How to disable or remove MIDI CC for playback

Since I normally set volume and pan on the MIDI playback device, I need to either disable, override or remove the MIDI CC controls that Dorico 5 Pro automatically creates in the Play window.

But I can find no way to do that.

Furthermore, simple pan and volume controls for the channel are often useless because many external playback devices I use employ multiple sounds or voices, each with their own local pan and volume settings on the playback device.

By the way, I’ve been using Dorico for a couple of years now and generally think its wonderful and does nearly everything I can imagine wanting to do. Really great job is being done in building it!

Welcome to the forum, @Henningsvar. Dorico will only create MIDI CC data during playback if it is defined in the expression maps you’re using for playback. So the first thing I would suggest is to check what expression maps you’re using for your instruments: check that you are using just the Default expression map.

Thanks for the interesting information. It seems we might be at the entry point for a proper clarification of both the main issue and several related side issues. I hope this leads to 2 (or possibly 3) things:

  1. A description in the operations manual of how things all work together in the current revision of the software
  2. A description of how they might best work together in future revisions of the software
  3. An understanding, primarily by the authors of the software, of limitations or indeterminacy in the current revision of the software in handling state changes. Any configuration change of course resets state and behavior. It is possible that some old state information that affects behavior is not flushed out and therefore persists to cause fluky problems or inconsistencies. The solution is to flush out all old configuration information before applying the new state.

The first thing to address, I believe, is to understand the relationship between the MIDI CC configuration contained in the expression map being used and the mixer settings. Under what circumstances do the MIDI CC values override the mixer´s settings and vice versa?

For example, if my expression map uses MIDI CC #7 to control volume, does that take precedence over the mixer’s volume control?

Is there any way to set things so that the mixer volume never sends a MIDI message to my external device?

Hi, I myself have discovered over time that CC7 I believe is also generated via the humanization controls (I’m on Dorico 5). I ran into issues here with some libraries because the changes in CC7 created too many jumps for me when using the pitch contour emphasis and beat stress controls… but also if you manually try to adjust your instrument’s volume knob, it will invariably reset when you press play - you can test this by turning it all the way down and when you play the volume on your instrument should immediately jump back to default.

This was tricky for me on some instruments where I really need separate control over the instrument’s volume knob. What I did find helped me override this was to remap the instrument’s volume knob to a different undeclared midi CC; also if you use Kontakt I found it helpful to completely “disconnect” its control over CC7 by filtering CC7 data to an unused CC lane (CC127 in my case), under the KSP transform tab -

All this does is simply direct the incoming CC7 data elsewhere and thereby nullify it, giving me complete manual control over the volume knob. However when doing this you wouldn’t be able to automate CC7 (since it is now cancelled out), but I found this helpful for instruments where the volume knob was jumping around too much otherwise.

Other instruments should give you similar abilities. In short, through trial and error you have to play with the different instrument settings to find an override either through remapping or midi transform filters as shown in Kontakt (you can technically do this redirect hack on any Midi CC if you need to override). Hope that helps!

Hi Wing, Yes, I was considering doing something like that as a work around to the problem. Rather than messing with the settings on my hardware synthesizers and sound generators, or Kontakt instruments, probably using a MIDI processing tool like Bome would minimize the complications and hassles of reprogramming the settings on the instruments themselves.

But shouldn’t this problem be looked at by the fine people at Steinberg for a proper solution?

Maybe mixer volume and pan settings should also be put into expression maps so that they can be controlled specifically for each instrument?

P.S. My immediate work around is to add a few seconds of silence to the beginning of the score so that the sound bank can be reloaded after pressing the Dorico play button. But that too is a waste of time and energy that detracts from the ability to concentrate on the music itself.

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I hear your pain, and I can only let Daniel and the team speak to this one. I think I read a few months back someone asking for mix settings like vol/pan to be added into expression maps and something to the effect of the expression maps not having a direction connection to the audio engine or some technical reason it is a lot easier said than done.

As for me personally I don’t think I would want or need mix and pan to be controlled by an expression map – because expression maps usually dictate how instruments handle playing techniques, and overall volume and panning within the stereo field isn’t a playing technique, but rather a tool of mixing. For the record, you can as of now at least change expression map dynamics to control CC7 which effectively would have direct control over instrument volume – and I have had to do this on the occasion that an specific instrument simply does not get quiet enough even at pppp or niente, so CC7 remapping to the rescue.

I am curious what your imagined scenario for volume/pan being inside the expression maps would be, since your original post sounds like you wish for the opposite (to completely override it and let your hardware instruments handle it themselves).

Personally what I would prefer, and I do think this is on their to-do list as it’s been requested, would be automation lanes added which access the mixer itself (as opposed to Midi CC), so that track volumes (and panning, sends, insert effects etc) can be automated rather than CC, much like you would in a DAW. This would make it a lot easier to fine-tune a mockup without ever having to leave Dorico.

The reason I spontaneously suggested the possibility of putting mixer settings into expression maps was to allow you to either enable or disable them per instrument. That assumes that if you don’t put mixer volume into your expression map, then mixer volume would be disabled, just as not inserting CC #100 (for example) disables any potential for Dorico to send CC #100 commands.

I don’t quite fully agree that “expression” mapping must only include conventional playing techniques as producers who do not play instruments themselves might be accustomed to think. Both volume changes and panning (movement of performers in space or shifting phrases from person to person in a section) are really both playing and performance techniques, aren’t they?

But as you say, if it’s difficult to implement then merely offering the option to easily disable or enable mixer settings would work just fine I think.

Automation lines for the mixer settings certainly sounds helpful. I was thinking that such automation lines should not send an initial value (volume for example) if an initial value is not manually set by a user. I haven’t used automation lines enough to know whether they work that way now or not.

I do play cello and piano myself :slight_smile: But I have never seen a playing technique which directs me to stand up and move with my instrument to another part of the space (though I suppose such a thing might exist in modern performance pieces). However when I refer to volume changes I am referring to the volume changes of these VSTs, they are much more like the volume fader of a microphone’s audio signal (because that’s exactly what they are), as is the pan, so that is how I meant those aren’t really playing techniques in and of themselves – they are controlling the audio signal itself and not how the acoustic instrument is dynamically performed within the space. However I don’t mean to split hairs over this, it’s just that most of my VSTs already do allow me control over the acoustic dynamics (real-world volume) using the expression map which tends to sound more natural than riding the actual volume fader up and down (which also turns the space itself up and down). Similar with panning, there aren’t actual real-world techniques which have the player moving about in the space while they play, hence my confusion how an expression map would work with that (since panning addresses mix/placement).

As mentioned I am pretty sure you can technically already access these if you wish from an expression map, try the secondary dynamic box with CC7 for vol or CC10 for pan. I haven’t done this but I imagine it should work.

Nonetheless, if it is possible and feasible to be implemented as you are wishing, I am not opposed to it since I welcome more ways to do the same thing.

Regarding automation, yes it would work similar to a DAW - basically all of your mixer settings would have flat automation lines as they are set by default when you load a new instrument (same with panning and effects). With automation it makes it easier to override this over time so that you can more convincingly cheat certain libraries to sit correctly in the mix.

I regret to say that I don’t have the time that would be required to engage in general and unfocused discussions about large swathes of how any specific part of Dorico is implemented, @Henningsvar. However, I am of course interested in helping you with any specific issues you are encountering – though I will need more concrete information from you in order to do that.

I can begin by attempting to answer these two questions:

If you are referring to the MIDI faders in Dorico’s Mixer, then the answer is “yes”. Dorico’s Mixer does not currently support automation, so the fader will reflect the initial value that will be sent at the start of playback. Its position will not respond to changes that arise from the playback of dynamics in the score, or MIDI CC data you have manually added in the Key Editor.

No, so far as I know, there is not.