Option to turn off dynamics playback?

Is there an option to turn dynamics playback off? My dynamics no longer work.

I have a document using HSSE + HSO (Pro) that until today played back dynamics correctly. Now I can’t hear a difference between P and F. Cresc. & dim. don’t do anything. I’ve tried loading different playback templates (factory supplied), including note performer. The dynamics don’t change. I’ve re-entered dynamics. Nothing seems to give me a change in dynamics. The only instrument I have is a piano. It seems like a setting has been (accidentally) changed that seems to turn off dynamics playback. I can’t find such a setting. I’ve spent over 30 minutes searching the forum and online help to no avail. (I must be searching using the wrong words).

Does it happen with all your projects?

You could try opening the Library Manager and comparing your current project to one that works (or factory), maybe you would find something random there that’s not to do with Playback Templates? This helped me just yesterday to find a setting I’d screwed up.

The only thing I can think of, James, is that you’ve ended up with an expression map chosen for your piano instrument that uses the wrong kind of volume/dynamics control. Piano dynamics are typically controlled by MIDI note on velocity, but there are some outliers in this regard: for example, NotePerformer uses MIDI CC 1 for piano dynamics for consistency with all of its other instruments.

So my guess is that somehow you’ve got the wrong expression map chosen for your piano. Go to the Endpoint Setup dialog, which you’ll find in Play mode in the Routing tab of the Track Inspector. It’s the cog button: click that, and in the dialog that opens up, make sure that the expression map for your piano instrument is set to Default (if you’re using the default HSSE+HSO (Pro) playback template).

This setting should also be reset if you apply a new playback template, by the way, so if you’re still having no joy, it’s worth going to Play > Playback Template, reselecting the HSSE+HSO (Pro) template, and clicking Apply and Close.

Since first writing I think I’ve found a possible issue. I wonder if entering the notes via a combination of real-time midi input and step-time midi could make a difference? (I had preserve note velocity turned on, probably for a different project).

This project is about 70 flows, all about 100± bars long. (A bit too big to upload). The last two flows, most recently input via real-time and step-time midi (probably after I turned on the note velocity option) don’t give me any noticeable dynamics in playback. Since turning that off I notice a difference on the newly entered notes but the earlier entered notes in that flow still have no dynamics difference.

How do I get the notes entered while preserve note velocity was on to playback dynamics, assuming that’s the issue at all?

I’ve reset the playback template a few times and the endpoint config is using the only option there is - default. (The playback templates I’m using are the HSSE+HSO (pro) and Noteperformer). I also used the library manager to reset my settings to factory default. No change. I’ve also opened and closed Dorico a few times.

Any notes that you input via real-time recording will certainly have captured the MIDI note on velocity that you played, and that will be used during playback in preference to the written dynamics. Select the notes that are not responding to dynamics and choose Play > Reset Playback Overrides. That will clear out the recorded velocities, and the written dynamics will then play back.

You can tell Dorico not to record the velocities you play by switching off Preserve note velocities on the Play page of Preferences. Note that this will affect both real-time recording and MIDI file import.

I had selected the velocity option in order to load in a midi file for a different project and forgot it was on. In light of this experience, if technically possible or worth the effort, I’ll put a request that midi input options be set on a per-project basis rather than apply to every project. I frequently work on multiple projects during a week. As it is now I’m going to have to remember to check my settings every time I want to do midi input.