Expression Maps

Some of the fields in the expression map editor are currently there to show the values that were imported from a Cubase expression map. Dorico doesn’t use them just yet, but we do plan on adding more control on a per technique basis for the future. You can change the length of staccato and legato (for notes under slurs) in Playback Options.

Thanks, Paul. Once implemented the percentages and velocity limiters should give me the customization I’m looking for.

However, I notice there is no expression map item for SLUR. The ability to customize note-length defaults per stave for slurs is crucial - especially for string libraries. Is that an item that can be added to the list at some point?

Legato playing technique = slur

I found that one on my own, but slur=legato took me somewhat by surprise too. Makes sense, but I’m loving the ability to create playback playing techniques separate from playback techniques and this is an example: if I need slurred runs to be a little more detached than a true legato section. I’m doing it with a text p.t. above the section like I do for “On Bow”

Paul I’m curious if with the new lines there is a way to have two different named “slurs”? The test isn’t really bothersome, its just I have to remember to put a Nat. at the end.

legato is triggered upon slur marks.

I have some libraries that allow pedaling to activate portamento and crossfading effects.

For this to work as it should, I need to delay the legato event a few ms, so that the pedal is not engaged until a tick or more AFTER the first note in a slurred passage, and the pedal doesn’t get let up until AFTER the last note in the passage.

With HALion instruments, my workaround is to use the full blown HALion 6 plugin to place a LUA script in the instrument/program that delays the CC pedal event. I don’t know much about other sampler/synth engines, but it’s possible others might support some kind of scripted transform/delay tactic for specific incoming MIDI events for an instrument as well.

For non HALion instruments, I’ve been using Bidule to intercept and delay the event.

For Garritan libraries, one can enable auto-legato mode for monophonic instruments, and set legato notes to overlap in Dorico’s playback settings. The catch with this approach is that a stave can no longer have more than one note sounding at a time. It’s a true monophonic setting.

In cases where neither Auto-legato, HALion, nor Bidule are an option, I simply don’t try to do the CC pedaling with expressive techniques, and instead set legato notes so they overlap in playback settings. If portamento is desired, I’ll just add those to a CC lane in the playback tab.

For Pedal lines, in playback options you can delay the depression, retake, and release by percentages of a quarter note if that would help.

By this do you mean that notes under a slur automatically apply the “Legato” Playback playing technique?

If so then theoretically I can adjust that note length percentage value (when it is eventually implemented) on various ExMaps and control default playback note-lengths on a per-stave basis - which is what I’m trying to do.

I’m still surprised there is no separate “Slur” item in Playing Techniques. Seeing “legato” written in a part is not the same as seeing slurs.


OK confirmed. When I asked this I hadn’t read Paul’s answer in an earlier post.

When I assign a new Keyswitch in Spitfire to, for example Tremolo and Trill, does it negate the repeated note playback technique you find in NotePerformer, etc.? The sound I am triggering is already a Trem/Trill so it needs to behave like a regular note. (It sounds like the note is repeating on playback, but it’s a little hard to tell actually).

If I change the “Number of Strokes” in the Playback Options then it won’t function when I switch back to NotePerformer. Have I got that right?

What’s the best way to disengage that behavior only for my Spitfire Library?

Provided you have an unmeasured tremolo switch defined in your expression map, Dorico shouldn’t generate additional notes for a one-note unmeasured tremolo for instruments using that expression map, and you shouldn’t have to change anything in Playback Options.

Can anyone think of a reason why the custom Playback playing technique I created (“09 Marc Half Note (SpF)” at the top of the list) is NOT available to select in the Expression Map window?

Edit Playing Techniques window.png
Expression Maps Window.png

SOLVED. Somehow I got into trouble by duplicating one of the Playback playing techniques and renaming it. I backtracked, discovered which one had been renamed, and got back on track.

I’d be grateful for any help on this.

When it comes to Expression Maps I’m fine with Note-specific Keyswitches but all at sea when it comes to Control Change parameters. I’m currently working with Project Sam’s Swing! libraries - and it won’t get much simpler than their Double Bass instrument from the first library. Aside from glissandi (all note-related, no problem there) there are only 4 articulations - 1) Plucked Long, 2) Plucked Short, 3) Slap Plucked Long and 4) Slap Plucked Short. These are all generated via a combination of Velocity (CC#7) and the Mod wheel (CC#1).

The Slap function is generated from a high velocity number (it appears to be anything at 120 or over) and the Long/Short function can be set to extremes.

Ideally I would like to be able to call on these articulations within Dorico by assigning Playing Techniques and combinations of Playing Techniques in Write Mode. Not just call on them, but have them playing back too. If it is possible, how would I assign the 4 articulations? 1) Natural (Plucked Long) 2) Staccato (Plucked Short) 3) Slapped Legato (Slap Plucked Long) and 4) Slapped Staccato (Slap Plucked Short).

One of the issues here is that I would like to assign a Slap articulation independent of any recorded note velocity - or have the slap articulation boost velocity into the acceptable range. Is that even possible?

“Preserve note velocities” is one of the available preferences for recording that you can turn off, but I think you’ll have to switch it on and off when you’re recording for a given instrument - I haven’t seen a setting per staff or instrument.

I apologize in advance if I am a terrible explainer.

It isn’t that different working with Control Changes in the Expression maps. First I’d create a new P.T. and Playback P.T. named “slap”. Apologies if you’ve done that kind of thing a million times. But you click on “Playback techniques” from the engrave menu option and it uses the usual "plus sign at the bottom of the list to create a new one. When you do, you’ll be asked to select a Playback P.T., and there is an edit button next to where you’d normally select that will in turn allow you to create a new Playback P.T.

Once that’s done. I’d create at least these entries in your expression map:

Slap + staccato

For each one, instead of choosing a Key, you should click the button add a CC. Once you do choose channel #1. Click the CC button again to add a second CC and choose channel #7.

At this point the only difference between the four entries in your expression map will be the values that you give to CC #1 and cc #7. Entering 0 will represent no mod wheel or no velocity, and 127 will represent full mod wheel or full velocity. (I think that they default to a value in the middle of 64.) You can use any number in the range 0 to 127 to tweak how much of each one that you want, but I’d start with:

CC #1 with 0 (Long) and CC#7 at 0 (Normal Pluck) for Natural
CC #1 with 127 (short) and CC#7 at 0 (Normal Pluck) for Staccato
CC #1 with 0 (long) and CC#7 at 127 (Slap Pluck) for Slap
CC #1 with 127 (short) and CC#7 at 0 (Slap Pluck) for Slap Staccato

Does that help, or worse than before? Again my apologies.

Happy New Year. Here’s an expression map for trumpets, horns, and trombones from VSL Synchronized Brass I & II. From the readme file:

Divisi: Unison (all four players), Desk1 (players 1 and 2), Desk2 (players 3 and 4), Player1, Player2, Player3, Player4.
Techniques: natural, flutter-tongue, blare, sfz, sffz
Articulations: natural, staccato, staccatissimo, tenuto, tenuto-staccato
Attack: normal, marcato
Legato: normal, legato
Mute: mute, open

…and combinations of the above: pick one from each category.

Coming soon: the low brass and Wagner tubas from the same VSL packages. (66.6 KB)

Hi gdball,

Many thanks for your reply and for walking me through it - you explained it perfectly. There’s no problem with the Modwheel (CC1). If I look at the instrument in Kontakt I can see it clicking away from Long to Short just as it should. The problems are with CC7. An Expression map setting of 0 (for Plucked) results in no sound for playback. Curiously, a setting of 127 doesn’t turn on Slap. The only way I can turn on Slap is to increase the velocities in the playback.

Project Sam does allow parameters to be reassigned. I’ll see if reassigning Velocity to a different CC# can make it work.

One last thought. Any use of Staccato in Dorico changes Note Duration. If I use Staccato to call up Project Sam’s “Short” sample what I’m actually getting is a mix of the sample and the shortened note duration. What I really want is just the sample with no chance of the release tail being cut off. That sounds to me like I need a new Playing Technique (“Short”) - no?

That’s one way. You could change the duration of “staccato” in Play->Playback options but I don’t know which is the least intrusive to how you’re working as it would affect everybody. If its only a note or two, I’d be tempted to leave the notation conventional and adjust the duration per note in the play tab.

On the other issue, you might check at the top of your expression map and see if velocity is used as part of your dynamics.

I’ve completed the Dorico expression maps for VSL Synchonized Dimension Brass I & II. This release supports trumpets, horns, trombones, low brass, and Wagner tubas. Let me know if anything doesn’t work. Details in the readme file. (98.4 KB)

I’ve persisted with trying to get #CC7 to work, but no luck. Frustratingly, it’s the one parameter on the page that Project Sam haven’t made available for reassignment. As they say - “Volume, or CC#7, linked by default to Kontakt’s Instrument volume”. I’ve tried all possible combinations in the Volume Dynamic area but the Library refuses to do anything other than read the individual note volumes. As an aside: Project Sam’s libraries lean more towards being played, rather than programmed. Ah well - I’ll just have to tinker with individual note volumes to get Slap working.

Thanks again for your help.

ETA: Apologies if it’s already been raised but the enter key on the right side of the numeric key pad isn’t available for use while entering Numbers into the Expression Map. Only the Enter Key to the right of the letters will work.

A couple of questions about Dorico’s “internal Effects” and their effect on Expression Maps.

Am I right in thinking that the Internal Effects relate to Duration and Dynamics and are there any plans to enable users to bypass the Internal Effects if samples exist - as, for example, is already possible with Trills?