I am trying to gain a deeper understanding of Expression Maps Note Length Conditions in Dorico.
There are five Note Length Conditions:
The terminology is somewhat arbitrary relative to the notation, and some sample library documentation (ahem Cinesamples) tries to explain things graphically using terminology that relates to music notation, but in fact has nothing to do with the music notation.
In any MIDI sequencer, note length / duration and tempo are separate entities. As a starting point, this seems to be true in Dorico. For instance, in a sequencer, I can trigger a drum sample with a note length of only 1 or 2 ticks, and it doesn’t matter if the tempo is 60 BPM or 180 BPM - the sample is just looking for a MIDI “note on” at whatever pitch is the trigger.
For wind, brass and stringed instruments, the note duration / length is part of the performance data - but this, too really has nothing to do with the tempo, just how long the note is held down. In a sequencer you see it as some specific ticks - e.g. a quarter note might be 480 ticks (or 960 ticks etc)
But in Dorico, how do the 5 note lengths relate to the music notation? I don’t seem to be getting to specifics like “Very Short means a 16th note or shorter”. It does in a library like the Spitfire Discover, but may not in a library with a greater number of possible duration choices.
How fine grained are the steps between Very Short and Short? Between Medium and Long? Between Long and Extra Long?
I’m also not entirely clear on how various articulations can play into this - A staccato is pretty straightforward because there is a pretty big difference in the note length of a staccato 8th and an unmarked 8th - you can see it in the Play window. But something like a tenuto represents a more subtle change. If a sample library doesn’t have specific tenuto samples, for instance, can I use a Note Length Condition to get to a solution?
Thanks for your thoughts.