Broadway Lites in Notation Mode

Hi All,

Any insight into the following would be appreciated:

The Broadway Lites VST manual states:
“For those of you who are using notation software (such as Sibelius, Finale, Dorico, etc.) and who wish to use Broadway LITEs sounds for direct playback inside the notation software, we created the “Notation Mode”. Most notation programs are unable to send the appropriate MIDI triggers to play the correct articulations on Broadway LITEs instruments when not in notation mode. When in Notation Mode, Broadway LITEs instruments have an alternative notation-software friendly key-switching, and the default key-switching is disabled.”

Question: Can any other users of the Broadway Lites (or other Fable Sounds VST instruments) or the Dorico developers/management team please confirm that what Fable Sounds describe as their “Notation Mode” actually works in Dorico? For the life of me I CANNOT get the Broadway Lites instrument VST to respond to articulations entered into Dorico in Write mode.

I can confirm that I am working with a single stave, I have selected Kontakt as the playback VST, associated it in Play mode with the single stave (into which I have entered a simple C major scale with alternate notes accented) and yet all I get is basic non-articulated playback.

I have setup an expression map which I have associated with the selected instrument (the Broadway Lites Legato Trumpet) via the end-point setup and it makes no difference.

I have done a search on the forum for similar questions and the only question I could find with regards to the Fable Sounds Broadways Lites instrument VST is essentially unanswered. I followed the advice offered here:
and, with respect, it made no difference.

Thank you in advance for all help proffered.

According to the FAQ on their website, apparently you can only access the documentation by buying the product, and they don’t offer a demo version “for technical reasons”.

So unless you find another user here, you are probably going to be on your own.

Thanks Rob :unamused:

Anyone with a potentially useful answer?

“Most notation programs are unable to send the appropriate MIDI triggers to play the correct articulations on Broadway LITEs instruments”

What are the “appropriate midi triggers” that would play the correct articulations?

David Tee. Please feel free to direct your question to Fable Sounds here:

From what scraps of information are on the web, it seems that the “non-notation mode” key switches work by holding down a key on a MIDI keyboard for the duration of the effect you want to produce, and also that some key switches are actually modifiers to other key switches and therefore meant to be used simultaneously (but not necessarily starting and ending at the same point in time).

That may well be a good design for live playing - e.g. you can make a note growl for part of its length by pressing and releasing the “growl” key switch as you wish.

None of that is how key switches work in notation software like Sibelius or Finale. Whether you could implement it in Dorico with playing techniques that have a duration, and different actions at the start and end, is an interesting question, but not answerable without a demo version to play with!

The only detailed documentation I could find on the web was a pirated copy of what appeared to be the Version 1 manual, and it didn’t talk mention “notation key switches” at all.

The point of my first post was “these guys seem to be trying to make it hard for people to help you.”

Rob, Thanks for your your efforts, but unless you have specific experience with Fable Sounds products it’s not worth the effort mate.

I appreciate your effort, but the fact is I have the product, the manual etc. and Fable Sounds are well known and well referenced in the industry for their samples, with adequate info supplied as to exactly how to interface to their product. What I am really after is a yay or nay answer from Dorico as to whether they support this 3rd party plugin, or an answer from fellow Dorico users who have managed to get a Fable Sounds product to work.

Since Dorico doesn’t offer in house (1st party) VST plugins of this quality (other than those from their parent company, Steinberg) then I expect Dorico to go out of its way to answer my question. Sure, to expect Dorico to support every 3rd party plugin out there is to expect exemplary work from the Dorico team, but this is a VST instrument that is important to my work and I need to know (for business purposes) if it will or will not work with Dorico. I’m not blaming Dorico if it doesn’t, I just need to know for the purposes of my work.

AFAIK, expression maps within Dorico are able to take care of simultaneous keyswitches, so unless I am mistaken, since the “Notation Mode” is meant for notation softwares unable of handling that, the mode is redundant when the product is being used with Dorico.

Thank you Frigolito. This is something positive for me to follow up on.

We don’t have this library ourselves, and if the documentation is not published publicly, there’s not a great deal we can do to advise. Dorico is compatible with all VST 3 instruments and most VST 3 effects (not MIDI effects), and VST 2.x plug-ins can be used if you manually whitelist them. Dorico provides reasonably comprehensive features for mapping the articulations, playing techniques and patches of any VST instrument via both expression maps and percussion maps. However, it is unrealistic to expect us at Steinberg to provide detailed support for other companies’ products, or to produce expression and/or percussion maps for third party products. We have limited internal resources and many competing demands for our time.

Unlike Sibelius and Finale, Dorico does in fact keep keyswitches depressed for the duration of the technique, so if Fablesounds’s products require the keyswitches to be held down, that is no problem. If you’re having problems triggering the correct articulations in the Fablesounds library, you are configuring your expression map incorrectly. Things to check: make sure that you’re using a consistent approach to octave numbering (by default Dorico calls middle C, MIDI note 60, C4, but other software differs, so check the documentation provided with Broadway Lites to make sure you know which octave the keyswitches should be in); and make sure you are setting up mutual exclusion groups for any playing techniques you add in the expression map (so that Dorico knows that if you switch from one technique to another, it should also remove the previous technique rather than add it to the current ones).

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Thank you Daniel for your detailed reply.

I appreciate your position, but it does leave me feeling somewhat like I have taken a bit of a gamble on Dorico as far as my sound library is concerned. Given the issues I had getting the NI Kontakt player to work it would seem that not all white-listed VST’s are created equal?

For the purposes of drawing a line under this issue:

The Fable Sounds Instrument VST’s have three modes of operation labelled “Standard”, “Real Time Orchestra” and “Notation”.

The “Notation” mode is specifically identified in the Broadway Lites user manual for use by “those of you who are using notation software such as Sibelius, Finale, Dorico etc.”

If I may then ask: Are you (or anyone on this forum) aware of this “Notation” mode to which Fable Sounds refer?

In “Standard” mode the Broadway Lites instrument uses key switches (exclusively to the far left of a standard 88 note MIDI keyboard) as is so common with many other VST instruments. But in “Notation” mode these key switches are disabled in favour of “an alternative notation-software friendly key-switching”

For each patch there then follows a list of “keys” that can be employed to activate the various articulations applicable to that patch. Please note, the “keys” listed are NOT keys on a music keyboard (as are used in the “standard” mode), but numbers in the range of 1 to 127. For example, Staccato = 2, Sfz = 17. I immediately assumed that these numbers referred to either program or control changes.

Does this so called “Notation” mode referred to in the Fable Sounds literature ring any bells with you Daniel?

Thank you for your time.

I read the thread with interest. Just as an observer:-

@GeoffBob - Apologies if you’ve already tried, but have you been in contact with Fabled Sounds, to get their take on all this.?

Do they have a copy of Dorico available to test against.?

Back in my (now distant) days of software testing, it was common that we would request NFR copies of commercial software - for testing/verifying customer reported problems. Maybe such policy/regimes still operate in the industry today…

I have indeed, but unfortunately they operate a “please leave your name, email and question” type system, so I await a response via email.

My rationale was that if I could approach them with a “Dorico has no knowledge of the easy notation system to which you refer in your manual” then I could firmly put the ball in their court.

The good news though is that I have worked out (and I humbly confess my own ignorance) that the table of numbers listed in the Broadway Lites manual (page 27 onward) is in fact a list of alternate key switches tabulated according to the MIDI note numbering system. IE A0=21, C3=48, D6=86 etc …

What threw me is that in the “standard” mode of operation the articulations are tabulated according to MIDI note names. For example: Staccato = D#0, but in “Notation” mode they are tabulated using MIDI note numbers. I confess that I have not used MIDI note numbers in a VERY long time so this was not the solution that immediately sprung to mind. Well, at least not to my mind :cry:

I should at least now be able to get on with the job of mapping the various articulations using the expression maps feature in Dorico.

Dear Geoff, maybe I can chip in… I don’t have BB anymore , but I have used it in the past. Furthermore I manage to use every single sample library I own (from multiple different developers) without any problems, but plenty of workarounds. Dorico can handle, with limitations, pretty much any of the BB versions. The so-called Notation is more of a Sibelius/Finale thing. So, my first piece of advice:

1.- Go here: print this out and put it on your desk.

2.- Yamaha and Kontakt use MIDI NAMES differently (Middle C is C4 in Dorico and C3 in Kontakt, but they are always MIDI NOTE 60), so it’s better/easier to use MIDI NOTE Numbers.

3.- Most standard articulations can be programmed in Dorico’s Expression map, but not all (e.g. string harmonics). So some will have to be triggered manually, for example by adding a stave below and inputting the desired keyswitch as notation (you can then remove/hide this extra staff without deleting the music).

4.- You’ll also occasionally need to disable the playback of certain elements or even notes (in the properties window on the bottom) in order to get the desired effect. Sometimes you have to use the trick in No. 3 to get certain glissandos, scoops, etc, to play like a real musician would.

If you need any further help don’t hesitate to ask, but I might not be around today.

Hi Bollen,

Thank you so much for your constructive inputs. You have no idea how much you have helped me.

By this evening I had finally managed to get a small expression map up and running in order to control some of the basic trumpet articulations.

Where I have struggled is with jazz articulations such as scoop, fall, doit etc. Dorico has these listed as ornaments (shift-O) rather than playing techniques (shift-P).

I note with interest, however, that when I edit my newly constructed expression map (ctrl-Shift-J in Play mode) the trumpet articulations scoop, doit, fall etc. are in fact listed as playing techniques. Although, for certain, when I add them to my simple 4-bar test score as ornaments they definitely don’t trigger the assigned key-switch and are not available for selection as playing techniques using shift-P in write mode.

To be clear though, I can trigger these articulations using other playing techniques (such as pizz.) by assigning them to say “rip up” simply to test that they do in fact work (that is to say, are playable).

Any help with assigning these playing techniques to what Dorico list as ornaments would be appreciated.

Thank you.

At the moment, Dorico doesn’t output any playback playing techniques for the jazz articulations, so for the time being you’ll need some additional trickery to trigger those articulations in your sample library. Create a few new playing techniques that use a text appearance in Engrave > Playing Technique for scoop, fall, plop and doit that have the appropriate playback playing technique chosen. Create the appropriate playing technique in the score at the point where you have Dorico’s automatically-positioned jazz articulation. Select the “scoop” text or whatever it is and activate the ‘Hide’ property in the Properties panel. Now you should see a signpost for the playing technique, and the “real” jazz articulation is shown in the score. Dorico will now trigger the scoop playback playing technique from the hidden playing technique signpost. Provided you have that hooked up in your new expression map, you should get the sound you’re hoping to hear.

Thank you Daniel. That sounds like excellent advice. I will try exactly as you suggest.

David Tee,

Sincerest apologies for my previously overly aggressive reply. Now that I am seeing light at the end of the tunnel (could be another train?) I feel more relaxed. I wasn’t in the best frame of mind the other evening as tools, such as Dorico, contribute to my income. Taking on board a new tool like Dorico has been a nerve-wracking experience for me and it is incredibly important to me that it does what I need it to do.

To answer your question: From what I have learned over the past weekend, it would seem that appropriate MIDI triggers (specifically for notation programs and from Fable Sounds perspective) would be single note triggers. To make these VST instruments easier to play live Fable sounds use multiple simultaneous key triggers. For notation programs that can only assign one key trigger per articulation (playing technique), the method of multiple simultaneous key triggers does not work. To this end it would seem (and I finally now understand this) Fable Sounds provide a “notation friendly mode” in their Broadway Lites instrument VST, where all simultaneous key triggers are converted to single key triggers. This method is non-conducive to a live performance as it results in a lot more single trigger keys than can be tolerated by one persons left hand, but well suited to notation software whose fingers are god-like in construction :wink:

I have since learned, however, that Dorico can in fact handle multiple simultaneous key triggers, so I have the option, it would seem, to use either the “standard” or “Notation” key trigger options provided by Fable Sounds.

David Tee,
Sincerest apologies for my previously overly aggressive reply. Now that I am seeing light at the end of the tunnel (could be another train?) I feel more relaxed.


Hi Geoff, Many thanks for your message, no need to apologise. It’s good to hear that you’re getting things sorted. Threads like this are incredibly helpful and already we have more information about Broadway Lite, Notation Mode and how to get it to work than can be found anywhere else on the Internet.