Feature Request: Expression Map Action - "Added Note"

Hello,

This is a bit of a niche feature request, but some sample libraries implement trills/tremolos in a bit of a strange way, by actually having the user play a dyad consisting of the two pitches that make up the trill or tremolo. To accommodate these, I’m wondering if there could be an “added note” action added to expression maps which would basically play the other pitch of the trill, with a configurable offset in semitones (+1 for a half-tone trill and +2 for a whole-tone trill). That way every note with a trill mark over it would actually play the dyad of the two notes participating in the trill.

Since most libraries don’t need this, at first I contacted the library vendor (Cinematic Studio Series) to see if I could get them to implement a more standard way of doing this, but unfortunately they told me that they like the way they do it now and don’t want to implement trills in a more traditional way. I believe their way is based on the method used in the Kontakt version of Berlin Strings (which is also still used by many people), so possibly they did this at first to facilitate layering with Berlin.

Although I understand if this is low priority because most libraries don’t need it, I hope this might be considered for the future. Thanks!

This might help in the meantime:

Hi,

Thanks - I’m familiar with the third party script solution already and I am testing it, but I haven’t done much with it yet and found a few possible minor issues and am worried I might have to instead use a different CSS delay compensation script that doesn’t implement the single-note trill control. If Dorico supported this built-in (ideally the library would support a more standard way of doing it, but they were very closed minded and refused, which was very irritating) then I wouldn’t have to worry about whether some rickety hack-ish third party script somebody else made in their basement works properly. These scripts also have an unfortunate history of being broken by any updates or patches for the library.

So you want Dorico to support a particular method used by just one VST?

It is just one company’s VST instruments, yes, but unfortunately they also happen to be pretty much the most used VST instruments out there by media composers (film/tv/games). The Cinematic Studio Series is super popular and many professional composers working with DAWs use them as the main library for their templates. I can point you to at least a dozen examples of such composers if you would like.

If it was some obscure thing I wouldn’t even bother asking, but because it is probably the most popular and respected library series out there for orchestral media composition, I know it will benefit more people than just me.

I’ve not seen any rankings. Have you?

I think it would be a useful addition but I’m not sure how urgent it should/would be. It is a popular library but that will unlikely be the deciding factor on whether or not the team work on it ahead of other things. Anyway, it would be useful!

“Rankings”? Really? I’m sure I can point you to some guy’s rankings but I don’t know what it will mean to have it ranked by some random person.

I’m a regular in a Discord chat server that is made up largely of composers working in media scoring in Los Angeles and some other areas. Stephen Barton is a member and was chatting in there the other day, composer of Season 3 of Star Trek Picard. When I say that the professionals are using this as their main library, it is based on not only what I see in there, but also other forums that I am on like vi-control.

I’m not making this up.

Just out of interest, have you tried using Note Performer with this library? I have no idea how they work with trills between Dorico and Cinematic Studio Series.

Yes, NotePerformer can play the trills. This doesn’t help as I need to be able to have full control over the MIDI, so NotePerformer is not an option for me.

NotePerformer also doesn’t handle this library 100% correctly. A friend of mine who uses CSS with NotePerformer sent me some examples of some strange note lengths where it doesn’t handle the delay quite correctly.

You are welcome to your bubble.

Why are you being so aggressive and nasty about this? I request a feature and you attack and berate me, and insult me. I don’t see what I’ve done to warrant that treatment. What does this even matter to you? Are you like the official gatekeeper of feature requests or something?

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I apologise if you think I am aggressive. I was merely questioning your assertions.

You started by offering a “niche feature request”. You end by claiming that CSS is the dominant library in the market, so self-evidently their methodologies should be incorporated into Dorico.

I disagree.

In my opinion and experience, it is the dominant library series for media composers. Of course, not all, but most I have encountered use it as the main library in their templates. This is an opinion yes, but it is an educated one, and not one borne out of ignorance. I’m sure there are no formal studies done of sample library usage by media composers that I can use to prove this.

The Cinematic Studio Series are also agile and consistent enough that if the delay issues are properly handled (potentially in one of the forthcoming Dorico updates) they could end up being one of the best libraries for use in Dorico along with VSL. In the past their delay has been a problem, but Dorico 5 added support for per-articulation track delay, and track delay for CC shaping is also being addressed in the queue (and is probably in the forthcoming update this month). I’ve seen a bunch of people expressing that if this delay thing finally gets resolved that they can use the Cinematic Studio libraries in Dorico. And if it does get resolved, then these libraries should suddenly work well in Dorico - everything except the trills, that is.

The reason it is a niche request is because I don’t know of any other libraries that handle trills this way. Maybe there are, but I don’t know of them. It is something weird this vendor does for seemingly no good reason.

So why do you think Dorico should accommodate this niche peculiarity?

Because they seem to care about playback, outside of NotePerformer. If they were happy to just have NotePerformer do everything and leave it at that, they wouldn’t have put the Stage and Space features in Dorico 5, which don’t really do anything when you are using NotePerformer. And if they do care about playback outside of NotePerformer, they should care about the most popular sample libraries.

There could be other benefits of such a feature as well - if the interval is flexible you could use it for things like getting an automatic octave doubling with a playing technique or things like that. Not as useful in a full score, but useful in a sketch where you potentially have space constraints. You could write a single line and add a “+8ve” playing technique or something that would octave double that in the playback.

I am confident Dorico will develop its expression map capabilities. But I doubt they will do so to accommodate a particular VST.

Well, I thought I would ask, it is ultimately up to them. I don’t really know how easy or how difficult it would be. I also don’t know if other libraries use this method. From a quick web search I did just now, I found that it was used by Berlin Strings for their Kontakt version, that’s probably where CSS got the idea to do that. I believe the newer Berlin Strings for SINE uses regular keyswitches instead though (but not everybody is using the SINE version yet for various reasons, one of which is that many of them have done custom edits in the Kontakt version to fix bugs, and in SINE they would be entirely reliant on OT to fix bugs).

A lot of libraries don’t work that well in Dorico, even though you can build expression maps for them, because they aren’t consistent and/or agile enough. Examples are things like EastWest Hollywood Orchestra, Orchestral Tools Berlin Series, Spitfire BBCSO and other Spitfire libraries, etc… If you try using those libraries in Dorico outside of NotePerformer, you will often get disappointing results due to these consistency/agility issues. There are often issues with crossfades having sudden bumps or issues playing fast passages like runs due to lack of agile legato capability.

But the Cinematic Studio Series is consistent and agile enough that it should work great in Dorico. In my tests in a DAW, I’m able to copy and paste MIDI from my VSL strings into Cinematic Studio Strings and it layers really nicely and has the same dynamic contour. They actually mesh really, really well. So this should end up being one of the best options for Dorico, if the limitations around delay handling with CC’s in Dorico are resolved, and if the trills can be handled well.

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It’s not an unreasonable request. It’s essentially the ability to define a key switch relative to the played note. I’ll make a note of it, and we’ll look into implementing it in a future version.

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Modern Scoring strings has some similar functionality where diads need to be played for certain things, so it’s not just CSS.

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