Note Performer works fine, but one feature is irritating. - Wish for Dorico 4

Note Performer does really a good job in play back. I use it to all projects now. But why are 8-th notes almost always (depending of tempo) played staccato or short. (and the 4-th notes too) ?

I like that the mp3 sounds like the way I want the music interpreted. The problem with the 4-th notes can be solved in Doricos PlayBack Options giving them 99% value. But all in all I have to get MY playback of especially the 8-ths like I want - with slurs.

The solution could be that it was possible in PlayBack Optins in Dorico to control also the length og the 8-notes.

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Indeed, NotePerformer seems to assume that without an explicit legato instruction the notes are to be played nonlegato, which to my ears is quite jarring especially in the case of strings. I’d also like an option for changing this. However, I’m not sure if giving us ways of modifying this behaviour is a task for Dorico developers?..

Yes, this is something for Arne Wallander (Noteperformer), not Dorico. It may be possible to amend the Expression Map, but it’s largely undocumented.

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One could make the argument that notes without a slur indication on violin are to be played détaché and not legato, but this is a bit subtle, so you could say that NotePerformer is correct. But I must say that I do find them much too detached and would prefer unslurred notes to be tending more legato.

Hi there

Sorry, this is a thing that I try to correct when I see it:

Détaché is a bowing term that doesn’t mean detached in sound. It means separate bows (one note per bow) and sounds legato, without break of sound, though the mechanics of bow changing mean that it is less legato than slurred notes.

cheers and apologies for intruding.


I beg to differ (but only slightly). Yes, it does mean separate bows. But it also means the bow does not leave the string, and the degree of separation between notes (and the quality of sound during the bow stroke) is context specific. It need not sound legato.

I would recommend all non-string players to watch this to understand some of the complexities…

Rarely is any bowing technique explicitly notated by the composer (except in a book of bowing exercises such as Sevcik or Casorti) - and long may that tradition remain. Specific bow techniques are a fundamental aspect of musical interpretation and the performer will use different techniques in different acoustic spaces to achieve the effect they want…

It is perfectly possible to perform detache 100% legato, so the listener is unaware of any bow changes.

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I suggest you use the explicit ‘legato’ technique where needed (unset it with a ‘nat.’) and then hide it in properties.

The same problem occurs when playing back 16-notes. - I forgot.

I like the proposal that Wallander should give the opportunity for letting the user choose the interpretation of note-lengths.

Thanks. Can be used in some cases. But it is not the full solution.

I doubt there is a ‘full solution’. The chasm between ‘dots on the page’ and ‘sound in the ear’ to my mind is unbridgeable.

That said, you could try tweaking the NP Expression map. Use the Playing techniques track to identify which switches are being applied, then play around with the ‘note length %’ and or ‘playback options overrides’.

Also, you may want to tweak the Dorico Playback options - Dynamics section.

You are right that a resulting mp3 isn’t the music. You can tweak with settings and sound-vsl’s. It will never be like “The music”.

But all my arrangements on my pages have mp3’s that have been more than useful for the musicians. (I mostly write for good amateurs). First for reading their part and getting an impression of the surrounding instruments - but next: I always try to give a hint of the phrasing with slurring and note-length’s.

The mp3’s are sounding better and better and became more instructive during the years. The oldest are awful. You can give it a try on my NEWS-page: News

Great page. :grinning:
Somehow this thread has become focused on string techniques, which I guess are of little interest to you. Sorry.

That said, I still think you should explore how you might tweak the NP expression map.

Great Idea. I have not seen the possibility to do something here. Thank you very much for the hint.

the problem being that NP uses completely different conventions in the EM than most standard sampled libraries because it is not a standard sampled library (it’s modelled with a fairly small sample base). For what its worth, I agree with your initial post but I don’t think the solution is so simple as just setting the NoteLength automation to choose the right patches for the context where there is usually a wide range to choose from as in something like VSL libraries.

With other libraries, the actual length of the note, particularly the shorter ones, is to a considerable extent determined by the sample itself rather than what’s in Playback Properties. I’ve not really experimented enough to see what happens with NP as most use it as a library that simply does the job and if it doesn’t, use something else. But do try by all means and let us know if you find some magic formula!


I really would prefer this not to change. It’s a reminder that I need to indicate slurs and think about bowing. If it starts coming out as connected, then I’d be worried I’ve overlook this integral part of composition.

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You might want to experiment with NotePerformer’s “Always tenuto” playback option by inputting a MIDI CC 108 at 127 in the beginning of your string part.

I don’t know where to find a complete list of these useful NotePerformer features (is there even one publicly available?) but some of them are listed here:

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Thanks. Usefull to read. Learned new things. In Ex. deleting unused slots.

You’re right. I listen carefully: is the playback phrased as intended. Listen often section by section of instruments.

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About strings: Slurs may be used in different ways.

  1. As a tie over barlines - of course.
  2. Bowing. Write only if there are special wishes. See the first Svend Asmussen example. The slurs are sometimes a help, but mostly for giving the upbeats the stress that gives the swing-feeling.
  3. Wagner: Siegfried Idyll. Start. The slurs shows the length of the phrases.
  4. Wagner. Siegfried later. The slurs shows the interpretation of phrasing.

I have written a lot of music for Svend Asmussen, the world’s finest jazz-violinist ever :grinning:. Played with Fats Waller, Duke Ellington, The Swee Danes, Toots Thielemans, Herbie Hancock… - you name it. Before his dead 14 complicated solo-arrangements of jazz-standards (“Still Bowing” - written in Sibelius - sometimes the 4 note-channels were not enough). And later I used a couple of years reconstructing around 20 of his compositions and full arrangements - in collaboration with his widow and fellow musicians. Take a look Svend Asmussen