Expression map oddness in Dorico 3.1

There may be something I’m missing here, but I’m working on creating from-scratch expression maps for some VSTs. (I have EW Symphonic Orchestra and Choir, Garritan, and Embertone intimate strings + Joshua Bell violin.)

I think I’ve identified a few quirks and at least one bug:

bug: are performance technique aliases falling through correctly? I can’t get arco to trigger natural without explicitly setting it to natural. I see that arco triggers bowed, and that bowed is an alias for natural, but arco does not trigger natural playing technique unless and until I set it to natural. Why even bother with the alias, and I are they working properly?

oddities: edits to playing techniques and expression maps don’t seem to work reliably until you cycle from play mode to write mode and back again. This behavior was not 100% consistent, but I’m sure I observed it (and verified with control-Z steps, as well). It seems like, in particular, if the playing technique is still selected (i.e., is orange) in write mode, even if it is placed in the score, it might not trigger into play mode until deselected.

Toggling back and forth between Write and Play mode isn’t itself strictly necessary, but forcing Dorico to recalculate its playback data is necessary before you will see the result of having created e.g. a playing technique in the music and then seeing a new region in the playing techniques lane. Calculating the playback data can be slow, so Dorico doesn’t do it after every edit; you have to trigger playback or go back into Play mode before Dorico will update the display. In the fullness of time the plan is to recalculate this data in the background, but that’s not how things work at present.

Playing technique fallbacks are not yet fully wired up in the case of combinations of techniques. I would suggest for the time being that you settle on using “natural” to mean “whatever would reasonably be considered the default sound for the patch”, rather than worrying about whether that is “arco” or “natural”. Provided you put that technique into a mutual exclusion group with the other major techniques you should be OK.

Hello Daniel and AHG,
I would like to make an additional notes to this post…
Something that Expression Maps related and in the near future need to be completely changed in Dorico. Currently Dorico Pro is unable to
automatically exclude playing techniques (legato - non legato) and we must create Mutual Exclusion Groups.
Currently Dorico Pro has problems when playing back more than 1 playing technique (nat harmonic and accent) and sometimes we need to create Combined Playing Techniques
Well, these two procedures are very time consuming, and we have to spend enormous amount of time creating things that should be very simple and easy.
These two features (Combined Playing Techniques and Mutual Exclusion Groups) should be removed and Dorico should be able to automatically
playback multiple techniques and to exclude expressions.
There is an existing software where the Expression Maps work as they should, which can be taken as one of the best examples. I won’t name it again (I did it many times and it’s not Cubase). :slight_smile:
This is very important and necessary improvement related to the Expression Maps, and the overall Playback.
Another suggestion in order to have even more realism to the playback… Would be nice if we have Per Note control over the Expression Symbols (not only Suppress Playback)
Here is an example: For the Violins 1 - marcato I may use Spitfire Audio, let say I like how they sound in First octave, but they are terrible in Second octave and I would like to remap all notes in Second octave to another library e.g. Cinematic Studio Strings without changing voices.
I hope the Team would think about all I’ve said, because it is of high importance for all those who are working with Virtual Instruments and prefer to use Dorico for doing orchestration and arrangements! :slight_smile: And surely this will help Dorico to gain even more popularity among the DAW users. :slight_smile:

Thank you in advance for the time reading this comment! :slight_smile:

Best regards,
Thurisaz

Thuriasz, please be patient. We have no shortage of ideas for how to make Dorico’s handling of virtual instruments richer and more flexible. However, we are not headed in the same direction as Overture. You should not expect the ability to define on a per-item basis its playback effect as you can in Overture, and it doesn’t matter how often you repeat your admiration for that approach. Dorico isn’t Overture, and nor does it need to try to be. If you want Overture’s features, please use Overture. We have our own plans and designs for how to approach these areas of functionality, and we’re not going to get into the business of legislating those designs and plans in detail here on the forum. We prefer to spend our time answering questions that can help users with the functionality of the software that is available to them today, and spend the rest of our time focusing our energies on actually putting those designs and plans into practice.

Please take it on trust that we understand the requirements and are working diligently to add functionality to enable a greater degree of flexibility in playback. You are of course welcome to keep posting about how wonderful Overture’s features are, but please be aware that it has no influence on what we are planning to do. Do not misinterpret this as inflexibility or an unwillingness to take on board feedback: we carefully consider all the feedback that we receive. But that doesn’t mean we will follow a path advocated by any specific single user. Just as Dorico’s development process is not governed by a direct democratic process, nor is it governed by the doctrine of “the squeaky wheel gets the grease” or “he who shouts the loudest…” Thanks!

Hello Daniel,
Thank you for the reply! :slight_smile:
Well, don’t get me wrong… I don’t advocate Overture, nor I’m telling how wonderful it is… Just I’m giving it as the best existing example for certain things. After all the system of Expression Maps in Overture predates their integration into Cubase.
I would be very glad and thankful if you and the Dorico team are able to make something even better! :slight_smile:
I know that the development of Dorico isn’t a democratic process. :slight_smile: Believe me, you are a bit more democratic than Don from Sonic Scores. :slight_smile:
My main appeal in my previous comment here was about replacing the need of creating Mutual Exclusion Groups and Combined Playing Techniques with system that can work properly without them. Dorico should be able to automatically exclude legato, when detect non legato and if there is a line which defines how long non legato should be performed, after the end of the line, Dorico should return to legato if there is no another text expression. The same situation should be with vibrato - non vibrato.
Dorico also should be able to playback the combination of techniques automatically, without forcing the users to create Combined Playing Techniques.
e.g. (Accent + Natural Harmonic).
You know that the time for both procedures are very time consuming, especially if you work with libraries like Orchestral Tools and Spitfire Audio.
I’d prefer to buy NotePerformer, instead of wasting my time creating Expression Maps for Orchestral Tools… But sound quality and realism of NP is pre far from Orchestral Tools…
So, please, think about this request of mine! :slight_smile: It will make the life of all users who work with Virtual Instruments much more easier.
I don’t push you to realize it immediately. :slight_smile:

Thank you in advance! :slight_smile:

Best regards,
Thurisaz

Please rest assured that we have plans to handle these kinds of situations more elegantly than they are handled today.

Hi Daniel,
Thank you for the reply! :slight_smile: I’m waiting to see how they will be solved in the future! :slight_smile: I believe that you are going to do something great! :slight_smile:

Best wishes,
Thurisaz