[SOLVED] ExMap and PercMap Not Working - Help Needed

I have been working successfully with Expression Maps for VSL VI series instruments. The articulations I have set up are working.

I created a new custom articulation for Tremolo Sforzato. Both It and the regular Tremolo articulation are entered in the same Expression Map, each referencing it’s own separate VI Pro cell in the same matrix. I assign Tremolo Sforzato to the first note in a score, and Tremolo to the second.

Yet in the Playing Techniques lane in Play the first note shows wrongly as Natural while the second note shows correctly as Tremolo.

I have attached pictures documenting my setup of Tremolo Sforzato.

Gosh I know I’m missing something, because the other articualtions are working, but as seems my habit, I can’t figure out why.

I am attaching screen captures of all relevant setup. In order to attached them all some will have to spill over into the next post.

Here are the rest of the screen captures.

I suspect you’ll need to attach an actual project rather than just a series of screenshots in order for us to troubleshoot this. Can you create the simplest possible project that reproduces the problem, e.g. a single instrument and two or three notes, no dynamics, slurs or other markings, and attach that?

…and Natural is part of your mutual exclusion group as well…?

Yes. It’s a manual exclusion group with every EM entry in it.

Will do, thanks Daniel.

Here’s the project pared down to one instrument and three bars. The first note has my non-working custom playing technique (Tremolo Sforzato), the next has Tremolo assigned, which is working as expected.

Thanks for looking into it.
Dorico 3.5 EM Troubleshoot, Swan Lake July 12 2020.dorico.7z (1020 KB)

Ok – so all your articulations are actually single articulations and this is re-enforced by making them all mutually exclusive in the exclusion groups. This means your tremolo sforzato is not a tremolo+sforzato combi but a single articulation called tremolo sforzato. In your score are what looks like both sf and trem on the same note. However you have defined in your pt’s a new glyph for the combo so all looks in order.

Having ruled that out, I would then check if you tested the combo in various positions in the score without being immediately followed by a tremolo on its own. For instance if this articulation kicks in a note too late then it’s not able to pick up the articulation immediately. In this case just put around -5 on the “playback start offset” which solves many such problems. If you are getting no switch change under any circumstances, then I’d need to look again. I’m assuming you’re using the full VI VSL instruments? I can’t test that directly but if you also have the Special Edition then I could try and replicate.

Call your PPtechnique something more unique, like TremSf. Looks like D. gets confused by having two PP techniques starting with the word ‘Tremolo’ (Also, in your xmap, when trying to edit the offending technique it seems to be associated with Tremolo rather than your custom technique… )

I don’t see the logic of this. This would surely mean that Dorico would have problems distinguishing between, for instance, detache and detache short – the former being natively supported and the latter a user defined one as in our example – but that is not the case and the names are clearly distinguishable (p.t.tremolo and pt.user.tremolo_sforzato). But maybe I’m not seeing something here?

I’ve worked around a similar problem previously, but I didn’t attempt to get to the bottom of it… (may be a small bug somewhere regarding Natural…?)

there is a clue:
hovering ‘Natural’ in the PT lane in play says:
Base Switch: Natural
Active Techniques: Tremolo Sforzato

(BTW, the PPT technique was defined as Ornament rather than Technique… don’t know if it matters)

EDIT: If one ‘corrects’ the Xmap assignment of Tremolo Sforzato to Tremolo Sforzato (rather than just Tremolo, as it stands) hovering the Tremolo Sforzato in the PT lane says:
Base Switch: Tremolo Sforzato: Tremolo Sforzato
Acive techniques: Tremolo Sforzato

Think I’ve got it. In the Expression Map, I just spotted that the Tremolo Sforzato switch is using the Tremolo p.t. and not the Tremolo Sforzato p.t. Should have spotted this immediately really! This of course means a clash which confuses the system in reverting to natural, I would imagine.

Thanks, fratveno. Can’t believe I hadn’t seen that. My eye must have just seen the “Natural” and then filled in the rest with what I expected to see rather than what was actually there.

Re: single articulations vs. combinations, I am so far working this way by design. And yes, I designed a special glyph that combines the glyphs for Tremolo and Sforzato. I have so far as I can tell set things up in this regard properly.

Re: testing various positions in the score, I will try that.

Re: playback offset, I’ve searched the manual and the web and come up empty on how to do that. Help here is appreciated.

Re: the instruments I am using, I am using SE Orchestral Strings for this test. Unfortunately I have been able to upgrade all my core Wind, Brass and Percussion instruments to the regular Standard versions except strings.

Thanks for working to help me with this.

Thanks fratveno.

So far as I can tell the name of my custom PP technique is unique. Though it does have a word in common with the regular Tremolo technique, there are many such instances in the techniques that come stock with Dorico. Hopefully someone from Dorico will chime in and tell us whether this is really a possible culprit.

Re: Ornament rather than Technique, I was just following the convention that Dorico used with the regular Tremolo.

Re: Correcting the Xmap assignment, when I look at it using the file I uploaded (and in my full original file) I see PT Tremolo Sforzato already tied to PPT Tremolo Sforzato. Interesting. Also interesting that you can get the Play lane correct by making this change. Here I cannot make the change since it already shows correct.

Wow, you’ve got the same thing showing that fratveno does. See the attached screen shot from test project unchanged by me. The original full project shows the same thing. When I look at the file here the PT Tremolo Sforzato IS ALREADY tied to the PPT Tremolo Sforzato. I’m confused. I keep checking again to see if I’m seeing things wrong, but every time I do the assignment looks correct here.

Tried this with other articulations before and after, all the other articulations worked while the Tremolo Sforzato still shows in the Play lane as before, “Natural” with active playing technique “Tremolo Sforzato”

This has me stumped. If the Dorico team looks at it and says the assignment is wrong, then I will conclude that I’m living in an alternative universe!


no, this .png simply shows that the playing technique has correctly been assigned in general terms and was in fact one of the first things I checked! What I was looking at were the screenshots below from the EM. Here you can see in two ways that in fact the tremolo p.t has in fact been assigned to the Tremolo Sforzato base switch. A slip of the finger and this can easily happen if you’re for instance trying to duplicate and then modify switches – I’ve done it myself more than once!

Surely that at least brings you back into the same universe at least?