Percussion Kit in Dorico sends some but not all channels to Kontakt

I have used NP exclusively in the past but NP is not able to support the complex percussion setup for my newest piece, especially for a variety of cymbals, temple blocks, and prepared piano sounds. So I have journeyed into the world of VST plug-ins and purchased sound libraries to find the percussion I need. After many frustrating hours of trying to incorporate percussion from Kontakt into Dorico I have finally succeeded in getting some of the instruments in a percussion kit to receive midi and give sound back to Dorico mixer. At first I tried to separate the two sources by putting them through different ports, but nothing placed on port 2 would sound. Turns out both Kontakt as plug-in and NP can only handle 16 midi channels and they want those channels to be on port 1. I think I had a misconception about how midi channels work in Dorico. Apparently you can put all your vst instances on port 1 and the midi streams will be separate for each vst instance (very different from how it works for my external modules). So you can put up to 16 channels on each vst instance and each vst instance will be a separate stream and won’t trigger instruments in the other instances. Essentially each vst instance is a virtual midi port in the external world, with it’s own isolated midi stream. In my many hours of research in the manual and elsewhere I found no statement to this effect, but it seems to be true.
But still I am unable to solve two issues so far …

  1. the kit is expanded in Play mode to assign each instrument in the kit to a different midi channel but only channels 1-3 are sending midi to Kontakt and producing the right sounds. Channels 4-7, assigned to four rack instances of a prepared piano sound in Kontakt, do not receive midi at all. The Kontakt midi indicator does not light up when these notes are played in Dorico. The midi channels are matched between Dorico and Kontakt for all the instruments in the kit.
  2. The instruments in the kit that do send midi and get sound back from Kontakt have individual channels showing in the Dorico mixer but only the main kit channel has anything showing in the meter. So what is the use of showing separate channels if they can’t be used to alter the sound? I need to be able to adjust individual volume for each instrument in the kit. Is this only possible by adjusting the volume in Kontakt rather than changing the channel volume sliders in the Dorico mixer?
    Any tips are greatly appreciated.

Did you configure Kontakt for multi-channel output?

(There was a recent thread here talking about how to do it. There are also video on how to configure Kontakt for multi-channel output to Cubase, and the concept is the same.)

Thanks for the reply. I set Kontakt up for multi-channel output for all the instruments in that multi that feeds the percussion kit in Dorico. I can now adjust volume for the individual instruments in the Kontakt mixer but the Dorico mixer is not picking up on the new channel assignments, even after closing and re-opening. The Dorico mixer still shows the instruments in the kit as located in aux channels. So problem #2 is partially solved by adjusting the mix in the Kontakt instance. Would be nice if it could all be in the Dorico mixer. Thanks for the tip.

Feel free to Kontakt me with your project here. I’m redoing some of my template this morning.

Thanks for offering to help. Unfortunately the file is too big to upload to this post. I’m not willing to change the playback template to silent to reduce the size due to
another issue I didn’t mention yet in this post. The playback template I created for this configuration (combining Kontakt and NP) is useless. When I apply it it assigns all instruments back to NotePerformer even though I have overrides written in for Kontakt, and I then have to create the Kontakt instance again from scratch. One colleague advised me to just ignore playback templates and just save the configuration with the project - seems like that is good advice. So if I set it to silent playback template and then try to go back I will lose all my work on the Kontakt instance.

Could you make a copy of your file and cut down the number of measures to just those that illustrate the situation you are facing and send that to @DanielMuzMurray , since you are correct that setting the Playback Template to silence would in this case be moot?

Here’s a shortened (3 flows of a 9 flow piece) that has all the problematical sounds in the first dozen or so measures for anyone with the time to help me out. Thank you @DanielMuzMurray for offering to help
Sonata for Piano and Percussion short.dorico (3.3 MB)
. Sounds like NP has misallocated sounds in Percussion 3 in addition to the other issues going on.

I don’t have Kontakt and nor do I have any of the sounds you’re using, Mark, but one thing to check would be that the pitches specified in the percussion maps you’ve created for the prepared piano sounds match the pitches in the patch you have loaded into Kontakt. You may be out by one or more octaves, depending on the convention used by the Kontakt patch versus the convention used in Dorico for octave numbering.

Thanks for the reply, Daniel. I already raised the octave by 1 for all the Piano Percussion percussion maps to get even the first three to sound (they are all from Cinesamples, which starts octaves at -2). Kontakt is definitely not receiving any midi on channels 4-7 that should go to the prepared piano sounds. The midi indicator at top left doesn’t light up for those notes and the Kontakt keyboard doesn’t show any keys depressed. So the midi problem is definitely on the Dorico side of things. What about the issue of playback template that includes Kontakt first with overrides and then NP and has the custom endpoints specified not actually applying that template, but instead applying NP template only? Am I misunderstanding something about playback templates? It is very frustrating to save an endpoint for custom use and then the only way to recall it is by applying a playback template that includes it, but then that doesn’t work. If endpoints are created in Track Inspector they should also be able to be recalled and made effective from the same place.
And then there is the issue of the mixer not picking up on the channel assignments from Kontakt, so I am not able to mix individual percussion instruments in a kit in Dorico, only in Kontakt. Any solutions there?

Sorry that I haven’t had a chance to look at this yet. I promise I will this morning at some point.

@Mark_Pritchard can you please also export your Playback Template and attach here.

@DanielMuzMurray Thank you for offering to help. I attempted to upload the playback template but am getting a message that it is not an allowed file type. Apparently the .dorico_pt extension is not an allowed type. Can you access the playback template from within the project file?

Zip it.

I can access it but I don’t think I can reapply it unless I have it already.

Sonata for Pn Perc NP + (1.5 MB)
Here’s a zipped file with the playback template. That seems bizarre that they allow a zipped folder but not one of their own file types. Thanks for the tip.

I’m not quite sure what is going on but I would advise you to start from scratch:

  • Apply the Silent playback template, save and restart,
  • Apply the NotePerformer playback template, save and restart,
  • Then add your Kontakt instance and load instruments etc. Make sure you save your Kontakt Multi too.

It was interesting that when I reapplied your Playback Template (after resaving your Kontakt Endpoint Setup) that it ignored this Kontakt Endpoint Setup and created a second instance of NotePerformer instead. I was having similar issues with this myself recently with strange combinations of VST being reloaded that what I had before. Also, I think your channels were in different orders between the Mixer and the Kontakt multi-outputs; that can’t be helpful.

Again, I would advise you to start from scratch, making sure you save the Kontakt Endpoint Setup if/when you’re successful. You should probably delete any Endpoint Setups that are related to this (besides the NotePerformer one). The actual Percussion Maps shouldn’t need to be recreated.

Make sure you set up a new Custom Playback Template too. If all is working as planned then you should be able to reapply your new playback template and all will be exactly the same…

Sorry I can’t help more!

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Thank you so much @DanielMuzMurray for taking the time to look at it. So the weeks long saga continues … I’ve already had to recreate the setup multiple times but I’ll give it one more go, following the sequence you suggest. I must say I’m very disappointed with the performance of Dorico (and NotePerformer) in this admittedly complex percussion situation. I’m starting to miss Sibelius and wondering if I should try implementing this instrumentation in Sib.

@dspreadbury Any further observations or tips on why midi would not be sent from the prepared piano channels to Kontakt or why the playback template doesn’t work as expected? Some sort of midi monitor in Dorico would be a welcome addition, along with the ability to implement saved custom endpoints from the track inspector.

I’d also advise to delete and re-add the instruments in Setup mode too in order to clear any possible data from the project - just duplicate it so you can copy/paste your music over.

There are MIDI channels in the Mixer that you can view although I’ve never used them. Perhaps they indicate data being sent?

Because I don’t have any of the instruments you have, Mark, I can’t say with any certainty why you’re having problems here. I can say with certainty that it is possible to mix NotePerformer and Kontakt in the same project and to achieve the kind of playback you’re looking for, so there will be a configuration somewhere along the line that’s causing the problem. But troubleshooting that at a distance is challenging.

In lieu of a MIDI monitor, you can verify what MIDI pitches are being sent to Kontakt by exporting a MIDI file from your project and looking at the contained notes. What I’d suggest is saving a copy of the project, deleting all the existing flows, and deleting all the instruments except the piano percussion instrument. Add one of each of the mapped notes you have defined in the kit, one after the other, and then export a MIDI file from the project. Now you will be able to see definitively which pitches are being sent to Kontakt. If no notes are contained in the MIDI file, then that tells us the mapping is completely broken, and that’s a big clue.

Getting custom percussion sounds mapped is definitely a challenging aspect of playback template setup, but it can be done, and I urge you to persevere. Although I’m not likely to have time personally to be able to jump on a screen-sharing session with you to try and troubleshoot in real time, we can probably find a mutually convenient time for you to meet with my colleague John to take a look.

My in-laws are visiting until the weekend so let me know if you want me to set it up and/or write the work for you.

In all seriousness, if you have Cinesamples, I will send you my new template that seems to work well (I’m not going to jinx it by saying perfectly). It’s a mixture of Cinesamples and HALIon.

Thank you @DanielMuzMurray and @dspreadbury for taking the time to help out. I will shake myself off and start anew with the troubleshooting you suggest and let you know how it turns out.

My wife is leaving for a two week vacation today and my mother in law is down in Mexico so I should have more time to try some things. :slight_smile:

I have selected libraries, including Cineperc, from Cinesamples, and recently bought Musio perpetual so that Cinesamples template might come in very handy. I may end up replacing all of NotePerformer in this piece. I also have a large Native Instruments pack of libraries. I haven’t used Halion due to persistent repetitive clicks I get whenever I try out a sound from HSO. I’m eager to get this piece done and move on to new adventures in the new (to me) world of virtual synths and samples.