Expression maps: existing HSO key switch doesn't appear in switch list

The HSO Violin Solo Expression Map data in my Dorico 3.5 lists the following switches:


However, the actual HSO interface for that instrument contains a number of further key switches that are not shown in the above switches list – for example, these HT and WT “ornaments”:


These ornaments work without problem when I play notes on my midi keyboard while holding down these key switches, but neither the HT nor WT “ornaments” are triggered by any of the “ornaments” available in Write mode:


I tried to “add a base switch” for these HT and WT ornaments, but neither of them show up in the “Playing Technique Combinations” drop down list.

Does this mean that some of the existing HSO key switches are not available within Dorico?

Thanks, in advance, for your help!

That’s correct. At the moment, ornaments other than trills don’t trigger any playback techniques that you can map onto switches in your expression map. You can still create switches for them if you like, but you’ll need to use your own playback techniques. You can tie those playback techniques to playing techniques (the ones that appear in the score) that look like ornaments if you like.

Thanks for the speedy reply, Daniel.

I’ll have to look into ‘creating playback techniques’ and then how to link them to those existing key switches, and also to an existing Write mode ornament.

You can create two Playing techniques called WT and HT to attach to the Playback techniques you create and make the WT or HT invisible in your manuscript while showing the inoperable glyphs that already exist.

Thanks, Derrek!

I’m still wrapping my head around the terminology (e.g., ‘playback’ vs ‘playing’ techniques), but I’m hoping that this video – How to Use the Playing Techniques Editor in Dorico Pro | Getting Started with Dorico 2 - YouTube – will reveal all. :smiley:

Thanks again!

Playing Techniques are visual. Playback Techniques are behind the scenes and produce actions. In general a Playing Technique links to a behind-the-scene Playback action to make a VST do something.

Thanks, Derrek! It’s beginning to make sense. . .

@dspreadbury @Derrek : I wonder if either of you might have a moment to help me find out what I’m doing wrong. . .

I’ve been carefully studying How to Use the Playing Techniques Editor in Dorico Pro | Getting Started with Dorico 2 - YouTube, and have things to the point where I have created an “ht” playing technique (in “Playing Techniques”/ “Common” group) that uses this symbol:


. . . and I’ve been able to link that to the HSO key switch (E0) that produces that “ht ornament”:

As confirmation that this has in fact worked, the Expression Maps window plays the ht ornament when I hit the play button (circled in red).

However, the ht ornament is NOT being applied to the targeted notes when I play them back, in Write mode:

I realize that there might be any number of different things that I could be doing wrong, but – if anyone can help, I’d really appreciate it!

Creating playback technique for string ornament 2.dorico (879.2 KB)


If you look at the play mode, selecting that instrument and watching the key editor, what does the playback techniques lane show for those notes? If it’s still Natural, you might want to put ht and natural in the same mutual exclusion group (meaning it cannot be both natural and ht).

Thanks, Marc. The playback techniques lane does not indicate the new ‘ht ornament’.

Yes, it’s still “Natural”. But while I easily understand the concept behind “mutual exclusion” (e.g., ‘arco’ and ‘pizz’ are naturally mutually exclusive), I sometimes have difficulty understanding Dorico’s way of phrasing things. For example, “Has techniques”:


. . . Does this mean that a particular Mutual Exclusion Group – e.g., Legato – can use the techniques listed under “Has techniques”, or can’t use them? Or, possibly, that the items listed under “Has techniques” are mutually incompatible with them?

At any rate, all my attempts to change my Mutual Exclusion Group list had no effect on the playback technique lane – the “ht ornament” never shows up.

It means the techniques in that exclusion group are mutually exclusive. They cannot coexist.
Having a mutual exclusion group with a single entry is (kinda) meaningless.

Thanks, Janus.

So, to be sure I understand:

for each item in the LEFT column, one would add techniques in the corresponding RIGHT column that are compatible with the item in the left column, but mutually incompatible with other items in the RIGHT column?

But when does Dorico’s “Auto” function take care of these?

@dspreadbury made a comment about this recently…

Just searched the forum, but can’t find it. . .

There was an explanation of how the Dorico auto bit works.

Hmm . . . when I hover over the affected note in the playback techniques lane, I now see:

Base Switch: Natural. Note Length > medium
Active techniques: ht

. . . so something is being recognized there, but it is still not playing the ht ornament. Not sure why . . .

Take a look at the attached project (don’t worry about the warning that it was created in a later version of Dorico: I did it using the development build I happen to be running at the moment). Hopefully it can serve as a model for how to set this up in future.

mordents-hso-violin.dorico (417.2 KB)

1 Like

Thank-you very much, Daniel – I appreciate this!

For some reason, while your project did open - and display properly - in Dorico, it did not load the Halion sample on my system – not sure why.

However, by following your project’s settings, I was able to produce both mordents successfully in new projects – so a big thanks, again!

Probably because my copy of Dorico is set to use full HALion, and I guess you probably don’t have the full HALion plug-in on your system.