Iconica Sections & Players: File size for string orch composition

If I am only using Iconica Sections & Players for a string orchestra composition, how large might my files be? What are the best strategies for keeping file sizes down when using strings from this library? Dorico 5 and Iconica Sketch work very well together, and I’d love to hear the piece with less reverb and more articulations.

Quite small. Just a few MB. The Dorico files only include the playback configuration, they don’t contain the actual instrument definitions and samples.

Actually, I think the project file size when using full Iconica Sections and Players can be considerably larger. The serialised state of the HALion plug-in when using the full sounds is, I think, normally in the tens of megabytes. I don’t have the full Iconica library installed myself (I have insufficient disk space!) but I believe @John_at_Steinberg does. John, could you set up a string orchestra project using Iconica S&P and let us know how big the empty project is, with just the plug-in states saved?

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@dspreadbury, thank you for your detailed response! John’s insights would be very helpful. The Iconica Sketch to Dorico connection is so seamless that the Sections and Player library would be my first choice for upgrading to a pro-string library. If files are 30-40MB, that would not be too bad.

Iconica Sections and Players is not so seamlessly integrated with Dorico as Iconica Sketch, at least not at the moment: because it is so much more resource intensive than Iconica Sketch, we have so far found that you would need such a powerful machine with so much RAM to load a full orchestra’s worth of patches that it isn’t really practical to have it automatically load the sounds, as it would bring most users’ systems to their knees.

Sorry for my misleading post, and thanks to Daniel for explaining the situation.

Thank you @dspreadbury! Is Iconica more suited for working in Cubase?

Perhaps so, though only insofar as in Cubase you have direct control over exactly which sounds are loaded. You can work in Dorico in the same way, but it’s normally easier to work with playback templates, which take a lot of the labour out of manually loading sounds, setting up expression maps, and so on.

Sorry for the delay.
Quick comparison using the default String Orchestra template (5 string players).
With the default Iconica Sketch sounds the Dorico project file size is approx 1MB and Activity Monitor shows the VST Audio Engine using about 750MB of RAM.
With Iconica S&P loaded the Dorico project file size is approx 25MB and the VST Audio Engine is using about 4.5GB of RAM.

(Tested on an Intel Mac.)

@John_at_Steinberg Thank you for your detailed reply. This is very helpful.

25MB is not unreasonable. Does Dorico take advantage of the additional articulations in Iconica S&P without additional scripting/mapping? As mentioned earlier, I am impressed by how well Iconica Sketch works with no additional setup on the composer’s part.

My Mac M1 has 64GB of RAM, so just orchestrating strings in Dorico with Iconica S&P would not tax the machine too much.

The playback template will automatically load the correct sample for each instrument and also assign the expression map (or percussion map) with the various techniques such as pizz, tremolo, legato etc.

Does the Iconica S%P template support more expression than Iconica Sketch?

What do you mean by expression? More techniques?

@John_at_Steinberg Yes!

Yes there are more techniques available in Iconica Sections & Players. For example here is the interface showing the techniques for Violin I, compared to the Iconica options.

@John_at_Steinberg Thank you for sending these screen shots. This is a very helpful comparison!

Is there a subset of the orchestral strings with very little reverb?

One of the issues that I find with the Iconica Sketch orchestral bass pizz is that it seems to have quite a bit of reverb, so its hard to hear the punch of pizz notes.

And, if I was only using a subset of the Iconica Sections & Players library with little reverb, would that reduce the size of saved files?

Thank you for all of your detailed insights!

While you do have many more options for mic positions and types which should reduce reverb, the amount of reverb doesn’t reduce the size of the Dorico file. All the data still needs storing. You can reduce the Dorico file size by using VE Pro (separate purchase from VSL) and hosting Iconica in that application instead.

@John_at_Steinberg Your insights are extremely helpful! Thank you!!

Is there a Dorico template specific to VE Pro 7, Epic Orchestra 2.0? E02.0 comes with VE Pro 7, and I don’t see a template in the VSL for Dorico installer. I tried mapping Dorico players to VSL SYcd Full strings (see screen shot). VL1 is playing Pizz, even when arco is indicated in Dorcio.

I don’t think so.
All of the VSL playback templates have been done by VSL and the only template I’ve done so far with VE Pro is with Iconica.
You could ask VSL if they could do one if it’s included with Epic orchestra.
If you’re getting the wrong technique playing then it’s a wrong/incompatible expression map.