Note length EM rules not working in BBCSO

First of all, HUGE thank you to Paul Walmsley for making the expression maps. That’s a tremendous resource and I’m personally very grateful.

I’m having trouble with the note length feature in expression maps. BBC SO has great staccato samples for brass, and this note length feature is a perfect solution for many musical situations where it’d be redundant to notate staccato (fast music, short rhythm, etc.). Only problem is it’s not working, and I’m not sure why.

I’ve set the active expression map to have the staccato technique have a condition of “note length < medium”. Passage in question is 16th notes at 144bpm, which should be well under Dorico’s defined value for medium. Tried “very long”, also didn’t work.

Notated staccato dots work, whether my note length condition is in the EM entry or not.

Any ideas?

This was an omission from the expression map. So just duplicate the Staccato switch and change it to Natural with a condition of NoteLength<=Very Short (they’re too staccato if you have NoteLength<=Short). I’ve updated the expression maps on the sticky thread.

I’m afraid it still doesn’t work.

Also question, so are you using these as more like “exclusion” switches? Is there a reason you don’t use a staccato switch with < short?

I’ll just attach the project to see if I gummed up something else by mistake. I’m looking at any of the repeated 16th notes (they are all over the score). It’d be a great boon to get this feature working.

EDIT: I just downloaded your new EM’s and it does seem to be working. Not sure why doing your instructions myself didn’t work. Mystery not solved, but problem solved! Thank you.
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Glad to hear you got it sorted - try having a look at how I’ve defined the xmap compared to how you had it to see what’s going on.

I think providing Expression Maps for additional playback engines is fantastic. Thank you.

I do have one question though. (Bet you suspected that was coming.)
Since Iconica is a Steinberg product, is there some technical hurdle that needs to be met before Expression Maps are available for Iconica Libraries or is there some other reason (perhaps as simple as no one having the time to do it yet) that Steinberg has not tried to bring the two more closely together?

Derrek, as somebody said on one of the many other threads about playback, the problem is that one size doesn’t fit all.

As a simple example, the change-over point between “long bows” and “short bows” for strings isn’t a fixed note duration in seconds for human players. It depends on the tempo and the mood of the piece. Extend that scenario to 5 or 10 different sampled bowing techniques instead of just two, and two users are unlikely to agree on the “best” rendering of exactly the same written score.

There are already hundreds of live recordings of a piece Beethoven’s 5th, but conductors and orchestras keep making new ones, and customers keep buying them! There won’t be only “one best virtual performance” in a big sample library like Ionica or VSL either.

I remember an interview with an internationally known keyboard player once, when he said that ideally you should record all the standard repertoire at least three times in your life: once when you are still young enough to think you know exactly how the pieces should be played, again when you have become technically able to play them exactly the way you want to, and again when you are old enough to know how misguided your first two interpretations were :slight_smile:

The specific technical issue that prevents closer integration between Iconica and Dorico is that currently Dorico is only able to load one patch per instrument automatically, but to use Iconica effectively you need to load multiple patches.

Thank you Paul and Rob.

But to respond to Rob: the facts you mention would affect Expression Maps for all VST’s, not just Iconica. Presumably that is not a reason not to create them, especially since people are already sharing maps for several advanced libraries that presumably present the same decision-point problems that Iconica would AFAIK. I think Paul gives me a reason I can better understand from Steinberg’s point of view. I hope (although I do not ask for confirmation) that somewhere on the roadmap the minds of Dorico are working on a solution.

Meanwhile I will save up to hire a symphony orchestra. :laughing: