Can someone please explain those 3 icons by the VST Instruments at right in Play Mode?

(as pictured below?) I’m sure this has been covered somewhere and their functionality is for the most part discernible via trial-and-error, but I was surprised I couldn’t find/figure it out just by “sight” or via some obvious documentation:
Screen Shot 2018-06-16 at 1.15.24 PM.png
My “guess” is the icon at left mutes/plays the VST instrument in question you’ve loaded; the one in the middle apparently loads the instrument (when clicked and it’s highlighted?, though I’m not clear the relationship between this functionality and the actual look of the icon - sorry if this is obvious); and the right one allows you to assign Expression or Percussion Maps to specific channels within the VST in question (but thanks for any further clarification about their actual names and “official” functions!)

An obvious suggestion (if it hasn’t already been done and I simply haven’t “enabled it”, etc.): why not have some text that appears when you hover the mouse over each button, to better explain their names/functions?

  • D.D.

I believe your intuition has served you well…

  1. I think that is kind of an ANSI/ISO icon for ‘power on/off’. This can be used to turn the entire plugin on or off. I’m not sure if it really effects memory usage or not, but it might stop a plugin from processing or using any cpu cycles when turned ‘off’. I suspect it is mainly there for the possibility of more pragmatic purposes in the future. Cubase and Nuendo have a similar control as well, and some parts of the Dorico DAW engine may be based on the same technologies…so it makes sense to have it in Dorico as well, even if there’s not yet any major pragmatic use for it under a typical Dorico user work-flow.

In Cubase/Nuendo, the ability to toggle a plugin off comes in handy. Particularly with really large projects involving a lot of VSTi instruments. As one runs out of CPU resources, he can ‘instant render’ a track/stave to an audio track, and then toggle various VST/i plugins off to give back a little processing power for other purposes. Since Dorico does not currently provide any ‘instant rendering’ type features for this purpose, I doubt many Dorico users will use this much.

  1. Clicking the ‘e’ looking icon opens the UI of the designated plugin. Again, Cubase and Nuendo use a similar icon concept for calling up a VSTi plugin’s user interface. Usually it will open as the top-most window, but there might be cases where it’s hidden behind another window for some reason. Not sure about Macs, but if the plugin UI icon is enabled, but is not topped for some reason, I can usually get to it by hovering my mouse over the Dorico Icon on my Windows task bar, and then choosing the plugin UI from there, or, I can double toggle the ‘e’ icon to bring it back to the top.

  2. The gear icon is used to designate an expression map. If the plugin supports multiple MIDI channels, each channel can have a unique expression map.

I seem to remember that this has been covered in a tutorial video but I can’t recall which one. Here is a playlist of the videos about Play mode: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C932Dda0iFw&list=PLoyaeouPUsdt6H-SQgBH3_2-_qC-YxGHA

I suggest the rounded e is for “edit window of the VSTi”

Thanks all for the confirmations. I will reiterate that it would probably be extremely useful to have some text that appears when you hover the mouse over each of these (somewhat ambiguous-looking) button icons, to better explain their names/functions (perhaps in a future update), just as a suggestion (especially since you already do this for things like the “Draw” tool, etc.).
Best!

  • D.D.

Dear D.D.
I am quite confident that when the manual will cover all fields of play mode, those threads won’t be useful anymore…

I am sure you are correct (though a text reminder when you hover the mouse over them still admittedly wouldn’t hurt, as Dorico already has for the “Draw” tool, etc., since the icons are otherwise potentially more cryptic to the uninitiated)…

Best!

  • D.D.

I agree that tool tips would be helpful here, and we’ll add some.

Thanks, Daniel!
D.D.