Problems with making expression maps

As a guitar player who can no longer play guitar due to disability I have acquired a number of great sounding virtual guitars. The next challenge is to use midi keyswitches to control articulations. Expression maps seem to be Steinbergs approach to making Cubase handle this problem more gracefully. They work pretty well for Steinbergs own vst instruments (EG Halion Symphonic Orchestra) where the mapping is done for you. So far I haven’t managed to get my my own mappings of vsts that live in Kontact to work. I followed the instructions in various tutorials (to the best of my abilities) but when I try it out in Cubase 10, the guitars don’t even sound, The attached screenshot shows a simple example using three articulations from an Acoustic guitar by Orange Tree samples. I mapped only three articulations. The guitar won’t speak, though it is fine when using the same articulations mapped to velolcity ranges.

Does anyone see what I have wrong? Or does expression mapping only really work with Steinberg vsts?

More generally, is there a better way to handle these articulations? Key switches are pretty awkward to work with in the Piano Roll editor. The note events and keyswitches are several octaves apart. Many of the virtual instruments I have come with their own way to program articulations in their UI, but there is no standard except keyswitches. I hope somebody here has found a good way through this.

The keyswitch should be inserted in the Output Mapping section.

If you spend a half hour reading the manual, you can avoid wasting time.

Have you ever looked at Steinberg’s TGuitar? You don’t have to program anything yourself.

Although creating simple expression maps is quick once you get it. The keyword “output mapping” has already been mentioned.

I did try to work it out from the manual. It’s a reference, good for filling in the details if you already basically understand a topic. It is not a howto, which is what I needed.

Have pity on us poor minimalists.

oh sorry!
This area …
… defines which command, e.g. Note-on F1, should be triggered when the respective articulation has been activated. This is the bridge between the articulation-lanes in the key editor and the connected VSTi, e.g. Kontakt .
This is best learned through examples. You can download some expression maps from the Internet, and YT also has videos that explain the context

Still having problems. I filled out the output section. Then it worked. Then it stopped working. Then it worked, in weird ways.

A question about the example above: I assumed the note number (b-1) in the output should match the selected note (taste?) from the sound slots? The taste(?) in question is c0, not a match. What is happening there? I used f-2 as the root for my key switches, so they occupy roughly depending on the instrument f-2 to b-1) Do I have this wrong.? When my map fails the instrument makes no sound. All I have to do to make it sound is map the sustain articulation to velocity. (Something Orange Tree instruments allow) but of course that defeats the purpose. I need this feature. If someone is willing to diagnose this issue I can post more screenshots.

Help me Obi Wan…

This will be the case in many situations, but it is not necessarily the case. The line in the sound slot that is assigned to a certain articulation can trigger a whole series of actions that are listed one after the other in the output section.
Expression maps for VSL are an example.
You can also do without the assignment of a key in the sound slot.

If you want, you can assign it that way - no problem

The output section is decisive. The keys to be entered here must correspond exactly to the keyswitches specified by the VSTi

Another tip: In the articulation area you can choose between “articulations” and “play instructions” (I don’t know the correct English name in Cubase at the moment), see screenshot. Articulations apply only to the current note, while play instructions apply to all subsequent notes. At the beginning of the part there should usually be a play instructions.

Still struggling. I have attached screenshots showing the maps I created for two Orange Tree VSTs, a guitar and a mandolin. I mapped them carefully but they still don’t work. The added piece of info is that the virtual keyboard in Kontakt contradicts the mapping seen in the instrument’s UI. The first few keyswitches, from C-2 to G-2 are mapped correctly. When it comes to g#-2 when you mouse over the coresponding key, in stead of the articulation name (grace note up) it says . All the subsequent keyswitches show the same error. The mapping for the guiitar also shows this error.

Is this an Orange Tree (the developer) issue? This is very frustrating. I’d be ready to give up but I really need expression maps and also Orange Tree vsts for a project I am starting.

What’s my next move?

The error message is “non existing group” This editor won’t display the triangular brackets and their contents.

To clarify whether there is a problem with the Kontakt instruments, I would first test the function of the keyswitches without the expression maps. This means that you can also play the corresponding notes (starting from C-2) via a MIDI keyboard or trigger the note-on commands via midi events drawn in the key editor.

The non existing group ad is strange. Usually the names of all keyswitches are displayed, even if they are not active.
In the following example, the mouse pointer is over the D0 key. This keyswitch (Marcato) is not active (white) at the moment.