Editing dynamic velocities

Hi- Finale user here checking out Dorico. Trying to get playback working with Vienna Ensemble & VI Pro. I’ve entered in Dorico a few pages of score I have in Finale, and generally the volume in Dorico is much lower, especially with softer dynamic markings. (I don’t go beyond ff and pp.) I’ve tried adjusting the mixer levels and playing with the Dynamic Curve, but it isn’t sufficient. And I’d rather not have to go through and change the dynamic markings just for playback’s sake.

Is there a way to address this? Ideas:

Is there a way to edit velocities indicated by the dynamic markings?

I see dynamics listed as techniques in Expression Maps. Can those be used to specify what velocity is sent? I don’t see an easy way to do it though.

Any thoughts much appreciated!

in Dorico 4, the default master output volume is much lower than Dorico 3.5 so you simply increase it in the mixer (press F3 to open) . Of course you can also increase the master bus volume within VSL itself.

I don’t know whether by velocities you actually mean velocity or just dynamics in general as with VSL in most cases CC1 or 2, depending on library, controls the main dynamic. You should check the setting in the VI Pro interface matches the one in the Expression Map . If you control dynamics through CC then adjusting the velocity will make no difference. See the illustration below.

There isn’t a way to assign a specific dynamic level to a score dynamic marking the way there is in Sibelius (and perhaps Finale – I don’t really know it) – the equivalent is the Dynamic Curve which, as you’ve discovered won’t necessarily cover all eventualities. With VSL, using Vel XF makes in general for a much more dynamic and contrasty rendering than not doing so but I guess you already know this if an experienced VSL user.

Thanks for the reply!

I haven’t typically used Vel. XF with notation (yes with more intricate DAW projects), so my existing templates aren’t set up that way. But I’ll experiment.

With Finale, I’ve basically used velocities with CC7 for cresc./dim., so I’m seeing if I can recreate that. I have Volume Dynamic set to velocity and Secondary Dynamic set to CC7. It’s helped to raise the min. value of CC7, but that decreases the effect of cresc./dim. Maybe this isn’t an optimal setup with Dorico.

Are the dynamic Playback Techniques only for keyswitches/CC, not for constraining dynamics?

Thanks again!

I wouldn’t use CC7 as a secondary dynamic as CC7 is designed in VSL as with other libraries too be the overall master volume setting which shouldn’t be adjusted. For individual instruments, you’re safer using CC11. For the primary, you can indeed experiment but do remember that velocity is only an initial on dynamic which cannot be modified through the note whereas CC’s allow hairpins during the note itself, making this way of working more flexible (percussive instruments such as piano work fine with velocity and some libraries also use velocity for short articulations).

It may be my brain is particularly foggy this morning but I’m not sure if I understand your last sentence. Score dynamics use the volume dynamic controller setting if that’s what you mean. If not, please give an example of exactly what you’re after!

After more testing, I’m realizing my initial approach was unrealistic – trying to get playback from Dorico and Finale to sound roughly the same with the same VSL template. Obviously if this were possible, it’d be the smoothest transition to using Dorico, requiring little time editing the template. But there are just too many differences in how the programs work, so more effort would be needed.

However, I still think being able to customize the playback of dynamic markings would be really useful.

Thanks for the advice on CC7. (Yes, aware of velocity vs. volume.) I haven’t used velXF by default because I don’t like the sound of some of the overlapped samples, but it’s worth revisiting.

My question about the dynamics Playback Techniques refers to these:

Wondering if I use them in an Expression Map, would that override their hard coded velocities, and would that create too much complication interacting with other techniques (would adding another dimension increase geometrically the number of Expression Map entries needed, like: stac., muted stac., muted stac. tutti, muted stac. tutti ff, etc.).

Thanks again!