Large Expression Maps problems

Hi everyone,

I’m having troubles building a large expression maps in Cubase to organize the articulations of Vienna Symphonic Library soundest “Synchronized Dimension Strings 1”.

My problems are the following ones:

  1. Inability to enlarge horizontally the Expression maps setup window, which obliges me to use reduced or coded names of the articulations.

  2. Inability to modify the size of the columns. In the Sound Slots window, I wish I could, like in an Excel document, modify the size of the columns, maybe also class them in alphabetical order. I also wish I could modify the size of the internal windows, especially the Output Mapping one. When you add many command lines into this window, you very soon has to scroll down to check what you have entered, it is very not convenient.

  3. Inability to copy-and-paste a Sound slot. In my case, I have many Sound Slot which are almost the same (with a different CC1 value, for instance), and each time I have to enter again all the lines in the Output Mapping… It’s such a long work for the Synchronized Dimension strings, where you need to add an articulation at the end of two previous commands: the number of player (8, or 4, or 2, or 1), the string technique (regular, open strings, sul G, sul D, etc.). So only for the staccato technique, I need to make a Sound Slot for 8 players-Regular Playing-Staccato, Group 1 (4 players)-Regular Playing-Staccato, Group 2 (4 other players)-Regular Playing-Staccato, etc. Then I will have to do the same by changing the playing technique (8 players-Open Strings-Staccato, etc.), and the same for the various number of instrument players they propose, so it has no end…

  4. In addition to previous point, I don’t understand why the expression maps setup requests to enter a Sound Slot for each command, then one Sound Slot for each combination of commands you already entered. Example: I need to make a Sound Slot for “All players” (with a corresponding CC in the Output mapping), then a Sound Slot for a string technique, i.e. Sul G (with a corresponding CC in Output mapping), then a Sound Slot for the playing technique (i.e. staccato, with a corresponding CC in Output mapping), and then a Sound Slot with the 3 commands, and the 3 CCs in the Output mapping. Why Expression Maps isn’t able to combine these 3 articulations altogether since each has been entered?

  5. Does anyone know if there is a limit to the number of possible Sound Slots? In my case I certainly will go further 1000 lines, I’m around 400 at the moment, but if someone tells me it will bug after 500 I’d rather stop now. By the way, I noticed after a few hundreds sound slots there’s a bug: I can’t move the line up in the list, it disappear and appear again in the middle of the list, but not where I want it to be placed…

  6. Does anyone know if the Dorico expression maps setup is absolutely compatible with Cubase? It seems like the window is more clear, so that may be an option, buying Dorico Elements to make the expression maps and then open them with Cubase… But it’s a shame to have to do it that way…


I feel your pain and I agree with every point.
Thousands of slots, while 50 would have sufficed.
The zones and columns of the Expression Maps Setup window are totally fixed, they all should be resizable.

For your n°5: there is no limit to the number of slots, to the best of my knowledge. I have more than 500 lines. And yes, beyond 128 it’s impossible to rearrange slots.

The Expression Maps concept and interface have not been improved since its inception.
Improvements are indeed greatly needed in this area because building large Expression Maps is currently a real pain.

Thanks TheMaestro! It warms my hear up to know I’m not alone! B.

Do you know anything about the Dorico expression map? After some researches it seems like it’s not built exactly the same way as in Cubase, but who knows, maybe there’s a way to export a Dorico expression map (which seems easier, at least in termes of windows) to a Cubase expression map…

I have no knowledge of Dorico, but I’m pretty sure it’s not possible to import its Expression Maps into Cubase. (to be confirmed by someone who knows)

I’ve kept on searching and found an app called Composer Tools Pro, by Midikinetics, in which you can build expression maps, then export/conert them as Cubase expression maps. The limit of it is they only propose 3 output mapping for each Sound slot, which in my case would not be enough.

I totally agree, you’re not alone at all.

By the way, how do you manage that number of articulations in the key editor? I’m currently using expression maps containing 50 slots and in order to display them all in the key editor I have to configure its window arrangement in such a way that it is almost impossible to see the actual notes in the piano roll… is there maybe a better way to do this?

Thanks in advance!

Expression Map redo is way up on my wish list. It’s so powerful, but so clunky to edit and manage.

Ultrazone: I don’t manage, I do some diy in order to get it work… I bought Composer Tools Pro since my last post. It helps on some points but not always (doesn’t consider the different groups of articulations you have to combine, ie for Vsl Syzd Dimension Strings) and makes the xmaps you extract from Lemur sometimes not usable. As for the viewing of more than 50 lines it remains a nightmare.