Section players, solo players, playback and parts

Hi everybody! I watched yesterday’s streaming about Expression maps and Playback Templates; my question is about “Setting up Solo and Section players in Dorico and mapping them”; in my last orchestral work (the Star Wars Medley I submitted in “Dorico Music in Qurantine” thread) I used for woodwinds and brass only “solo players”, then, for example in every French Horn parts, I mapped voice 1 to an instance of EW Hollywood Brass with solo French Horn and voice 2 to an instance with 6 French Horns, to have the ability to switch between a soloist and the group when needed. Later I had the ideaI to use separate solo and section players but I’ve never tried it; yesterday it’s time to make a test. Everything went ok for playback (I write solo parts for everyone of the three flutes, and a section part when they are “a 3” and they are correctly mapped and played back) but the problem comes with parts. The conductor score is condensed the right way, putting together section and solo music in the same staff, but I have parts for every single flute and a part for the section; single flutes don’t have in their part the music of the section. How can I solve this? I hope I’ve made myself clear…

If you want to use the “section” patch on a separate staff for playback, the simplest way would be to copy the “section” music onto the three “solo” staves, and set the “suppress playback” property on the solo staves.

You can create a layout that contains both solo and section flutes, and use the hide empty staves function in conjunction with condensing in that particular layout… I hope I understood your concern correctly and that it helps!
Anyway, if you manage to have it ok in the score, you should be able to create the correct parts :wink:

Thanks to all. I’ll do as you suggest, copy/paste and different layouts.

My previous suggestion seemed like the simplest (and quickest) way to get what you want from where you are now, but it’s not necessarily the “best” way to handle this.

I don’t have EW so I don’t know exactly what it contains, but some sample libraries have several “solo” samples for each instrument, and you can then create a “section” with any number of players simply by making them all play in unison.

Even if the library doesn’t contain several “soloists” you might be able to fake it. For example, make Dorico expression maps that transposes the flute up or down one semitone, and adjust the playback tuning by a semitone the other way. So, when your score says the three flutes all play an A, they are actually playing G#, A, and Bb, but with their flutes tuned so the three different sampled notes all sound at 440 Hz.

Then, you just write the three flute parts, assign a different “soloist” to each one, and let Dorico condense the score for the unison passages.

You would probably also want to create a playback template, so “Flute 1” and “Flute 2” automatically mapped onto different solo samples, rather than assigning every staff of the score to the correct samples by hand.

This is more work to set up, but once that is done you can just “write music” without having to worry about the playback details.

I had kind of the same remark when watching the session.
Solo and section players for the same instrument in the score, is usually not the thing we want to do.
The way I understand it:
The ‘Dorico way’ is to write the parts, meaning you write all horn parts for solo instruments.
Condensing will take care of the rest. So when 2 parts (horns) are playing the same notes they will be condensed with ‘a2’ in the full score.
The problem is that no change in playback is possible.
What I would like, is some kind of condition in the expression maps where we can assign a different playback (section) patch when parts are condensed.
I don’t know if something like this has been considered or that other options will become available.

Maybe my first solution is still good: different voices for solo and “tutti”, leaving the score clear; anyway I’ll give a try; Rob’s “fake” seems also a good trick, I’ve read about this time ago, but I’ve never tried it. Anyway, I think in EW Hollywood Brass, for instance, the sound of the 6 French Horns patch is impossible to reproduce with solo patches. It would be useful, as Patrom said, to have a standard solution.