Using Spitfire Symphony Orchestra with Dorico

Dear fellow Dorico friends,

I am in need of some advice and assistance utilizing my full Spitfire Symphony Orchestra Library. I do see that NPPE has made use of several of the samples from this library, however, I would like to use as much as this libary as I can to get a more realistic playback of my scores. I found a link to a thread that was made a few years ago from Tarknin who created an expression map for this library or part of it anyway. I downloaded one file for now from his site. This file is the Orchestra dorico pt file shown in the image below. At this point I’m needing some more guidance on how to proceed. First, Where do I drop these folders and are these the only elements I need to add to Dorico? Then, would I go to the VST and Midi set up and load multiple Kontakt instances for each sound or create one instance for each section of the orchestra? Like Trumpets, Violins, Violas, Perc…? I might be missing something from this older thread or could use some expert help here from someone who has this up and running smoothly.
Screenshot 2024-04-22 at 10.46.20 AM

Screenshot 2024-04-22 at 10.52.39 AM

I’ve got BBCSO not SSO but I’ve found I get better results using NPPE rather than using the raw libraries.

It’s also incredibly simple to set up NPPE as it uses the built in Noteperformer expression map and nothing needs to be done in Dorico other than selecting that.

That said, it’s probably not too hard to set up the raw expression map if you want, but someone else will have to explain.


I’m using this expression map for my SSO: Spitfire UACC Expression Map

I’m not using noteperformer or anything, just the expression map above. You’ll need to set the SSO VST instruments to “UACC & UI Only” to make it work, and load the expression map for each instance of the kontakt 7 player.

As for best practice on how to load the instruments… I’m not sure. I have 1 instance of kontakt 7 per instrument, but I also don’t have a lot of instruments per piece.


I’ll have to look into this. I might go back and forth to see what my experience is here. I’ll also have to familiarize myself with these settings. Setting the VST to UACC & UI is a new practice for me. Is there a better step by step your might provide?


It is explained in the Spitfire documentation

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This help! However, I’m getting bogged down well ahead of setting up the UACC
controls. Though I have all the Spitfire Orchestral libraries (SO I thought) the content search window in Kontakt gets hung up on one or two missing files. Once I bypass this, I’m getting some odd looking Spitfire windows within Kontakt I’m not familiar with. I did what I could by assigning the UACC lock to the auto assigned intruments that Dorico delineated after I selected the SSO playback template. Should I not use this? The sounds from Kontakt don’t trigger
the appropriate articulation and they sound downright awful! I’ve worked with Spitfire sounds for years and this is not what they sound like. lol.

For instance, The loaded instruments in Green are the way I’m use to seeing them and I’m able to set the UACC channels on them. ARe the instruments in grey from a solo library and why can’t I access the controls here? Furthermore, I’m not getting the playback correctly. IS there a better way to add these instances for more control and a step by step setup till I get 'er working? Sorry for the trouble.

One more thing to add. Dorico auto assigned these samples, (especially for strings) and only loaded legato patches except for bassi where it added a pizz. Shouldnt it load the full core program for each instrument and then instead of triggering the keyswitch it uses the UACC to trigger the desired artic? I’m confused by this at the moment. Should I just delete each of these instruments and auto load one by one and set up the string section channel by channel and not by auto assigning through template?

Day two of getting SSO to work within Dorico. Still not getting the correct articulations (or any change in articulation) to happen when using expression maps provided by links kindly provided by the our wonderful Steinberg community. I feel I’ve taken every step to the fullest detail and will provide screenshots hoping someone might notice something that has stuck out? I do get sounds to trigger, but not the correct articulations. For now, I have muted all instruments but my Violoncello that has been loaded. I’m determined to get this working! Then…I will try and link these to my VEP7 when I’ve got a better understand of this.

Screenshot 2024-04-23 at 8.44.50 AM

I don’t have the spitfire symphonic strings, so cannot comment in detail. But a couple of observations.
When you apply (or re-apply) a playback template everything is reset to whatever is in the template.

So, for your experiment, once you have set your cello to UACC, just apply the Spitfire UACC expression map to it (not the playback template). See if that gives you some working articulations!


I only applied the template at the start yesterday. I have not reapplied the template. No change in result. Also, for whatever reason, when I hit play I hear a couple of random instruments being played even though they are all muted except for the cello. This is super weird. For those of you who may be new to this procedure, I just want you to know that the Noteperformer sounds work well for most purposes. I personally am on a quest to figure out how to utilize 3rd party sounds much like I do with my DAW. Once I get this to work, I’m hoping to get similar results to see if I can make a shift from my DAW to Dorico to score film cues directly. This would essential cut out the “middleman”. As you all know, time is money! In this world of shortening deadlines and heavier workloads on individuals to create these expansive orchestrations for our favorite streaming networks, simplifying our apps/programs/workflow is optimal.

Please chime in and offer detailed setup and help if you have found a bulletproof way to get this to work.

Thank you all for your patience!



Just to clarify, is it this library you’re using?

I’m also not using noteperformer, to clarify.

I can show you a screenshot of how I got SSO set up. Please note that for the legatos (performance version) I have them set up on on the midi channel that follows the “main” instrument VST, in this case it’s set to 2, and it’s set to articulation locked instead of UACC & UI. I have my expression map set up so that when you use a legato play technique in the write/play mode you switch midi channel and use the performance VST instead. I’m not sure if this is the best practice, but it seems to be working. I can also send you my modified version just so you can see how I got my midi channel switching set up, but be aware I’ve made some other changes to playback techniques since I’m using dorico elements and can’t create any custom techniques.

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Good luck! I think we are very close to the point where rendering a score in Dorico gives results as good as a DAW without all the mucking about that DAWs demand. Within a year or two, I think we’ll be fully there.

For now, I still find myself using the ‘wrong’ string articulations sometimes to get the right result (with NP and NPPE), and using the ‘wrong’ dynamic indications to get things to balance.

Plus with my setup, divisi levels are not necessarily correct.

Thanks KjellD,

Good eye! It seems something is indeed not set correctly. I dod have the SSO library loaded on my external drive seen in the image below. However, when I open the libraries in Kontakt, these still look like an older version of the symphonic individual libraries first put out by spitfire. I went to NI to see if I missed a step in authorization, but don’t see an option there for the sso newest addition. puzzling. I hesitate to delete and reinstall the entire 300+ gb package, but is that what you would suggest? Or is there another authorization step missing from the SPitfire download assistant?

Is does look like you have SSO installed so hopefully you won’t have to do that again.

Can you make sure that you:

  • Have SSO authorized in the Native Access app? You use the spitfire audio app to install SSO, and native access to authorize it. You can also point the SSO to an installed directory in NA.
  • Use the kontakt 7 Player (looks like you’re using just kontakt from the screenshot). For me the SSO doesn’t even show up in Kontakt, only in Kontakt 7.

Morning and greetings KjellD and everyone on this bright day here in Seattle,

So, I’ve got things up and running! Yay! It turned out that my NI app wasn’t the very latest version and I had to relink an authorize the sso library once again pointing to it on my external drive. Thank you for this help that led to the resolve.

However, more work needed to be done within dorico. The samples dorico were loading werent the best choice from this library. I’m not sure how it chooses what it does, but I made some tweaks. I decided to add each intstance myself one by one. For example, see the image attached. The piccolo flute samle on the left is what Dorico loads from the loaded SSO template and expression maps. The one on the right, I loaded utilizing the full performance patch. I’m a little less familiar with K7 than other versions and am curious why I can’t load multilple samples within each instance? Each time I try, it just overwrites the old sample. But, It still seems ok to use it this way. Do you feel this is the best way to set things up? And if so, my next step is to get this same setup using VEP7 and using that to create unique playback templates for making these audio mock-ups.

I’m glad I got this far and am excited to push forward to get the most out of Doricos playback setup with 3rd party software.

For future Dorico updates and releases, would it be possible for there be a way to simplify all audio related settings under one pulldown window? Meaning , anything audio or playback related, ( Playback, stage, space Templates, Playback options, general setup, all expression mapping, endpoint configuration, audio effects) to be under one window, one place called Play or Audio? As of now, one has to search many areas from the left side of the project window (setup) to the many other options from Play and Library pulldown to the multitude of options within the Play tab, like the track inspector and VST and Midi setups. To me, there are so many pitfalls one could miss while setting things up. Aagain, It’s just my opinion and an observation as I’ve tried to get a complete handle on a smooth workflow.

They would be the choices made by whoever created the Playback Template you are using.

Go to View>Rack view and you can drag patches across from the instrument list into the space below your already-loaded patches.

If you do load multiple patches, you will need to add channel change messages to each articulation in the expression map, so that the correct patch is triggered.

Good luck with your experimentation!

Thanks Janus!

Yeah, having fun playing around with this. I’ve been using the Performance patches of the SSO library and mostly getting good results. They sound a bit weird on loud legato or tenuto playback. Will playaround here a bit more. As to routing, this area could use some finessing. For now, I’ve assigned each player to one instance, since it was the only way I could control individual faders within Dorico. When I was able to add multiple instruments per Kontakt instance, the sounds suffered a bit. not sure why there. Still a work in progress, and like I mentioned above, the next step is getting this to work in VEP7 and linking that within Dorico for best workflow. Easier to pull up custom templates to instantly pull up your virtual orchestration.

Glad to hear you got it working!!

Like Janus mentioned, you’ll need to drag each instance to the rack view, but don’t forget to set each VST instrument a different midi channel like in my screenshot above!

As for playback templates I’ve yet do try them, I just do everything manually.
I usually just add a VST Instrument in a K7 instance in play mode, and then add it to the selected instrument along with the expression map. My pieces are fairly small at the moment so it’s not a lot of work.

Yes KjellD,

I figured out how to add multiple players/instruments within each Instance. The difference (from what I’ve seen) in k7 is, one has to click on the empty space below the first loaded sound to add another sample within the multi rack. Before, one just added an additional player and Kontakt took care of the stacking automatically. Why did they change this? Beats me. For those out there wondering, I have a 2020 cheese grater Mac Pro 16 core 196gb ram. I’m not sure if everyone will be able to open this many samples/instances with a smooth workflow in their projects. That’s why eventually I’ll get this all to work in VeP7. That’s another task that is coming soon.

It is a bit unintuitive that you have to drag it, yes. I only discovered by accident that you can add another instrument when I dragged an instrument little bit too far down below the already existing instrument. But compared to what everything looked like when I first started using DAWs and VSTs in 2010 everything looks a lot better! Anyways, best of luck to you with SSO! I think it’s really great.

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