How do I expand an instrument's range? I need a clarinet low C#

Hi ! In order to render Peter and the Wolf, I need the low C# of the A clarinet, but BBCSO's clarinet starts at low D. How can I add that semi-tone down?

Best Answer

  • Aye, completely understandable. I'm not familiar with Dorico, but a couple of workarounds I know I could pull off in Logic Pro would be to either:

    1. Adjust the tuning of the track,
    2. select all notes in all regions of the track EXCEPT the low C#,
    3. drag all those notes up a semitone.


    1. Create a "new track with duplicate settings",
    2. copy all the regions on the original track to the new track,
    3. adjust the tuning on the new track,
    4. delete all low C# notes on the old track,
    5. delete all notes EXCEPT the low C# on the new track.

    Certainly not as easy as with other software instruments where you can simply adjust the playable range and have the built-in sampler "process" the additional notes, but at least "possible". However, as Dorico appears to be "music notation software" (vs a DAW like Logic Pro), I'm guessing you want it to both look and "read" correctly, not just "sound" correct.

    Perhaps Spitfire Audio could add a feature to the BBCSO plug-in (and anything else that uses that same UI, eh?) to allow for the range to be extended, with a caveat/notice/warning that you're getting a "processed" version of the sample for notes outside the natural range. Personally, I don't think that should sound significantly "off" for a single note only one full semitone below the natural range. Out of curiosity, I tried low D# vs low D vs low C# on a built-in Logic Pro clarinet, and other than the obvious difference in note values, "to my ears", I can't tell that the lower notes are "processed" (I checked the Sampler mapping for that instrument, and found that low D# was the lowest actual sample/zone, with everything below that getting "processed" from the lowest sample).

    macOS 13.2, Logic Pro 10.7.7, BBCSO Core


  • Interesting; didn't even know there was an "A" clarinet until you mentioned it - had to look it up.

    But to answer your question, you might consider using the Tune knob at the top of the UI to tune it down a semitone - that is, if you're willing to give up the highest note in exchange for it. I did something similar with the Anvil while working on "Song of the Lonely Mountain" in order to get it to sound closer to what was used in the soundtrack recording. Hope that helps.

    macOS 13.2, Logic Pro 10.7.7, BBCSO Core

  • Thanks for this answer, unfortunately, I don't think it will solve my issue. I'm using Dorico, which means I've already entered all the music as notation. I cannot rewrite all the clarinet part just to get that one note right while all the other notes will be a semi-tone off, right? I mean, that's a workaround, but certainly one that I don't want to use!

  • I think you've understood the problem. Indeed, with VSL, I just have to press one UI button to make some notes available, and I hoped for a similar tool for BBCSO (quite popular among Dorico users…)

  • Shucks, if only they used Kontakt.....

  • Sweet - I've been using BBCSO for a year now and never noticed that knob - am going to have me a LOT of fun automating that parameter! Thanks!!

  • Oops - just realised I found an answer to OP's post - at least if in a DAW - if you draw an automation curve for the global tune function, then you can target it to kick in when you want to detune your D to a C# with the rest of your clarinet part unaffected - see diagram below (the middle note will give you a C#). Not sure if this works with Dorico - but you can always export the midi from Dorico and "prepare" your Clarinet part as below. Then export that as a wav file and mix back in (you could probably just make a C# using the below and mix it in a separate track)

  • You can draw automation lines in Dorico, so I think I will try and use this method. But I admit I am kind of disappointed here. If Prokoviev has written this note on the very first exposition of the Cat theme, I would believe it's not so hard to produce it, and this note should be, if not included, at least easily accessible in such a library (again, just as folks at vsl have done). And yes, with a Kontakt library, it could be doable (although maybe not so easily), because so many things are tweakable at the sample level. 🤷