Sound libraries.

Hi Folks,

I am notating and listening to a lot of choir parts and would like some advice on what sound library you might recommend.

Dorico comes with Halion Sonic SE which I don’t mind, but becomes unusable when you add a piano part. The vocal parts and the piano parts are not played in sync.

Native Instruments has a nice choir in the Kontakt Factory Library. The piano and vocal parts are in sync. The issue I have is that the range of the parts is rather restricted at the both the top and bottom of the range. I can ‘fix’ this by copying samples between notes to fill the notes I need, but that is a lot of work. I haven’t worked out how to save the changes. Maybe I should?

I invested in Olympus Elements and am not quite happy with the sounds. They all appear harsh and don’t follow volume settings (f, p, etc) very well.
Playing chords is a pain because you have to manually toggle an option to allow for extra part voices every time you open the project.

So my question is: Any recommendation of a choir sound library that would do everything I need given my issues?


Have you tried Note performer? There’s a trial available in case you haven’t.

They should be in sync, but the default choir sounds have a slow attack, which may be what you’re hearing. The GM Choir Aahs are a bit more forthright.

Everything you need? No. :laughing: Choir sounds are always going to be a bit rubbish. I did hear one library that actually sang the lyrics, from MusicXML. It was hysterical.

Ben is correct, it’s a problem of slow attacks. Before investing in Note performer, I got used to change the voices with clarinets, oboes and bassoons… Note performer has less problems with the attacks, but is not perfect — that is why I suggested you to try it.

There’s also the free Sonatina Choir plugin which I find quite useful.

Oz, it’s also possible to grab all the events in the choral staves (in play mode piano roll editor) and nudge them slightly earlier.

I know Dorico guys don’t want to become a DAW, understandably. But this is where a feature like latency offset would be nice. An option to set the selected track to -50 ms or whatever. But if that’s not happening, you can nudge yourself pretty easily.

I agree every choral sound is going to sound like rubbish. Some samples might sound like rubbish with a little Febreeze sprayed on them, but nothing is going to be pleasing. At least to me (I’m a choral guy).

But if you do want to buy a library, how much are yo willing to spend? Do you want SATB or just male and female? Just Ahh sounds or ability to create “syllables”?

Paul, Is the Sonatina Choir a VST 2 or 3?


The Sonatina works for me as VST2. (Don’t forget to white list it!)

The Garritan library’s Full Choir KS sample is also quite good.

Thanks - will give it a go!

Hmm, Garritan, I have that, must have a look.

wcreed: SATB.

No one has produced a countertenor sample yet. Whether that’s a good thing, or a bad thing, I couldn’t possibly say…

Neither good nor bad, just counter-intuitive. :laughing:

Dear fellow Doricians,

Sorry to ask help for such a simple thing, but how did you make Sonatina Choir work ? I added this (Sonatina Choir) in a new line in my vst2whitelist.txt at the right place, deleted the three files (by the way, the names of those three files have a 2 added at the end, which is not specified in the document provided by Steinberg), and… Sonatina Choir just do not appear in my VSTi list in Play mode.

I think you need to ensure that the audio engine rebuilds its database, so I think the best way is to remove all files in that folder apart from the vst2whilelist.txt file. The plugins should get rescanned the next time you start Dorico.

Thanks Paul. I’ve done that, and now Pianoteq5 VST (which I do not need since Pianoteq 6) has disappeared too ! Those are the only VST2 I have whitelisted…

Capture d’écran 2018-07-23 à 11.50.43.png

The audio engine log file should show us some information about what’s going on. If you go to Help -> Create Diagnostic Report and post here I can take a look, or if you want to diagnose it yourself, here’s a chunk of mine for comparison:

2018-07-23 10:03:19 : VST2WhiteList => /D:/Source/DevDorico/steam/source/apps/dorico/win/x64/DebugMD/VSTAudioEngine/Components/vst2whitelist.txt
2018-07-23 10:03:19 : Kontakt 5 16out
2018-07-23 10:03:19 : NotePerformer
2018-07-23 10:03:19 : NotePerformer64
2018-07-23 10:03:19 : UserVST2WhiteList => /C:/Users/PWalmsley/AppData/Roaming/Steinberg/VSTAudioEngine2_64/vst2whitelist.txt
2018-07-23 10:03:19 : Sonatina Choir - 64
2018-07-23 10:03:19 : VST2WhiteList : Kontakt 5 16out
2018-07-23 10:03:19 : VST2WhiteList : NotePerformer
2018-07-23 10:03:19 : VST2WhiteList : NotePerformer64
2018-07-23 10:03:19 : VST2WhiteList : Sonatina Choir - 64
2018-07-23 10:03:20 : Plugin accepted: Kontakt 5 16out.dll
2018-07-23 10:03:23 : Plugin refused: Kontakt 5.dll
2018-07-23 10:03:23 : Plugin accepted: NotePerformer64.dll
2018-07-23 10:03:25 : Plugin accepted: Sonatina Choir - 64.dll
2018-07-23 10:03:26 : Plugin refused: Symphonic Orchestra.dll

This is showing the default whitelist has Kontakt 16 out and NotePerformer, and my user whitelist has ‘Sonatina Choir - 64’. It then shows the combined whitelist and then lists each plugin as accepted or refused.

Marc, you need to add “Sonatina Choir - 64” to the whitelist, not just “Sonatina Choir”.

If it then still does not appear, make sure you add the path to the plug-in to the file “Vst2xPlugin SearchPaths VSTAudioEngine2.xml”.

Thanks Ulf. I’ve tried that, and still no sonatina choir in the VSTi… I admit I don’t know how I should edit the path file. Should I put the “sonatina choir.vst” in a specific folder?

At some point in the past, Daniel suggested I also keep a separate (backup) copy of my whitelist just in case an update overwrites it.
Just a thought while you are trouble shooting yours.

Please let us know, Marc, how you like Sonatina when you get it running. I might decide to take the plunge.