Percussion kit with separate MIDI outputs and fixed note single line drums?


We have been getting into Dorico pretty heavily for composition of mostly electronic music so that we can think more musically than when in a DAW alone. I really love the tool (looping transport and applying editing changes while it’s playing would be awesome BTW!)

I am having trouble with the percussion and percussion kits. If we require in our DAW to have separate MIDI tracks for each drum - one for CHH, one for OHH, one for Kick, and so on, then it appears I cannot use a drum kit as when I export MIDI, it puts all of the MIDI notes AND the MIDI CCs all together. For example, if I’m using CC7 for volume changes for ea. drum, then I need a separate MIDI clip else all of the CCs seem to be merged into the exported kit’s clip as one CC7 (because there can only be one CC7 per channel).

Is there any way to have a 5 staff or even grid in Dorico and still be able to output separate MIDI clips for each when using a percussion kit? Like I edit and enter data into a 5 staff or drum grid (for a kit!), but when I export, i get separate MIDI clips for each. The alternative I’m doing now leads to Q2)…

When using grid or single line, I cannot tell what note will trigger the mapped drum in the HALion or some other synth. I have to know the register and note value for each mapped kit because it’s not shown in these staves (grid/single-line). I find myself being in the wrong octave or remembering the wrong note. Any suggestions on the best way to handle this if I do want separate MIDI outputs for ea. drum? For eg., is there a way to have fixed note values for single line or grid viewed drums?

The only functioning work around now is to use percussion kits (so I get a staff view, which isn’t there if I just put a single drum on a player) but edit the kit so that there are only kicks, or CHH, or OHH, etc. But I still run into the issue when I want to view those in a more compact way (grid or single-line) and when I click to enter notes, you cannot really tell it will be putting it on the right drum. Furthermore, you cannot ‘search’ using Option Up/Down arrow keys in the grid or single line stuff.

Thanks in advance,

Q1) Since other threads have already established that dynamics need to be entered separately for each kit instrument (when displayed on separate lines) and then again to show when combined into a five-line staff, I expect that the dynamics can be controlled independently for each kit member or that such capabilities are planned for the future.

Welcome to the forum, Phil. There’s no way of forcing each of the instruments in the kit to export on separate channels, I’m afraid. When you’re using a single-line percussion instrument, however, the same principle holds as for a five-line kit: you can use the Y key to input a note of the default pitch, which will map onto the MIDI pitch defined in the percussion map assigned to the channel that the percussion instrument is mapped to. It sounds like you’re trying to use multiple sounds fro ma multi-instrument drum patch on a single-line percussion instrument, and you can’t really do that: you’d have to cheat things by defining each different instrument as a separate playing technique for the main instrument and remember that e.g. “swirl” is actually a hi-hat and “brush” a bass drum, or whatever.

Thanks, and yes, the Y key definitely is something I need to research more.

I just want one note triggering one sound (typically one of the notes in a sampler that is loaded with a GM expectation). My goal is possibly clarified below but in summary, I really just need the MIDI output from Dorico as the robots really don’t fancy printed sheet music to perform :smiley: . So we bring this into a fancy DAW template that’s connected to ‘our sounds.’ Anyways, carrying onwards:

I was moving forward getting my template set up but ran into some other oddities in my ultimate goal to output different MIDI clips for each drum (to retain the separate drum CC modulations I can send to synthesizers):

When I make separate drum lines (separate players each with their own ‘drum’ - one with a HH, one with Kick, one with clap, etc.), and export the MIDI, it still puts all the percussion tracks (kit or non-kitted), into one single MIDI clip. So my idea is kinda shot I think.

The only work around I can think of now is to create several normal instrument clefs, then just send that to HALion with a kit loaded. I just have to pick the right notes to trigger the right drum sounds which is a little unwieldy. It would be nice if I could use the percussion views and having one 5 staff for each single drum means 8-10 staves just for the ol drum set. This seems to be the only way to get separate MIDI tracks out for drum stuffs.

The playing techniques are also interesting. I’m from a world of drum machines and so open HH is not a technique but rather a separate sample. So how would I create an instrument for an open HH and have it exporting the right GM note of A#2 (in Dorico/HALion’s numbering)? Also, I cannot select an Open HH from the instruments list - there’s only HH and HH (pedal). So how would I add an Open HH to a player?

Any thoughts?

By the way, I just came up with a solution that works and outputs separate MIDI tracks for each drum. You need to have either separate instances of HALion (or whatever your player is) with a drum mapped to each instance. Or you have multiple channels in one HALion (or other plugin) instance. Am I wrong in assuming the MIDI export engine cares nothing about the attached VST but rather that it is mapped to a separate ‘thing’ and/or the MIDI channels for that track are different?

So I tested further and went back to a single drum kit and routed each of the drums in the drum kit to different channels of the same HALion instance and exported MIDI. And yes! If you set the track outputs to different ‘things’ (channels or to separate VST instances), then it does indeed output the lines as separate MIDI tracks! I believe if you only set the main ‘Drum Set’ in the track (the top one) to one instance, it will copy to all and then it creates just one drum track on MIDI export. It is interesting that it kind of doesn’t matter if it’s a kit or grouped - the MIDI export engine seems to just look at ‘where are you tracks goin’ ?’ and if it’s the same destination, it makes sense it would assume they were grouped into one MIDI track. If they go different places, then they are separate.

So it makes sense. But it was quite a bit of digging to figure this on out for a luddite like myself!

BTW, I am still trying to figure out how to have an OHH that isn’t a close HH with a playing technique - so that I can finish off these goals of having a separate MIDI clip for each drum (been having issues with this for other reasons as well (some kits do not use playing techniques and just want to trigger the open HH sample though it’s possible I’m missing sth here too!)

This might be difficult to achieve, because open and closed hi-hat really are the same instrument, just played differently. You’d need to have a separate instrument for open and closed hi-hat to make this possible, and I’m not sure how you could do that, aside from pretending that an otherwise unused percussion instrument is actually, say, the open hi-hat, while the existing hi-hat would be reserved for the closed sound.

Yes, I understand this. In drum machine land, often you do want to double things up sometimes. Not usually on the HHs so much but sometimes on the rim and snare (which also have the same issue).

Is it possible that we can add our own instrument(s)? For now what I’m doing is having an open hh track (and a rim track) but they are each mapped to a normal hi-hat and snare instrument, respectively. Then I just make sure any open hh stuff is placed on the open hh track always with the open PT - same for rim. It’s definitely usable in this way so I will make do with this workaround.

The main thing was to get separate MIDI outputs and using the procedures above I’ve now achieved this so I’m happy.

Thanks! Looking forward to some new features in the tool but where it is now we are still very happy moving from Sibelius and GuitarPro (for more guitar stuff - which I will probably still continue using but just for guitar).

At the moment you can’t add your own instruments (and this will not be possible in the next major version), but it is definitely planned for the future, yes.

Kein problem!

Thanks for the quick support! I think we’re going to pull the trigger on the switch. Your posts - many of which I’ve read and gotten the help I needed in a clear way - are part of what we want to buy into as well!

And great news that this is on the roadmap. I realise Dorico is pretty new and a relatively small team. The little editor window and testing and all of that this would require surely isn’t higher than some of the other priorities. I’d even derank it over things like a loop window for the transport so I can compose along to various sections. GP actually does this rather nicely (though that tool is kinda ‘missing’ a ton of other critical things).