Legato playback in NotePerformer 4 + Dorico 5

I just upgraded my setup to Dorico 5 and NotePerformer 4, and opened an existing project. Without changing anything, I notice a big difference in legato playback. The notes are too long, and noticeably overlap with each other.

Is anyone else seeing this?

Do you also hear this difference in a brand new trivial project with just a few notes in it? Determining that will help to understand where the problem might lie.

The NotePerformer Expression Map defaults to 105% for legato which is exactly the same as Dorico’s default. There is supposed to be this slight overlap. As NP uses its own Playback Option overrides, it wouldn’t make any difference which Dorico version is being used in that respect (not that there’s been any change between D4 and D5 I’m aware of in this area). If you are really seeing a difference, then I suspect there’s some project-specific change you have made. Attaching a relevant project would help us determine if there really is something unusual going on.

Yea, I’m aware of the 105% thing. It sounds good in Dorico 4 though, and it sounds too long in Dorico 5.

Thanks for your help!

I made this project brand new in Dorico 5 and entered everything manually. I did not copy paste anything from a previous project.

When I play it back using NotePerformer, the Bb going into measure 2 does not last for its notated duration. And the legato issue I mentioned originally is especially noticeable in measure 5.

I also tried opening this project in Dorico 4, and the playback sounds as expected. I did not change anything manually and I even made a copy of the project outside Dorico to ensure that Dorico is not changing anything inadvertently when I open or save the project.

Playback Demo.dorico (890.2 KB)

you’re absolutely right here. The articulation for the preceding staccato is different in D4 and D5 as can be seen from the screenshots below.

In D4, part of the staccato note has a staccato artic.

but D5 reads this as Legato-staccato (internal effect) and there is no separate short patch change as can be seen in D4.

I wondered initially whether the “max duration for staccato playback” in Playback options could be relevant but it seems not here. There have been some subtle changes in the way NoteLength patch automation is calculated in D5 which might have a bearing here.

Incidentally, when using NPPE, the playback is fine as can be heard from the clip below (using Cinematic Studio). So the issue may only be with NP natively.

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In D5, if you remove Swing Playback, it plays as expected… so… who’s to blame … ?

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you’re not supposed to use swing playback with NotePerformer so it never occurred to me to check whether that had been altered – which of course it has from the default of off. In my view, then there’s now no issue here. Other than the curiosity that it does work OK in D4.

Never knew that. Never gave me trouble before.

well somewhere I read that – in general it’s advisable to let NP take care of timings. But it may not be an official stance and, as you say, this particular problem doesn’t exist in D4 so what do I know. …

I’m talking to Wallander tech support separately. According to them, NP is not optimized for swing playback, but it should work the way it did in Dorico 4.

I think there is still an issue. In the least, I can’t use Dorico 5 for jazz…

…which it does not. Obvious to the ear, and obvious to the eye (playing techniques lane) …