dynamics don't work with EZDrummer

Hey there,

I don’t know if anybody made the same experience with other plug-ins/VSTs, but crescendi, diminuendi, piano, forte etc don’t work when using EZDrummer.

I assume EZdrummer uses Midi Velocity for dynamics, so make sure all the techniques in your Expression Map is set to Velocity for dynamics. (Volume Dynamic pane - this settng is unique to each technique in the map) Some VSTs (like NotePerformer, if memory serves me) uses a Midi Controller also for non-sustaining instruments… in that case, read up on which controller is used (typically 1 or 11) and adjust the Xmap accordingly… (Dorico’s DEFAULT xmap is set to use Velocity. There’s one called CC11 Dynamics as well, which you can modify or duplicate and set to whatever controller you might need.)

I’m thinking again about what you wrote.
Let’s say I’m using the Standard Expression Map. What do I have to choose so the dynamic signs like ‘p’ and ‘f’ will function automatically without me changing anything?
For me it doesn’t matter what I choose in the ‘Volume Dynamic’ pane cause

  • if I’d choose ‘Note Velocity’ it would only affect my life-playing but not my playback cause Dorico can’t record piano-keyboard-velocities BUT the dynamic signs should do their job anyway
  • if I’d choose ‘Control Change’ I could define my dynamic curves more precisely within in playback window, drawing curves BUT the dynamic signs should do their job anyway

So it doesn’t really matter what I choose, no? A piano or forte sign should work anyway. Am I wrong :confused: ?
Thanx for helping

Drum kits currently only use note velocity - the expression map is ignored. I’ve loaded EZDrummer and it’s playing back fine with dynamics for me. However, the rules for creating dynamics on kit staves is different to how it is for pitched instruments because of the way that multiple instruments are combined into the kit. eg see here: https://www.steinberg.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=154934`

Thanx Paul…that cleared up a lot.

Daniel wrote:

Hmmmm…I’m thinking…I can change individual dynamics of every instrument of my kit within the EZDrummer PlugIn. So I can make a kind of a pre-mix there and there is no need to create dynamics for individual instruments. An overall dynamic in the five-line staff would do the job. It sounds a bit complicated how Dorico handles it but maybe that is due to the complicated percussion-programming.

Hmmm… I just made a small test with VSL jazz drums and the Expression map setting for Volume (CC11 rather than velocity) had a big impact on how dynamics were rendered… so if it’s meant to be ignored, something’s broken :smiley:

Both CC7 and CC11 are “volume” controllers in General Midi, intended for setting mixer levels for a Midi channel, not for the dynamics of individual notes.

Maybe that is why VSL is responding to CC11 when you didn’t expect it to?

I certainly expected it to work! After all, CC11 is a central controller in the (default) VSL universe(!) :astonished:

Wow. I just spent the last hour trying to figure out why dynamics weren’t working in my Drum Set. I finally came upon this thread.

I understand the concept of the five-line staff versus single line versus grid etc. But, Dorico’s handling of dynamics for a drum set is bizarre, imho. If you’re working on a drum set part you have to constantly switch back and forth between 5-line staff and single line staff in order to make dynamic changes!? And you have to add them for each piece of the kit. So if you’ve got a complicated part that uses, HH, Snare, Bass Drum, 3 or 4 tom-toms, crash cymbal etc. all within one or two measures, you have to go to the single line set up and enter 8 dynamics for each appropriate instrument, and then go back to the 5-line kit and enter one more so that it will display. ??? Am I missing something? This can’t be right. If it is, it’s REALLY inefficient! I understand that there might be value in the ability to individually control the dynamics of each piece of a drum kit, but in practice 98% of the time a dynamic in a drum set part will apply to the entire kit. I HAVE to be missing something here, right? If not - there REALLY should be a sort of master dynamic that applies to the whole kit when you enter it in the 5-line staff!

CC7 and CC11 by the way are not great solutions. I tried CC7 on a custom kit I’m making for NI’s Studio Drummer and it just sounds wrong. The dynamics should really be linked to the velocity for most drum kit VI’s.

Wrong. You can enter local dynamics (local to each instrument) with percussion on a five-line staff, using exactly the same method as you would to enter voice-specific dynamics on a regular pitched stave.

  1. Invoke the caret and navigate to the correct instrument.
  2. Type the dynamic.
  3. Type Alt+Enter.
    Result: the dynamic affects that instrument only and appears correctly in any layouts that are using the single-line percussion presentation.

Ah. Well… that’s part of a solution I guess. It at least allows you to enter dynamics for each instrument in the drum kit without having to toggle back and forth between a 5-line staff and multiple single line staves. But it doesn’t solve the core issue which is that you still have to enter dynamics for every single sound on a drum kit! If I have a measure of drums that contains Bass Drum, Snare, HH, and three Tom-Toms and I want to use a dynamic, I have to navigate to the correct voices and enter the dynamic 6 times! That’s just not user friendly imho. I want to look at a drum set part, navigate to the beginning of the measure and enter a dynamic and have that dynamic playback all the sounds in the drum kit appropriately. Just like any other instrument. I guess it’s maybe the core functionality of Dorico treating a drum set as a collection of individual instruments that’s really counterintuitive. A drum set is a single instrument made up of individual sounds, sort of in the same way that a piano is a single instrument made up of 88 individual sounds (pitches). Obviously it would be ridiculous if you had to put a dynamic on each pitch for a piano… I feel the same way about a drum set. And yes, on a piano you can have dynamics separate in each hand or even different voices within a staff, but that’s the exception not the norm. It’s the same with drums, the norm would be that a dynamic placed below the staff is universal to the whole kit the exception would be to allow dynamics to be divided for individual sounds.

Anyway, it was surprising to me to find this little hiccup because Dorico in general has been so thoughtfully worked out to make things user friendly and just generally intelligent but this seems very far from being user friendly. Hoping for a better solution to this in the future.

Are you assuming that drum-set dynamics are in their final form?
Many features in Dorico are introduced in stages as the program unfolds.
The current implementation gives those interested primarily in playback very granular control. Those who are interested exclusively in the visual aspect of the music have the ability to enter dynamic marks for the entire five-line staff. Those who want both–at present–need to do both.

IIRC this matter is to be revisited in the future.

I haven’t tried percussion yet but are you able to select one note from each piece of kit, and then enter the dynamic the way pianoleo showed? Because one neat thing Dorico can do is enter the same dynamic for multiple instruments. I don’t know if that works for percussion though, I haven’t tried it. You might even be able to link the dynamics.

You can certainly use e.g. Edit > Paste Special > Duplicate to Staff Below to quickly duplicate dynamics entered on one percussion instrument down to the other instruments in the kit, and regular ol’ multi-paste also makes short work of this kind of edit.

Thanks for all the tips everyone. Derrek, of course I wouldn’t want to assume that - in fact I’m pretty sure that there are some other things with percussion that they’re hoping to fix/improve in the future, the “remove rest” function amongst them. Anyway, Daniel is there any chance that this is something that can get added to the list of things to look at with percussion/drum parts? Specifically for Drum Set parts I think. All of these great suggestions aside, (which help expedite the process), it still seems a little conceptually backwards in my opinion just thinking about adding dynamics to every single piece of a drum kit instead of one dynamic to control the whole kit (as the default).

Thanks y’all!