Percussion Staves

Dorico 4.3.20

Good day. In my DAW’s orchestral mock-up (using Vienna Symphonic), I have a track for orchestral drums (bass, snare, and tambourine), cymbals (clash/two-handed, and suspended cymbal for rolls with beaters), and triangle.

I am going to import this piece into Dorico.

  1. Do I need to put each of the 6 sounds on a separate track so that Dorico instruments or Note Performer will use the correct sample in playback?
  2. To keep the score as small as possible, is there a way to put multiple sounds on a single percussion staff and tell Dorico/NotePerformer which sounds to use for various notes? It is common in actual scores to do this.
  3. At a minimum, I’d like to put cymbals on a single track notate a tremolo for the suspended cymbal roll and a single sustained note for the crash/clash cymbals. Is this possible?

Any general guidance for notating percussion to play back correctly would be very much appreciated.

Thanks --Konrad

PS Of course, timpani, xylophone, and glockenspiel will each have a separate staff.

Dorico has an import filter for MIDI which might help, not AFAIK for XML.

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It’s easily possible to have multiple percussion instruments shown on a single staff in Dorico. In Dorico we call these percussion kits. You can read about them in the Operation Manual, starting here:

Thanks! Based on this, I think I could create a staff for a percussion section with different drums mapped to different note numbers.

If I can find some Dorico examples that are also fairly in line with symphonic conventions, that would be really great.

I appreciate how helpful everyone here is. I hope I will be able to do the same soon.

Currect piece being scored:

All the best, --Konrad

The only thing that’s weird here–to me since Dorico is new to me–is the Dorico distinction between player and section in the context of percussion. A single player could have a drum kit with drums mapped to notes; but there could also be a percussion staff with parts for several players (e.g., snare, bass, tambourine, triangle). I hate to clutter the conductor’s score with too many staves. Also, we don’t always know how the conductor or percussionist will divide up the parts. The same person may handle triangle and bass and one person may play snare and tambourine.