List of Instruments

Congratulations to Daniel Spreadbury and his team of developers in London for their work on Dorico!

As a Sibelius user, I’m looking forward to hearing more about what’s in store in Dorico. For the instruments, can you please give us a complete list of instruments that will be featured in that application?


No, Greg, I’m afraid I can’t, whether you’re asking for a list of all of the sounds that are included with the program, or of all of the types of instruments you will be able to assign to players to write for in the score.

For the former, you can check out the list of sounds included in HALion Symphonic Orchestra here:

but there is no good list of the 1400-plus sounds included with HALion Sonic SE 2.

For the latter, basically any instrument you can think of, you’ll be able to write for in Dorico. We will not have support for guitar and other kinds of tablature in the first version, but if it’s a pitched or unpitched instrument that uses a regular stave, you’ll be able to write for it.

Thanks, Daniel! As for the instrument types we will be able to assign in the setup template, would those be listed and grouped in sections like woodwinds, brass, percussion, strings, and so on?

Yes, instruments will be grouped into families, to help you find them quickly and easily.

I see. In general, would the acoustic and electric guitars (for example, 6-string and 12-string) be included in the score template?

As I’ve said, there will be no tablature support in the first version of Dorico, but you will certainly be able to write for guitars of various kinds on notation staves.

Also, considering that HALion hasn’t include a contrabassoon in their library despite containing other woodwinds like piccolo, English horn and bass clarinet, would that also be included in Dorico?

HALion Symphonic Orchestra is an existing product, and it is that existing product that will be included with Dorico. We are not, I’m afraid, revising or expanding that product as part of the Dorico release.

When I surveyed our prospective users via a survey sent out via social media a while ago (perhaps as long as two years ago now!), the results showed us that more than 75% of our prospective customers already had at least one third-party orchestral or other instrumental sample library that they would expect to use with our new scoring application. Your own signature shows that you are definitely among this majority. You will be able to use your existing libraries with Dorico, so if you’re not happy with what HSO offers, don’t worry: you can use whatever sounds you already have.

Have you been testing with Vienna Ensemble Pro? Will it be easy to use with VEP?

can we define our own families? Sibelius was pretty much annoying on this issue… :frowning:

WW ie. should be devided into Flutes - DoubleReed - Clarinets - Saxes depending on the instrumentation. In this case Concert Band

You probably won’t be able to define instruments or families in the first version, I’m afraid. There’s a whole load of user interface to be built there. We are using homegrown web-based tools to manage these kind of datasets, and although it’s in our plans to build user interface to edit these things in the long term, it’s not a high priority for the first version, since we plan to have a pretty comprehensive set of instruments, as logically grouped into families as we can make them, in the program from day one.

For the setup templates, which instruments are to be included in a specific ensemble (orchestra, concert band, jazz band, rock band, etc.) for a pre-made score template.

Also, on the subject of third-party VST instrument libraries, which ones will be compatible with Dorico?

I’m not sure how to answer the first part of your question, Greg. Do you want me to list the instruments you would normally find in, say, an orchestra? I’m guessing you can imagine quite well which instruments will be included in those templates.

As for which third-party VST instrument libraries Dorico will be compatible with, the answer is that it will be compatible with all of them, provided they use a VST 3 plug-in, or a VST 2 plug-in that is known to be well-behaved and is included on a whitelist that Dorico will use to determine which VST 2 plug-ins it will load.

For those who what to know more about Halion here is a link to the Steinberg knowledge base showing the user manual:

Mine is shown in German but I asume there is a language switch which guides you to the correct version/language…

That manual is for the old version of HSO, most of it doesn’t apply to the current version.

Here’s the instrument list for the current version. Note that nearly all instruments have several keyswitches which can be enabled per note.


Chromatic Perc




thanks a lot, I didn’t now that… :wink:

What does “combi” mean in this context?

I asume it means combination of articulation being that mixed groups of instruments already are marked as those …

Combi means combination, in this case these are instrument patches with several articulations combined into one patch. In past versions of Halion Symphonic Orchestra (and its predecessor, Halion String Edition) the articulations were available as separate patches, so you could load only the ones that were needed in your composition to save RAM. These VSTs were released back when most PCs had around 512MB to 1GB RAM.

Pretty much everyone has 8GB+ RAM now, and since HSO only uses like 2GB of RAM if you load all patches at once, the separate patches for each articulation became pointless.