Expression Map - Helpful Additions

Yes - all for it. One pet peeve is is that I would like the ability to have the midi channel default to the channel for the instrument the track is on. For example - I have a 1st, and 2nd violin. They are both on the same single instance of a VST in the rack, and they are loaded as violin 1 in slot 1 and and violin 2 in slot 2. So they also use midi channels 1 and 2 consecutively. Allow me to use the same expression map on both, but make my articulations appropriate to the midi channel they are coming from.

1 Like

Studio One 5.2 really has surpassed Steinberg with Expression Map functionality. Please allow Expression maps to all load into Cubase globally, not per project, allow to import multiple expression maps at the same time, and also allow sample library makers to embed their expression maps in Cubase/Nuendo like Studio One! Really feel Steinberg has been lacking with refining expression maps. Please guys! Thank you.


By this do you mean, tell Cubase where to look for Expression Maps when loading a project?.
Cubase needs to load EM data from an independent location, not save/load EM data with the project file.
Because what gets old really quick is when I edit an Expression Map and then have to go and reload it in all my previously started projects.

Yes, that would be good too.

Basically, my thought process is when started from scratch in project, you don’t have to select to load each expression map you want one by one. It would be much better to have a directory where you tell Cubase where the Expression Maps are stored and then you can simply click on whichever expression map you wanted, not need to import them one by one. Also, I think it would be great for Sub Folders to be available in an expression map so for libraries that have many patches, you could have a “long” folder which could have variations in there to find. If you have too many articulations, the expression map lane gets too hard to read/see properly. Studio One 5.2 that just came out has some great improvements and Expression Maps really need an overhaul.

Ok gotcha. Re: Sub Folders, there is the group feature in the Articulations list on the right side of the EM setup. If we could get a key command to show/hide particular groups, that would solve some of the overcrowding issues in the EM lane. EM’s need some serious lovin’.

1 Like

This would likely have to be a purely additive feature and not an alteration of the current implementation.

Case in point:

I work extensively with custom Expression Maps that I create. This generally involves creating an Instrument Track, loading VSTi presets and patches on it (ie: Kontakt patches, etc.), creating an Expression Map for it, then saving that track as a Track Preset so I can load it into new projects easily.

Having the Expression Map 1) saved inside the track preset and 2) saved inside the project, ensures that that particular configuration is preserved for years to come and the project will re-open and play back the same. As VSTi’s and sample library patches change over time this allows me to update them as needed to ensure stability of my projects. Sure, the point about manually having to update Maps when they change retroactively is not possible, but that’s a deep can of worms and not an easy problem to solve for developers or end-users alike. The same issue plagues things like Kontakt libraries. The Kontakt instance in the project stores the instrument and does not auto-update to the newest version of that instrument on disk if you’ve since updated the library.

What happens if Your Favorite Sample Library gets an update and they change keyswitches or controllers internally? Or you decide to add/modify that instrument and want to update your Expression Map for it? If Maps were stored only globally, your old project may erroneously load the new Map and not work correctly, causing hours of lost downtime chasing why X instrument track is not playing back correctly – assuming you even notice it is malfunctioning as you may not discover it until days, weeks, or months later. Then multiply this by hundreds of sample libraries, hundreds of track presets, dozens/hundreds of Expression Maps.

I would rather have control over where and when Expression Maps are stored and updated. If a global storage option is introduced, I would hope that current workflow does not regress in this area.

I just tried this with Studio One and VSL Synchron Strings and it really is amazing. I hope there are some expression map improvements in Cubase 11.5 too.


We need EM’s to be part of the Track Import functionality. Then, if I load an old project I have the old EM. But, if I want the new EM, I import it from the project/template that I recently saved with the new EM. Boom!

1 Like


Also: Workflow enhancements for common mass-operations like “Generate 10 keymaps from C1 to D2” and so.

So many great ideas. Expression map is such a great feature already, with some of these it’d be so much more fun.

1 Like

Deleting an Expression Map from the list botches the assignments of the EM’s. It would be nice if this were fixed.
A ‘right Click’ to ‘Replace Expression Map’ feature would work well, for when we update/fix an EM and want to load it into an old project.
Clone 2

Please Steinberg, consider adding a manager for expression maps (based on the one for plugins could work).
So we can create and name folders, subfolders and classify all the expression maps the way we want (Type of instrument, Library etc)
An example : just for Cinematic Studio Strings I have 7 expression maps. But I have others strings libraries : LASS, Spitfire Chamber strings, Symphobia 1 & 2…
And it’s the same for Brass, Woodwinds and so many instruments using Keyswitches.
it’s a real pain to have to search for it in this very long list (ordered by the date of creation !!)

I’ve already asked for it and I’ll keep asking ^^




Expression Maps is something I’ve held out on for some time, just dug into it for the past week.

-Clear all Remote or Bypass Remote (Because the remotes block MIDI note input, and user may only be using Articulation Lane instead of Remote Triggers)

-Folders in the Expression Maps menus/search. (Folders auto-open to reveal user search matches)

-Expression Map Setup window needs better resizing capability - some column widths to narrow and obscure names.

-Duplicate Expression Map

-Load multiple Expression Map files at once.

-Sound Slots: Multiple Selection of Sound Slots for re-ordering

-Ability to copy and paste Sound Slots (to other expression maps)

-Sound Slots: ‘Add Custom Articulation’ should open a window where the symbol can be selected/text entered immediately, instead of having to go to the ‘Articulations’ column, open another menu, and then do it:

This is quicker, and 2 less clicks to accomplish the same thing.

-Output Mapping: Imo, there should be a MIDI Channel mapper where multiple MIDI Channels can be activated, instead of only being able to choose one MIDI Channel.
(This would obviously require the Output Mapping section to become larger)


FORGOR TO MENTION, I’m on 10.5, so not sure how relative these suggestions are to what’s in 11.

-Output Mapping:

Instead of having the + | - add/remove buttons, have the three ‘Status’ types as buttons themselves. This way, someone doesn’t have to ‘+’ add a condition, then open a menu to select the status. They can instead just immediately add the status condition they need.
output mapping

1 Like

Steinberg please revamp EM! The whole system could be further improved and is really due especially now that Expression maps are generally taking off across the board.

1 Like

Also, we need more bulk edit features.

Simple things like this for example:

  • Select several sound slots, click and drag a key and all the selected keys go up and down.
  • Bulk rename
  • Copy and paste a list of articulation names simultaneously
  • Assign and edit CH numbers incrementally (select semi-tones or white keys only steps)

(BTW this is already possible in the AG X-DAW expression map editor.)

1 Like

another vote +1

Welcome to the community! :face_vomiting:

Hi Kristian, welcome! If you pop to the top of this thread you will notice there is a Vote button, no comment needed :slight_smile:

1 Like

After the update to Studio One 5.2 it’s now possible - also in DP11 - to retrieve articulation maps from VSL Synchron Player (residing on the same machine) automatic, a feature that will tempt a lot of Cubase users to switch, I for one. Furthermore the selection of a “soundvariation” is done easy i S1 by using a local menu:

Creating a map manually is done easy by some clever automatic functions, that will increase parameters automatic. You don’t have to scroll all the way down to the latest added map, because each instrument will only display the current map.
And one small thing that really makes a difference the articulation under the cursor is played when you hit a key, and not some “default” articulation. You can “test drive” articulations to try out which one you like by stepping up/down a list.
I can’t say how disappointed I have been by the last 2-5 updates. So many “toy” things has been prioritized, but the one big update that I need - and I guess many others too - is just the same convoluted mishmash! If I time how much time I have used to set up articulation maps in Cubase/compared to anyone other task in the daily work, it’s absolutely the most tedious and laborious of all.
Please do something! Now!