Dorico Expression Maps and Playback Templates for VSL SYNCHRON-ized Special Editions


Dorico Expression Maps and Playback Templates for VSL SYNCHRON-ized Special Editions are released today: here’s the VSL forum announcement:

More information can be found here:

In addition John Barron from the Dorico team will make a live session on YouTube explaining these playback templates today at 5 pm CET.


This will provide me with a rich field in which to study the implementation of VSL Synchron in Dorico. Kudos to the teams from VSL and Dorico for working together to create and release this in easy-to-use fashion, complete with supporting videos.

Looking forward to the Discover Dorico session.

I’ve enjoyed looking at this. The demos work fine in general (or would if you have all 7 SE libraries). My feeling is that the renditions are on the conservative side but perhaps the smooth playback is suitable for the music many write. One thing I’m not too convinced about is the way NoteLength is used for strings (in particular). It’s split into just two natural NL’s and two for detache. Both the shorter natural and the longer detache switches use “detache”. To get short detache, you must enter the p.t detache which should not be necessary. Completely missing is spiccato as far as I can see which, if correct, is odd. The overall result is faster passages which can sound more muddy than they need to be imo.

Anyway, these should certainly be tried out by those who have an interest in EM programming and have maybe tried their own and can compare. They are certainly not definitive – but then no-one’s are. It depends on the type of music being composed and interpretative tastes.

I haven’t had time this week to devote more than a brief initial play-around , but I immediately ran into slow, in some cases very slow, note attacks on long notes especially with strings. Adjusting the attack slider in the Synchron Player did not help. I will not be able to get back to this until next week, but advice is appreciated.

give me one or two concrete examples and I’ll have a look.

Thanks, I’ll have to send it to you as soon as I can get to it this coming week. Really appreciate it.

FYI, dko22, I got some guidance from Ben at VSL on how to layer patches in the Synchron Player (previously I had only done that in VI Pro). If I layer a fast attack slow note with the sustain, I get close enough to the desired result. I think that is one path to my solution.

Thanks for your kind offer.

Can you share with us what Ben said on how to layer for Synchron Player please?

Here’s the thread in the VSL forum, Synchron section:

Ben’s instructions are in the fifth post of the thread.

thanks for this tip. For me at the moment, it’s a solution looking for a problem as using Note Length for patch switching gives me a good result most of the time without any kind of layering but I’d never rule out new ways of working! If you have any demo mini project which shows how this can work, I’d certainly be interested in seeing if I’ve been missing something.

Nothing working with Dorico yet. I’ve kind of set things aside with the release of Cubase 11 and it’s great new features. I’m brushing up on Cubase 9.5 in preparation for upgrading. Right now for me it’s Dorico with Noteperformer for prep and export to Cubase. This was an unexpected change because of the release.

So right now I’m spending what useful time I have entering and prepping the beginning of Beethoven’s 7th Symphony. I’ve put together an all-VSL-Synchron proto-template in Cubase, so it’s rarin’ to go once I upgrade.

Just to chime in here - So, I bit the bullet and bought the entire SYNCHRON-ized SE Vol. 1-7 largely due to the VSL-supplied expression maps and the sale… guess I pretty much blew this year’s BF budget!

Did my first little track with it in Dorico, and I am impressed. No extra tweaking in the Play window, only a little bit of balancing in the mixer and some light reverb added via Altiverb. I think this is going to be a lot of fun, and I really am glad I finally gave in and became part of the VSL crowd of users…

I think this is going to be a lot of fun…

Here I was thinking I went overboard with 3, LOL!

If this is the thread most people will be checking regarding these Expression Maps, I just wanted to make sure everyone knew to turn on velocity crossfade at CC#28. It’s not enabled by default in these maps so no hairpins will play back. I would recommend adding it to the Init of any of the expression maps you’re using. John Barron talks through how to do this around 22:30 here:

$$ :astonished: $$

Sounds great though!

Did another one - this time with the CC2 enabled… much more expressive.

And, the woodwinds are pretty exposed here… really nice tone.

I’d need to know where (in windows) Dorico keeps the expression map and playback template files. It seems that the windows installer offered by vsl, when (necessarily) run with admin rights, puts the files apparently only into the admin branch of “AppData”, not into the user branches. So the playback templates are only visible and selectable in the menu if I run Dorico as “admin”; but I won’t do that. Seems I need to copy the files “by hand” to my user folders, but I don’t know where to find the files I have to copy to make the thing work.

I’m not 100% sure since I don’t have a Windows machine with any third-party expression maps installed at the moment, but I would expect you to be able to find them in %PROGRAMDATA%\Steinberg\Dorico 3.5.

That is where NotePerformer keeps its Expression Maps, but I don’t see John’s Iconica EM there.

Mine are in C:\Users<name>\AppData\Roaming\Steinberg\Dorico 3.5\PlaybackTemplateSpecs

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If you install the playback template as recommended by dragging it onto a Dorico window, then it will be installed in the user application data folder, i.e. Windows or ~/Library/Application Support/Steinberg/Dorico 3.5 on macOS.