Expression Maps

Hi there,

I have done some small research for my self how to configure Seaboard Rise and Audiomodeling/ Samplemodeling vst instruments for use in Dorico.
If you want to use Seaboard rise in Dorico as an midi input controller for virtual instruments which allows to play with continuous expression, which is suitable for violin, trumpet etc., there is a small issue.
Seaboard Rise transmits polyaftertouch or channel pressure which are not accepted in Dorico as a source of midi data for expression maps. If you create an expression map in Dorico, you can choose midi cc as a source, but not channel pressure or poly aftertouch.
To solve this problem, one can transform poly aftertouch or channel pressure messages from seaboard to midi CC 11 with Midi-ox utility and LoopBe1 virtual midi driver, before it is transmitted to Dorico. After configuring that one can use Dorico expression map for expression cc 11, which is available in Dorico. With this setting it is possible to record expression data with Seaboard Rise in Dorico, edit it and use dynamics which will affect playback. This can yield good results comparable with NotePerformer, or maybe better, because one can tweak every midi data by itself with controller lanes in playback mode.

Audiomodelling vst instruments accept after touch (AT) messages and work with Seaboard Rise, but such setting is not compatibile with Dorico expression maps. Samplemodeling accept AT messages if you set expression CC number to 129, but one can not set 129 in Dorico as a CC in expression map.

A short tuturial how to connect LoopBe1 and Midi-ox
and how to configure Midi-ox to transform midi messages:

In this scenario Midi-ox translation map should be used with input event type “ChanAft”, channel “any” and output event type “ctrl” with “use input value one” checked.I set Seaboard Rise to piano mode to have better performance with legato minor seconds. Seaboard Rise sends midi messages to Midi-ox, then Midi-ox transform it, then send it to LoopBe1. Dorico input midi devices should exclude Seaboard Rise but include LoopBe1.

I wish that Dorico could transform midi messages like Cubase, so using third party utilities would be not necessary.

I hope it helps.

I am sorry I did not answer earlier. You know, covid and other events kept me off the forum. If you still need these maps we can switch to private messaging.

Thank you Witold. Just send you a PM.


Could you explain exactly how you do this as setting different velocities in the EM seems key to getting CSS to work in Dorico. Of course you can set specific MIDI values if using a CC controller to control these dynamics but I don’t see how you’re doing it with velocity. Can you simply remap the velocity control to CC or is there an issue with this. With the sale coming up, I’m strongly tempted to give the library a try.

I simply set secondary dynamic as velocity and give it a very narrow range (for example 1-2 for portamento). But there are couple drawbacks:

  1. in CSS first note of a legato phrase uses the velocity for the attack. Therefore the playing technique has to start after the first note. You can also put a small negative offset for the first note, then the playing techique above it doesn’t affect it. (I don’t know if it’s supposed to work like that)

  2. at the end of the phrase, you have to extend the playing technique couple of beats over the last note. Otherwise you will hear the release from the non-legato patch as EM switches off legato.

So in a nutshell, I’ve created playing techniques called “portamento”, “slow legato”, “med legato” and “fast legato”. Then in expression maps, I set the secondary dynamic velocity ranges so that the correct legatos are triggered. I’ve also added a pedal (CC64=127) to these playing techniques, this will trigger the re-bow in case of a repetition. Then in the score, you place the desired playing technique over the legato phrase and add correct amount of offset to every note but the first one.

Just to make sure, CSS uses the note velocity to determine the speed of the legato. This is from the CSS manual:

There are three velocity zones: 0-64, 65-100, and 101-127, which correspond to three legato speeds respectively: slow, medium and fast, as picture below. (-) at the default setting of 20, a portamento slide will only trigger when a legato transition is performed at or below a velocity of 20.

I’ve also proposed earlier how the EM could be developed so that the legato could be automated:

ok, thanks for that. I’ll see how I get on if and when I buy it.

Hi there, I like to see if there is a place in here or a blog, website, etc. that all the available Dorico expression maps are listed together.
I bought Note Performer last year but I like to browse through them and see if there is any single library purchase that encompasses detail composition of all orchestral instruments and with maximum number of articulations for each instrument and allows Dorico expression map (preferably already created) to take advantage of those articulations. I guess it is too much to ask. I know that Spitfire BBC Symphonic Orchestra Pro is a hot item but I like to see if there is any other sample library that is in par with that, and also other more affordable alternatives with sort of similar wide array of instrumentations and articulations. I just want to see if it is worth it to get something on top of what Note Performer offers for more sound realism especially for articulations. And the last if there is any jazz band oriented sample library with more playback realism for articulations that are more common to be used in jazz and either already is mapped out for Dorico or allows to do so.
Sorry if I sound lazy (haven’t done my homework) or not informed enough for this subject but I really appreciate your feedback. Thanks a lot.

Well, I decided to get the CSS Solo strings and have managed to get all the articulations to work without too much problem using CC58 (with the trills which require two notes, you simply set the trilled to note as transparent so you can’t see it). My main initial source of confusion is actually something that should be rather simple but the CSS control method makes it rather less so. Both velocity and CC1 are used for specific programming so I assumed that the main dynamic controller should be set to CC11 which is main volume. That works OK except for the fact that Kontakt’s main volume slider keeps moving around. I changed CC11 to CC12 and tried disabling the “accept standard controllers for volume” but nothing helps. What should the primary and secondary, if appropriate, dynamic controllers in the Dorico EM be set to? I had little joy with CC1 as the dynamic range is far too high. Using Kontakt 5.8.1

Once I’ve got this sort of thing sorted, it’s looking like the software will be perfectly usable – will no doubt need a little legato training-- in Dorico.

UPDATE disabling the “accept standard controllers for volume” does now work after I deleted and reloaded the instrument. Question about what others have done about assigning dynamic controllers remains, though, as I’m not convinced I have the best method.

as there is a separate post specifically on Solo String libraries here I’ve make any further posting on CSS there

Where can I find expression maps for EW Violin Solo, please?

All of the expression maps that users recommend can be found in this thread. If an expression map isn’t there, then it probably doesn’t exist and you will need to consider making it for yourself.

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Daniel, from the “old days” of Dorico 1 (or 2?), I remember, that importing Cubase Expression Maps is not very helpful, even if there is an extra import button inside the Expression-Maps editor. Are they more helpful in Dorico 3.5 than in 1 or 2?
There are at least some Expression maps for EW Symphonoy Orchestra, which could be perhaps helpful for @Chikitin:

Dorico will import a few more techniques than before from Cubase expression maps, but because there is such a difference in the things that they can do and the way they can do them, my own feeling is that you will have more luck starting from scratch with the manufacturer’s documentation for the sample library.

@dspreadbury @HeiPet eiPet Thank you. I was aware of the webpage and the thread.

I will give a shot importing .expressionmap files and try update them.

@dspreadbury Should we assume the Cubase Expression map import button take care of conversion of C3 to C4 difference form Cubase to Dorico?

Dorico has the option of C being C3, 4 or 5 and can be set in the Expression map - check once you’ve imported is probably the best advice!

Cubase and Dorico expression maps store the pitches as MIDI note numbers, so these should be correct. If you change the C3/C4 setting then this only affects what you see in the editor. If it’s set to C4 and you type in ‘C4’ then it stores the value of 60. If it’s set to C3 and you type ‘C3’ then it also stores the value of 60.


Thank you, Daniel!
Some years ago - during my Sibelius life - I wanted to dive into sample libraries and bought some libraries, but never really got into it and didn’t succeed getting results which are worth the (or better: my) effort.
Now I am at the same point in Dorico. At the moment I am not sure, if I should try to bring these libraires back to life and try to get some decent results from them. I don’t need perfect mock-ups and I don’t want to bring my music over to a DAW to fine tune them. I just want to have some different sound examples to choose from. In my experience, there is no library, which is suitable for every kind of music and instrumentation. (I also have Noteperformer, which is very good, but there are also some pieces, which sound awful.)
@benwiggy wrote a lot about Garritan libraries during the last weeks, so I was stimulated, to give it a try. Would be interested to hear from other former Sibelius users, if they get more out of their sound libraries in Dorico than in Sibelius?