Iconica Sketch

The only ‘compatibility’ would be if Arne makes an NP PlayBack Engine for Sketch, as it has done for BBCSO, etc. Otherwise, it’s just a different sample library.

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Also, just want to draw attention to this little remark that Daniel made back in June:

Always worth looking out for breadcrumbs!

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It looks as though Iconica has its own advanced human playback. If Arne were to make an NP playback engine for Iconica, wouldn’t this compete with NP’s human playback?

I don’t know if you are referring to my post. I wanted to ask, if the results of the upcoming playback improvements in Dorico are compareable (not compatible) with Noteperformer.

I think iconica has no humanising features. But Dorico has. And will improve.

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Something to do with a Dorico for iPad edition perhaps…? Dunno. Just having some fun…! :upside_down_face: :crazy_face:

PS :- just noticed on the Steinberg Download Assistant, the icon for Iconica Sketch item is not in step with all the other Iconica downloads available there…

I sure hope Iconica Sketch works with Dorico on the iPad too. I was hoping that NP would get ported to iOS (there was a time, quite a while back, when his WIVI instruments were available in the App Store). This would be a welcome addition!

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Hi Daniel, I downloaded Iconica Sketch and noticed the Horn patch is limited to written A5 (Concert D5). I’m afraid with this kind of range limitation, one is limited to Middle School repertoire. Any reason for this?

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The playable ranges of the patches in Iconica Sketch are the same as the ranges in “big” Iconica. The range of the patches will match the ranges that were recorded.

I have what might seem like a silly general question about Iconica Sketch. As this is included in both Cubase and Dorico Elements which normally cost €99 and yet the library costs €119 on its own, who in their right mind would buy that version when for less money you can get a first rate sequencer or notation software into the bargain? Does the separately purchased version have some differences/advantages?

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Exactly. Imagine you don’t use Dorico, but are interested in getting Iconica Sketch. The cheapest way is to buy Dorico. Now you’ve got this notation app on your desktop. Hmm. maybe you’ll give a try.


That sounds like a very reasonable question to me. I was wondering the same thing.

perhaps it’s all a cunning marketing ploy to actually encourage people to enter the wonderful world of Dorico or Cubase. And then when they realise just how wonderful this world is, they may be persuaded to upgrade to better versions! :grinning: Worked on me, anyway…


“Big Iconica”?

This is true for both “Ensembles” and “Players & Sections”?

Are the instrument layers of the big Opus edition ‘locked’ in full HALion 7 (like they are in this Sketch version)?

Horns will need some extension to the range at times! Sometimes the existing samples can be mapped out to get a little more range and it sounds OK. In a pinch one could also add on using our own sample(s) (easier if the program layers are NOT locked).

Considering investing in Opus, but there will be times the horn range could use some ‘extension’ there! I know, get the demo and see…plan to do that soon, but I’m curious up front. Really hoping the layers are not locked down too much from user edits.

I don’t think Iconica Sketch uses any of the patches from Iconica Ensembles, though I may be mistaken.

Yes, I’m curious as to the range of solo and section horns in full blown “Opus”.

Also curious if the program layers are locked down in full HALion 7.

I.E. HSO layers are not locked, so I’m able to extend and rework things to my own needs.

In contrast, the layers in Sketch are ‘locked’.

Users are pretty limited to what can be done to these layers. If the designers didn’t give us a control in the Macro editor (or otherwise document some active CCs or VST parameters) it can’t be deep tweaked! With a locked layer in full HALion, we can do some basic layering up of things, and sometimes set up a parent level to build on some custom filters and such, but no true ‘deep editing’ of that ‘locked’ layer itself.

If Iconica Opus layers are ‘locked’, AND instruments have the range of 8th graders…

I’ll just grab an Opus trial key when I get some time and have look.

I’m not sure what you mean by “locked layers”, but some VST players have the ability to adjust the pitch range of an instrument.

In SINE Player, for instance, you just drag the ends of the line above the keyboard.

It’s a shame that this can’t be done in HALion.

Same with VSL.

HALion terminology.

Hierarchy for a HALion instance:
VSTsound Library
VSTpreset, or Multi-Program

Technically in HALion it’s all just ‘layers’. Think of it like a parent directory on your hard drive, and its subsequent ‘children’ directories.

A Sonic compatible instrument/program can have 4 ‘parent layers’, and potentially unlimited children in each of those. A program targeted to full HALion can have an unlimited number of top level ‘parent’ layers.

Layers can be a sample zone, synth zone, busses, effects, or even just a simple place holder that gives children a new set of editable parameters and a new set of ‘quick controls’ (thus affecting all children layers below it). Other sorts of ‘layers’ or layer components exist, like MIDI matrix modules, conditional modules (build key switches and such), arp engines, and more.

A sound designer can choose to ‘lock’ a given layer when packaging a collection of programs as a vstsound ‘library’. If it’s locked, end users of the ‘library’ cannot see inside or manipulate the layer in their copy of HALion (unless the sound designer specifically adds the controls to tweak something to something like a Quick control knob, or the Macro editor).

Oh, HALion can do it! It’s up to the library designer to implement it (or not) anyway he chooses.

HALion gives sound designers the option to ‘lock’ a layer down when packing a library to distribute so it cannot be deep edited by end users beyond whatever controls the designer provides.

If a designer wanted to grant users the ability to manipulate the mapping of samples he could do so by adding it to the Macro, or setting up program layers in ways that at least ‘portions’ of it are unlocked…creative use of Quick Controls, or via old fashioned CC or VST automation (and documentation telling users what those are and how they work).

If a layer is not locked, then editing to the layer, its samples, zones, and more is unlimited in full HALion.

So, with the HSO horn I’ve shown in the previous post screen shot, you can see and manipulate EVERYTHING about the program. I can stretch the zoning of the upper and lower samples to cover a few more keys if I like. I can manipulate the dynamic zoning and crossfading stuff. I could even add in my own samples to extend the range. I could get into that EQ that does the ‘body and air’ stuff and make fine adjustments. I could use some filtering and such to craft another ‘variant’ of a horn player based on these same samples in ways that’d avoid ‘phasing and cancelation issues’ (offset it a bit, apply some filtering and detuning). I could even (and have done so) take those multiple dynamic layers of samples apart and make them into extra ‘virtual horn players’ (with one dynamic layer each).

Why bother? If you start stacking multiple copies of the same instrument, and they play much in unison, or tight harmonies, stuff can drop out of the mix! Do a little off-setting, detuning, exchange some samples around…and one can get another player or two out of a single set of samples.

If layers are unlocked, there are no limits as to what we users can do to tweak out a library in HALion and make it ‘our own’. Including the macro editors…like this one I have gradually tweaked out for HSO violins. (Rendering with extreme dynamic curve applied, so some of the attacks are bit too much…experimental, could be dialed back by playing with that curve there)

Why did I go to the trouble to tweak HSO that much? Well, it all started years ago, when Dorico could not yet do many of the things it can now (channel bounces, delay stuff in expression maps, multiple voices on a stave, etc). I tweaked what we had to get what I needed.

With a few minor exceptions…modern Dorico 5 could get most of it done with the bog standard HSO presets. One can simply shape up those articulations in different Sonic slots, and have Dorico ‘bounce’ among them (with delays and such if required). Back in Dorico 1 and 2 days…he needed some more help.

If a layer is ‘locked’, like I show in my previous post for the Sketch horn, I’m far more limited in what I can do to the Iconica program. If the designers didn’t put it in that macro editor, or give back door CCs/parameters…about all I can do is layer it up with other stuff ‘as is’. I ‘might’ be able to hammer out some extra variations by nesting it in parent layers that have some filters and stuff…but I wouldn’t have access to the truly expressive and creative goodies!


I’m not sure I understand this.
In VSL, you can, certainly for for some instruments, extend the range up and down. I tried recently to extend the standard range of a clarinet to the lower end, in order to reach the range of a basset clarinet, and it worked (for Mozart’s clarinet concerto which in fact was written for a basset clarinet). But: the sound of a real basset clarinet is of course better (warmer), at least in my ears…
I tried it also for harpsichord (extension to the high notes), which worked also.
VSL documentation says you can extend a few tones up and down.