Use different VSTs for different pitches

I’ve been looking at which choir sample library to use in Dorico. I find the Hollywood Choir to be harsh and quite crude so they are definitely out.

NP’s inbuilt choir sounds are better but a bit honky.

Eric Whitacre is quite good, however, the sample library has a very restricted range for the basses and altos which can easily be exceeded even in easy pieces.

That makes it impossible to use out of the box so I am looking for workarounds.

There is a full choir patch which I could use - it’s certainly an option, but the sound is to my ears a bit less focussed than the single voices.

I was wondering if there is a way to combine the bass and tenor patches, for example, into a single instrument in Dorico, with different pitches triggering one or the other?

I can’t see a way to do it in expression maps, as there seems to be no way to change the behaviour based on pitch, but does anyone know differently?

I’ve tried using Unify but it adds an unpredictable amount of latency and is totally unworkable.

Many thanks!

You can’t do this in Dorico itself, I’m afraid, because there’s no way to tell Dorico to trigger different patches according to note range. I expect it’s possible to do it if you use an intermediate application like Bidule that can do some switching logic, but I’m afraid I don’t have any idea about how to actually achieve this.

If you want the bass section to sing notes that are too high for the sample library you’re using, you could assign two voices to that section and use independent voice playback to route the notes that are within range to the bass section and the notes that are too high to another instance of the tenor section. The same technique can be used to extend the range of other sections as well.

That leads to an interesting thought. If different voices on a staff could show up in color (as they can now) but be stemmed together (for eighths, sixteenths, etc.), that would (very far down the development road, I would expect) enable considerable flexibility assigning sounds to a given part based on individual pitches.

I realize we may never see this, but if the idea seems to have merit and be within the range of possibility, perhaps that would be an eventual approach towards this for users coming over from DAW backgrounds.


Yes, that’s a good idea. Thanks! It does have the problem identified by Derrek, but it would work if the whole of a phrase were assigned to one voice or the other.

Thanks Daniel.

Yes, that would overcome the difficulty of multiple voices wanting to keep themselves distinct, which of course they are designed to do.

Another approach would be to allow users to assign midi channels to individual notes in the key editor.