Expression Maps - Articulations and Groups Explained

I’ve never really understood the additional columns for art.2, art.3 and art.4 and the Groups in Cubase when it comes to making Expression Maps. All the YouTube videos I see that show how to make Expression Maps don’t ever get into the additional articulation columns nor the Groups. Everything I’ve seen so far shows users only using the art.1 column and Group 1. Could anyone explain the usage of the additional articulation columns and the Groups? Any templates out there that make use of these that could be studied?

Thanks

Hi,

You cannot trigger more than 1 articulation from the same group. But, you can trigger multiple articulations across the groups.

So lets say you have these articulations in Group 1:

  • Legato
  • Staccato

Then you have a custom articulation in Group 2:

  • 4 Players
  • 10 Players

Then in the Key Editor (or any other editor) you can switch the Legato/Staccato (from Group 1). Once you switch to Staccato, Legato is disabled and vice versa.

At the same time, you can switch between 4 Players and 10 Players. The cannot be triggered at the same time.

But, the Groups are independent. So you can have 4 Players + Legato, 4 Players + Staccato, 10 Players + Legato and 10 Players + Staccato options.

I hope I explained it a clear way.

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Thanks for the reply. So based on your example, do you set up your instrument with 4 players on a track and then another track for the 10 players for both the legato and staccato articulations? Perhaps a screenshot would help this sink in.

Thanks
Mark

Hi,

In this case, I have just Violin track and I can switch 4 Players and 10 Players on the track. See attached screenshot, please.

I’m sorry for taking so long to respond to your last post, but would really like to get back to this and get this figured out. I respect your time and appreciate what you’ve provided so far, but if you could put up with me a little further, I’d be truly grateful.

[*]From the screenshot, I assume you have a string library that has a violin patch that contains samples of 4 player, 10 player and various articulations within the patch/.nki (in your example, legato, staccato, marcato and accent). And all those can be selected from the key switches in the instrument and they align with the C0 through D#0 remote keys you have in the Expression Map. Is that correct?

I ask because your Output Mapping section is blank, leading me to believe all the variations are contained in a single patch on a single MIDI channel. I’m also confused about the Marcato and Accent attributes in the map…are these actual articulations since your initial post only used staccato and legato articulations or are you not able to use staccato and legato again in another group?

[*]When you press these keys on your keyboard, you get the following:
C0 on your keyboard, you get a violin legato.
C#0 on your keyboard, you get a violin staccato
D0 on your keyboard, you get violin 4 players, playing marcato
D#0 on you keyboard, you get violins 10 players, playing accents

Where do the combinations come into play? If these key switches are only switching between these particular articulations and the number of players, what does the groups and art. 2 column do for you that you can’t achieve by placing everything in art. 1 and using only group 1? Again, maybe my misunderstanding is because of the Marcato and Accents I see in the map.

Anyway, I appreciate your time and apologize if I’m making this a chore.

Kind Regards,
Mark

Hi,

Actually, I wasn’t precise enough and this is not the real example (because then it’s much more complex, so I just emulate something, but not really right, sorry).

Yes, you are right, in the real library (Vienna Symphonic Library in my case) I have all these in one library (at the same channel). All is organised in a matrix.

|---------------------------- -> Pitch
|  4Players |   10 Player
|----------------------------
|   Legato  |  Legato
|----------------------------
| Staccato  | Staccato
|
v
MIDI CC 0 value

So now I set the Output Mapping following:
4Players : Note C0
10Players : Note C#0
Legato : MIDI CC 0 value 0
Staccato : MIDI CC 0 value 32

Now the combination comes in place, so I can do 4Players + Legato, 4Players + Staccato, 10Players + Legato, 10Players + Staccato.

Thank you, Martin for breaking that down further. So based on this, it looks like you really only need 2 notes assigned in the remote keys (C0 and C#0) to trigger the 4 & 10 Player variations and then with CC data, you can switch articulations. The VSL matrix is a nice tool I wish I had. I’m getting to grips with East West Hollywood Orchestra Diamond and the Cubase manual briefly mentions the art.1, 2, 3 and 4 columns in that they can be used for complex articulations, but doesn’t really explain how to go about it.

Without the VSL Matrix, what would you suggest for creating layered/combined articulations? For example, if I setup an instance of PLAY 6 and load violin sustains, staccato, and trill on MIDI channels 1, 2 and 3, would it be possible to create a combination of a staccato and a trill by using these Groups and art.1, 2 etc. columns?

Groups can be great once you understand how they work. You can utilize them in a few different ways but they take a lot more time to set up.

You first need to ask yourself, what are you trying to accomplish with groups. Something worth noting is that Groups have a priority system. Group 1 takes priority over group 2 etc.

One example is to have your string techniques like sordino, sul pont, flutando etc as a separate group. This way, even if you copy a midi part to a different library that doesn’t have sul pont staccato, your base articulation (staccato) will work.

The biggest benefit however is that for libraries with up to 40 articulations per instrument, your articulation lanes stay manageable in the piano roll.

If you’re still confused about how to make it work, shoot me a PM

Hi,

I’m afraid this is something different. With the matrix, you are going to reach one articulation (at the end) by navigating thru 2 dimensions. But if I understand you right, you want to send 1 MIDI Note and play 2 sounds simultaneously (because your library doesn’t have the combination articulation), right?

Exactly, Martin. In reading the manual, it mentions making complex articulations by combining several different articulations. I understood that to mean I could combine various articulation samples in my EWHO libraries using the expression maps and somehow applying the art columns and Groups to get that to work. Maybe I am trying to get Cubase to do something it can’t do.

Hi,

When sending an Expression Map event, you can do following:

  • Send MIDI Note, MIDI CC (specific value), or Program Change (like the Key Switches). To do so, use the upper part of the Output Mapping.
  • Change some parameters of all incoming MIDI Notes (after the expression map event has been sent), like MIDI Channel, Length (%), Transpose, Velocity and you can set the Min and Max Pitch and Velocity. To do so, use the lower part of the Output Mapping.

You cannot inserts any other MIDI Note.

I think I have some misunderstandings about the language of the manual when it mentions “articulations”. In the 10.5.20 manual, it says on pg. 876"Click the articulation columns Art.2, Art.3, or Art.4 for the sound slot, and select an articulation from the menu. This allows you to create complex articulations, made of several different single articulations for the sound slot."

When I think of articulations, I relate that to the samples in my sample library and this comment in the manual leads me to believe that I can combine articulation samples, such as staccatissimo + trill. Apparently, that’s not what Steinberg means.

Hi,

You are right, that’s not what Steinberg means. Cubase just sends common MIDI data. It’s up to the VSTi, what samples/sounds does it provide back.