Scoring a Synth

I would like to incorporate a synthesizer into a future piece and envisage not only changing presets but also changing settings of key controllers. Bearing in mind, Dorico’s existing skills and talents, does anyone have any thoughts of the best way to indicate controller changes in the score? I’m envisaging setting the synth up as a piano in 2 staves but am aware that midi control has (elsewhere) been graphically illustrated in lanes beneath the staff in question. I’m not sure Dorico can do this yet (???) so am I best off indicating changes via text at key points? I assuming that there is no way of achieving an actual change in the synth on playback.

All thoughts welcome


I think you could create custom Playing Techniques using the new Technique Editor and create a custom Expression Map to translate those techniques to the correct MIDI for the synth.


Re: playback — I haven’t tried it myself (the update is days old, after all), but, off the top of my head, I don’t see any problem achieving what you describe. Dorico correctly sends out all MIDI data, so as long as you can wrangle that data correctly, you’re good to go. Just send it to MIDI out instead of a VST. I routinely control stuff in Max that’s sequenced in Dorico. Unless there’s something rather specific in your setup…

Regarding notation: I’d recommend text. But if you really want or need graphics, the process is not too dissimilar from what you would have to do in any other notation software, because I’m assuming you’re looking for something where simples lines wouldn’t cut it.

Thanks for the helpful suggestions. I should have said that I am trying to play to a soft synth - say, NI Massive - which I can achieve via embedding the synth in another program - I am currently using MetapluginSynth by DDMF. This allows me to select a patch in Massive and then all seems well. What I would like to do is change patch during the piece and am unclear how this can be achieved (I haven’t got Dorico Pro yet.) Will the new Technique Editor allow me to control the parameters of a soft synth - or I do need a wholly different solution?

You can send program changes via expression maps, and keyswitches and other controller changes, but you can’t change MIDI channel, for what it’s worth.