Introducing the new Articulate Map: complete Dorico support of most of the VSL Super Package

Symphonic Riot is very happy to announce the release of the new Dorico Articulate Map and of convenient associated Dorico Playback Templates. They allow you to automatically play your scores based on the entire content of most of the libraries in the renowned Vienna Symphonic Library (VSL) Super Package, which presents the world’s largest sample database. The presently supported libraries include the complete Symphonic Cube, the extensive Dimension Strings and Brass libraries as well as several others, containing more than 500GB of pristine orchestral samples. With many dozens of different instruments and an impressive list of sampled playing techniques this should easily be the largest and most detailed coherent virtual orchestra accessible in Dorico.

The implementation is based on Articulate Presets which give you access to every single articulation in these vast libraries. They are consistent across the entire orchestra, so that you can easily move parts of the score from one instrument to another one, and they play as expected. Above all Articulate Presets give you unprecedented control over the playback via their signature 3D-control, which allows you to continuously control up to three musical parameters, like the attack behavior, the vibrato intensity and the section size, by blending the various sampled versions of a given playing technique. For the Dimension libraries the section controller even offers Auto-Divisi, i.e. in polyphonic parts the voices are automatically distributed among the different players–making the use of the vast Dimension libraries simpler than ever.

With over 750 individual definitions, the universal Dorico Articulate Map is one of the largest Expression Maps ever created. It implements all standard notation symbols and directions and even gives you access to all more special playing techniques included in the VSL, like recorded dynamics or phrases, via custom score symbols. Moreover, the Dorico Articulate Map fully takes advantage of the advanced new features in Dorico 3.5: for instance it automatically selects one of up to five different playing techniques based on the note length. Similarly, it realistically performs the flexible Dorico-generated playing techniques, e.g. by playing dynamic transitions, notated by standard hairpins, via velocity X-fade in Vienna Instruments pro, or trills via the unique performance trill articulation.

The Articulate Map even offers two different modes between which you can switch for each part at any point in the score: while Composer Mode plays everything fully automatically, Conductor mode allows you to shape the performance in detail using Dorico’s unique Automation Lane, which offers a level of control that was previously only possible in a Digital Audio Workstation. Based on the powerful 3D-control this allows you to realize the subtle nuances that distinguish a virtuous musical performance from a generic playback, significantly increasing the realism that can be reached within Notation Software.

Both Articulate Presets and the Dorico Articulate Map are fully documented via separate in-depth manuals: Articulate Presets Manual.pdf (1.9 MB), Dorico Articulate Map Manual.pdf (2.6 MB). Moreover, there is a full-featured demo to check out both the presets and the extensive Dorico implementation, if you own the corresponding VSL licenses. It includes the complete Flute 2 from the Symphonic Cube and the Viola section from the Dimension Strings libraries, show-casing the convenient Auto-Divisi feature. And even if you are not a Dorico user, yet, but want to see what is possible within Dorico by now, you can simply download the free Dorico SE to check out all features of the extensive VSL implementation.


This is effectively an advertisement, but @symphonic-riot contacted me in advance to ask permission to post this announcement on the forum, and I agreed, since I felt it was likely that this product would be of interest to many Dorico users.


As a Symphonic Cube owner as of the November sale, this looks to be fantastic! Thanks for your efforts to create this product!

Daniel, thanks for permitting it’s posting here. I’m sure you are right that many Dorico users will profit from it.

I have the Symphonic Cube Standard (not full). It appears from reading your FAQ that the combination of your Basic Orchestra product and your Large Orchestra product are appropriate for my situation, right?

Just read the manual, and the advertised capabilities are simply amazing. This could be a watershed moment for VSL VI users. The more I read the downloadable manuals the more my anticipation in trying the demo. Alas, it will likely have to wait a few days due to Christmas.

It’s interesting that symphonic-riot regard the Synchron-ized libraries as a downgrade to VI with one or two contentious assertions such as the new versions having fewer as opposed to more samples which is the exact opposite of VSL themselves (though I wouldn’t rule out a bit of marketing in that declaration). I myself expect that the few missing feature holes will soon be plugged.

Anyway, such a comprehensive support package for VI Pro is bound to be of interest to those still loyal to the old system and I’ll certainly have a look myself even though I’ve effectively moved to Synchron-ized in my own VSL work.

Thanks for the info @symphonic-riot (and @dspreadbury): I know some people already asked for it (, but I’ll ask again: do you have a tutorial video please?
That will make the choice easier (Cube Full, Dimension Strings and Brass both Full user here)… :slight_smile:
2 more questions:

  • Until when is the introductory price?
  • Is it be possible to use VEPro (I suppose yes, but just to be sure)

Thank you!
Best regards,

Symphonic Riot, I have run into a couple of problems. I just sent you a private message. A response after the holiday weekend is understandable.

Hello DaddyO,

happy holidays, and sorry for the “holiday delay”.

Thanks so much for your positive feedback!

Yes, there are different Presets for standard and full VSL libraries to give you the best playback for each version.
We have split up the standard Symphonic Cube into two packages. The Basic Orchestra includes all instruments of a normal-sized (“classical”) orchestra and is already available. While all full library versions are already released, the Large Orchestra package which contains the residual instruments in the standard Cube, as well as the Appassionata Strings is nearly finished and will be released in the near future.

So it seem you have already made the right choice by getting the Basic Orchestra package. By now we have also created a Playback Template for the Basic Orchestra (like for all full libraries) and I have just sent it to your registered e-mail address.

All the best


Hello dko22,

Thanks for your remark.

We have not and would not use the word “downgrade”. I would guess the motivation for the Synchronized Series was to extend the Synchron Orchestra (which so far only includes Strings and Percussion) and to give the user an economic, streamlined package that works similar to the Synchron libraries (containing the essence of the Vienna Instruments libraries and not requiring VI pro and MIRx venues in addition). However, as far as I understood previous VSL statements, Synchron is not meant to replace the VI series - Synchron and Vienna Instruments are simply two different product lines with a different scope (recorded in a multi-mic approach with ambience in the Synchron Stage or dry in the Silent Stage) - and both have their advantages.

There is no “Synchronized Symphonic Cube”. In particular there are no Orchestral Strings, and Brass 1 & 2 at all and only a selection of the instruments in Woodwinds 1 and 2 with reduced articulation content. Similarly the Synchronized Chamber and Solo Strings do not offer con sordino articulations at all. In this sense we meant: “upgrade” to a package like the Symphonic Cube that includes significantly more content.
At the same time the Synchron Player does not include many useful features of VI pro: Auto Voicing, the APP Sequencer, the possibility to conveniently move the entire orchestra to different venue by simply selecting it via MIRx (which completely changes the resulting sound), … . The Synchronized Dimension libraries are more complete, but the convenient Auto-Divisi, which is probably the best feature of our Dimension Presets, is made possible by Auto-Voicing in VI pro. So it would be impossible for us to port these to the Synchron Player.

Another important reason why we don’t support Synchronized Libraries is that the Synchron Player is less flexible and can in certain cases use significantly more resources: The 3D-control of Articulate Presets allows the user to continuously control e.g. the attack, vibrato and section size simultaneously. For this it blends in some cases up tp 3 sampled vibrato versions (strong, light and no vibrato), up to 3 sampled attack versions (sustain, long portato and marcato) as well as two sections (e.g. a solo instrument and a small ensemble). In the Synchron Player one would need all the 2* 3* 3=18 sampled articulations to make this work. VI pro is flexible enough that we could take into account all available versions (e.g. 3 vibrato and attack versions for the solo trumpet, but only 2 for the trumpet ensemble) and adjust all intermediate volumes accordingly to give the user a smooth continuous transition blending all these versions in a 3D sound space. Above all, in the Synchron Player all these 18 versions would be activate and would always require 18 voices. If you in addition activate velocity X-fade you would always end up with more than 18*4=72 voices per note! In a large score this would generally be far too much to be manageable by a normal system. In VI pro the same sound uses standardly only 2 instead of 18 voices and only if you actually dial all controllers to an intermediate position it uses at most 8, which is no problem since you will only occasionally do this for some instruments.

Finally creating all these presets was a lot of work and it would not make sense for us to do all this once more if it does not offer any advantage over what can already be done with the current VI presets. In Dorico, you generally do not even have to open the individual instances at all to access everything and so it does not really matter which player is “under the hood”.

Best regards


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Thanks Kai, I’ll try that.

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Hello Gil,

Thanks for your suggestion.
We don’t have tutorial videos at this point. Our manuals are quite detailed, explaining every aspect of the implementation. We might release additional tutorial videos in the future.

However, as far as giving you the chance to make an informed choice, we thought, it is much more useful to check everything out yourself, than if we present selected aspects in a video.
Since you are already a VSL user, downloading the free demo and importing the corresponding Playback Template should be faster than watching a video :blush:, and it gives you the chance to immediately play the corresponding parts of your own scores with the included full-featured demo instruments (Flute 2 from the Symphonic Cube and the Dimension Violas). Moreover, you can directly check out the entire implementation (e.g. the playing techniques we implemented to access all the special articulations in the VSL, …). To see how the Articulate Map handles a really challenging score, please check out the Dorico demo score “Cygnus the Swan” for solo flute.

Regarding your other question: The introductory price is valid until end of January.
I haven’t tried VEpro, but if Dorico supports VEpro the Articulate Map should work. I am not entirely sure about the Playback Templates. It could be that you have to re-assign the individual instruments depending on the tracks that you use in VEpro.

I hope this helps.

All the best


You don’t use the word “downgrade “ but in the FAQs do talk about upgrading to the corresponding VI library in the section on Synchron. I’m also not sure that VSL would agree that the Synchronized versions are significantly cut down. It is true that the newer instruments do have considerably fewer articulations in many cases which is something I regret.

I have only a fairly limited selection of VSL libraries so don’t pretend to be an expert, especially with VI . For the Sy-ized libraries I’ve written all my own EM’s including divisi / player combinations support in the Dimension SE. I agree, incidentally, that these libraries seem to use more system resources than the VI equivalents so something isn’t quite right.

As for VI Pro features, I’ve never seen much point in the APP sequencer but it would be nice to use MIRx perhaps. On the other hand, I find the Synchron stage better than any of them, otherwise I wouldn’t have switched.

All the same, I don’t mean in any way to belittle your efforts. Assuming it works coherently, I’m sure it’s a very valuable contribution for VI
enthusiasts and I might consider the one for the solo strings at some point.

I did not realize that you created so many Dorico Expression Maps. This is great that both the Synchron(ized) and the VI series seem to be to a large extent implemented into Dorico now. Actually, I am very indebted to you for your insight into Dorico: it was you who explained how to make recorded portamento work in Dorico, right here on the forum :blush:. Thanks again for this!

I find the App Sequencer actually a great compromise between realism and convenience/flexibility. Recorded phrases are still the most realistic option, but many of them are situational (if the tempo fits) and therefore hard to use. Just playing back the notes e.g. of a run directly is surely the most convenient solution, but the playback is less realistic than a recorded run. The App-Sequencer phrases automatically sync to the tempo of the score and therefore it is rather easy to use them, and the VSL team polished them a lot (including different articulations, dynamic adjustments, …) to make them sound as good as possible (in many cases they are for me indistinguishable from the recorded phrases).

I agree the Synchron venue is a great scoring stage. The available Teldex studio (where the Berlin orchestral library was recorded) is somewhat similar and I like it a lot as well, but I guess this comes down to personal taste. I hope the VSL will now that MIRx settings for MIR pro have just been released also soon release a MIRx Synchron extension for VI pro, as they had previously suggested. I find it great for symphonic music to be able to play it in various concert halls, or for sacral music even in a church. This gives a much better idea how a piece will sound when it is actually performed (hopefully this will be possible again soon :blush:). After all, this flexibility is the ingenious aspect of the entire Silent Stage approach. The Synchronized libraries are just another example that the MIR-based approach works.

thanks for your kind words – I’ve no idea if I came up with the fix for portamento --most likely not but it does seem that the message has largely got across in the Dorico forum. VSL on the other hand on their forum still seem to insist that it doesn’t work properly --looks like they don’t follow the discussion here on VSL very closely. On Teldex, I actually bought that largely because it does sound quite like the Synchron stage, exactly as you say. At that point I was still testing out whether the modest upgrade (as they put it of course!) cost to the synchron-ized versions was worth it.

Looks like your single click MIRx swap could be a nice time-saver if you want to switch around a lot. Of course changing it instrument by instrument as I do doesn’t take that long but even so…

Don’t suppose it would be possible to somehow make a demo of just the solo strings or even one instrument? I don’t own the libraries you have provided the demos for so I’m not so sure how useful they would be to me personally. In Dorico I’ve only used the new libraries so far but I have quite a few Sibelius works for string quartet all using VI Pro as potential guineapigs

My main reason for using VI at this time is this:

My initial investment in libraries came before Synchron was released. It started with the Special Editions, of which over the years I rounded out the entire bundle with PLUS. Then as too-good-to-pass-up sales came I ventured into VI Standard as able. With what I built up over time I was able in November to round out the Symphonic Cube Standard for a couple of hundred dollars. It made sense to do so, if for no other reason than I had a consistent, pretty well complete orchestra. All this has been quite the investment for a hobbyist of limited means.

With the release over the last few years of the Synchron libraries (and no additional VI libraries!) it became clear to me where VSL saw it’s future, though it continues full VI support (but no further library or player development!) . So I have taken care to prepare for the future the best I can, taking advantage of some introductory offers where I could. The “cross-grade” to the corresponding volumes of the Synchron Special Edition was ridiculously cheap, as was the one to the Synchronized Woodwinds. The September introductory release of Synchron Strings Pro was too generous to pass up, given that at that time my strings consisted only of Special Edition versions.

So at this time I have my feet in both worlds. But until Synchron Brass (in whatever form) is released I am still missing a key Synchron component (excepting the Special Editions).

My take at this point is that this coming year will see some form of Synchron Brass released, perhaps in January. And I think further development of VI will be left behind, though support will continue indefinitely. I think anything new that comes down the pike will not VI. Anything other than Synchron will be something entirely new. However, I’m no prophet and there are tons of people that know a whole lot more than me about such things.

Still, there is something to be said for the fact that right now VI is the only complete library series for VSL. That is worth something.

the MIRx swap is not something for which we had to do anything, but it is built right into VI pro. You just have to check the Synchronize checkbox and all VI pro instances are automatically synchronized. I have sent you a PM.

last year VSL released Dimension Brass 2 and Dimension Strings 3 and Paul@VSL wrote that there is likely more to come for the Dimension Series. As far as VI pro is concerned they released the HiDPI support not too long ago. Synchron Strings was released 2 years ago and only now VSL released the pro version, so it does not seem that this is the key focus either. Right now it seems to be the Big Bang series, which is probably more tailored towards film scoring …

that Synchronize checkbox stares you in the face yet at some point, I must have forgotten about it. probably because I tended to only swap MIRx in small ensembles which takes a few seconds. As for orchestra I always used the Grosse Saal so far but Teldex should also come into conideration. Anyway, thanks for pointing that out!

Don’t you think using Program Change is a dead end, since its not part of VST3?

Hello wcreed,
Thanks for your question.
Program change messages are part of the Midi standard since its beginning, since they are very useful and convenient to control musical instruments.
I am not an expert on the VST2/3 issue at all, but I was told that it is not impossible to support program change messages in VST3 plug-ins if they are properly converted and represented differently internally. So far VST2 works perfectly fine and many manufacturers are hesitant to switch to VST3 just because of this issue.
The matrices in Articulate Presets are standardly switched by program change messages, but VI pro likewise allows the user to switch matrices by controllers (which is activated by simply checking a box). If at some point program change messages are indeed phased out completely, you can rest assured that we will spend the two hours and simply port the Articulate Map from program change messages to controllers.
Hope this helps

Thanks Kai. I got Woodwinds 1 to try things out.

Why aren’t the samples for the ensemble patches loading (red lined) in the right hand slots? I have VI instrument as separate licensees, is that a problem?