Customise the Expression map for NotePerformer: is it possible?


Today, to my rejoice, I discovered that NotePerformer supports bowed percussion! And I was decided to give it a go, by adding a custom playback playing technique to the Expression Map. But it seems either it is impossible or I’m doing something wrong, because the playing technique doesn’t appear in the PT lane in Play Mode.
What I did:

  1. In a new project, add a Vibraphone
  2. Create a new playing technique named bowed (or modify the built-in arco)
  3. Assign the Bowed Playback PT to that technique, and remove the Alias attribute (which is “Natural” by default)
  4. Add a note and the PT in Write mode.
  5. Go to the Expression Maps -> NotePerformer
  6. Add Bowed as a Base technique, perform the settings as per the image below.

Still, the lane shows “Natural”.
I’ve had some problems with this in the past with some custom PT, and it’s a bit cumbersome to me. There must be something I’m doing wrong.
I’m aware that Bowed and Natural are in the same mutual exclusion group, but I assume that’s also the logical thing, isn’t it? Even so, if I create a new playback playing technique, say, Bowed2, this also happens.
I attach a sample project as well as some images.


Noteperformer with bowed (554 KB)

There’s a special case for the ‘Bowed’ playing technique that causes it to fall back on ‘Natural’, which it does because that’s normally a helpful behaviour for e.g. string instruments. I suggest you create your own custom playback playing technique called e.g. “vibraphone bowed” or similar, and use that both for the playing technique appearance and the switch in the expression map, and then you should find everything starts to work.

Thank you Daniel for your reply. That was one of my thoughts, however, I cannot make it work either with a newly created playback playing technique. See the attached project, in which I created both a PT and a Playback PT named VibraArco. The playing technique lane still shows natural and the CC18, which I had defined to have a value of 30, is still at 0.
Noteperformer with bowed (554 KB)

You have two remaining problems: one is that your VibraArco playing technique is set to use the ‘Natural’ playback playing technique instead of your custom ‘VibraArco’ playing technique; the second is that you need to create a mutual exclusion group in the NotePerformer expression map containing ‘VibraArco’ and ‘Natural’. You’ll have to switch off the ‘Auto’ checkbox in order to do that.

Thank you Daniel! That worked.
I was sure I had assigned the Playback PT to the PT, but I usually have problems with that dialog. I think it doesn’t commit whatever change I make to the text field if I hit OK before leaving it. I’m not sure. Or it might have been actually forgetting to assign it.
The part that I didn’t do before was the mutual exclusion group. I reckon I still have some difficult to understand how it works, like, does every PPT have to be in a mutual exclusion group against natural? But I’ll work it out.
Thank you for your help and congrats to the team for the great update!

Lucas, glad you got it solved. I had nothing but frustrations with EM’s until I realized I sometimes was not successfully using this dialogue for the same reason you describe.

And now comes the dummie: Has or will Dorico do this automatically?

No, this isn’t something that Dorico will do itself. The NotePerformer expression map is developed by Arne at Wallander Instruments, and we at Steinberg don’t make changes to third party expression maps.

Okay, so I’ll have to understand this myself… :slight_smile:

I tried to imitate what Lucas has described but there are a few things I don’t understand. To start with, his screen capture (first post) “captura de ecra 2020-05-25 14.33.26” shows the expression map dialogue where he clicked on NotePerformer and scrolled down under “Base and Add-on Switches”. There are many more Names than in my list. Has he created them all manually or do I have another version? When I go under Expression map data the version number is 30.

Hello Félix. I haven’t added all those techniques except for Bowed. My expression map version number is 20 right now.

The latest version of the expression map for NotePerformer 3.3.2 is 30. It has more playback techniques, for example Jazz articulations.

Hello Lucas! :slight_smile:

Thank you for your reply. Many of your Base techniques don’t show up in my version… Maybe that’s because they work more with add-on in the latest version?

In point “6.” you add “bowed” as a base technique. I created a PT and a playback PT called “col arci”. Is that a problem? And how did you work out the numbers 18 and 30?

Sorry I was very confused and didn’t explain well. I thought there might be a problem because of my chosen definition “col arci” because in the EM dialogue when adding a Base Switch I couldn’t find my created “col arci” but that was only because the new techniques are not listed alphabetically. I found it a the bottom of the list.

Yes, as a matter of fact, Daniel stated that it’s better to avoid specifically “Bowed”.
For some reason, my EM is still 20, even for new projects and with the latest NotePerformer 3.3.2 installed. I don’t know why, but I’m going to check it out. The numbers 18 and 30 are the ones specified in the NotePerformer support page for bowed percussion.

EDIT: How idiot am I: I downloaded NotePerformer 3.3.2, but didn’t install it. Doh!

Interesting. Thank you for your reply. I hadn’t thought of looking for the NotePerformer support page. But my new “col arci” technique works now! I’m so happy! I’ve been using it a lot in my pieces.

Hahaha, that’s a solid explanation for your problem… Have a nice day!

Allow me to nitpick a little: “col arci” is hardly Italian. Or was it the original wording in your source? The plural of ‘arco’ is ‘archi’, and ‘col’ is the combination of the words con+il, the masculine singular definite article (but not used before a vowel). In older scores one can occasionally encounter “coll’ arco”, which is correct, but why bother? Just “arco” would do.
If you really want to use the plural, you may write “cogli archi”, or simply “con gli archi”. This would actually rather mean “together with the strings” (i.e. the string section), instead of “bowed”.

While I believe your remarks are correct (and I’m thankful for), I think Félix was looking for a name just for the technique in Dorico, regardless of the text that appears in the score. For that matter, I think “arco” would have the same problem as “bowed”, is already mapped to “natural”, whereas in percussion is not that what you want.

Dear Pjotr,

Thank you for your surprising and useful remark. I do not speak italian…

I wanted to use something different than “arco” or “bowed” for technical reasons and at the same time specify that the plural as I have two percussionists playing the same vibraphone with in total four bows.

From what you have written, I understand that “cogli archi” would be the correct translation for “with bows”? Or does it mean “together with the strings”?

Btw: I haven’t found a way to make “motor on” work with NotePerformer. Is it not supported?

No, I don’t believe it is.