Expression map(s) wanted for Cinematic Studio Strings, CS2, CSSS, CSB and CSW

Requesting Dorico or Cubase expression maps for any of the Cinematic Studio Series.

FWIW, have you seen this at the CSS web site?

“CSS isn’t designed to work with notation software such as Sibelius, Finale or Dorico, etc, and we cannot provide assistance if attempting to use CSS with these programs. The library relies on an intricate keyswitching and expression system which notation programs often don’t support. There are some 3rd party programs which aim to make Kontakt libraries compatible with notation, but we do not officially endorse these efforts.”

It’s from the FAQ at the bottom of this page:

And the Spitfire page says much the same. Truth is that libraries from both companies can work fine in Dorico— in fact Cinematic Studio have privately admitted as much but they are covering themselves in the FAQs as they don’t have in depth knowledge of Dorico and quite reasonably are not in a position to support it.

I’ve written maps for all the CS libraries except CS2 but am on holiday at the moment so don’t have access to them. Will happily PM them in a few days if you don’t get anything else in the meantime.


Thanks for responding. I guess they’re covering themselves.

Thanks for responding to my request. There’s no rush so if you have them available just let me know when you’re back from holiday.

That’s dumb to draw such a hard line. Most of the time companies will be straight while admitting they don’t directly support it, which is fine. Spitfire does have a link to John B’s template actually

I just remembered that Babylon Waves makes Cubase expression maps for the Cintematic Studio series.

I bought the Digital Performer version and in my brief testing with CSS and CSSS, they worked well. (DP 11 added support for expression maps - and can use Cubase expression maps.)

Thank you for that link. I will make enquiries with Babylon Waves. Interestingly just for the hell of it I loaded Abbey Road into Dorico with the standard HSE Elements playback template and it worked quite well on the Dorico First Steps project that I’m working through so some articulation mapping is clearly not that fussy. I guess I shouldn’t get too hung up on what samples I can play when I’m writing. All new to me so I have a lot to learn. Btw Reaper is my normal DAW and I have created a lot of my own reaticulate files which I’ve shared on the VI Control forum. Thank you for your help

Yes thanks for that. I’ve already installed those Spitfire templates for BBCSO Pro and also expression maps for SSS and SCS. I’ll check out that link to John B’s template. I may have it already but I’m not sure.

That’s my approach. For serious mockups, I use a DAW. I have higher-priority stuff to learn in Dorico, but might try expression maps at some point.

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Yes I read that disclaimer on the Cinematic Studio Series website. I don’t think they have a big team like Spitfire or OT so I don’t blame them in a way because it would mean an additional load on their support people and they’ve always been very responsive when I’ve encountered problems.

I’ve been considering having a go a making an expression map for CS2 for ages, finding the time is the issue (and learning how to do it properly). In theory it shouldn’t actually be that difficult once you have one instrument working as they pretty much all use the same keyswitch and expression system.

Indeed, many of the articulations are interchangeable throughout the libraries. The slight complication is that you need to understand the difference between programming with CC58 and key switches. They can be interchangeable but are not invariably so. The general rule of thumb is to use the CC’s when possible.

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That’s reassuring. Maybe I should also have a go at creating my own then. I did find that the HSSE Elements template worked after a fashion with Abbey Road Orchestral Foundations so I guess it’s a matter of trial and error with expression maps for other libraries.

Thought I’d now post the Cinematic Studio EM’s which I sent earlier to @andhy as they appear to be working OK. Here are the current versions Perhaps Daniel could put these on the sticky as I don’t see any other complete (other than the older CS2 strings) Cinematic Studio collections there.

Cinematic Studio (17.3 KB)

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Thanks David. I should mention that I’ve run into some strange behaviour with Dorico. I may have accidentally changed a default or I’ve confused Dorico. Maybe I need to reinstall. Let me describe it. I set up 5 CS2 instruments, each with its own instance of Kontakt, then I make sure the midi channels are 1 to 5. I review the EMs, one for each instrument, although they all use the same EM. I then save the end configurations, again a separate one for each instrument. I create a playback template for CS2. All is well and then for some reason:

a) all the vsts GUIs are displayed although I have not requested it
b) the midi of Violins 2 changes to midi channel 1
c) on reloading Kontakt automatically loads Violins 1 into both midi 1 and midi 2 channels
d) the Dorico metronome refuses to switch off when recording input

I think it’s me not Dorico but I thought I’d better mention it.

surely if you use a separate instance of Kontakt for each instrument rather than a multi, then your channel should be 1 in each case? Whether the VST GUI’s are displayed or not will depend on whether you have the “e” for edit instrument in the Play window highlighted or not.

How are you recording input? – if it’s live then the metronome is usually on unless you’ve not put in a time signature. Perhaps I’m misunderstanding something.

I’ve been separating them on different channels because that’s the way I work in Reaper but maybe your way is better for Dorico. I’ll try it and see if the problems go away. Thanks

Excuse me. Is this made for classic patches?
I tried this with default patches and found legato latency issues. Is this a limitation of Dorico?

(Thanks for sharing that.)

it’s not designed for the classic legato though as the keyswitches are the same, can be used for those patches. The legato latency issues have nothing to do with Dorico but is as designed by CS. If you check the documentation you can see the exact values used. There are two ways around it 1. adjust the note offset where this is an obvious problem such as a mixture of fast and legato notes 2. run the script by Alex Vincent. This has been discussed at length on the VI Control forum

and I’ve also mentioned it a couple of times here. It does certainly improve the timing but unfortunately in certain situations I find the playback gets stuck notes and there can also be sometimes issues with patch switching. I reluctantly abandoned the idea.

The good news is that there is a “low latency” legato patch already introduced to the woodwind library and this should make its way to the strings and brass libraries too before too long. This minimizes the delay but still gives good results. I hope the same will apply to the strings.