all be done with doricolib files.

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Not sure if I’ve discovered another bug or if this is expected behavior:
I had to put every cymbal which had chokes on their own lines, because if I placed e.g. 17 and 18 on the same one, the chokes for both would not appear in the piano roll for some reason. (like in the 3rd picture).

Also I’m not sure if there’s a way for the piano roll to automatically update itself when such changes are made. I frequently have to click back and forth (like to my bass guitar, then back to the drums) in order for the new changes to reflect. (This is just a minor quality of life tweak for maybe a future update.)