How can I get my string sound to respond faster to quicker note values?

I am running Dorico 4 elements and I am working with some fairly fast rhythms but in Alla breve; Half note = 88, , dotted eighth followed by sixteenths. The bowed violin sound is not fast enough to respond to the demands of the quicker rhythm. The sound is not immediate enough to Initiate a full sound for fast rhythms. I have tried both the HALion Se and HSO sounds, but I can’t seem to locate the correct playing technique that is needed.
I can make the sound come close if I set the notes to spiccato or staccato on every note but that changes the texture of the sound in a way that I do not want. I simply want a faster more responsive sound on every note with a full bowed sound. Does anyone have any suggestions?

I am using violin combi A in HSO, and I tried violin GM.

Some string patches have such a gradual attack that repeated fast notes do not have time to sound before they are over. HALion strings may fall into such a group. As I recall, this question has arisen in the past.

You can only get so close without investing in other libraries - there is just no single performance that fits every piece, and while it makes me crazy to have something as huge as Opus AND other libraries, sometimes finding that one “staccato slur” patch (however much that sounds like an oxymoron to me) is what it takes. Like for one I’m currently working on with 32nd notes at 90 BPM. Whatever else, it increases my respect for the nuances of those musician’s performance.

Keep or sweep sir.


You might see if NotePerformer works better for you. It is available on a trial basis (for one month, I believe) and at $129 is very moderately priced. Many Dorico users rely on it for their default sounds and many posts on this forum refer to its strengths and weaknesses. Its website is at:

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Set the attack for the instruments to 0 and don’t use those crescendo samples. Also, is possible to set a negative value in the attack time properties? Or is this only in cubase? I don’t remember and are not at my computer right now.

In the Expression Map, you can define conditions for Short or Very Short notes. That still depends on finding a sample (or otherwise programming the HSO player, with a shorter attack, of course.

Thank you everyone for your input. I will try some of these ideas.

Well, are used HSO violins B combi and it works well with that setting, however, there is now a new problem. When I initiate playback the dynamic markings have no effect? When I hover the mouse arrow over the notes the dynamics work but they will not work when actively playing. I’ve been trying to solve this but so far am unsuccessful.

I know that it has to do with the assigned expression map. At first I set it to HSO violins Combi and that had a great sound and a great tremolo effect. I really loved it but I could not make the dynamics work with that end point set up. When I changed it to CC 11 dynamics, the dynamics worked but the tremolo effect was of poor quality. How can I make the dynamics work with HSO violins Combi? Is there anyone that knows about this?

Richard, since you have Dorico Elements, do you have the HSO sounds because you have access to them via another purchase, e.g. from buying the library separately, or from Cubase? Because Dorico Elements doesn’t include the HSO sounds: they are included only with Dorico Pro.

Yes, I purchased the HSO separately several months before I purchased Dorico. Does that make a difference or is that the reason that the dynamics do not work? Yes, I was also using it with Cubase.

The thing I find most puzzling is that if HSO does not come with Dorico elements 4 then why are the HSO expression maps included? Is it possible that this version of Dorico was designed to accommodate those who might purchase HSO separately? That would make sense. The expression maps make HSO work great for me except for the dynamics which do not function with those expression maps. Is there a way that I can make the dynamics work?

Great, thanks for confirming. You should certainly be able to play back dynamics in HSO in Dorico Elements just as you can in Pro, provided you can use the sounds themselves, which evidently you can.

Are you choosing the sounds manually in the HALion Sonic SE interface, or are you using the HSSE+HSO (Pro) playback template?

I am choosing the sounds manually in the sonic SE interface. I do not know how to access the HSSE+HSO (Pro) playback template? Do I have the ability to do that and could that be the missing key element? Would you please tell me the necessary steps to find that template?

In Play mode, open the Play menu>Playback Template >HSSE+HSO HitApply and close.
If you happen to choose manually anything in the vstis (or even edit after the fact), Dorico won’t use its magic anymore — same as overrides in a page would prevent any automatic change :wink:

Thank you!