Guitar VST instruments and Dorico?

Hi all!

I’d like to get your advice about choosing a guitar VST to use with Dorico.
I’m a guitarist myself, but for the purpose of making mockups of Jazz/Pop/Rock arrangements, I’d like to stay " in the box", especially since I can’t record audio alongside my scores.

A guitar instrument should ideally:

  1. Have comprehensive expression map support ,
  2. Sound good,
  3. Work well with chord playback from Dorico Chord symbols.

I’d be willing to get electric and acoustic instruments separately, if it is (and I’d suspect it is…) hard to find one that does both!

Thanks, Benji


I’m also very interested in this, and having trouble finding one that suits my liking.

The problem I’m seeing - and I’ve tried a few (OrangeTree, AmpleSound, RealLPC) - is that they are all built for MIDI input via a sequencer or MIDI controller, not MIDI generated automatically from notation.

As an example:

It’s very common for slides / hammer-ons / pull-offs to require overlapping MIDI. However, that’s not how Dorico renders the MIDI for a slurred passage.

If any Dorico experts can help with this type of issue, I’d love to know.

As for expression map - those aren’t too hard to generate and I’m happy to share what I come up with if I can fix some of these issues.

Another issue is that Dorico’s guitar support is not complete: for example, finger vibrato, slides (that play-back nicely) and some others aren’t well supported. You can work around this with custom playback techniques and other tricks (there are a few other threads - I can link if that’s helpful).


Right now, I’m looking at the guitar plugins from Steinberg, are there any plans for integration in the sense of TGuitar playing the chord diagrams I put into Dorico?
Also, I think it would be logical and good marketing if all the instruments from Steinberg came with ready-made expression maps for Cubase and Dorico… You know, same company and all…

Cheers, Benji

Relatively few of the instruments that we release are of specific interest to Dorico users. I agree that TGuitar is one of the exceptions, and my colleague John did take a look at using it in Dorico, but I believe the stumbling block was that Dorico does not yet send tempo information to the audio engine, which as you know remains on our backlog for future implementation.

Thx for the heads-up!


Not Guitar, but I have the Ample Bass Upright, and think it’s really great! For overlapping MIDI, there are quite a few ways to do it. In the below example the hidden Legato is set to over 100% in Playback Options, but I could have done it as a Playing Technique in my Expression Map, a Playback Override, or a manual edit too. In any case, the Ample VST requires overlapping MIDI to get the slide to playback correctly and it works fine here.

I’ve debated getting the Ample Gibson ES335 but haven’t pulled the trigger yet. I’ll be curious if y’all decide to purchase anything.

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FYI, I just purchased Ample Sounds guitars L and 12, they sound terrific!
I’ll also make an expression map for these, but since I’ve got very little experience with that, it’ll be a while.
But the plugin is pretty cool, it is possible to specify positions on the neck, as well as strings played, so all kinds of fancy stuff will be possible…

I’ll keep you posted,

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Hey @Ulf!

I just started using Ample Sound’s guitar VSTs, and there seems to be an issue with the audio engine and the VST3 versions of their plugins. Is there anything you could enlighten me about concerning this issue? For example, CC64 doesn’t seem to work, and it drove me nuts the better part of the afternoon… :wink:

Thanks very much, Cheers,

Sorry, I don’t know the Ample plugs at all. What’s the exact issue with it. Maybe someone else here can help as well.

No problem! Apparently, something was changed by Steinberg going from Cubase (I know, but I’m pretty sure Dorico uses the latest version of the audio engine…) 10.5 to 10.5.1 or something to that effect?
The advice coming from Ample seems to be that we need to use the VST2 versions for now, which is okay, but I thought I’d check first.


EDIT: With the VST2 version it works flawlessly. Stay tuned… :wink:

Hi all!

I’m working on an XP Map for Ample Guitars, and would like to share once it’s done…
What’s the proper way to go about packaging the XPM?


You can perhaps create a playback template and then zip it up and attach it to a new thread here, which we’ll then link from the main thread that collects these things together.

Will do!! Thanks for the heads up!
Is there a way to also package the playing techniques that trigger the keyswitches?


Yes, if you make a playback template, all of the playing techniques and playback techniques that are needed will be included.

Can you (or someone) explain “that are needed?” What criteria determine whether a PT or PBT is needed in a Playback Template?

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If a user-defined playback technique is referenced by an expression map it will be included, and if a user-defined playing technique references that playback technique, then it will be included as well.


Very cool, thx!


Hey Daniel,
I’m running into a snag… Is there a resource (ideally video) somewhere outlining the creation of expression maps/Playback techniques/Playback templates from scratch?


Have you tried this Discover Dorico session?

I’ll check it out… thx!