Re-Arranging instruments using Dorico + NotePerformer (+ NotePerformer Engines) (Problem)

I use Dorico (the latest version) and Note Performer, which I definitely like how it works. However, my composing workflow is usually as it follows:

  1. First I make a sketch using 2 or 3 piano staves (4-6 staves).
  2. Then I orchestrate the thing. So I start adding the instruments.
  3. I correct the instruments added for the cleffs (generally, I prefer using Bass Cleff for Bass clarinet and the lower saxophones instead of the treble cleff).
  4. If working with strings, I set up the divisis as I am writting (without planning in the sketch)
  5. Finally, I hide the sketch staves.

This composing-flow works for me, but it drives Note Performer crazy for several aspects, which are all related.
First of all, the instruments are created chronologically, so my “full staff” and the Note Performer distribution of the instruments doesn’t make any sense.
Then, the instruments I changed the cleff are duplicated. The same happens If I remove an instrument: it remains in Note Performer.
Finally, the divisi are placed randomly.
So, my problem is I don’t know how to re-arrange the Note Performer distribution and, as it is so strange, my Note Performer and Note Performer Engines don’t work well together.

Is there any workaround to solve this?

I asked the Note Performer staff for a solution, and they reply, but I didn’t ask the question as thorough as now and the answer was not exactly what I needed. And also, I think the same that happens to me could be happening to anyone, so it might be interesting to have this in a public forum instead of a private email.

Thank you in advance!

Did you try to reapply the Noteperformer Playback Template? You’ll find it in the Play menu.

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Why not create all your instruments first, then start sketching? You can apply an instrument filter so you just see the sketching staves, or simply create a layout showing only the sketch staves.

You could just remove them from the Full Score - no need to hide them.

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Because it works better for me this way. If I had created all the instruments beforehand, my composition would be defined by these. So I prefer do the sketching and then decide.

And why not remove instead of hiding? Well, if I hide the sketch, I could re-arrange the piece from the sketch again without being biased.

I mean, this is what works for me, and I have tried all the things you said (as are actually more “natural” in the digital world). But this workflow is closer to the “hand-written sketch then orchestrating”, which is the one that allows me to work best with big ensembles. If the ensemble is small, I don’t usually do these things.

On the other hand, Nickie, I though the solution had to be something like the one you said, but I didn’t know that it existed, or how it was named… so THANK YOU :slight_smile:


I’ve built a template for a similar workflow myself. It’s a combination of NotePerformer + Halion. For my initial sketch I have 4 single-clef keyboards, but I prefer to set them to slightly different sounding pianos, or different keyboard instruments (a main dry and bright piano for melody, more dull and reverb pianos for chords, sometimes a harpsichord instead). I have each piano “instrument” labelled by melody, countermelodies, accompaniment, bass. These are all using Halion, though NP is at the ready.

Once I finish my sketch I will then create instruments manually based on what I want to orchestrate. Because NP is already loaded, it will take over from there with the new instruments without affecting the piano sketches.

If I decide to add an actual piano to the orchestration, I usually create that fresh and separately, leaving the sketch pianos alone.

I like having the piano sketches visible while I orchestrate so I can always track what my harmony is doing quickly. Then once I finish, like yourself, I just hide these tracks from view. I also prefer to write for certain instruments at a clef which makes more sense for writing.

All that said I don’t usually have any issues with NP or NPPE in this regard. I have noticed if I look at the NP mixer sometimes I will see what you describe, duplicated instruments or out of order, but it has never affected playback for me. As someone else has mentioned you can reload your playback template and this will usually reset NP to a cleaner layout.

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It doesn’t affect the NP playback, but the NPPE (some instruments are unassigned or bad assigned). However, applying again the NP template does solve this things. :slight_smile: