Spitfire SSO (Symphony Orchestra) expression maps?

They have never been mentioned here : has someone shared such expression maps ? Nobody does mockups in Dorico using SSO ?

If they don’t exist, I’m willing to learn how this works and share here, but I’d be surprised it hasn’t been done yet.

You mean the BBC Symphony Orchestra library?
John Barron created templates for it: Spitfire BBC Symphony Orchestra Templates – Dorico

I figure he means Spitfire Symphony Orchestra, not BBC Symphony Orchestra.

I keep my SSO expression maps (.doricolib  files) on my web site at stash.miloonline.net/vst/spitfire/, and update them regularly.

The Kontakt instrument multis (.nkm  files) that I use are at that same location.


I’m only reading your answers now :

@Ulf : @MiloDC is right, I was looking for Spitfire Symphony Orchestra expression maps, not Spitfire BBC Symphony Orchestra.

@MiloDC : Thank you very much for sharing them ! I’ll spend time understanding expression maps to use your files in Dorico. Shouldn’t these be added to the appropriate pinned topic ?

My pleasure, @Tarknin. I don’t know that my maps should be mentioned elsewhere; while I’ve spent a lot of time putting them together, and while they suffice for lots of standard notation, they’re still far from complete (especially the percussion maps).

Also, they’re pretty much geared for my particular modus operandi; if I were tasked with coming up with something more broadly applicable, then I would probably make some significant changes. (For example, using UACC mapping instead of regular keyswitches, which is the approach that Dorico personnel took for BBCSO, I think.)

Still, I think my maps are fine as a starting point for anyone who might be working from scratch, which is the main reason I’ve made them available at my web site.

(P.S. If anyone wonders why I have three solo clarinets at the top of my Woodwinds_B multi, it’s because I use the first clarinet as an E-flat variant. I’ve actually shifted the range of the instrument accordingly; you can see this if you load the multi and then play the notes just above the prescribed range of the instrument.)

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So, @MiloDC, I took time to study your multis and expression maps ! It helped me a lot in setting up my own SSO playback template, so thanks again. I’m not using yours yet because I have a few questions, if you wish to answer.

  1. In multis, you use instruments and/or instrument banks. You control instruments through key switches, and instrument banks through program changes.

  2. For strings, you use instruments for “Performance legato” patches, and instrument banks for other articulations. In your strings expression maps, I noticed “long” and “Performance legato” patches are never used. Your “natural” technique only sets CC 21 (vibrato control) to 127. I suppose you trigger “Performance legato” by dedicating a voice to this patch, but I’m not sure.

  3. For brass and woodwinds, I noticed you never use their legatos ?

  4. In a multi, I notice you often use several occurrences of the same instrument (e.g. : 6 horns, 4 trombones, 2 oboes, etc…). In my template, each instrument has one Kontakt instance with only its single instrument bank (including articulations and legato). So if I add 3 oboes, I suppose I would only get 3 Kontakt instances of an oboe. With your template, wouldn’t you get 2 “Woodwinds_A” multis with lots of unused instruments ?

  5. I noticed your dynamics are always controlled by CC1. But string pizz, for example, should be controlled by velocity, shouldn’t they ?

I’m looking forward to reading your thoughts about this !

This should work if the setting ‘CC Mapped Velocities’ is activated…

Thanks @fratveno, I didn’t know this feature. This would indeed answer the question, but it seems this option isn’t activated on the multis.

Glad I could be of help. I wouldn’t expect anyone to use my maps (or anyone else’s maps) unchanged; customization is always the best way to achieve a personally satisfying result.

I tried to stick with Spitfire’s performance sets as much as possible, since they consistently provided the most realistic playback experience – well superior to the “long” samples, which frequently produced sluggish attacks at higher tempos. Where necessary, I buttressed the performance sets with instrument banks containing individual articulations and techniques. In some cases (e.g. horns and trumpets), the performance sets proved inferior or superfluous, so I didn’t use them at all.

In most of my instrument banks, the “long” sample is loaded only as a work-around for a bug in the Kontakt player, which causes a VST to crash if there’s nothing loaded into the first slot of a bank. (Also, if I ever want to go with the “long” sample, it’s there should I need it.)

This was personal preference. For slurred notes, I want the effect of one note running unbroken into the next, but I often don’t want the supple dynamic effects associated with legato playback. (This becomes especially problematic in higher-tempo passages.)

In most cases, the performance set that I load for an instrument is quite sufficient for legato playback. Spitfire’s playback scripts are impressive in that way.

< shrug > I don’t know, maybe. As I wrote elsewhere, I don’t use templates. I might get around to doing that as I load more of other people’s scores, but my modus operandi has been simply to bring up a score with a stock fully loaded orchestra, then cut out what I don’t want and put in the extras that I need. I prefer to have that level of control, rather that letting Dorico decide how to arrange my VSTs, which proved messy and sub-optimal when I let it do that a few times.

I certainly wouldn’t want to have a separate instance of Kontakt for every single instrument. Especially in a score with many instruments, assigning each one to its own VST is far less manageable, for multiple reasons; for example, what if you want to make a global change to the volume at which your horns play? Then you’ve got to go into every horn VST instance, and make the change in each of them, rather than simply moving one slider in one VST. (Or, if you’re that fastidious, multiple sliders in one VST.)

Right, per the documentation for each of the Spitfire Symphonic sections.

If you try manually moving the Dynamics slider in a Spitfire performance set, you should hear it affect string pizzicato, as it affects playback on all of the other articulations/techniques.

Thanks @MiloDC, this is much clearer.

So, in strings_A for example, since for a given instrument (say Violin I) your performance legato patch and other articulation patches are in 2 different channels, how do you switch between these ? By enabling “Independant voice playback” and using a voice for performance legato and another one for other articulations ?

No, they all play on the same voice.

Note the “Channel Switch” value defined for each articulation, and that they are defined as values relative to the channel that the user assigns to the instrument.

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Thanks, I missed what a more thorough read of the manual would have taught.

Thanks for making these available. I’m also interested if I can get better results from SF’s Performance Legato patches for basic articulations, as you’ve discussed elsewhere. I look forward to seeing how you have it set up.

I clicked on your .nkm files and they downloaded fine. But when I clicked on the .doricolib files they linked to other pages with lots of code on them. Am I doing it wrong?

.doricolib files are in XML format, so you won’t get a lot of sense looking at them outside of Dorico. Right-click on any links to those files and choose Save Target As… (or whatever the precise wording might be in your browser).

Thanks, Daniel. I knew there was a simple step I was missing.

Do you happen to have the Playback Template file as well?

I’ve exported a playback template file. It’s available here.

NOTE: I mentioned in my comment on 30 March (above) that I would switch my samples to employ Spitfire’s UACC paradigm, were I to engineer my maps more toward public consumption. I’ve since done just that; my set up uses the UACC KS mappings almost exclusively, now, for the woodwind, brass, and solo string sections of the orchestra. (The ensemble strings employ Spitfire’s excellent “Performance Legato” scripts, while the percussion instruments use the factory keyswitches.)


Was this PBT built specifically for Spitfire Symphony Orchestra or would I be able to use it for Spitfire Symphony Complete? If I can’t how difficult do you think it would be to alter this playback template to be compatible? The Percussion would likely be quite different. Although, I would only plan to use Spitfire Percussion Joby Burgess and Scraped Percussion (technically Harp too but nothing else).

I built it using Symphony Complete + Burgess Percussion + Spitfire Harp + Spitfire Grand Piano. Should work fine for you.

Okay, interesting, what is complete out of the Burgess Percussion PBT and PM?