Dorico Expression Map and "Playback playing technique" linkage

I’m still struggling hard with Expression Maps and Keyswitches. What I want to do is create my own expression maps for my existing libraries—most of which are Orchestral Tools Berlin Series. For instance, I have a violin expression map created with the following keyswitches
C0 Sustains + LEG
C#0 Sustains
D0 Sustains Soft
D#0 Sustains Accented
E0 Marcato Long
F0 Marcato short
F#0 Staccato
G0 Spiccato
G#0 Pizzicato
A0 Tremolo
A#0 Trills
B0 Rapid legato + LEG
C1 Rapid Legato
C#1 Pattern Legato + LEG
D1 Pattern Legato
In the Edit Playing Techniques there is a large popup list of playing techniques but for most new playback playing techniques are needed.

So I go ahead and create the new Playback playing techniques in the editor. These are carefully named to be exactly the same as in the Expression Map. Am unsure if existing techniques in the Strings Panel like “pizz.” and “spicc” will link to the Expression Map or do something else—so created my own named slightly differently.

Here is how I thought this would work:
My expectation of the logic flow here is that if I created in the Playing Techniques editor a new technique Named “Patt Leg” with the Text for it also named “Patt Leg”. Then in the Playback playing technique I create a new technique called “Pattern Legato”-- which exactly matches the articulation for keyswitch “D1 Pattern Legato” in the Expression map–I would have thought that when I type “Patt Leg” in the score that this would trigger the “Pattern Legato” in the expression map and sound that articulation. Same name.

This almost works some of the time. Another issue is the apparent need is to somehow initialise at the beginning of a part to“something” otherwise the part playback is the last utilised articulation regardless of what I have written.

If the linkage between articulations in the Expression Map and those specified in the “Playback playing techniques” having the same name, is not the tie in, then how does it work?

You have to link the playing techniques with the playback techniques in the playing technique. The namesake don’t matter except for clarity. If you name a playing technique “plouf”, linked it with a pizz playback technique and assigned that pizzicato playing technique to a mute legato trombone patch in your xmap, “plouf” will trigger that sound

It’s got a beautiful architecture but you do have to think through it a couple times, and I suggest writing them down too. The next version of Dorico will have a “Tools” menu or some such which contains all of these which should make it easier to pop several windows simultaneously so you can see how one maps to another.

It seems like my assumption that if whatever is placed in “Playback playing technique” matches something in the expression map, then that articulation would sound. This is what I expected the linkage to be, but maybe it’s something else. But not working very well here so beginning to suspect that Dorico doesn’t play well with Orchestral Tools libraries. I notice most people on this forum do not use OT libraries. Just don’t know!

There’s no reason OT would behave differently than any other library.
You have 3 steps to follow:
1- link the playing techniques with the playback technique.
In the playing technique menu, you have to assign it to a playback technique so Dorico will know which playback technique to send out when your write this particular playing technique.
2. In your xmap, link the playback technique with a patch in your library, so your library will know which patch to trigger when receiving this playback technique.
3. Assign the xmap to the instrument in Play mode so your library will know how to translate in patches the incoming playback techniques.

The only exception to this comes in with playing techniques that are assign by default to playback techniques in Dorico, like staccato dots or legato lines. But you’ll still have to assign the corresponding playback techniques in your xmap to let OT know which patch to trigger

Thank you Queb. I’m having much better luck today. I started with reassigning default playback modes such as staccato dots & legato lines and basically changing any Dorico defaults to custom. That solved a host or problems.

As mentioned before, another problem related to this is playing back from the beginning of a part, Dorico will use the last used articulation, not the one I’ve written for the first note. The solution is the same solution I’ve used in Cubase: Before the first note of a part, insert a new note, out of playing range and specify ANY articulation. This seems to initialize Dorico as it then plays from the beginning correctly with the first actual note sounding the articulation as written. If there is a better solution to this issue, would like to see it.

Nice to be getting somewhere at last!

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Is there a way to check the link between playing technique and playback technique within the expression map dialogue box. I thought i read somewhere that you could do this within the expression map area. I know you can check it in the playback lane in play itself - but I like to audition sounds in the expression map dialogue and it would be nice to confirm or not a valid link between playing and playback techniques at that stage. Certainly hoping that Dorico 5 brings further development of the expression map scene. Many thanks all.

Windows 10
Dorico 4.3
Nuendo 12

No, you can’t check via the Expression Maps dialog which playing technique is mapped by which playback technique used by the switches in the expression map. We know it would be helpful to have a more direct way of accessing the playing techniques that correspond to the switches in the expression map used for a given instrument, and that’s something we’re definitely interested in implementing in future.


Hi everyone. First, sorry for my bad English. I’m studying expression maps in Doric. I wanted to know how it is possible to use two different types of legato in the VSL flute, for example the perf. legato and the perf legato grace ( of which I understood little its practical use) How can I in Doric connect two different kinds of legato, since there is only one legato symbol available in the notation page?strong text

Welcome to the forum.

You can create two different playing techniques and connect them each to different playback techniques, which in turn trigger different switches in your expression map. You may also need to put these into a mutual exclusion group in the expression map so that Dorico knows that only one can be used at any one time.

[quote=“Janus, post:10, topic:683392”]
You can create two different playing techniques and connect them each to different playback techniques, which in turn trigger different switches in your expression map. You may also need to put these into a mutual exclusion group in the expression map so that Dorico knows that only one can be used at any one time.
[/quote]thank you ))

Can I do this even using only one legate symbol available in Dorico?
My intent is to use the expression slur that would trigger both legato samples and sia, another legato type that I could define with text over the slur curve.

I can’t do this.

The ideal would be to have a Doric plus expression slur symbols, each to be linked to a different legato technique.

Is the section of the Help file for all this done yet? If not, why not?

If I understand you correctly should work… For instance, defining a technique to use “legato” and “rapid” together as one for the rapid legato, you would have to make a new technique called “rapid” with some text that you could then hide. Then putting the slur and the word “rapid” above it should trigger the rapid + legato (both techniques) and would prefer the expression map entry that matches both instead of the one for legato only.

The other possibility is to define multiple “legato” ones that are differentiated through different note lengths as conditions, so that short notes or very short notes would always trigger the rapid legato patch.

Here is a simple example
new legato.dorico (625.2 KB)

I’ve created new playing and playback techniques called new legato. And changed the violin expression map to have a switch for new legato (in this example it triggers pizzicato). Normally a slur will trigger legato (as in bar 2) . But in bar 4 I have supressed playback for it and added the new new legato playing technique - which is then hidden, so only the slur shows, but the playback is pizzicato.

It is not possible to use a single playing technique to point to two different playback techniques.

You should be able to stack playing techniques though, like creating one called “new”, and creating an expression map entry for “New” + “Legato”, then by putting a slur over the notes and the word “new” above, you should theoretically get the “New” + “Legato” one triggered instead of the regular “Legato” one.

Yes that works too.
new legato.dorico (627.7 KB)
(I’ve tended to avoid the combinations route because my brain is small and you can easily be sucked into creating so many possibilities…)

I prefer the combinations route myself as then you don’t have to disable the playback effect for things like slurs, and also the libraries themselves usually divide them into subtypes of legato like “fast legato” or “agile legato” or “slurred legato” or “portamento legato”, in this case it makes a lot more sense to me to stack and let the slur handle the “legato” part and the text to handle the “fast” or “agile” or “slurred” or “portamento”.

At which point my brain starts to explode…

For most things I don’t think you need to define this second subtype but can instead use different note length criteria for this. For instance, Legato with note length less than or equal to “short” should probably trigger the agile or fast legato patch.

Others that are more artistic effects rather than practical may have to be defined as a second subtype - for things like portamento for instance, its probably not useful to always trigger portamento for certain note lengths, because it is unlikely that you will always want it for notes of a certain length. For instance, even though you could define “very long” legato to use the portamento keyswitch, you’d get sick of the result pretty quickly because it would do it with all “very long” notes all the time.