I’m not sure how to explain what my issue is in words alone. I have a fairly lengthy score for string orchestra, imported from Sibelius, and have noticed that the staccato playback is very problematic. A staccato dot produces a separate “staccato sound” in violin, cello and bass parts, but not viola parts. This sound seems to be consistently one or two dynamic levels louder than the actual notated dynamic, and is extremely short, much shorter than the 50% of notated duration specified in the playback options (so if you’re in the habit of putting staccato dots on long notes under slurs, as I am, they will be shortened to almost nothing).
I’ve never changed anything in terms of playback since installing Dorico—this is with the sounds that come with the software, using the default expression maps, etc.
I’m not sure exactly how to explain why this is disruptive so I’m attaching some example score pages and audio. In this example, notes with staccato dots on them are much louder than notes without staccato dots, at least in the violin and cello parts, which also makes it more difficult to hear the non-staccato notes. The problem is more pronounced the quieter the dynamic level.
Here’s an example from an earlier movement. This is certainly an interesting effect but I am afraid very similar to Sibelius 6 attempting to play a glissando.
Finally, here’s an example showing the difference between staccato notes in the second violin vs staccato notes in the viola. (The dynamic level is uniformly p, and in almost any other circumstances, I would expect second violins and violas to be balanced; instead the second violins are not only much louder than the violas but also louder than all of the non-staccato melody notes.)
I guess my question is: a) why is this default playback behaviour, and b) is there some way to fix this using expression maps (and if so, has someone perhaps already done it?). I do not plan to purchase any additional software or sound sets just for getting Dorico to produce high quality playback; I generally otherwise find the HALion sounds fit for purpose in most other cases.