Creating expression maps for ensembles (VSL BBO)


In his clear and extensive guide about creating expression maps, Paul suggests to go on section by section, and save a Dorico project for each orchestra section. So, you configure all the woodwinds, save the sound assignment to an endpoint configuration, and add that endpoint configuration to the Playback Template. Then, you save the Dorico project, to be able to quickly access that endpoint configuration again when you need to make a change.

I’m building my expression maps for the VSL BBO libraries each time a buy (or win…) one of them. Since these libraries often contain all the orchestra sections, or mixed ensembles, the logic of saving separate Dorico projects by orchestral section wouldn’t work in this case.

What’s the idea? Would you save a separate Dorico project for each BBO library? This should at least give you two advantages:

  • keep everything well organized;
  • add the expression maps and relative playback techniques for each library to the Playback Template.

Linking Dorico instruments to the actual sounds would have to be made by hand, since there aren’t dedicated instrument definitions for BBO in Dorico, but at least you would have everything ready.

At the moment, I’ve everything in a single Dorico project. This is letting me share some playback techniques, like ‘swell short’ or ‘swell long’, that appear in multiple libraries. I don’t know if this would be, in the end the best solution. Or if, but adding endpoint configurations to the Playback Templates, Dorico will in any case be able to join these redundant playback techniques.


I’ve a doubt: are playing techniques saved with the Playback Template?

If positive, this means that endpoint configuration and playing techniques are saved as separate items. Therefore, I can have a general Playback Template for all the BBO libraries, hosting various playing techniques, expression maps, and endpoint configurations.

I could therefore:

  • Add all the playing techniques I need when working with the BBO libraries. Some techniques may mean different things in different libraries, but this doesn’t concert the playing technique set saved in the active Playback Template.

  • Create a different expression map for each library. All the expression maps will be saved in the active Playback Template, assuming they are assigned to at least one of the instruments when saving the Dorico project.

  • Programming the routing from Dorico instruments to VSTis, and save a set in an endpoint configuration. The endpoint configuration will have to be added to the active Playback Template.

So, while my custom playing techniques will always be available, I will be able to separately save an endpoint configuration from each Dorico project I will separately create for each BBO library. Editing and saving the endpoint configuration for a library will be made with each dedicated Dorico project, independently from the other libraries.


Custom Playback Techniques (and any Playing Technique appearance items that reference them) are saved in an endpoint configuration. The Playback Template just contains a list of the endpoint configurations. When you apply a Playback Template to a project, it will import any Playback/Playing Techniques that aren’t in the project from the endpoint configurations.

I am not familiar with the BBO libraries or how they are set up so I can’t comment on that, but what you describe sounds reasonable.

Paul, thank you for your answer.

So, since playing techniques are inside endpoint configurations, and they are not imported if already in the project, the best solution is probably to break everything into separate endpoint configurations (one per each library).

I can therefore create different Playback Templates, depending on the type of work I want to do. For example, if I don’t need patterns (like the ones contained in the BBO libraries Capricorn or Eridanus), I can apply a Playback Template not including the corresponding techniques. This will ‘clean up’ the Playing Techniques panel.


Yet, I don’t know what I’m doing wrong.

  1. I create custom playing technique and the corresponding playback technique.

  2. I save the endpoint configuration over itself.

  3. To be sure, I remove the endpoint configuration from the playback template, then add it again.

  4. I save the Dorico project.

  5. I open a new Dorico project, and to be sure I reapply the same playback template (this, even after having closed and reopened Dorico).

The new custom playing technique is not there. Shouldn’t it have been added to the second project, after saving the endpoint configuration in the first project and having reapplied the playback template to the second project?


you’ve got me there. Following the steps outlined should work. I just double-checked by creating a completely new project and then loaded in the Playback Template for that configuration. All the playing techniques I created for that endpoint/PT are still there as I’d expected. Are you just using a single endpoint for the PT as I tend to have done so far? No possibility of confusion?

Yes, it’s a single endpoint configuration added to the playback template. No possible overlap:


Please zip up and attach the playback template, which you’ll find in /Users/your-username/Library/Application Support/Steinberg/Dorico 3.5/Playback Templates, and the associated endpoint configurations, which you’ll find in the Endpoint Configurations folder in the same Dorico 3.5 folder, and attach them here. Include details of the specific playing techniques you are expecting to be imported that are apparently not.

Hi Daniel,

In the meantime I’ve edited all my endpoint configurations, while working to build my custom ones. If I apply a playback template to a new project, custom playing techniques are there. Maybe I found a problem trying to recall techniques that were not in the endpoint configuration, but in a single project.

However, I still have problems with importing playing techniques, but I’m discussing it in a dedicated thread: