Using Cremona Quartet with Dorico

Hi All! First, I just wanted to say, sorry if this is an obvious question. I have tried to read some answers to this question, however, a lot of the information is a bit over my head. I have been composing music for a bit using just plain Dorico SE, and recently I thought I would up my compositions by trying to use more realistic sound libraries. Cremona Quartet got good reviews and so I purchased it. I have never used VSTs before. I have figured out how load the VST instruments onto their corresponding tracks and they produce sound on playback, but it seems to just be using “longs” for everything (e.g. does not trigger pizzicato, short notes have long attacks, making them sound strange). I read that there are things called expression maps that supposedly map the Dorico articulations to the corresponding samples in VSTs, or that NotePerformer might be able to be used as an expression map, but I have no idea how to use any of it. I saw a post that said there was an expression for Cremona Quartet for Dorico, but that it uses over 34 GB of RAM. My Laptop only has 16 GB of RAM, so I’m not sure where to go from there.

If anyone can help me figure out how to set it up to use Cremona Quartet in Dorico on my laptop I would greatly appreciate your help. Thank you!

Welcome to the forum, @ealtabet. One of your fellow Dorico users has created a playback template for use with the Cremona Quartet library, but the playback template assumes the use of Vienna Ensemble Pro, which I guess you don’t have. However, you should be able to use the expression maps that are included in the playback template. You can find the playback template via this thread:

Download the file called Cremona String Quartet and unzip it: inside the unzipped folder you’ll find a file called Cremona String Quartet EM.doricolib. This contains the expression maps for the Cremona Quartet instruments. Import those into your project by going to Library > Expression Maps, then click Import at the bottom of the dialog and import the expression maps from this file.

You can then assign the appropriate expression map to each channel in the Routing section of the Track Inspector panel in Play mode.

There is some general information about Expression maps here, if you had not seen it :slight_smile:
Expression maps.

Hi, thank you for your quick reply! So I followed your instructions, and made a sample to test if it’s working by seeing if I can generate a pizzicato on a single note and regular bow on the other 2. However, I still don’t hear any pizzicato. Do you have any further suggestions? I have uploaded a photo so you can see what I’ve already done.

It seems as a new user I’m only allowed to put in one embedded image per post. But here’s the score as well.

You need to set up the correct key switches in each Kontakt instrument to suit the Expression Map.

It is very flexible and customizable. Here’s an example .nki that has alternates for open & con sord for most things, with an xp map.
Guarneri Violin set up for (1.8 MB)

How do you control the con sord?

you can’t control it in that sense, as a switch, but you can set up patches to include it.

See here I’ve opened the second articulation page, selected C0, and then opened it with the three dots top right of its block. Con Sordino is along the bottom line of the resulting page and it is a toggle. So here I’ve got it set, and on C1 it is not set. Then in the Dorico xp map it needs a combination like mute+natural (I think Dorico natural is the obvious choice for Kontakt virtuoso).

Ah. So you cannot use an add-on switch. Thanks.

Thank you so much for the expression map and kontakt config! I’ve been playing around with it and it’s working pretty well for long notes, but seems to have trouble with short notes such as runs and alternating notes. It seems like maybe the attack is over emphasized, so it almost sounds like there’s extra notes when the notes are short. Here’s an example of the score sample and the produced audio. Do you have any recommendations as to how to make this sound cleaner?

I don’t know what you might mean by ‘clean’. If you were comparing to a synthesizer, for instance, you might not be familiar with the idea of making an acoustic instrument sound ‘natural’.

In any event, try watching the playback in Kontakt. Once you’ve started playback in Dorico, you can switch window. You’ll notice (with my xp map anyway) that Dorico uses expression to give a more natural sound. Try a few variations. I’ve attached an idea or two. It’s done in Dorico Pro, so I don’t know if it will work smoothly in the lighter versions of Dorico.

The Violin Sonata - Flow (2.6 MB)

I noticed, additionally, that the notes you’ve chosen are ordinarily on separate strings, and you would need, I think, to make it clear to the player whether you intend the F to be on the E string – as Kontakt is interpreting it – and the Eb on the A, or for both notes to be played in a higher position on A. That would sound slightly different, and possibly smoother.

Hi @Marcabru, thank you for your help! I’ve been working on integrating various expression maps, and in all cases, while I can get Dorico to use the whole note trill samples I can’t get it to use any half note trill samples. When I select m2 trill in Dorico, it’s just commanding two half notes to play rather than using the half note trill sample. Could you show me using your expression map how to correctly tell Dorico to activate the half note trill sample?

Hi @ealtabet

Cremona Quartet uses note velocity to distinguish between half-step and whole-step trills. Here’s how I have mine set up:

Hi @Chester.Jankowski Thanks for your message! I used your expression map changes for the trills, however when I hit the “audition” button in the expression map, I get the same sound for whole step and half step trills. I’ve attached my expression map and Strad violin preset. Is there something I’m missing here?

Strad Expression Map + (25.4 KB)

Since many sample libraries do not include a sampled trill, I don’t use them when they are available. Dorico will generate a trill, major or minor, as directed if there is no explicit expression map entry.

In the Cremona example, I don’t know how I have a loud minor trill, or a quiet major trill – I would not want to use velocity to determine the maj/min distinction.

Right, so the Audtion button doesn’t seem to work here, perhaps because it’s sending MIDI notes at a constant velocity. But if you write some notes in your score, you’ll see that the Dorico is using the Expression Map correctly to generate half and whole steps. (This is using your Dorico lib and Kontakt preset; the only thing I changed was to set the Secondary dynamic to 1-127 to show the dynamics more clearly.)

And @Marcabru , if you set it up this way, you’ll see that you can still get dynamics by using the Secondary dynamic, like so:


Is this the sound, you are after?