Tweaking NotePerformer output - how?

Forking from @dan_kreider s thread. Now with a new version of NP - how can Dorico output be tweaked to get better NP playback? Reports are that you can do this and it can be beneficial in various spots in a bounce.

Details on how exactly this is performed with examples would be helpful. Ping @Wallander for the expert opinion.

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I’m writing for wind band, using the default NP sounds, and my process is as follows:

  1. Quite some rebalancing in the mixer. A marching band needs different balancing than a symphony orchestra, unfortunately.
  2. Reworking the score
  • Most of the times I have to shorten nots (lots of notes) to make things somewhat sound like a march or a polka. These styles, where musicians know that notes are to be played shorter, are quite an overhead here.
  • Apply some articulations (staccato/tenuto/accent) if the result of NP is not already ok.
  • Change dynamic markings here and there for those instruments that need to come out more (mainly the melody in quieter pieces).
  • Add some crescendos and decrescendos to add more phrasing.
  1. “fp” often does not play back well, but I don’t know if it’s a problem on Dorico’s side or on NP’s side. I edit the velocity lane in Play Mode to get better results. Might add a new ticket for this as I feel that Dorico could need some improvement here.
  2. Export each player separately, put them together in Cubase.
  3. Applying EQs:
  • Massively reduce high frequencies on saxophones (they really scream)
  • Take highs down on trumpets
  • Boost highs on flugelhorns
  • Reshape base drum and tomtoms
  1. Manually re-record most of percussions: Snare drum, triangle, maybe cymbal rolls. This really makes a difference, as these instruments are IMHO moreless useless in NP.

Thanks for the fork @DanMcL Dan,

@Wallander Hello sir,

It’s been a lesson for me that there isn’t much room for “good enough” in this business- that if I hear a rub in a piece, a client will inevitably notice it too and either reject the piece or expect me to resolve it. I think “just a mockup” is becoming less and less true at all levels, and/or the inability for clients to hear past the sound of a mockup is a problem even for composer legends.

That’s my context for asking about control and tweaking. That, and the absolute certainty there is no one balance that fits all situations. People like me are there to help tell another’s story - Don’t care if it sounds like a proper classical orchestra as much as did the orchestra convey the necessary emotion. - and even harder sometimes, to be creatively different/ something not heard before.


So, your tips for making it better are…?
I thought this thread was about concrete tips, workflows and workarounds to help people get better results.

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Oh no, my post was about asking what tweaking or control is available, and setting a context as to what I’d be trying to do which might shape any answer.

Specifically to Mr Wallander (but open to all) giving feedback of what my goals were.

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Anything related to tweaking the output is fine as far as I’m concerned.

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