A thought on playback... Accents

Most notation software treats accents as simply a change in velocity e.g. add 10% to current dynamic. However, almost every instrument that can hold a note i.e. non-percussion, will accentuate only the very beginning of a note and then immediately decay to the prevailing dynamic marking. This is in fact the very definition of an accent.

Sibelius has a feature (Dorico possibly too haven’t checked), used for fp for example, called Dynamic Envelope, unfortunately it only has one setting, as in always do a specific change of start at 120 and decay to 40 in X amount of time. In order to acquire a more realistic performance it would be innovative and sophisticated to be able to tell Dorico to use this type of “envelope” for accents as opposed to just play a flat change to louder, especially considering that most instrument libraries do not have an accent patch. In other words, treat accents as a fp but relative to the current dynamic e.g. add 10% and decay to current dynamic in X miliseconds. The user would then only need to specify which CC to use for the envelope (a filter, CC7, CC11 if the library has it, etc.).

This in combination with the new MIDI CC editor would allow users to get considerably closer to a more natural performance.

We do intend to do some work on dynamics such as fp and sfz that would involve this kind of “envelope” approach. I can’t say exactly when we will get to it, however.

Hi Daniel, I’m sure you will (and would), the point is those types of envelopes are fixed, whereas the one I’m suggesting is contextual i.e. a percentage of change according to the prevailing dynamic, so that you can have the accent envelope whether your are playing piano-pianissimo or forte-fortissimo.