Setting up a score with external sounds


I’m trying to find a way to quickly configure a score using external sounds.

  1. My sounds will be in VSL’s VEPRO. They will be processed by the MIR spatialization/reverb. Each sound must be in an exact instance and channel of VEPRO, to be exactly linked to the reverb.

  2. As far as I understand, Dorico’s playback templates don’t seem to work for this scenario, since they try to automatically create the VEPRO instances they need, using the sounds they think to match better.

  3. So, I think the only solution is to manually create my instances in VEPRO, connect them in Dorico, then match each instrument in the score to the corresponding instance and channel.

  4. The above would work. But it will not be really fast. I would either
    a) create each time my VEPRO instruments and corresponding programming in Dorico; or
    b) have a fixed template in VEPRO including all the instruments I should ever need.

The (a) solution is very time consuming. Solution (b) would make launching VEPRO, each time, very slow, because all instances and channels will be created, even if I would have to use just a bunch of them.

In Logic, I love the Channel Strip Settings. You create a track, then recall a CSS, and it provides to loading a sound and all the needed effects, including the ones in MIR. I would love something similar in Dorico: a playback template limited to a single instrument.


I recommend making a fixed template in VEP. You can disable the instruments you don’t need there, to save loading time. You can also add to it as needed. With a fixed template you don’t need to reload sample every time you open a new score.

Dorico provides no playback templates for Vienna, and makes no assumtions as to which libraries you have, so you will have to configure your setup manually. At least once…

I continue to find the idea of loading a big template, and disabling what you don’t need to use, counter-intuitive. It’s like calling the full orchestra when only woodwinds are on rehearsal.

Loading a big VEPRO template takes time. A lot of time. Even with all VI cells disabled and other plugins switched off, it has to create all the instances and channels. It’s long.

And since it is always recommended to save the status of VEPRO at least when closing a song project, you have to unload/reload everything in any case when switching songs. Unless you are working exactly with the same setup, that would be a bit boring.


I never assumed that Dorico knows anything about VSL sounds. I use my own sets and expression maps. But since Dorico tries to hint what to use for a Violin instruments, I can’t find a way to tell it if I want to use the Orchestral Strings library, the Chamber, the Appassionata, or one of the Dimension Violins and which one.


And since it is always recommended to save the status of VEPRO at least when closing a song project, you have to unload/reload everything in any case when switching songs

No need to save unless you’ve made some change in VEP

The manual of VEPRO suggests to save its status in the song each time you end working on it, because this is a backup you keep in the song, without risking to reopen it and find a changed situation in VEPRO. This also means that you will have to let the song send your settings to VEPRO each time you open it, to restore that situation.

You can avoid reloading the status of VEPRO when opening a song, only if you are working with a really fixed setup everytime. I find this not fitting my way of working. For example, a movement might use the extended techniques of Spitfire LCO Strings, and another the ones in Xsample. Why should I leave the LCO Strings loaded, when I don’t need them?


I would love to see an Instrument Playback Template.

Most of the time, composers still think in terms of full scores. So, they build (or use) full templates for Classical Orchestra, Film Orchestra, String Quartet…

Dorico’s Playback Template seems to comply with this schema. There is a fixed place, for example, for Violins I, and it tries to find the best sound for that position. You can choose a different sound for an instrument, but it’s still subtractive thinking: the full schema, minus the exceptions.

I’m personally inclined to work with free setups. It’s typical of the music of the latest seventy years or so to rely less on classical schemas. You can have Violins divided in 3 groups, or a non-standard number of woodwinds. But these exceptions are also in classical music.

Also, the huge amount of sound libraries allow for calling more than a single sound to play an instrument. I can have the core Violin articulations in VSL, and the extended techniques in Xsample. So, there isn’s a single choice in a full template that can comply with this situation.

What I call an Instrument Playback Template would be applied to a single instrument, and not to the full score. It would immediately configure that instrument only. So, you could create any type of score you like, and quickly assign the needed settings by each instrument when you add it to the score.

And if you need a line for core articulations and one for extended techniques, to be later mixed in a single staff in the version of the score (layout) to be printed, you can create two Instrument Playback Templates, programming the two Violin I dimensions separately.