I have completed the work on 1 of the many books I will be redoing in Dorico. The first one was a mallet book, and using the lyric tool with some of the new engraving options worked out very well adding in stickings. And I have to say that I am INCREDIBLY impressed with how easy it was to do the work in Dorico, and how AMAZING it looks. I wish I could share some snippets of the work, but for copyright reasons I cannot. So, I am now moving on to the next project… A Snare Drum solo book.
I am getting through the note entry well enough. Part of it seem to be moving rather fast. However, when it comes to playing techniques, there are a few things that are little bit of a slow down.
None of this is meant to be a slam, just my initial impression working with Dorico to do more complex percussion notation…
To start with, the pieces I am reworking in Dorico are for solo snare drum. And as with normal conventions of playing snare drum, the player will strike the drum normal, play on the rim, and click sticks together. These “other” playing techniques (playing on the rim, clicking the sticks) are often notated on other staff spaces or lines, differing from the one on which the regular snare drum is notated. Here is an example. (diamond note heads are for stick clicks, Xs are for rim)
Since these techniques are notated on different lines or spaces, they cannot be assigned to the 1 snare drum in the percussion kit (unless I have missed something). As such, I need to have 2 snare drums. One for regular hits, and one for these other techniques.
I know that there are limitations to the GM Percussion Map (as in rim and stick clicks do not exist), and I know that more robust sample libraries (like VDL) include those sounds. But currently, there is not a function to split the sounds of a multi-timbre instrument between different positions on a staff. Using just the VDL snare drum patch, I would need to place these other techniques on the same space or line as the regular drum hit. (Unless I am missing something).
Also, when using the lyric tool for stickings, going between places where the snare drum is played normally and the snare drum plays on the rim, there is an issue where the lyric tool jumps to the same kind of note next, as opposed to the next note. I get that this is because of the way that a drum kit is really different voices, and Dorico movies the lyrics to the same voice it is currently working in.
I guess a solution to this would be to give us the ability to “create” our own mapping of where each individual sound of a robust library will be placed on the staff (which might mean the ability to create our own instruments, seeing the way that the percussion kit editor works). And also perhaps a dedicated sticking tool that knows that each “up stem” voice belongs to the same ‘percussionists’ and will therefore not skip from sound to sound.