Internal staccato playing technique interference

Hello Dorico’s team,

When I use the glyph staccato in the score, Dorico automatically triggers the internal “staccato” playing technique which excludes the playing technique I would like to use with my sound librairies.

For info, in the expression map I’ve created, the internal staccato playing technique is not present and if I do not use the dot above notes, everything works correctly.

Is there a way to prevent this internal staccato to be generated ?

Thank you for your help.


the answer is simple enough – you create the staccato technique in your Expression Map. It will then automatically override the built-in one.

Thanks for this suggestion.
Unfortunately, in VSL Strings librairies, there are several types of staccato…
And I would like to have the possibility to choose the one for each situation.

You’ll then need one Expression Map entry for each staccato you want to use from the libraries in question and decide how to differentiate them in the score. If the differentiation is mainly by duration, then the best approach is likely to be using the NoteLength conditions in the EM. If they are by tone then you’ll need to either create appropriately named playing techniques or use already existing articulations.

I’ve got several VSL libraries myself but not any of the new dedicated Synchron string libraries which have rather different articulations from the “Synchronized” versions of the older VI ones-- if you’re using the actual original VI ones then there are already good EM’s available from a company called Symphonic Riot in case you might want to save yourself some work.

I already have an expression map with the appropriate playing techniques
for every “staccato” from my sound librairie.
I can trigger them via specific shortcut in the score but when I use the dot staccato, the internal playing technic has the priority over the one I specify.
Of course, instead of a quaver I can enter a semiquaver and rest after, but his notation is a bit messy.
I just wish to show that this quaver has to be played shorter (dot) and choose which sound will play it.
I hope my english is clear enough… :slight_smile:

do you have an entry using the “staccato” playing technique in the map? If it’s missing then Dorico will still assume you don’t have one, even if you have several staccato patches under different names.

If that’s not it, maybe best post an example Expression Map or, better still, a relevant section from the project itself as we can take a look if there’s something that doesn’t look quite right.

Your English is fine :smiley:

No, in my expression map, there is no entry using the “standard staccato” playing technique.

Once again, if I do not use the dot above notes and use the name of the patches only, everything is played as expected. In this case, the only problem is that the sound does not match what is written in the score.
After further investigation, it appeared that the add-on technique Ratk (reg attack) is not executed when the notes are dotted. I joined screen captures to illustrate the point.
Measure 165 without dots Measure 166 with dots Measure 166 without dots Score measure 165 & 166

for the moment, let’s leave aside combined switches and add-ons – they only make things more complicated.

What I want to show here is that if you don’t define “staccato” in the EM but do use a staccato dot, your actual base technique will be default but the note will be shortened which is not what you want. Below is my solo strings EM with staccato defined and showing the tickbox where you can disable for testing and below it the score.


Then we have the Play windows showing what happens with first of all staccato enabled and then disabled.

As you can see, when the base switch named staccato is enabled then it will use that as base switch in the project. If you disable it in the EM then Dorico, when looking unsuccessfully for a switch staccato, will use the internal effect staccato – in other words it will shorten the note – but the actual patch will revert to default (in my case here is NoteLength = medium which is a long detache). The “internal effect” cannot be disabled as far as I’m aware but that doesn’t matter as it doesn’t materially affect playback if there is a different Base Switch.

Your illustration is more complex. Generally using two different switches like “sta” and “Fatk” together requires a combined entry in the EM unless one is an add-on switch as you have here. Your staccato + Ratk + ,sta short which doesn’t work — how is this combination defined exactly in the EM? Normally, it’s best to use add-on switches when they are on a different layer from the base switches - for instance when all instruments could be played “con sord” or “senza sord”. It may be your implementation is OK but again, we’d need to see the project.

VSL SY Strings EM-002.xml (104.0 KB)
Thank you for these detailled and illustrated explanations. I better understand now what happen.

I joined here my EM for VSL SY strings if this could help you to see if something can be done. (just change the extension “xml” into “doricolib”)

In fact, I hoped it was possible to disable the internal staccato effect as we can adjust the length of the notes via options.
The duration is not that important because it is determined by the patch itself.

if you read the section “articulations in playback” in the manual, it describes what happens if you do and don’t have the relevant articulation (like staccato here) in your library. The only way Dorico can determine this, as far as I know, is by looking for a patch using the p.t “staccato” . in the Expression Map as we’ve discussed as of course it can’t look directly at your VSL SY strings interface. There’s nothing in the manual to suggest that you can disable this side of the application – Paul Walmsley is likely to be the one on the team who can confirm this or whether there might be some clever workaround I’m not familiar with.

There’s obviously a lot of work gone into your EM – unfortunately it is so heavily customised that without owning the library myself, I can’t really decipher it. Perhaps someone reading this does have the SY strings and could help. Just one thing – I notice you haven’t used the NoteLength feature. In my own VSL maps, I use different articulations to cover varying degrees of shortness but staccato is not there as I wanted to control this specifically through the dot and not automation. You may find some of your staccatos may fit well into the automation which could simplify the EM but then again, that may not be what you want.

This EM is able to drive the combined Synchron String One and the Synchron Strings Pro which are complementary. This why there are so many switches.

I will return to my first idea to notate the staccato with 16th notes like shown in the joined screen capture.Staccato wihout dots 001

Unfortunately, I guess this issue is also present for all others p.t. like Marcato, Tenuto, etc…

the same general principles will be applied with the inbuilt articulations, yes. If you could separate the dot from the note in terms of playback and then disable it, it might help but you can’t as they are treated together. On the other hand, if you wrote,say, “marcato” as a playing technique, you could disable just the marcato without disabling the note playback itself whereas if you use the gylph, you can’t. That may possibly help in some situations.

Anyway, thank you for your support and your ideas.

Dorico is still a young software which hopefully will evoluate to simplify these kind of situations.