Dorico 3.5 timpani tremolo playback technique issue

Just upgraded to Dorico 3.5 and the expression mapping improvements are a nice improvement in the out-of-the box sound. However, I ran into something that I don’t understand (still coming up to speed here!) and cannot figure out how to fix: in a timpani part, the expression mapping initially bounces back and forth between natural and tremolo corresponding with the score (as it did throughout the score in Dorico 3.1). However, a little way into the score, it locks into tremolo for the playing technique—it explicitly assigns it to every note, whether or not they’re marked with a tremolo marking in the score. I tried toggling the tremolo on and off per note, and it didn’t make any difference in the playback technique: once it switches to that all-tremolo-all-the-time mode, nothing affects it.

Is this a bug, possibly in the conversion from the 3.1 to 3.5? (Did I miss a previous report? I searched and didn’t find anything, but… :man_shrugging:t3:)

Also, is there a workaround here? I couldn’t find a way to manually set the playing technique, which makes sense from what I understand of Dorico’s model so far (it’s deriving it from the notated music into its internal musical-semantic representation of the note, right?).

I can attach the project, if that’s helpful.

It sounds like it could be a bug. Would you be able to attach a minimal example, e.g. delete all of the instruments apart from the timpani and as many bars as possible without the problem going away, then zip up and attach that cut-down project here so we can take a look?

Definitely! Here’s a fully minimal reproduction—you can see that it bounces back and forth naturally between the expressions as you’d expect until after the last set of tremolos, and then immediately after that the first couple notes which should be natural are not. Even a compressed file is too large to upload directly to the forum software (7.2MB), so here is a Droplr link for the minimal project. Happy to provide anything else I can to help here!

Other potentially-relevant info about my machine and setup:

  • macOS 10.15.5
  • iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, Late 2015)
  • 4 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7
  • 64 GB 1867 MHz DDR3
  • Dorico Version (May 18 2020)
  • Dorico 3.5 AudioEngine Version

For some reason the HSO Timpani expression map hasn’t been updated with a Mutual Exclusion group. If you add that (call it anything) and add the techniques Natural and Tremolo to it, it will play as expected. Why it only affects part of the file I can’t say, but I’d guess that the Marcato in the preceeding measure upsets something internally when the mutual exclusion group is missing…

Oh, interesting—that did indeed do the trick! Thank you!

Thanks for the example, Chris. I’m happy to say that this problem is already resolved in our development builds, so this shouldn’t bother as of the next update, whenever it may come.

That’s awesome to hear—thanks so much!

Just want to add: my experience with both Dorico 3.1 and 3.5 (coming back to composing after a solid half decade away) has been outstanding. Easiest purchase decision I’ve made in a long time. My compliments!

I have a similar issue with EW Ra and Silk instruments. Should I set the key switch of “note off” of the tremolos as “Natural”? or it should disengage and go back to natural when following notes don’t have tremolo sings on their stems?

You shouldn’t need to explicitly set anything to switch off tremolos; because they are attributes (i.e. they apply only to the note on which they are written), they will automatically revert to the previous combination of playing techniques on the following note. If you find that not to be the case, please attach a minimal project that demonstrates the problem (ideally just one instrument and a bar or two of music, whatever is minimally sufficient to reproduce it).

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