Expression Maps: Audition button vs. symbol in score?

Hey folks,

I just discovered what has actually been driving me crazy concerning expression maps: Sometimes I program an XM with some keyswitches, and everything works perfectly using the audition button, but when I put associated playing techniques into the score, it doesn’t work anymore.
What gives? I’m still working on the playback template for my Ample Guitar VST…

And, on a related note: What, exactly, is the interplay between assigned Playback Techniques flavored Direction/Attribute and Playing Techniques that are extended to have a duration in the score by ways of extender lines and such. Feels like I’ve tried millions of combinations…


Just a guess. Dorico needs to be able to determine unambiguously which XM switches to trigger based on all the playing techniques currently applied. If there is ambiguity it will not behave as you expect. When you use the audition button, there is no ambiguity!

You can often remove ambiguity by using mutual exclusion groups.

(AFAIK Attributes affect a note. Attributes with extenders affect all notes covered. Directions continue until revoked, unless you enter them over a selection - a retrograde step IMO)

I’m so frustrated at the moment, I’d rather pay someone good money to make an XM for Ample guitars than to spend another minute with this part of the program.

So would you say direction or attribute over a selection (producing an extender) are the same?

Looks like it, but there may be subtleties of which I’m unaware.

How far have you gotten with your expression map? I have the rudiments done: articulations, force string and force capo (fingerboard position). Would be happy to post my endpoint if you want.


I’d love to take a look at your endpoint, if you don’t mind posting it!
I have trouble with slide-out, since it needs to be triggered while the note is held, and Dorico can’t do that yet.
Also, capo force works sometimes, which is part of my current frustration. Capo force is one of the most important functions for realism, along with dependable hammer-on/pull-off, but those are best left on auto-legato.

Anyway, I’d love to see your XM!

Benji (10.9 KB)

Here you go – nothing fancy and I haven’t gone over everything with a fine-toothed comb. There are, though, some things that I have discovered (forgive me if you have already figured them out):

  • Capo force behaves strangely because it is acting more like the fret position of the 2nd or 3rd finger of one’s left hand. So, e.g., capo-force 5 will still allow g (3rd fret/str. 1)
  • String force with KS velocity at 127 (default), acts much more reliably but can clutter a score very quickly
  • You need to turn on IVP or the key switches sent will completely confuse the VSTi. What I do is simply use the upstem-1 voice for barre notation and for any other voices I just hide it, e.g.,
    Screenshot 2023-08-23 at 6.11.43 AM

If you’re already well-past my novice attempt, please, do share – thanks