Viewing percussion maps in the Play playing tech. track

AFAIK the playing techniques track only shows the Expression map, if you have (say for unpitched percussion) a single expression map (e.g. Natural) with a Percussion map to do the heavy lifting, it’s not showing up making it transparent whether you’re properly triggering your percussion techniques. Is there a way to see what it’s doing, or am I misunderstanding it?

Hovering over the playing technique helps, as it will say e.g. “Tremolo”, and there’s an entry for the Expression map, but adding an entry there for the Percussion map technique being triggered would be helpful, if not also adding it in the track (e.g. “Natural - Tremolo” to indicate exp map Natural with Percussion map trem).

Note: There is something in the hover that says “Internal Effects: Tremolo” - is that the indication for the percussion map technique being used?

No, “Internal effects” refers to the MIDI approximations of various techniques (tremolos, trills, articulations like staccato and marcato) that Dorico performs for particular markings, as defined in Playback Options (or overridden in the expression map in the Playback Options Overrides section).

You can’t see which playing techniques are coming specifically from the percussion map, I’m afraid, but I’ll talk to Paul about whether this is something we could feasibly add in future.

The short answer is ‘no, there’s no easy way of doing this’. Most of percussion playback goes through a very different chain of logic to regular playback, and the way that percussion is affected by playing techniques is quite different to pitched instruments.

Thanks Paul & Daniel.

Paul, am I correct in understanding that we should use an Expression map in conjunction with a Percussion map, as you did for BBCSO? I would have assumed not (and automatically set up my projects that way), but noticed that you included a Unpitched Percussion Expression Map in addition to the Percussion Map.

Otherwise I’m curious as to why the distinct maps, which even follow different architectural pathways in the system. Because the percussion section can be so big and diverse?

Expression Maps on percussion kits aren’t officially supported, though I think some aspects of them do work. Anything that does work is more by good fortune than design. I know John has had some success getting things to work in BBCSO by combining the two.
There are many reasons why the treatment of percussion is different to pitched instruments, but one of the main ones is that the relationship between instruments and endpoints is quite different. For pitched instruments, each instrument is mapped to a single endpoint. With a percussion kit you may have 20 different component instruments mapped to the same endpoint. And so there’s no concept of the current playing technique for the endpoint, as there is for pitched, because each component may have a different active technique. Then there are complications such as high-hats: where there are two separate instruments mapped across different lines of the kit but effectively triggering the same instrument.

Although not designed this way, the combination of expression maps and percussion maps works. So far I didn’t notice any problems.
So if two percussion instruments are layed out the same across the keyboard (eg snare drum with snares on/off), you can switch between them with an expression map, with the percussion map dealing with the keyboard mapping.
This side effect doesn’t stop you from using a percussion map only for percussion instruments, any instrument using a keyboard layout can be used. eg harmonics for violins are sometimes layed out across the keyboard.
In the end it’s all about sending midi messages.