Expression map for Mutes with Session Horns Pro

I currently use Session Horns Pro from NI for big band arranging, and have some expression maps to deal with key switches for articulations really well.

However, I’m not sure how best to configure switching to mutes for trumpets for the library. In the library, muted trumpet is a seperate instrument than an open trumpet, and takes a moment to load in Kontakt. As such, I’ve preloaded a second instrument for each trumpet in my DAW (I use midi routing for this using the IAC bus on a Mac), and have been using a second instrument for each player and manually amending the from/to instrument text to be muted/open.

Is there a way to do this in an expression map using the native mute playing techniques?

I would have thought you could do this using a channel switch in your expression map. Load the unmuted patch on, say, channel 1, and the muted patch on channel 2, then specify that the ‘Muted’ playback technique should perform a relative channel change of +1 in your expression map.

Ok yes, that makes sense. With regards to other articulations, such as staccato and so on, should they then be Add-Ons rather than base, or a set of duplicate articulations that combine the muted and their articulation?

Would I also need to set Open as a relative channel switch down 1?

as a general rule, you want to use add-ons for settings which are global - in other words could apply as a background to all patches. Typical examples are vibrato, con sord or divisi settings but the way things like this are implemented vary from library to library. The VSL Special Edition, like your Session Horns, annoyingly treats muted as a separate instrument. I would not treat articulations like staccato as add-ons, they should be base patches.

Another way of dealing with the mutes is to add them as a separate instrument to the player and then do an instrument change using the Galley View. This is actually the easiest and most reliable way to deal with the problem from the point of view of playback-- trouble is there that it may look less tidy on the score as of course a real musician doesn’t actually need to change an instrument. If you do use a channel switch then yes, you need to have a relative channel down 1 as the base.

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OK thanks. I’d been using the multiple instruments approach in a previous score, but was just curious about that as being the right approach.

For staccato, to keep it as a base, I’m assuming you need to duplicate it for each base sound; natural, muted and open 1? I’ve moved it to an add on, and so far it appears to be working ok. The only cases where I can’t do that are with the fp articulations, which have two varieties, a 2 beat and a 4 beat version, and so need the time based condition that comes with base articulations, so I’ve duplicated those.

This is how it’s currently looking:-

Oddly, the time based conditions also see, to behave a little weird; I have the fp 4 beat expression set up as >= long and the fp 2 beat as < long, but for some reason the trumpets in my piece are getting the 4 beat version, but the trombones the 2 beat version…

Of course if you treat your muted instrument as a separate instrument, there is no requirement to have anything in the EM pertaining to mutes – another advantage of that approach. Otherwise, natural is effectively open1, surely – you only have muted or non-muted. But yes, if you don’t set up mutes as an add-on (which is impractical here as you can’t add conditions to an add-on), you would probably want to duplicate it as you suggest.

I don’t think I still have a copy of my EM with the VSL SE where I tried out channel switch, otherwise I’d check exactly how I solved the problem.

The reason I said natural plus open 1 was that it didn’t seem to return to natural after the Open marking in the score, but to Open 1, and so all the natural expressions didn’t seem to be being applied.

Of course I’m new at this so may have just done it wrong.

As it stands, I have three base settings - natural, mute (well, harmon stems in to be precise) and then Open 1. And add ons for the expressions like staccato, marcato etc; then the fp expressions as base with the duration settings. Other than the odd behaviour with the duration difference (would be nice to set that to actual beats rather than the short/medium/long descriptions) seems to be working ok.

And flugel set up as a seperate instrument, because, well, it is.

Thanks all for the responses, have to say that the forum here has been really helpful and friendly for a noobie!