Several issues encountered while making expression map


I’ve encountered several problems as I created this expression map for a horn from Orchestral Tools. I’d love to share it once more if the problems get fixed so please help me do this! Here I’ve attached a project file (according to guidelines) and the expression map I was making.
OT hn 1 Expression (2.7 KB)
Test - troubleshoot 20230115.dorico (609.0 KB)

  1. As I was trying to program different marcato expressions (different in note lengths), I was not able to trigger marcato long, even after I tried defining its length as >=very short. This also happened several times before but I managed to fix it by deleting that expression and recreating it. But this time that didn’t work. I was testing the expression with a half note and I highly suspect that a half note is < very short.

  2. The problem above led me to think that maybe a clearer way of defining length is in need such as beat value (quarter note, 8th triplets) OR maybe somewhere in the preference or playback option I can define/change/customize note length definitions, and even save those as presets to fit different music of various tempo on the fly!

  3. Another problem is that I get inconsistent cc1 results from the same dynamic mappings. For example, in some cases fp leads to a downward slope in cc1 which is good. But it doesn’t do that consisently. Any idea why this is inconsistent and how to fix it?

  4. I created a set of PTCs (playback technique combinations) including fp, fp + staccato, and fp + staccatissimo, but fp + staccato in particular is not triggered in play mode, it is still fp. I don’t understand why would fp + staccatissimo works, but not fp + staccato? Is this is a bug or am I missing anything.

I really appreciate your help. Thanks!


The note length conditions for your Marcato short and Marcato long switches aren’t quite right. I would suggest you define Marcato short to be Note length < Short and Marcato long to be Note length >= Short.

The reason you’re ending up with Marcato short instead of Marcato long for your half notes (minims) is because you also have a ff playing technique active there, and there’s no corresponding switch in the expression map. When Dorico can’t find the exact match of ff + marcato + long it isn’t clever enough to prioritise a switch without the dynamic but with the desired note length; it just finds the first marcato switch it can get hold of, and uses that.

The issue with the staccatos is that there is a playback option on the Timing page of Playback Options concerning the maximum length of note that will have a staccato effect applied; if you want a whole note to be played using a staccato sample, disable this option.

I hope this will get you a little further along.

I never understood this option and I chase my tail often tracking down the problem it causes with expression maps.