Knowledge Base


Custom Rules GUI for Notion 5 and 6

Custom Rules GUI Knowledge Base Article


General Information


The new Custom Rules Graphic User Interface provides an easy to use control setup for Notion users who would like to use Notion articulations, techniques and MIDI Control data with their VSTi’s. In the past, users had to have some knowledge of how to write XML code with proper syntax to create custom rules for how their VSTi’s would perform using Notion.


We now provide an easy to use interface that allows you to save new rulesets that work with individual instruments in a VSTi, or with a particular VSTi in a global mode.


You can save, import, and export rulesets on a per score basis making it possible to utilize the power of these rules in each of your scores.


Rulesets are saved on a score by score basis and can be used anywhere in your score and called upon to follow instrument changes that happen across the staff at any time during playback.


Accessing the Custom Rules GUI

To access the Custom Rules GUI dialogue page, Press “Shift + Y” on your computer keyboard. The following dialogue will appear:



 The Rules dialogue is where you can choose to start new rulesets or import and export rulesets for sharing with other scores or other users.


New Ruleset


When you click “New…, you will see a Ruleset appear on the screen:




Name your ruleset and you can begin editing immediately. Before we go into the details of this window, let us draw your attention to how you will place these into the score.


Now that you have created a ruleset, a list will begin to populate the Rules dialogue. Open the Rules dialogue again and select the ruleset that you would like to use on a particular staff or staves throughout the score. Once you have selected the ruleset, click “Use”.



The text name of the ruleset “Cello Solo” will appear in the cursor. This text is tied to the ruleset, and can be dropped anywhere in the score for these rules to be referenced.

 Cello Solo Rule Placement.png


Notes: Rulesets can be copied and pasted anywhere into the score. They are setup to work like instrument changes and by keeping them together, you will always know which instruments are being controlled by what rules. You should strive to keep instrument changes and ruleset changes together in your scores.


For example:

 Instrument Change.png



In the case above, Cello Solo on channel 1 switches to the Cello Ensemble on channel 2, in Bar 3. Use “Shift + I”, to create the Instrument Change, and then use “Shift + Y” to add the ruleset for the Cello Ensemble. Now, each instrument has its own set of rules that will control playback over a particular MIDI channel in Kontakt.


Editing Rules


-Each ruleset contains some header information that provides some specific control for an instrument in your score. The header data to be managed is:



a)    Ruleset Name – name your rulesets and keep them organized

b)   Velocity Map – controls the velocities that dynamics in your Notion scores will send to your VSTi

c)    Hairpin Map – controls the volume ranges of hairpins set between your dynamics

d)   Hairpin CC – this is where you choose the MIDI CC that you want to use to send the Hairpin Map values over to your VSTi

e)    Hairpin Anchor – this is a value that can be set to control where your VSTi will always start the hairpin. (It is mainly used for VSTi’s that do not have Velocity Crossfading. It will help prevent VSTi’s without Velocity Crossfading from having large jumps in dynamic range from one Sample dynamic to another across a hairpin.)

f)     Mixer CC – a MIDI CC that can be used to control Volume or Expression over an external MIDI device. (It is not set for VSTi’s that are running internally.)



-Each ruleset has its own set of rules that can be created to control your VSTi’s. There are several parameters that can be added to create control over items in your scores. These parameters control articulations, techniques, MIDI CC’s, Channel Changes, and much more…


Below the header data, the individual rules begin:




a)    Insert Rule – place new rule before or after an existing rule

b)   Edit Remark – names the rule

c)    Conditions – assigns articulations, techniques, conditions and flags so that specific actions will be taken when the rule file is referenced

d)   Actions – assigns what you would like for the rule to do

e)    Enabled – toggles the rule on and off

f)     Gear Wheel – provides Copy, Paste, Move, Insert Copied Rule and Delete functions


Making your Rules Work for You


There are several ways to manipulate your rules to control that way that your VSTi’s are going to work in playback. It is up to you to be inventive to get your rules to perform the VSTi the way that you want it to.  Conditions and Actions give you control over the instrument based on what you need the instrument to do.


Conditions – to add a condition, click the plus sign below “Conditions”. There are several options of condition that you can add. Before you add a condition, as yourself the question “If…?” and then add the condition that you would like to use. In other words, you are creating a question for Notion.


For example, “If the Articulation is Staccato, then what action do you want your VSTi to take?"


a)    Articulation is – asks if any of these articulations are being used in your score

  1. Accent
  2. Dash
  3. Legato accent
  4. Legato strong accent
  5. Mezzo-staccato
  6. Soft start
  7. Staccato
  8. Staccato accent
  9. Staccato strong accent
  10.   Staccatissimo
  11.   Staccatissimo accent
  12.   Staccatissimo strong accent
  13.   Strong accent


b)   Condition is true – asks if a score specified condition is present

  1. Breath Mark
  2. Note after note – asks if a repetition needs to perform an Action for repeated notes in chronological sequence. The repeated Notes after the First Note will be affected.
  3.     Note before note – asks if a repetition needs to perform an Action for repeated notes in reverse chronological sequence. The repeated Notes before the last repeated Note will be affected.
  4. Note after same – asks if a repetition needs to perform an Action for repeated notes of the same pitch
  5. Open tie – asks if there is an open tie. can be used to complete sustains
  6. Same string up – asks if the same string is being used to go up. Can be called up to ask if a same string sample should be used.
  7. Same string down – asks if the same string is being used to go up. Can be called up to ask if a same string sample should be used.
  8. Slide up – asks if the expression “Slide up” is being used
  9. Slide up into – asks if the expression “Slide up” is being used and performs slightly different than slide up.
  10. Slide down - asks if the expression “Slide down” is being used
  11.   Slide down into – asks if the expression “Slide up” is being used and performs slightly different than slide up.
  12. Slurred attack – asks if the second note under a slur needs to have some action assigned to it
  13. Slurred release – asks how the releases of all notes under a slur should release.
  14. Under slur – asks if the notes under are under a slur, and if so, you must define an Action to control what will happen


c)    Condition is False – asks if a score specified condition is not present

d)   Component id is – Component id’s are a numeric value assigned by a user. This value comes in handy when you wish to place multiple instruments onto the same staff using note names as the sound that will play back. This comes in handy for instruments like Drum Sets, where the Bass Drum is Component ID “1” and the Snare is Component ID “2”. After you assign a Component ID, you can recall the Component ID in a later rule with a Flag. (More later on Flags.)

e)    Duration > – asks if theDuration is greater than a time value

f)     Duration < – asks if theDuration is less than a time value

g)    Duration >= – asks if theDuration is greater or equal to a time value

h)   Duration <= – asks if theDuration is less than or equal to a time value

i)     Dynamic >= – asks if theDynamic is greater than a dynamic value

j)     Dynamic <= – asks if theDynamic is less than a dynamic value

k)   Flag – a flag is a user defined four letter string that will ask the “If…?” later in the rule set. These are one of the strangest and most valuable concepts in editing a ruleset. Once a flag has been assigned, it can be called upon as often as you like throughout your ruleset. This provides great control in your rulesets to make actions perform different actions for different conditions.

l)     Not Flag – asks if a flag is not used. You can remove certain flagged conditions from subsequent rules in your ruleset.

m) Is Ghost – asks if the note in the Score is a Ghost Note. You can set this to True or False

n)   MIDI Channel is – asks the output from Notion if MIDI is being transmitted over a specific MIDI Channel

o)   Note Symbol is – asks if a note symbol is being used

p)   Pitch is – asks if a specific Pitch is being played through Notion

q)   String is – asks if the score has a defined string that a stringed instrument is playing on

r)    Technique is on – asks if a certain playback technique for a particular instrument is turned on in the score. Techniques are instrument based and can usually be found in the palette for a particular instrument. Examples for this are “con sordino”, “pizzicato”, or “tremolo”. There are many techniques in the list and each instrument has its own valuable set. You can also enter these using the Express Entry Tool, which can be called upon by pressing the apostraphe key on your computer keyboard. Then, start typing the name of your technique.

s)    Technique is not – asks if a certain playback technique is not turned on in a score 


Techniques Available in Notion 5:




Actions – to add an Action, click the plus sign below “Actions”. Actions are based on the Condition that you provide. The question you asked for the Condition was “If…?”. The answer is provided in the “Action” with a “Then…”

The Action will tell the VSTi what to do based on Conditions that you have provided. The way to think about this is that “If…Condition provided, then…perform a:


a)    Channel Change – sends a channel change message to the VSTi

b)   Component Stop – ends the previously user defined component

c)    Duration Change – extends or shorten the length of playback of a note with a percentage

d)   Dynamic Change – adds a numeric value to the number of dynamic levels higher or lower that you would like for this condition to perform. If a dynamic value it set to f, and you want it to perform at mp, select -2 as your dynamic change value

e)    Fixed End Gap – sets the note offs that fall under a certain condition to perform with a fixed time of space between the note off, and the note on of the following note

f)     Fixed Pitch – sets the pitch that a certain condition will always play

g)    Relative End Gap – sets the note offs that fall under a certain condition to perform with a variable time of space between the note off, and the note on of the following note

h)   Send CC – sends a MIDI CC when the condition is triggered

i)     Send keyswitch – sends a Keyswitch when the condition is triggered

j)     Set flag – sets the user defined 4 letter string

k)   Unset flag – unsets a user defined 4 letter string

l)     Set technique – sets user defined conditions to create a user defined technique

m) Unset technique – unsets a technique. Useful for creating a “Normale”

n)   Set component id – sets the user defined component number to user defined Conditions

o)   Transpose – changes the pitch with a transposition when user defined Conditions apply

p)   Trill – creates a trill with user defined playback values. Useful for sample libraries that do not have trill samples. You can create a whole-step or half-step trill that will playback manually for the duration of your note. You can even set a delay time for when the first note of the trill begins, to get a more natural playback option.

q)   Velocity Change – adds a users defined velocity change to a certain condition. You can add or subtract the value from your velocity map.

r)    Volume Change – adds a percentage of volume to the playback of your note.


***When using custom rules, flags can prove to be extremely useful.  If you are using a technique such as arco or pizzicato, these techniques require that you set and unset flags.  Below you will find a sequence of images that illustrate how to set up one set of rules for use with arco and pizz.




In the image above you can see where we have started by adding a Main flag.  It is imperative that you add a Main flag so that your rules have a place to default back to.  




In the next image above, please note that we have added a rule that unsets the Main flag and then defines a new flag named "pizz" for the pizzicato.  The rule below the pizz flag defines what happens when the pizz flag is invoked.  We are sending a keyswitch.




Finally, in the image above, you will see where we are defining the arco flag by unsetting the pizz flag.  Below that rule, you will see our final rule that defines what happens when the main flag is set.  Notion will read through all of the rules in consecutive order, and if none of the rules apply, the sound is defaulted to the main flag.  This is why you set the main flag in your first rule, and then define the behavior of that flag in the last rule.  If the main flag is not unset by any other rules, it will be applied.


For more advanced setup information, please take a look at the link below...





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