Redefine Playback instrument assignment with NP?

Hi, I have been having a headache managing percussion playback with NP. My biggest problem is that NP keeps assigning Drum kits instead of orchestral percussion to the instruments I use. Often it’s just the bass drum sounding off but also if I need to play with the percussion map to substitute other sound from orchestral percussion for some techniques, it just simply doesn’t work and NP doesn’t allow me to change a drum kit to anything else.

Is there any way to redefine what instrument NP assigns to a Dorico track? Like to tell NP to use Orchestral percussion or drum kit when adding an instrument.

I am not sure this is entirely a Dorico question so if @Wallander has more insights please kindly chime in to help.


If I want an orchestral Bass Drum, I assign a bass drum to an empty Player. If I want a side drum or snare, I can add a snare separately to the Player, and so on and so on. In Dorico I can assign all these individual instruments to a single Player.

Then, if I want them together in a kit, I can assign an empty kit to that player as well and then go into the kit and import the individual instruments I have already assigned to the Player. The only real change I have ever had to make has been to change the notehead of the suspended cymbal (which I admit is one instrument that still sounds like a drum set suspended cymbal) in to a regular (large) notehead rather than the X-noteheads.

The assignment of drum kit versus orchestral percussion sounds is managed by Dorico, based off the percussion maps.

I don’t think there’s a way you can override the choice. Although you can manually select the percussion map from “Endpoint Setup” for the track in Play view, the MIDI patch doesn’t follow. It would be great if it did.


Thanks. I am wondering about the same. I could only set up by applying playing template, but if I want to use other VSTs and add an NP in the “VST Instruments” no matter what I do in Endpoint no instruments show up in NP and it will only play a trumpet sound. So, what is the correct way to manually add tracks and select instruments in NP?

You need to create your own Playback Template which includes both your other VSTs and NP. This template tells Dorico in which order to find instruments from different VSTs. Then when you add a new instrument, you would re-apply your (custom) playback template and NP (and the other VSTs) would load the appropriate instruments.

MIDI programs in Dorico are only assigned when a Playback Template is applied. Unfortunately, that means you can’t manually assign NotePerformer instruments in Dorico.

I see. It’s quite limiting when this manual assignment is not possible. I’d make this feature request; would it possibly be something to expect in the NP versions?

Unfortunately, that wouldn’t work because Dorico assigns MIDI Program Changes on every playback pass, potentially overriding your manual choice. For things to work, those messages need an update. Currently, they don’t reflect the user’s MIDI channel setting, they’re sent even if you delete an instrument from the score, and unused channels aren’t reset to bank/program zero. Understandably, it’s structurally difficult for Steinberg to fix but we’re hoping it will be resolved in due time.