Separate MIDI channel for each organ staff

When I assign an organ staff to a MIDI channel in the Play view, it automatically changes all 3 organ staves to the same channel. I need for Dorico to stop doing this.

My VST has a large selection of organ stop combinations, including pedals. When you play a real organ in a concert hall or a church, you can assign different stops to different manuals, and also the pedals, all at the same time. This should likewise be possible in Dorico–and it would be easy, if the UI would just stop synching the staves to the same MIDI channel. I don’t actually see any reason for this feature to be enabled on organ staves. Maybe it makes sense for a piano or a harpsichord, but an organ is not a single-timbre keyboard instrument. The whole auto-synch idea for keyboards does not apply to organ channels.

This is not yet possible, but it has been confirmed for the future. A workaround can be to use several single staff instruments and rename and reroute them.

yeah, that works, though getting the correct braces on the left edge of the score does not look easy. We also lose the keyboard-specific nuances, like dynamics in the middle of the braced staves. But I can do the “Dr. Copy and Mr. Hide” trick and hope the right one comes out of the printer.

Has this functionality been added in any recent updates? I’ve discovered that different voices on the same staff can be separated into different midi channels, but I can’t figure out how to separate the staves of multi-staff instruments into different channels. For organ scores, this is critical. I’m aware of the “workaround,” but I’d like to be sure it hasn’t been addressed another way.

It hasn’t. The workaround of assigning different sounds (manuals) to different voices within each staff is the way to accomplish what you want. The latest versions of Dorico allow different voices to be assigned different MIDI channels, which was not possible at the beginning.

Yes, Derrek is correct that there’s no simple “one-click” solution to assign each staff of the organ to a different MIDI channel, but in fact the independent voice playback feature added in Dorico 3 is even more flexible (at the expense of being a bit more time-consuming to set up), because each individual voice on each staff can be assigned to a different channel if required.


John Barron actually pointed this out to me in an email a few weeks back. The approach is brilliant, in my opinion. I generally use Aria player for organ scores, and I still have not figured out if it’s possible to change the midi channel of a voice mid-staff – i.e. for organ registration changes. I think it’s easy enough to do in NotePerformer, but I prefer my Garritan pipe organ library. My guess is that I would probably need to create separate voices for each change?? I have no doubt that Dorico will develop more options over time.

Expression Maps can contain Absolute or Relative MIDI Channel changes, so you can change MIDI channel with a Playing Technique.

I’ve often thought about setting up various Playing Techniques like 4" Gt. etc, and then hook up Playback Techniques to trigger the relevant MIDI. It would be a lot of work, but very cool.

Thank you for the tip, Ben. I think you mentioned this to me in a previous post, but I still have not ventured much into the expression map world. The custom maps I have were all stolen from you. It will take me some time to figure this out on my own, but I’ll give it a try soon.

I haven’t yet done anything with the Garritan Organs. The Custom Console seems ideal, as you can registrations with CCs, so theoretically, Reg marks in the score could be turned into MIDI instructions.

But I’m the only non-organist in the family! (Such a disappointment…)