Legato/Slur playback start times rather than duration

I would like to see an alternate legato playback option of starting a note earlier rather than lengthening the note so that it overlaps the previous note (which automatically gets set to a duration of 100%). That way the slur happens as you slide in to the beat rather than sliding ON the beat. To my ears, starting the slur slightly before the beat sounds more natural.

Please and thank you.

I’m not sure I understand what you’re asking for here, Mackieguy, sorry. Are you asking for the legato playback to start the note before the slur itself starts?

In my experience, it seems that legato articulations sound like they are coming in a little late in that they are getting triggered at the note on event. It take a few ms for the slur sample to play and then the main sustain sample comes in after that. I’ve had a lot of success in editing the MIDI data via the piano roll to slide the start time of a note back a few ms so that the legato sample “slides” in to the beat.

For example: Say I have a four notes under a slur. The first note starts the legato passage and starts on the beat as the slur has not been triggered by a previous note. However, the remaining three notes are getting the slur triggered as they are connected to a previous note. Therefore, I go in to the piano roll mode and drag the start times of those notes back just a tiny bit so that the sample starts a tiny bit early so that when the main sample kicks in, it’s on the beat rather than behind it.

From what I’ve learned from people who play bowed instruments, this is how they approach their performance as well in that they start the next note in a legato passage slightly ahead of the beat so that the main “pulse” of the sound happens on the beat. They also do this to some degree with sustains as well so there’s some relevance to that articulation as well.

In Cubase, I sometimes use the track offset feature to account for this if I have articulations that take a few ms to build.

I hope this helps clarify my idea. Thanks for taking the time to read this. I’m loving Dorico and where it’s going!

Thanks for the feedback. I hope that in future it will indeed be possible to specify a tick offset to either anticipate or delay the onset on a per-switch basis in expression maps.

That’s good news!!! And I hope also the length of the last note of a group slurred notes.

Both suggestions +1.

For proper control over legato, the note start offset would need to be set in milliseconds rather than ticks in the expression maps (since length of the ticks depends on the tempo of the project).

At least Cinematic Studio Strings (for which I’ve been making expression maps) has three different legato transitions: fast (100 ms), medium (250ms) and slow (333 ms). It would be great if Dorico could automatically pick the correct transition and offset based on how much time there is for the legato transition to happen. Therefore I have suggested that expression maps could have a condition for the length of the previous note as well as the length of the current note.

There would also need to be a condition that tells if the note is the first of a legato chain: in that case no offset is needed.

I have also a suggestion of how this could be achieved: the note length parameter could also have a value for “rest”, similar to the other values (“short”, “very short”…). “Previous note length” -condition would then look at the note length parameter few ticks before the note: if it would return a “rest”, that would mean the note is the first of a legato chain.

I hope I managed to present this idea clearly enough and hope it could be helpful when developing further the expression maps!