Guitar - Harmonics Playback

I am trying to achieve the playback of guitar natural harmonics either via diamond noteheads or the small harmonics circle symbol, I am currently using Halion with the Natural Nylon NoteExp programme. So far, I haven’t managed to get it to work but gather from searching around that Dorico doesn’t do this automatically but needs to be told what to do. Is there a guide that explains the steps of this process or any advice that folk can give ?

Many thanks

Maybe this just isn’t possible at this stage.

Thanks for checking-in, though.

Best

Dear MCDM,
I know harmonics for strings are not implemented yet, even if it is absolutely possible to notate them.
It’s probably the same for guitar harmonics…

At the moment not only harmonics but also a lot of other playing techniques are not implemented.
Dorico is right now simply still not ready for this.

You can read a few statements from Daniel in post 13 and 14 from this thread:
https://www.steinberg.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=246&t=121087&p=712167&hilit=expression+maps#p712167

It is possible but you need to create the expression map yourself.

The Natural Nylon NoteExp preset has a keyswitch for harmonics. I think it’s midi note number 24.

Yes of course, on my side I am very aware of keyswitches in VSTis but …

yes but then what?
Out of curiosity (luckily I do not need advanced playing features from Dorico as I produce everything in Cubase) I wanted to understand how Dorico works and I spent almost 2 hours searching and trying without being able to make Dorico play the harmonics!
So if you happen to exactly know how to do this, your help is very wellcome :wink:

BTW I am able to create an expression map with the according keyswitch and I am aware that you have to choose/activate the expression map, but what I cannot achieve is to lead Dorico to see the created expression.
I do not understand the mechanism between the playing techniques symbols and the expression map.
When you have created a playing technique in an expression map, where and how can you create a symbol for it?
Or how can you reassign an existing symbol with it?

From reading some threads in this forum it seems as if that the only way at the moment would be to use an already existing symbol from the playing technique palette and edit it with other values, but I can’t find how.

And also most of the time no matter what I choose as playing technique for a note in write mode, Dorico shows “natural” in play mode.

I really have the feeling that at the moment dealing with playing techniques is a lost of time.

Thanks to everyone for responding. I’m grateful, misohoza, for the Expression Map solution which I will try out later this evening.

My next question was what graphical symbol in the score would then cue the keyswitch and teacue has highlighted some continuing uncertainty in this area. It would be really helpful if someone from the Steinberg team could step in a this point and give us a detailed breakdown of the necessary procedure - I’m sure that would be useful for others and would be a handy reference for similar issues in future - pizz, for example.

Looking forward to the next instalment,

Best

My next question was what graphical symbol in the score would then cue the keyswitch and teacue has highlighted some continuing uncertainty in this area.

If you expand the playing techniques pane on the right and hover your mouse over any of them you should get a tooltip showing what playing technique it corresponds to. In my case I used the “o” symbol found under common playing techinques which corresponds to Natural Harmonic 1.

As you can’t create your own playing techniques yet you need to pick one of the existing ones. It’s up to which one you prefer. I guess it’s quite common to use diamond noteheads for guitar harmonics. So you could change the notehead and hide the “o” symbol.

I’ve noticed there’s a difference in how Dorico handles harmonics. In earlier version you needed to cancel the harmonics by using the “nat.” playing technique otherwise everything onwards would play back as harmonics. After certain update it stopped working. In current version only the notes which have the “o” symbol play back as harmonics which means you don’t need to use the “nat.” to get back to normal playback. That’s the behaviour I prefer.

However when you check in Play Mode the playing techniques are not listed correctly. I’ve tried a little score with a few harmonics here and there. It played back correctly but everything was listed as “Natural”.

Thanks again, misohoza. I have now:

Set up the expression map as per your screenshot
Used the harmonics small circle on the relevant notes

Unfortunately, though, this doesn’t yet produce the harmonics. I am wondering if I have missed a vital step somewhere? Looking around, I gather that the created expression map may need to be loaded - in the gearwheel in Play in the VST instrument section next to the Halion Sonic SE entry. I’ve tried midi channels on default and with the new expression maps but this hasn’t made a difference. (I note, by the way, that the Dorico supplied expression maps all include the ‘natural’ technique, presumably instructing normal playback until the other conditions in the expression map are encountered - a harmonics symbol in this case).

Have you made any other changes on your system to get it all to work?

Best

I note, by the way, that the Dorico supplied expression maps all include the ‘natural’ technique, presumably instructing normal playback until the other conditions in the expression map are encountered - a harmonics symbol in this case

Yes, you need a “natural” technique. It doesn’t show on my previous screenshot but the Natural playing technique in my expression map is using a keyswitch midi note number 0.

I gather that the created expression map may need to be loaded - in the gearwheel in Play in the VST instrument section next to the Halion Sonic SE entry.

Yes, that’s correct.




Have you made any other changes on your system to get it all to work?

No, I haven’t.

If you want you can try my test project. It’s only four bars with a few harmonics. It plays back fine here.
Harmonics.zip (321 KB)

Well, I just re-applied the same sequence all over again … and it’s now working! Many thanks again, misohoza. Hopefully this will resolve the issue for teacue as well. By the way, is Nylon NoteExp your goto preset/sampled instrument for classical guitar? I am interested in what people have found the most versatile.

Cheers

Yes it works for me too :slight_smile:
Thanks to misohoza for providing a working project, a really good way to make things clear.

The missing link was that in my self created expression map I had a “Natural” technique with no “Action” assignated to it.
After assignating the following Action to the Natural Technique: Keyswitch, 0, 127 (as I saw it in M project) it worked.

BTW I am not sure why the MIDI pitch value 0 works in this case for Natural.
For the sake of completeness it would be nice if someone could explain this too.

BTW I am not sure why the MIDI pitch value 0 works in this case for Natural.
For the sake of completeness it would be nice if someone could explain this too.

I see I caused some confusion here.

When you look at Halion keyboard (you might need to scroll to the left to see the bottom of the range) there are original keyswitches (midi notes 0, 8, 12, 16) and then you have the same keyswitches remapped a bit higher on the keyboard (midi notes 21, 22, 23, 24).

You can use either of them. I happened to mix them and used original keyswitch for the natural playing technique (midi note 0) and remapped keyswitch for harmonics (midi note 24).

I agree that for the sake of clarity I should have used the the midi note 21 for the natural playing technique.

Ah, yes, now I see it too.
I did not think about looking at the bottom range.
Now it makes logical sense :slight_smile:
Thanks for your usefull explanations.