# Dynamics: No linear swell from pp to ff (?)

Hello people,

Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to be possible to set the dynamics swelling linear from pp to ff.
The only way to make a linear swell seems to be from pppppp to ffffff.
To be honest, I can’t rember any piece of music with 6 (!) pianos or fortes.
In must cases 2 of them are the maximum (perhaps 3, but 6 (!?)).
I think no musician can differentiate between ffff and ffffff or between pppp and pppppp.
In Piano music when pp is written one would play absolute softly with the una chorda pedal.
If in the piece occur pp, p, mp, mf, f and ff, that would be 6 different dynamics,
a range from ppp to fff would mean 8 dynamic level.
I think, that’s absolute enough.
But there seems to be no possibility to make any linear swell seperate from pppppp to ffffff.
If that’s true, in my view that is a weak point of Doricos Dynamics… isn’t it?

I’m not sure I entirely understand what your question actually is, but I suspect the answer might be to go to Playback Options > Dynamics and set the Dynamic Curve Power to 1.

You must be doing something wrong, but since we don’t know what VST you are trying to use we are just guessing what the solution is.

Most likely you have the wrong expression map for the VST you are using, so the dynamics from Dorico are being ignored.

Attach a small project that demonstrates your problem, and somebody will tell you how to fix it.

@ Pianoleo:

Yes, but if I set the Dynamic Power Curve to 1, then between p und mp there’s nearly no difference…
If I set it up to 7 or 8, the difference is much greater, but the level increase from mp to mf is extreme…
That’s the problem…
I’d like to have a really weak note beeing pp, a very loud note beeing ff, and mf a bit above the middle volume, and mp a bit below the middle…
How is this to be done?

If you use a linear curve for dynamics, then there will indeed be almost no difference between two adjacent dynamic levels when you have to map the whole range from pppppp to ffffff. That’s why we use a power curve that makes a much smaller difference between pppppp and ppp, and between fff and ffffff, with larger increments between ppp and fff.

Hi Daniel,

I know… but regarding to the graphic of the Dynamic Level Curve the more the value of it is, the more the curve gets really curved rather then linear, means it is flat at lower and higher Dynamic values and with a sharp increase at middle values like mp and mf.
That results in a more and more noticeable difference between those middle Dynamics, and the difference between mp and mf gets the most. If the curve would stay linear from pp to ff, the increasement wouldn’t be that much, or am I wrong?

I don’t think you’re wrong, but I’m not sure there is a value you can set to the current power curve that will achieve that linear progression.

so much is going to depend on your VST and how well the expressiveness and timbre of the sound is properly correlated with pure volume. Dorico can help with but not fix limitations or bugs with the sample library. I can imagine it’s not easy to exactly correlate with every VST out there! The easiest way to start (which you’ve probably done already) is to test out all the dynamic levels you want such as ppp to fff in a series of consecutive bars by changing the dynamic power curve. I’ve found it to be pretty sensitive. A level of 1 is usually far too restricted but the default 2.5 often makes even pp virtually inaudible. I’'m currently using 1.4 with VSL with dynamic crossfade switched on. after considerable experimentation. Another important thing is Humanize which in the case of high dynamic sensitivity should probably be reduced – at any rate I’ve found it necessary to do so.

Just as a comparison, Sibelius allowed giving exact MIDI numbers to every dynamic but the scale most certainly was not linear and I actually find the Dorico method at least as effective as well as much easier. To me, though some disagree, if your library has one dynamic controller which affects timbre and character of the sound and one which is pure volume, it’s best to use a Secondary Dynamic and assign one of these to velocity. This way the dynamic lane and velocity will be approximately matched. If an individual note is the wrong volume, then correct it in the velocity lane. If a section has the wrong volume in relation to another, just adjust it a little in the dynamic lane. I’m already starting to get better playback results than with “the other” software thanks to these various new control options.

We hope to give users more control over dynamic curves in future versions. Currently it’s hard to adapt to every orchestral library using just a single curve parameter, so we definitely know this is an area we wish to improve on.

Thank you all!
Yes, I had to play around with the various values in the Expression map and in the PlaybackOptions…
I think I found a setting that works with my library…
Thxs a lot,
best, Roman