Disappearing Technique Add-Ons for Percussion Instruments

Hello wonderful people. I’m trying to set up a Technique Add-On for a Percussion Instrument, and have run into a problem.

Here is a minimal working example. The Bass Guitar is for comparison.

I want to control CC11 with the mute Playing Technique (which triggers the Muted Playback Technique) via the following Expression Map, which I’m applying to both instruments.

When the mute Playing Technique is on, then CC11=30, otherwise CC11=90. That’s the plan.

My first observation of strange behaviour is that the Muted Playback Technique shows in the Bass Guitar’s Key Editor,

but not in the Drum Set’s Key Editor.

This is perhaps not a problem in itself, as the CC11 values of 90 (initiated at the start of Playback) and 30 (initiated at the mute Playing Technique) are still being assigned and sent to the VSTs at the right time for both instruments. However, if I delete the fortissimo dynamics at the start of the passage
then the Drum Set’s Technique Add-On disappears completely and no longer sends CC11=30 to the VST.

The Bass Guitar still works correctly.

I have to re-insert the mute Playing Technique in order for it to work again. Even Edit>Undo won’t bring it back.

More broadly, it looks like any changes to dynamic markings (adding, editing, deleting) is disabling Technique Add-Ons for Percussion Instruments.

In my actual template, I’m trying to control the drum’s velocity with dynamic markings, but the overall volume with a CC message via a custom Playing Technique (sometimes I want hard-hitting drums at a low volume, or softly-hit drums at a high volume, etc). I discovered that deleting my dynamic markings was meddling with my volume control, which is not ideal.

Thank you in advance for any help or insights you can provide. :slight_smile:

The playing techniques lane isn’t calculated in the same way for percussion kits as it is for pitched instruments, which explains the difference in the display.

Could you please attach a trivial project example that would allow us to reproduce this problem? While I appreciate very much the great effort you go to in providing comprehensive pictures of the issue, you can save us further time in providing a simple project that reproduces the problem. That way we can be sure that we are starting from the same starting point as described in your report.

Thank you for your prompt reply, @dspreadbury. It is always very appreciated!

Of course, I will upload my example here [Disappearing Technique Add-Ons for Percussion Instruments.dorico (975.4 KB)], however, I’ve since discovered that closing and re-opening a file also causes the Technique Add-On to disappear. This means you’ll need to carry out a few steps before being able to witness the problem.

I’ve left instructions on what to do in a comment, here.

I’ll reproduce these instructions below. Thank you!


  1. Add the ‘mutePlaying Technique at some point for each instrument. In my original post, I used Bar 1 Beat 2 for the Bass Guitar and Bar 2 Beat 1 for the Drum Set.
  2. Look at the Key Editor, and notice that CC11 is being set to 30 at the right moment for both instruments.
  3. Listen to Playback to check that the correct values of CC11 are being sent to the VSTs. Both instruments are being sent to HALion, where CC11 can be clearly heard changing the volume for both instruments.
  4. Delete the fortissimo dynamic markings for both instruments.
  5. Observe, either through the Key Editor and/or listening again to Playback that the Bass Guitar’s CC11 change at the ‘mutedPlaying Technique is still working, but the Drums Set’s CC11 change at the ‘mutedPlaying Technique has disappeared.

While putting this together, I’ve also noticed alternative actions for Step 4 which will result in Step 5. Note that to repeat the experiment, you will need to re-add the ‘mutePlaying Technique each time (Edit>Undo won’t work). These are

4.1) Edit/move the dynamic mark for the Drum Set.
4.2) Add another dynamic mark somewhere for the Drum Set.
4.3) Close and re-open the Dorico file.
4.4) Add a slur/accent/staccato/marcato/tenuto/etc to any alternative drum-type note in the Drum Set part (so if your ‘mutePlaying Technique is on a Kick Drum note then add something to a Snare Drum note, if it’s on a Snare Drum note then add something to a Kick Drum note).
4.5) Lots of others; sometimes it works sometimes it doesn’t. I can’t work out why.