Trying out Dorico-create custom ensembles?

I am brand new to Dorico. I write for a Zimbabwean style marimba band-Seven differently named marimbas all with their own ranges, and various custom percussion instruments.

Can I create a custom ensemble for my specific needs? I need to be able to create them and then have my instance of Kontakt play the specific sampled marimbas of our ensemble for each instrument. Thanks for any help!

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You can’t really save your own presets yet, but you can just setup one empty (as far as the actual music goes) project and save it as a jumping board in the future.

I agree with Luis’s advice, particularly because if you are going to use specific Kontakt patches, setting up the seven players and assigning the appropriate patches in Kontakt will save time when starting a new project. All you need to do is choose File > Save As to save your current project under a new name, then delete the existing flows in the project, then add a new flow and start writing. All of the existing setup in Play mode will then be retained.

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Neither of you actually answered his question… as a fellow newcomer to Dorico (and music arrangement in general), his questions were RE: setting up a score, custom ensembles, and custom instruments (that aren’t part of the base setup or library).

I have similar questions as starting to arrange for a steel drum ensemble, but will try digging into it some more before inevitably bugging the forum with more pointed questions.

(for example, dorico provides a “steel drum” instrument, but steel drum is actually a family of instruments (leads, seconds, tenors, cellos, 6bass, and more, each with specific ranges/voicings/timbres

So, ‘custom ensembles’ as in one you can use for ‘New from template’ isn’t implemented (yet), but is easily worked around using the method described above.

‘Custom instruments’ is also not implemented (yet), but is possible with more complicated work-arounds, reportedly by importing XML files with custom instruments (have not done this myself) or by editing Dorico’s internal instrument definition files (worked in the past, I haven’t had success with it since last update). A method for the latter one was described here, but I can’t promise it works.

joee, welcome to the forum. I’d be pleased to hear from you about the requirements for steem drum ensembles, and we’ll be happy to add more variants for this family of instruments.

I had the pleasure of seeing and hearing the steel drum group Pantonic All Stars in the town of Peel in the Isle of Man a few years ago. From that experience I can definitely appreciate the desire to write for such an ensemble using Dorico. Having different steel drum variants available would be ideal for this.

  • I would save the instruments as Multi in Kontakt
  • Save the project after setting all VST and players and notations
  • Zip the file name it: This way you don’t accidentally override it. Each time you need it you can unzip it.