Expression map playing back actual key switch notes

Hey folks,

Having some trouble with expression mapping in Cubase 9 Pro - I’ve configured it in line with the plethora of forums/manuals/tutorials I’ve looked at, but no luck.

When I hit playback, instead of implementing the chosen articulations, Cubase is just playing the actual note the expression is assigned to, rather than treating it as a keyswitch.

E.g. The pizz. articulation is set to C#0, but instead of applying pizz, Cubase is just playing actual C#0. Same goes for all the other articulations. I’ve tried changing the root note to C-2 but the problem persists.

Any ideas?

I’m encountering this problem when I use the template expression maps provided by Steinberg, and also when I build the expression maps myself based on tutorials etc.

I’m trying this out on Halion Sonic 2 SE, which according to the manual supports expression mapping.

If anyone has any suggestions I’d really appreciate it, slowly losing my mind!

Many thanks :slight_smile:

Looks like you haven’t set up the Output Mapping (which you have to do for each slot, top-right of the Setup window).

Hey Vic, thanks for replying. I’ve tried setting up the output mapping in 3 different ways:

  1. With no output map (i.e. as supplied by Steinberg)
  2. With output mapping status set to “Note-On” (and matching the “Data 1” column to the “Remote” note in the Sound Slots column)
  3. Setting the output mapping to “Program” and setting the “Data 1” column value as 1.

Still getting no articulations in any of those instances :frowning:

(Have attached screenshots again)

Any ideas? Thanks!

In your original screenshot, the Root note (at bottom left) is set to C0 (which I presume is correct).
In your new screenshots it is set to A-2 (that is A minus 2)
So the main question is… what is the receiving instrument expecting to see? I suspect, from your original post, that, e.g. for Spiccato, it is expecting to receive the note-on C0?
So, make sure that that slot, in the center pane, is indeed set to C0 (if that is indeed the note from which you wish to remotely control it), and that, in the Output Mapping section, it is set to Note-On___C0 (why did you try one set to program change #1??)

Hey Vic, thanks for replying -

  • spot on, I have no idea! My understanding is that instruments have factory-set Key Switches for articulations. But I can’t find the list of these anywhere for Halion Sonic SE2! Nothing in the manual, which is where other instruments seem to list theirs. I’ve emailed Steinberg for clarification (they say Halion Sonic SE2 supports articulations…) - I’ve been holding off awaiting their reply, but nothing yet so figured I’d crack on here.

So for now, with no available list of Key Switches to go by, I’ve been trying different root notes to see if any work (like C0, C-1, C-2). No luck.

Do you use expression maps in your productions, Vic? (and if so, which orchestral package?) - I’m thinking maybe I should try a demo of one that’s known to work. Then I’ll know if it’s Halion or me :laughing: (I’ve already tried Kontakt Factory sounds - they don’t support articulations)

Your help is much appreciated!

The Root note is almost certainly C0 (which does not mean that that will be the lowest note that HALion wants to see… Root note means here the lowest note on your keyboard that you wish to use to trigger the articulations).
As regards HALion Sonic SE, you even really need to do anything special! (although I can’t remember off hand whether any of the included presets have Expression maps)… When you load a preset into it that uses Expression Maps, all you have to do is, in the MIDI/Instrument Track’s Inspector, open the Expression Map pane, and click on “Import Key Switches” :slight_smile:.
Otherwise, if you wish to do so manually, I think a good starting point would be to load a HALion Sonic patch that uses articulations, then, without loading any Expression Map, just look in the center panel of HALion’s GUI, it lists the articulations… with their corresponding trigger notes :wink:.
As regards myself, I have no fixed rule… sometimes I use an Expression Map, sometimes I don’t even bother (unless I am expecting to be using that MIDI track for the Score Editor).
For simple articulation triggers, I never have any problem with an Expression Map, but there are some instruments that require a (simultaneous) combination of triggers, and those (because they require a single trigger note for each possible combination) are quickly too invasive on the keyboard on which I actually want to play something! :slight_smile:.

Vic, you’ve saved my sanity - thank you!

So I think I’d been trying to use instruments with no available articulations (e.g. the violins). Turns out all the instruments with pre-loaded articulations in Halion Sonic SE2 end in “VX” (e.g. Large Strings VX). There are 14 available.

Once I switched to one of these instruments, the “Import Key Switches” option worked perfectly :slight_smile:

It’s a shame only a handful of instruments have these built in articulations. But great to know it works, before I go hunting for a better orchestral sample library!

Thanks again Vic!