Questions & Answers

Articulation Editor

+521 votes
asked Dec 13, 2015 in Studio One Feature Requests by sambosun (6,360 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)

31 Answers

+22 votes
answered Dec 11, 2016 by ghasenbeck (354,570 points)
Best answer

Thank you for the feature request. 

If anyone else agrees or disagrees, then please vote it up, or down. 

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+4 votes
answered Dec 14, 2015 by sambosun (6,360 points)
If people prefer one articulation per track a better show/hide track system is needed.
+12 votes
answered Dec 14, 2015 by niles (52,270 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

+10 votes
answered Feb 17, 2016 by Artem Reverse (1,250 points)
That would be great if we get it in Studio One :) + 1
+12 votes
answered Apr 4, 2016 by scoredfilms (5,460 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.



+18 votes
answered May 20, 2016 by scoredfilms (5,460 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! =)

+9 votes
answered May 28, 2016 by tastenklopfer (360 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

+6 votes
answered Jul 30, 2016 by sambosun (6,360 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!
+11 votes
answered Aug 14, 2016 by sambosun (6,360 points)
I've updated the pictures aiming at this being implemented as Note-FX
+8 votes
answered Aug 27, 2016 by marcotrosi (490 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


+3 votes
answered Dec 7, 2016 by scoredfilms (5,460 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. :)

+17 votes
answered Feb 6, 2017 by Funkybot (20,910 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
+4 votes
answered Mar 8, 2017 by jamesphillips9 (230 points)
As a Kontakt user myself, this kind of functionality is almost a requirement!  Yes, yes, and, YES! Great concept and mockup Sambosun.
+4 votes
answered Jul 25, 2017 by _Stevie_ (2,400 points)
Hey Sambosun,

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

Fingers crossed.
+5 votes
answered Jul 25, 2017 by sambosun (6,360 points)
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.
+2 votes
answered Mar 27, 2018 by robertgray3 (26,060 points)
Good suggestion, and a lot of good info in the comments too. Fingers crossed for future versions implementing a system for this.
+3 votes
answered May 23, 2018 by michdb (870 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
+5 votes
answered May 24, 2018 by danabraham (330 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.
+1 vote
answered Sep 11, 2018 by robinjandl (490 points)
Yes! Please make it usable with CC32 - I mostly abandoned regular keyswitching for using CCs.

Also really helpful would be additional features and view options for the midi event CC lanes - For example hide or always/by default show certain CCs/automations.
+1 vote
answered Dec 9, 2018 by Michael1985 (7,490 points)
Is this suggestion a little bit like my suggestion? maybe it is another solution which is not so complicated?
+3 votes
answered Dec 17, 2018 by davidmckee3 (230 points)
I agree, this would be awesome. This to me is the one thing Cubase still has over Studio One.  Maybe in 4.5?
+1 vote
answered Feb 13 by baristopaloglu (320 points)
If they implement this feature, i will definitely switch to Studio One.
+1 vote
answered Apr 26 by sunlove (2,860 points)
edited Apr 26 by sunlove
Almost 5 years later, and almost 500 upvotes later... Articulation mapping still only available on Cubase and Logic Pro X. Available too as addon for Reaper (with both Reaticulate and BRSO) and FL Studio (BRSO).
+2 votes
answered May 13 by cedricmialaret (760 points)
edited May 13 by cedricmialaret

Cubase with expression maps has probably the best implementation yet.

Expression maps 1

As you can see, for each input switch, it is possible to define many actions, such as change expression, max velocity, and so forth.

Input keyswitch: the keyswitch you want to use. Output keyswitch: the keyswitch defined by the library.
One can define multipe switches in the output, for adding a legato to a vibrato for example.

One can choose attribute (once per not) or direction (until another switch).

Cubase's implementation also works with expression based on midi channel, not keyswitch.

How it looks automated:

Expression maps in Cubase 2

Expressions can be played, or added with the pen later, which is super easy.

See JunkieXL's great video:

In addition to expression maps, dynamic mapping comes hand in hand and should be implemented too.

+3 votes
answered May 21 by aaronbrito (790 points)
4.5 is out. 3.5 years later. No apparent signs of progress on this?do we still believe presonus is going to implement this?
+2 votes
answered May 26 by dorrozen (280 points)

Brilliant! So necessary!

I had a feeling that PreSonus will add this feature in version 4.5 but it didn't happen. That is so disappointing.
+1 vote
answered Jun 11 by bennyr1 (1,350 points)
since 4.5 an articulation editor is even more important. To use the chord track and tracks follow the chord track is enable, only notes can transpose, articulations or sequence trigger keys need stay on same note. I hope the articulation is next on presonus todo list, then vst midi plugins in the multi instrument support, and possible to tie notes in impact XT. for the other two features is feature request too here, with many likes
+1 vote
answered Jun 18 by Dewdman42 (240 points)
We something like so bad.  Its the one thing that keeps me tied to LogicPro.  

some kind of articulationID attitribute to all notes would be ideal.

Just like in LogicPro, it may be necessary to also have additional Scripting ability to modify the actions taken for each articulation.  In LogicPro this can be done with the Scripter javascript plugin.  Not sure what would make sense in S1.  But both LogicPro and Cubase have some articulation handling built in, but its always missing a few things that additional scripting is able to handle.
+1 vote
answered Jul 15 by ozinga (770 points)
Hope to see it in 4.6 in Fall. Have a scoring project coming up and do not want to do it in Cubase or Logic.
+1 vote
answered Jul 30 by felipemilori1 (190 points)
Just waiting for this feature to fully make the switch!
+1 vote
answered Sep 11 by sambosun (6,360 points)
I too use Cubase occasionally. On my last cue I had to use a lot of Cubase expression maps for Libraries from spitfire and orchestral tools.


1. I exclusively use attributes. Why? because they are bound to notes and always follow the notes and are respected when delaying notes etc.

2. Steinbergs expression maps setup and maintenance workflow for expression maps is 1990 style. the expression maps window has no form of batch editing. I have to import expression maps one by one. that is totally bonkers and a workflow killer.

Anyways. I am confident that Presonus Software will take care of a good solution that is modern and also implements some kind of delay compensation per articulation which is especially useful if you use high latent artics like legato in CSS (cinematic studio strings) in one patch not distributed by midi channel.

I also have to admit that my workflow is a mix of one articulation per track and articulation switching on one track in Logic and Cubase.

And I highly recommend babylonwaves articulation maps!