What does "remote" do in Expression Maps?

I’m trying to find an easy way to ‘audition’ different articulations before I record and select one via expression maps. I’m wondering if, somehow, the “remote” feature can work as a keyswitcher between pre-mapped articulations?

Yes, that’s exactly what it is for.

It doesn’t seem to be working… I have my articulations mapped to MIDI channel, but the keys I set in the “remote” bar don’t also trigger the articulation. Thoughts?

If you are using a VSTi that uses keyswitches & aren’t using an Expression Map then hitting the physical key on your controller will change the articulation. But when you create an Expression Map without using Remote Keys that capability gets disabled. Say C-2 invokes legato and you set up Slot 3 in your Map to generate a C-2 for legato, then if you hit C-2 on your physical keyboard it won’t do anything. Now the only way to change to legato is to select the legato Lane in the Key Editor. This is to keep the midi data that is playing sounds separate from the midi data used as keyswitches.

But say you still want to select an articulation from your physical keyboard, that’s where you use the Remote Key. You can use C-2 to select Slot 3 by using the Remote. At this point it will seem to work the same as if you weren’t using an Expression Map - hit C-2 & you get legato. But it really is a bit different under the hood. Say you are recording on this Track and play a C-2 in the middle of a line. If you are not using a map and edit the resulting MIDI Part what you see is all your “playing” notes on the piano roll but you will also see that C-2 note on the piano roll. But if you had used an Expression Map that used the Remote Key when you recorded the Part while still sounding the same what you’d see in the Editor would be different. You’d still see all your “playing” notes but the C-2 not would not be recorded on the piano roll. Instead you’d see the Articulation Lane change to legato.

Finally even though your VSTi uses C-2 to select legato, you can assign any key you want as the Remote Key to select Slot 3. This is useful if you have a bunch of different instruments that use different notes to select similar articulations. For example suppose VSTi 1 uses C-2 for legato, but VSTi 2 uses F#-1 & VSTi 3 uses A-2. In the Expression Maps for each of these instruments you could set the Remote Keys up so that they all use C-2 to select legato. That way you don’t have to remember which instrument uses which note to select legato because you’ve mapped them all to be the same.

If you don’t intend to use a physical controller to select articulations (i.e. you’re just going to draw them into Lanes in the editor) then there is no need to set up Remote Keys.

Initially this can all seem a bit confusing. But after you get used to it it is pretty straightforward & flexible.