Percussion in Noteperformer

I have been trying to set up a new score using NP and the BBCSO Pro template, and mostly, it works brilliantly! Everything changes automatically to the BBCSO sounds in the NPPE except for unpitched percussion. Timpani, xylophone, marimba–everything with pitch–loads as it should. But bass drum, tam-tam, snare and etc. all default to the NP3 sound sets despite the BBCSO sounds being loaded in the NPPE. I have no understanding of how to change these. Can someone give me a clue, please? Thank you.

First thing I did when some Iconica instruments did not show up was to close Dorico and then reopen the program and the file. Then the instruments were present.

1 Like

Having the same problem as the OP…

1 Like

I figured it out. Open NPPE and hit your keyboard. When you hit the correct note, the instrument in the NP mixer will light up with a white circle. Mine was operating correctly the whole time, but you have to hit the note on the keyboard that corresponds to the instrument. It’s a bit confusing until you see how it works.


There are two things to consider.

  1. Make sure Dorico didn’t map this staff to Drum Set. If you open the NP mixer, it should say “Orchestral percussion”.

  2. Since percussion staves can serve both NP and NPPE instruments at the same time, the white frame around a sound will only appear when you play a sound that’s also in NPPE.

1 Like

Thank you for your reply. I’ve now also read the manual :sunglasses:

BTW, the NPPE UI contains a Return to home button… a return to Setup/selection would be very handy during testing phases (at least)… possible?

When you’re not in trial mode, a button in the top-right corner says “Add instruments.” It’s a quick way to list only the libraries you own and add instruments from them, without going through the home screen.


Great! Thanks. I’m out of trial mode very soon…

I had a similar problem with the NPPE for the VSL Prime Edition. The Tam-tam track did not use the Prime’s Tam-tam. After looking around for a while I replaced the (Dorico) instrument “Tam-tam” with “Large Gong” and that resolved it for now.
But I think “Tam-tam” should also work (@Wallander).

NotePerformer has a large and a medium tam-tam which can both be used by NPPE. We avoid mapping one sound to both entries. You may want to use two differently-sized tam-tams in your score.

Which one is used is the left-side instrument in NPPE; labeled “medium” or “large.” Please see this screenshot from HOOPUS, having two differently-sized tam-tams.

Yes, that’s right, but my proposal meant, that the Dorico instrument ‘Tam-tam’ should trigger the Prime’s Tam-tam, if only Prime (no HOOPUS) is loaded into NPPE. This was not the case and I found no means to force that other than change the Dorico instrument to ‘Large Gong’.

With HOOPUS the Large Gong in Dorico triggers the LARGE TAMTAM (38"), whereas Tam-tam in Dorico triggers the small/medium one. My logic is probably distorted, but I guess it could be the other way round :slight_smile: (I’ve grown up to imagine that a Tam-Tam is always larger than a(ny) Gong…)

1 Like

Well yes, that’s all fine, but for HOOPUS you need Opus… and I’m currently focused on VSL Synchron Prime and only that in all my statements.

Yes, my point was that if you apply the same logic to PRIME, its Tam-tam is considered LARGE, and thus will only be triggered by Large Gong in Dorico. Since there is no small/medium tam-tam in Prime, the Dorico tam-tam will not trigger anything… (so personally I’d prefer that Dorico tam-tam always triggered the largest possible tam samples and large gong the smaller)

1 Like

Ah, ok, good point :slightly_smiling_face:

PS and after some googling I concluded that a Tam-tam is indeed a very large gong.

Historically, NotePerformer only had a single large instrument which was used for all tam-tams and gongs. At some point, we added the smaller tam-tam and mapped it as “tam-tam (medium)”.

I’m no expert on the subject, but both tam-tam and gong come in many sizes. The difference is said to be that gongs have a definite pitch whereas tam-tam is more percussive. The “large gong” sound in NotePerformer is a very large instrument, but it has a distinct tone. On the other hand, the medium tam-tam isn’t as tonal.

As to how they’re mapped in Dorico, we needed a solution where users could access both the NotePerformer sounds. The mapping was done at a very early stage of percussion support in Dorico since NotePerformer predates Dorico, Dorico’s percussion map system and NPPE.

There may be situations where the mapping isn’t ideal or exactly what users want, in which case the option is to create custom mapping. Since large gong/tam-tam is the primary tam-tam sound in NotePerformer (also considering the operation of Sibelius and Finale), it’s what we’ve used for any tam-tam in NPPE unless there are multiple-sized tam-tams in the sample library.

Yes, at least in Sweden, a Tam is untuned and a Gong is mostly tuned. (with a nipple) but I know the word Tam is used more loosely elsewhere.



In France, Gongs are pitched instrument (somehow, partials are clearly defined) while tam-tams have a white noise kind of sound (no partials). I don’t think it’s a country thing, but more some ignorance or lack of interest that melts both instruments.

1 Like

To quote my percussion professor (quite racist) “A Tam is a village in Africa”
For him, there were only tuned or untuned gongs.


This 80" is rather nice. (they still don’t call it a tam.

That was rather freaky! It didn’t look like it was even sounding but then all these Alien-esque sounds came out

1 Like