Questions & Answers

Articulation Editor

+350 votes
asked Dec 13, 2015 in Studio One Feature Requests by sambosun (5,130 points)
edited Aug 13, 2016 by sambosun


  • User can switch between articulations on a single track. Useful for Kontakt/ EW Play/ VSL VI PRO
  • When moving notes, articulations stay attached to notes
  • Alternative to users who like to compose in score order and don't like one articulation per track
  • Circumvent recording articulation related control data that is key switch notes into Events 
  • Easier transfer to a dedicated notation editor (Sibelius/ Finale/ Notion)
  • Easy way to unify articulation based workflow for different libraries and sample player

Use case 

  • User loads a track with i.e. Kontakt that holds a key switch instrument or multiple single instruments per midi channel, where a Kontakt 5 multi script allows the user to assign up to 64 of Kontakts’ midi channels to trigger them via Key Switch, Program Change or CC Message
  • User opens the Articulation Editor via key command or via the inspector in the Event Editor or Arrange View
    • Record notes and articulations in realtime 
    • Enable Step Input and use midi controller to input notes and articulations
    • Select notes in Event Editor, single click cell in Articulation Editor, draw notes or attach articulation to existing selected notes
  • Articulation rows follow playhead position and active articulation scrolls into view (1-127)
  • Articulation sets are stored per track with the Song and can be exported to folders and imported (iCloud/ Dropbox)
  • User can Set Note Color > By Articulation via the View menu, Notes will be colored according to users color setup or default color map
  • Articulation Editor note color map defaults to Velocity color map from 1-127 if Output Trigger is set to Program Change/ CC Message/ Articulation ID/ Key Switch, defaults to Note Channel color map from 1-16 if Output Trigger is set to Note Channel
  • Ideally articulation names will be shown on Piano Roll notes (depending on vertical zoom level)


  • Single click to select row; Shift click to select multiple rows 
  • Hit key on keyboard controller to set key switch note / iPad/ fader or rotary controller to set CC Message or Program Change value (Depending on Input Trigger type)
  • Setup which remote controller keyboard, iPad or other controller will be used via the preferences

The Panel you see is designed as a Note-FX inspector panel. It might make sense to have a floating plugin window for general settings or more advanced settings (like all existing Note-FX plugins)

18 Answers

+3 votes
answered Dec 14, 2015 by sambosun (5,130 points)
If people prefer one articulation per track a better show/hide track system is needed.
+6 votes
answered Dec 14, 2015 by niles (49,630 points)
edited Dec 15, 2015 by niles

It would be sweet when this expression system is compatible with MPE (Multidimensional Polyphonic Expression) too.
More info: here

+7 votes
answered Feb 17, 2016 by Artem Reverse (1,190 points)
That would be great if we get it in Studio One :) + 1
+6 votes
answered Apr 4, 2016 by scoredfilms (5,130 points)

+1 Although I agree with Niles.

Each articulation needs unique MIDI CC data, to create realistic performances. Expression Maps were more effective than this design IMO, for two reasons. The editing is simply easier visually (why maps are so freaking popular). But it also supports putting each articulation on it's own midi channel in VEP, which is just as common for users of wet sample libraries that have multiple mic positions. I have 971 Instrument Tracks in S1 just so I can have unique CC data per articulation, and so I can layer articulations together. So Niles' point resonates with me. I just wish I could edit all these articulations in one Piano Roll view that compliments a multi-articulation workflow (like maps do).

I'd love to see Presonus really innovate something great here. The more they get this right and look at people's workflows, they'll win over a ton of folks from a ton of DAW's, especially Cubase and Logic.



+16 votes
answered May 20, 2016 by scoredfilms (5,130 points)
I'd like to add one complaint here about Cubase...

They made Expression Maps, and perhaps in QA they tested creating 100 articulations to see if it was possible. But they didn't actually do a real-life test with the feature with users of large orchestral libraries. There's no way they did. Because creating maps is too tedious because the editor in which you make them is archaic. It's insane. With Vienna Instruments Pro, I can adjust all keyswitches at once. With Cubase I can't. It's all one-by-one. My point here is that Steinberg seemed to think the words "mass edit" aren't important, when working with thousands of articulations across the full orchestra across every sample library. For power users, maps are a pain to create. I even made an Excel file which exported data to maps to make it 10x easier, which was still a pain. All I"m saying is that it's all fine and dandy to make a feature. But making it easy to use is equally important. Mapping articulations makes them easier to edit in the piano roll. But the act of mapping wasn't easy... at all. It may look like it. But just use their editor for a couple hours and you'll see just how poorly designed it is.

If it's not clear why this is relevant, please add this feature and make it easy to map things out on a large scale! =)

+7 votes
answered May 28, 2016 by tastenklopfer (320 points)

+1 (and +20 for the whole film composition course where I'm studying laugh )

I think it would change the whole market concerning software for users, who work with orchestral sample libraries, if this feature would be in StudioOne!
I know a lot of people (including me!) who like StudioOne better than Cubase, but they only stick with Cubase because of their "Expression Maps" function...

I hope something like that will be implemented in the future! wink

+4 votes
answered Jul 30, 2016 by sambosun (5,130 points)

I agree with you. My mockup is just that, a mockup. It's posted here to see how others react to it. It's great to see that many of you are on the same page that in regards to articulation driven music production studio one should incorporate some kind of visual support for us composers/producers. Of course my raw concept is by far not 100% how I think it should be in studio one but I feel something more than plain text driven design thinking was needed to bring attention to this specific area. If such a feature comes to life in studio one I hope the developers realize a much more agile system then what expression maps has to offer. In regards to expression maps I personally prefer note bound expressions over directions. In Logic Pro I still work that way where articulations are spread over 16 midi channels per instrument. Logic Pro allows to change a notes midi channel. If I move the midi note the articulation moves with it!
+10 votes
answered Aug 14, 2016 by sambosun (5,130 points)
I've updated the pictures aiming at this being implemented as Note-FX
+3 votes
answered Aug 27, 2016 by marcotrosi (380 points)
edited Aug 27, 2016 by marcotrosi

I searched the forum already some time ago for feature requests on this topic "articulation switching". And I found this post on which you also responded with these images. And back then I also responded. It simply shows how important it would be to have a good way to switch articulations.

I just want to add that I need more than 1 articulation per note. VSL supports switching e.g. from a long legato note to a tremolo playing at the end. Talking about strings in this case.

There you have a 2 dimensional array and you can define what Midi information is used for X and Y axis.

VSL articulations array

I also like the concept of having a single track for switching articulations. Like at the bottom of the Midi Editor window where you have "Velocity, Modulation, PitchBend, AfterTouch". Just one more tab named "Articulation" or "Macros" (strange name, see below why).

Now imagine we could define Midi Macros. Just like you proposed, with names and colors, but instead of single notes we define a group of midi signals. And then we can use these Macros in the "Macros"/"Articulations" tab in the Studio One Midi Editor. These would mean that I can control the velocity and the articulation in just a small view area. Like this …

Here you can see how I switch articulation within the same note. What do you think?

OR like your solution but somehow having the possibility to split a note in different articulations. This would be even better because I like your idea having the articulation connected to the note.

Best regards


+2 votes
answered Dec 7, 2016 by scoredfilms (5,130 points)

I realized it was just a mock-up. Whether they do something like your design, something more like Expression Maps, or something altogether new is irrelevant to me. I'm open to various designs, as long as the right functionality is represented in the final design.

We need flexibility in how articulations are sent to the VST. Things like Keyswitches, CC values, etc. But it's even more crucial to those of us who rely on full "note expression" to allow unique CC editing per articulation. My CC data for a staccato and Tremelo will be different. I might even use both articulations at the same time (which is why they are on different midi channels for me). A lot of users do this. Just as many users lump all their articulations on one midi channel and just use s keyswitch and keep it simpler, though less flexible in the performance. But altogether, we're a diverse crowd.

I appreciate simple designs. But the final result still has to give us both flexibility AND simplicity. That's a tricky thing, but Dorico is headed in that exact direction with articulations. So I'm hoping S1 can really do something great here. :)

+10 votes
answered Dec 11, 2016 by ghasenbeck (351,860 points)
Best answer

Thank you for the feature request. 

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+12 votes
answered Feb 6, 2017 by Funkybot (20,030 points)

An Articulation Editor should ideally allow me to set a velocity for keyswitches. Cinematic Studio Strings has "Velocity Sensitive Keyswitches" so a C0 with a velocity of 0-64 will trigger the Sustain keyswitch with the Standard Legato, but a velocity between 65 and 127 will trigger the Advanced Legato.

Any Articulation Editor should include the ability to transmit a velocity for the keyswitch. 

 Here is a table showing how quite a few articulations are dependent upon the velocity of the keyswitch note:

Articulation Keyswitch Velocity Sensitive Keyswitches
Sustain C0 0-64: Standard Legato 65-127: Advanced Legato
Tremolo C#0
MeasuredTrem D0
Trills D#0
Harmonic E0
Staccato F0 0-32: Spiccato 33-64: Staccatissimo 65-96: Staccato 97-127: Sfz
Marcato F#0 0-64: Spiccato Overlay Off 65-127: Spiccato Overlay On
Pizzicato G0 0-41: Pizzicato 42-84: Bartok Snap 85-127: Col Legno
Con Sodino Bb0 0-64: Con Sordino Off 65-127: Con Sordino On
Legato B0 0-64: Legato Off 65-127: Legato On
+2 votes
answered Mar 8, 2017 by jamesphillips9 (190 points)
As a Kontakt user myself, this kind of functionality is almost a requirement!  Yes, yes, and, YES! Great concept and mockup Sambosun.
+3 votes
answered Jul 25, 2017 by _Stevie_ (2,280 points)
Hey Sambosun,

your concept is just awesome. I would love if Presonus could implement it that way!

Fingers crossed.
+3 votes
answered Jul 25, 2017 by sambosun (5,130 points) 1 flag
I also agree with Sean that articulations need independent  cc data editing per articulation and let the user choose which cc data should be send to all articulations.
+1 vote
answered Mar 27 by robertgray3 (17,250 points)
Good suggestion, and a lot of good info in the comments too. Fingers crossed for future versions implementing a system for this.
+1 vote
answered May 23 by michdb (820 points)
already studio one 4 but still miss this feature I hope we can see this on next 0.1 or 0.2 updates now are one of the most vote features
+2 votes
answered May 24 by danabraham (250 points)
Can't believe Studio one 4 is out there without any basic articulation editor. It's here since 2015! I am starting to get skeptical on this one, and on studio one itself in an overall view.