Playing Techniques, Expression Maps and VSL

After much perseverance I am finally doing some initial composing in Dorico. I managed to set up my instruments to play VSL instruments through VE Pro. I’m trying to figure out Playing Techiques and Expression Maps with VSL instruments (in VI Pro).

I have set up a “VSL” Expression Map with a single technique, legato. I have assigned CC 51 in VI Pro to control the “Y” axis, and CC52 to control the “X” axis. I have added the appropriate CC51 and CC52 “note on” values to the Expression Map to select the pLegato articulation in the VI Pro matrix. I have added the “legato” playing technique in my score. But…

The legato technique in the score does not trigger any change of behavior in VI Pro. Whatever articulation I manually select in VI Pro plays. But the “legato” in my Dorico score does not affect playback. Not only this, but in Dorico’s Play Mode listing under the instrument I’m working on there is no technique but “Natural” showing. I can find no way to select “legato” in playback and no way for Dorico to trigger the appropriate changes in VI Pro.

There’s gotta be something obvious I’m missing. I’ve look in the Dorico help and online, but I’ve come up empty. Help!

A slur should give rise to a legato playing technique: have you tried adding a slur?

Thanks for taking time to respond, Daniel.

I have slurs in my score, and it appears that they affect the length of the playback of each note in Play Mode, but they have no affect on the VI Pro matrix slot being selected for play.

If beforehand I manually select, say, detache in my VI Pro matrix (by manually I mean directly by mouse click on the matrix), I would expect that when during playback Dorico encounters the “legato” playing technique in my score it would apply the “note on” messages I assigned in the “legato” playback technique in my Expression Map. These are: CC51, value 1, CC52, value 1, and they should appropriately move the selected cell in my VI Pro matrix, thus triggering the appropriate VSL articulation.

Am I confused in thinking that the reference to slurs is a matter of apples and oranges? My expectation is that Dorico would translate the Playing Technique and communicate with VI Pro to change VI Pro’s selected articulation. This is separate from the length of the note.

In Cubase you set up an Expression Map, then you add articulations, each with it’s own action instructions. Then for any track you select which Expression Map you want to use. Then in Piano Roll view you see all articulations (= playing techniques) available in that map. You then can select for each note the specific articulation you want to be played. During playback if you watch VI Pro the selected matrix cell moves around as instructed by the various Cubase Expression Map selections.

I see no way in Dorico to assign Playing Techniques other than to insert them into the Score, which during playback does not appear to have the any effect on VI Pro.

Let’s not get the cart before the horses. I almost asked Daniel’s question myself, but then I decided not to because I probably wouldn’t be able to reproduce the problem myself afterwards (I don’t have VI or VE Pro, only the free versions).

The first thing to troubleshoot is whether the technique is showing up in the Playing Techniques lane in Play Mode before even looking at Vienna. By my own experience, what shows up in the lane is dependent on what has been specified in the expression map and not the way around — you have to define what “vocabulary” a certain track knows and understands.

Make sure you have the correct expression map engaged. Click the little cogwheel next to the VST in VST Instruments, and check whether the expression map you want is set for the corresponding MIDI channel. Changing the Expression map should be enough for the playing techniques lane to recalculate.

You also need to have a “Natural” entry in the expression map. It’s the one required entry for all expression maps.

Thanks for the response. THAT was what I was missing. I had been looking unsuccessfully for a way to select an Expression Map for each instrument. I had seen the cog wheels and channels but thought it had to do with something else.

I think I’m in business now. I tested it and VI Pro is now responding.

Thanks to all who responded.

Got it. Thanks.