Dorico Elements 3 pizz. not working


I must have something strange going on with my playback system…

Just for clarification, do the playing techniques pizz. and arco reflect in playback - in Dorico Elements 3?
Or is playing techniques playback restricted to the pro version?

I have a simple string piece. Playback is working, but pizz. / arco does not seem to be recognised.
I had put them in with Shift-P - so using the popover method.

[Edit : go directly to next post, mine is plain wrong]
Are those the only playing techniques applied to the strings? If there’s something else before, make sure uou apply a nat. playing technique before pizz. It should play.

No, you won’t be able to automatically switch from pizz. to arco by default in Dorico Elements at present because there are no keyswitching string sounds; but we’ll see about providing a means to do this automatically in the future.

Ok, everything fine, I was just wondering.
I am using Dorico Elements on tour basically for inputting notes/feeding the computer with music. Playback as tool for proofreading/listening is fine but not life essential.
Looking forward to the times we can use one installation on two computers, though :wink:

Does the Elements version allow you to create expression maps?

If so…

HALion Sonic 3 SE will accept program changes.

Out of the box, with any Steinberg host that includes the 'Basic" content pack, HSSE is set up to be GM compliant in terms of the program/instrument assignments. It is also possible assign your own (I.E. change from the Basic string sounds to some from the Artist set if that happens to come with Elements).

I believe you might need to go to the OPTIONS TAB in HSSE and set “Program Changes” to GM Mode. From there, if you like, I believe you can clear all the slots and right click the multi area to establish a default multi-setup all ready to accept program changes in the future (so you don’t have to keep changing it in the Options tab in future projects).

You can add tremolo (45), pizzicato (46), and string sections (49 or 50) to an expression map.

It might be more convenient to simply route each string instrument stave to his own instance of HALion Sonic SE, set it to receive program changes in GM mode in the options tab, and use the relevant expression maps below. If it throws up a bunch of useless faders on your mixing console, you can get rid of those in the same area that one assigns the expression map.

Here are some already set up. (1.39 KB)

still strange thing happening here:
I now opened that project (which I had started in Dorico Elements 3.0) in Dorico Pro 3.0.10.
There is also no pizz. playback. Dorico just seems to ignore these playing techniques.
I have not fiddled around in this area at all, so I am using the default Sounds/expression maps etc.

Do Play > Playback Templates and reapply the ‘HSSE+HSO (Pro)’ playback template.

Thank you Daniel, this was easy - it is working now. (451 KB)
I just upgraded to this version and still no pizzicato playback.
Dorico Elements 3 Version (Feb 17 2020)
Is this something that is still being considered for implementation? Am I doing something wrong?
A zipfile of the project is attached because t wouldn’t let me attach a file with .dorico suffix.

– Alan

See Daniel’s post above:

No, you won’t be able to automatically switch from pizz. to arco by default in Dorico Elements at present because there are no keyswitching string sounds; but we’ll see about providing a means to do this automatically in the future.

The future hasn’t arrived yet :cry:

If you want better quality playback, a fairly cheap solution is NotePerformer ( which should work the same with Elements as it does with Pro. (But try the demo to make sure, before you buy it!)

Thanks, Rob, NotePerformer does work with Dorico Elements and with that combination pizzicato playback does work.
The quality of playback isn’t really an issue for me, but I’d have thought Dorico Elements would play back pizzicato as delivered.
Having to shell out $129 for NotePerformer makes Elements less of a value for the money in my opinion.

I am guessing here, but the orchestra samples in Elements seem to be controlled the same was as General Midi sounds (i.e. there aren’t any controls except for dynamics) and GM only has a generic “pizzicato string orchestra” patch which is a different “instrument” from the solo strings and the orchestra arco strings. So there isn’t any easy way for Dorico to use it, and it wouldn’t sound very good in any case (you don’t want your solo viola to turn into an orchestra section playing pizz).

All “cut down” versions of software have the problem that somebody wants just one or two of the features that were left out, but of course if it included everybody’s “one or two” requests it wouldn’t be a cut down version at all.

It is true that GM only has pizzicato and tremolo for section strings. If one really wants a solo string pizzicato, I might can make one to share here for SE if I can find some free to use samples out there somewhere. That’s the trick though…plenty of free to use samples of sections doing pizzicato out there. Not so many samples of a soloist doing it (what few I presently have, I don’t have the rights to distribute in raw or built instrument form).

GM does include a dulcimer on PC16, Nylon Guitar on PC 25, and an orchestra harp on PC 47. Obviously these are NOT from the violin family, but one can use them in a pinch (play with the filters and stuff to get a little closer to what it should sound like) to get the point across that the strings should be plucked there rather than bowed.

There are a few rudimentary controls in HSSE’s basic GM Basic library. One can course or fine tune it a bit. There is a global band-pass filter section in each HSSE Basic Marco screen. There is a master amp section, with a global program pan that is independent of the main CC10 GM pan, and some basic user accessible attack and release envelopes. Any of the controls on the macro page can ‘learn’ a CC if you need to drive them remotely from your expression maps or CC lanes. Right click, learn, and send the CC you’d like to use. Save your HSSE program-preset for later use if you like. Save the score as well so that arrangement remembers the HSSE VSTi state.

For strings…there are several quick-controls for doing some basic EQ and tone shaping.

While it’s not officially part of the GM standard, I think I remember that one can use CC73 to call up a spicatto bowing style for the section strings.

All of the quick controls have default CCs assigned to them. You can also elect to right click them and learn your own CC.
Here are the default/HSSE factory CCs events…

HSSE has a very good effect plugin section, with very capable reverbs, chorus, notch filters, EQs, band pass filters, and more. Again, it’s possible to ‘learn’ and remotely drive all the controls in HSSE’s effect’s tab from a score if required. These can make a HUGE difference how nice a mix sounds. They can often make the bog standard GM library really come to life and sound quite professional…as well as being used for shaping up simulated sounds (faking fancy brass or string mutes, or substituting one ‘shaped up’ instrument for another that is not in the soundset, etc)…so do play with them and see what they have to offer.

I think I might have found a sample set I can use.

I’ll see what I can do about making a free set of key-switching strings for Dorico Elemens users.

I took a look at this project. You have a couple of immediate options here in so far as using what comes with standard Dorico Elements.

  1. Use an expression map to channel bounce among different slots loaded into HSSE. (I added one called My Strings to your project)
    The advantage to this mode is that it seems to work smoother on subsequent replays of your score.

  2. Force an instance of HSSE into General MIDI mode and use program changes. (Works, but can have issues on the first note of a stave in subsequent plays) The advantage to this method might be if you need collaborate with people who only have version 2 of the software, which might not have done channel bouncing yet.

In either case, I’m noticing in Elements mode, that the arco technique doesn’t seem to have anything assigned to it in the expression map system? It’s as if there is no playback technique bound to it at all (Or I can’t figure out which one…Bowed doesn’t work, and it is NOT resetting things to the Natural node). Hence, you’ll need to stack up a nat. or ord. technique with it. You can hide it from view afterward.

Here’s an edit of your project with a working example. (414 KB)
You could do something like this in separate instances for each string instrument, and save them as playback templates. Set some rules so Dorico automatically assigns them as needed.

Brian, Thanks! The pizz and nat. arco flip back between pizz and arco playback respectively and sounds great. I will study your instructions above to learn how to implement for the rest of the string family. Is it possible co create the expression maps then share among other projects?

Yes, you can export/import expression maps (or entire sets of them) individually. Also note that anytime you save a score, a copy of all your expression maps gets saved as part of the score.

While it’s possible to dig around and find the default xml file Dorico uses to create fresh new scores, and add/edit expression map entries therein, it’s not really advised unless you are willing to take some risks, and are confident in what you’re doing in there, while also realizing that all that work is subject to be over-written anytime you update or upgrade Dorico.

Instead, Dorcio, since Version 3, has added a playback template system.

While I have not spent much time experimenting with it yet (especially in Elements mode), I ‘think’ the playback template system is functional in Elements as well. While I’m not sure at this time, I believe expression maps might get saved with the endpoints and such that you establish there, and can be automatically called up in future projects. I.E. Make a solo violin stave, and Dorico can be taught to call up your favorite setup on his own…including your base expression map for the instrument(s) in the saved end-points.

My current understanding is that it works like this.

  1. Set up an instrument exactly as you want it…with your expression maps and all built and working.

  2. In the play tab, save the end-point for that stave.

  3. In the instrument templates section, create a template for the instrument.

  4. Continue the process for each member of your string family…

  5. Go back into instrument templates, where you can set a type of ‘if/then/or’ logic where Dorico will:
    A. Test end-points the order you specify to see if they are your preferred choice.
    B. Fall back to the last sound-set in the list (I.E. The default HSSE Elements one) if it doesn’t find it in one of your custom ones.

Here is a nice video on the process of making instrument templates for Dorico.

I’ve thrown together an example instrument template. (775 KB)
After unzipping, you should be able to import it from the play tab. Play/Playback Temnplates…"

It should add a new template to your setup called “HSSE (Elements w/Bouncing Strings)”

If you like the way that behaves, you can make it your default template in Dorico’s main “Edit/Preferences/Play” menu.

I’ve attempted to build a quick template that assigns the Violin family automatically to staves from your Setup Page with HSSE instances and expression maps all ready to do your channel bouncing.

If I did it properly, it will assign solo instruments to ‘solo players’, and String Ensemble 1 to ‘section players’. It should automatically set up base expression maps to get started with as well (all they do is change between acro, tremolo, and pizzicato).

Each violin family stave gets his own fresh HSSE instance. It gets named accordingly in your Play Tab’s list of VSTi plugins. It only throws up ONE fader on the main Dorico Mixing map per instance. If you want to remix how the articulations balance and pan independently, you’d do that from within the respective HSSE instance itself. I did it that way so you don’t have to slog through dozens of faders on the Mixing console to get a rough mix.

I did go ahead and give you an expression map for each member of the family, even though they all have the same contents (could have done it with just one). I did this in case you want to easily be able to work with each instrument independently later…as in, add or change something in a violin stave that you don’t want applied to a viola stave. Example: At some point you might want to load several slots with the base violin sound, but shape it up differently using the EQ and other controls in HSSE to mimic more types of articulations, playing styles, bowing intensities, and so forth.

Note that the HSSE Basic, Artist, and Pro sets that ships with Dorico Elements don’t have true solo variants for tremolo and pizzicato, so I’ve substituted in the full string ensemble ones. Eventually I’ll post up some solo vstsound formatted string stuff that one can install which has a small disk footprint and will give you more options for the violin family. Meanwhile…this should do the job well enough for sketching up scores.

This is great, Brian! I took your playback template and tried it out for a string quartet plus double bass.
Pizz and arco work great with all of them. Thanks so much for the template. Attached is the quick example I did.
Thank you,
Alan. (700 KB)