workaround for (complicated) divisi playback


I am trying to set up a routing scheme from divisi staves to MIDI channels by means of the ‘enable independent voice playback’ option in the VST instrument track headers (Play mode). Within a single score (consisting of one Flow), I need to be able to implement & playback the following divisi configurations:

  • unis.
  • div.1 + div.2
  • solo + gli altri
  • solo + div.1 + div.2

The goal is to use these configurations for members of the strings section, using different VSL samples for each division. Taking the violins as an example, ‘unis.’ and ‘gli altri’ would need to connect to the MIDI channel used for ‘Orchestral violins’, ‘div.1/2’ to ‘Chamber violins’ and ‘solo’ to 'Solo violin.

I have no trouble achieving the correct MIDI routing for any single one of the above configurations. However, I can’t find a set-up that allows to correctly playback different such configurations at different positions throughout a score. The issue appears to be related to the fact that the voice count in Write mode does not have a one-to-one correspondence to the voice count in the voice dropdown menu in the track headers (Play mode);
recent posts (e.g. also point this out.

I have been trying to remedy this by playing around in Write mode with voice numbering and upstem/downstem voicing, but in the end could not come up with a scheme that provides a correct MIDI routing for all configurations.

I imagine this will be addressed in future versions of Dorico, but in the meantime I was wondering whether anyone has figured out a workaround?


Hi Koen,

I just tried something. I hope this will help you.
If I understand you correctly, the first staff needs 3 voices (unis., div., solo), the second staff needs 2 voices (gli altri, div.), the third staff needs one voice (div.).

In my plan I work from big to small:
first staff: unis. > div. > solo, so: voice 1 > voice 2 > voice 3,
the second staff: gli altr > div. so: voice 4 > voice 5
the third staff: div. so: voice 6.
Here the voices are the ones as appear in the Play mode.

Dorico gives in play mode new voices a number according to the order they are created.
So setting the order according to our plan:
create first the three voices in the first staff by placing a note in voice 1up, one note in voice 2up and one note in voice 3up.
(To keep things clear and simple I just use upstem voices.)
They will be named in Play mode voice 1,voice 2 and voice 3.
Next step: create just one divisi staff and after that two voices in that staff by placing a note in voice 1up and voice 2up of the second staff.
They appear as voice 1up and voice 2up in write mode, in play mode as voice 4 and voice 5.
Next step: create the second divisi staff. You need just one voice here: voice 1up in write mode, voice 6 in play mode.
With staff text (shift + x) you can write unis., div.1 or 2, solo in the score.

Take care, that you don’t delete the notes, you has written until now, because you can loose your setup the moment there is no note in a particular voice.
In my orchestra template I always keep one measure with in every voice that I need a note (I use sixteenth notes one after each other).

To speed up my work I made a set of keystroke commands to change a note to another voice easily:

  • ctrl+alt+shift+1 for changing to voice 1up,
  • ctrl+alt+shift+2 for changing to voice 2up.
  • ctrl+alt+shift+3 for changing to voice 3up and so on.

Then you can toggle easily from unis. to divisi or solo.

You didn’t talk about muted strings. When you use muted strings, you can make more voices for them.
I think the best is to implement this when you setup your template, to avoid a new mess in voice naming in Play mode.

Dear mmka,

Thanks for your suggestion - in fact I tried something similar but in the end I got discouraged by the large number of voices required and then I dropped the matter. But now that I see this can work I will surely try again, and I will gladly and meticulously follow your scheme! Good to know also about the danger of deleting notes, this actually added to the confusion during my trials.