Spectrasonics Trilian - Expression Map


I have being working in what appears to be an easy task, making an expression map for Trilian after watching the very nice video John Barron did on this topic. For me the very useful piece of info is when he changes to an instrument that has no mapping keys so that we can hear what Dorico is sending to the VST instrument.

I have being able to replicate the switch between Natural and Staccato. But when I added the Harmonics I got into trouble. I manage to create a new symbol and playing technique but somehow the key doesn’t get release ever.

Anyone having experience with this?

Thank you

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Harmonics aren’t playable via expression maps currently. The reason for this is that while they do generate the required key switch, they need some extra logic that we haven’t written yet to know which note they apply to (so that we know how long to play them for) . Unlike articulations such as staccato which are properties of a note, harmonic playing techniques are separate objects that don’t have any intrinsic duration. So what currently happens is that the switch will trigger, but then after a few midi ticks it will reset.

Hello Paul,

Thank you for your fast reply.

I don’t need to use any particular Playing Technique, all I need to do is to send the appropriate midi note to Trilian so that the appropriate key switch occurs. Is that something we cannot do yet? All I need is to send a midi note for the duration of the note. I don’t mind the look of the symbol we use.

Let me know
Best regards

Other users may be able to share their methods of using custom playing techniques to play key switches, which you may be able to use here. The problem is that currently you can’t use the harmonic playing technique object to generate the keyswitch because it doesn’t know the length of the note it’s above.

Hello everyone,

With the tools we have now in Dorico 2, is it possible to have “key switches” through playing techniques for the duration of the note that the symbol is attached to?

Thank you

Hi Guitarlos!
You had the chance to communicate with Paul Walmsley, who happens to be the engineer in charge with MIDI and sound fields in Dorico (quite an impressive task, if I may, and the man is super skilled).
That’s why I doubt anyone could give you better advice than him! :wink:

Hello Marc!

Thank you for your help. That is exactly what I thought. That is why I did not know how to interpret his words. :slight_smile:

This is what he replied to me:
“Other users may be able to share their methods of using custom playing techniques to play key switches, which you may be able to use here.”

Sorry, it was a shorthand for ‘I’m on holiday and I don’t have access to Dorico so I’m not in a position to give any more detailed advice, but there are users who have done similar things who may be able to help’ :slight_smile:

Hello Paul,

Thank you for making clear your message. I hope someone will share how they did it or when you come back from your vacation can shed some light into this task.

My experience --without having any other information than the very nice video John Barron did on this topic, and the Dorico 2.0 Version History document-- is that the playing techniques are buggy, sometimes they work for me, and the same stop working, fresh new doc and they work again. But I did not want to say that because I do not know what the programmers expect, I know it had been said that this functions are in an embryonic state.

I’ll wait until you comeback with technical approaches, or someone already know how to do it (the key switches for the duration the note is on).

Best regards, and have a great vacation


There’s one way you can do this:

  1. Open the Playing Techniques palette and create a new Playing Technique, eg called ‘Harmonic switch’ and set the Playback playing technique (6th row of the dialog) to ‘Natural harmonic 1’
  2. In the score, select the range of notes that you want the harmonic to sound, but then also select the next note
  3. Create the ‘Harmonic Switch’ object from the playing techniques palette
  4. Open the Properties Panel and set the playing technique to hidden

The important bit here is that you have to create the custom playing technique object to be longer than the note duration. So if you want a harmonic on one note, select that note and the one after it and create the technique.

You can still create the ‘o’ harmonic above the note. This method will just lengthen the duration of it.

This is something that we’ll hope to improve in the future. It’s a bit complicated at the moment because of some conflicting requirements we have about how we specify the duration of playing techniques, which is going to take some effort to resolve.
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