Midi/live input - Dorico seems to override my articulation choices

I’m attempting midi/live input but Dorico 5 Pro keeps changing my choice of articulation to a different articulation. For example even if tremolo is not specified during a recording Dorico will select it during playback. How can I ensure that Dorico records and plays back what I choose as an articulation? Do I need to change anything in settings so Dorico does what I tell it to do? The temporary workaround I’ve found is to create an empty project free from any expression maps and endpoint configurations. Then Dorico doesn’t try to change anything. Alternatively I will sketch in Reaper and leave Dorico out of the process altogether. Comments welcome.

Hello @andhy.

You might be interested in this thread, in which I was provided an answer to a similar question.

FYI, I use the workaround mentioned in my opening post. It’s a little slower than if I could record directly, but it does the job just fine. :slight_smile:

Thank you for drawing my attention to that thread. I had not seen it before. Certainly a disable expression map option would be by far the easiest way to eliminate the battle we have with Dorico when using live note input. I am presently exploring the use of your workaround with do-nothing expression maps. Oddly enough when I record live input with write mode displayed rather than play mode there appears to be less of a conflict and the playback more closely resembles what I input. Why this should be I have no idea. The Dorico team has conquered so many other challenges to advance the product it can only be a matter of time before this issue is resolved. Nevertheless I am having second thoughts about continuing with Dorico and may focus on Reaper in future as I can get satisfactory results so much quicker and my need for notation is perhaps best left to others with greater expertise than me.

Hello again @andhy.

I would agree that if music notation is not important for you and your workflow, then using Dorico is suboptimal.

I think the reason there has been little focus on this in particular, is that Dorico’s Expression Maps are designed to interpret music notation rather than live MIDI data. In this way, Dorico isn’t really a DAW; it’s a beautiful music notation software with a very good playback system based on that music notation.

Users like you and me who are trying to manipulate the playback system to produce high-quality performed music (either through live MIDI data to capture nuisances of velocity and timing, or custom Playback Techniques and Expression Maps) have to respect that fact and find workarounds to achieve our specific goals.

As for this specific workaround, I have found it best to use two instruments, two VSTs, and two Full Score Layouts. Here is an example project designed for a single violin, which I include for the benefit of anyone reading this.

I have two instruments; Violin and Violin SKETCH. I set up a “Composer’s score” Layout which contains both

and a “Full score” Layout which contains only the Violin instrument.

I’m using the following Endpoint Setup, with the HSO Violin Solo Expression Map for the Violin instrument and Default Expression Map for the Violin SKETCH instrument.

These are routed to an instance of HALion Sonic 7, with Violin Solo Combi loaded into Channels 1 and 2.

So, to live-record a staccato passage for example, I first select the Staccato Expression from the Violin Solo Combi in Channel 2 (which is where Violin SKETCH is routed) via the A#-1 Keyswitch.

I can hear the staccato patch when I play live MIDI through Violin SKETCH in Dorico (note, HALion Sonic 7 isn’t letting me latch the Keyswitch [and I don’t know how to change it, I don’t use HALion very much], so I’m having to hold A#-1 down to do this; this is not normally the case with other VSTs.)

I then record my live MIDI into the Violin SKETCH instrument, capturing the exact velocities and timing that I want, which I can hear by listening to how the VST’s Staccato patch reacts to my playing.

I might then do any clean-up (velocity, timing, note length, CCs, etc) then shift this up to the main Violin instrument, and add the Staccato dots to trigger the correct Base Switch in the HSO Violin Solo Expression Map on the Violin instrument.

On this particular occasion, the HSO Violin Solo Expression Map isn’t consistently mapping these to the Staccato Base Switch, possibly because my first and last notes are too long. Normally I’d be using a custom Expression Map, so this isn’t a problem, but here I can just shorten my played note durations and it maps correctly.

If I need to print, export a PDF, etc, I’ll use the “Full score” Layout, in which the Violin SKETCH instrument won’t be present.

I hope this helps anyone else who is reading. Of course, if anyone can find a more efficient workaround than this, I’m all ears. :slight_smile:

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Thank you for going to so much trouble to explain your approach.

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You can temporarily switch off the keyswitch control for “natural/long” in the Spitfire Audio Player Plugin (BBCSO), for example, and then set the articulation manually.
Hopefully there will be similar possibilities in other plugins.

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