Eastwest Choirs/Wordbuilder

I use Sonar bandlab to mixer and master, so, i export the midi and insert it into sonar, use play 6 and it works together with the sound exported from dorico of the rest of the instruments, is not a solution but works.

are you actually using this with Dorico at all? After all, this is the Dorico forum!

Obviously if I use dorico, I’m just trying to find the way that works with player 6’s wordbuilder, I use libraries that don’t work in player 5

Sorry, I misread something somewhere. Of course you have mentioned Dorico.

I tried out Hollywood choirs wordbuilder with Dorico 4 using the Opus player and it seemed to work OK. This was on a Windows 10 PC. So the fixes for Dorico 4 that have been recently mentioned have done the trick.

I’ve only been using the east west composer X thing for a little while. Do these choirs need dedicated playback templates and expression maps. If so has anyone produced any? If not how do people normally set them up playback template wise in Dorico. I just used the default Halion one for my test. Thanks if anyone can help

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This is a wonderful news !!!

Yes, OPUS works well in Dorico 4 on macOS, too. (It’s even native on M1s…!!)

Good to hear it’s good for you too. What about my template/expression map question though - benwiggy are you the Antonio Lotti author btw?
Thanks all.

No: I haven’t got round to creating a expression map for Symphonic Choirs. There is an old one for Cubase here, which you could use to get you going:

I’m the editor, certainly.

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I have tried the Cubase Expression Map and don’t recommend it as the dynamics seem rather extreme for no added benefit. The simple truth is that for the four available articulations in Symphonic Choirs, three are dealt with automatically in Dorico through normal notation and do not need to be entered into Wordbuilder. These are normal, legato and staccato. No Expression Map – just the default – is required. The other, slurred sliding legato which I’ve no idea how to enter in a score (in other words it has to be put directly into Wordbuilder) , gives weird and wonderful results and I’d avoid it like the plague. A prize for anyone able to demonstrate using it effectively!

SC supposedly uses the EWQL convention of velocity, CC1 and CC11 for main dynamic control. CC1 seems to relate more to the tone of the note and it’s worth experimenting using that as the primary controller instead of velocity. The easiest set up for making manual adjustments is mapping CC11 as secondary (so the CC lane is automatically created by Dorico) and doing velocity manually. As official documentation is rather sparse on exactly how to use these optimally in general, never mind in Dorico, a bit of experimentation is required.

On specific points relating to Dorico 4, well it’s early days yet but I have found the support for Play 6 and Opus to work fine so far. However it’s not quite business as usual as the results doing a mock-up using Play 5, Play 6 and Opus are all a bit different. Opus uses the Play 6 Wordbuilder engine so I don’t really know why it should be different to Opus, other than the fact that Play 6 does not allow individual volume settings for the 6 or 12 channels whereas Opus and Play 5 do. The syntax is somewhat different in Wordbuilder 2 (Play 6 and Opus) than the original and sometimes projects written in Play 5 simply stall at certain points and require editing the Votox.

One final point – the ability of Dorico 4 to use Opus/Play6 make the Hollywood Choirs available in Dorico for the first time. Opinions will differ but the consensus, with which I agree, is that HC is significantly easier to get good results with than SC out of the box. I find for more dramatic and expressive choral works that it’s more effective but it most certainly doesn’t make SC, with its 4 part choir and boys voices redundant, especially for more intimate music or where you are trying to get as close as is currently possible to imitating soloists singing actual text.


OK Very useful info and thanks for the advice

You could try to build expression maps but personally the first thing I do is disable playback of slurs (I use a filter to select them all and disable playback in the bottom panel). Overlapping notes can make it a real pain if you have words that end on consonants in word builder. Of course another option is to not put consanants on the end of a word, but rather at the beginning of the next word.

If and when I want to use the legato pedal I just dot it in on a controller lane. It’s also pretty common for me to disable articulations that effect note-length and instead manually adjust the note lengths. In the few cases where I’ve wanted a key switch I’ve just used a new bass cleff stave with a duplicate end point to the proper plugin/channel and hidden it from view (still shows in Galley mode, but not in write/engrave modes).

So far I haven’t used the key-switches much but they do exist for some things. In that case yeah you could, make an expression map and for legato (slurs) undo the ‘overlaping of notes’.

For these choirs, I’m thinking the best strategy for making an expression map would be to NEGATE Dorico’s automatic interpretation abilities for most things. To get the most of out the chiors and word-builder you’re likely going to end up over-riding whatever Dorico does on his own anyway.

I haven’t tried things in Dorico 4 yet…but over in Cubase I’ve found that Play 6 runs the choirs a bit smoother than Opus.

In Dorico 3.5, been using a hack (Bidule > Play 6.1…requires a kludge to fool Play 6.1 into thinking the transport is ‘always playing’). I just use the default expression map (velocity dynamics).

Symphonic choirs can also do expression volume on CC11 if you want to try the Velocity + CC11 map instead of the default. (Just been drawing it in manually myself).

CC1 ALSO changes sample layers and filters, but it doesn’t directly effect ‘true loudness’. Again, it’s something I find is probably best to dot out manually in a controller lane in the play tab.

some good advice from Brian here, I think, though I don’t really agree with such drastic action on slurs. In my Symphonic Choirs scores to date (at least two hours of music) I have often been lazy about adding them but putting them in does certainly help to counteract the rather choppy effect you often get with SC and the overlapping in itself, I don’t frequently find to be an issue . How to split the text over syllables (or sometimes words) can be important as Wordbuilder 2 seems even more fussy than 1. It can simply swallow an entire syllable if not done right and, as Brian says, it’s usually a question of misassigning the consonants. It’s worth pointing out that Hollywood Choirs tends to produce rather smoother output and tends to require less editing.

I also get the impression that Play 6 runs a bit smoother than Opus but has the significant disadvantage of not being able to control individual channel volumes. Symphonic Choirs has a glaring dynamic shift between B and C at the octave above middle C so the higher channels need to be boosted to compensate. This is particularly so with the Women’s WB choir but applies also to the individual Soprano. This is only the most glaring discrepancy in the programming. It cannot be stressed enough though that dynamic behaviour is text-specific and although the general volume level is the same, individual syllable dynamics vary considerably depending on what is being sung.

I also agree that CC1 affects sample layers more than loudness which is the point I made earlier about the tone. I’m not aware of much difference between using velocity and CC1 simply for loudness which isn’t to say there is none.

In the end, you will indeed need to do some work with the Dorico controller lanes to get half-decent results however you set things up.

Hi, Nearly a week agon didn’t Ulf give us a message that he had managed to solve the problems of EW and Dorico 4 ? I gather from what I have read that this is not quite the end of the difficulties.

Or am I wrong ?

he actually fixed the problems about a month ago if I remember correctly. There is nothing Dorico-specific that I’m aware of which is still an issue. In the limited time I’ve been able to compare with Cubase, it seems to work pretty well the same. The difficulties are much the same ones that there have always been with Choirs and Wordbuilder. Or are you referring to something specific here?

No, I am a beginner in this area, but the complex problems which seem to be still around, I wondered whether Ulf’s fixing of the problems between WB abd D4 were correct, or a bit premature.

I am so keen to use Wordbuilder with D4 that I am just hoping that this will be sorted in some way in the near future - I have D4 on my present computer (!) , but am working towards a much more suitable in the next couple of months.

I have already decided to but SC and Wordbuilder, as a future upgrade, so I am hoping all will be well later on. In the meantime I will still have to ask questions I’m afraid.


As I understand it, there was really just one specific issue and that was that Dorico was unable to advance the text playback in real time because of some incorrect information passed by Dorico to the plug-in. With the assistance of Wolfgang at EWQL, Ulf was able to correct this and from that point on, everything was supposed to have worked properly when testing in what was the beta. As far as I can see, it is indeed working as designed.

Of course feel free to ask further questions and there will always be folk here happy to answer (even with, on occasion, different answers but Wordbuilder is not a simple exact science and we’re all on a bit of a learning curve here as regards implementation in Dorico anyway)

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Thank you , much appreciated.