Unexpected Mute and Solo behaviour of midi tracks in the mixer in Dorico 4 (with Note Performer)

I have Dorico 4, I’m using NotePerformer with 5 VST instances loaded for an orchestral template.

I often want to mute or solo a single staff (player), let’s say Flute 1. I know that players are Midi tracks that relate to actual loaded instruments within my Note Performer VST instances.

In Play Mode, selecting mute or solo next for that player actually affects ALL instruments loaded into the VST instrument containing the selected instrument.

I was expecting just the staff/player Flute 1 to be muted or soloed.

The workaround is that each time I wanted to mute or solo a staff I could open the VST and show NotePerformer’s mixer and mute or solo from there but that’s several steps and a floating window that gets in the way.

In Write mode, the new mixer can be shown in the lower zone. With Show Instruments and MIDI buttons activated, there are only mute and solo buttons for my 5 ‘Instruments’ (referring I suppose to the 5 NotePerformer VSTs) but no mute or solo buttons for all the Midi channels that represent the staffs on my score (Flute 1, Flute 2 etc).

To ‘mute’ my Flute 1 I have to pull the fader right down.

Why can’t I mute or solo Midi tracks, since these are directly linked to the staffs in the score?

Yes, unfortunately this is a consequence of the way NotePerformer works, providing just a single stereo output. You should use NotePerformer’s own mixer within its interface.

Do you mean we can’t instruct Dorico to turn off the midi information represented by the notes in the player’s staff, meaning it doesn’t trigger NotePerformer to play that instrument? That is what I understand by muting a midi track, different from muting the actual audio.

That’s right: the Instruments faders in the Mixer correspond to the audio outputs of the plug-ins you’re using. In the context of NotePerformer, that means each instance’s individual output.

Hm. Could one of the future updates of the mixer perhaps incorporate this Mute midi functionality somehow, e.g. by linking it to a cc command for ‘notes off’ for the channel.

I realise this is looking for behaviour somewhat akin to a DAW, but it looks weird in Play Mode to press mute for one track and see a bunch of mutes appear., and equally weird to see no mutes available for the midi tracks when the mixer is invoked in the lower zone.

Not talking audio outputs from the VST, but purely midi on/off. Though I don’t know how one could invoke ‘Solo’ in this way.

I know that lots of Dorico users do use and love NotePerformer, so I wouldn’t rule out implementing special behaviour for NotePerformer in our Mixer, but Wallander’s intention is that you should use the mixer provided in the NotePerformer interface instead, which you can show via the track inspector in Play mode.

Revisiting this topic:

  • I don’t see any Mute or Solo buttons on the Mixer itself, only in Play Mode. It would be nice to mute/solo tracks without having to switch to Play mode.

  • It’s still unclear to me why Dorico mutes everything inside a single NotePerformer instance when the user mutes only a single track. Can’t Dorico just not send data from the other tracks into NotePerformer? In Finale, for example, I can use NotePerformer and solo a single staff without any issues. That’s the behavior I would expect when muting or soloing just a single track.

That’s because Finale mutes and soloes the MIDI data being sent to NotePerformer and not the audio being returned. Exactly what was requested for Dorico earlier in this thread…

Yes - I was asking why that decision was made for Dorico, and voicing my support for the OP’s expectation that the behavior should be otherwise.

We would need to add special handling for NotePerformer, which may of course be worth it given that it is used by a lot of Dorico users, but because NotePerformer is unusual in providing only a single stereo output rather than individual outputs, it’s not particularly well suited to an audio-centric mixer like Dorico’s.

The Dorico Staff could implement an option (there are already many options in Dorico!) to choose the behavior of the mute and solo buttons to be switchable between “audio” or “midi” for the many people using Note Performer.