If you are asking about importing VSL expression maps for Cubase, you can find them in the Notation area of the Download section of the VSL web site. In Dorico, you can use the dedicated button in the Expression Maps dialog to import them. You will see that many of the techniques are already assigned to Dorico’s playback/playing techniques.
Something that you will have to immediately replace is the “sustain” technique. Double click on its name, and replace it with Dorico’s Natural playback technique. You will see that other replacement of this type will have to be done. In any case, the programming of each technique is ready for the matching articulations in the presets VSL created for Cubase (you can read more in the included instructions).
If you are asking about my universal VSL preset/map, here is what I did:
- I planned a schema that could include all the articulations of all VSL instruments. There is room for everything: basic techniques available for all the instruments, and particular ones exclusive to woodwinds, brass, solo strings or orchestral strings.
My personal schema places attack types in separate matrices (selected via program change), types of sustain in the matrix’s columns (selected by keyswitches starting from MIDI note #0). My choices are:
- types of attack: sustain, legato, staccato, détaché, fp/sfz/sffz, dyn arcs, pizz./slap, tremolo/ftzg, trills, repetitions [etc. – I’m not at the main Mac now];
- types of sustain: vib, n.v., molto vib./espressivo, prog/dim vib., sul pont, sul tasto, harm, mute, fx.
Most of the matrices have three or four rows, selected by the playing speed or dynamics. Legato has layered rows for normal legato, fast legato, trill legato. fp/sfz/sffz is controlled by velocity values. Some of the cells contain multiple slots, for crossfading (vib. <> n.v, ord. <> sul tasto and the like), or to create combined articulations (for example, sustain+staccato for accent).
Some of the matrices have 12 rows, each one selected by the keyswitch velocity value. I use them for different intervals for trills, different dynamic arcs length, progressive number of upbeats or repetitions, and so on.
- Once made a template preset (Solo Violin 1 for strings, and then Flute 1 for woodwinds, or Trumpet in C, are good starting points), I could replicate most of the programming to the other instruments. In Vienna Instrument Pro Standalone you can press Cmd-Opt-W, and replace the beginning of the patch names. For example, “V1_” can become “V14_”, and the patches for Solo Violin 1 will be replaced with those of the Orchestral Violins. There is a lot of additional work to do, but this is a great help.
Mind you: it is a massacring work. If you do it, start with the instruments you will use the most, and gradually add the others.
- At this point, you have a collection of presets based on the same schema. You can create a single expression map for Dorico, and drive all the instruments with this map. Percussion instruments are a different matter, but they are so simple, that you can usually just have a single matrix with a cell for hits and one for rolls.
Using the presets made by VSL for Cubase can avoid the work I described for an “universal” preset/map, but has other disadvantages. First of all, the are countless preset schemas and expression maps. You can have to edit all of them. Then, VSL decided that dynamics had to be controlled by CC2, with CC1 reserved to selecting matrix’s rows. I want CC1 for controlling dynamics (as they are doing with the most recent instruments, at least as an option), and different ways of combining articulations. So, I went for my own solution, that is also easier to maintain.