Dorico Pro 3 and VSL


I’m trying Dorico Pro 3 since yesterday, but there is no way I can see my VSL plugins (Vienna Instruments Pro, Vienna Ensemble Pro, Vienna Synchron Player) in the choice of the VST Instruments, in the Play section (only appear DoricoBeep, Groove Agent SE, Halion Sonic SE, Padshop and Retrologue).

Most of them are VST3, so why don’t they appear?

Thanks for your answer!


I guess you’re now running macOS 10.15 Catalina? If so, please note that VSL’s plug-ins are not yet officially supported on Catalina. (There’s no statement to that effect on their web site, but I have been in touch with their developers and they have told me that they are working on updates for their plug-ins to bring full Catalina compatibility.)

The problem is that VSL’s plug-ins are using symbolic links to link from their actual location on disk to the /Library/Audio/Plug-ins/VST3 folder where they should be located. As of the latest version of macOS, this is no longer allowed by the operating system. You can either wait for the Catalina-compatible updates for the VSL plug-ins, or you can manually copy them to the right location. Some discussion of that is here.


Two days ago I downloaded the trail version of Dorico Pro 3, but there is no way I can see my VSL plugins (Vienna Instruments Pro, Vienna Ensemble Pro, Vienna Synchron Player) in the choice of the VST Instruments, in the Play section (only appear DoricoBeep, Groove Agent SE, Halion Sonic SE, Padshop and Retrologue), even though they are mainly vst3.

On another forum, someone gives me this answer: “If you’re running the latest version of Dorico 3.0.10 on macOS, then it’s because they changed the vst3scanner for macOS Catalina compatibility. VSL VST3 plugins use aliases for the actual file in the plugin. These need to be changed to the actual file. VSL is working on updating these plugins. It’s possible to do this yourself if you’re comfortable with manipulating packaged files. You’ll also need to delete the local preferences files in VSTAudioEngine3 folder. This folder has a blacklist file that needs to be regenerated after the plugins get updated.”

I’m not comfortable at all with “manipulating packaged files”, and I don’t know when the VSL team will update the plugins… My Dorico trial will only last a month, and I really wish I would try it with my VSL plugins, if at some point I’m buying Dorico I wish I can have tested it with these VSL plugins. How could I do?

Thanks a lot,


No, I haven’t updated the OS since Cubase nor VSL are compatible yet. I’m still running Mojave.

I’ve merged your duplicate thread with this one, Benjamin, since there’s no reason to create a new thread when we’re already discussing the issue here.

It’s my understanding that the team at VSL will be releasing new versions of their plug-ins soon; although they have not specified a particular date, I think there is good reason to believe it will be within the next 30 days.

Synchron player was updated for this issue on oct 8.

From the discussions I was having with the team at VSL yesterday, there is another issue (as yet undetermined whether it’s on our audio engine’s side, or on the VSL side) that prevents Synchron Player from working in Dorico in Catalina.

My advice would be to avoid upgrading to Catalina until all of the software you rely on is officially supported on that platform. VSL’s software is not yet officially supported on Catalina: though they acknowledged that they do not have any clear public statement to that effect on their web site, users would surely be well-advised to adopt the approach of “if in doubt, don’t”, rather than assuming that there will be no issues, particularly given the widespread warnings from software vendors and the technology press about the impact of the security changes in macOS 10.15.

One other potential issue. If vst3scanner doesn’t distinguish which macOS is running then vsl plugins will get blacklisted for all Mac users running version 3.0.10

Thank you dbudde, and thank you Daniel. I downloaded the last update of Synchron Player and it appears now in the Vst instruments of the Play section. Haven’t been able to have the expression maps working though (I imported some I made in Cubase), I think there is a little subtlety here, I will have to check…

Hi Benjamin,

I noticed on the VSL forum that they weren’t very helpful for you (and didn’t even understand the underlying issue, as it certainly isn’t exclusive to Catalina). Dave (dbudde) of this forum has kindly provided step-by-step instructions here:

His instructions are simple to understand, and quite detailed, so they will no doubt remove any lingering uncomfortable-ness you might feel trying out this fix. This way you can enjoy full use of the your trial period. (You can always make copies of the original folders Dave mentions and keep them somewhere safe to be able to restore them to their original state, if you anticipate you might need to do so at some point. Even if you don’t save backups, you can always re-install VEP to restore the original state of these folders.)

Hope this is helpful,

Hi Sam,

And thanks a lot for your post.

Unfortunately it does not work-when I say I’m bad, I’m very, very bad at programming. Though I think I made everything Dave suggests.

But I had a little doubt at some point you may be able to clear since it seems like you did it right for yourself.

I went through the different folders until I found the original Unix Vienna Ensemble Pro (which has, as you know, no extension). I copied it and pasted it in the VST3 folder.

This is where my doubt showed up, as when I pasted it, it added to the original Vienna Ensemble.vst3. One reason I think it is because it’s not the same kind of file, one other is this new file doesn’t have any extension, i.e. it’s maybe considered as a different name. Still, I went on, deleted the VSTAudioEngine3, restarted my computer. When I opened Dorico, VEP did not appear.

So I made a little change : I erased the old Vienna Ensemble.vst3. I erased again the VSTAudioEngine3 folder, restarted the computer : not better.

So I made another change : I added a .vst3 extension to the Unix file, then erased the VSTAudioEngine3 folder, restarted the computer : not better.

Is there something I did badly?

Thanks again,


Hi Benjamin,

I’m sorry for the delay getting back to you. I don’t connect to the internet every day. And I just lost the first draft of my response, so I hope this second attempt is still coherent …

No worries, I’m very bad at programming and computer/technical stuff too. I’m happy to try to help, but if what I write here still doesn’t work, best to ask Dave; he’s the real expert!

I must confess I didn’t understand all the details of everything you wrote, but from the impression I get, I think it’s a good idea to start fresh from a VSL-factory default. Importantly, I’ve learned recently that after messing around with these folders, simply running the VE Pro package installer doesn’t necessarily restore everything to the state it would have been from a clean install. So this may be overkill, but in order to ensure you have a solid foundation for your second attempt, I would recommend:

  1. Trash the Vienna Ensemble Pro.vst3 plugin located within Macintosh HD/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST3
  2. If there’s anything else in that folder that resulted from or was added by your first attempt, trash it as well. (optional: if you need to repair several VSL plugins, trash all of them now)
  3. Trash the “Vienna Ensemble Pro” folder located within Macintosh HD/Library/Application Support/VSL
  4. Run the Vienna Ensemble Pro package installer

Now we’re ready to make the second attempt. A few things to note beforehand:

Dave’s description was the simplest, most elegant way to do it (e.g., a straight line from start and finish). But for you and me who aren’t accustomed to going ‘under the hood’ like this, it might not be the easiest method to understand/feel comfortable while doing. So what I describe here is actually identical to Dave’s method, but it takes a slightly longer, more winding path instead of a straight line … it is the method I used when following his instructions, because I felt more comfortable (less disoriented) working this way. This is not to insult your intelligence or to assume that your technical proficiency is as low as mine! It is only because I cannot describe these things at a level which is beyond my own limited understanding. :slight_smile:

I’m also going to include images, just in case this clears up any ambiguity that enters into what I write, and in case someone else finds this thread and needs the info. Important: these images were taken when I had booted from an installation on an external SSD, and perhaps confusingly for these examples, I had named the “hard drive” the same as the user account. So in these images, “BARBIROLLI” in all caps is probably “Macintosh HD” on your system (unless you’ve renamed your hard drive), and “barbirolli” in all lowercase is whatever you’ve name your user account.

Just for the sake of completeness, I’m going to include a lot of steps you clearly already know how to do (again, in case someone else ends up needing this and is new to the entire thing).

  1. Trash the “VSTAudioEngine3” folder located within Users/[username]/Library/Preferences

  1. Point a Finder window to Macintosh HD/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST3

  1. “Show package contents” on the Vienna Ensemble Pro.vst3 plugin

  1. Expand the folders therein to reveal the Vienna Ensemble Pro alias located within the “MacOS” subfolder

  1. Open a second Finder window (on the bottom in these examples) and point it to Macintosh HD/Library/Application Support/VSL/Vienna Ensemble Pro

  1. “Show package contents” on the Vienna Ensemble Pro.vslplugin bundle

  1. Get to the “MacOS” subfolder within these contents and copy the Vienna Ensemble Pro unix exec

  1. Here is where I think things may have gone wrong during your first attempt, and it’s exactly where you said you encountered doubt:

I’ve noticed that sometimes depending on how you’re viewing your folders, MacOS sometimes pastes in a non-intuitive way. (You’d think it would paste over the item you’ve selected and which is thus highlighted in a different color, right? Yet it isn’t always the case.) So in the first Finder window (the one on top in these examples), ensure that you navigate all the way to the “MacOS” subfolder that was within the .vst3 contents:

  1. Paste item

  1. Click “replace” (it won’t be highlighted as the default option; in this image it’s highlighted because I’m clicking on it, and the screenshot tool doesn’t seem to capture the cursor icon)

  1. Finale. The end result should look like this:

Now, fingers crossed, next time you open Dorico3 it will recognize your Vienna Ensemble Pro plugin. (If you need to fix more than one plugin, it’s a good idea to do them all before opening Dorico again; otherwise any you haven’t fixed yet will get blacklisted and you’ll have to trash the “VSTAudioEngine3” folder again each time.)

If the above doesn’t work, I’m bewildered! And your best bet in that case will be to ask Dave directly; he has very kindly helped me a great deal in the past.

Hope this gets you up and running,

Dear Sam, really, really, thank you so much for all this time and all these explanations you gave here, I’m sure many others will also be happy to read you, who have the same lack of knowledge re. computers as I do! I’m not home unfortunately so won’t be able to do all the tests, but I’m pretty sure it will work with all these explanations! I will let you know! Thank you, thank you! Benjamin

IF VSL release a Dorico version of their Strings Expression map within 30 days which, unlike the Cubase one, actually works then it’s looking increasingly likely that I will finally be onboard with Dorico 3. The Sibelius soundset is functional but far from ideal. NotePerformer seems largely OK as does VSL SE even with the Cubase version. I know there is an issue with glissandi which (correct me if I’m wrong) don’t even work with the default library but I guess I can wait. Incidentally, is it possible to explain why it is that when an Expression Map specifies the keyswitches required for this and of course there is an existing patch and instruction, that they don’t work. In Sibelius they are pretty flakey so there must be some technical reason for the difficulty in implementation.


It is possible that the Dorico playing technique is not yet set up to trigger the glissando in the Expression Map.

I guess that would be a simple explanation!