Percussion mapping in MIDI import

I’ve been working really hard to understand percussion maps in Dorico, particularly in connection with importing MIDI. And I’m stuck.

So I’ve chosen a small and concrete question, the answer to which will help me immeasurably. This is one small example but I need to do dozens if not hundreds of similar imports in my current project.

So: I want to import a triangle part via MIDI. It’s just got 2 sounds, open and closed (muted), and those are on 2 arbitrary MIDI notes… let’s say F#1 and G1. These can be changed if needed.

The desired result is a simple, standard triangle part, that shows both open and closed notes, on one line. (It could be standard noteheads for open and x noteheads for closed, or standard noteheads with “o” below them for open and “+” below them for closed. Or any common notation, I don’t care.)

The standard triangle instrument in Dorico doesn’t seem to have a “closed/muted” playing technique, so I created a custom one. It looks ok visually, the mute doesn’t play back but that’s secondary. But how can I import the MIDI into it, so that designated notes come in as open or closed? If I need to prep my MIDI by changing the notes, I can do that.

Or, I also see that the GM drum kit has Open Triangle at A5 (#81) and Mute Triangle at G#5 (#80). Should I import it as a full GM drum kit, and then… maybe change it to single line, and delete other instruments? This seems kind of nuts but maybe it could be done only once and re-used?

Thanks so much

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If your VSTi has open triangle on F1 and mute triangle on F#1, that’s what should be in your percussion map. That way, when you import your MIDI file, every F1 will be written in Dorico as an open triangle, and every F#1 as a muted triangle. But prior to this, you will want to edit percussion playing technique for the triangle, so that you have a natural technique and a muted technique available.
I hope it’s clear!

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See this post to create a triangle instrument with open and muted sounds. Prepare the MIDI file for import into Dorico using MIDI notes 81 and 80 for the open and muted sounds, respectively. Now import the file into the existing flow in Dorico, assigning the Triangle track to a Drum Set instrument using the Yamaha XG percussion map. Copy the notes from the new instrument with the 5-line staff to the 1-line triangle instrument and then delete the new instrument.

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Thank you John, I tried this but it doesn’t work.

I now have the triangle instrument set up properly, with a normal and muted playing technique, using all the steps that @dspreadbury spelled out in the linked post.
But when I import, all the notes are normal, none are muted. The distinction between the two notes MIDI 80 and 81 is lost, they are all just normal triangle hits, even though it’s using the Yamaha . Or, if I import into a Drum Set instrument first, they somehow show up as wood blocks or snare drums (depending on a few different things I tried) and they can’t be converted into triangles of any sort.

Extremely frustrated. I’ve probably spent at least an hour a day on this problem for the last 2 weeks.

Thanks but this hasn’t worked. The VST I’m using is just Halion Pro. I managed to set up the open & muted triangle from the Yamaha XG Drum Kit, which uses G#5 and A5 for muted and open, respectively. But even though my MIDI is set to those notes, the import doesn’t come in correctly.

Maybe I can make this question simpler: I am attaching a Dorico session. In it, I created a Triangle instrument that plays back open and muted sounds. It is using a custom percussion map called Yamaha XG Triangle, which is just a copy of the Yamaha XG map with everything deleted but the triangle open and muted. It retained the mapping on G#5 and A5. It connects to the HALion Sonic GM Stereo Kit.

Can someone please please tell me how I could import a MIDI triangle into this instrument, so that it displays normal and muted notes correctly?

Please help me. I am desperate. I’ve spent dozens of hours on this problem. If I have to re-enter every percussion instrument for this entire 90-minute piece from scratch, just tell me. It might have been faster at this point.
TRIANGLE MAPPING.dorico (957.3 KB)

Thanks Brent. I’ve been trying to play with your file, and indeed, I would be very interested in having someone from the team that looks into this and explains us what are the steps necessary to achieve what you want. I guess that would answer the different questions I had when creating Percussion maps and playback templates for Superior Drummer 3. I can achieve a quite good result, but I loose all the finesses that this VST is able to deliver, because those playing techniques didn’t make it at import.
To make clear what I did: I used Brent’s file to create a little snippet of music with open and mute triangle, exported it to MIDI, and tried to reimport one or two bars later (in the key editor). Maybe it’s the MIDI export that’s faulty — every note shows as Natural in the playing techniques lane. I don’t know. I shall try with some MIDI exported out of Cubase when I have some time…
For the record, that’s a matter I’ve been spending a lot of time upon too, and still longing for the solution. I understand it’s not a simple one, but I really wonder whether it’s possible to achieve what we’re hoping for.
Now, all I’ve got is either all notes as natural or all notes as muted.

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When you import the MIDI file into Dorico, you need to use the Advanced Editor in the MIDI Import Options dialog box in order to specify a percussion map for the instrument receiving the notes from the Triangle track:

Based on my limited testing, it appears that in order to specify a percussion map, the receiving instrument must be one which inherently uses a percussion kit. That is why I told you to assign the Triangle track to a Drum Set instrument using the Yamaha XG percussion map.


Yes, John !
I could indeed import a MIDI file created in Cubase with those two sounds and have them correctly imported just like you just described. Drag and drop works too. So there’s a very specific workflow to follow. If I try to import through drag and drop without having imported through advanced import (with the instrument specified, the perc map specified) it does not work. If it’s been done at first, then importing is easy. :pray:


Wow… it works! Very fussy, but if it’s done just exactly like that, it works!

Thank you very much!

Yes I had to import as a new drum kit, specify Yamaha XG as the Percussion Map, and then copy that into my already-prepared Triangle instrument.

I had literally never noticed that ability to specify a Percussion Map in import, since it’s almost always greyed out.

A million thanks @johnkprice and @MarcLarcher as well.

Now… please, Dorico team, can you please make this a little easier in future versions? The solution is very kludge-y and fussy, non-intuitive, has a million steps in different places throughout the app, is hard to remember, and easy to mess up.

Thanks again, everyone.

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Very interesting input. As mentioned in my post yesterday I am working on integration of Addictive drums 2 into Dorico using the ADD2 mapping as the Yamaha standard mapping does not have all brush sweeps included.

I can drag and drop patterns directly from the ADD2 plugin open in Dorico. It gives a very impressive and complicated score for typical jazz beats. However my own imported midi tracks entered using the Maschine drum pads in a DAW always result in a mess probably because the generated drum set was not using the ADD2 percussion map. Adding the ADD2 percussion map might be the solution. I will post when I have tried it.

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Percussion Kits: How to import MIDI and map it to noteheads PLUS articulations?

Thank you @johnkprice and others for this information. I got this triangle demo to work (note that you need to use “Drum Set Advanced” rather than “Drum Set Basic”

I want to extend this example further, hopefully you guys or @dspreadbury (since he has written extensively on the topic of percussion maps) could help out. The demo so far has achieved: mapping MIDI notes 80 and 81 to X notehead / natural notehead. I want to achieve the following:

Map MIDI note 80 to default notehead + the SCOOP jazz articulation (so that when importing MIDI file with note 80, the X notehead appears with the SCOOP articulation)

If it isn’t possible to get jazz articulations to appear, can I get other articulations to appear, such as ACCENT and STACCATO? I assume this has something to do with the “Percussion Instrument Playing Techniques” dialogue, but I don’t know what to do there, even though I’ve read the manual regarding that dialogue and all of its sub-sections.

To give more context on what I’m trying to achieve:

  1. I want to import a MIDI file generated by NI Kontakt’s Indian Percussion into Dorico. That file should then generate Indian Drum Notation as defined here.
  2. I understand I would need to create a custom percussion map, but I don’t know if Dorico allows translating MIDI note 80 to a specific notehead PLUS an articulation.

For now, I’ll implement a workaround: instead of using the articulations presented in Indian Drum Notation, I’ll define my own notehead aliases so that MIDI note 80 will generate in Dorico a certain special notehead that I understand to mean “default notehead + scoop.” This is possible given the information provided in this thread so far. But I would appreciate any insight on how to get closer to what I want, which is to generate a notehead plus an articulation.

First, create a new notehead set containing a copy of noteheadBlack to which the Scoop glyph has been added:

Next, add a single player holding the Tabla instrument and edit the percussion playing techniques for the larger drum to add the Scoop technique using the notehead set you just created:

Finally, edit the Keda Tabla percussion map to associate MIDI note 80 with the Scoop technique for the larger Tabla drum:

Now when you import a MIDI file into Dorico and assign the Indian drum track to the Tabla instrument using the Keda Tabla percussion map, a quarter note with MIDI note 80 as its pitch will look like this:


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Hi Seagun (Dorico claims this thread is solved but I hope it still allows me to answer your question)

The problem your are facing is that the noteheads and additional markings you need for the Indian drums are not part of the set offered in the setup mode where you link playing techniques you have defined in your percussion map to noteheads with or without additional markings as they will appear in the score.

I have already posted on this issue. The choice of noteheads and additional markings in that setup is not very well suited for percussion. To make it of real use, this setup should have all markings which are offered for Unpitched Percussion in the articulations menu on the right side Dorico menu. So you have to use alternative noteheads and markings from the playing techniques menu in the setup for each technique you have and provide an explanation in the score for the player (who will notbe happy) as to what is what.

Attached a screenshot of Addictive Drums snare with all techniques both simple and combined. You see that I use accents, tenuto marking etc.

A drummer will not understand this score without explanation.

What you can do but that is extra work is after importing change the automatically generated noteheads to the ones you actually want using the articulations menu on the right. This will not effect the playback.

Thank you John for this explanation!

Thanks mavros for sharing how you approach this issue – I think @johnkprice answer, above, solves the issue by creating custom notehead sets

Hi Seaguin, As I mentioned you can add your own markers and noteheads as John mentioned but they will appear on the right side in the articulation menu. As far a I know they will not be able to interact with the techniques with the related midi notes to trigger them defined in the percussion map.

You need them in the setup menu for the percussion techniques of your percussion kit to make then work but as far as I know you cannot add user defined noteheads and markers in that menu.

If this would be possible possible even by editing a file using and xml editor I would be very interested.

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