How to use NotePerformer alongside another VST?

I’m trying to set up a template where BBCSO is the main orchestra, and there is a hidden “Sketch” (Woodwinds, Brass, Perc, Strings) which plays via NP. It’s set up, however NP just plays brass for all and isn’t assigning channels.

If NP playback was used it would assign, but it would assign for all instruments. Is there a way to combine two existing Playback templates? I tried this but no go, based off an existing template

I think the issue is that a Sketch instrument is just a child of another regular. Woodwinds for Clarinet, for example. But Clarinet has assignments in both templates.

It looks from the screenshot that you load BBCSO and then immediately cancel it with NP.

In my case, Sketch instruments get assigned to the first available instrument in the category from my regular template (first clarinet for woodwinds, first Fr. Horn for brass) for now.

On my to-do list for today is to set up a dedicated endpoint for my Sketch setup, and then add it to the template as an entry above my “regular” entries.

Yeah I’m just trying things without success. But this comment …

Ah I think that’s the solution, trying now …

Let me know please if it’s the right approach! :pray:

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Urks, this will take a bit, should get it done this morning but there’s an update from last May on BBCSO templates, I need to start with that, move to VEP, add sketch, basically I need to start from scratch … I’ll let you know

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Oh man, does this sound like something I’d say. All good, if I get there first, I’ll just post here… Cheers!

To date I’ve not been able to use Dorico to prep MIDI output ready for final mix & master. BUT! With D4 and the new Write mode Key Editor (makes humanizing BBCSO so much easier), and other changes I think it’s finally prime time. Basically my goal is to have Dorico produce MIDI for Nuendo that is ready for multi channel mix/master (before D4 I was contemplating by hand humanizing in Nuendo, thankfully now I don’t think I have to mess with that, I hate working without seeing the notes.)

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So your setup is Dorico → VEPro → Nuendo?

My goal, which I haven’t fully achieved yet but need to before our release, is like this

  • Dorico Sketch with choirs (WW, Brass etc) and NotePerformer
  • Dorico Orchestrate Transfer to BBCSO full orchestra template running with VEP backend for performance
  • Dorico Conduct Humanize the MIDI output - now doable without suicide in D4
  • Transfer Get the MIDI out of Dorico, been hoping for an integration, and I haven’t investigated this too much, but will probably be messy MIDI file transfer
  • Nuendo Equivalent template with either VEP backend or just loaded instances. ATMOS surround, ideally no MIDI work just masterings, reverb, FX etc.

With D4 that solves the humanizing, bringing it closer to the score which is what I wanted in the beginning. I’d like the Nuendo work to go to my engineer just for pure audio mixing.

Also D4 has these nice sketch instruments, so I’m going to attempt to create a template that has a Sketch score using them, outputting to NotePerformer. That way it’s all beautifully together and I can work on sketching and orchestrating on the iPad (I hope)

Sounds great (and quite ambitious!).

A question - why do you need different VSTs for sketching and orchestrating? You could also set up your sketching staves in Dorico but route them to the exact same orchestra, so that you’re always connected to the same sounds, same room, same instrument nuances.

I hope not ambitious, it’s the default workflow for anybody who needs to produce mastered stems from VST’s, and needs to work in notation and not DAW for composition.

BBCSO doesn’t work well out of the box with Dorico’s ‘jitter’ humanizing. Solo lines in particular need to be carefully shaped for example. When sketching I emotionally respond to playback - prefer it over playing on the piano as I have more attention for listening. But using BBCSO for sketches gets in the way because of needing this hand work. NotePerformer is perfect for this but can’t be used for final stems (these are going to a video game, there’s no budget for live so it has to work).

Roadblock one. I took the BBCSO template and am converting it, however the new VST rack has issues. One is with a big list, it hides behind the task bar so you can’t see the item on the bottom of the list. In this image there are items (the ones I need!) below VEP Percussion. Workaround is to put the taskbar on the side of the screen - nothing else would let me select those.


Two - a messier one, the VST Rack delete functionality has issues, basically it rarely gives the option to delete VST’s

I moved everything to the new VEP instruments (half dozen of them), but all the old instruments in the template are still there (this is after a save/recall of the file). So it’s still loading up VST’s which is slow on startup (obviating the whole point of VEP). Finally I can’t save a Endpoint Configuration like this with all that junk in there as it defeats the purpose.

Well, at the moment I’m clearing out all the old ones to empty - still can’t delete them (all 65). I’ll set up the Expression maps and channels and save the endpoint configuration, maybe during that operation it’ll clear out empty VST’s

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Another usability note, even with a template with many channels, the down arrows aren’t enabled, only the up arrows


Workaround is to manually type in the channel you want into the box. Except, this doesn’t work well. I’m not sure the magic - you can’t just select another instrument to go fast for example. Hitting return seems to work mostly.

Edit: Misunderstanding, sometimes list boxes are reversed, not so in this case so the arrows work properly. And bonus, the box stays selected as you switch instruments, which is a usability plus. So the procedure is just type the new number - return - click next instrument. When you use the arrows no need for return key (arrows are slow with higher channel numbers)

Thank you for pointing out all these little UI and usability things.

I’m still trying to understand what’s new in the new Play Mode besides the cosmetics (and of course the lower zone) - it feels as if this is some kind of preparation for something big in this area for the next version but I’m not sure because it’s been talked about for so long.

For now, I decided I’m staying with 3.5 for the purpose of playback template and will simply transfer it to 4.0 when it’s ready so I can replace my current sketching and just have it always on and sitting there…

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The Write Mode lower zone is a clear improvement. Doing the necessary MIDI dirty work is reasonably painless now. It was mentioned that they’ll be adding simultaneous CC lanes (and bringing back the tempo track editing) which will round it out.

I’m not sure about the Play mode changes - it’s more like a DAW now. Considering the MIDI import, I think they’re trying to entice the legions of DAW composers over to Dorico.

Anyhow, I tried saving the Endpoint Configuration now, having gotten it set up (including all the dead VST’s I can’t delete). Unfortunately I get the message “An Error Occurred”. Looking in the log I see the same

2022-01-14 09:16:26.713 [info] Posting command (requested): Play.SavePlaybackTemplateForEndpoint Post=true
2022-01-14 09:16:26.713 [info] Executing command: Play.SavePlaybackTemplateForEndpoint
2022-01-14 09:16:34.636 [error] An error occurred
An error occurred
2022-01-14 09:16:36.683 [info] notifyPostCommandExecute: Play.SavePlaybackTemplateForEndpoint (9969 ms)

Well stuck. I have other work to do, I’ll bang my head on this later again.

Here’s the project if anybody can figure out how to delete old VST’s, and save this as an endpoint. Again it’s simply the Steinberg supplied BBCSO Pro template converted to VEP, nothing more.

BBCSO Pro Template - VEP.dorico (1.2 MB)

Turns out it partially created an endpoint, but didn’t finish and it doesn’t show up on the list but exists on disk. Here’s the bad endpoint

BBCSO (797.7 KB)

you can’t delete the old VST instances from within a project unless it’s the very last one. There has just been another thread confirming this here

You’d need to first delete 66-70 and then you could one by one delete 2-65 and then reinstate the others. A much better general solution seems to me to use Vienna Ensemble Pro for the BBC stuff – performance and loading times will both be improved.

If including Noteperformer, load its Playback Template first and then add the VE Pro entries underneath. I don’t think that NP works properly without using the pb template. I should say that this is how I would expect the optimal setup to be — I don’t generally mix Noteperfomer with other libraries so haven’t actually tried out the sort of sketching idea you suggest. There may well be other ways.

Thanks much! Yes actually I tried deleting at the end, middle, beginning - all over, but nothing worked, oh well.

On VEP Pro that’s the point of the exercise, I’m trying to convert over the base template to D4, and also add the sketch.

Well the fallback workaround for reference was to go back to 3.5 and do it all there. however I decided not to recreate the work, instead taking my old endpoint configuration and just copying it over to the D4 preferences endpoint folder. This is only necessary because I had previously deleted it to start fresh, but I didn’t want to go through that again. Anyhow, yeah for the time being since we still have 3.5 (make you quit 4 so the VSTEngines don’t conflict) doing this work in 3.5 seems the way to go.

Long story short, over lunch with many spinning wheels and trying things looks like I got OT working! @ebrooks indeed you are correct, simply this

Does work, with a previously saved endpoint config for the Sketch instruments/NotePerformer, and a VEP configuration.

OK I’m ready for business, thanks guys!

Edit: Not quite - naturally enough the NotePerformer Sketch endpoint configuration got used for a few instruments in the main orchestra template, the Horn, clarinets and snare drums (not strings interestingly). But setting those manually and then saving as a template fixes that.

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yes, sorry, I had sort of realised this but got a bit lost somewhere trying to follow the arguments. Sounds like you’re almost there anyway. :smiley:

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For completeness and more general use, set the Sketch mapping (NotePerformer) to only include instrument overrides for the Sketch instruments

You’ll still get overrides on clarinet, cello, snare and such on the full orchestra that have to be fixed up - Dorico doesn’t seem to have a way to do either/or logic with Playback Templates, only override/and, but this will be more general purpose anyway.

Also for completeness the Sketch Endpoint Mapping should include all the Sketch instruments - I just added the ones I wanted. I’ll try this later.

(And on a second thought this might work? Probably not, because the sketch instruments resolve to instruments with other mappings (e.g. Bb clarinet) this is a peculiar issue with them)

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