Thanks I will have a listen. I confess that dynamics are not normally a major focus for me as I’m not trying to produce a polished rendering. If I need to do that, I’ll do the extra work to ship it over to Cubase (Sure would be nice to have a one-button transfer to Cubase, hint hint. I bet Dorico would drive a bunch of Cubase sales if we had that feature.)
I do have a pretty decent monitor system ( a pair of Yamaha 2-way studio satellites plus a Presonus sub). I should probably listen more carefully with headphones, which I have never done with Dorico.
On edit, My results closely match your MP3 file.
Here are my observations. If I use mm 1-2 as the frame of reference, they indeed sound like an authentic ff when played by NP.
MM 3-4, pp doesn’t sound nearly quiet enough. Sounds more like a mp to me.
mm5-6, I barely hear any crescendo at all. Sounds like mp < mf to me.
m7 sound like it begins mf or f, certainly not p, and I hear nothing from the sfz and fp.
mm 8-10 are brilliant. The cresc and decres on the sustained note sound exactly right to me, and the final note sounds like a good p if not a pp.
I have my dynamics curve set to 1. As I understand it, the dynamic curve doesn’t change the pppp or ffff. It only affects the proportioning for the dynamics in between. I think the problem is that pp is too loud, and I don’t see how I can tweak that.
All of the above observations were using NP. I switched all the instruments over to HSSE+HOS (pro). In that case, the sounds are less realistic, but the dynamics are actually closer to what I would expect. In particular the mm5-6 cresc is clearly evident. I think the pp is still a little too loud.
Returning to mm 5-6 with np:
Clearly there is an attempt to crescendo. And the velocities show a small amount of beat emphasis. But to my ears, especially with NP, this is not nearly as dramatic as I’d expect to hear with a human playing a “p<f” crescendo through a moving line. It sounds to me that the pp is calibrated too high, but I don’t see any way to adjust that.
On further experimentation, by moving the dynamics curve to around 5.5, the example sounded much more like what I expected to hear in isolation. 2 points:
- That is with NP. It seems to me that NP moderates the dynamics compared to the more mechanical process from most other VSTis including Halion, so I might like a curve at 3.5 - 4.5 better with Halion
- That sounds right to me in this isolated example when I am focusing on dynamics. IN the context of a large work, that might be too much.
I think where I was going wrong was that I was thinking of the dynamics spectrum ranging from pp to ff. But in Dorico, the dynamics curve runs from pppp to ffff, for good reason. The effect I was hearing was pp and ff being pushed to the middle – in other words p to f being too close to make the kind of audible difference I expected. But pushing the curve up to 3, 4, or 5, you move p to f much farther apart. That makes the differences between pppp-pp and ff-ffff relatively small, just as they are in the real world.
This doesn’t get me any closer to understanding where velocities fit in. When I drew some rather radical velocity changes, they didn’t seem to have any (or much) effect.