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

Thanks so much!
We have further improved the Map. Now even special playing styles of the strings, like sul ponticello, sul tasto, harmonics, half-harmonics and muted harmonics, are played back more realistically owing to five distinct versions for “natural” notes that are chosen based on the note length. Even though there are generally no dedicated sampled detache/portato versions in this case, this is realized by slightly mixing in staccato via Articulate Prests’ 3D-control. It therefore works both for Standard and Full VSL libraries and significantly improves the automatic playback of shorter notes.
We will release the new version in the next days.

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Hi everyone,
I’m a newbie at VSL, having recently purchased some instruments to enhance my Dorico library.
Trying to follow and understand the conversations you’re having, I’m really overwhelmed by it all.
I hear there are expression maps, then articulation maps, and that some are “coming” from VSL, while others are from people that have developed them for themselves.
At this point in time, I’m trying to figure out if there are any maps (expression/articulation) that I could access for the Solo Strings I, which is a part of a larger package from VSL.
The learning curve is much bigger than expected and would appreciate any help, suggestions, guidance, whatever might get me access to these instruments I bought.
In any case, sorry for long text.
Thank you for your time and consideration.

Welcome to the thread, algae.

This particular thread is for new articulation and mapping products by SymphonicRiot that work exclusively with VI series instruments from the VSL Collections, of which Solo Strings I is one.

I am just getting started with this product myself, so I am not yet able to comment productively. But so far as I know it is the only one designed to work with the VI Collections.

Do you have Noteperformer ? I cannot tell you how helpful it has been as a works-out-of-the-box instrument upgrade to what comes standard with Dorico. The sounds are not up to the VSL level, but for a very modest price it enables you to work on music while you are figuring VSL and Dorico out.

No I don’t. I’ll use the Dorico instruments for now since I’ve already spent enough $$ for now and wait for other things coming for my VSL instruments. I’ll also keep learning how to create maps.
Thank you for your reply.

I just saw that your email text included more things, so to answer them here it is:
Solo Strings I (already mentioned)
Vienna Smart Orchestra & Expansion Pack - Starter Pack

I know that VSO & expansion can be used through Synchron Player, not so for the Solo Strings I.

No special edition so far.

My Daw is Logic Pro X and I have Dorico Pro 3.5

I am determined on learning how all works, for whatever time it takes me to do so.
Thank you again for your replies, time and consideration.

Hello algae592009,

I understand that all this must be very confusing to someone who is new to the VSL, so let me explain a bit:

As far as I understand you own the “Solo Strings I” library, which is a Vienna Instruments library. These are, as the name suggests, sample “libraries”, i.e all the different playing techniques are stored on your hard disk, but they are this way not directly accessible by Dorico. To be able to play them and make them accessible to Dorico they must be loaded into VSL’s sample player. There are two versions: the free “Vienna Instruments” and “Vienna Instruments pro”, sold separately. Only the latter allows to directly access a substantial part of a library and it has many other advantages. All the sounds that are loaded into Vienna Instruments pro can be stored and recalled as a “preset”. The VSL provides only basic presets for the different instruments that include a (small) part of the articulations included in their vast libraries (e.g. Solo Strings I).

In order to access a given instrument Dorico needs an “Expression Map”. The VSL has not released a Dorico Expression Map for the Solo Strings I library (or other Vienna Instruments libraries), but it might be that some user has created a free Expression Map that allows to access part of its content in Dorico.

This thread is about the “Articulate Map”, which is a sophisticated Dorico Expression Map, based on “Articulate Presets”. These commercial Vienna Instruments pro presets are available for most Vienna Instruments libraries (including Solo Strings I) and provide access to their complete content. They are fully consistent across all the covered instruments and libraries and offer many other advantages, in particular their “3D-control” that allows you to continuously control various musical parameters (e.g. attack, vibrato, …) to shape the playback in detail. The Articulate Map in turn allows Dorico to access the entire content of supported VSL libraries in order to play back your scores. In addition to the fully automatic playback it likewise gives you the chance to control it in detail in case you choose to do so.

The Articulate Presets packages come with “Playback Templates”. These are very convenient since they set up everything for all included instruments so that Dorico can access the entire content of a given VSL library. I.e. you can simply select the corresponding Playback Template, e.g. for Solo Strings, in Dorico’s preferences, and from that point on all your scores will use the VSL to play back solo string parts. The Articulate Presets packages also include a complete integration into Logic.

Finally the VSL Vienna Instruments libraries themselves come in two versions: standard and full, which differ in the amount of included articulations and the quality of these sounds. There are separate Articulate Presets packages for these different versions.

As far as the Vienna Smart orchestra is concerned I am not sure if there is already an Expression Map (or even a Playback Template), but you could check this thread: Expression Maps for Dorico 3.5+

All the best


I don’t see any link on your website to download the update…

Hello wcreed,
the full update is not released, yet. A preliminary version of the new Dorico Articulate Map is already part of the demo-content. I am currently also revising the Cubase Articulate Map and will include both new versions in the same update. After finalizing everything (creating revised Playback Templates for all libraries, …), we will send an email with the download link to registered users.
Thanks for your patience

Thanks Kai. How will this all effect works already in progress? Have the instrument presets changed?

Aside from a few special versions of rarely used phrases, present scores should work just fine with the revised version. The VI pro presets themselves are not changed in this update. The new Articulate Map will improve the automatic playback in cases were it was not ideal so far. Moreover there are new score symbols that make adapting the playback easier. Above all, now all control symbols can be hidden in the score, which unfortunately was not entirely possible in the old version. However, these are additional possibilities and the previous combinations generally still work. Please see the updated manual (posted above) for details.
Hope this helps.

Thanks Kai. And now there’s the new Ponticello to add too :slight_smile:

Indeed, we have been quite busy :slight_smile:

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On frequent request and to give you an idea how much the VSL powered by the Articulate Map can improve score playback, here finally a Dorico demo score (Rameau / Pigmalion Suite - Overture) played without any adjustment/edits (“out of the box”) with the Articulate Map and the VSL (Solo Strings, Violin & Cello 2, Oboe 1 & 2 and Bassoon, Teldex Studio - the period instruments Hautes-contre and Tailles were assigned to Viola and Cello 2 respectively):

This score hardly includes playing technique markings (legato, accents, …) and all the different versions (sustained, portato, detache, …) to give this varied playback are automatically selected depending on the length of the notes.

And here for comparison the same score played with the Halion Symphonic Orchestra:

This score obviously calls for repetition samples. The VSL contains various version with up to 9 recorded repetitions and the Articulate Map, can likewise choose them based on the note length. However Dorico does not allow to select them automatically at this point. Therefore, here is also a version were we merely added the corresponding direction (“rep.”) for repetition samples, where repetitions appeared in the score:

As soon as Dorico implements the necessary conditions, repetition samples can in the future likewise be selected fully automatically.

A big advantage of the VSL Vienna Instruments series is that you can play your score with a simple click in any other MIRx venue. For comparison how this changes the sound, here the time-honored Mozartsaal of Vienna’s concert hall:

Finally, Articulate Presets offer the convenient Section Control. Most Articulate Presets include different section sizes that can gradually be mixed at any time to conveniently realize divisi, tutti , … Therefore, here an example how the sound changes by simply assigning the corresponding section control symbols at the beginning of the score

to add in sections (50% Chamber Strings, 25% Woodwind Ensembles), and accordingly played this time in the large hall of the Vienna concert hall:

Unfortunately, the update takes a bit longer than expected since we are still introducing new features and improvements :blush:: the current version of the Articulate Map is with significantly over a 1000 definitions by now already 50% larger than the one we introduced just end of last year. We will release it in a combined update very soon. Sorry for the delay and thanks for your patience.

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Looking forward to it, Kai. Can’t listen today but will tomorrow.

How big an advantage are the Dimension series over their non-dimension counterparts? Dim Strings is on sale this month. I doubt I will jump at it, since I’m waiting on a potential Synchron Brass, but I’m interested in your comments.

I wish VSL would offer both Dimension Strings and Brass together, it might make it more enticing.

Hello John,
I guess many users are more experienced with the Dimension Strings than me (I only got them rather recently), but I find them great and extremely flexible. The big advantage is surely that you can fully dial the number of players, and in addition also all strings are individually sampled. Moreover, the positioning in MIR(x) and VI pro’s humanize feature work very well with the Dimension libraries - and the auto-divisi in Articulate Presets guarantees that all this can be used very conveniently. Dimension Strings are probably already the most complete string library on the market and in contrast to the Cube libraries they are still extended.
However keep in mind that they use significantly more resources (SSD, Ram & CPU). Working on a single machine, this often prevents me so far from using them in a larger orchestra (which is no problem with the much “lighter” Cube). Moreover, they are roughly chamber-sized, so you won’t easily get the sound of the larger sections (Orchestral, Appassionata), but maybe this is possible in MIR pro.
All the best


Best for me to skip, I guess, since I already have Solo, Chamber and Orchestral Strings.

Leave well enough alone and see what comes down the pike early this year.

Here is another Dorico demo score (Hewitt Jones / DORICOverture) played with the VSL powered by the Articulate Map. Like the baroque score posted above it is based on the Solo Strings, but this is a rather different score :blush: and it includes more varied playing techniques (staccato, legato, accents, …). It is again played without any adjustments/edits (Violin 1 & 2, Viola, Violoncello, Vienna Imperial; Mozartsaal) - merely the relative volumes were adjusted to get a balanced mix, since the Vienna Imperial (coming with its own player) does not offer VI pro’s convenient natural volume feature:

And this is the HSO version for comparison:

Finally here is again a version that uses repetition samples for the strings, where required:

As this is such a well known piece, I thought it might be instructive to offer by way of comparison what I do with it using the Synchron player version of the Solo Strings and my own Expression Map. Absolutely no editing whatsoever, other than reducing the master volume of the piano (the SE version of the Steinway) a little for balance. Which you like more will be down to personal preference :grinning:


Thanks for sharing this version - very nice rendition and I have to say that I like your version more :blush:.

I wasn’t happy at all with the mix in my case (combining the piano with the strings).
In order to use the Vienna Imperial (which unfortunately does not support MIRx), I had to use the Mozartsaal venue, which can sound a bit muffled. Generally in a concert hall, the instruments are not as clear and present as in a Scoring Stage. This does not work well for this kind of music (for the baroque piece above it worked much better - which makes sense taking into account when the Vienna concert hall was built :blush:). In your case one gets a convincing impression that these instruments are in the same room - and the Synchron Stage works great for this piece.

Aside from the big advantage of being a Steinway :wink:, the grand in your version seems to include repetition samples (the Imperial only offers them for pedaled notes) and your piano is more wet, which helps a lot in the final part (I had used the “player position” of the Vienna Imperial probably making it too harsh/direct and I should change this). The VSL apparently learned a lot when sampling pianos in the last 10 years.


Lovely rendition !