Tweaking Noteperformer preferences

Hello @ all,

I work mostly with plucked string instruments, and while mandolin and guitar playback work well (I am not a huge fan of the mandolin Sound though…), I need mandola (a tenor mandolin) as well, which sounds an octave lower than written. Hence my questions:

  • Can I tell Noteperformer to play back that instrument an octave lower? I haven’t figured out how. The HSO Interface has an option for this.

  • Is there a way to change the sample Noteperformer is using for a particular instrument? I’ve been using harp for mandolin with HSO and I may want to change it on Noteperformer as well.

As a related question: (when) will it be possible to change instrument settings in Dorico? I’d like to make a separate mandola preset with the correct octave and clef aso.

Thanks as always,


I’m afraid I can’t provide chapter and verse on the NotePerformer questions: I believe that you cannot in general do either of the things you want to do at the moment: for the first, you would need to modify the NotePerformer expression map, and I don’t know what consequences that might have; for the second, i.e. to override the sound, that would require us to have a separate option in the track header in Play mode that allows you to say “play this instrument back not as the actual kind of instrument it is, but as this other kind of instrument”. This is something that we think would be useful and we will probably add it at some point, but not imminently.

We also do plan to add a dialog to Dorico to allow you to edit instrument definitions, hopefully relatively soon.

You could define a custom playing technique and put that at the start of the score. You can then add that technique to the Noteperformer Expression Map and set it to transpose an octave down (-12). It will only affect the instruments in which the PT occurs…

See attached for Mandola. I imported a hand-tweaked XML file. Not sure about changing to Harp sound in NP. (270 KB)

I think I’ve got this figured out.

  • Create a harp instrument for each Mandolin and Mandola needed. Remove Bass staff for each Harp.
    (In write mode: Edit > Staff > Remove Staff)
  • Change Mandola Clefs to Tenor G Clef
  • Export Full Score to XML
  • Import XML into new document
  • Change names of Instruments

Thank you so much for your input! I will try all this shortly… :wink:

Thank you Craig, this works beautifully – the right sounds, the right octaves… :slight_smile:

There is just one thing:
I created the “harp-mandolins” as section instruments, so I can have them play divisi; but this doesn’t work after ex-/reimporting the XML file.
Is there a way to restore this property? I often work with plucked string orchestra (i. e. sections of mandolin 1/2, mandola, guitar and double bass, just like a regular string orchestra), and it would be great to have divisi available if I want…

I’m afraid this can’t be done in Dorico, so is there anything I can do to the XML file to make this work?


Create a new “Empty-handed” section Instrument.
Click the ‘>’ icon on the Solo Player(s) to reveal the instrument list.
Drag the listed instrument to the new Section Player.


Whatever solution that works for you should be fine. But speaking from experience with our Sibelius version, where you can’t readily access the instrument or percussion mapping, tweaks like these are often much easier and more appropriate to achieve by adjusting the properties of the score or staves. E.g:

  • Creating or editing a staff type so that it transposes an octave down,

  • Assigning a harp instrument but overriding the name of the staff to “Mandolin”.

I would only use a custom expression map in the case that something cannot yet be technically achieved in Dorico, by editing a staff.

Works like charm, thanks Craig! You really made my day. :sunglasses:
I got everything I want and can happily buy Noteperformer 3 now… :wink:

All the best, Daniel

Great! Glad, you got it all working.