Strange CC1 behaviour

I’ve made an arrangement, playback was normal tons of times until now. After doing some edits on the arrangement today (nothing fancy), I suddenly started noticing fluttering/growling on some parts of the melody. I discovered it’s related to the CC1 automation that has been transformed unexpectedly. I have no clue what caused this change.

Below the CC1 curve as it was before the fluttering started (screenshot from an older version of the arrangement):

And this is how the CC1 curve looks like now:

It looks as if CC1 is constantly switching between two dynamic curves.

This happened on many parts of the melody:

but only on the staff where I did the edits. The affected parts are not the parts where I did any edits.

I have no idea what has caused this to happen and how to bring it back to the original CC1 curve.

Any ideas?

Can you attach the project itself here so we can take a look? Cut the project down to just the specific passage that exhibits the problem, and attach that here. Some tips for how to do that can be found here:

It looks to me like the crescendo and follow-the pitch-contour are producing conflicting CC1 data. If you turn off follow-the pitch-contour, does that resolve the issue? And, if it does, does it return if you turn it back on again.

@Nickie_Foenshauge I tried your suggestion but that didn’t help.

Hi Daniel, thanks for the link to the guidelines.

I resized the project.
Issue with CC1 v3.dorico (2.9 MB)

I hope you will be able to see the issue because with some resize trials I did the problem dissappeared (couldn’t find a causal relationship).

I zeroed all the beat stress and humanization and changed the template to NotePerformer. The effect was reduced by by no means eliminated – in the first bar there are still dynamic leaps of around 10 steps backwards and forwards. A similar cresc in a test project showed no more than 2 steps. Certainly something odd going on here.

What do your setting for Polyphonic Voice Balancing look like? If they are active, perhaps you should turn them off.

you can see in the score that this is switched off. Anyway, in my own test, as I said, I disabled all humanisation and other “assistance” settings in Playback Options.

I can’t provide a complete explanation for this at the moment, but it appears that the slurs are chiefly responsible for the variation in dynamics; if you remove them, the variation is almost completely eliminated. What’s curious, of course, is that the expression map you’ve defined doesn’t have a switch for Legato, so in theory there ought to be no change in playback. Try defining a Legato switch with some appropriate settings and see if that helps matters.

I did another experiment in order to (try to) understand what is happening. The result is very “strange”. I can’t draw any conclusions from this result but maybe someone else can.

In the same project that I shared in above post I have done the following:

  1. created a new staff (sax 2)

  2. manually entered notes in the first bar of that new staff but without slurs/dynamics… CC1 was normal on staff 2 (as expected)

  3. added dynamics and a slur… no change, CC1 still normal on staff 2:

  4. copied bars 2-4 (using option key on Mac) from first staff to second staff (i.e. not the last 2 bars) … all still normal on CC1 of staff 2;

  5. Here it comes… Copied the D half note of the last bar with option key… suddenly the CC1 issue appears… (on notes which are totally unrelated to that D)

  6. Did “Undo”. The D note disappeared (as expected) but the CC1 issue remained

It’s as if the second staff somehow gets “infected” with the same CC1 issue by copying over content from the first staff.

I downloaded your file and had a look at it. There is a very easy “fix” to your problem, although I cannot for the life of me figure out why it fixes the problem.
Go to Play mode, select the saxophone track, and Enable Independent Voice Playback, and voila - the problem is gone. But, don’t ask me why. When I created a second sax player, duplicated everything over to this and selected Noteperformer for this player, the problem also disappeared for that player. So, it seems to have something to do with your endpoint.

@Nickie_Foenshauge you’re golden.! Indeed the issue seems to be related to multiple voices on the staff.

In my original arrangement (which manifests the CC1 issue) I have a few bars here and there with mulitiple voices (the bottom voice are key switches to trigger certain plugin articulations)

I didn’t see a relation between the CC1 issue and that second voice because the CC1 issue didn’t disappear after removing the keyswitches (in retrospect I guess that’s because the second voice doesn’t disappear when you remove all notes from it)

When I apply your method I get two tracks in the play zone:

and the CC1 looks normal again:

However by doing this I don’t hear the articulations anymore (i.e. keyswitches on second voice no longer trigger anything).
When I put these keyswitches on a separate staff then I can hear them again:

This two-staff solution for keyswitches is acceptable for me, would need it anyway if I were to print readible scores. I guess it’s also best practice to do that in general.

That said, if the multi-voice “flutter” effect on CC1 dynamics related to multiple voices is unexpected/undesired behaviour then maybe the Dorico team can have a look at it and put it somewhere in their fix backlog.

Thank you and everyone else who has contributed to troubleshoot this issue so far!

Never put keyswitches in the score! Let you expression map trigger the appropriate keyswitches. That’s what it is for.
But, I’m glad you found a workable solution

Right, need to build more experience with expression maps.

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Listening to the above advice I tried to use an expression map to create a “drop” with a keyswitch (C#) with my plugin Vhorns saxophones.

I don’t hear any effect, despite trying C# in every register (normally should be C#2 but that didn’t produce any drop sound).


For reference: keyswitch C#2 on the second staff does produce a drop sound:

Strangely, when for test purposes I use F2 or F#2 as keyswitch in the expression map I do hear a semitone down/up as stated in the Vhorns manual:

… so that confirms i’m working in the correct register.
But then again, it’s not a bend towards the semitone I hear, but directly the modified pitch.

When I use the second staff to trigger a bend (with F2 or F#2) I do hear a bend as expected:

With the “keyswitch on separate staff” solution I seem to be able to have detailed control where a drop should start, where a bend should start and end etc. Having that level of control is important to me (for playback).

I certainly would like to keep exploring building expression maps but it seems it’s going to take me a lot of effort, at least for this plugin. Starting from an existing expression map for Vhorns would be very useful but I didn’t find any on this forum.

Do my observations/conclusions make sense or am I missing something here?

(note that I don’t question the benefits of expression maps, my question is only related to Vhorns effects control)

It’s a bit hard for me to say what you should do here, since I don’t know the library. But, I can tell you, that a keyswitch is used to trigger a specific set of samples. It could be a fall, but the VST would have to do it automatically. If this is not the case, then maybe your method with a second player is the way to go. I don’t know. How about drawing in a Pitch Wheel line in the Key Editor? Would that work? If it does, you can get the fall exactly as and when you want it.

I am afraid this the the best I can do. Hopefully someone with a knowledge of the library can chime in.

Could this be a conflict in whether middle C is considered to be C3, C4, or C5 by the VST for keyswitches?

@Derrek I tried all three options for middle C in the expression map but there was no difference

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Which Playing Technique does the dotted quarter note with the Fall ornament trigger? You can see this in the Key Editor. I am just wondering if the proper Expression Map entry is even being triggered. The reason I am asking is because not all ornaments have a Playback Technique.

Forget about this! I just tried adding a fall to a note, and it is shown as an Add-on technique. So, if you change the Fall (drop) entry from a Base technique to an Add-on technique, does that change anything?

To me it seems that the correct technique is triggered. Hope this screenshot reveals more to you:

When I delete the “base” technique and add the fall as “add-on” I don’t get any better result.