I don’t have this issue. There are 3 ways I get volume with HSO:
- Using dynamics/articulation. This is well integrated with the score editor, you’d expect for orchestral work. Unfortunately, it can be hard to place ff, p, or > markings accurately with the score editor, so I always check/adjust them in the key editor.
- Adjusting the note velocity. This has little effect on overall volume compared to using dynamics, but it’s great for placing stress. It lets you accent the correct note. (Not to be confused with “accent” articulation, which is more about the type of sound than the volume.)
- Automating volume in the project window. This is best for balancing the tonal color of the orchestra in moment, but also gives finer control over crescendo/decrescendo than you get with dynamics.
My guess is that if you’re missing anything, it would be the dynamics controller lane of the key editor. (CC11? The mod wheel is tied to it, if I recall correctly.)
I was frustrated before I started using the ppp, pp, p, mp, mf, f, ff, fff markings. The exact meanings of those symbols can also be reprogrammed via “Dynamics Mapping Setup”. I learned the true meaning of dynamic marks from one of Thomas Goss’ videos (orchestrationonline.com - see https://www.youtube.com/user/OrchestrationOnline). He said that f does not mean “loud” so much as it means “assertive” or “with effort”. (And p means “subtle” or “submissive” more than it means “quiet”.) Therefore, I open both articulation/dynamics and velocity controller lanes in the key editor, so that I can make the velocity produce the subjective meaning in the dynamics lane. (These adjustments are often made while looping the passage.)