Pizz double bass playback switches to arco after staccato marking

Hi there
Whenever I have double bass marked as pizz, it will often switch to arco in the playback after any notes marked staccato. I’m using latest version Dorico 5.1

Is this a bug?



Here’s an example:
Snout.dorico (1.3 MB)

This appears to be similar to a problem I recently passed to @dspreadbury. Here’s an example.
snippet.dorico (1.2 MB)

It uses the HSO playback template. The pizz articulation is applied to a single note so should continue. The key editor shows the correct playing techniques

For me playback is completely erratic. Sometimes Pizz+Articulation plays correctly, sometimes it plays arco. Sometimes it returns to pizz, other times it doesn’t. I can get a different result on each playback. It is weird.

Did your score start life as an xml import?


unfortunately I cannot reproduce this – the attached project doesn’t play back and none of my own with various libraries exhibit the issue. As staccato and pizz are not mutually exclusive in the exclusions group (unlike spiccato which is perfectly logical), I would expect the pizz to continue despite the active technique now reading pizz+staccato as my understanding is this is how things are designed in the EM.

Is Dorico becoming confused by the combined p.t in some situations and if so, why? Will be interesting to hear what Daniel has to say.

No, this project did not start as an xml import. It was created in Dorico.

I am having a similar problem – a pizz + accent will (sometimes but not always) turn off the pizz (for that note or sometimes more). I have never edited an expression map, and the file worked fine in Dorico 4.3.

I’ve done what has been suggested here – making sure that the pizz is applied selecting only one note, etc.

Removing the accents fixes it, but I want them!

Here is a file with two flows – one I made fresh just now, and oddly, if I start playback on the second note, the problem is there, but if I start it on the first note, it plays back fine. The second flow is a selection from the file that used to work and now doesn’t.

pizz test.dorico (1.1 MB)

Same problem here. When putting the accent, the pizz. goes crazy and plays it legato. Sometimes, also affecting later notes.

I’m assuming that both the most recent reports are also using HSO? There’s no problem at all with any other library as far as I can see. Could there be an error in the HSO Expression Maps?

See previous thread here which I think is the same issue Playback issue: staccato changes playing technique temporarily - #11 by Christian_R

During that discussion we identified a bug with keyswitches which we hope to fix in a forthcoming update (my ref: STEAM-13363). However, the wider point remains that many expression maps will not include a combination of pizzicato+staccato as it’s not something you see in typical orchestral writing.

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Ok - so is the real issue that for non-orchestral charts, eg jazz, concert band - string bass or upright bass should be used instead of double bass, as pizz is the default? And it is certainly not uncommon to see a staccato marking in these charts.
I just changed the double bass to string bass and that fixed the playback problem.

The string bass instrument uses an expression map that doesn’t have entries for either staccato or pizzicato, so there are no complications when you’re using both together - staccato will just use Dorico’s built-in effects to shorten the note. The double bass instrument uses an expression map with separate entries for both staccato (which is an arco patch) and pizzicato, but no entry for the two combined - that means if you ask for both at the same time then it is not necessarily predictable as to which one you will get.

So yes, either use the String Bass instrument, or edit the expression map for the Double Bass instrument. I suspect the sample used for the String Bass instrument may be more appropriate for jazz or concert band.

I don’t have a staccato+pizz in any maps I created and there is only one library I have these issues. This is with Cinematic Studio for the simple reason that this map includes staccato and pizz in one mutual exclusion group.

I thought that if attribute class articulations are added to a direction p.t, then the original direction (in this case pizz) remains. It’s possible this isn’t always the case, though. I know that some time ago there were some changes to the logic of how Dorico interprets p.t changes of this nature but I don’t remember the details any more. Certainly in situations where Dorico is “confused”, then the fallback is going back to “natural” which would cancel the pizz. But I’m struggling to find (other than seemingly Halion which I can’t test) situations where Dorico actually does get confused so again, I’d very much like others to try and reproduce this with any other library. In my experience, Dorico currently behaves pretty predictably with p.t switching these days (it was rather less so going back to v3)

As I say, there are really two different issues here. One is that if you ask for staccato+pizzicato and your expression map only has separate entries for staccato and pizzicato then which one you get is basically arbitrary. You should, however, get one or the other - the fact that sometimes it’s possible to end up getting something else (typically a “natural” or default sound) is an unrelated bug where two adjacent keyswitches of the same pitch will end up truncating each other - we hope that should be fixed in the next Dorico update.

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