Section Players (NotePerformer numbers) and Staff Grouping

When selecting a trumpet section of 3 players, how does NotePerformer know how many players there are? If the music is set for a2 for example, does NotePerformer only play two trumpets? And when it goes back to tutti?

My second question is how to best consolidate group section players on a full score. When they are all playing tutti, a single staff listing 3 players is fine. However, if I break them off into two or three voices (on the same staff) how does NotePerformer interpret this? (as three trumpets or three sections?)

Would it make sense to use the divisi function with brass (even though divisi is traditionally for strings only)? Again, if the parts are tutti, or a2, how would NotePerformer know how many players there are? And when they are broken out into divisi will they play as single instruments?

Obviously, the best solution may be to give each instrument a separate line (however do I select single player or section players for each one?). I’m trying to find if there is a practical way to consolidate them (as seen in many scores) onto one staff and still have NotePerformer handle the proper playback numbers.

I wish I could articulate this problem better though maybe you can understand the dilemmas I’m facing.

Is there a video demo outlining the best practice for the above scenarios?

We’re still waiting for the native Condensing feature, which will handle the representation of multiple players on one stave. I don’t think I’ve read anything specific about how Condensing will deal with the audio side of things, but this informative post from Daniel ( explains that under the hood there will be individual staves for each player.

In the meantime, there’s no particularly good way around this - you’re probably safest having a stave for each player, then manually reducing to one stave that only appears in the score (and unassigning the individual players from the score). With a bit of fiddling it’s not hard to ensure that the individual staves play back and the reduced stave is muted.

I know that when using section players or ensemble players NP will sound multiple instruments even on a unison line. I made that mistake on a string quartet recently where I set up a string section and deleted the bass instead of starting with four solo players.

If you write parts on separate staves, there will be a different MIDI channel and a different “NP player” for each staff. NP includes some randomization, so three trumpets written on three staves won’t sound identical.

If you have more than one “solo” player on one staff, Midi controller 104 controls the number of “virtual players” NP uses for each note. See page 54 of the NP documentation PDF. You can also use this to set the number of players in each section of a string orchestra, for example.

You can make playing techniques for “a2” or “a3” using CC104, but it’s not very convenient if there are just single notes where two or three different voices happen to be in unison.

As pianoleo said, hopefully all this will be handled properly by the “condensing” feature in Dorico 3 which Daniel has written about.

Thanks for all of the great and useful responses! Much appreciated. Obviously I’m a Noob to Dorico so I never would have found that wonderful thread on consolidating so thanks for that pianoleo. Its too bad the discussion of consolidation is hidden inside of another topic. This seems to be a major topic in itself.

I really do like Dmitry’s (dr-music) way of thinking about the solution to consolidation from the perspective of a composer. Even if there are technical issues, human decisions could be made in the process to make the idea work. I’m sorry such a good idea was simply promptly dismissed for “technical reasons”. In some ways it seems a bit like putting the cart before the horse. The needs of the composer should dictate how the technical problem is solved, not the other way around. I hope the Dorico engineers and programmers think carefully about this point as they continue to refine Dorico. If SpaceX can find a way to Mars, then we should be able to find a composing solution that Prokofiev would have been happy with.

I don’t think dr-music’s comment on Condensing was dismissed; it seems clear to me that the development team have already thought long and hard about how to achieve the function, and that (presumably) they’ve already started implementing it behind the scenes. The proof will be in the pudding, of course.

They’ve been very clear that score condensing is a killer feature, and that their implementation will wow people.

I think the current percussion view is a sort of early, simple proof of concept of how condensing works.

The future-proof (and conceptually correct, IMO) approach is to write your trumpets as separate players. The workaround as of today is to create a manually condensed part. But by having the three separate parts, your score will be ready to benefit from Dorico’s condensing whenever it comes.

edit: all of the above is exactly what Daniel said in the linked post :slight_smile:

I agree with pianoleo. The concept wasn’t dismissed at all. The problem with dr-music’s implementation idea was that it was basically “do it like Finale works already, plus some more bells and whistles.” Right from the start, Dorico wasn’t “Finale or Sibelius rewritten with some more options” but something fundamentally different.

For example, don’t skip over the part of Daniel’s reply to dr-music’s post, when he talks about “providing tools to input music onto multiple staves at once…”