Update January 2024:

There is now a full VDL template available to purchase as a third-party addition to Dorico from Eric Kruse. You may wish to email Eric for details and prices instead of using the method and files below.

February 2020:

The current default marching instruments in Dorico for e.g. marching tenor drums or bass drums are not automatically mapped for use with Tapspace’s Virtual Drumline (VDL) and also do not contain as many notehead types (percussion techniques) as you might need.  I’ve therefore created a Dorico template file (link below) with the noteheads created and mapped for playback using VDL 2.5.5.

You may have used a template for other software before and will hopefully find this one uses a similar mapping of noteheads to percussion techniques.  To make writing for drumline as quick as possible in Dorico I’ve also mapped the noteheads/techniques across two octaves of your MIDI keyboard.  By setting the Dorico preference for note input to ‘use staff position’ and with a minimum four-octave keyboard you can both switch notehead types and enter notes for any drum.  For ease, the notehead mapping is the same across snare drums, tenor drums and bass drums, with only a few minor tweaks for cymbals.

Drumline noteheads mapped for snare, tenor and bass drums

Standardised notehead mapping for snare, tenor and bass drums in Dorico

For full details, please also see the included Drumline documentation PDF as it explains the note input preferences you need to set in Dorico to use the template as well as the mapping across the keyboard and a full list of the available noteheads for snareline, tenorline, bassline and cymballine.

You will also need Dorico 3.1 or later, and if playback is important to you, please make sure you have VDL 2.5.5 installed and working before using this template.

You can also watch the Discover Dorico session where we discuss and show the template in detail here: Discover Dorico Hangout on YouTube.


The included Drumline documentation PDF also has a common questions section as the noteheads will not audition correctly as you enter the notes (but will on playback) and there are also some tweaks you can make in Play mode for some of the extra techniques that require MIDI CC messages.

I do not suggest making your own changes to this template at the moment, but if there changes and suggestions that you have to improve the template please get in touch with John via our forum or community Facebook group.

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