What is an Expression map, and how can I use it?

I have recently come back to the Steinberg forums, and keep coming across the term Expression Map: I do not know what it is, how it is used, why it is used, and what advantages its use would have on a piece of music.

Basic question, really.

Here’s the beginning of the relevant section in the manual - hopefully it’s a helpful introduction. If you scroll down the list on the left, you can see topics at the level beneath this one that take you through the things you can do with expression maps in Dorico.

I’m hesitating about diving into this maps also. Hesitating because it seems pretty nerdy and time-consuming to figure it out. I have Spitfire Solo Strings and I believe there’s a EM for this library. Does it work out of the box? Presuming I’ve the right patches in Kontakt in Play Mode, is importing the EM the only thing you’ll have to do (besides being very grateful to the one who made the EM)?

John has done some Discover Dorico sessions about expression maps - here’s one that might be helpful? There are others, but if you go back a couple of years, expression map functionality might be sufficiently different in the Dorico version being used in the video to be significantly less helpful xD

Thanks Lilie, but this doesn’t answer my question. The Spitfire Solo Stings is mentioned in the list of Paul here above, so I presume it’s a new EM. If so, does it do all the magic straight away?

Sorry, I was mostly responding to the first part of your comment which seemed to be about expression maps generally. It’s not an area I personally have much experience in so I tend to just point to resources! It sounds like you’ve already read this thread, which I think has instructions for Spitfire Solo?

Thank you Lillie, I am very much a beginner at VST, so hence the questions. I think I will stick to instruments I am familier before experimenting, but later … who knows ?

That helps a bit. I downloaded and imported the EM. I’ve set the patches to 'Locked to UACC". I’ve chosen the EM ‘UACC - Spitfire Solo Strings’, but I don’t know what the next step is…

Ah, I’m getting somewhere, also have to do things in an endpoint figuration…

For what it’s worth, I’ve experimented with Expression Maps (and own a number of libraries including BBC Orchestra Pro for which Dorico has provided Expression Maps) and still find Note Performer (for $129) to often be a better solution out of the box since it doesn’t require any programming or under the hood tweaks – you simply notate your score with proper dynamics and articulations, NP reads it, and then applies a sort of “AI” to intelligently interpret and provide musical playback of the score. Frankly, I wish it was included with Dorico, or that more developers applied the same approach to their plug-ins to make them easier to use in a notation program.

  • D.D.

Yes, NP is very good. But, I just followed Pauls guidelines and made a Dorico Template for Spitfire Solo Strings. Opened Sibelius (sorry…) exported a String Quartet I did several years ago as xml. Imported it in Dorico and…wow… almost out of the box, stunning!! Here’s a little snippet

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Very nice!

  • D.D.