Percussion dynamics playback

For expression maps, we can specify MIDI controllers (CCs) for primary and secondary dynamics. This works great for my Spitfire library of samples.

Percussion maps don’t offer this same functionality, so how does MIDI control over dynamics work for percussion mapped instruments? Although my Spitfire samples’ channels are set to use controller 11 for expression and controller 1 for dynamics by default, all of my percussion samples play at whatever volume and dynamics level they’re set to in the VST plug-in.

Apparently, Dorico isn’t (successfully?) modifying the values during playback. For non-percussion-mapped instruments, I can watch the expression and dynamics levels jump all over the place in the VST plug-in interface during playback. For percussion-mapped instruments, they don’t vary at all.

Are you applying the dynamic controls separately to each of the instruments (as if they were split onto separate one-line staves)?
IIRC Applying a dynamic to a five-line percussion staff does not affect the individual instruments.

It’s not currently possible to control the dynamics of percussion instruments in any way aside from note velocity. The code to play back percussion is (necessarily) very different to that of pitched instruments. So for instance, expression maps are not supported for percussion instruments. Similarly, how percussion instruments deal with playing techniques is very different. This is something that we hope to improve on in a future version.

Each instrument has its own single-line staff.

OK, thanks for the info.

Hey all, just wondering about the status on this. Are there any plans to improve dynamics playback for percussion-mapped instruments in the near future? (I’m seeing that this was asked about at least as far back as late 2019.)

Having to plot points manually on CC1 isn’t terribly cumbersome, since Dorico’s Play interface makes modifying CC1 pretty intuitive and easy, but it can be a drag if I’m messing around with percussion dynamics changes and I want to use playback to get a feel for what it might sound like. (Obviously, I never have to do this for non-percussion instruments; it just works.)

You might have some success if you additionally set an expression map in the Endpoint Setup dialog that defines CC1 as the volume type. It’s unsupported, really, but in many cases it does work, and we do plan to make this more robust in future.

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I’ve been combining expression and percussion maps for more than a year - I didn’t know at all that it wasn’t actually supported yet. But the expression maps have been really simple, velocity for natural and CC1 for tremolos/rolls.

Heh, Dr. Walmsley wrote (above) that expression maps aren’t supported for percussion instruments, so I didn’t bother trying.

Thanks, that did the trick.