SY-ized Dimension Strings Expression Maps, Playback Template and VE Pro Template Planing Strategies

Hello Dorico team and colleagues,
With this topic I would like to open a discussion about the best way to build our own Expression Maps set, Playback Template and VE Pro Template for Synchronized Dimension Strings Bundle.

The most delicate aspects would be:

  1. How to properly build our E.Ms and Templates in order to correctly use the Dorico built-in Divisi / Soli & Gli-altri function? DS Bundle is the only library on the market that has true Divisi.
  • Divisi per desks
  • Divisi per player
  1. Is it possible all Divisi (per desks and per player) to be achieved with as less as possible Synchron Player instances in VE Pro? In fact with the same amount.
  2. Due to the fact that DS Bundle was originally built for VI Pro Player, where Trill builder exists, there is no pre-recorded articulation, but there is an articulation that was recorded for this Trill builder. How we could get a nice and properly sounding Trills?

I would like to involve the Dorico team expert @John_at_Steinberg, and our colleague @Paolo_T (who already has good experience with this library).
Many of us will be very thankful to all those who can share their experience with Synchronized Dimension Strings.
@John_at_Steinberg, would be really great if you are able to give us some hints about the best strategies related to this instrument library in some of your upcoming Discover Dorico sessions. :slight_smile:

Thank you very much in advance! :slight_smile:

Best regards,

P.S: We could also ask the guys at VSL to add some more missing articulations to the Dimension Strings Bundle + Option to create custom sized String Sections. We are having, for example, 8 different violins and players. It won’t be a problem to double them and change the characteristics and humanization of the doubled ones in order to make them sounding a little bit different.
I already asked them about that, but if we show them more interest, they could decide to realize it.


Dimension Strings is huge. Trying to create a map including everything is a bit like trying to create the map of the empire of which Borges was telling.

My suggestion is to start simple, and then let it grow as needed. Some sparse ideas from my own experience.

  • VSL creates maps thinking to a use for playing in realtime. Keyswitching has therefore to stay inside an 88-note keyboard range. This makes keyswitches be different for each of the strings section. If the map is only intended for programming, I prefer creating a single one good for all the instruments, and letting me use the most extreme notes as keyswitches. Therefore, only a single map will have to be edited.

  • Major technique changes are in different presets (ordinario, con sordino, sul tasto, sul ponticello). I prefer to keep them all in a single preset. For this, I added new branches to the root, where I can choose not only the individual strings, but also the different major techniques. An add-on technique in Dorico will then let me add or remove the sordina.

  • Mapping all the individual strings, or not? I’ll leave this to a later stage. I’m slowly building the Open String and sulla IV corda branches, that are the ones I use most often. But slowly, and focusing on slurred legato.

  • The original presets are not symmetric. So, one would have to create individual items in the map, to add all the con sordino techniques. I prefer to edit the con sordino branch, so that it is symmetrical to the ordinario one.

  • For sul tasto and sul ponticello, I’ll not try to find a symmetrical structure. They are too different from ordinario. They will have individual entries for each technique.



Sound advice.

I see why VSL doesn’t want to take this on. You’d think they’d at least combine all articulations/playing styles into single instruments.

VSL for sure won’t take this on with all the other things on their plate. They couldn’t even be bothered to create group/desk/solo divisi for the SE version of the Dimension strings – just one reason why I created my own maps.

Hello colleagues,
Thank to all those who shared their experience and opinion! :slight_smile:
I hoped that we could have more detailed and extended discussion about the creation of Expression Maps for this library. I completely understand this a serious amount of work, but some hints from those who already have experience what works well and what doesn’t, are welcome! :slight_smile:

For example:

  1. Would be nice if we have some information how we could organize the Divisi / Soli & Gli-altri? And what works the best?
  2. What should be assigned as Add-On articulation and what would be better to be part of the Base?
  3. Which Expression Maps sets that are already created by VSL are the best as starting point?
  • There is a lite version of Dimension Strings which is the 5th part of Synchronized Special Editions?! Or Elite Strings?! Or Synchron Strings Pro?! etc…
  1. Some explanatory videos, or screenshots will be very welcomed and highly appreciated. :slight_smile:

I already asked the guys at VSL for Expression Maps set for this library, or at least for some video tutorial about the best ways to create our sets for Dorico. They told me that there are no plans for Expression Maps and for a video tutorial I have to ask the team behind Dorico.
I tried to contact @John_at_Steinberg, here, via Discover Dorico mail and in P.M. but he seems unreachable. I didn’t get any feedback from him. He knows Dorico from inside and has a lot of experience with the Expression Maps, so no doubt that he is the right Man to make this topic more clear to all of us. I don’t ask him to create Expression Maps set, but just give us some hints in one of his nice - Discover Dorico sessions. :slight_smile:

Thank you all in advance! :slight_smile:

Best wishes,

You mention the vol 5 SE version. I’m sure I’ve posted my maps for these before somewhere but here they are again as proof of concept in case it’s of any use. By assigning all the ensemble combinations and the con/senza sord to add-ons, the maps are very compact yet cover the basic combinations (of course more combis could be added to taste if necessary)
VSL SE dimension (9.1 KB)

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Paolo hello,
Would you tell me, please, how to create a custom Preset with all articulation within a single instance of Synchron Player?
Some additional screenshots, or a short screen captured video, or something that already exists on YouTube would be helpful, too.
I tried to find some information, but without any success.

Thank you very much in advance! :slight_smile:

Best wishes,

You can copy & paste single slots or entire trees. In the case of my custom presets for Dimension Strings, I started by pasting the additional techniques into the empty slots of the first column of the main library.

From there, I started reshaping the various branches, making them as symmetrical as possible.


Hi @Paolo_T,
Thank you very much for the info! :slight_smile:
What do you mean here?:

From there, I started reshaping the various branches, making them as symmetrical as possible.

How the branches could be as symmetrical as possible?

Thank you once again! :slight_smile:

Best wishes,

What I mean is that, for example, “Regular” and “Sordino regular” should preserve the same structure: each slot in “Sordino regular” should be selected with the same keyswitch sequence as the equivalent slot in the “Regular” branch. The only thing that should change, between them, is the addon that would switch between “Regular” and “Sordino regular”.

This is not always possible, depending on the amount of articulations in each branch. Sometimes, I fill the voids with the most similar articulation, or a mix of articulations that can simulate the desired sound, or just leave it empty.


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On the divisi question, I just have the SE version, but I created player techniques for group 1/group 2, and desk 1-2-3-4.

I haven’t needed to address all 8 violins individually, but in one project that’s 4/4/3/3/1, I have individual players on a single Ensemble instance, so that 1 is group 1 , 2 is desk 1, 3 is solo player 3, and 4 is desk 2. If I need 1, 2 or 4 to be soloists I can then switch them to solo.

Thurisaz, here’s a resource I just came across:

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Hi @wcreed,
Thank you very much for the link! :slight_smile: Looks very explanatory.

Best wishes,

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