Quartet tone playback using vienna synchron

I am using Dorico 4 Pro
I have managed to input some music with quarter tone notation (via 24-tone EDO)

My sound library is Vienna Synchron player.
At the moment C 3/4 sharp plays back as C sharp.
How do I get it to play back the quarter tone intervals ?

Thanks, Peter

I’m not sure Synchron Player can handle microtones. Try using Halion instead.

I believe the full Halion library is one of the few that has quartertone support, together with NotePerformer – I’m not aware of any VSL library that can do this. There have been one or two discussions on this topic such as here Limitations of Dorico's microtonal implementation It may be that you will need to resort to MIDI pitch bend as things currently stand.

Thanks Janus and dko22 for your replies and for the link.

20 years ago when I was using a different notation software, I had some discussions with other users re playback of microtones. I had hoped that things would be much easier by now.

In those days I found a way of generating loads of midi pitchbend messages to get microtonal playback. Do you know if I can do that in Dorico ? Will Halion or Synchron respond correctly to pitchbend messages ?


As we already told you, Dorico, using the default Halion to playback, makes it very easy to write/play microtones.

There are various threads here about using pitchbend for other VSTs that do not support microtones - search the forum.

The original question looks like someone asking about VSL Synchron Player, and not Halion. Halion can’t play the VSL Synchron sounds.

The only solution is continuing to use manually-entered Pitch Bend messages, and carefully moving them when a note is also moved. I’ve not been using Dorico for weeks, so I don’t remember if the abstract Pitch Bend layer has been restored.

The only easy workaround would be using playback techniques based on add-on techniques in an expression map, if Pitch Bend messages were allowed in the expression map. At the moment this is not allowed, and there is no talk about implementing them, unfortunately.


I know (both). The OP seemed frustrated at the prospect of using the same technique “from 20 years ago”. So I was simply pointing out the modern alternative, though obviously not using Synchron sounds.

I much prefer the VSL Synchron sounds to Halion.

What I want is to be able to input microtones in Dorico (which is possible), and a way of getting Synchron to play them back.

From what I have been told, playback of microtones via Synchron appears to be impossible at the moment. I don’t know whether it is up to Steinberg or VSL to change something to make that possible.

As for pitch-bend commands in Dorico I have looked at other posts, and I have looked in the manual and am no wiser. Where do I input them and how ?


You can input them via the MIDI pitch bend editor in the Key Editor. The Key Editor is found in the lower zone in Write mode.

I still don’t see how.
Suppose I want to change one note by, say, +10 cents and the next note by, say +20 cents, what do I do ?

Well, it depends how the player responds to MIDI pitch bend messages. Typically the MIDI range is described as -8192 to +8192; this is a bit unmanageable, however, so Dorico shows this scaled to -100 to +100. Dorico can’t know what the pitch bend range actually handled by the VST instrument will be: a value of +100 might be only one whole step (two half-steps/semitones) or it could be an octave. You’ll need to experiment to establish what pitch bend range is supported by the plug-in you’re using, unless that information is published in its documentation.

I have looked at the key editor in write mode and I still cannot see how to enter a pitch bend command. There is a Value box there, but it will not let me enter a number nor press the up/down arrows.

You need to use the pencil or line tool to draw in the points you need in the main part of the editor.