unexpected problem with playback of trills

I wonder if anyone could suggest where I’m going wrong.

I’m making an expression map for the Orchestral Tools string library, All seems to be working as expected apart from half-tone trills. The whole tone-trills play back fine (i.e. the correct articulation is always selected) but half-tone trills seem to result in a generated trem (i.e. not a trem produced as a consequence of selecting the trem articulation). Irrespective of the trill option selected in playback options the same thing happen with note performer.

Another issue, that might be connected, is that whenever I add a trill to a note it always creates a whole-tone trill - adding accidentals if necessary. In other words, it refuses to automatically create half-tone trills even when the context is clear that it should.

All suggestions, solutions, or sympathy gratefully received.

Best wishes, Ian

Dear Ian,
This whole tone trill behavior as default is something I have never come across… Something must be set in your system that is not in mine — or a bug has appeared since last time I was working with trills. I am curious to know how this will be solved!
Wait… I only use generated trills, so Dorico creates what I need. You’re working on an expression map to trigger the trill you need (which is a sample, I suppose). Honestly, expression map setting is beyond my knowledge for now, sorry :sweat_smile:

You get whole tone trills by default if the key signature is atonal. If you have a key signature, you should get diatonic trills (whole or half tone) that correspond to the key.

Also, the default key signature in Dorico is “atonal”, not “C major”

Don’t ask what are the default trills if you have a microtonal key signature - I don’t know!

Are whole and half in the same mutual exclusion group?

Thanks all for your responses.

Rob - thanks for the info - I wasn’t aware of that. I don’t often use atonal key sigs, but in this case I was only using a simple project designed to help me make the expression map - I didn’t bother with a key sig

What is surprising, however, that adding a key sig - solved the playback problem! It seems that semitone trills do not play back properly when using am atonal key signature - at least on my system. I wonder if the team know about this? Do they look at all the threads on this forum, or should I send them a message? Many thanks, Ian

At least one of them reads every post.

Interesting. I decided to test arpeggios in unambiguous major and minor but with “atonal” as key signature and indeed Dorico also plays the major trill in the minor arpeggio. Enter the correct key signature and it changes to the minor. But there’s no problem overriding it in Playback Properties and indeed this behaviour seems perfectly logical to me as I don’t know how the software can be expected to necessarily guess the key signature. It certainly guesses wrongly a good percentage of the time with me when I specify a key signature but I’m sure it can only analyse the individual line and not the overall harmonic context.

Incidentally, to pick up fratveno’s point, you generally only need mutual exclusion groups for written playing techniques which continue until cancelled with another p.t and not ornamented note-specific articulations like trills.

Just to be clear, with an atonal sig, the problem isn’t that whole tone trills are the default. As you say, those can be edited on a case by case basis. The problem seems to be that even having edited a default WT trill to the required ST trill the playback of that trill is incorrect.

now this is strange. I tried again changing the second trill to the minor and initially it did stay in the major but then on repetition switched to the minor without further editing. There is something there at any rate which merits further testing. Interested what happens when others try this simple example (default Halion)

Please see the attached project, which shows how Dorico handles trills in an open or atonal key signature. By default, it will play a trill as a whole-step or major 2nd. If you adjust the interval via the Properties panel, provided the interval maps on to a half-step or a whole-step and those switches are set up in the expression map (as they are, for example, with the default HALion Symphonic Orchestra flutes), then you will get the expected playback. If you specify an interval beyond, say, a whole-step then Dorico will instead output multiple discrete notes in order to produce an approximation of a trill of that interval.
trill-playback.dorico.zip (337 KB)

Hi Daniel, yes your example works fine. The problem I was having came about because I hadn’t entered any kind of key sig - atonal or otherwise. I was simply assuming that if you don’t add a key sig you must be in C - it certainly looks as if you are!
best wishes, Ian

No, when you have no key signature at all, Dorico doesn’t have any sense of the key so it doesn’t know what the steps of the scale are. If you want sensible playback from trills, I suggest at the least adding an open key signature.