Expression Maps lacking some techniques?

Hello, I’m not able to find in the expression maps the techniques “Arco” or “con sord.”; they appears in the playing techniques but I’m not able to assign them in the expression maps. Should I search for it somewhere else or is this lacking just a bug?

Also, I found that when I edit the expression maps, some of them don’t work. For instance, “flautando” (key switch 24 in spitfire) or “legato” (key switch 12 in spitfire) doesn’t seems to work :confused: Strangely enough, pizzicato (21) or spiccato (16) works.


The technique NATURAL seems to cater for “arco” - which seems to be considered the default string technique. You can configure Natural to whatever is congruent with your library. MUTED should similarily cater for “con sord.”
Slurs in the notation will trigger the technique LEGATO …

Thanks Fratveno, Natural translated to arco. But I find the expression maps to be terribly unreliable; the first 3 or 4 times I played, it I wasn’t able to trigger legato with a slur. Then suddenly it worked. Same with Muted, it doesn’t translated to “con sord.” Instead, it was Spiccato what translates to “con sord.” :cry: But then, without changing anything, it started to work. Very annoying.

There are more bugs:

  • In the expression map, sometimes, when I change the key switch of some articulation technique (like the first one), it doesn’t really changes the keyswitch (I have to change it 2 or 3 times to get it “stick” to the value I inserted)

  • When I insert a new Technique in the expression map, it removes the first one in the list and substitutes it with the new (and adds a Natural at the end of the list).

  • In the “Write” mode there is a “col legno” technique, but in the expression map only exist “col legno battuto” and “col legno tratto”, but not “col legno”

  • Sometimes while playing, tremolo doesn’t works and it makes like a “continuous retrigger” instead of changing to tremolo articulation. Sometimes it works.

  • I also attach an example of the dynamics not being correctly played; the first note in measure 4, marked ppppp, is played fffff instead of ppppp (I already did the trick that Paul Walmsley said about changing Volume Dynamic of Natural to ‘Control Change: 11’)

  • Also, the dynamics in measure 4 to 5, going from ffff>pppppp in a tremolo, doesn’t works, it plays ffff all the time. Moreover, the next ppppp in the score doesn’t do anything, the dynamic seems to be locked in ffff.


It’s been a while since I used Spitfire libraries, but I seem to remember that they’re using both CC1 for volume/Xfade and CC11 (expression), but you should definitely use CC1 for Volume Dynamic in the Xmap. Regarding dynamic response, try increasing the Dynamic Curve Power (Play/Playback Options) to e.g. 6 and see if that helps.

I haven’t experienced the erroneous triggering of Xmaps you mention, but depending on your Spirfire setup, I think using UACC for articulation switching is more reliable than Key Switches.

Yes, there are some bugs in the Xmap editor, where changes are not sticking. I tend to save very often…closing and reopening the editor.

Writing ‘col legno’ will trigger Col legno battuto, which is the most common col legno technique (and assumed unless tratto is explicitly written)

It may be that D. tries to perform an “artificial” tremolo, unless a tremolo entry (routed to a sampled tremolo) is present in the Xmap… I will check this out later :slight_smile:

Actually I already have a tremolo entry in the Xmap… But it worked the first time, and then it suddenly stopped to work and now it only performs the “artificial” one.

Also I tried changing CC11 to CC1, but still it doesn’t performs correctly in the places I said. Unfortunately, I don’t think it is a problem of Dynamic Curve Power, because it plays correctly in the first crescendo ppppp<fffff

Sounds to me like you may be applying/editing the wrong Xmap …:confused:

I wish it was so simple :smiley: (but no, unfortunately the Xmap is the right one…)

At least we know that! :slight_smile: Perhaps you could upload a small file, so we could hunt for clues… ?

After close the project, I opened it again… and suddenly the tremolo started working. Then I changed a pppp with a ffff, and it didn’t played correctly. I saved the project, reopened it and it worked again.

So it seems that this is also a bug. Every time that I change something, it breaks other things in the playback. For instance, I attach one file, it is possible to test:

  • The pppp in measure 4, if is changed to ffff, it won’t play correclty (unless you save the project and reopen it)
  • “con sord.” still doesn’t work (but it worked at some moment in the past hours). I put key switch 14 (after 2 or 3 retries, because it refused to “stick”) and it doesn’t generates the key switch
  • Now is not enough using “arco”. Now “nat.” must be used to get it working.
  • After reload the project, it has removed the Natural technique that I configured in Xmaps to use Volumen Dynamic Control Change 11. So I added it, reopened it again, and it remained there. Will it be removed next time? Who knows…

Dorico is extremely unreliable at this moment for playback. The behaviour each time I add/change a playing technique or when I reopen the score is highly unpredictable :frowning: (554 KB)

One initial observation… your Kontakt Xmap contains 2 NATURAL Techniques, one is set to Note Velocity, one is set to Control Change 11 for Volume Dynamic. This will confuse the system. Delete the one set to Note Velocity.

Also, all the other techniques are set to Note Velocity, please change all to Control Change 11 as well. **) You may want to change all the technqies to CC1, rather than 11, but 11 should give a response anyway. Also, make sure ALL techniqes have the “Has Exclusion Group” box checked…

**) Even though some Spitfire articulations will respond to Velocity by default, they can normally be set to respond to CC. (Can’t explain further or test it as I’m not near my libraries atm.) This will normally yield a better matching dynamic between ariculations…

I’m sorry to hear that you’re having some problems with playback. In the next update we’ve fixed some bugs in the expression map editor, including the one you’ve discovered where the one that is selected is unpredictable. Also in the next update I’ve added some visual diagnostics in Play Mode that allows you to see which playing technique switches the expression map are active at any point.

There are still a number of limitations of playback and expression maps, in particular for third party VSTs. One current issue is that if you edit the score (especially editing dynamics) then Play Mode won’t update the view until you next play back (usually pressing space twice to start and stop playback is enough to do this) - you shouldn’t need to close and reopen the score.

There isn’t yet much support for playing techniques beyond arco/nat, pizz, staccato and legato, in particular how Dorico resolves multiple playing techniques at the same position. This is all on our list to implement as soon as we are able.

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Sorry for the misunderstanding, when I said that i had to reopen the score I meant to listen the sound. I’m currently not having any problems with visualization. The problem was : changing pppp to ffff, start/stop playback, and it still performs pppp.

I know that you have tons of things to implement and tasks to balance. To try to move the weight a bit more towards playback (heh!), I’d just like to add that playback is the main reason why I bought Dorico, I love to be able to listen what I compose and I thought that it was going to be better than other softwares for that. Hopefully these problems will be solved soon (damn, I even have thought sometimes to apply for a temporal job as a free non-paid programmer in Dorico to help fix them :smiley: ) (but no, my programmer days are gone!)

Although we all know Dorico is work in progress, I sometimes feel that Paul is too modest :slight_smile:. for normal, Q&D accomodation of other sample libraries, D. is rather stable and predictable regarding Playback in my experience so far. Spent 20 minutes with a friend this afternoon, who wondered whether the excellent XSAMPLE sound library would work - which uses CC0 rather than key switching for articulation/playing technique changes. Worked without any issues… (mp3 file included as most folks won’t have the xsample Kontakt library installed). In addition to the Xmap A there are modifications to the Playback Options.
XS-violinTEST.rar (682 KB)