Bass Guitar Palm Mute

Hi, I’m back with another Palm Mute question. This time it involves the Bass Guitar.

Using Dorico V on a Mac running Catalina V 10.15.7 and Halion Sonic SE 3 V 3.4.0

If the Bass Guitar is one of the fretted instruments and the Guitar Techniques apply to fretted instruments then why when I assign a P.M (Palm Mute Guitar Technique) to a 5 String fretted Bass Guitar do I not get muted notes? I have searched for answers and made several attempts in my score to make this work with no success. The P.M. does show up in the right place on the score but has no impact on the playback which I use as a scratch track for the remote musicians to follow. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,
Rod Sager

Does bass guitar in HSE support palm muted samples?

In order for a playing technique to work, it needs to be supported at all levels. There are three possible mismatches:

  • the VST supports samples / playing techniques which are not available in Dorico
  • Dorico supports playing techniques which are not supported by the VST
  • Dorico and VST support a playing technique, but they are not properly configured in the expression map.

In the first case you need to add the playing technique to Dorico and it will work.
In the second case, there’s not really much Dorico can do. Probably best option is to replace the VST (and properly configure Dorico for the replacement VST).

This is an example VST with palm-muted articulations. But remember, it likely won’t work with Dorico out of the box

If you’re using the sounds supplied with Dorico, then the bass guitar sounds don’t include any palm mute sounds, I’m afraid. As Jernej suggests, if these playing techniques are important to you, you could consider using a different virtual instrument that provides the sounds you need.

Related question to palm mute playback:
Assuming I have a virtual instrument with muted sounds, and can trigger them via a palm mute playing technique, is there a way for the virtual instrument to restore the un-muted sounds at the end of the palm mute line?

I would suggest to assign palm mute plating technique (PT) to a different notehead. That way you use different notehead for the mute and when you want a normal PT you just switch back to normal notehead. This should work well for the score and the human player as well as for the playback.

To Theoretical - Thank you, I was thinking along the same lines however I had read that Dorico supported Palm Muting for fretted instruments and hoped that included the electric bass guitar.

To Daniel - thank you , I get what you’er saying but don’t know or see anything from Jernej? How can I determine which musical instrument supports Palm Muting P.M.

To ChuckDimeCliff - I can’t comment on the PT option as I have not tried that however if you look at my earlier conversation regarding muting you will see that we use PM to start the muting and Nat. to end the muting (you can hide the Nat. and use the visual dashed line under the notes PM - - - - - | to convey duration).

If you go to Play > Playback Techniques and edit the ‘Palm muting’ technique so that it is an ‘Attribute’ rather than a ‘Direction’, it will automatically be reset on the note following the marking, or following the end of the continuation line extending from the marking.

Nice, thank you Daniel. I will give that a shot.


Perfect, exactly what I needed. Thanks!