Problem with expression maps. Who can help?

I work a lot with virtual instruments whose articulations are controlled by key switches. For some of them, I have created expression maps, and that worked well so far.

But with Music Labs Real Strat (a virtual electric guitar) I come across a limit. My way of working is to first record the melody and chords and then to insert the key switches for the articulations in the MIDI-Editor. This instrument has a lot of key switches, and I can not remember them all, so I created an expression map and found a serious problem.

There are four different types of key switches in Real Strat:

Key switches of the first kind must be set before the beginning of the note and play the articulation as long as the key switch event (a MIDI note) lasts. This also applies to subsequent notes, if they start within the area of the key switch event.

The second type of key switch is set after the beginning of a note and triggers an articulation. Examples are a feedback sound or a legato which connects two notes.

The third type of key switch does not change note articulations, but inserts sounds like scrapes and pops.

The fourth type has an influence on the guitar itself. It determines, for example, the fret position in which the notes are played or operates the pickup switch.

These four key switch types can be combined with each other. For example, I can insert an articulation from group 1 and a fret position change from group 4 at the same position in the timeline.

And that’s exactly where my expression map implementation fails. Simultaneous articulations don’t work. I read the manual and found that one can set up groups in the expression map editor. Articulations can be combined, if they are in different groups. In my expression map I have therefore assigned my articulations to four groups.

The problem now is that all articulations of group 1 are properly implemented, but those from Groups 2 to 4 do not work. If, on the other hand, I move an articulation from group 2 into group 1, it works again. However, I can not combine the articulations then.

Why are only articulations from Group 1 working? What am I doing wrong?
I would be grateful for your help.

As I recently replied to another person facing the same problem…

All combinations of articulations must be covered in your Expressions Maps definition.

If you need to assign your articulations to different groups like this:

Articulation 1 (Direction) > Group 1
Articulation 2 > Group 2
Articulation 3 > Group 3
Articulation 4 > Group 4

Then these are examples of slots you would need to create in your Expression Maps Settings:

Slot 1: Articulation 1 (Art. 1) > Output Map: Key Switch 1
Slot 2: Articulation 1 (Art. 1) + Articulation 2 (Art. 2) > Output Map: KS 1 + KS 2
Slot 3: Articulation 1 (Art. 1) + Articulation 2 (Art. 2) + Articulation 1 (Art. 3) > Output Map: KS 1 + KS 2 + KS3
Slot 4: Articulation 1 (Art. 1) + Articulation 4 (Art. 4) > Output Map: KS 1 + KS 4

So I have to combine every possible combination of key switches in it’s own slot if I want to use them simultaneously? That’s a whole of of work to do! I wonder why Steinberg made it such complicated.

Thank you anyway and have a nice weekend!

So I take it this has not changed in Cubase 11? :slightly_frowning_face: Would be great if Steinberg could simplify this for users. If I were to use this method for what I want to do, I’d need 44 slots! Arg…