Recommended libraries for solo instruments in combination with Dorico?

I’m considering expanding my orchestral library (BBC SO core controlled via NPPE) with some solo instruments (strings, woodwinds, brass).

The following criteria are important to me:

  • sounds should be notably better than native NP4 solo instruments (I think NP4 is already doing a fine job, so there should be a noticeable improvement worth the price)
  • articulations should be covering all the common ones, and especially a beautiful legato
  • should be easy to control from Dorico through:
    • readily available expression maps (i don’t have time to configure myself)
    • or NPPE
  • nice to have: solos can be purchased separately, no need to buy the whole orchestra including sections (my current BBC SO and NP4 sections will do for me)

In short: good quality solo sounds + (almost) plug & play use with Dorico

Possible products which I think may meet these criteria:

  • many of the libraries supported by NPPE, but I guess except a few of them it’s not possible to purchase solo instruments separately
  • SWAM (audio modeling) + expression maps (are these readily available for strings/woodwinds/brass?)
  • sample modeling + expression maps (are these readily available for all SM solo instruments?)

Thanks in advance for any advice.

The only things that are “plug and play” are the bundled sounds and NotePerformer. Perhaps you’d have the best luck getting one of the special libraries that the new version do noteperformer supports, so you get better sounds, but the smarts of NP.

Just my opinion, but for solo strings I think there is nothing else even remotely as good as Abbey Road Two Iconic Strings. Not especially cheap for 5 solo players. But boy… I’ll share a Dorico expression map if it helps.

As always, extra attention is rewarded but I find things like the performance legato very playable.

The only things that are “plug and play” are the bundled sounds and NotePerformer.

Maybe my use of the term "plug & play "is a bit confusing… For me it can also mean applying an existing Dorico expression map that I can download somewhere from the internet. Basically I’d like to spend only minimal effort to get the solo sounds working with Dorico (for which indeed NPPE is one of the options)

I’ve updated my original message to make that more clear,

Thanks for the tip, I’ll have a look/listen.

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