Instrument Change/Percussion Layout Selection

After hours of trial & error and online research, I have admitted defeat.  My immediate goal is simply to transition from ";Concert Band Combo"; to ";Combo Rack B"; on the same staff and be able to have notes appear correctly on the staff. (i.e. the Concert Band Combo pitches appear on the staff as they do in the Concert Band Percussion Layout and the Rack B pitches appear as they do in the Rack B Percussion Layout) I realize that I can only assign one Percussion Layout per staff in the ScoreManager.  In my previous arrangement of VDL/Finale, I was able to assign each combo to a different layer and then assign layer two a new staff style for the other combo. It was inefficient, but it did work.  I read in one forum that using layers for what I am trying to achieve is somewhat antiquated.

Am I correct in assuming this method has been replaced by the Mid-Score Instrument Change and Change Instrument Expressions? How does this all work?  On a related note, what's up with the ";Change Instrument"; command under the Utilities Menu?  It seems to only have general MIDI instruments and no VDL instruments.

If this helps your response, I started with a 2.5.5 VDL template for this file and all my sounds playback correctly.  This is a just a matter of notation and sanity.

I am very appreciative to anyone who can turn on the light for me.


Layers will work just fine for what you wish to accomplish. It might even be a good choice if you wish to do mid-measure changes. This something that can't be done using the Change Instrument Utility.

The Change Instrument Utility only shows instruments supplied by Finale and Garritan. This is the reason you don't see any VDL specific instruments. The best solution when using the Change Instrument Utility is to select an instrument name similar to the VDL one you wish to use, then through the Score Manager make the needed adjustments. This will mean setting up Kontakt Player prior to using the utility, then setting midi channels, percussion midi maps and layouts. This is not nearly as difficult as it sounds, especially when done with some prior planning.

Let me know if there are any problems or other questions.
Ted, Thanks for taking the time to reply.  You say that layers will work just fine.  I have each Combo in a separate layer, but in the Percussion Layout Selection ";Box";, I can choose either Concert Band Combo or Combo Rack B, but not separately for each layer. 

So, for example, if mm 1-8 is Concert Band Combo on Layer 1 and mm 9-16 is Combo Rack B on layer 2, I can either set the Percussion Layout to Concert Band Combo and input/Edit the music in mm 1-8 or...set the Percussion Layout to Combo Rack B and input/edit the music in mm 9-16.  But whichever Percussion Layout I choose, the music for the entire staff changes to coincide with that layout, both visually and in playback.  (I misstated earlier that playback work fine.  It only works fine within one percussion layout.)  So if I playback mm 1-16, one of the layers will look and sound correct and one will not depending on which Percussion Layout was last selected. 

Open the Score Manager:

1. make certain that you can see the Percussion MIDI Map column on the far right side (if it's not there, click Custom View and check Percussion MIDI Maps)
2. for the staff in question click the triangle next to the staff name, not instrument name
3. this should open up the staff so you can view the various layers
4. assign each combo to its own layer, with each on a separate midi channel, select the correct percussion midi maps and percussion layouts
5. this should function as expected, remember to change layers to see the different layouts.
Everything in score manager is as you described.  Assigning each layer its own midi channel and Midi Map is not the problem.  The problem is when I click on [Settings...] to the right of to Notation Style [Percussion], I enter a new window called Percussion Layout Selection.  If I choose VDL 2.5 Concert Band Combo, it adjusts ALL layers if the staff to match the notation settings for Concert Band Combo.  So layer 1 looks great, but layer 2 looks a hot mess.  If I go back into Percussion Layout Selection and click VDL Rack Combo B (AutoRL), then layer 2 looks correct, but layer 1 is all messed up. 

So, for example,  if I have sleigh bells on layer 1, which is C4 in the Concert Band Combo Percussion Layout, set to be notated as ^ on the top line, but I have Suspended Cymbal/w stick on layer 2, which is C4 in the Rack Combo B Percussion Layout, set to be notated as X on the 3rd space, the end result is that all C4's in both layers will either be notated as ^ on the top line or X on the 3rd space.  I can't get both. 
After a little help from Zuill in the Make Music Forum, I was finally able to work out the Mid-Score Instrument Change.  When I originally went to Utilities/Change Instrument, none of the VDL names were listed in that menu, so I just chose ";Percussion"; It seemed like a nice general description at the time. I received the following message:

The Percussion Layout(s) cannot be found for ���Percussion.�۝ You can:
- Select a new Document Style,
- Select a new instrument, or
- Manually set up or load the Percussion Layout.

I tried other names besides ";Percussion"; and got the same message, so I just quit exploring that menu option all together. When I tried it later with one of the wind parts, it worked fine.

Turns out I only get this message when I try to change instruments on a staff that is using VDL. Furthermore, the message, for the most part, doesn't really mean anything. The change still takes place in Score Manager. The one instance where the change did not take place was the staff I have been struggling with this whole time. I finally realized that the original name of the staff was Percussion, and when I tried a Mid-Score staff change and selected Percussion (just as a formality) Finale was NOT HAPPY. Not only did a I get the message above, no change took place in Score Manager, thus leading me on this wild goose chase. If I chose any other name, the change would show up in Score Manager. Go Figure.

When you're working with Layers, you should be assigning percussion midi maps and layouts to each individual layer being used, not for the staff in general. This is most likely what is causing all of the layers to change layouts. If you set the layers up in advance of writing, then the only thing you would need to do is switch layers using the drop down menu in the lower left corner of your score view window.

The reason the mid-score change did not happen when switching from 'Percussion' to 'Percussion' is because those are considered the same instrument. I mentioned specifically in my previous post that VDL instruments aren't available in the Instrument Change Utility because VDL is a third party library. Those instruments shown in the Utility dialog box are only those found using either the Finale supplied instruments or those provided by Garritan (now owned by MakeMusic/Finale).
What you are saying seems completely logical and when you say I ";should be assigning percussion midi maps and layouts to each individual layer"; I could not agree more.  I just don't see any button or command or window in my Score Manager that allows me to do that. 

If I click on layer 1, adjust it's channel and midi map, then go to Percussion Layout Selection and click Concert Band Combo, it appears to accept this.  If I then click on layer 2, adjust it's channel and midi map and go to Percussion Layout Selection and click Rack Combo B, it appears to accept this as well.  But if I go back to layer 1 and enter the Percussion Layout Selection to check to see what is selected, it reads Rack Combo B.  In every scenario I have tried, it only remembers the last thing I choose.  That is why I said that it affects the entire staff.  I'm not simply selecting the staff name in Score Manager before entering Percussion Layout, I am selecting individual layers.  Percussion Layout just responds as if I was only selecting the staff name.

What you are describing is not standard for Finale 2012. In fact I don't see this issue when setting the Score Manager up to use layers as you describe. Does your Score Manager window look like the attached screen shot?
With the exception of me using Kontakt 5 and different MIDI numbers and both combos are using Bank 2, my screen looks exactly like that. 

I have attached two screen shots. Here was my succession of clicks. 

1 - ScoreManager - >Percussion 2 - Layer 1 - [Select] - VDL 2.5 Concert Band Combo (Perc. Layout). 
2 - ScoreManager - >Percussion 2 - Layer 2 - [Select] - VDL 2.5 Rack Combo B (Perc. Layout).

In pic 1, the BD and Tam Tam (Concert Band Combo) on layer 1 are where I want them with the note heads I want, but the Splash Cym (Rack Combo B) is not correct.  In pic 2, the Splash Cym on layer 2 is fixed, but the BD and Tam Tam are messed up because they are taking direction from the Combo Rack B change in Percussion Layout.

Perhaps I should create a new file with the finale template and see if I can duplicate my results. 
Sent you a PM.

I've looked at the file you sent and created a couple of my own. The actions you're seeing apparently are a limitation of Finale. There are a couple of other things I want to explore. For the mean time though, I'd use the Change Instrument Utility when changing from measure to measure. The real problem here is changing mid-measure. This is a limitation of the utility.

Is there a specific reason for using both the Concert Band Combo and Rack Combo B? Are there sounds in each that aren't available in the other that you would need for a mid-measure change?

I have figured out a solution. It's not difficult to set up as long as you're not using multiple sounds assigned to the same midi note number. You would need to create a custom percussion midi map containing the sounds/instruments from the different rack/combos you're using. Then create a custom percussion layout for that midi map. It's not as complex as it sounds, notation is correct, and playback functions.

Yes, this issue came about because neither combo by itself supplied all of the sounds I wanted.  I will further explore the custom layout option as well as the change instrument utility. 

Thanks for your time.

Login or Signup to post a comment