Expression maps in dorico 4

Am trying to set up expression map for VSL Synchron Percussion II, Mallets Vibes. I have been able to use all the expression maps provided by VSL but for the life of me do not know how to set one up myself. I understand the key switch stuff but I don’ know how to link the VSL SYNCHRON Vibes to a starting expression map. How will Dorico know how to link this expression map and not one of their others that I am using on the same project? I know how to load the Vibes but am lost after that.

Welcome to the forum, Kent. The place where you specify the connection between the port/channel of your VST instrument, the instrument in your score, and the expression map to be used to drive the VST instrument is the Endpoint Setup dialog:

The dialog is accessed by clicking the little cog button in the Routing section of the track inspector in the Play mode, after selecting the track for the relevant instrument from the track overview.

Thanks for the quick reply. I will give it a shot. I did read up on all of this and watched videos but that part eluded me. Not surprising. I love Dorico and this is coming from a 30 year Finale user who had enough and jumped ship.
Thanks again,

Thanks again for the info and for welcoming me to the forum.At least now I understand the starting process. I must first make an Expression Map, no matter how simple, before I can access the connection. I am still struggling with trying to set up all the different patches that Synchron Vibes offers and wonder why Hard and Soft Mallet are not on the techniques in Dorico. I have some ideas on how to approach all of this but will have much more exploring to do till I can use all if the patches VSL offers.
Thanks again, for all the help and your incredible patience ,

Your are not limited to “stock” techniques. You can set up your own custom Playing Techniques and Playback Techniques. You can create “Soft Mallet” and “Hard Mallet” for both Playing and Playback Techniques.

Keep reading up and watching videos. It will start to make sense. Admittedly it can be daunting when you first start the process of learning all this.


Hey, thanks for the reply. I realize one can create the Mallets and such but setting it all up with correct playback is quite confusing. I will keep at it. Most of the videos and online comments gloss over the issues I bump up against but I will get it. I sometimes think it is easier to analyze a piece by Boulez than master the new music software. I was able to figure out midi dumps for VSL patch-keyswitch changes in Finale and this is way more confusing if that is if that is any comparison.
The responses have been great. The people on the forum are so generous with their time as well as being patient.

Take care, and thanks again,


I just got a simple percussion map for my VSL Synchron Player Smart Orchestra Percussion snare instrument. It plays back the single strokes and the rolls very well.
Problems I’m running into are:

  1. Grace notes are playing a marimba note, instead of the snare instrument.
  2. Dynamics are not playing back at all.
    Anyone know what I may be missing?
    In any case, thank you for your time and consideration.

Can you upload the expression map?

if dynamics aren’t working, it’s usually that the primary volume dynamic in the Expression Map is set differently to the Synchron one - e.g. to velocity instead of CC1/2 or vice versa.

As for the grace notes, as @DanielMuzMurray says, it’s best to send the EM. Perhaps he uses the Smart Orchestra Percussion (I use the SE library so cannot test directly)

My goodness, yes, I’m super excited about the expression mapping. I’ve had VSL for almost 20 years and have been waiting for a software like Dorico (modern integration with a robust midi editing & playback component, and user-friendly expression mapping).

It sounds like you’re trying to do something very custom, but a thought I had was, “wait a second, hasn’t VSL already built mapping for their libraries to be used in Dorico?” You’ve probably seen this already, but JUST in case you hadn’t: Dorico - Vienna Symphonic Library

Some maps may have been started before VSL provided their own, and often one finds one has to tweak libraries even for each individual piece.

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VSL don’t seem to support their Smart libraries yet with Expression Maps.

Here’s the sample project I created with the Percussion Map.
The Phantom Drummer-Sample.dorico (738.0 KB)

I also figured out how to get the dynamics to work; you need to have the Vel+CC11 EM selected in the Endpoint, along with the percussion Map.

Hey Everyone,
Thanks again for all the responses. It took a while but I got it all under control. The part that eluded me was that I had to duplicate one of the Playing techniques for each of the new Expression Maps. So Hard Mallet would become Hard Mallet 2 or Hard Mallet 3 and so on. After that things started to fall into place.