[solved] solo string slur volume issue

I did search but did not find this exact topic, regarding playback.

Using the Halion sounds that come ‘built in’ with Dorico, I’ve noticed a to-me odd volume issue concerning the difference in dynamic level between slurred and un-slurred notes in solo string instruments, as, for example, in a string quartet. Let’s say all the parts are marked as mf. If the viola, let’s say, has detache notes, and the second violin, let’s say, has slurred notes, the viola will be about three times as loud as the second violin. In fact, at moderate playback I can barely make out the 2nd violin sounds at all in these circumstances. Now if I up the dynamic level to ff for the second violin, they just about balance, although even then, at the beginning of each slurred group, the initial note in the second violin is still hard to hear. In other words it has almost no ‘attack’ at all.

I’ve read the explanation about this that is given in the Dorico Help document, but I think the effect is very unrealistic. A real human playing a real instrument gives SOME attack at the beginning of a slurred group, not as much as in detache, certainly, but SOME.

I’ve tried compensating for this by putting an accent mark at the beginning of each group of slurred notes. It helps a tiny bit, but not nearly enough.

I’ve tried re-setting-up the same piece as being for string orchestra rather than as string quartet, that is, with group players rather than solo players. The effect then is not nearly so noticeable, but it is still there, especially as to the lack of attack at the beginning of slurred groups.

My questions are these: (assuming we stick with Halion sounds)

  1. Is there a global setting where I can adjust this aspect of playback to my liking?
  2. If not, is there an easy way to fix it, OTHER than to give artificially high dynamic markings to instruments playing slurred notes? (This latter course results in sudden un-wanted bursts of sound when the instrument(s) involved suddenly reach an unslurred note or two.)

I should probably also explain that all playback is via my UR22MkII midi unit, and into my Bose CD player speakers, which usually sounds pretty realistic.

Thanks in advance for any help anyone can offer on this issue.


Can you adjust the CC volume setting for the legato passages in Play mode?

Derek-- (or anyone)–

Please forgive my ignorance, but I have no idea what I am doing when I go into Expression Maps. At the moment, normal and legato both have identical settings, so far as I can see. What would I change the CC volume setting to, for legato, to achieve what I am after? (It’s presently set to ‘1.’)

Also, does it matter that my String Quartet doc is presently using the Halion Sonic SE sounds rather than the Orchestral?

Thanks for your patience.


This does not involve Expression Maps. In Play mode you should be able to adjust the CC values with the pencil (or line) tool to adjust playing volume. Which CC code you use depends on what kind of instrument you have (sustaining like a flute or violin or velocity sensitive like a piano or xylophone) and what your VST uses to control that volume.

Thanks, Derek. I will try that, and feel sure it will solve the problem. I must say, though, it does seem odd that the problem occurs to begin with!


This topic has indeed come up before: see this previous thread.

I remember having seen that now. Thanks for the reminder. That will indeed be the more ‘global’ solution I was looking for.



Just wanted to report that, as usual, Daniel had the answer. The technique he outlined in the previous thread that he referred me to, above, completely and totally and beautifully took care of this issue.


–Len :smiley: