Percussion Beaming Problem

I am trying to match the beaming in the Cowbell part to match the Tambourine part (and the rest of the score). I need 2 eighth rests instead of a quarter rest, and the notes beamed together. I can do this on every other part with no problem but not on the percussion part. Dorico is great in so many things except percussion, hopefully that will improve soon.

Cowbell shot

It can be cheated, if you’re prepared to get your hands a little dirty.

(Many thanks to @Rob_Tuley for devising this workaround a couple of years back, and apologies for the poor sound quality and the background cello!)

Dorico does so much yet seems so infantile in working with percussion notation. This has got to be addressed soon, something so simple in other instruments but only in percussion “if you’re prepared to get your hands a little dirty.”

I don’t pay for or use Dorico to “get my hands dirty” with a workaround. Just fix it already, I know they have grand schemes and plans and a greater vision but this is something so simple, a basic expectation in software at this version.

Thanks for the video and the response.

Kevin Gilpatrick

The development team have stated that this is being addressed in the next major version of Dorico.

In all honesty, I find Dorico’s percussion notation unusable for me too. I really tried it for a while, watched all of the videos, set up custom maps, etc, but at the end of the day it’s just not reliable enough. I can’t risk having a job derailed because Dorico can’t do something I need due to percussion limitations. Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to repurpose another staff for percussion notation, and I already have an instrument hacked in my instruments.xml file to be a single line staff. Manual Staff Visibility makes it easy to have a notation staff with full editing capabilities visible, and playback staves (if needed) hidden. I too am looking forward to seeing how they address these issues in a future version.

We are at a 3.5 version of Dorico yet cannot do basic notation items with percussion. I wonder how many people would value more robust percussion notation than say, figured bass, yet that was a big deal. I’m sure if using figured bass is important to you it’s a big deal but how many could that be compared to all those trying to do very basic percussion notation? I know the team must prioritize items but it almost seems like it’s just not that important to them. Just my opinion.

My understanding is that basically percussion acted as a testbed for Condensing (which came later). For orchestral percussion it’s absolutely brilliant - I know that I’ve recently worked on an orchestral project involving five percussionists, and the flexibility afforded by being able to represent the same instruments as grids/five line staves/single line instruments in different layouts within the same project proved invaluable (and would have required workarounds in either of the other big two programs).

However Percussion hasn’t had much of a look-in since its original implementation, and presumably the development team will have learned from their more recent experience in developing the Condensing functionality.

Percussion in Dorico is far from “infantile” - aside from staff representation it’s much more flexible for playback than for any other “instrument” in that you can pick and choose different patches for different (percussion) instruments from different VSTs if you wish -it’s just not quite complete.

Perhaps “infantile” was the wrong word I agree. I do love the ability to collect instruments into a kit and I will say that what has been done has been done well, but let’s not leave it there.

It just seems like percussion notation has been, not neglected but just not that important. Yet it is for so many people who are using Dorico to finish projects. You can’t expect someone to pay for a tool to get their job done then tell them “you can’t do that but here’s a workaround if you don’t mind getting your hands dirty.”

It’s basic notation software 101.

Maybe we need “solo” percussion, just as we have solo and section players.
Percussion that is not condensed separate instruments. With really complex rhythmic notation, I wonder if it’s at all possible to get the condensing to work. If possible, great.