Change problematic VSL samples /articulation in Dorico on note by note basis?

I always strive for the most realistic tone and performance as possible. I have used VSL libraries with Dorico which have a wide range of expressions and articulations . It is my understanding that articulation and expressions are triggered by note length and notation text and symbols. Is this correct?
Sometimes I dont care for the triggered sample. Is it possible to assign a different one it manually?

I haven’t found a way to do so, so I usually finish composing and import the midi into Studio One which has a function (created in conjunction with VSL) called Sound Variations which allows me to easily assign articulations on a note by note basis. Along the bottom you can see the variety of assignments I made. Can this be done in Dorico?
You can see the original assignments in the Dorico image and my replacements in the Studio One image.

Manually assign them note by note? (Eewwww, ick :slight_smile: )

In Dorico there are more than the things on your list that can be used to automatically trigger/change a sample - triggering off articulations is common when as you say you want to match them to articulation samples. You’d set them up once in an expression map.

Truth be told I do get what you are saying in some cases. Like there are expressive samples for solo violin I will use at certain points that don’t have a direct correlation to a playing technique or dynamic or articulation or whatever, - they just fit that note in that situation. Some are easiest played in with an expression controller / midi cc as you know how some patches work that way

Dorico’s ultimate ace in this regard is that it lets you create any custom playing technique you can dream up. Then yes you can manually put them on whatever notes you want (and hide them from live players if desired) and use them to trigger samples. They can be graphics if you prefer and extended with lines

One way to summarize this aspect of Dorico’s philosophy is that is better to set up a few things once up front, and then have it flow as automatically as possible ever after.

I found that some sample notes just sounded to “synthy” to me so I would replace the current articulation (i.e., legato) with another( short detache), just using my hearing as the guide. And the result was more “realistic” to my ears. It took seconds to do in Studio One Sound Variations. But I have no clue on what the procedure would be and how easy it would be in
Here is the “fixed” version done in SO with Sound Variations.

[Dorico / VSL Solo Strings / Studio One | Tiger Boy Tom]

The best advice I have is to give Dorico the time investment it needs. It will pay you pay back many times over- but in some ways you will be asking the wrong question if try to figure out how to make it work in the same way as you did in Studio One. Which I own so I’m not against it. :innocent: Just saying …

It is not about how much time you spent manually replacing samples in the current piece, but the next 50 and beyond - which is where the time spent on things like tailoring expression maps really pay… Every step or seconds saved…. Anyway, that’s my nickel on the grass.

The one real rub is that the way expression maps work when multiple techniques apply is often… less than ideal.

Like, say, Dorico thinks the playing technique is “legato + yourcustomtechnique”. Sometimes it gets confused and won’t use the custom technique.

Patches happen - though my personal record on what was my fault versus a bug is embarrassingly bad.

With the histogram features in play mode , I prefer expressive choices to be midi learn/cc values so Dorico can generate small auto variations if I can make the VST work that way. They don’t interfere with other KS base techniques so if add-ones become an issue, I make them base and they retain the previous channel or ks.

Well, based on the feedback so far, Im sticking with my Dorico to Studio One workflow. It gives me more pleasing results…fast.

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You should definitely do what works best for you.

Some people add a second staff for each instrument specifically for playback control, putting keyswitch notes and CC data there. These staves are then hidden for printing.

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Ive decided to compose in Dorico and refine sample articulations and expressions in Studio One using Sound Variations, which Presonus worked with VSL to develop. I was curious about the choices I had, so I made this image that shows all my options.

VSL libraries tend to have a wide variety of note length related articulations and in my maps, I typically use all 5. Of course, sometimes the Expression Map automation does not choose the best patch so I simply ensure that all the NoteLength articulations have a duplicate separate entry in the map for you to be able to override the automation. In some cases, you may want to create your own p.t’s. For instance you may decide that a particular note should be “short detache”. If you don’t want the specific p.t to be shown in the score, then of course you can simply hide it.

I don’t find that this approach makes for a huge amount of work as carefully set up NoteLength automation works quite well with VSL. But by all means stick to Sound Variations if it works for you — I know nothing about it.

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I would prefer to do any replacements in Dorico, but I know nothing of the processes you are referring to. Is there a good basic tutorial that explains some of the things you do when you want to replace a sample articulation?

basically, if there is no specific playing technique in the score then Dorico will use the NoteLength automation to determine the most appropriate standard patch according to the duration of the note. If you specify a playing technique, it will then override the default automation. This could be something as simple as putting a staccato dot on a note. It may well be that the NoteLength automation would automatically choose your staccato patch anyway for short notes but if it, say, chose a staccatissimo or a short detache or something instead, then you can force it this way to play what you have specified.

A YouTube tutorial on Expression Maps in general can be found here

It refers to Dorico v3.5 but the Expression Maps have been little changed for Dorico 4.

Thanks! After watching that and several others I have a better understanding of my options.

When I want to substitute a different note length playing technique (i.e., Sustain), I dont always know which of the 6 choices is the best one. With Sound Variations all I have to do is hi-light the note in the piano roll, right click it and the list of playing options I show above are revealed. Then I can easy audition alternatives by just clicking them. Its a much easier and more functional approach then what I see is available in Dorico.

Well, any playing technique in your virtual instrument can be in theory assigned to any note. In the Synchron player interface, you can simply click on the relevant patch and play it on your MIDI keyboard to audition it. The Sound Variations interface, by the looks of things, just has a layout similar to that in the Synchron payer (not surprising if designed together with VSL) so the only advantage I see is being able to instantly allocate these patches to the note, whereas in Dorico which is score-based, you call up the patch with the relevant p.t or articulation in the score. This means of course you need to know which one corresponds to what in the Expression Map. If you design your own maps, you’ll know this anyway but I can understand there’s a bit of a learning curve for the novice. We were all new to the game at one stage!

Yes, after choosing my note, the Sound Variation menu immediately lets me know my 6 choices and lets me try them all in the blink of an eye. The Dorico approach doesnt seem as immediately accessible and doesnt allow for rapid auditioning to chose the replacement.

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why are there only six choices? Most VSL instruments have far more articulations than that (over 100 in some cases)!

Ask VSL. They are the ones that created them. (To clarify, 6 choices for shorts). See graphic above.

I just discovered a wonderful thing.

When I import a Dorico midi file into Studio One 6, it also included the key switches to trigger the articulations. BUT the cool thing is, there is a command that allows me to convert all those key switches into Studio One Sound Variations. Then all I do is change the ones I dont care for.

Before I knew this, I imported the midi file and had to assign Sound Variations for each and every note. Recreating what already existed in Dorico. Now, just a few changes and Im done . SWEEET!