Foldable groups in the VST Instruments pane


If you want to use virtual instruments that are not Halion or NotePerfomer, you have to add instruments to the Play > VST Instruments pane.

With an ensemble, this will populate that pane with several instances of individual virtual instruments. With a full orchestra, this will be a long and messy list of Vienna Instruments, Vienna Piano, Spitfire Player, Kontakt, UVI Workstation, Falcon, Play instances.

It would be much more comfortable to be able to group them by type of VI, or by instrumental family, right in the VST Instruments pane of Dorico. It would result in a shorter list, easier to manage and navigate.

I know one could use VSL’s Vienna Ensemble Pro. It’s beautiful software, and it seems to work fine with Dorico. However, running it is a step more. Run the VEPRO server, then Dorico, then pray for the connection between them to work immediately and not have to check and repeat the startup procedure.

All time that will let inspiration evaporate. Much better having the VI management right in Dorico, opening VIs together with the score.

(Or, will in any case VEPRO be a better option, maybe for CPU distribution? I like how Logic directly manage VIs).


Since there is no answer from to other users on this issue, may I ask how others solve the problem of playback instruments proliferating in the VST Instruments pane? Does everybody use VEPRO or Kontakt in multichannel mode to keep things organized?

I don’t know if I’m following the wrong approach with playback devices.


I’m using VE Pro, so for me it isn’t an issue in the VST instruments pane, but your request is a valid one. I’d like to see groups implemented in any pane or window that doesn’t fit on a single screen. In particular for my case, it would be useful to have the endpoint setup dialog be grouped.

I’m adding multiple instruments to Kontakt. But folders are still a good idea.

Thank you very much for your answers!

In case Dorico would add foldable groups, do you think you would continue using VEPRO or Kontakt in multichannel mode, instead of the new feature in Dorico?


I agree with dbudde: your request is valid. But, for what it’s worth, I’ve never had any trouble at all with Vienna Ensemble and Dorico. Once it’s setup, it’s done. No startup hangups, nothing.

+1 for the OP. Personally I would say the suggestion rates higher than merely “valid.” For me it would be a positive development for the use of an important screen. Of course the Dorico team needs to prioritize between many competing requests, but any long, long list ought to be made more manageable.

Even VI Pro with it’s clunky implementation of folders for matrices and presets manages to at least supply the capability. VE Pro finally implemented track folders. Folders for long lists are a reasonable expectation in today’s environment.

I would still use Kontakt as a multichannel, but would probably have separate instantiations for orchestral groups.

Does the Kontakt Player do multi-channel output or only the full version?

Yes, Player does it, from what I can see on the NI site (I’m running full, so I can’t say for sure). It looks like the only difference is that many Kontakt instruments don’t run on Player, and user doesn’t have instrument editing options.

For multiple instrument scores, I would continue to use VE Pro for a variety of reasons. In no particular order some of these include:

  1. It’s a consistent and very good mixing environment that can be used on all the major notation/sequencing programs.
  2. Using large sample libraries there are features in VE Pro that don’t exist elsewhere (e.g., you can load empty matrices and then the load on midi activity only). So the same presets can be used across a lot of projects and only the samples that are needed for a specific project get loaded minimizing the memory footprint.
  3. The accompanying tools are excellent (MIR-Pro, Plugin suite).
  4. It does a better job of allocating CPU cores (in my experience).

For single instrument scores, I mostly just use a Piano or a Guitar plugin directly.

Your points 2 and 3 are particularly convincing to me. Or better: point 2 can already work with VSL Vienna Instruments Pro, but I believe that MIDI activation can now work with all third-party instruments, as well as a memory purge feature.

Mixing with MIR PRO is something that I think can’t be done inside Dorico, so having all the instruments in VEPRO would be a forced solution.


Another reason to use VE Pro:

  1. You can edit in Dorico without launching VE Pro Server. You don’t get sound, but you also don’t load and samples or need to plug in a dongle. So when creating your score the turn around time is vastly better than if you had your instruments all in Dorico’s mixer. These would always need to load.

Another excellent reason I had not thought about!