Expression Maps

josejherring

Senior Member
Okay, so I'm a decade late but today I've gotten into expression maps and my life will never be the same again. So far it's gotten me to program things easily that were a horrible nightmare before.

But.....


So I'm going along in Arco mode decide to switch it to stacc articulation. Maybe I've got it too confused with Keyswitching but I had to put a stacc expression on every single note for it to play. Then I couldn't play it on the keyboard only on playback. That is not a good thing so I must be doing something wrong.

Help a brotha' out with this.
 

Jdiggity1

Neither Jono, nor Bono
Moderator
In your expression map setup, the staccato will be configured as "attribute" and sustain as "direction". If you want the staccato map to behave like the sustains, ie. You switch articulation once and it applies to all future notes, change it to also be "direction" type.
 

Jdiggity1

Neither Jono, nor Bono
Moderator
Oh also, if your playback cursor is over an Arco articulation map, then that will be the active keyswitch.
Though I believe if you have midi editor closed (and thus no active Articulations lane) you can switch through your maps just like a regular keyswitch.
 

stigc56

Senior Member
I recommend that you only use attributes, because they are much easier to set. Simply select your staccato midi events, and then select staccato from the top menu in the editor. Quite easy.
 
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josejherring

josejherring

Senior Member
I recommend that you only use attributes, because they are much easier to set. Simply select your staccato midi events, and then select staccato from the top menu in the editor. Quite easy.
Hmmm...what are the advantages of using attributes? When I chose direction then that articulation is good until I decide to change it. With attributes I have to decide what articulation I need for every note. Seems cumbersome.
 
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Uiroo

Active Member
The attribute and direction thing is an endless discussion, I don't get why using attributes would make any sense. I think you'll be happy with direction, and it's not THAT much work to change it to attributes afterwards.
I use direction and it's great.

A general thing: Expression Maps are great, but they're a pain in the rectum sometimes.
I've encounter lots of problems and even bugs, but none that I couldn't fix, so feel free to ask if you run into any problems :)
 

Jdiggity1

Neither Jono, nor Bono
Moderator
The Attribute VS Direction decision will depend on your writing style and the libraries you use.
I prefer the attribute approach for tracks that include a lot of articulations and switching back and forth, mostly because it is quicker for me to select notes and assign an attribute than it is for me to zoom in and make sure I set a new direction before the notes I want changed.
This is particularly true when switching between various variations of short notes (such as in an ostinato), where I might want every down beat to be a marcato and every other 16th note to be a staccato/spiccato. I would highlight all of the notes and assign them to staccato, then just highligh the accents (downbeats) and assign those to marcato. Done. If I were using directions for this, it would involve many more clicks and precision.
 
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josejherring

josejherring

Senior Member
The Attribute VS Direction decision will depend on your writing style and the libraries you use.
I prefer the attribute approach for tracks that include a lot of articulations and switching back and forth, mostly because it is quicker for me to select notes and assign an attribute than it is for me to zoom in and make sure I set a new direction before the notes I want changed.
This is particularly true when switching between various variations of short notes (such as in an ostinato), where I might want every down beat to be a marcato and every other 16th note to be a staccato/spiccato. I would highlight all of the notes and assign them to staccato, then just highligh the accents (downbeats) and assign those to marcato. Done. If I were using directions for this, it would involve many more clicks and precision.
I see. Valid point.

I can see both approaches working very well.

I just did exactly what you described. Funny thing is that when I was putting everything in KS or on separate tracks the idea of programming different length or accented shorts was way more pain than I'd like to go through so I'd end up not doing it. On the other hand that idea came to me naturally and intuitively when dealing with expression maps. It was like of course you would do that, why would it be done any other way. and then took all of :30 to make it that way.

So I like the fact that expression maps are forcing me to work the way that I'm naturally wired. It's also making it so that I'm not endlessly noodling with patches but I'm writing at the piano more and then going to the midi orchestration stage rather than trying to work with 10 patches and compose at the same time.
 

Uiroo

Active Member
The Attribute VS Direction decision will depend on your writing style and the libraries you use.
I prefer the attribute approach for tracks that include a lot of articulations and switching back and forth, mostly because it is quicker for me to select notes and assign an attribute than it is for me to zoom in and make sure I set a new direction before the notes I want changed.
This is particularly true when switching between various variations of short notes (such as in an ostinato), where I might want every down beat to be a marcato and every other 16th note to be a staccato/spiccato. I would highlight all of the notes and assign them to staccato, then just highligh the accents (downbeats) and assign those to marcato. Done. If I were using directions for this, it would involve many more clicks and precision.
Mhm, not sure if I agree, you can copy paste expression maps. Wouldn't that be as fast?
The selection of every downbeat wouldn't be necessary.

edit: you can even double expression maps like you'd double midi notes, so if you want to have two alternating articulations you program them and hold ctrl-d. Takes 1 sec.
 

Uiroo

Active Member
I see. Valid point.

I can see both approaches working very well.

I just did exactly what you described. Funny thing is that when I was putting everything in KS or on separate tracks the idea of programming different length or accented shorts was way more pain than I'd like to go through so I'd end up not doing it. On the other hand that idea came to me naturally and intuitively when dealing with expression maps. It was like of course you would do that, why would it be done any other way. and then took all of :30 to make it that way.

So I like the fact that expression maps are forcing me to work the way that I'm naturally wired. It's also making it so that I'm not endlessly noodling with patches but I'm writing at the piano more and then going to the midi orchestration stage rather than trying to work with 10 patches and compose at the same time.
Yep, was the same for me, I rarely used all atriculations I had before expression maps, now I really fell in love with them. SCS and SSS has lots of articulations and on some onstruments i have up to 30 different articulations which is really fun (but cumbersome to program, and heavy on ram). But having ONE 1st violin, ONE 2nd violin and so on is really cool.
 
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josejherring

josejherring

Senior Member
It's going to be baby steps for me switching over as it will completely change my programming processes but I think it will be well worth it.
 

Dewdman42

Senior Member
both attributes and directions have their place, their pros and cons. It will depend on what you value most and I see no problem with using a mixture of both. A lot of people have had hard to diagnose user errors with the direction type, which I think has led many to say just use attributes and be done with it. And if you have to pick one, the attribute type will be safer to use for sure. The downside is that you have to explicitly articulate every single note, which some might find tedious, others might not. With directions, you put a certain articulation into effect and its more global across all notes coming after it until further notice. That can be a convenience, but it can also lead to certain problems people have with keyswitches not coming in front of the first note of a phrase, or other weird little things, doesn't support poly-articulation chords, etc..

Directions also have another benefit which is that it sends the key switch regardless of whether there is a note or not. Its essentially more like a midi automation lane in a way. Except that each time you choose a direction lane, a combination of keyswitches will be sent as programmed. This could include way before any notes, or in the middle of while a note is sustaining. And some sample libraries actually do have keyswitches that are designed to be used while a note is sustaining, not in front of it always. So directions are good for that!

My preference is to use attributes primarily on a note by note basis for the fundamental articulation selection

...and then to use directions only for certain extra things. This is mainly useful if you also use the groups feature of expression maps.

So you could, for example, have attributes staccato, legato, portato, spiccato, etc.. And you can have a direction based group of Mute/Unmute. Or a direction group of Whole, Half, Quarter division. etc.. A direction could be useful for some keyswitch that needs to be sent to your instrument to set something up before any notes come through, and doesn't need to be changed again for a while, even while the fundamental note articulations playing through that phrase could be jumping all over the place using attribute expressions.
 

Uiroo

Active Member
both attributes and directions have their place, their pros and cons. It will depend on what you value most and I see no problem with using a mixture of both. A lot of people have had hard to diagnose user errors with the direction type, which I think has led many to say just use attributes and be done with it. And if you have to pick one, the attribute type will be safer to use for sure. The downside is that you have to explicitly articulate every single note, which some might find tedious, others might not. With directions, you put a certain articulation into effect and its more global across all notes coming after it until further notice. That can be a convenience, but it can also lead to certain problems people have with keyswitches not coming in front of the first note of a phrase, or other weird little things, doesn't support poly-articulation chords, etc..

Directions also have another benefit which is that it sends the key switch regardless of whether there is a note or not. Its essentially more like a midi automation lane in a way. Except that each time you choose a direction lane, a combination of keyswitches will be sent as programmed. This could include way before any notes, or in the middle of while a note is sustaining. And some sample libraries actually do have keyswitches that are designed to be used while a note is sustaining, not in front of it always. So directions are good for that!

My preference is to use attributes primarily on a note by note basis for the fundamental articulation selection

...and then to use directions only for certain extra things. This is mainly useful if you also use the groups feature of expression maps.

So you could, for example, have attributes staccato, legato, portato, spiccato, etc.. And you can have a direction based group of Mute/Unmute. Or a direction group of Whole, Half, Quarter division. etc.. A direction could be useful for some keyswitch that needs to be sent to your instrument to set something up before any notes come through, and doesn't need to be changed again for a while, even while the fundamental note articulations playing through that phrase could be jumping all over the place using attribute expressions.
Ah, I didn't really got it when you explained it in another thread, but now I get it (at least I think that was you).
A mixture of both seems interesting, but I'll probably never go into that because I work a little different.

I just can't imagine setting the articulation for every single note, I mean, what if you play something in or want to add a few notes, replace a few notes, do you need to re-do that every single time?
 

Dewdman42

Senior Member
If you have a long phrase of the same articulation, then obviously its easier to use direction...and like you said, you can set it ahead of time and record the notes later..which is a nice workflow too! That's how JXL demo'd it.
 

Dewdman42

Senior Member
Another detailed point worth mentioning. In the example I gave above of Mute/UnMute as a separate group. That is a nice way to consolidate the lanes. primary articulations as a group and then with another group as two lanes for mute and unmute. But here is the interesting thing, with direction type Mute lane... you have to have both a mute and unmute lane, because otherwise there is no way to turn off muting. However if you use attribute type for that, then you only need one mute lane since any notes without mute expression would be unmuted implicitly.
 

A.G

Senior Member
Directional & Attribute types are useful accordingly:
- For example, you need Directional type to switch the Articulations of extra Instruments which need to change the Articulation before the Note, during Note sustaining or before the Note release.
The "Attribute" type does not work with dynamic Articulation switching Instruments (the same rule is valid for Logic ART ID system).

- Attribute type is useful for large Articulation presets. For example, Directional type is inconvenient in case your Expression Map offers more than 30-40 Articulations. The Piano editor lanes are very narrow and there is no enough vertical room.

There are a lots of Pros & Cons for each type.

Cubase MAIN PROBLEM is: You cannot change Directional <=> Attribute during composing.

To solve that problem in Logic, I have developed an adaptive Directional <=> Attribute realtime "Type" switching in AG Art Pro 6.
The user can enable "AT" + "ID" check boxes in the AG Maps Editor. The "COMBO" choice adds an "ID" Map on top of the other Maps. The "ID" 1st map switches to Attribute/ArtID mode and all other Maps switch to Directional/Logic text points mode during MIDI editing.
Here is a Video part where I demonstrate that.

 
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