Instrument playback character

I am fine writing and arranging for large wind ensembles but I am almost useless in understanding sound maps and the Halion SE interface. All I would like to do is to remove the disgusting vibrato from the trombones and saxophones, so that I can better judge the sound of the ensemble on playback. [The Sibelius sound libraries didn’t have such a nasty representation of these instruments.]
At present, with the Halion SE library, the trombone section sounds like three very drunk Don Lushers playing!
Is there an easy way to change this characteristic?
Thank in advance if anyone can assist.

Welcome to the forum @peter10 .

Many folks using Dorico opt for NotePerformer, which you may already know from their Sibelius version. Although (IMO) the NP strings are not great, its mix of instruments (mostly geared to classic symphonic ensembles) balance and provide suitable nuances.

The package is reasonable (c. $130), and one can rent-to-own for c. $13 each month until you have paid the total and own the software outright.

A trial version is available.

Hi, Peter!

NotePerformer really is a game changer for our genre. (Fello composer for wind band here :wink: )
There are some instruments that don’t sound tooo well with NP, like saxophones and flugelhorns, but over all it really is a great improvement over the native playback in Dorico.

Very many thanks for your response to my post. I’ll certainly have to consider getting NotePerformer, as it seems like the best solution.

Very many thanks for your response to my post and greetings to a fellow wind band composer! I’ll probably get NotePerformer, as it seems like the best solution for me.

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For me, NP’s strings are a little aggressive (but this aggressiveness could be reduced by lowering the velocity level) and the loud piano sound seems to be distorted (it is not so audible in the ensemble and a bit prominent in the solo). However, strangely and funnily, NP sounds more realistic than the bundled instruments with Dorico and Finale. I have used NP 3 and NP4 with Dorico, sometimes with Finale.
I am using the computer score for demonstration purposes only.

Many thanks, prko, for your observations. All very interesting.

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With NP 4 there’s really no reason not to get it, as it bundles both the power of NP3, and the core capability of Vienna Ensemble Pro (just without the networking which these days isn’t necessary anyhow). Added bonus is you don’t have to deal with the silly dongles and single use restrictions of VEP. Of course to get this benefit you need to buy a big sample library like BBCSO, but it’s all your choice.

I still use VEP as it guarantees an identical back end for both Dorico and Nuendo, so I’m now using NP basic for sketch, NP Engine for initial orchestration, and VEP for humanization and final mixing.

I think VEP has moved from the dongle to iLok, which can be stored on one’s computer.

Hm, yeah that seems right but I’m not seeing it in my iLok. Anyhow because AFAIK there’s no iLok online management like more modern platforms use, I prefer still putting it on a physical key in case the computer goes belly up. Plus with multiple computers you can easily transfer it. The online license like Steinberg uses now is a million times better.

The iLok License Manager software is still pretty easy to use IMO, and I definitely prefer it to the old dongle method. If I switch from desktop to laptop, just start the license manager, start a “Cloud Session” and all your licenses are then active on the laptop. Switch back to the desktop, start the “Cloud Session” there and all licenses are back on the desktop. Pretty easy. I can’t remember how it works if you don’t have wifi access though.

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