Super low notes heard when using any articulations

I’m having an issue… When any articulations are used in my scores, I hear a suuuuuuper low note on top of the note that should sound (in addition to the actual note, so I hear two notes). Does anyone know how to fix this bug? It make using articulation not possible. Which makes Dorico, well, not usable for playback… It’s bad…

It’s a keyswitch. You need to make sure you have the correct expression map assigned for your virtual insturments.

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I’m brand new to Dorico, can you explain that like I’m 5?

can anyone point me in the right direction on how to fix these “expression maps”?

Well to more specific in my question, the articulation is working, a staccato does shorted the note length, but that additional tone that is so low it sounds like a fart. I can’t figure out what is causing it in the expression mapping. The default expression map for all my horns is HSO Trumpet solo, because there is no saxophone or trombone, so the horn articulations for HSO Trumpet solo were defaulted. So there shouldn’t be a low note heard like this. Still no solution…

Further to Dan’s reply, this is from the Dorico Help

Every instrument (e.g. Trumpet) gets assigned a sample from a library (e.g. “Marsalis Super Brass KS”). You also need an Expression map to ‘map’ notation elements, like ‘staccato’ to the MIDI commands that the sample needs (like CC12 set to 127).

Normally, when you create a Player, the Playback Template automatically handles this for you. For some reason, it sounds like you’ve got the wrong expression map for your sample. Did you change the sample manually?

Try re-applying the Playback Template, which will reset all the instruments.

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Being a very classical musician, this has also bitten me in the past.
It’s not specific to Dorico, but a feature of MIDI, of which I admit to know about nothing at all.
Like acoustic instruments, a MIDI instrument often can produce different sounds. Some MIDI instruments use so-called keyswitches to switch between those sounds (e.g. arco to pizz.). A keyswitch is a very low note, normally outside the range of the instrument (and therefore not assigned to an actual sound). A musician playing a MIDI keyboard on stage can press those low notes to change the sound produced. It’s a rather primitive system IMO.
If you try to assign a different sound set to a virtual instrument, one that uses a different (more advanced) system for changing sounds, there’s a chance there are actual sounds available for the low keyswitches, and they become audible. If you don’t know this phenomenon, it is quite disconcerting. It’s through this forum that I learned to recognise the symptoms and solve the issue.
I still hardly know anything about MIDI, and I intend to keep it that way :face_in_clouds:


It’s also worthwhile to check the Middle C and transpositions. I had the same problem once or twice in the beginning - Dorico was using the % value from the map to shorten the staccato notes but it wasn’t triggering the actual staccato sample - it was expecting the key switches an octave lower (or higher). To me it sounded a staccato was indeed playing but accompanied by a low note and it took a minute to figure it out. There is no standard between library developers AFAIK, so it’s very nice that Dorico provides an option to adjust these things.

Thanks for all the replies. Very helpful! So I solved the issue by setting the articulation maps to “default” for every instrument. Not sure why it wasn’t set to default to begin with, but that fixed it for me.

Because not every instrument uses the Default Expression Map.

The best way to reset all the instruments, samples and maps to their defaults is to apply a Playback Template (in the Play menu), and then choose either “HSSE + HSO (Pro)” or NotePerformer, or whatever else you want.