Dorico 4 and VST3 for absolute beginners

Consulting the forum posts, I see I am not alone in wanting an alternative to Halion SE voices.

So, following a recommendation on this forum, I downloaded a VST plugin, and installed it, and I can verify that Dorico can see it. My problem is not that Dorico can’t find it. I just have no idea what to do with it.

So now what? I think I need to set it up in Play mode in the VST rack, but searching the help for “VST rack” turns up nothing useful. I did find the page, which has a link Read more on VST3 … but that link is old and now gives a 404 error.

All the stuff I can find seems to be based on an expectation that I am a Dorico novice that knows all about VST plugins, or at least the ones I have installed. But I’ve been using Dorico since Dorico 1, and have zero understanding of VST plugins and how they work. I am trying to learn from Dorico how to use my first 3rd-party plugin. It’s not even evident to me how I can use Halion SE for instruments other than voices, because selecting the new plugin seems to select it for all instruments, and I’m pretty sure I don’t want a plugin that provides exclusively voices to be associated with guitar.

Up to now I have followed the advice for beginners to ignore the Halion SE editor, and use the Mixer exclusively. That worked great, but it’s time for me to move forward. Any pointers to beginner material would be welcome.

Can you explain the difference between “Dorico can see it” and “Dorico can’t find it”?

Also, what is the VST?

All your installed VSTs should appear in the drop-down list of the VST Rack.


You might be a good candidate for Note Performer, which comes with its own Template for setup in Dorico.

It’s singers are not its best option, but if you want to work with additional instruments, NP is very convenient, and many feel it has benefits that surpass the HALion sounds that come with Dorico.

There is no difference. I said that my problem is NOT that Dorico can’t find it. You have shown me the drop-down list that I already knew how to find. My problem is that I don’t understand what to do after I have selected a VST that is not one of the built-ins.

The places in the user interface where this is done look a bit different now, but this video explains the procedure:

In short: add the VST instrument you want to use to the VST Rack tab in Play mode; change to the Inspector tab in Play mode; select the track corresponding to the instrument whose sound you want to change; open the Routing section of the track inspector and choose your newly-added VST instrument; click the little cog button to open the Endpoint Setup dialog to review the expression map chosen for your new instrument, as the one that Dorico had previously chosen may no longer be appropriate.

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