Expression Maps

The GIFF (Garritan Instruments for Finale) is mostly a subset of GPO, so shouldn’t be too difficult.

I’m confused between the doricolib files, which Dorico imports, and the expressionmap files available from Steinberg, which Dorico doesn’t seem to import.

I’m going to setup a Github project for creating ARIA support files.

Thanks @Mark for GPO5 download link page. I also needed the download link.


It is possible to keep key-switches on an independent supplementary play-back stave which you manually redirect to the same plugin/channel. You can then filter such a supplemental player/stave from view via master page settings in the engrave mode. From there such hidden staves will show up in Galley View, but be hidden from your page view.

Ultimately you’ll want to build your expression maps and attach things to techniques, but it’s nice to know that when you need to manually apply key-switches frequently, a supplemental stave is an option.

Hi Brian,

I just found your post. Thanks for that. That is exactly what I’m looking for. If it can do that, well, that will do for the time being while I’m getting to learn my way around Dorico. I’ll have to start experimenting with this, but before I can do what you’ve recommended, I need to get to work on learning how to set up my score first, enter notes, etc etc, as at the moment, I’m still working on the score in Sibelius, which I plan to export over to Dorico when finished, and see how I go from there.

thanks again for your reply.

Steve :slight_smile:

Is it possible yet to sniff out or own templates? I’m not afraid of XML and have some experience with sending proper VSTi paths for calling up Garritan instruments, but no idea where such files should go in Dorico.

Dear Brian,

This one is very recent…


Brian, I’m just exploring creating a playback template for ARIA. As I understand it, in the following locations:

Mac: /Library/Application Support/Steinberg/Dorico 2
Windows: %APPDATA%\Steinberg\Dorico 2

You need to create two folders, one called PlaybackTemplateGenerators and another called PluginPresetLibraries, and then XML files within. You can see the default examples (on a Mac) inside the Application bundle /Applications/Dorico

Currently, I’ve create a Playback Template that allows you to select the ARIA Player as the default for new Dorico documents. However, it doesn’t load the relevant samples into the player, as I’ve no idea how you construct a vstsound URI for use with ARIA. (Or otherwise create a valid XML file for Dorico’s presets.)

I’m going to start a github project, if that’s of interest.


Unfortunately, Ben, you won’t be able to make ARIA load the sounds automatically, unless you can persuade it to do so by way of a MIDI program change message, which is how NotePerformer works. We would need access to a special vendor load command in order to make ARIA load sounds automatically, i.e. it’s not a part of the standard VST spec.

As a partial work-around for those who use a more-or-less set Aria configuration of instruments would be to set up custom ensembles in Aria. Then one would only have to match the MIDI channels of instruments to the channels in the pre-configured Aria slots. It is by no means automatic, but might save some time until a more efficient option comes along.

Hey Marc,

sorry and thanks for the link! :wink:

I have created expression maps for the Iconica library standard articulations set which you can download here. I have tested them and they all work correctly.

Originally, I was creating a map for every instrument, and then realized that almost all of the instruments use the same key switches. Low instruments such as Basses, Tuba and Contra Basson obviously need to use higher key switches so I created separate maps for those instruments.

Loading the “Violins, Violas & Celli” map allows correct playback of markings for staccato, pizzicato, marcato, legato and tremolo respectively. I set the “natural” playing technique to “sustain” which makes the most sense for me, although other users may prefer it to be set to staccato. In order for the tremolo to play back, it is important that your notes use the tremolo markings with three slashes rather than two or one.

Loading the “Iconica Woodwinds” map allows all of the woodwind instruments (except for contra bassoon) to play staccatissimo, staccato, marcato, legato and repetitions using standard articulation marks and text. In order for repetitions to play back correctly, you must use tremolo notes with three slashes.

Loading the “Iconica Brass” map allows all of the brass instruments (except for Tuba) to play staccatissimo, staccato, marcato, legato and repetitions using standard articulation markings and text.

Tuba, Contra Bassoon and Basses have their own separate maps.

For those who are not so familiar with expression maps, switch to play mode and then select “expression maps” from the “play menu”. Click “import library” at the bottom of the window to import this file. Next, you must click the little cog wheel next to the HALion Sonic SE VST instrument and assign these new maps to each of the instruments in your score which need them. You will have to manually load the samples from Iconica as this is not done automatically. You should then save your score if you want to use it as a template next time.

There are many more articulations included in Iconica, but at least this is a good start for an “out of the box” experience. I welcome all feedback and can make changes as people see fit.
Iconica Standard (2.11 KB)

Great work, David. Thank you very much for taking the time to do this! We are looking at building some special Iconica presets and accompanying expression maps to build on the sets of techniques that are loaded into the current Iconica presets and to enable the use of a playback template that will load the sounds automatically, but this is a great interim solution for anybody who wants to try Iconica with Dorico in its current form. It’s also worth knowing that a 30-day trial of Iconica is now available here.

Thanks for the positive feedback Daniel! Iconica is an exceptionally good library which I encourage other users of Dorico to seriously consider. I know that whatever you come up with regarding its integration into Dorico in the future will be fantastic, and I look forward to it.

I would be interested in EastWest Play Expression Maps.



I have created my own expression maps and playing techniques for several of the EWSL Silk sound library instruments. I figured out how to “Export Library” for the expression maps (by selecting all of the maps and pressing the “Export Library” button). But I can’t figure out how to save/export the playing techniques I have created. Of course I need the notation that triggers the playing techniques to be exported and imported to any new scores. Please advise how to do this. I notice a “Save as Default” button at the bottom of any single playing technique that I edit, but I don’t know what that will do. Thanks. John O

At the moment there’s no way to export the playing techniques you have created, but if you select each of them in turn and do ‘Save as Default’, this will save them into your user library file, which means that every new project you start thereafter will automatically include those playing techniques.

Thanks Daniel! I tread very cautiously when learning new software, having tended in the past to start creating workarounds too early, and then later discovering that there was actually something already built-in that I had missed.

I 'migh’t be able to help you with the URI…it worked with Sibelius anyway…

I am on Windows, and the Garritan Personal Orchestra 5 library is installed at “%SYSTEMDRIVE%\Program Files\Garritan\Personal Orchestra 5”

Once I get this deep, I’ve decided I want to use the notation variants, so I will go into the “.\Banks\Notation” directory from here.

Using my favorite xml (or text) editor, I’ll open “Personal Orchestra”

Be careful, you don’t want to overwrite this file, as tampering with this particular file may be one of the ways that one can break the ‘registration’ for the library.

Look at the bank file though…see the paths for the tags? Maybe this is the information that needs to be passed to ARIA to get it to load instruments?

At least that’s what I used to get Sibelius to auto-load GPO5 stuff. Sibelius also needed a ‘bank’ number…not sure why, but an entry in the soundworld file looks something like this:

<Patch Name="Piccolo Solo Flutter" IsMultipleNoteSample="true">
            <AriaPatch Instrument="Notation/01 Woodwinds/01 Flutes/n-Piccolo Solo Flutter" BankID="2013"/>

Note the entry…

Maybe this path is what you need?

Thanks, Brian. It’s certainly somewhere to start. I’ll look through it all when I have a minute…