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

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.

Found it. Thank you!

And Happy New Year to you and to @dspreadbury and the Team. :tada: :confetti_ball:

Hi everybody and Happy New Year ,

I have recently started to work on a solo violin piese ( VSL Solo Violin +). I found that if sul pont. is selected, whatever articulation is used after ( let’s say col legno) the expression map does not change to arco ( naturale) if selected, but rather continue sul pont. Let’s say we have this chain of articulations: sul pont., col legno and arco , the last one (arco) is replaced by sul pont. !
Could someone check this ? I asked on VSL forum and a user suggested me to chage the direction to an atribute in expresion map , but I was wondering if it can be another option !

Everything went well in the end , thanks !

in playback techniques, you use “attribute” for techniques/articulations which are specific to the note they are over. In most cases these would be for symbols like for staccato, marcato, tenuto etc but don’t have to be. The opposite is “direction” for which the technique applies until replaced by another technique and most often is a written instruction but again doesn’t have to be. The two must be separated by either an “ord/nat” or an exclusion rule in the map which means they can’t both apply at once, otherwise Dorico will look for a technique which combines them and if it fails to find it, will do nothing.

In essence this is how things work and the same applies to harmonics which you asked about on the VSL forum. Except that harmonics are confused a little with there being both natural and artificial harmonics. If you still are having problems on this one, just say what they are – I’ve not had any problems getting VSL harmonics to work with Dorico.


Dear (Paolo),
Thanks for taking the time to reply to me on both VSL forum and here. Coming from other notation software , makes me a bit of a novice at this point. It takes a bit to get used to , but as I replied in VSL forum, everything went well , except harmonics …I cannot add anything now, in terms of the technicality of the issue, but I’ll try to use all the valuable points that you sugested. In case that I cannot get good results I signal you here, or on VSL forum.
All the best

Hi (Paolo),

A I previously said, here and on VSL forum, the harmonics are not working in my file (Solo Violin + and VSL expression map) …I have tried to use after the “col legno” , ord…, modo ordinario, nat., and arco” , on a rest in a previous measure, but still the e-map is not switching from col legno to harmonics ( natural ones). I suspect is just my novice ( basic) understanding of how things work in Dorico, since you were saying that you have no problems …

If you can tell how you are doing, to make this thing work, that would be great !

Hi Bogdan 2 – it’s David here! Paolo was writing on the VSL forum and I’ve only just really looked through this thread now. My post was about about how playback techniques work in general in Dorico. For VSL Synchron SE, I use my own map as I found some things I don’t like in the recent “official” one and it’s possible there may be errors as well. So I’ll check their map again and see if I get similar problems and get back to you.

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Ohh… :blush:…Thank you David, for taking the time to look into it I have found some oddities while trying to navigate through articulations , but it is also possible to have missed some things …I’m waiting for your input !