Expression issues

I’m using Spitfires BBCSO discover and the playback template provided by Dorico. After marking some notes spiccato, it will not revert back to a normal note.
How do I do this?

Have you added a marking like “nat.” or “ord.” at the end of the spiccato passage?

Daniel, is that an internal directive that applies across all expression maps, or is it covered by the “Base, Natural” switch in the maps?

Yes, “ord.” and “nat.” both produce the pt.natural playback technique, which equates to “Natural” in the Expression Map editor.

OK … seeing if I understand the mapping to know how this flows through the system.

  • Score ord. or nat.
  • Playing Technique Dialog Ordinario (ord.) and there it has a field “Natural” (Playback Technique)
  • Is “pt.natural” an internal token? I don’t see it in the dialog
  • Playback Technique Dialog Various settings - presumably now this is the token which flows through to the …
  • Expression Maps If the map, for the instrument, has the Switch “Natural” than that will be used

Now once in the expression map

  • Expression Map Data Pretty clear, except “multiple notes at same pitch” - some kind of multi timbral thing?
  • Base and Add-on Switches Explained elsewhere except conditions. What is a condition, and why it is only Note Length as far as I can tell? - Edit, from the live stream it was said that a “Note Condition” allows you to have note length to also use the patch. Really powerful.
  • Playback Options Overrides I haven’t found this documented and am puzzled as to how it would be used. Is the idea that while the Natural technique is in effect, I can override the Staccato notes duration?
  • Mutual Exclusion Groups Explained elsewhere but …
  • I happen to be looking at the BBCSO Celeste and see a “Primary Brass” exclusion group - copy/paste error? And same for the harp
    • BBCSO Pro Contrabass trombone has a Dynamic exclusion group, what is this doing? And the Legato, except I’m not allowed to select it (see next)
    • Except for the BBCSO Harp, the Exclusion groups are not editable? (+ dimmed out)

Thanks much. Trying to understand playback deeply as it’s critical for my workflow.

I didn’t. But what I found was that if I use the spicc marking the expression would not switch back to normal. If I used the staccato symbol the expression would switch back to normal.
Is ord or natural required to switch back?

Just tested with BBCSO Pro, it works as you’d expect. Maybe the discover expression map has a glitch or you’re not doing it quite right.
I’ll say again - thank you Daniel and team for all this playback work. I hated having to manually keyswitch back when I was doing this in a DAW. Or even worse jump tracks to a separate patch track, as some recommend (Christian @ Spitfire likes to use reverb to hack the different tails that players do for longs versus shorts … I’m thinking that Dorico can do that for us without having to do some silly reverb nonsense). Anyhow it’s horribly disrupting to be writing music and to have to twiddle in patch stuff just to get a short note, especially when it’s just for a note or two. I think most media composers don’t bother, which is why much music sounds bland (it’s just one set of patch for some duration, not keyswitched).

You can also check out the BBCSO livestream right about here BBCSO Livestream discusses staccato/spicc specifically.

That’s a great tutorial. But unless I missed something it doesn’t really cover the ins and outs of actually using the expressions.

there is no patch for staccato in Discover but there is an Expression Map entry which is the same as spiccato so effectively what you have done with writing staccato as adding a C#-1 switch twice which will confuse the system as you haven’t cancelled the original and spicc and staccato are not both in the mutual exclusion group (which technically they perhaps should be).

have a look at the attachment. The first bar plays back normally, the second plays spiccato as instructed by the playback technique. The third bar plays normal as instructed but the fourth bar plays spiccato again as this time time the Note Length condition determines that the note length is now short enough to switch. Basically you need to make a choice – either you let the NoteLength do the work for you or you spell out the switches as playing techniques. Or combine both of course when the automation doesn’t give the desired results.