MIDI Expression/CC controller hardware / use

Hey all, quick questions.

First, my keyboard (which I really like, and don’t plan to change) does not have any sort of expression control (mod wheel, sliders, etc). Do you have any recommendations for external controllers which will substitute a full replacement of my device?

Second, namely with EWQLs KS patches dynamics are controlled by CC11. Is there a way to use such a controller to define dynamics with a slider during part recording/entry, or will Dorico always default to interpreting my score markings?

Lastly, is there a way to instruct Dorico (somewhere in my expression map, perhaps) on how to properly execute timbrel chagns with dynamics? For example, naturally are you play louder the quality of your sound may vary slightly. I believe the EWQL (HOOPUS) patches do this in theory, but it doesn’t sound like Dorico is executing that.

FWIW I have an app - Touch OSC - that I’ve programmed to send CC data, and so I just use my iPhone.

These are quite famous but I’ve never used one:

I’m pretty sure if you adjust CC11 (for example) as you record, it will override any instructions that Dorico may be sending. I’m sorry but I’m not 100% sure.

There are plenty of cc controller solutions, I use Nuances’ one (because it’s beautiful and quite cheap), there are many others (monogram CC seems wonderful, but on the expensive side)…


Ohh, that is beautiful! Looks like Sapele or Mahogany maybe. Out of stock currently, but I just signed up for his mailing list.

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He makes like a hundred of those every month. What I like is that the fader is long enough but not too long. And setting it is really easy.

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I use Monogram CC and love it. It’s completely customisable, and colour-coded! Here is my current layout (still a work in progress); it has three sliders (set to CC11, C1, and C2 [which some of my other VSTs like to use]) which I control with my left hand during live recording, and buttons for play/record/etc. I’ve still to decide what to use my knobs for.

I use EWQL in my setup too. If you plan to play your parts and manage your own dynamics in live (as I do a lot of the time), the best course of action is to effectively ‘disable’ Dorico’s interpretation of the dynamic markings in your Expression Map, so that it doesn’t interfere with (a) your live velocities or (b) your live CC11 data.

In my EWQL Expression Maps, I ask Dorico to convert all dynamic markings to CC2 data.


The EWQL Opus engine doesn’t do anything with CC2 data, so this has the effect of nullifying all dynamic markings for instruments using this Expression Map, and my live-recorded CC11 and/or CC1 and/or velocities (where relevant) does all the work. The dynamic markings are now only ‘for show’ in the score.

If I’ve understood you correctly, this depends on the instrument of your VST and which CCs affect its performance. If your instrument needs CCx to drive a timbral change, then you’ll need to (a) record CCx on a slider while you play in your part (b) draw in the required CCx data in the CCx lane of the Key Editor (c) use the Expression Map to set specific values of CCx based on a Playback Technique (of which you can create you own).

I hope that helps. :slight_smile:

There are loads of controllers similar in design to the Nuance one (some with more sliders) for a lot less. Handmade is nice, but…

I’m also looking at iPad apps that provide a MIDI controller interface for the desktop. Metagrid can do it, I think, but I’m having trouble with setup.

Yell out if you need a hand - I’m no Metagridonian but I’ve got some game.

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Very interesting tip.
Did you try this: keeping the dynamics working, but adding another volume controller to just help make the sound more lively? I was thinking for example, that if a bank uses cc1 and cc11 for its dynamic control, one could then use cc7 to record live a hint of… liveness. When producing orchestral music on regular DAWS that basic trick helps a lot. Then if another bank uses cc7 and cc11, the same thing would have to be done on cc 11… ? I don’t know if this is clear. Working that way his would not change the “basic” sound balance of the orchestra to me…