Sound Sets

One thing that has stopped me from buyng East West QL Symphonic Orchestra is that for use with Sibelius one must also buy from a third pary special Sound Sets that are neither cheap nor easy to install. This is not so when using Sibelius with Garritan or Vienna instruments. Does one need special sound sets to use Dorico with Easr West QL Symphonic Orchestra ? I am trying to decide if I should crossgrade from Sibelius 7 to Dorico.

Dorico uses VST Expression Maps rather than sound set files, though there are certainly conceptually some similarities between them. However, no third party VST Expression Maps currently exist for you to buy, though you can download some basic ones from the Steinberg web site that are intended for use with Cubase. You can create your own VST Expression Maps using the editor built directly into Dorico, though there are still some missing pieces in this area that we need to plug in future updates.

Thanks, that is good to know. I imagine there are standard, straight forward, step by step procedures to use EWQLSO, Viena Instruments and Garritan from within Dorico. Just as on Sibelius. Having used Sibelius for years and knowing that the creators of Dorico migrated from Sibelius I imagine and hope there are similarities in the use of both softwares. I am particularly concerned with note input “writing music” specialy with the help of a midi keyboard. What are the main differences in note input between Sibelius and Dorico?

I’ve used Sibelius and EW libraries for many years, with the commercially available soundsets. To be sure, you do not “have” to buy any of those soundsets, you could create your own, but it’s a lot of work and really tedious. $25 to avoid days and weeks of programming seemed a good investment to me.

That said, even with the soundsets, the playback was never nearly as good as a well created mockup in a DAW, never mind a live recording.

Dorico has potentially much better playback capabilities, the big difference between that Dorico has a built in sequencer interface (or piano roll if you will) which allows the fine tuning and tweaking similar to that in a DAW. It is the “Play” mode, which is fully integrated with the rest of the program. This means, for example, that you can easily tweak the beginning and ending of the start of a particular note, or perhaps the dynamics, no matter how it is controlled in midi (expression, or dynamics, or mod wheel). Needless to say that more than anything, that is what really is going to make your virtual orchestration come alive, again short of a live performance.

If you’re thinking about buying a crossgrade from Sibelius to Dorico for improved playback, I’d say go for it, but not so much for the presently superior playback capabilities, but for what Dorico can offer in the future. The workflow is quite different from Sibelius, so you’ll have to relearn a lot of habits. That alone warrants getting your feet wet now.

But it’s up to you.

FWIW, I’ve found that it’s very easy to connect Dorico to external sound libraries via expression maps. (And I’d never used Cubase or touched expression maps previously.) Worlds easier than doing the same in Sibelius.

I also use EWQLSO with Sibelius, the soundsets are easy to install, just a matter of following the 3 steps in the manual that comes with the Soundset. But as Peter said, it takes a lot of score adjustment to make everything sound good and balanced.

Perhaps the thing to do is to buy the crossgrade and continue to use Sibelius while getting used to Dorico, I find that compositions sound best played back on the software and software version and update they where originaly composed in. I believe this is because the sound of the instruments used while composing and the character of the program to a lesser extent influence the creative process. This could be because I tend to compose in a linear fashion, I mean I hear the first few bars and this determines what the next few bars will be. When I create a piece in a non linear way, (forgive the awkward terminology) by creating the whole structure first, usually in terms of harmony, I find the same occurs. The sound and personality of the program has great influence over the creative process. So for me it works best if I keep earlier versions of Sibelius and even of earlier programs, to be able to modify old compositions and to turn them into audio files as soon as they are completed.I must admit reluctantly that I am far from young, I recently turned 70, I do no longer have all the time in the world, so I often think it is best for me to concentrate on composing, creating rather than learning new technologies. On the other hand Dorico seems it coiuld become the most cretively inspiring tool, specially if it will soon allow for third party sound libraries to be easily integrated and sounds to be easily modified. Sibelius feels a lonely place now that it is part of Avid, perhaps this is just my imagination influenced by the awkward events that form the recent history of the great program. It would be fun and encouraging to again form active part of an exited, eager to help, creative comunity, It is not a pleasent prospect to suspect that Sibelius is lagging in development enthusiasm in an age of exponential advances in creativity and technology.

Thanks Daniel, valuable information, feel confident the missing pieces will soon complete the Maps. Thanks Michael, great to know maps are easy to create. Thanks Peter, tremendously useful insight. Andre, Thanks to your advice I am no longer scared of buying EW and the sound sets to use in Sibelius.
I see there is a further problem here for me, latest non Avid Sibelius 7.5.1 compatible up to Mac OS 10.10 and Windows 8. Latest versions Mac OS and Windows require upgrading to Avid Sibelius. So in the not so distant future non Avid Sibelius will be very outdated indeed. :cry:

For space I won’t quote the entire post, but I couldn’t agree more on both points! (Both about the interconnectedness of the composition tool and music, and the strangely empty quality of the Sibelius community under Avid despite its size.)