Inconsistent Control Change Value

I have an expression map set up that sets a control change value based on the playback technique. Sometimes it works great. However, other times it doesn’t work at all. I will play back the same passage twice in a row without changing a single thing and it will work one time and not the other. What are possible causes and how can I get this resolved?

Further details: The control change value will just stop getting updated periodically. However, if I add a few redundant playback techniques (the same one several times in a row) it will work again. And then usually, but not always, I can delete the redundant playback techniques and it will still work great. And then a few minutes later it doesn’t work at all again.

Can you put together a minimal project that includes your custom expression map and some steps that would allow us to see this behaviour for ourselves?

CC Issues Example.dorico (1.5 MB)
VDL (2.0 KB)

Attached. When I saved the file, none of the CC1 messages were being sent to the VST plug-in. If you duplicate the center/halfway/edge playing techniques to put them several times in a row, it should fix it.

Any progress on this? I’m still having the exact same issue.

Sorry, Bradley, I’m very busy at the moment, but your thread is on my list requiring further attention, and I’ll come back to you as soon as I can.

I’d like to get this issue resolved ASAP. I’ve tried this in Dorico 4.3 and Dorico 5 and I have identical issues in both. Could we get back to this issue and work on a resolution?

I’m sorry for the long delay in looking at this, Bradley.

Fundamentally, the issue is that the MIDI CC changes produced by the playing techniques are only applied to a single instrument in the percussion kit. When multiple instruments in a kit are played by the same endpoint (i.e. the same combination of VST instrument and slot), Dorico has to somehow resolve the competing sets of playing techniques that are contributed by each instrument in the kit. Even if there are no explicit playing technique items, there is still an implicit “natural” playback technique for each instrument.

At the moment, Dorico simply uses the first set of playing techniques that it encounters as it processes the data for playback. That’s why you sometimes see the CC1 data, and sometimes don’t: when the project is loaded or the playback template is reapplied, Dorico will see the kit instruments in order, and the first instrument in the kit doesn’t have these playback technique changes. When you edit the playing techniques, however, the edit only affects the individual kit instrument on which the playing techniques appear, and so Dorico then “sees” them at that point.

It’s hard to know exactly how to solve this in full generality. When there are conflicting playing techniques that require different MIDI renditions all played by the same channel, there is inherently no way of achieving correct playback.

What I would suggest you do for the time being is enable independent voice playback for the percussion kit in Play mode, and ensure that each snare in the kit is played back by a separate instance of the appropriate snare kit patch. If each drum in the kit is routed to a separate instance of the snare kit patch in its own slot in Kontakt, the CC data should be played correctly.

Ah, that is incredibly unintuitive. I do not want any “natural” CC1 messages being sent when I’m trying to send another message. I only want the message sent that I’m actively trying to send, not a bunch of passive messages that just say “natural” all day. Seems like an area for future growth for Dorico.

If I make the concession of not ever using any of the other snare drums techniques that appear as separate instruments (snare solo, snares off, etc.) and delete all of them, would that resolve this issue?

No, that won’t help: each instrument in the kit will always have its own set of playing techniques, and Dorico will always merge them together in the way it does at present, resulting in whichever instrument is processed first “winning”.

I suggest you try my suggested approach of engaging independent voice playback for the kit, so that each snare uses a separate instance of the patch.

I was working on what you suggested, it just took a minute. It appears that “snare solo” is working properly now (the first one to enter) but the snare section is still not working. What now?

I’ve been continuing to work on this and digging through the documentation. I note that Independent Voice Playback is not possible for percussion kits. However, I have routed each instrument to its own channel, and they are all coming through correctly in Kontakt. Except for the CC1 messages which are not.

No, sorry, that’s my fault for using imprecise language. You’re right that you don’t click the Enable independent voice playback button in the track inspector – instead, as you’ve found, you manually assign each instrument in the kit to an independent endpoint.

This really should be sufficient to get the CC1 messages to be played by the right channel in Kontakt. The nature of the limitation is that if you have multiple instruments played by the same endpoint, whichever of the instruments is assigned to that endpoint first will have its playing technique regions played, and any other will simply be omitted. Provided you really have each instrument assigned to its own independent endpoint, and no other instrument (even the parent kit instrument itself) assigned, it should work as expected.

The only one that isn’t working is the one the parent instrument is assigned to. What should I assign that to? Why is it assigned to anything at all if each instrument is routed independently?

The way percussion kits work is that some notations end up belonging to the parent kit instrument if you create them while you’re looking at the five-line staff or grid presentation type, and will be played by that instrument. Try temporarily showing the kit using the individual instruments presentation type, and make sure the centre/edge/half-way playing techniques are input on the instrument that corresponds to the patch where you expect the CC1 to be played.

I know this is all very awkward. The use of CC values from playing techniques in conjunction with percussion kits isn’t fully supported at the moment, so you’re sort of colouring outside the lines, and I’m doing my best to assist with the current capabilities of the software, but I certainly wouldn’t say that it’s all working as well as it might!

Thanks for your help. I can write with them shown as individual instruments to make the playing techniques are showing up in the right place. Creating one more channel for the parent kit instruments (which doesn’t every play any sounds) seems to have fixed the issue.