Harmonic 'o' symbol doesn't seem to link up to playback technique in expression map

I’ve been setting up an expression map for Spitfire Solo Strings. I have all the keyswitches working except the harmonics one. The keyswitch mapping works perfectly in Cubase, but it won’t trigger the keyswitch for harmonics in Dorico when I put in the ‘o’ symbol, despite when I hover over the ‘o’ symbol it shows it is linked to ‘ptNaturalHarmonic1’ (which is what I have allocated in the Exp. Map).

I’ve been trying to narrow down what the problem is, so I changed the technique in my expression map to ‘muted’ but kept the harmonic keyswitch as the sound. Sure enough, when I then put the indication ‘mute’ in the score, I got the harmonic sound.

It seems to me there’s maybe an issue with the harmonic symbol linking back to the playback technique in the expression map.

Obviously the ultimate ideal will be to be able to create custom technques, but in the meantime, is there a possible fix for this?

You can create custom playing techniques in Dorico Pro 2! IIRC, you’ll find it under Engrave > playing techniques, or by clicking the + signs in the playing technique panel in Write mode. You’ll find some documentation in the Version History document.

Funny, I just had the exact same problem with ‘sfz’. I was setting up an expression map, everything worked flawlessly, except the sfz keyswitch. When I changed it to ‘tenuto’ instead, keeping the same MIDI note, it worked fine.

Ah, I would never have thought of looking there. Would never have occurred to me that it would be in Engrave mode. I’ll mess around with it and try and get this working. Thanks.

Can someone remind me where to find the version history document? I had a read of it when I installed DP2 but can’t remember where I found it.

Vilnai, what library was it? Would be good to figure out what’s going on here. I’ve had not dissimilar issues happen with Finale once in a while also. Never got to the bottom of it.

Here you go: http://download.steinberg.net/automated_updates/sda_downloads/Dorico-2-2.0.0-44b04f1e-3f76-4fad-a938-d35e5f7dbd19/Dorico_2.0_Version_History.pdf

Great, thanks.

Dorico won’t produce any playing technique change for a ‘sfz’ dynamic, but you can add another playing technique and hide it to produce the desired sound if you prefer.

Thanks, Daniel. Is this planned for the future? sfz (and other dynamic markings) appear in the list of techniques when editing expression maps.

Yes, of course.

Thanks, Daniel.

Coming back to Colin’s issue, I’m also having trouble with the harmonic playing technique. It seems to revert back to ‘natural’ after a few notes, and I cannot seem to figure out a pattern. If I assign the keyswitch to a different technique then it works fine, which makes me think the issue is somewhere in Dorico.

The details: I’ve built maps for both Xsample and Spitfire cellos. The Spitfire uses a keyswitch to change to harmonic; the Xsample uses cc0 values. In both cases I see (and hear) the instrument revert back to ‘nat.’ even though there are still harmonic circles over the notes. In both cases a few notes (2-3) play fine before the sound reverts. I edited the map to a technique I’m not using (‘bow on bridge’) and it plays back as expected.

Please see this other thread.

Investigated this a bit this afternoon, and I think the problem is within Dorico. (It also happens with NP3, but only in Dorico, not in F*** and S***.)
I wonder, are the attribute and direction parameters for techniques actually hooked up (working correctly) yet … ?

No, they’re not: the harmonic will take effect until it is specifically countermanded by another playing technique.

This is not my experience, though: https://www.steinberg.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=246&t=140215#p754624

I have some more information on this issue.

I used MIDI Monitor to collect the Dorico MIDI output and it looks like what is happening is that Dorico sends the correct MIDI CC message for selecting the harmonics patch (Mod Wheel 80) and then immediately sends the Natural CC message (Mod Wheel 20) before it sends the MIDI Note On message for D4 preventing the harmonic from being played.


Any thoughts on this?


Am I not understanding something here, Daniel?


Please don’t bump! (Even as politely as you are doing here.)

I still have your message open in my browser here and will look into it in detail as soon as I find the time.

Just to update you on this: I have looked into this today and can’t quite figure it out myself, so I’ve asked Paul to take a look when he gets a chance. Sorry for the delay.

Paul has looked into this. The problem is that the harmonic playing technique itself has zero duration, and we are missing a processing step to modify its duration based on the note(s) in the staff at its position. So because it has zero duration itself, it plays for just a couple of ticks, and it doesn’t coincide with the note. As a workaround you could try selecting two notes before you create your harmonic playing technique, which will give it a duration, but you may struggle to make it show only one “o” symbol.

In short, there’s not really a great solution for this at the moment, and resolving the duration of playing techniques based on the durations of the relevant notes is something that needs to be done, but which we’ll not be able to tackle in the forthcoming update.