Playback: What do Slurs do?

I’m trying to configure an Expression Map. When I have a passage with slurs, Dorico marks them with the Playback Technique “Legato”. But I haven’t defined Legato in my Map.

Is it just the % length as set in Playback Options, or is there more to it?

So what is it doing?

Not sure of your question exactly. Slurs do mean legato patches in all the libraries I use, and the degree of note overlap determines that. Annoying to play the keyboard with overlapping notes but Dorico does handle it that way AFAIK.

Yes, I’m possibly just thinking aloud. I haven’t assigned any legato techniques to any patches in my Expression Map, yet when I add a slur I get markedly differently results. Is that just from the length of the notes, or anything else?

Length of notes. The attached screen shots are from a short flute demo. The first four bars are marked staccato, the second set of four don’t have the staccato mark and the last set of four are slurred.

Yes, I just wondered if there was anything else by default. Probably should have just asked Paul W directly.

Please let us know what he tells you.

Yes, it automatically creates a playback technique region using the legato playback technique for the duration of the slur, and it applies the note length adjustments as defined in Playback Options. That’s it.

Thanks, Daniel.

I’m having a bit of bother with my Ex Map for Orchestral Tools, and something weird was going on, but it seems to be behaving a bit better now.

Hello Ben,

I also experienced some weird effect when I slured several notes with a playing technique.

It looked like the internal legato technique which is triggered by a slur, sometime, prevented the playing technique to work properly.
Each time, I disable the playback in the low properties and it solves the issue…


A slur is a Legato by definition so the playback technique is defined as Legato when you look in the Play window. If Legato is not defined in the EM then the actual playback will be the default patch whatever that is but with the conditions defined by Daniel. The same applies with something like staccato. You can also look at this in a creative way— for instance in some maps I actually use Legato as the default technique if I want this sound but without a slur, the note will be shorter with effects which vary according to your library.