The new Articulate Map HD mode: Playback using 9 velocity layers for the VSL Symphonic Cube!

We are very happy to introduce by far the biggest update for Articulate Presets and the Articulate Map so far, which allows you to automatically play back your scores using the world’s largest sample database in a strongly improved way! Among many other new features (like full VST3 support, …), it introduces the High Definition (HD) mode based on the novel “HD Shorts”: brand-new portato, staccato and spiccato playing techniques with 9 velocity layers for the full Symphonic Cube.

Just in time for their big anniversary these over hundred amazing new sounds upgrade the time-tested Symphonic Cube libraries for their next decade :blush:. Simply selecting the HD mode at the beginning of the score (using the control score symbol “HD”) gives you a very different Playback, that can significantly improve the rendition. And since the standard definition (SD) and HD versions are fully interchangeable (owing to meticulously matched volumes and the same control features) you can switch these modes anywhere in the score for each instrument individually, which provides a lot of freedom to conveniently shape the sound.

Moreover, the update introduces many new score symbols, following standard orchestral notation conventions, to realize divisi, select individual groups, players or strings, … even much more easily.

The update is, as always, free for registered users and the full-featured demo allows you to test the new HD mode and all the other great features of the Articulate Map yourself. We also introduced the Articulate Presets Complete Package containing everything we released so far (covering most of the VSL Super Package) at a strongly reduced bundle price. And, to celebrate the introduction of the new HD Shorts, we offer the Complete Package as well as Symphonic Cube libraries at further reduced introductory prices.

Here are all the new features in detail:

Articulate Presets:

  • the brand-new High Definition (HD) Shorts with 9(!) velocity layers for nearly all String, Woodwind and Brass instruments included in the full Symphonic Cube (with only a handful of exceptions where the necessary samples were not available) cover Portato, Staccato (for all instruments) as well as Spiccato/Harsh (for the strings) in both normal and muted versions
  • the HD Shorts are designed to perfectly replace and/or supplement the standard definition patches for even more flexibility and realism, by meticulously matched volumes and by generally featuring the same great 3D control
  • for the Contrabass Trombone, the Cimbasso and the stopped Horns, that did not offer a (short) portato playing technique, analogous versions are now included
  • in addition to the standard program change messages all matrices can now alternatively also be selected by Continuous Controller (CC) 85, giving you even more flexibility to access Articulate Presets (e.g. if your master keyboard cannot send program change messages or if you quickly want to scan the various playing techniques with a fader, wheel or pedal)
  • strongly improved replacement of missing playing techniques to ensure that the size of the instrument section does not inadvertently change during the performance
  • extended ranges for key articulations of various instruments (Horn, Strings S performance articulations, …)
  • new Articulate Preset for the Tubular Bells
  • corrections to various presets
  • updated manual

Articulate Map:

  • new completely revised Playback Templates use the new VST3/iLok version of VI pro. Taking into account that Steinberg discontinues support for the previous VST2 version of VI pro (as well as for the eLicenser copy protection) in the future, this should ensure that you can use your VSL Vienna Instruments libraries in Dorico for a long time to come :blush:!
  • since the new VST3 version of VI pro does not support program change messages at this point, the Articulate Map has been completely rewritten to use CC85 instead of program change messages to select different playing techniques.
  • the new HD Shorts are seamlessly integrated into Dorico and can be easily activated by the simple control direction “HD” in the score. This works not just for explicitly marked short playing techniques like staccato or spiccato, but also for natural notes, …, where the new HD versions are automatically selected whenever the note length is short
  • for the strings we have even further improved the HD playback by using the great new HD spiccato for the shortest notes, which can significantly improve and vary the automatic playback
  • i.e. now you can choose between two alternative and (when it comes to fast passages) quite different modes of the automatic playback in Dorico, depending on whether you add the direction “HD” (or switch back to standard definition mode via “SD”)
  • the new playing techniques “div. a 2”, “div. a 3”, “div. a 4”, “div.”, “unis.”, “solo”, “tutti” based on standard notation conventions now give you manifest divisi control, using Articulate Presets unique auto divisi feature for VSL Dimension libraries
  • moreover with “I.” and “II.” you can easily directly access the individual Dimension groups, and with “1.”, … “4.” the individual string desks and brass players–either on different staves or on the same stave using Dorico’s Individual Voice Playback feature, for complete flexibility how you want to handle divisi
  • new playing techniques “sul I”, “sul II”, “sul III”, “sul IV” and “0” now also allow you to conveniently select the strings for Dimension Strings Single Players. The existing string control symbols for Dimension Strings Section Players now follow the same standard convention that the strings are numbered from highest to lowest, so that either “sul IV” or the encircled 4 yield the G string on the violin.
  • for convenience the special dynamics “fp” and “sfz” from the dynamics panel are now played back by the recorded sforzato and fortepiano in the VSL, which simplifies the playback of existing scores. The more rarely used “sffz” cannot be played back by Dorico at this point and therefore is only available via the corresponding symbol from the common panel
  • the standard Dorico Playing Technique “poco vib.” works now as expected
  • for standard scores you can now assign directions like “non vib.”, “poco vib.”, “con sord.”, “half muting” or “HD” at the beginning of an entire score or movement and all articulations and standard playing techniques should play back correctly, despite Dorico’s current limitations
  • improved direction and exclusion group handling, so that different simultaneously active directions can now be ended independent of each other, namely muting via the standard “senza sord.”, vibrato by “ord. vib.”, special bowing positions like sul ponticello, sul tasto or bowing on particular strings by “ord. pos.” and special playing techniques like pizzicato or spiccato by “ord. son.”
  • the score symbols “por. short”, “por. med.”,“pro. long”, “det. short”, “det. long” and “sus.” for natural notes and “slow”, “medium” and “fast” for performance samples, all allowing to enforce particular lengths, have been changed from directions to attributes so that they can be conveniently applied to individual notes (or a range of notes), which simplifies their use
  • various improvements for a better playback of challenging scores
  • duo- and multiphonics are now accessible via the score symbol “multiphonic” (and in Conductor mode all individual version can be accessed)
  • the directions “motor on” and “motor off” for the Vibraphone (from the Pitched Percussion panel) are now implemented, and the former can further be combined with the directions “slow” and “fast” (from the Common panel)
  • in total the Articulate Map has by now far over 1500 individual switches
  • based on the new preset the Tubular Bells now work conveniently in Dorico
  • the VSL “Strings” patches included in several non-Dimension libraries are now included as Section Player “Strings” from the “Sketch” instrument family. The latter is also very useful for the playback of Chords (but since Dorico cannot do this automatically, you have to add the Strings instrument to your score, assign it in the Chords track and activate chord playback)
  • the new Articulate Presets Complete Package includes additional new Endpoint Configurations (combining Dimension & non-Dimension libraries) that give you access to all individually recorded instruments included in the VSL within Dorico: 10(+9) Violins, 7 Violas, 8 Cellos, 5 Basses, 6(+6) Horns, 6(+3) Trumpets, 7(+1) Trombones, 2(+1) Bass Trombones, 2 Tubas, 5 Wagner Tubas, 2(+1) Flutes, 2(+1) Oboes, 2(+1) Clarinets, 2(+1) Bassoons (numbers in parentheses are additional versions due to different MIR settings)
  • completely restructured and largely improved manual for the Dorico Articulate Map

To showcase the new HD mode of the Articulate Map (obtained by simply adding the control direction “HD” at the beginning of the score), here the playback of a Dorico demo score (Rameau / Pigmalion Suite - Overture) played “out of the box” (without edits or adjustments) in the Teldex Scoring Stage venue. We merely used the VSL repetition samples (by adding the control direction “rep.”) and turned the various Baroque ornaments (which Dorico does not play back at this point) into ordinary trills (which are automatically played back by Dorico using the VSL’s unique Performance Trill).

This version can be compared to the standard definition (SD) playback of the Articulate Map this time in the Mozartsaal of the Vienna Concert Hall, which we had posted earlier (without trills).

Although this baroque score (including merely piano and forte directions) surely cannot fully do justice to the detailed dynamic resolution of the new HD shorts, the HD and SD modes yield a quite different playback. In addition to their higher dynamic resolution the HD versions also have a clearly distinct sound and the HD playback in particular uses for the shortest string notes the new HD spiccato (with 9 velocity layers, while the standard spiccato in the VSL only offers 2 velocity layers). The chance to switch these modes at any point in the score independently for each instrument gives you lots of options to obtain the sound you want without even using any of the advanced features the Articulate Map offers.


We have now also added a video on our site that shows the Articulate Map in action, playing back the above Rameau score using the HD Shorts.