Crescendo/Diminuendo with Velocity and Expression as Dynamics


I’m trying to make a crescendo/diminuendo with the EastWest Symphonic Orchestra that needs both velocity and CC11 for Volume and Expression of the notes. I’ve set them both as primary (Velocity) and secondary (CC11) dynamics in the Expression Map.
If I want to make - for example - a crescendo from pp to ff, the way CC11 increases seems to depend on the velocity of the note.
If I set the velocity to a higher value, the note indeed reaches a high Volume, but it doesn’t start soft and quite.
If I set the velocity to a lower level, the crescendo starts soft, but the note doesn’t reach a high level.
The only way I could imagine would be to split the note into several notes, tie them and give every note another velocity.
But that doesn’t work, 'cause if I tie the notes Dorico connects them to one long note with only one velocity value at the beginning.
(By the way it would look strange to make a whole note be consisting of four tied quarter-notes)

So how is a crescendo/diminuendo from soft to hard and vice versa to be done with Velocity and Expression as Dynamics?

Thxs, best,

PS: When I play a note on my keyboard with a high velocity and
move a slider assigned to CC11 manually from complety down to maximum up,
then the crescendo works fine.
But when I put a note in the staff and set it to a high velocity in the Dorico Piano-Roll and select a crescendo from pp to ff after it,
the CC11 swell is appropriate to the notes velocity value.
So if the note has a high velocity value, the crescendo is something about f to ff,
if the note has a low velocity value, the crescendo is something about pp to p,
but it’s not at all a crescendo from pp to ff and it’s not really recognizeable as a swell.

How is it to be done to make the CC11 swell corresponding with the dynamics in the staff (pp, ff, …)
independent from the notes velocity level?

The primary and secondary dynamics values are not interdependent: Dorico simply maps the same underlying abstract concept of the current dynamic level onto both the primary and secondary dynamics outputs that you choose. So if you write e.g. ppp, then Dorico will output both a low value for CC11 and for velocity, and if you write e.g. fff, then it will output the same high value both for CC11 and for velocity. It won’t output a low velocity value when it would otherwise output a high CC11 value. However, if you override the velocity of a note using the velocity editor in Play mode, then that velocity value will take precedence over the value generated by way of the dynamics written in the score.

Hello Daniel,

thxs, I know that, and as I wrote in my last post,
I’ve already done what you recommended.
But as I said, if I change the velocity of a note in the piano roll,
the CC11 starts at the same value.
For Example: If I set a note with dynamics pp in the staff,
the velocity is as low as the CC11.
If I set the velocity of the note to e.g. 80, the CC11 doesn’t comply with the dynamics written in the staff anymore,
but it adapts to the high value of the velocity.
If the note would be played with velocity 80 and the crescendo produced by CC11 would increase from a low to a high value,
everything would be fine.
But the CC11 adapts to the velocity set in the piano roll.
That’s the problem…

PS: I tried once again, and in this case the velocity level is 100, and a decrescendo starts with the beginning of the note.
(in the staff is written ff>pp and that’s also readable in the Dynamics-Curve in Playmode)
But the decrescendo doesn’t decrease from ff to pp, but from about ff to mf.
To make the decrescendo result in a pp, I have to set the velocity to 30,
but then the decrescendo is something like mp to p, but not ff to pp at all.
So the CC11 MUST be dependent of the velocity!

How would you set this situation up in a DAW? My sense is that the problem requires a deeper understanding of how EW works in this area.

@ Derrek: I would play the note and increase the CC11 by moving a control-fader while recording or by drawing a value-line in the editor.
Since Dorico offers the oppurtunity to set musical Dynamic-Values like pp, mp, f, and so on, I’d like to use them for generating dynamic changes.
But if you’re talking about “a deeper understanding of how EW works”, what is the missing link in my mindset?
Please help.

Dudo01, are you definitely editing the note velocity in the velocity editor, and not editing the dynamics using the Dynamics lane?

I’m trying out a system similar to yours though with first and second controllers reversed where I use a CC velocity crossfade to give expression and Velocity as second dynamic. The idea is to match the level of velocity and the CC and this works exactly as Daniel has described. You can draw a hairpin in the velocity lane (with the obvious proviso that velocity cannot change the dynamic within a note) but this is not copied to the dynamic lane. Creating the hairpin in the score will show in the dynamics lane and velocity as you’d expect and changes in the dynamic lane are copied to velocity. So mostly you would want to use velocity to alter individual notes or groups thereof to sort out unevenesses but to alter the hairpin best use the dynamics lane.

This is using VSL but surely EWQL (which I only use for choirs) must work according to the same principle? In general this seems to work quite well so I’m also puzzled about the behaviour you’re getting.

Just one thing that I’m unsure about. Does velocity always default to 100 in if not explicitly set or controlled? Or is this behaviour VST-specific.

@ Daniel:
Yes! I increase or decrease the value of the note velocity (in Play-Mode in the Velocity area by tiping the value numeric in the Velocitiy-field or by changing the height of the beam).
Whatever I Do, it has influence to the Expression produced by CC11.

As Attachment I send you a video.
In the video you see a scale moving down with a decrescendo, that works perfectly fine.
After that the crescendo should start.
As you can see the note at the beginning of the crescendo is darkblue instead of the other notes in lightblue.
As you know this means that I have changed the velocity value of the note manually.
The crescendo - to see as pp<ff in the dynamic lane - is completely or nearly ignored by the Automation.
Furthermore after stopping Dorico I played the crescendo manually, means I pressed the note with hard velocity and increased CC11 by moving a MIDI-Fader from bottom to top.
As you see, the crescendo works perfectly.
The question is: How is this do be done with Dorico itself?
Thxs, best,
2020-03-08 (820 KB)

@ Derrek: Still hoping for your help…
Maybe you have some knowledge about EW that could help me…
I would be thankful to hear about that…

Thxs @all for every help to this topic!

I wish I had knowledge of (could afford to buy) EW. I simply expect (from my experience wrestling at times with other libraries) that in order to program Dorico to ask EW for an effect, one has to know the internal workings of EW well enough to speak in terms that software understands (and even then, sometimes it just won’t seem to work–that’s computers). I never implied any missing link in anyone’s mindset; but I feel that the info needed to make this work is more likely something hidden in the EW documentation than in Dorico.

Of course I could be wrong; there are some PT functions (jazz techniques? gliss?) that Dorico does not yet support.

Dudo01, please take a look at the attached trivial example, which uses the default HSO sounds. I’ve modified the HSO Flute Solo Combi expression map to use note velocity as the secondary dynamic, and then adjusted the velocity of the first note almost to the maximum. The crescendo still seems to cover the expected range of pp to ff. (499 KB)

This thread is old but discusses EXACTLY my problem. I have precisely the same issue as Dudo01. I have done some experimenting and found this: I have a long violin note playing EWQL. I create a crescendo for the note from pp to ff. In the expression map I have velocity (primary) and CC11 (secondary) assigned to handle volume dynamics. The dynamics lane shows a big rise (due to pp<ff) and the velocity lane shows a small blip ( due to the initial pp). When I play it, the note starts pp and hardly increases. If I manually change the velocity to a very high level but leave the pp<ff in place - two things happen: (i) I get an initial very quick sharp note which dies immediately and (ii) I get a big rise in volume from quiet to loud.
Now, what if I set the velocity somewhere between low and high? I get (i) a somewhat quieter but still audible sharp blip at the start of the note and (ii) a more modest rise in volume.
So what is happening? I think this: the velocity triggers a sample in EWQL - dependent on whether it is pp, p, f, ff etc. The violin is recorded at several different velocities and one sample is chosen and triggered. It starts to play ( hence the blip :frowning: ) THEN the expression kicks in and the sample volume gradually increases. However I suspect this increase is a multiplier on the initial sample volume.
So if an initial sample is pp, an expression increase from pp to ff will not change it much. On the other hand, if I manually fix the velocity to be high (over-riding the pp), then a very loud sample is chosen, and a pp multiplier applied - so it starts quiet but then gets VERY loud as the ff multiplier kicks in.
I don’t what this! I want a sound that starts pp and finishes ff, and also doesn’t create this audible blip at the start.
I can provide audio examples of this if it would help, but it sounds just as I have described above.

I suppose my question in response is: given how this library is programmed, what would you do to achieve a natural-sounding crescendo if you were playing it live yourself on your keyboard or in a sequencer? Once we know what is required to make it sound natural given the way things are set up in EWQL, we can then figure out the best way to make Dorico do that.

EWQL PLAY software uses, in addition to velocity, CC1 for dynamic control of tone (crossfading) and CC11 for volume/Expression. Although I only actually own Symphonic Choirs from this vendor, I’m assuming basic principles for dynamic control are similar. Is there any reason why you can’t use CC1 primary and CC11 secondary – then there should be no problem with a smooth cresc. This is what I do with choirs, in addition to changing velocity at times where necessary.

If you’re sure the Symphonic Orchestra really works differently in terms of dynamic control (which it doesn’t seem to looking at the manual), then of course ignore what I’ve written :smiley: