Detailed Spitfire Studio Expression Maps

Hi All

I have attempted to use a number of expression maps available on this forum but to my mind they have all been a little incomplete for my needs. They are certainly a good start but they lack a number of key features:

  1. Mappings to existing “standard” dorico Playback Techniques
  2. Creation of new playback techniques to suit some of the less-common sounds available in the library (air, hollow, quadruple double tongue, blended muted sections, super sul tasto, Sul C and Sul G, brushed stroked, measured tremelo, maj 3rd, min 3rd and perfect 4th trills, falls, scoops, flutter-tonge, and a few more)
  3. Mapping of playing techniques => playback techniques => articulation
  4. Creation of percussion maps, instruments and mapping to percussion instrument playing techniques and noteheads.

I tell ya’, it’s a busy space in dorico!

To that end I have created a very detailed set of expression maps for the Spitfire Studio Strings, Brass, Woodwinds and Percussion that I would like to share with you all.

There are a lot of mistakes that can happen in this endevour and I think if I put all the desired files up on bitbucket then I could iterate through the various change requests until I get it right and then, hopefully, everyone can use it without issue. When errors are found then an issue can be raised on bitbucket and I can fix it.

So, if anyone is interested, to start out with I have created a project named “SF Studio Template.dorico” and shared it on bitbucket to see if that is usable for other people to use in their projects.

I suspect I am not sharing the correct files so as a first step I wonder how many files I should share? I have created about 55 expression maps but I’m not sure if I also need to share the endpoint configurations as well. Further, I have set certain parameters in the Spitfire Instruments so that I can send the correct commands from the expression maps under some circumstances. Also, do I need to share the percussion instruments?


Thank you so much, James!
You are too kind :hugs:

PS: have you tried VSL ensemble? what are your thoughts on this? How do you work with huge projects?

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Thank you! I am finding these very useful.

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Thank You very much!
I like too use my SSS library with Dorico too.
It’s probably a dummy question, but how can I import your maps to my Dorico session?

Go to Library > Expression Maps and click Import Library.

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Thank You!

BTW, there is a much better Spitfire Percussion Joby Burgess Dorico template at Dropbox - Spitfire Percussion Joby Burgess - Simplify your life

It’s very detailed and much better than mine so much so that I have switched to using it. It has a lot of detail and a better understanding of percussion than the one I did.

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It looks like it’s the one I made. It’s available in the general thread about expression maps :wink:
Thanks for your feedback!


Thanks for sharing!:blush:

Newbie question: I’ve seen expression maps which cover a whole section of the orchestra, or even the whole orchestra. Could I ask what is the thinking behind giving each instrument a separate map?

Well, it really depends on the library. But it’s quite logical to expect different articulations from a violin section than from an oboe or a flute… And percussion instruments are another beast so… Having only one same expression map for every instrument of the orchestra would really seem unreasonable :person_shrugging:

Marc: but Spitfire’s UACC system is based on the idea that most of a particular instrument’s articulations will have rough counterparts for other instruments, including instruments of a completely different type. In fact Spitfire themselves have produced a UACC map. So it can’t be all that unreasonable, can it? Percussion is a different beast, yes, but the Studio Orchestra doesn’t actually include percussion!

@Wensleydale , Spitfire’s UACC is perhaps a step in the right direction, but (obviously) it is built around Spitfire’s own approach to building libraries. Other providers have very different systems. Also it has a major limitation that you cannot layer articulations, so (eg) pizz+con sord is not possible. I guess it will take a number of years to produce an industry standard.

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Well, this thread is specifically about James’s collection of maps for Spitfire’s Studio Orchestra. But don’t other developers try to standardise the way articulations are triggered as between different instruments and even different sections? Would they use one keyswitch for a violin staccato and a different one for a flute staccato? Not a rhetorical question – I don’t have many non-Spitfire libraries.

No. I think each sound producer follows their own preferences. I don’t think there is any discernible trend towards uniformity.

I meant standardisation within their own libraries, not between theirs and those of other developers.

I’ve been using (or trying to) the ArtConductor maps, as I was already used to them in Nuendo, and they cover a lot (and I mean a big lot!) of libraries, including the ones I own (Spitfire Studio Strings, Strezov Afflatus, Emotional Violin and Emotional Cello, and 8Dio Requiem Pro). But I’m not finding it as straightforward as in Nuendo, like there is not a direct relationship between the advanced playing techniques and corresponding Dorico Playing Techniques. I confess I’ve not yet explore all Dorico’s options regarding managing expression maps, like is it possible to create a new playing technique related to an advanced technique present in a given third party Expression Map?

People who make expression maps have a special place in our hearts.

is it possible to create a new playing technique related to an advanced technique present in a given third party Expression Map?

Yes, absolutely: you can create the marking that appears in the score via Library > Playing Techniques, and you create the playback technique that maps between that marking in the score and the switch in the expression map in Library > Playback Techniques.


Thanks! That’s really good news!