BBCSO Pro Expression Map Template

Still struggling mightily to get expression maps working. Today I tried John’s BBCSO Pro Template. Looking at BBCSO Pro Strings xmap, I see the following articulations
D0 Bartok/snap pizzicato
G1 Col legno battuto
D-1 Con Sord
D#-1 Flautando
C-1 Legato
D#0 Long Marcato Attack
C0 Long Harmonics
C#-1 Natural
F-1 Natural Note Length <=Very Short
F#-1 Pizzicato
C#0 Short harmonics
E-1 Spiccato
G0 Spiccato Con Sort
F-1 Staccato
F#0 Sul Ponticello
E0 Sul ponticello + Tremolo
B-1 Sul Tasto
G#-1 Tremolo
F0 Tremolo Con Sort
A#-1 Trill (half-step)
A-1 Trill (whole step)

(A very nice selection! ) With the BBCSO Pro template running and looking at the Edit Playing Techniques I see most of these are not listed. So I guess I need to add these Playing Techniques but the articulation maps for all the instruments in BBCSO are there, happily!

However, two articulations where are present are Flautando and Staccato (from left menu). What happens on playback is the first articulation sounds but not any subsequent articulation changes…Staccato is never heard—just flautando, the first one in the score. This condition is true on every sample library and every sample player I’ve tried with many different articulation maps and new Playing Techniques added. But still the first articulation sounds but none of the subsequent ones.

Am hoping to get one expression map working to have a starting place, but so far no luck with Kontakt, BBCSO, Engine, SINE, or Kontakt.

as far as I’m aware, all of these techniques are listed, otherwise they wouldn’t work and in my experience they do work! I think you are getting confused between the name that John has given to the techniques and the actual articulations which are used. For instance in my screenshot (I use the Core version of BBC but it makes no difference in this situation) , you can see if you hover the mouse over it, that the “Long marcato attack” actually uses the articulation “marcato” which is of course included in the standard Dorico list.

As for written playing techniques (ones with the attribute “Direction” which is usually the case but I won’t confuse things at this point with more details on this), they run until cancelled so if you write “flautando” and then later “staccato”, Dorico is trying to find a technique flautando+staccato and failing so it ignores the new technique. There are two ways to avoid this 1. to put such techniques in the mutual exclusion list in the Expression Map. John hasn’t done much of this so it’s up to you to add them, or 2. simply apply the reset technique “ord” or"nat" before the new p.t

Thank you, dko22! At last I’m getting somewhere. I understand now that I must cancel the previous articulation before the next one will sound (unless combined articulations are desired or even possible) and it is now clear to me on the 2 ways to do this. So my problems with getting articulation switching are at last resolved. (For me it has been a long haul to get this far!)

Having never paid any attention to hovering the mouse as described, I’ve now taken a look at it. My current assumption is that the popup gives the named articulation that is entered in the score via right menu or Shift-P but this doesn’t seem to be true in many cases… For instance, how does one enter Natural Harmonic-1 (from the popup) or Trills (half-step) into the score? Meanwhile, here is a very simple example of articulation switching which works–and is a BIG breakthrough for me.

glad you’re starting to get more of a feel for things, Shubus! If entering text, then you are quite correct that it’s the name of the playing technique which is entered rather than the actual articulation (or playback technique as it’s confusingly referred to). In the same way as in the Expression Map, hovering the mouse pointer in the Write windows playing techniques also shows the articulation. If the p.t is indeed missing, you’d have to add it manually.

But in your examples, this is not the case. For harmonics, you use the little circle as shown on the screenshot and then go into the note Properties to set your harmonic to the correct type.

In the same way, trills use the trill symbol (from the ornaments, not p.t category) as in standard musical practice. Here you can also use the Properties (here select the trill symbol and not the note) to tell Dorico if it’s a half or whole note trill so it selects the correct one from the Expression Map if it doesn’t guess correctly.

The user guide has a good explanation of using trills and harmonics if the above is unclear at all.

Sorry for the intrusion … in all likelihood I’ll purchase this sound library, so this post interests me a lot. In the example you posted Shubus, however, the technique change takes place only if you put a rest. However, if there were no rests, this methodology would not work because you would have to assign a natural technique to a note that should instead be played with another technique (eg spiccato). I hope I have explained …
If I understand correctly (correct me if I’m wrong) the expression maps for BBCO still need some tweaking to make them work perfectly.

for me the biggest question mark over the Expression Maps is deciding whether the “natural” patch should actually be the “legato” articulation and not the “long” as in the maps. Although I am still somewhat undecided with woodwind and brass, with the strings, I would definitely say that the “long” patch is useful only for chordal, harmonic layering which is indeed quite common in film music but not in what I write. It is very inflexible and, unlike the legato, cannot be used at all for faster-moving music. For most people, I would definitely recommend changing the strings default to “legato”. If chords are required within the same instrument/section, then a new p.t can be created for the “long” patch.

As for technique changes, they can take place on notes as well but sometimes don’t kick in exactly on the note (due to latency and other factors) so some fine adjustment of the note or p.t is sometimes needed. It’s a library which requires some experimentation – a particularly important issue is the use of velocity to control the attack.

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It’s now clear that I need to learn these icons for playback techniques. They uses much less space than text in the score.

Still not quite clear on the mapping of the articulations and the playback techniques. Looking at the popup inside the xmap editor, Dorico magically selects playback techniques for any articulation you enter. For most of the standard articulations there does seem to be a matching Playback Technique, so it’s easy to enter the text or icon to produce the desired playback articulation (now that I know how to do it).

But I have many libraries with sounds way outside the realm of standard techniques. I’m sure most of us do. My goal is to trigger these sounds on playback. Presently, I do it this way: In xmap name the articulation something unique like “Wild stretches” and in the “Edit Playing Techniques” screen, create a new one called “Wild stretches” and also create a new Playback Technique called “Wild Stretches”. (Trying to keep it simple). Now I can type in the score “Wild Stretches” and that sound will playback. Still feel I’m missing something, so is this best way to do this?