"Latency" in Expression maps? PLEASE update expression maps!

SO, first of all. Steinberg, PLEASE update expression maps! We all want it. It is very important for us power users, and it is quite outdated in several regards, especially the interface.

But, I want to talk about expression maps triggering “too late”.

Example: I select a note in the key editor and then select the articulation I want from the expression maps I have created. (in my case from the drop down menu. I use “attribute” as I don’t like “direction” and I have so many articulations that it would fill up the whole screen if I did use it).

What happens is that the articulation doesn’t trigger until the NEXT note after the one I have selected.
This is quite a problem to say the least. It doesn’t happen consistently, but there is always a few instrument in my project that do this. I don’t know if it has to do with using large templates as I often do, with tons of expression maps.

I can’t live without expression maps. It would make life very difficult with complex instruments in larger templates… I trigger them with an tablet with “buttons” on the screen and that works really well.

Now, it doesn’t happen to all libraries but to many big and important ones, for example Spitfire and Afflatus. It might be a problem with the VST, but the best solution would be that you could make the expression map trigger before, similar to the “delay” in the inspector.

Some libraries need the trigger just before the note, and some are fine on the note. This is especially the case if the triggers are keyswitches. And before you suggest alternative input not all libraries have an other option than keyswitches. In that case the expression map will trigger the keyswitches. Other libraries use CC numbers like for example cinematic studios.

Anyone has a clever solution?

Steinberg, please update the expression maps! That is an update that I know many have waited a LONG time for and would highly appreciate.



try using a pre roll on play, i don’t remember what i had mine set to but that’s how i fixed the issue (can’t access cubase at the moment).
you can experiment with the smallest value that consistently triggers the articulation on the first note
playing from selected was also working, but it’s less elegant

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It sounds like a good idea but I don’t see how this will solve the rest of the articulations, unless I misunderstand you. Because every articulation is late. So, later in the song when I change an articulation it won’t trigger where I want it. It will always come a note late.

I did try with different values on the pre roll but that only move the cursor back before play, it doesn’t change the timing of the expression map. Again, I might misunderstand you.

I appreciate the advice in any case.

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ah sorry, i misunderstood then!
i guess mine was a different problem, where only the first note would not pick up the articulation
i don’t recall have this issue on all notes

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Like so many incredible Cubase features, Expression maps were launched and then seemingly ignored. I’m still not sure what they’re for.

Steinberg is often its own worst enemy.

They must get frustrated about creating all these incredible features and then not getting the accolades they should.

If you build a great feature like Expression Maps, then promote it! Create projects that display all the things that expression maps can do (but not just a project that has a bunch of stuff happening; have one just about how to use EMs, one on how to use GA properly, etc)

However, telling my cat about this would probably be more useful as Steinberg seems to not care about anything we mention here.

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100% agree with the OP!

For this reason I abandoned the Attribute Articulations and only use the Direction Articulations, thus losing all the utilities for which they were created. Then manually rewrite the Attribute Articulations note by note in the Score and hide the “temporary/substitute” Direction Articulations.

Added to this enormous flaw is another which aggravates the situation, obviously using only the Direction Articulations: when you press stop and start again from a previous or subsequent point, the last active articulation during the stop remains set! (To check, open the instrument and you will see the key switch locked. Intervene manually, by clicking, to unlock it). This behavior often occurs with Spitfire’s BBC SO Core.


I have sort of a solution to this, that is by no means great, but it solves the problem temporarily:

In those cases the articulation maps trigger late, I create a “ghost midi note” before the note that doesn’t trigger correctly. This ghost note has a velocity value of zero, but also has the articulation that I want. Since the trigger is one note late, this solves the issue, but it is also quite stupid because I have inadvertently created a very complicated keyswitch…

But as stated, it only happens on a couple of instruments, so I don’t have to recreate my setup. The very tiny positive thing about this “keyswitch” is that it can be placed anywhere and so is easier to include in changes in the key editor.

If you are making a score out of this, you have to deal with that ghost note of course… (I never make scores out of mock ups, it’s just better to start over on a clean score)

I used this trick too, great idea!

But the inconvenience was twofold and I abandoned it: in addition to inserting the note to get around the obstacle, I also had to remember to hide it in the score… in the long run it became an onerous procedure.

EMs are brilliant… but even today they have some annoying flaws!

I hope they’ll update Expression Maps.
Negative delay per articulation, selecting and remembering articulations in Inspector, bug fixes and many other features that people have been talking about for years.