Clear articulate Strings with good dynamics?

Playing with Dorico (FINALLY!), and I’m having a hard time finding a cello patch that is clear and articulate, but that also plays dynamics well. (most string samples IMO don’t have enough attack and only sound good when playing “lush” pads, rather than playing back dynamic string writing well.

The soli combi patch that came on by default sounded rich and lovely and played the dynamics well, but when 1/16th note runs or tango passages with quick contrasting bow strokes were introduced, notes were lost, and certain notes jumped out way louder than other notes. The most important thing for me is to be able to hear every pitch and rhythm clearly. No one will ever listen to the MIDI playback but me, and I can imagine what real strings sound like if the basics are played back.

The Cello Duo and GM Cello articulated every note clearly, but did not have any dynamic swells. I inputed a series of tremolo whole notes with swells in them, and both these patches sounded terrible here, with no crescendo, just big clunky landings on the forte notes.

Are there any VSTs that do a decent job of both of these things? Preferably free, and without having to program keyswitches for every articulation. Or is there something built in that I’m missing? I’d actually prefer the GM soundset in my Sibelius 7 over what I’ve found so far. Could I import this?

ALSO, I’m finding the sampler incredibly buggy in bizarre ways. Sometimes when I switch patches, random pulsing low notes start playing along with the written material. These notes are not on the written page, or represented anywhere in the play view track. Also, sometimes patches load and are incredibly quiet, ignore dynamics, and other weird things. Other times, they load and playback fine. Any ideas?

Thanks all!

That sounds like a Key Switch is being played. Make sure your instrument is using the correct Expression Map.

OK, yeah. Setting the expression map to “default” after switching to the GM sounds made the Low pulsing go away. It was constantly triggering keyswitches for some reason.

Is there a default expression map that contains pizz, stacatto, etc, for GM strings, or do I have to assign each technique individually for each instrument? Right now, set to default, it’s not playing pizz notes. I guess I can live without other articulations, but pizz is pretty essential. Does GM Strings have PIZZ?

GM has separate patches for arco and pizz strings, and the current version of Dorico can’t automatically switch between them.

You might be able to make it work by having two “instruments” for the same “player” in Dorico, set one to play arco and the pizz in the mixer, and then use instrument changes in the score. But that’s all a bit clunky even if it works (I haven’t tried it!)

Try the demo of NotePerformer. It works with Dorico without any tweaking, and both the solo and section strings have reasonably fast attacks.

The attachment is NotePerformer in Dorico with no tweaking at all - just the dynamics and articulations written for human performers. String orchestra, flute, two oboes, two horns (who don’t do much in the demo section of the piece). Of course it could be made to sound better, but that’s not the point of the demo!
NP string (1.8 MB)

There are plenty of sound libraries that give you the value you want for a fair price. NotePerformer works effortlessly with Dorico. I like Garritan Personal Orchestra 5, though this requires some manual setting up for each document, but with excellent string sounds.

The noteperformer sounds perfectly clear and adequate. It doesn’t sound glamorous (which is fine!), it just sounds clear. I’d hate to have to spend an extra $150 to get functional sounds. I’ve never had a problem with Sibelius 7 sounds. The built in sounds for Dorico (at least strings) are unbalanced between instruments, articulations, and even from note to note within the same instrument. Are there any internal options for getting Dorico to sound more clear and balanced, even if the sound isn’t as “real” sounding as the default samples. Hoping to trade “realistic sounding” for balanced and functional, without having to pay $150 on top of already pricey software. Thanks all!