No Longer Frustrated with Dorico Percussion Maps

Hi, everyone. I can’t figure out for the life of me how to configure Dorico’s percussion maps for playback. I’m using the BBCSO plugins and I’m trying to get the Suspended Cymbal to play with a bow. I’ve configured the percussion map, made a playback technique, put the keyswitch in the Expression map and all of that. It’s just not working and I’m about to throw myself out of a window with frustration. Can someone please help? I’ve been at it for hours.

Hi mjmusiced.
You’re right, they totally forgot to include suspended cymbal into the percussion map!
Here’s a percussion map where I’ve added the bowed suspended cymbal. You can keep on creating the other techniques for suspended cymbal if you need.
BBCSO Unpitched (2.2 KB)

Edit: Now that I have a little bit of time to look at this in detail, the reason you were struggling is clear: there’s no “suspended cymbal” instrument. What is called Cymbals in BBCSO is called Crash Cymbal in the percussion map, so you should change the suspended cymbal instrument to a crash cymbal in Setup mode>Instrument menu (using the instrument picker) and then rename it to a suspended cymbal. This way you don’t have to mess with the percussion map.
When you use a virtual instrument, it’s critical that you read as much as you can about it, that you study it, etc… to know what it can do and what it cannot do. I have to admit Spitfire’s documentation is not the best there is out there.
Hope this helps!

Hi, Marc! Wow, I really appreciate your help. Thanks so much for taking the time. I hear you. I was aware that the BBCSO plugin has no Suspended Cymbal, because I read some of your earlier posts where you helped out others with a similar problem. I wasn’t clear about that in my post above. The BBCSO plugin is just called BBCSO Unpitched Percussion. I have the Cymbals articulation lit up on the plugin, and the bowed crash cymbal is mapped to note Bb3.

The BBCSO Unpitched Percussion percussion map I am using also has the Crash Cymbal (bowed) mapped to the note Bb3. So I create a Playback Technique called “bowed,” and in the Expression Map called BBCSO Unpitched Percussion I created a keyswitch on Bb3. This doesn’t work. Then I went to the BBCSO Unpitched Percussion Percussion Map and made sure that “bowed” was lit up in the Techniques pull-down menu. This also doesn’t work. Then I went in Play mode to the instrument itself and clicked the little gear, where I made sure that the BBCSO Unpitched Percussion Map is mapped to the instrument (called BBSCO Suspended Cymbal). Didn’t work. Then I said an incantation, consulted my crystal ball, went to the cemetery and threw a dead cat over my shoulder, turned around three times, and shook my fist to the heavens. Still didn’t work. (I imagine all of that constitutes a larger problem that I need a different sort of help with.)

I know I’m missing a step, of course, or that I’ve done something wrong. I would attach some screenshots for you, but I am a “new user” and the interface won’t let me.

Thank you for the percussion map! I will work with it as soon as I get finished typing this post. And thanks again a gazillion for your help!

Hi, Marc. I’ve loaded in your percussion map, which is awesome. It’s working, but the problem now is that it plays the bowed Suspended Cymbal all the time. I only want it to play the bowed Suspended Cymbal when I place the word “Bowed” in the score. Every other time I just want it to play the natural Suspended Cymbal roll (which is mapped to B3 in the BBCSO plugin.)

I watched a video in which a guy did this very thing: he made it so that the Playing Technique changed the MIDI note in the plugin to switch back and forth between different drum sounds. That’s all I want to do but I can’t figure it out.

Thanks again, with your help, I feel I’ve made progress!

My name is Michael, by the way! Thanks again for your help.

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One more thing, Marc. When I look at the BBCSO plugin to see which note it’s playing, based on your Percussion Map, I see that it’s playing the B4 and NOT Bb3, as it says in the Percussion Map. I’m more than confused.

Some companies define middle-C (MIDI note 60) as C3, some as C4. Be sure your VST and Percussion Map are on the same page there.

Hi Michael!
I hear your pain :rofl:
Why don’t you follow the advice I added in my post as a post-scriptum? Change ypur suspended cymbal to a crash cymbal on your score, and the percussion map will work like a breeze ^^
I actually noticed something was strange with the percussion map when I tried to “copy” every crash cymbal articulation to a new suspended cymbal instrument. For a reason I don’t understand, I couldn’t add a new instrument line to F3, nor F#3, and in any case, there’s a playback technique for hard beater that has been created and that I cannot trigger — I don’t know how we can access those pt.user playback techniques on the percussion map editor…
So if you don’t want to waste your time, change your instrument to crash cymbal (and change its name afterwards, it won’t change the way Dorico handles it, as a crash cymbal), the percussion map will work as intended!

Hey, Marc. Thanks again for all your help. Just to be clear on what my goal is:

I want to be able to switch between the normal cymbal sound and the bowed cymbal sound during the piece. (I know it can be done because I have seen a video of someone doing it, albeit not using BBCSO plugins.) I want the Playback Technique “Bowed” to trigger the bowed sound, and when there is no playback technique above the notes, I want it to play a normal cymbal sound.

So, per your advice: I reloaded the original BBCSO Unpitched Percussion Map. In Setup Mode I named the instrument Suspended Cymbal. Then in Play mode, I changed the VST to Crash Cymbal.

No dice. The sound doesn’t change when the “Bowed” Playback Technique is above the notes in the score. All I want to do is to change the MIDI note in the plugin to a bowed sound. In the Expression Map I set a keyswitch to Bb3, where the bowed sound is in the plugin, but to no avail.

Derek, thanks also for your insight. I tried the keyswitch at C3, C4, and C5, and the plugin still just plays the same note. It’s actually playing the B an octave above the B I want.

You’re both being very helpful, but this is maddening. What am I doing wrong?

FELLAS! I think I fixed it.

I think I have learned that the Expression Map has nothing to do with it. I want to let you know how I resolved the problem in case anyone needs help in the future. Here’s what I did, step by step:

  1. I followed everything Marc suggested and reloaded the BBCSO Percussion Map, changed the instrument in Setup Mode to a Crash Cymbal, and renamed the instrument Suspended Cymbal.
  2. In Play Mode I changed the VST to BBCSO Crash Cymbal.
  3. I created a new Playing Technique called F*** (appropriate for my level of frustration at this point.)
  4. I mapped my F*** PlayING Technique to a PlayBACK Technique called F*** as well. (Consistency.)
  5. In the Percussion Map, I created a new drum kit note and mapped it to my F*** technique by selecting F*** in the Percussion Map dialog box’s lower right text field.
  6. Now, when the word F*** appears in the score, Dorico plays a bowed cymbal sound. (Thankyouverymuch.)
  7. Because Dorico at this point now plays bowed cymbal on every instance of the cymbal sound in the score, I remapped the “nat.” Playing Technique to the Crescendo effect in the percussion map by selecting “Crescendo” in the PlayBACK Technique pull-down menu in the Edit Playing Techniques dialog box.
  8. I danced around my room shouting, flipping the bird at my laptop, causing my neighbors to knock on my door and ask me to keep it down. (Apparently the music was bad enough without all my jumping around and cursing.)
  9. I switched the word F*** in my score to “with a bow” (With no intention of having the player use the bow to…well, you get what I mean.)
  10. I wrote this post, offering Marc and Derrek my most sincere gratitude for taking the time to help me with this dilemma.
  11. I tried to post screenshots of my ordeal, but the forum said I have to wait until tomorrow because I’m a new user. (F***.)
  12. I switched back to Finale.

Although I admit I have no experience with BBCSO and virtually no practical experience with Expression Maps, I suspect that the Bb and B one needs to indicate bowed or non-bowed are not keyswitches but separate MIDI notes, meaning one would need to implement a channel change to the appropriate MIDI note or slot or voice rather than pushing a keyswitch change onto a single MIDI channel/instrument slot.

Those with more detailed knowledge of the BBCSO package or Expression Maps can correct me if I am wrong.

Michael, it might be worthwhile to email DiscoverDorico at Steinberg dot de to see if John can help you there.

I’m afraid you’ve over complicated it. Once you had your crash cymbal (renamed suspended cymbal), simply applying the BBCSO playback template should have worked. Simply put the playing technique named bowed (that triggers the bowed playback technique) on the notes you want and you should be set.
It might be necessary to input a nat. playing technique on a note after a bowed one, depending whether bowed is sticky or not (attribute or direction)