Stradivari Violin Native Instruments Kontakt Playback

Hi everyone,

I am trying to get my new virtual instrument (Stradivari Violin by Native Instruments) to work with Dorico. @DanKreider helped me a great deal setting everything up but there are some unsolved issues. I created a copy of the original document where I deleted the music and just created some simple bars of scales for you to quickly see what is playing back and what isn’t. (Unfortunately the file is “too big to be uploaded” which I don’t understand since it’s so simple? So I uploaded it to my drive. You can just click on the link.)

This is the first time I use Kontakt.

Dan told me these guys are total playback geniuses so I dare to tag them. :sweat_smile:
@dko22 @mducharme @Paolo_T

Thank you all for your support!

Félix

As an aside, I imagine the reason the file is so large is because of the virtual instruments associated with it. Setting the playback template to Silence greatly reduces the file size, although that’s not desirable in this case.

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Ahhh, good to know. Thank you!

another alternative is to use Vienna Ensemble Pro if you have it and run the instruments “uncoupled” which means the instrument configurations are not stored in the Dorico file. If the configuration is stored in the Dorico file, then file sizes can get quite big – an orchestral template of mine gives 30Mb Dorico files, Uncoupled it’s around 2Mb.

Unfortunately with this file, I can’t help much as I don’t own any of the instruments (apart from NotePerformer and that is not allocated in this short test file) so the result is silence. But perhaps I could hazard a guess if you say exactly what’s still causing problems after Dan’s no doubt excellent assistance.

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I noticed that some of the articulations in the expression map are sent to MIDI channel 2 or 3, but you only have a single instance of Kontakt on MIDI channel 1. If you change tose items in the expression map to 1, they will sound:

Another thing to check: Dorico considers C4 as the middle-C, while the Cremona library uses C3. So, there may be a shift in the expression map, if you enter the wrong value.

You also have the “Natural” with conditional speeds sent to different MIDI channels.

I removed these issues, and now everything works.

Since NI decided to limit the articulations to just eight per instance, the author of the expression map had to split all the available articulations into several instances on different MIDI channels.

Paolo

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Hi Paolo,

Thank you so much for your time and effort! I changed everything to midi channel 1 and most of it plays back but not all of them and it seems to me not always with the correct sounds. (I don’t know the library well enough yet to be sure.)

I don’t understand the thing with C4 and C3. I set everything to C4. Is that what you are suggesting?

Under “natural” I see the attached picture. What should I change there?

Should I be using more instances of Kontakt?

2nd Result.pdf (39.2 KB)
Here you can see what plays back after changing the midi channel to 1.

Hello @Felix_Turrion,
As a creator of the Expression Maps set of Cremona Quartet for Dorico and VE Pro, I would recommend you to use VE Pro as host. This will make the things much easier, especially if you are working with large templates.
If you don’t want, still you could adapt the Expression Maps created by me in order to work with Stradivari hosted directly in Dorico:

For me it works fine, only the glissando is a bit problematic, but this is because of Dorico.
This template uses C3 as middle C!

Greetings and success! :slight_smile:

Thurisaz

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Is this really a global rule in Kontakt you cannot have more than 8 articulations per channel (unlike any other player I’ve come across)? Then I don’t see what the alternative is to have three channels per instrument to cover the 20+ in this case. The Expression Map seems to make sense here after I had a quick look at the Stradivari walk-through to get a better idea of the issues involved. Of course you’re absolutely right that you can’t switch channels if only one has been set up. Is not a multi with three channels the neatest option rather than three separate instances? The other alternative is VEPro

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@dko22 hello,
Well, this decision isn’t made by NI, but by E-Instruments, the company behind this library:
https://e-instruments.com/instruments/strings/cremona-quartet/
Yes, unfortunately it’s not possible to load all available articulations within a single instrument instance, so one needs to load 3 instances instead. And this is how I made the template for Dorico + VE Pro, 3 library instances per instrument in order to cover all pre-recorded articulation samples.
Still @Felix_Turrion can adopt what I’ve already created, for direct hosting in Dorico. :slight_smile:

Best wishes,
Thurisaz

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thanks for the clarification @Thurisaz . I must say, I find it a rather stupid decision by E-instruments but perhaps there’s an explanation I’m not aware of.

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You’re welcome, @dko22 ! :slight_smile:
Well, I must say that many things aren’t well designed in this library…
For example, Con Sordino is not assignable to any CC, so no way to automatically turn it on/off. One needs to manually press the button. As we all know Con Sord. , in real performance, could appear and disappear, just the string players need enough long rest/pause in order to put/remove the sordino. But the developers didn’t think about that. :smiley:
Personally I also prefer when the library gives me an opportunity to load all articulations within a single instance, and there are many high end and fine working libraries for Kontakt, where this is possible. But the engineers rarely are able to think in a musical way… One performer, one instrument and all available articulations .
But currently the only two DAW-like apps that work in the musical way are Dorico and Overture. Even the decent DAWs are not designed to work fine following the highlighted conception above.
In all DAWs is far easier to separate the articulation in “groups” and put them on different MIDI tracks or channels, and work with them as different instruments. Still the Expression Maps as technology isn’t enough well designed, nor in Cubase, nor in Studio One… etc.
I really like how it is designed in Overture - where it can be used in multiple ways. Even the articulations can be assigned per note basis ( in case one prefers one library for staccato in higher register and another library for stacc. in lower register), on second place is Dorico, where we are still very limited and the Expression Maps doesn’t work per note basis (I really hope that the team will make this possible in Dorico in the near future). :slight_smile:

Best wishes,
Thurisaz

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MIDI represents middle C (the one at the center of the piano keyboard) with a unique number, that is ‘60’. Humans have to translate it into something more readable, like middle C, c’, C3 or C4. Some musical instruments developer prefers to call it C4, some C3. Dorico calls it C4, the Cremona instruments prefer to call it C3.

I see this corresponds to ‘Staccato’ in your Kontakt instance.

Then, I think Dorico would prefer the other two ‘Natural’ instance below the one highlighted, because they also contain information on the note speed. They select different notes, so the result is not what expected.

As suggested by David (@dko22) you could use a Kontakt Multi for each instrument. Something looking like this:

Each one with its own progressive MIDI channel (1, 2, 3):

Paolo

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I own other Kontakt libraries that can have more than 8 articulations. NI’s own orchestral libraries (the Symphony Series) also limits the number of articulations at a ridiculous low number. Maybe they are doing it for memory reasons, but it’s not a solution I find very reasonable.

Paolo

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Hello @Thurisaz ,
Thank you so much for tuning in! And thank you for the incredible work you did with the mapping! I just looked at Vienna Ensemble Pro and it seems that I need a “key” to work with it. Does this mean a physical USB that needs to be shipped to me and then always be connected to my computer when I want to use the program?!

Ahhh, I’ll see what happens when I change it to C3.

Greetings!

indeed and the fact that DAWs don’t really think in terms of actual instruments is, to my mind, a very unnatural way of working and a major reason why I prefer working with notation software. As a former user, I agree that there are some impressive design concepts in Overture but we all know where the problems lie…

The “con sord” in the Stradivari is faked (or modelled as they call it) and doesn’t sound like worth bothering about to me but even so, failing to map it seems a cardinal sin.

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VSL software currently requires the same e-licenser dongle or hardware key as Steinberg uses so you may well already have it. Both companies have announced a move away from this system and to software alternatives though they will not be the same.

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Ah, okay. Thank you. I have never used a hardware key for Dorico as far as I remember. Is that normal? :sweat_smile:

with Dorico you can also install the license to the hard drive which is what you will have done. As said, the system will be changing fairly soon anyway but a dongle is not a huge outlay if you find it useful in the meantime (and it will continue to work with current software for the foreseeable future).

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I’m a great fan of Vienna Ensemble (Pro), and I would concur in making use of it for everything. On my system, it also reduces the CPU requirement compared to hosting the virtual instruments directly in Dorico.

However, as an interim solution, using a Multi in Kontakt should work on a more limited scale (say, a chamber work with not many instruments).

Paolo

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