snare drum issue on playback

Using either the basic or full drum set, the snare drum plays midi note D1 when selected but midi note G0 during playback. Not sure why this is happening. For Halion it sounds correct as both notes play back a snare, but other GM libraries (at least one of the ones I have) don’t have any sound mapped to G0. Nevertheless, it seems like a bug to play one note on selection and another on playback.

I don’t know if this happens for other notes in the drum set, I just noticed it for the snare. A few of the others that I looked at seemed to be consistent between selection and playback.

So it appears there is a conflict in the percussion map. Both soft snare (midi note 31) and acoustic snare (midi note 38) are defined as Nat. But why this triggers differently on selection vs. playback is not clear to me.

I have noticed something similar when inputting notes using VDL. Sometimes, the input note is not what the sounding is supposed to be, despite having the correct playing technique selected for the “natural” note.

It seems that Dorico sometimes stays on the last playing technique chosen. But I am not 100% sure, as I cannot seem to have the same interaction over and over again.


As it happens I was looking into this just yesterday. As you point out, Dave, notes 31 and 36 are both set to Kick Drum, Natural, and notes 33 and 38 are both set to Snare Drum, Natural in the General MIDI drum map. In fact only notes 36 and 38 are genuinely the General MIDI mappings: in Yamaha’s XG flavour of GM, notes 31 and 36 produce “soft” kick and snare (whatever that means) while in Roland’s GS flavour, they produce (I think) stick clicks. For the future, I have changed the mappings of notes 31 and 33 to use a different playing technique, so they won’t be duplicates, which will resolve the inconsistency.

The reason for the difference in behaviour when auditioning the notes versus when playing back is because a slightly different method is used to determine which sound to play: auditioning simply uses the first match (for efficiency) while the calculation for what to do during playback is a bit more sophisticated.

Thanks for looking into this. It makes sense now. I discovered this when trying to use Vienna Jazz drums using the default GM percussion map. But Jazz drums, while GM compatible, has a much narrower range of notes mapped to samples. So I was getting no playback on some notes due to the conflict and also when selecting notes. It was triggering notes out of range.

Anyway, I made a duplicate percussion map and removed notes below Midi note 35 and above Midi note 60 and all is well.

Making the modified GM map described above has got the Vienna drums playing back the correct kit parts for me.

In Write mode how do I indicate “brushes” or “sticks”? There are no playing techniques for these in the Unpitched Percussion palette.

And probably related, “snares on” and “snares off” don’t trigger A0 or B0 though in Vienna drums Xmap they are set to the correct MIDI notes, 21 and 23.

I’m stuck!

And a larger issue for me is that I don’t understand how playing techniques listed in the Xmaps are accessed in Write mode.


Not all playing techniques that you see in the Expression Maps dialog are mapped onto playing techniques that you can create in Write mode, but if you hover over a playing technique in the panel in Write mode, you’ll see the playing technique identifier shown in the tool tip, which hopefully allows you to make the connection between which technique to create in Write mode to trigger the appropriate playing technique in the expression map.

You cannot currently edit your own playing techniques, either those used in expression maps or their presentations as they appear in Write mode, but this will become possible in the next version of Dorico.

I was trying to solve this issue of brushes vs. sticks for the Vienna Jazz drums and couldn’t solve it. It needs a key switch (C1, C#1) to distinguish between sticks or brushes. I couldn’t get key switching to work in the percussion map.

I looked at the example in Halion keyswitched snare and tried to mimic that, but for some reason I don’t understand, the keyswitch doesn’t happen.

In the percussion map, I made an alternate keyswitch entry for each item that I wanted a keyswitch and assigned a technique for each. Then in Setup mode editing the percussion instrument playing techniques, I added a corresponding technique and gave it a unique note-head. When inserting the different note-heads in the score, no keyswitch is invoked.

Maybe I am missing a step, but I don’t see what it is.

Well, I figured out how to get key switches to work. The missing step is you need to select the technique by shift-alt-up arrow before entering the note. You can’t go back and alter the notehead to effect the technique.

This is confusing at best. So I am not sure this is intended by the design. Someone knowledgeable please clarify.

It definitely is confusing!

I don’t understand your reference to using shift-alt-up arrow.

Are you saying you created the sticks and brushes keyswitches by editing the percussion kit to use different noteheads for brushes and sticks?


Re: shift-alt-up arrow… see page 683 item 4 in the Manual.

I created alternate keyswitch entries for each percussion map item so you can assign a keyswitch for brushes or sticks. I did assign a different note-head for each, but this is not necessary once you understand how to enter the notes as described in the manual to effect the technique keyswitch.