Percussion maps

Dorico Pro Help

Dorico Pro
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Unpitched percussion instruments are played back using patches that map unpitched sounds onto different MIDI notes. The pitches required to produce different unpitched sounds vary by device, sound library, manufacturer, and so on, and have no connection to the position of percussion instruments on five-line staves.

The following list contains some examples of unpitched percussion instruments from the General MIDI percussion map.

  • Bass drum: C2 (MIDI note 36, two octaves below middle C)

  • Kick drum: D2 (MIDI note 38)

  • Closed hi-hat: F2 (MIDI note 42)

  • Cowbell: G3 (MIDI note 56)

  • Open triangle: A5 (MIDI note 81)

Dorico Pro uses percussion maps to connect the written representation of notes and playing techniques for percussion instruments to the samples required to play those sounds back.


A percussion map describes which unpitched percussion instruments and their playback techniques are present in a particular patch, and how to play them back. For example, it describes which MIDI note to play, and if another MIDI note is needed as a key switch to trigger particular playing techniques.

A set of percussion maps for the unpitched percussion patches that are part of theHALion Symphonic Orchestra and HALion Sonic SE factory libraries is provided with Dorico Pro. They are automatically chosen when you add percussion instruments to your project.

You can define custom percussion maps for third-party sound libraries or MIDI devices in the Percussion Maps dialog, in order to obtain correct playback.