Portable Expression Maps in Dorico

Now that I’ve got expression maps working, am looking for the best solution to utilize the same expression maps in different projects. Currently, expression maps created in one project are invisible to the next one. This can probably be done with Templates, but I haven’t had use for them as every project is very different from the next. In the Expression Map editor we have the ability to Export and Import expression maps…and this works as expected. But as I often need to tweak expression maps and add new ones, this necessitates going back to the LAST project, exporting those maps and then importing into the new project. My current solution is have a dedicated Dorico project where all new expression maps are kept. This is then exported and available to any new project. It’s a bit cumbersome, so is their an easier way?

My simplistic approach has been to create a folder of ‘templates’ - essentially empty projects with the right configuration set up. When I finish a project, I make a copy, remove the notes and save it there with an appropriate title. When I need a particular set up for a new project, I just choose the appropriate blank and modify if necessary. Probably not best practice, but it works for me!

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Suggestion: If you save your loaded VST instruments, regardless of how many, as a rack (“endpoint configuration”), the expression maps will be included in it since they relate and link directly to these instruments.

The next step is to create a playback template and populate it with this rack/endpoint you’ve just saved. This will make this rack (and its corresponding maps) available to any new project that you initiate on this template.

Finally, you need to either assign this template as a default startup template if you want to always fire up Dorico on it, or you can simply switch the templates in between projects as needed. That’s it.

If you created other templates before, you can also add this rack/endpoint to them. This endpoint thing is a building block, as it were, in its own right, so it can be included in multiple templates and you can have many racks in a template. For example, you could have Halion as the main endpoint and gradually add new endpoints with new instruments as you go along or you could start from scratch.

In my opinion, it’s a super flexible and customizable way to adapt Dorico to your particular workflow, from a giant template that includes every endpoint you’re able to create (and all the maps) to style specific smaller templates. Combining this with VEPro and decoupling makes it easy to run very large templates that don’t freeze Dorico during file saves.

At least that’s my understanding of how this works. Someone will correct me if I got this wrong.

EDIT: Just to elaborate more, here’s how I conceptualize an example of a use-case:

  1. You buy a Woodwinds library —> 2. Set up these instruments and create expression maps in an empty project -----> 3. Save the entire rack/endpoint as “XY Woodwinds” ----> 4. Add this new endpoint to your pre-existing or new template called “Orchestral Template” which already includes the strings endpoints, the brass endpoints, etc —> 5. Also add it to any other template that uses woodwinds (chamber, jazz, etc).

I understand this now. I can see how this would work. I notice I have several rack (endpoint configurations) that I didn’t know I had which came as part of BBCSO Pro which include racks for BBCSO Pro Brass, BBCSO Pro Pitched Percussion, BBCSO Pro Strings, BBCSP Pro Unpitched Percussion, BBCSO Pro Winds. This seems to be exactly what you are describing. One last issue is how does one delete obsolete endpoint racks?

Seems I found the answer to this: In a Mac these are stored in Library > Application Support > Steinberg > Dorico 3.5 > EndpointConfigs. Now after all the work of creating these expression maps for all my OT libraries in Cubase, I get to do it again in Dorico, but these EndpointConfigs will make it very manageable!