Dorico/VSL strange playback behavior/bug?


first of all, I apologize for the way I’m using the english laguage :smiley: - I’m from Germany, but there isn’t a Dorico-Forum in german language.

for the last couple of days I went my first steps with Dorico/VSL. I had much fun discovering the basic ideas about expression maps and the use of playing technique; I did nearly every fault you can do, but time after time managed to resolve most of my problems (most of this faults surely have been ridiculous, but they have been MY faults - as mentioned above, I had much fun…).
Nevertheless I stuck now to some playback behaviour I’m not able to solve. I will try to attach 2 pictures, otherwise I will not be able to explain…

and the second one:

My problem: In bar 38 the playing technique “arco” is ignored, moreover, every playing technique is ignored. I am not able to stop the pizzicato from the first bars. When you look at the bar indicating the playing techniques in the playback window, you may see in the relevant point (where the longer notes begin, this is bar 38) only 1 playing technique is indexed in the Viololcellos- and it’s the wrong one, “pizz.” instead of “arco”. The other "arco"s are completely ignored.
I tried this with “ord.”, “nat.” etc. in various positions and combination (I left 2 examples in the score). Nearly nothing worked (of cause they have been attached to the right note in the right staff). Sometimes, in some staffes, it worked with “espr.” - but not in bar 38 t o 40, but earliest in bar 41 (… which is to late; Lalo, who wrote this, would insist in bar 38, I’m sure :wink: …) And never in the Viol. 2-staff.

Meanwhile I’m afraid it’s a Dorico-bug - okay I have been trying for many hours in various ways, changed expression maps, edited playing techniques, put notes on and of, wrote some phrases again etc. So maybe, the score is a little bit “distorted”. But I think, the difference between score and pianoroll shouldn’t be possible… Someone with an idea, how to go on? I’d appreciate any clue about what I’ve done wrong… :question:

Welcome to the forum.

The behavior you’re describing is certainly not normal. Would you be willing to zip the project and post it here for the team or other users to take a look?

Are you using a user-created expression map? Try setting the playback template to HSSE. Does that resolve the pizz?

Welcome to the forum, gixmawesu. Can you make sure that you have “arco” and “pizz.” in the same mutual exclusion group in your expression map? Otherwise Dorico won’t know that in order to play arco it needs to first remove pizzicato.

having “arco” and “pizz” in the same exclusion group does not help for me --at any rate with VSL – although it logically ought to – but as long as you put an ord somewhere before the arco (it sometimes also works on the same note where the arco begins where there is no other option, otherwise I’ve had success in putting it on the final pizz note note but timed for after the pizz), it’s fine. And don’t forget there is no arco, only a “bowed” playing technique which corresponds to the “arco” marking which I initially found confusing. You can see this correspondence in the Engrave menu --> Playing techniques (don’t ask me why it’s there…)

I suspect there is a bit of a bug and the behaviour may well vary between libraries but I’ve yet to get really stuck! If you do and the team are struggling (unlikely!), I’m happy to have a look.

Thank you for your quick reply!

In fact, it was my fault, and with yor feedback finally I was able to fix it: After re-editing the mutual exlusion groups nearly everything works perfect - that was the decisive hint! :stuck_out_tongue:

But working with this mutual exclusion groups, some more questions have been showing up… (Why has “arco” to be at the end from the Drop-down-list in playing techniques with the rest in alphabetical order? I’ve been searching for hours… :wink: ).

Ok, seriously: I don’t understand the concept of naming mutual exclusion groups, when they can’t be re-used in the next expression map. For example, for most string instruments in orchestra this groups will be very similar or identical. It takes much time to do over again and again the same drop-down actions for every single new instrument - it would be much easier, when (after initial naming and filling a group with playing techniques) to get the possibility to recall this group by name, just to use it or to copy it and change it etc. :bulb: In my thinking, this would be consistent with the overall customizing concept of the program.

Yes, I agree it would be helpful to be able to easily copy a mutual exclusion group from one expression map to another. I think the workflow we anticipated was that you would create one expression map and then base a new one on that existing map, which would of course bring everything with it.

It would indeed be helpful to manage exclusion groups independently. Gather a collection of playing techniques into a group, name the group, recall the group, edit both the list and it’s name. All these capabilities would be very useful.

Re mutual exclusion groups: what matters isn’t that there are certain combinations of things that can’t physically be played at the same time (eg arco and pizz). Rather it’s that every sample library has different combinations of techniques in their keyswitches that can’t be played at the same time. The expression map is how to tell Dorico the capabilities of a particular library, and the mutual exclusions may be different in each case. Eg one library may have keyswitches for arco, pizz, legato, tremolo, so these have to be in a mutual exclusion group (even though in playing technique terms arco and legato aren’t mutually exclusive)

The critical thing I’ve just discovered here seems to be that “natural” must be in the exclusion group, otherwise the change back to arco won’t work. I’d expected that you’d only need arco and pizz but that’s not the case. Makes more sense when you look in the Playing Techniques Editor and see that “arco” is in fact an alias for “natural” – in other words the instruction is to return to normal playing technique. This applies to the default Halion, VSL and NP libraries though, as Paul says, you obviously need to look at the specifics of the sound library as it may not be the same in every instance.