Assigning channels to VSTs that are not assigned to a track

I’ve spent several hours combing the docs and forums and I still can’t get my head around this…

I’m having two issues:

  1. I have one player, one track. I would like to have that player alternate between two different VSTs during playback. Is there some way to have two VSTs available, assign them to separate channels, and to have the single player switch between the two? I can get the two VSTs in the VST and Midi tab, but I can only assign one of them to a channel from the Track Inspector.

  2. I need to do the switching per note, so expression maps would be the way to go, but I can’t get a playing technique to send a channel change message. I’ve followed various sets of instructions to create an xmap and a playing technique already but I must be missing something.


You can achieve this using Independent Voice Routing, but it would require you to be disciplined about your use of voices and it will restrict your engraving choices (so the score may not look pretty) It is easier if you you are using two different libraries within a single vst (eg Kontakt or VEpro) where you can use program changes to move between them.

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Thank you. Yes I’m aware of that, and since this solution comes at the cost of the notation, I’d rather just score on separate staves. I’m surprised it’s not somehow possible to have an additional vst that can be assigned a separate channel, and then be able to have the player switch between channels more easily.
If there are two players, each with their own vst, is it possible for one to route its data through the other one’s channel?

As before, only using IVR.

I’m surprised by your surprise. AFAIK even DAWs to not provide this capability.

I don’t know DAWs well. It’s simple in Finale. You can load up separate vsts in separate midi channel banks, without any assignment to staves in the score, and create an expression to change the channel of any staff on the fly. Two staves can be sent to the same channel, one staff can switch between channels, etc. Half a dozen button clicks to set up and simple to use.

My ‘workaround’ for achieving this to date is to use Bidule. It works as a kind of ‘host within a host’, where I can mix and match all the plugins I like into a single integrated environment. Within bidule I teach it to intercept various commands of my choosing (key switches, program changes, cc events, etc. that Dorico sends via expression maps, a spare control stave, or CC lanes) and use them to ‘reroute’ events to the proper plugins/channels on demand.

It’s a similar concept, yet a different approach to using VEPro (a type of plugin ‘server’) as suggested above.

Convincing any DAW or Scoring suite on the market these days to ‘bounce plugins’ isn’t a trivial feat.

AFAIK, you’ll have to do the ‘host within a host’ thing to make it an easy and somewhat seamless process.

Using a new stave for the alternate plugin is the easiest ‘native’ method I think. It’s not bad since unused bars of a stave won’t show up in engrave mode (unless you force Dorico to show them). In some cases you might need to do a pure ‘visual stave’ that’s muted, or pointing to a dummy instrument that makes no sound. Splatter notes over several staves to trigger whatever sounds you desire in whatever plugins you want. You can configure which staves should be ‘hidden’ in Engrave and Write modes. In galley mode, you’ll see it all spread out in front of you. With a little practice it’s not hard to get it all sorted so the write and engrave modes stack up visually as desired.

Channel bouncing can be achieved in Dorico. Plugin bouncing? I’m not aware of a way without a third party utility like Bidule or VEPro.

I did know Finale can channel bounce but, I didn’t know it could bounce VSTs (other than maybe within the native Garritan/Plogue system)! Way cool! I’ll have to take a closer look at this (if I can still find VST2 versions of my favorite instruments).