Expression Maps not working?


I have to commend you guys. I’ve been finding more to Dorico lately that makes me realize this program was designed much more intelligently than I had realized (much more). I am missing a few things still, but getting much closer to being up and running in Dorico than I had ever thought possible.

That said, I’m stuck…

1) My techniques aren’t switching per the map. Is this a bug or am I missing something?
Here’s my test Dorico file:

The “trill” technique was initially a staccato. I just tried changing the technique a few times to see if it was a staccato issue specifically. The “nat.” and “mute” techniques work. Legato even works. It sends the CC34 value. But any time I try to send another CC34 value aside from legato, it’s not sending anything per the map.

  1. How can I have a default technique other than “natural”?
    I want to use a sustain patch as my default patch. If it’s not staccato or has no other marking, it should just play a note. I have several muted sustains that I want to work the same way. So I can’t just use natural to reset everything. I may use staccato or legato with a mute. But if I don’t… I just want the default sustained mute to play the notes. As that’s a pretty obvious way to use Dorico, I’m sure I’m missing something here. I tried non-legato, but it doesn’t trigger and I don’t see anywhere in Dorico’s playing technique panel to mark the score with it. I’m lost.


I’m afraid you aren’t being terribly clear; at least I can’t figure out exactly what you’re asking, even with the file open in front of me.

Staccato marks will trigger xmap changes as long as the technique is defined in the map; otherwise, it’ll just shorten the note as specified in the Playback Options. Despite being listed, the Trill isn’t actually mapping to anything yet. This happens with a few other techniques, but I wouldn’t be able to comprehensively list which ones. Do you mean that you had the Staccato technique defined in the map and it wasn’t sending the appropriate CC value, and then you switched to Trill to test it?

Though part of the UI is in place, we can’t yet setup groups (especially mutual-exclusion groups) that would properly handle concurrent playing techniques. Until then, there is no way to handle mutes or other playing techniques that contain various articulations that isn’t awkward.


Although nothing is grouped (on purpose). I toggle mute/nat. via a CC33 value and toggle the legato/stac (or trill) via a CC34 value. The problem is simply that Dorico isn’t sending CC34 values for any other articulations. If I haven’t setup groups, then groups wouldn’t be affecting this.

It honestly looks like a bug to me.


Apparently Dorico forces grouping techniques, or so it seems.

This won’t work with what I’m doing unfortunately, as my instrument receives a “mute” message and will intelligently mute everything it plays until “mute off” is received. The problem is that if your instrument is smart enough, then Dorico isn’t. I get why Dorico works as it does, but I’m clueless about what to do now.

If you mark “mute” on the score, then later mark “trill”, Dorico forces you to multiply every possibility as a unique expression map entry, rather than simply letting you send a single MIDI value for trill. So the smarter the instruments you have, the harder Dorico is to setup, when it should be the other way around. If you saw everything I was doing, you’d realize why this is an astronomical-sized problem for me.

It makes sense. I’m just frustrated. I have no problems doing this in Cubase, Notion, Overture, or any other program that can map articulations. It’s just Dorico that presents this problem. This seems to be a way Dorico was meant to be smart. So I don’t think of it as a bad design, just not a very flexible one. Perhaps it would be in order to have an option in the Expression Map editor to isolate playing techniques, rather than force them to be grouped.


There are a few issues here. Firstly trills do not play back yet. This is something we’ll fix in a future version but it’s not totally trivial because we want it to automatically select a half or full tone trill depending on context.

The next problem stems from the current lack of mutual exclusion rules. At the moment the mutual exclusions and the priorities are hard coded. This is also something we aim to improve and make more flexible in the future. In theory the idea is that you will ultimately be able to compose together multiple switches or controllers easily. The difficult part is working out how to reset them when one playing technique changes the intrinsic nature of the sound.


Thanks for the reply! I’m very content just to know that you guys want more here with maps. Sorry for my impatience.

1 - Orchestral Tools, auddict, and a couple others have trill scripts which read a root note then an interval note sequentially, then trigger the appropriate sampled trill. Spitfire, O.T., and others have sampled more than just two semitones, usually up to a 3rd or 4th interval. I have my own solution no matter what you do here. I’m just giving this input if it helps you to know.

2 - If someone sampled flicking their finger against a bassoon bocal (or knuckle even) as a percussive effect, I already have it mapped. Superball mallets used any possible way on a contrabass— mapped. Clearly that exceeds what Dorico can map right now. I’ve made an articulation switching mechanism that’s modular by design (like how real players read score instructions) and therefore scales ridiculously large. It forces the instruments to be smart. It works with any Kontakt library and VSL.

As it’s a universal modular map (and complex in a a few other ways), it forces the instrument to be intelligent, instead of Dorico. It will work in Cubase, Notion, Overture, and mostly any program, but not Dorico until I can simply map “trill” a single time with a single CC value, and use it with Harmon mutes, straight mutes, cup, natural, sul pont, bell up, and so on. Because the instrument is intelligent, Dorico shouldn’t hard code anything at all for me. Just let me send whatever I want for any marking on the score and leave ‘score reading intelligence’ out of it. I only explain all this to be sure we’re using “hard coded” the same way. I realize you have other customers needs to consider and that maps will improve in various ways with time.

Despite my frustrations, I still consider Dorico remarkable. I’m a harsh critic sometimes that forgets to point to the good. But I see a lot more to be happy about than I say on here.

Thanks again,