Expression Maps

Discussions about our next-generation scoring application, Dorico.
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Grainger2001
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Re: Expression Maps

Post by Grainger2001 » Wed Aug 22, 2018 7:19 pm

Cyril,
I think I can probably answer that myself. There has not been any major change to the expression map functionality in Dorico 2.1 from 2.0 and indeed I don't think most of us were really expecting anything if you've kept up and read all of Daniel's comments, even though we were maybe hoping... I have a question above about one element of the functionality, but I suspect the solution will not be forthcoming for a while...Or, maybe it will be solved shortly! One thing that has been fixed is that the playing techniques now show up in the controller lane of the Play window correctly. There may be some other changes that I have not become aware of...

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Re: Expression Maps

Post by cyril » Wed Aug 22, 2018 9:34 pm

Hello Grainger

I have post my question to Daniel

Best

Cyril
MacPro 2010 12 core 2.93 ghz 32 GB Mac OS X 10.11 2722 Rocket Raid Sata III card with 8 x ssd
VSL lib on a Raid 0 of 4 x 256 GB ssd Sata III - Raid 0 of 4 x 64 GB for other libs
System on a 1 TB ssd
Audio Motu PCI system 84 ins / 64 outs
Kbd : P80 Yamaha, S88 Komplete Kontrol, DX7, S25
I-Controls Pro, 2xMidi expression pedals
Synth : many.... (Emu, Rolland, Yamaha, Korg ...)
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Robby 12
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Re: Expression Maps

Post by Robby 12 » Thu Aug 23, 2018 11:53 pm

Hi there

Has anyone been able to link crescendos and dynamic changes to velocity-crossfade in Vienna Symphonic Library?

In the past it was simply a case of telling Vienna instruments to map velocity crossfade to CC11 and disable the input for expression.

Thanks

Rob

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Re: Expression Maps

Post by Grainger2001 » Fri Aug 24, 2018 4:11 pm

Hi Rob,
Go to the Expression Map editor in the PLAY window. Select the Expression Map you are using and you can see a list of the techniques included. When you select each technique, you can choose how the Volume Dynamic should work - Either via note velocity or via a control change. If you select CC11 then it should work with the crossfade in VSL, assuming that you have CC11 assigned to the crossfade inside the VSL player - It does for me.
Andy

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Re: Expression Maps

Post by Brian Roland » Fri Aug 24, 2018 5:48 pm

Grainger2001 wrote:
Fri Aug 24, 2018 4:11 pm
Hi Rob,
Go to the Expression Map editor in the PLAY window. Select the Expression Map you are using and you can see a list of the techniques included. When you select each technique, you can choose how the Volume Dynamic should work - Either via note velocity or via a control change. If you select CC11 then it should work with the crossfade in VSL, assuming that you have CC11 assigned to the crossfade inside the VSL player - It does for me.
Andy
Just adding an image to Grainger's comment since I happen have some handy...

You'll find the Expression Map dialoge under the Play menu, while in Play Mode.

Image

And here's an example of an instrument that uses CC1 for dynamic control....and sends a legato pedal (CC64) for slur marks or other 'legato' techniques on the score.

Image

Notice the box that says "Volume Dynamic" that contains radio buttons for "Velocity" or a "Control Change".

In the case above, I'm using CC1 (mod wheel), but you could change it to CC11 (Expression Volume), or whatever you require. If your instrument is velocity based instead, then you'd click that instead.

Don't forget that you'll need to assign these expression maps to the relevant stave(s) that use them:

In this case I'm using ARIA, but the process is the same for other plugins.

Image

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Re: Expression Maps

Post by Robby 12 » Sun Aug 26, 2018 11:42 pm

Hi Andy

Thank you for a brilliant response, I really appreciate the detail and screen grabs. I changed the volume dynamic to CC11 on the expression map and enabled V.X fade in Vienna and that got it working brilliantly. I am really happy so thank you. (I have noticed that the only way to apply X fade across the board is to change the volume dynamic for every technique individually. Perhaps Dorico will have the feature to ‘Apply all’ in the future).

I have also been having a second issue with playback in that when importing the cubase expression map for VSL, I only hear audio when a performance technique is written (for example, a slur, or staccato).

It seems that when notes are just left unmarked that nothing gets played. I checked the settings for the ‘Sustain’ technique on the expression map (which is the one I am guessing is activated when nothing is written for the note), and all seems to be in order there.

If you have a staccato note followed by an unmarked note, the reverb tail of the staccato note remains in tact, which suggests to me it is not an audio playback cut-out. Furthermore, the unmarked notes can't be seen being 'played' on the Vienna Instruments keyboard, which suggests they are not being sent to the instrument in the first place

Is there anything I am missing?

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Re: Expression Maps

Post by Brian Roland » Mon Aug 27, 2018 12:41 am

Robby 12 wrote:
Sun Aug 26, 2018 11:42 pm
Hi Andy

Thank you for a brilliant response, I really appreciate the detail and screen grabs. I changed the volume dynamic to CC11 on the expression map and enabled V.X fade in Vienna and that got it working brilliantly. I am really happy so thank you. (I have noticed that the only way to apply X fade across the board is to change the volume dynamic for every technique individually. Perhaps Dorico will have the feature to ‘Apply all’ in the future).

I have also been having a second issue with playback in that when importing the cubase expression map for VSL, I only hear audio when a performance technique is written (for example, a slur, or staccato).

It seems that when notes are just left unmarked that nothing gets played. I checked the settings for the ‘Sustain’ technique on the expression map (which is the one I am guessing is activated when nothing is written for the note), and all seems to be in order there.

If you have a staccato note followed by an unmarked note, the reverb tail of the staccato note remains in tact, which suggests to me it is not an audio playback cut-out. Furthermore, the unmarked notes can't be seen being 'played' on the Vienna Instruments keyboard, which suggests they are not being sent to the instrument in the first place

Is there anything I am missing?
First thing to check:

Since some instruments use sticky key-switches (the last one tapped sticks until a different one is tapped), it's a good idea to always have a 'Natural' technique included in the expression map. Notes with no technique(s) attached get a 'natural' node.

Here's an example for a Garritan (GPO5) Sound I've been using. In this case I want to send all this stuff as the 'default' or 'natural' state (a plain arco bowing style).

1. It makes sure the Legato pedal (CC68) is off.
2. I make adjustments to the start time in the sample with CC119.
3. I've got more events to adjust a tonal filter, make sure the 'mute' is off, and adjust the ADSR settings.
4. I send the proper key-switch for a regular arco bowing sound.

Image

For this particular instrument, I send this entire slate of events (with different values) for pretty much every different technique Dorico offers, as well as various combinations of techniques such as legato+tenuto, and so forth. I add them and tweak as needed to a score...things can be quite different from score to score depending on style/tempo/etc. I.E. A downbow can change CC119 to play the sample a little earlier (where the bow starts grabbing), and changes ADSR somewhat for a more downbow effect. Because so many parameters get moved about when playing different articulations/styles, I just send the entire slate every time something needs to change.

So, if the expressionmap that causes you trouble already has a "Natural" technique, make sure it sends the right key-switch (or program change, etc.), and double check that the range and velocity limits, or length/duration percentages haven't perhaps been clamped off by accident. If the expressionmap does not have a Natural technique, make one that will at least send the default key-switch.

If your expressionmap/plugin combo makes a lot of live dynamic changes to an assortment of parameters, be sure to reset them 'all' exactly how you'd like them for the default/natural sound.

Next thing to check

Sometimes a note can have more than one technique associated with it. I.E. It might have a slur over it, as well as a dot over it, thus it could trigger a "legato+staccato" expressionmap technique. So, double check in the score, that it's not trying to trigger some sort of multi-node technique that is missing, or isn't set up properly.

To build such a 'combo technique', hold the ctrl key while selecting more than one node when assigning nodes to a new technique. I.E. legato+marcato
Image

If one unfolds things in Play View, and the instruments/players are properly pointing to a valid expressionmap, one can see a status bar with the piano scroll roll that shows any valid playing techniques, which also happen to have matching techniques in the expressionmap. Notes with cominbations of techniques will show an astrix (*), and hovering over that with a mouse will show all the active nodes. This status bar can really come in handy when trying to troubleshoot an expressionmap!

Image

Sometimes I get odd combinations of techniques on my score, and there's nothing even remotely close to the way I want it to sound assigned in my expressionmap. Or maybe it is falling back to something close, but not really what I have in mind. So, I find it's not unusual at all for me to make a lot of combo techniques in the expressionmap on an 'as need' basis for each project. Sometimes I even find myself borrowing techniques meant for other instruments an hiding them from view in order to produce a 'combi' that will trigger the specific sound I need. I.E. I could make some wild combo like "legato+accent+staccato+mute+snares on" to force a certian set of 'one off' instrument parameters for a given piece. I'd simply hide the snares off technique in the score by setting it to full transparent.

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Re: Expression Maps

Post by Robby 12 » Mon Aug 27, 2018 12:48 pm

Hi Brian

I added a ‘Natural’ playing technique to my expression map with the key switches in it to activate the sustain patch in Vienna, and that sorted everything. Thanks for all of the screen grabs and detailed explanation, it made the process a breeze.

Having the ability to add crescendos to multiple parts which drive velocity crossfades, and expression maps which are activated by playing techniques on the score is brilliant. I am actually finding it quicker to compose in Dorico now than in Cubase, even if the purpose is solely just for Virtual Instrument programming. In Cubase I had to draw each rise and fall in volume manually, but in Dorico I can very quickly get what I want just by notating crescendos and them tweaking in play mode.

One feature which I am missing a bit is for the ‘Volume Dynamic’ data of crescendos and other dynamics changes to be displayed within the graph in play mode. In my expression maps, I made it so that all of my volume dynamic data is sent to CC11, but in play mode, none of this data is displayed currently on the graph for CC11. This means that when I want to tweak the playback of a crescendo, I have to guess where it is on the graph and hope that the two don’t conflict.

I certainly hope this is a feature which is easy enough to add

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Re: Expression Maps

Post by Brian Roland » Mon Aug 27, 2018 1:33 pm

Robby 12 wrote:
Mon Aug 27, 2018 12:48 pm
Hi Brian

I added a ‘Natural’ playing technique to my expression map with the key switches in it to activate the sustain patch in Vienna, and that sorted everything. Thanks for all of the screen grabs and detailed explanation, it made the process a breeze.

Having the ability to add crescendos to multiple parts which drive velocity crossfades, and expression maps which are activated by playing techniques on the score is brilliant. I am actually finding it quicker to compose in Dorico now than in Cubase, even if the purpose is solely just for Virtual Instrument programming. In Cubase I had to draw each rise and fall in volume manually, but in Dorico I can very quickly get what I want just by notating crescendos and them tweaking in play mode.

One feature which I am missing a bit is for the ‘Volume Dynamic’ data to be displayed within the graph in play mode. In my expression maps, I made it so that all of my volume dynamic data is sent to CC11, but in play mode, none of this data is displayed currently on the graph for CC11. This means that when I want to tweak the playback of a crescendo, I have to guess where it is on the graph and hope that the two don’t conflict.

I certainly hope this is a feature which is easy enough to add
CC7 is typically used for 'channel volume' in the general MIDI specification. It is possible to use this method of dynamic control in your expression maps too, though I personally do not advise it unless you know you will be exporting a MIDI file that will be played by an instrument that does not support CC11 expression volume.

If you want to MIX via MIDI events (I.E. to control the built in mixer of a plugin or MIDI Device), as opposed to adjusting the levels of the actual audio matrix, you can do this through Dorico's Mixer by engaging the "MIDI" tab in the upper left hand corner.

When active, the vertical volume slider(s) should send CC7. The pan slider(s) should send CC10.

So, if I activate the MIDI tab in Dorico:
Image

Instead of working with the internal audio stream for the channel directly at the host level, it will automate the built in mixer of ARIA at client level.
Image

I'm not aware of the Dorcio mixer sending chorus and reverb adjustment events (CC91-94). But you can do that in the Play tab via CC lanes form Dorico 2 forward.

If you have Dorico 2 or later, One can also draw CC7 events into CC lanes from Dorico's "Play" tab/mode.

Image

I have not yet exported a Dorico project to MIDI to see if these Mixer CC7 values get inserted into such a MIDI rendering, but they do stick with the Dorico project itself, and they do transmit into whatever plugin, or external MIDI port/instrument a mixer channel is directed.

As for inserting hair-pin dynamics in Cubase. I agree that out of the box, Dorico is much better set up to work with traditional scoring/notation; however, Cubase Pro can be taught to be one heck of a nice composer station that is fast/easy to use. It's not so obvious though, and it does need to be 'learned' and ultimately 'personalized' into a workflow you like.

If you have Cubase Pro... Its score mode should have a way to build in automatic translation for terraced, as well as gradual (hair pin) dynamic changes, plus for making interpretive settings for articulations and other marks. I'm not sure about Artist, and I doubt Elements or AI can do it at all, but Pro and Nuendo do have the ability to create expressionmaps that are somewhat similar to the ones Dorico uses. Fire me a PM, or start up a thread over in the CuBase Pro forum if you'd like to discuss those possibilities further.
Last edited by Brian Roland on Mon Aug 27, 2018 2:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Expression Maps

Post by Brian Roland » Mon Aug 27, 2018 2:00 pm

Robby,

Oops, I misread your last comment a bit and went off on a long tangent about CC7 and Dorico's mixer. I'll leave it since it might be helpful to someone....

I agree, it would be nice if one could see the CC11 events generated via Dorico's interpretive engine in the lane. I think it is missing for a reason though....as Dorico 'interprets' the stuff on the score, and all that can change depending on a variety of 'other settings' throughout the program and score. Perhaps at some point we'll get an option to 'freeze' it into the lanes....kind of like Sibelius has a couple of modes...one that includes any frozen in MIDI events, and another that 'only' passes through stuff generated by its own interpretive engine.

I'm not sure how it would behave if you 'also' drew things manually into the CC11 lane of the play tab. In Cubase, one has flags to choose between 'averaging' multiple lanes that want to do the 'same thing'; just dumping it exactly as is (even if it conflicts), or picking 'one over the other', etc.

I suppose one could try it to see. My first 'guess' is that it probably 'averages'. So a CC send via expression map on the same tick as one sent in a CC lane would be averaged somehow?

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Re: Expression Maps

Post by Robby 12 » Mon Aug 27, 2018 8:52 pm

Thanks Brian

I have done a little experimentation and it is not completely clear to me how the CC controllers lane data, and performance directions for volume interact, but it seems to me that the graph takes charge whenever it is programmed, taking all volume dynamics directions. I will have to experiment a bit more and get back to you.

In the mean time I have put in a feature request.

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Re: Expression Maps

Post by pnicholls » Wed Aug 29, 2018 2:29 am

Is there anywhere in the forum or the documentation where I can find a detailed explanation of the difference between a Cubase Expression Map and a Dorico Expression Map and how to effectively convert from one to the other? I have a Cubase Expression map for Chris Hein Solo Strings Complete and just wish to know the details of what I do to get it working properly in Dorico and what its limitations might be.

Cheers

Paul

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Re: Expression Maps

Post by Daniel at Steinberg » Wed Aug 29, 2018 9:08 pm

There's no detailed documentation on the differences, I'm afraid. You can import your Cubase expression map into Dorico via Play > Expression Maps (see the buttons at the bottom), and you should find that the basic things like key switches and MIDI controllers plus the type of MIDI message required for dynamics work, but things like modifying velocity, note duration, etc. are currently inoperable.

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Re: Expression Maps

Post by cyril » Thu Aug 30, 2018 7:14 am

Daniel at Steinberg wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 9:08 pm
But things like modifying velocity, note duration, etc. are currently inoperable.
Hello Daniel,

When can we expect those ?

Best

Cyril
MacPro 2010 12 core 2.93 ghz 32 GB Mac OS X 10.11 2722 Rocket Raid Sata III card with 8 x ssd
VSL lib on a Raid 0 of 4 x 256 GB ssd Sata III - Raid 0 of 4 x 64 GB for other libs
System on a 1 TB ssd
Audio Motu PCI system 84 ins / 64 outs
Kbd : P80 Yamaha, S88 Komplete Kontrol, DX7, S25
I-Controls Pro, 2xMidi expression pedals
Synth : many.... (Emu, Rolland, Yamaha, Korg ...)
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Re: Expression Maps

Post by Daniel at Steinberg » Thu Aug 30, 2018 10:33 pm

I can't provide any specific timetable. All I can say for sure is that they will not be implemented in the update we are currently working on.

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Re: Expression Maps

Post by cyril » Fri Aug 31, 2018 4:11 am

I can't provide any specific timetable. All I can say for sure is that they will not be implemented in the update we are currently working on.


:cry: :cry: :cry:
MacPro 2010 12 core 2.93 ghz 32 GB Mac OS X 10.11 2722 Rocket Raid Sata III card with 8 x ssd
VSL lib on a Raid 0 of 4 x 256 GB ssd Sata III - Raid 0 of 4 x 64 GB for other libs
System on a 1 TB ssd
Audio Motu PCI system 84 ins / 64 outs
Kbd : P80 Yamaha, S88 Komplete Kontrol, DX7, S25
I-Controls Pro, 2xMidi expression pedals
Synth : many.... (Emu, Rolland, Yamaha, Korg ...)
---
Macbook pro Retina 2.7 ghz 16 GB
---
Mac Mini server 10.10 (server EyeTV, Itunes, WEB, and Backup )
--
Logic X, MainStage
Dorico
Band in a Box, ORB composer
VSL : MIR PRO, Appassionata Strings I, Solo strings , Wind and Brass Complete, Dimension Brass, Overdrive
Kontakt 5, Omnisphere, QLSO, QLSC, CS 80, Arturia V6, Maximo, Genesis, Lunaris, Realivox
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Re: Expression Maps

Post by richhickey » Sun Sep 02, 2018 1:27 am

Daniel at Steinberg wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 9:08 pm
There's no detailed documentation on the differences, I'm afraid. You can import your Cubase expression map into Dorico via Play > Expression Maps (see the buttons at the bottom), and you should find that the basic things like key switches and MIDI controllers plus the type of MIDI message required for dynamics work, but things like modifying velocity, note duration, etc. are currently inoperable.
Would it be possible to get a precise statement about what does and doesn't currently work re: expression maps? These statements to the effect that 'not everything works yet', e.g. 'etc' above leaves it to every user to waste time discovering the current status when I presume you developers know exactly. I understand it's not finished but you put in UI that doesn't work so please help us out by being precise. Thanks!

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Re: Expression Maps

Post by cyril » Sun Sep 02, 2018 9:08 am

Steinberg with Dorico is doing the same as Apple with Logic, doing a great job but not listening to users needs.
Notes Head editor was less important than Expression Maps
Daniel, why dont you provide a list of futur features so we can vote ?
Thanks
MacPro 2010 12 core 2.93 ghz 32 GB Mac OS X 10.11 2722 Rocket Raid Sata III card with 8 x ssd
VSL lib on a Raid 0 of 4 x 256 GB ssd Sata III - Raid 0 of 4 x 64 GB for other libs
System on a 1 TB ssd
Audio Motu PCI system 84 ins / 64 outs
Kbd : P80 Yamaha, S88 Komplete Kontrol, DX7, S25
I-Controls Pro, 2xMidi expression pedals
Synth : many.... (Emu, Rolland, Yamaha, Korg ...)
---
Macbook pro Retina 2.7 ghz 16 GB
---
Mac Mini server 10.10 (server EyeTV, Itunes, WEB, and Backup )
--
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Dorico
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VSL : MIR PRO, Appassionata Strings I, Solo strings , Wind and Brass Complete, Dimension Brass, Overdrive
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Re: Expression Maps

Post by MarcLarcher » Sun Sep 02, 2018 9:36 am

Dear Cyril,
Do you think that ALL users read this forum on a daily basis? Do you REALLY believe that your needs are the same than other people's need? If I may, I find your last post quite inappropriate, for Dorico's team has proven enough that they DO listen to our needs.
I'm no developer myself (but with an engineer level, I think I'm not mistaken), but I'm quite confident that implementing the notehead editor and fulfilling your dreams about expression maps are two very different tasks. No pun intended. But please keep a respectful tone in this forum ;-)
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Re: Expression Maps

Post by David Tee » Sun Sep 02, 2018 4:21 pm

cyril wrote:
Sun Sep 02, 2018 9:08 am
Steinberg with Dorico is doing the same as Apple with Logic, doing a great job but not listening to users needs.
Notes Head editor was less important than Expression Maps
Daniel, why dont you provide a list of futur features so we can vote ?
Thanks
Oh come on.

Not only do they listen, they take the time and trouble to comment on almost every thread here. When have you ever known the Apple development Team to do that?

Marc's post nails it but I'd like to add one thing, While Daniel and the team are very open in this forum, it's all too easy to forget that there's a competitive market out there for notation software. Showing your competitors your hand by publishing a list of future features isn't the smartest move and, worse still, it will build up expectations among users to the point where dealing with those expectations becomes an issue and takes valuable time away from development.

Have faith. What they've done so far is excellent and there's a lot more to come.
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Re: Expression Maps

Post by dankreider » Sun Sep 02, 2018 4:29 pm

richhickey wrote:
Sun Sep 02, 2018 1:27 am
you put in UI that doesn't work so please help us out by being precise.
This has been discussed to death elsewhere on this forum. READ THE FEATURE LIST BEFORE YOU BUY. If you can point to a feature that was claimed to be present in a certain build but wasn't actually there, then you have cause to complain. If the current feature list doesn't match your needs, you'll need to explore other options for your projects.

Proof that no matter how superior a product is to other options, someone will complain that it doesn't have what they want.
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Re: Expression Maps

Post by cyril » Sun Sep 02, 2018 4:53 pm

MarcLarcher wrote:
Sun Sep 02, 2018 9:36 am

No pun intended. But please keep a respectful tone in this forum ;-)
I do respect developers ; I have been one !

I did say "Daniel, why dont you provide a list of futur features so we can vote ?"

What is un-respectful ?
MacPro 2010 12 core 2.93 ghz 32 GB Mac OS X 10.11 2722 Rocket Raid Sata III card with 8 x ssd
VSL lib on a Raid 0 of 4 x 256 GB ssd Sata III - Raid 0 of 4 x 64 GB for other libs
System on a 1 TB ssd
Audio Motu PCI system 84 ins / 64 outs
Kbd : P80 Yamaha, S88 Komplete Kontrol, DX7, S25
I-Controls Pro, 2xMidi expression pedals
Synth : many.... (Emu, Rolland, Yamaha, Korg ...)
---
Macbook pro Retina 2.7 ghz 16 GB
---
Mac Mini server 10.10 (server EyeTV, Itunes, WEB, and Backup )
--
Logic X, MainStage
Dorico
Band in a Box, ORB composer
VSL : MIR PRO, Appassionata Strings I, Solo strings , Wind and Brass Complete, Dimension Brass, Overdrive
Kontakt 5, Omnisphere, QLSO, QLSC, CS 80, Arturia V6, Maximo, Genesis, Lunaris, Realivox
Final Cut pro
Camera full HD

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Re: Expression Maps

Post by MarcLarcher » Sun Sep 02, 2018 5:25 pm

I found
Steinberg with Dorico is doing the same as Apple with Logic, doing a great job but not listening to users needs.
quite inadequate, but you're right, it was not un-respectful ;-)
OS X 10.14.6, macbook pro retina Late 2013
Opera singer (lyric tenor), photographer, sound engineer, XeLaTeX user and music engraver (Dorico Pro 3.0.10, and Photoscore Ultimate 8.8.7)
French is my native language

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Re: Expression Maps

Post by Brian Roland » Sun Sep 02, 2018 5:34 pm

richhickey,

I'm excited about the workflow that Dorico's playback engine will bring once it's developed a little more. I too am anxious to have more control over score interpretation as a user, to be able to fashion my own techniques, have fall-back sounds, fully control libraries that use players other than HSSE, etc.

The Dorico Team does listen to users. We asked for a status lane to help test and trouble shoot our expressionmaps, and they gave it to us. We asked for controller lanes as an option we can use NOW for more easily and intuitively entering expressive data (it was pragmatic and simple...until we get a more advanced technique maker, and fully implemented expressionmaps), and they gave it to us. The people who are actually putting scores in front of publishers and world renowned orchestras/bands/vocalists DID ask for custom note-heads...and they NEED them more than they need a simulated audio mock-up.

There are long lists of things users are still 'asking for'.....and most of it will certainly come in due course. It's on the giant white board of 'stuff to do'.

The thing is, I also use Finale, Sibelius, MuseScore, and CuBase Pro (Score Module) pretty regularly. I make fairly deep playback expression templates for them where possible, it's NOT EASY (putting information in is, but getting it sound good in a score is a different story), nor are any of them 'complete'. They've been around for decades, and they all have some issues with setting up and implementing interpretive play back as well. There are simple things (some even constitute true bug fixes) we've been asking for in Sibelius Soundworld, and Finale Human PlayBack for more than 10 years that simply go ignored.

Third parties have stepped in to help those who don't care to make their own interpretive maps by offering pretty expensive supplemental libraries and plugin kits, but those did not happen over-night. Dorico will eventually get some third party love at a price as well.

I'd rather Steinberg take their time to a reasonable degree, and do it RIGHT this time. I'm glad they have the place-holders for exclusion groups, velocity and transposition modifers, and range limits in the UI expression-maps (even if they all aren't yet functional). It just makes sense to we CuBase users. If things are done right, it'll be fairly easy to port maps between Dorico and CuBase. Over time....we'll begin to see the full implementation of the expressionmap system. The 'foundation' for the playback engine seems to be in place, but it's critical that the Dorico team really does their homework and deep testing on how to best take advantage of it before releasing stuff to the public.

The note-head editor can actually be considered a prerequisite to much of what the expressionmap system is capable of doing for us. A different shape showing up on a score typically means you'll be using some alternate technique or style to play the instrument or sing. These may well be prime candidates for making deep and extensive use of an expressionmap.

There will be other types of editors and markings that'll need to be tied somehow into the interpretive engine as well. So it makes sense if the team wants to get much of it in place on the visual score, well mapped out and understood, before they tie it all to the expressive playback engine.

They'll need to map out and document some standards, or best practices for how to best build such expression maps (what takes precedence, and how to fall back to the next most reasonable sound if something is missing, etc.), and all that is rather difficult to do until you actually have the stuff showing up on a Dorico Score where you can reason things out and run the tests.

Sure, they probably have flow charts as big as my house explaining the 'theory' of how it should all tie together as a finished product....but implementing it all takes time, and has to come in stages. Sometimes the real-world forces adaptations to the theory and the 'get it done' schedule (where programmers are given specific projects).

Consider that they need to first:
1. Build input and engraving features, for both the score writing and play tab modes.
2. Make sure those features are solid, predictable, and consistent (usable).
3. Optimize them to be efficient/fast across multiple platforms and hardware setups.

It makes sense that the playback features will come in cycles that are a few stages behind the score making stuff. Since the scoring side of this product is a brand new app from the ground up, and it is massive in scale of what all it is trying to do in such a short amount of time, I believe this dev team needs, and deserves a little wiggle room on the expressionmaps.

Again, I'd rather them take a little longer making the hooks into the playback engine and DO IT RIGHT, than just rush something out here that goes on for decades full of bugs, and a lot of dead-ends for library developers.

If they get this right....it will be very flexible and powerful. Users and library developers will have plenty of options to come up with just about anything imaginable. If they get it right....98% of the things we'd typically ask for in 'feature requests', we users will be able to build and share with each other ourselves! It will also be the leading Scoring Engine setting the standard for things VST3 and beyond.

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Daniel at Steinberg
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Re: Expression Maps

Post by Daniel at Steinberg » Sun Sep 02, 2018 11:38 pm

I am sympathetic to the request for clarity on what works and what doesn't in the Expression Maps dialog.

The options in the group that contains the 'Transpose' option are all as yet non-functional, except for 'Transpose', which is functional. The 'Has exclusion group' controls are non-functional. Otherwise, all of the controls in the dialog are functional: however, this is not in itself massively helpful information, as the real complexity comes in the way that the various playing techniques are actually generated and played back in the score. You cannot, for example, create expression maps for dynamics as you can in Cubase. The options for whether an expression should apply only to the current note or ongoing until a countermanding expression aren't yet implemented. Dorico can't currently make the connection between a playing technique you enter in the score, like a harmonic, and the durations of the notes underneath it in order to create the appropriate playback region. And so on.

I know this is very frustrating, because it's hard to tell what works and what doesn't. We are just as frustrated as you are about it: we are giving work on the playback side of the program a very high priority, but there is still a limit to what we can achieve. We have added so much useful functionality on the playback side of the application recently (NotePerformer support, video, MIDI automation, swing, etc. etc. etc.) and there is more to come, but at the moment, for example, I can tell you that working on real-time input from a MIDI keyboard has a higher priority than working on the expression maps side of the program. It's easy for me to ask for patience, and I understand that you are paying customers who want and need functionality that doesn't yet exist, but I hope you can see that we are at least not sitting around twiddling our thumbs, and even if you may not agree with every one of our prioritisation decisions, we are working hard to add features as quickly as we can while still doing a good job.

Regarding a list of features to vote on, here is a simple and short answer: no.

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