Percussion map/playback issues

Reporting back on a couple of problems I’m having creating and using bespoke percussion maps.

1.The map is forgotten every time the project is closed. In practice it seems that you have to initially export the newly made map, then on subsequent launches import the map and insert it in the instrument’s MIDI channel manually. Is this right, or am I missing something?

  1. Is it the case that some of Dorico’s percussion instruments are not fully connected up. I haven’t been able to play back any thing labeled ‘sizzle cymbal, china cymbal, splash cymbal (for example). I can enter the correct notation and hear the correct sound by playing the appropriate key but then nothing is heard on playback.

Both these issues might be due to my inexperience - but it would be useful to know if, at least, I should be able to get these to work properly.

Best wishes, Ian

  1. This definitely sounds strange and is certainly not normal behavior (on my system anyway). Can you provide a few more (step-by-step?) details…?
  2. The general reply to this is probably Yes(ish), but I’ve found that some percussion maps (EDIT: the Note Performer ones) seem to have erroneous configurations for certain instruments. On my systems it seems that the data files are corrupted… (certain fields are blank and attempts to correct them will not stick and certain fiels contain the wrong instruments despite the fact that the correct ones are available)… I’ve successfully recified that by making new percussion maps…

Thanks for your input, fratveio. Problem 1 seems to have rectified itself! I was definitely having problems over an extended period of time this morning - but lunch seems to have cured it!

I’ve been experimenting further with the non-play back issue with no success. I’ve tried allocating various random instrument names, changing the MIDI note in the instruments MIDI mapping, adding various playing articulations with the same result. Input and notation works as expected but no playback of that particular instrument.

I have learned from experience, however, that you have to be very careful in setting these Drum kits and playback maps - I spent a good hour yesterday trying to connect Tom (medium high) to Tom-tom (medium high)!

I’m afraid I spoke too soon - so many strange things are happening I’m not quite sure where to start.

Firstly, on launching a project my recent experience is that my bespoke percussion map is listed but empty. The solution seems to be deleting the (empty) map and re-importing it. Trying to use this map in conjuncture with an edited (and exported) drum kit in a different project is that playing in the correct sounds results in everything being notated as if it were a crash cymbal - however I can shift these notes down to correct positions to obtain both correct notation and playback including the aforementioned up-until-now silent sizzle cymbal. However, the penance for this joy is that open hi-hat does not now play back. Oh well, can’t have everything!

Best wishes Ian

P.S. Another thing I’m not sure can be right is that the file created when a percussion map is exported seems to be of the same type as when you export an edited drum kit. Surely they are different things and it might be possible to import the wrong type?

We haven’t had any previous reports of the percussion map editor not working correctly. Could you please describe the steps of what you’re doing? In most cases you would be better advised to copy and adapt the existing GM drumset percussion map, since the vast majority of drum kit patches tend to be reasonably GM compatible.

All of these things are exported as library files, but when you import them, Dorico will only try to import the specific type of item you’re interested in there. The worst thing that can happen is that you choose a library file that doesn’t contain any e.g. percussion maps, in which case nothing will be imported.

Thanks Daniel, I think it was because I had labeled an edited drum kit instrument (i.e. stave) the same as its corresponding Percussion Map I might have inadvertently replaced the PM with something that doesn’t work - which might explain why in one instance imported a recently saved PM to find it empty!

Thanks Paul,

I’m trying to create a percussion map for default MIDI mapping preset of Native Instrument’s Abbey Road 60s Drummer. (This is after initially using Dorico’s GM PM with the instrument’s GM mapping preset - which more-or-less worked except not all the drums/articulations are available)

To use in conjunction with this map I’m also trying to create (in setup mode) a matching drum kit - by editing the available drum kit (full)

Having created a new project exclusively for the purpose of creating and testing this map (and matching Drum stave/kit) I start in setup to create a kit/stave consisting of all the instruments present in the 60s kit. In order to do this I delete the unwanted instruments and add those that I need. The 60’s kit only consists of Kick, Snare, 2 Toms, Hats incl. ped, 2 crash cymbals, ride, and Sizzle. But there are also a number of articulations such as bell and tip for the cymbals, side stick, rimshots, rolls etc for the snare and toms. Having constructed the kit (in setup) including some of the available playing techniques (using different noteheads) I then go to the Percussion map editor to link the drums in the newly edited drum kit to the corresponding sounds in the 60s kit.

Starting from Dorico’s GM preset (because some of the basics can remain) I go through adding and deleting as necessary being very careful to match the 60s kit’s shells and cymbals to the available Dorico instruments that I have set up in stave. (For instance the kit has two toms simply labeled tom 1 & 2. On the stave, however I have added Tom-tom (High) and Floor tom (High) as the closest match.)

Having done all this every thing seems to work fine except the playback of the sizzle cymbal (and associated playing techniques) It is the case that I can put the sizzle cymbal on the stave and even hear the sound whilst I’m doing it. But thereafter that particular cymbal does not playback. (everything else works fine)

I have tried changing the instrument name, position on stave, MIDI note number to no avail.

Having said all that it’s not the end of the world. However, much more weird stuff happens when I try to include this map and instrument in other projects. Unfortunately, I’ll have to come to that later.

Thanks anyway, best wishes, Ian

To continue.

Having created both the kit and a matching Percussion Map, the next stage is to use them in other on-going projects. And this is where stranger things occur.

I load a project, create a new player and import the recently edited drum kit. As there is an existing GM drum stave I copy the contents of that track on to the new drum stave. Works - apart from all the notes being ‘transposed’ up a 3rd. Alt/Arrow-keying them down does the trick and it all plays back as expected, apart form the open hi-hat notes which playback closed. This is solved by deleting and re-entering all the ‘o’ symbols.

However, when I try to enter new notes everything is notated as if it were crash cymbal 1 (cross-head note on the 1st ledger line) and also plays back as such. I can move the notes up and down to their correct positions and it all plays back as expected - even the perviously silent sizzle cymbal - although only at a uselessly quiet volume.

All the same, despite all this, apart from the the very minor detail of the sizzle, I’ve got a great looking and sounding score. But I’m sure it’s not meant to work quite like that. Hopefully there are enough clues here for someone to realise what I’m doing wrong.

many thank, Ian

When you input new notes onto that staff, if you move the caret with the arrow keys and hit Y, does a note get input at the appropriate staff position and using the correct notehead?

Yes, that works as expected.

I’ve made a few more experiments and can now add.

Everything, apart from the sizzle, works as expected in a new project if I create a matching drum stave by editing one the available drum staves rather than importing my edited version (which only works properly in the project in which it was created)

  1. It seems that the sizzle might be playing back - but at an almost inaudible level - changing dynamic markings have no effect.

  2. I’ve noticed that if a play an unassigned MIDI note the same crash cymbal (high) gets notated. Does this suggest that, in the previous circumstance, when playing notes that should be notated as specific drum types, Dorico is not recognising the presence of those instruments?