BBC SO Template for Vienna Ensemble Pro?

I tried the BBC SO Core on my mac mini 2018, and I found that the speed of loading all necessary sound patches are much slower comparing to the loading speed of Cinematic Studio Strings in Kontakt Player 6. The system is macOS Big Sur.

ShikiSuen hello,
You could check Spitfire Download Assistant for an option to “Optimize” the installed library.
This may improve the loading speed of BBC SO Core.
This option should be somewhere in the area enclosed in red on the screenshot.
If the option missing then it was optimized, if it’s there, then I recommend you to perform optimization.

Best wishes,

The option is not there. Maybe its loading speed is only slow in Dorico, I guess.

@DanMcL, I am trying the approach you mention, but Dorico still loads all the BBC SO-VSTs…
In your template; are all the old VST-slots still present, but empty?

Would be neater if I could start from scratch, and load the BBC SO Playback Template without Dorico loading all the BBC-plugins, but can´t figure out how to do that.


Looks like I found the reason:

Even if using BBC Core, each string ensemble patch requires approx. 5GB memory space.
My mac mini has 32GB RAM installed, and the macOS system itself (plus the Intel iGPU) certainly requires some basic RAM spaces.

I’ll gonna consider upgrade it to 64GB RAM.

Update: I found similar issues encountered by someone else (please also see its comment thread):

No you want to remove all the old BBCSO VST’s because of course they’ll still load, even if unused. Dorico doesn’t have a Enable Track kind of feature like Cubase. I just have five or so VEP VST’s loaded for the choirs in my project - woodwinds, brass, etc, and all the instruments route to them respectively.

Going crazy with this now…
Is there a step-by-step guide to this somewhere…?

I tried using John´s Iconica-template, but now I can´t see the expression maps for BBC. Strange, some of the are there. Do I need to save something in “endpoint” using the BBC-template, first?

Image 1: With the BBC-template as starting point I get access to all the expression maps, and here´ what happens:
Image 2: I load my own template with the VEPro-instances
Image 3: this is the endpoitn saved for the latter
Image 4: Dorico loads 13 channels of the same VEPRO-channel…!?

make a VEP-Server project with the instances of all BBCSO patches you will use.
In the left zone of the playmode window all your used players should have a referenze to one of your new VEP Instances with the right chanel. If there are still any other plugins in any voices of a player - they will be loaded.
So delete all of the wrong instances in the right zone.
Then check the plugins and chanels in the playerslist in the left zone.
Have always a look in the endpointconf. wether all is right. (Instruments, chanels, x-maps)
Then save the endpointconf. and make with it your new playbacktemplate and use this.
Save the project of course too.

Thanks! Very helpful, I´m starting to get it now…

My Pc’s are 4 years old now - but the full BBCSO Pro (on SSD) is loaded in VEP-Server in about 28 Seconds and then Dorico needs only 2-4 Seconds to reload and connect any project to the preserved server instance.

Sounds like BBCSO has lack of optimization with macOS Big Sur running on mac models equipped with Apple-made SSD controllers.

Here is my way to use Vienna Ensemble Pro for BBC SO, but I think it’s the same for other VSTs.
Please note that for reasons of simplicity I took BBC SO Core and made only Woodwinds, but you can really easily develop the instructions for other orchestra sections.
Moderators, I hope this post isn’t too long for this thread: don’t hesitate to move or clean it if needed: thanks!

  1. Create VEPro Instance(s)
    In Vienna Ensemble Pro, create all the instance(s) with the instruments wanted for your project.
    Please check midi ports and midi channels (don’t forget to increment the latter on each instrument).

  2. Load BBC SO Core Playback Template
    In Dorico, go to Play tab, and in Play Menu select “Playback Template…” item.
    In the dialog select BBC SO Core and click “Apply and Close”.
    As stated before, applying this playback template will load needed BBC SO Core expression maps.

  3. Add a new VST Instrument and set it to VEP Pro
    In Dorico, still in Play Tab, add a new VST Instrument (by clicking the “+” icon on the bottom of the “VST Instruments” footer) and select “Vienna Ensemble Pro”

  4. Display the Vienna Ensemble Pro window
    Display the Vienna Ensemble Pro window clicking on the “e”.

  5. Connect to the Vienna Ensemble Pro instance
    Click on Connect on the Vienna Ensemble Pro window and select the instance created in Vienna Ensemble Pro

  6. Create the players
    In Dorico, go to the Setup tab to create the players that correspond to the Vienna Ensemble Pro instance

  7. Remove unwanted VST Instruments loaded by current playback template
    Select newly added VST Instruments by selecting and clicking on the trash bin.

  8. Set Vienna Ensemble Pro VST Instruments for all players
    In Doric Play tab, for each player set the VST Instrument to the Vienna Ensemble Pro VST instrument.
    Don’t forget to increment midi channels!

  9. Set right expression map and rename endpoint configuration
    Display the Endpoint of the Vienna Ensemble Pro VST Instrument by clicking on the cog wheel.
    Then, in the expression map column, select the right expression map for each instrument.
    Save the endpoint configuration by clicking the bottom left button.

  10. Create New Playback Template
    In Dorico Play tab, in the Play menu, select “Playback Template…” item: in the dialog, create a new template by clicking on the big “+” button and name it.

  11. Choose Playback Template correct endpoint configuration
    Click the button “Add Manual” and select the correct endpoint configuration we just created.

    You can check if the newly created playback template has a good endpoint configuration by clicking on the “Endpoint Configurations…” button.

  12. Check Playback Template is displayed in Playback Templates dialog
    Check that your Playback Template appears in the playback template lists dialog.

    It can also be interesting to export your playback template using the “Export…” button to use your playback template on other projects.

It could be interesting to watch the Dorico youtube video Custom Playback Templates | New Features in Dorico 3

I hope this little tutorial will help!

Best regards,


Thanks you so much for your great post! I think you’ve covered my needs!

De rien @MarcLarcher :slight_smile:
Thanks for your kind words, please do not hesitate to contact me if you find any mistake, I’ll modify my post accordingly!

@Gil75 Hi,
Thank you very much for the nice post and detailed explanation! :slight_smile:
The most problematic parts of the playback template are the Divisi and Double, Triple, Quadruple Stops (chords) and what is the best way to approach them, especially the chords which could be performed in legato (double and many triple stops). The BBC SO Legato articulations are monophonic, so the playback of simultaneous intervals isn’t possible. We are still waiting for @John_at_Steinberg to help with this situation by giving us some tips and tricks on how to make them work with as less as possible workarounds.

Something came to my mind… to create an Expression Map which triggers the same KeySwitch for Legato articulation in two, or three patches, but unfortunately the expression map cannot be routed into multiple channels in order to trigger simultaneously multiple monophonic Legato articulations. Would be nice if the Expression Maps gives ability for multi-channel routing! :slight_smile:
Another thing is also needed… more control over every technique withing multiple techniques expression maps:

  1. Option decide which one of them Enable, or Disable
    Example: Legato+Multiple Stops - I already have Legato assigned to a monophonic legato articulation, so in this two component expression I would like to preserve the slur extension of the notes and to disable the playback of assigned Legato articulation.

  2. Option to give custom priorities.

I will post a feature improvement request for the Expression Maps. :slight_smile:

Best wishes,
Thurisaz :slight_smile:

Hello @John_at_Steinberg,
I hope you are doing well and everything’s fine there! :slight_smile:
I have question about the current BBC SO Pro Template. What was the reason the CC 11 (Expression) to be selected and activated as secondary dynamic, alongside with CC 1 (ModWheel), or Velocity?
The library was created to sound relatively balanced, and seems to me, that when CC 11 is involved it sounds a bit unbalanced, especially for the patches where CC 1 responsible for the dynamics.

Thank you in advance for your reply! :slight_smile:

Best regards,

Hello @Thurisaz
I think the reason was that velocity based articulations (shorts) and ModWheel based articulations are not really well balanced. A staccato with Velocity=20 is not really compatible to a long with CC1 = 20 .
The only way I could solve that was sseparation shorts and longs to different Instances/Midi Channels, so that there are no automation jumps and I can control the perceived loudness in the VEP mixer.
But this resulted in many many VEP instances with still the drawback of having no RACK Instruments in Dorico where to place a VEP holder instance.

Grand merci !

I only saw this post because of the new reply but as it seems John has yet to answer, I will try to do so. If you read the Spitfire documentation, it is clear that CC1 and CC11 correspond to the timbre and volume respectively and you are expected to use both together. Sometimes you may want more actual volume with the same timbre and sometimes a more forceful timbre – in other words the next velocity crossfade layer – but not necessarily a change in overall volume.

If you find John’s results unbalanced then you can easily adjust the scaling within the primary and secondary controllers both in terms of overall range and with respect to each other. I’ve yet to come across a library where the patches are all correct in terms of dynamic balancing within the instrument and between instruments. When velocity is used as in shorter notes for the primary controller, I’d accept @oldmacilli 's point that it is not always very well correlated with the CC1 using longer patches.

In the meantime, you may have come to realise all this of course!