Strange low pitch sounds in some instruments

Apologies if I am posting in the wrong area, describing a well known issue, or am misusing Dorico somehow …

I am having difficulty assigning Halion instruments to my score: some sounds carry with them what I cam only describe as a ‘companio’ pitch that seems to be the lowest playable both available.

I created the attached Dorico P3.5.2 file on Mac OS X Bigger 11.6.6 as follows:

  1. Launch Dorico
  2. File | New From Template | Chamber | String Quartet
  3. Write Mode: Add a note to each stave
  4. Play Mode: Load the sound “[GM046] Pizzicato Strings” Ito slot 4 of the Halion VST Instrument
  5. Return to write mode to ‘play’ my score.
    The "violoncello’ note that is assigned to play on slot 4 of the Halion instrument includes a very low note , regardless of the notated pitch.

Bug.dorico (1.6 MB)

Would greatly appreciate some pointers on what what I am doing wrong .


Step 4 is the problem. The playback patch that you were previously using uses keyswitches to change articulation (keyswitches are notes off the bottom of the range of the instrument). For instance a low D may tell the VST to switch from arco to pizzicato, and a low Eb may tell the VST to switch to spiccato arco notes. The GM patches don’t use keyswitches; they tend to use a completely separate patch for pizzicato vs arco (again, for instance).
When you switch to a GM patch (or any other patch that doesn’t use keyswitches) you need to set the Endpoint of the instrument to use the Default Expression Map. - the Expression Map interfaces between Dorico and the VST. Click the cog next to any instrument in Play mode to get into the Endpoint Setup dialog, then set the Expression Map in there:

(edited to show Dorico 3.5 screenshot)

Thank you so much, pianolee. This was a huge help.