VSL Cube and Dorico

hi there,

is there a chance there might be templates for running samples from VSL’s Symphonic Cube with Dorico? I saw templates for Synchron, however i have access only to the VI Symphonic Cube, which I understand is an older product - still, the samples are good - any chances there’ll be a way to use those samples with Dorico?

Thank you!

Only if someone creates them. To date no one has done so. For the Full versions It would be one…gigantic…project.

I own a lot of the VI instruments in the Standard version, and hope to upgrade to the Cube at some point, so I share your wish.

The thing is, with VI Pro VSL setup is so flexible and personal, anyone who had the chops to do it would probably have idiosyncrasies in their setup that might not be what others wanted. 'Twould be nice though if someone somewhere was disposed to create a setup for the Standard instrument versions and limit it to the available articulations. People could work out their own variations after that.

That said, it would be quite the talented, diligent, and generous person who would do it.

As DaddyO wrote, the problem with VSL is that it’s highly personal. I did write maps for all my VSL but all my matrices are custom made and I use a lot of custom playback and writing techniques in Dorico (all in French on top of it). So basically, my maps cannot be used by anyone else than me. You’ll probably have to script your own and this means weeks and weeks of considering suicide has a possible alternative!

As an owner of the Cube, I’m very interested in this subject :slight_smile:

Can someone who already built Expression Maps for a VSL VI instrument can do a tutorial please? :slight_smile: That would be awesome!

Andi of VSL who is in charge of the notation part at VSL said that the first Dorico Expression Maps will be for the SYNCHRON-ized Special Edition (see https://www.vsl.co.at/community/posts/t56309-BBO--Hercules--Izar--Jupiter--Kopernikus---SERIOUS-BRASS#post297620).
Even if he said also that they don’t know what other libraries they’re gonna develop Expression Maps for, I do believe that the Synchron and Synchron-ized ones will be their priorities.

That makes this current subject of making EM for VSL VI so important!

Thank you and take care!

Once a few Synchron libraries were released It was a common suspicion that the VI libraries would become vestigial, that is, neglected and increasingly left behind. When questions about this increased momentum on their forum to make clear the status of VI, VSL statements on their forum insisted this was not the case, but they did so in mostly opaque language.

In that uncertain environment they released the Synchronized Special Edition. They made the introductory bundle crossgrade only $150 for owners of the VI version. I didn’t particularly want the Synchronized version, but I suspected the handwriting was on the wall for VI. And I knew from experience with VI that owners of a Special Edition get cheaper upgrade paths to their older brothers. If Synchron was indeed the future, what better opportunity to accept it and lay the foundation for that future. Besides I could get some experience with the platform. That would allow me to make a better overall decision. So I bought it.

Later I also took advantage of the Synchronized Woodwinds crossgrade because it too was ridiculously cheap. Ongoing releases at VSL seemed to clearly suggest that VI was indeed to be left in the dust. Instead of releasing a new and improved VI Pro 3, which had been called for for years, a free VI Pro update was released with the only real improvement being support for the high-resolution displays. This was a great improvement for me, but it also showed that I should not expect any VI Pro 3.

All the activity and news since all this has only confirmed everyone’s suspicions. The complete cessation of VI releases is compelling evidence. VSL could yet prove me wrong, but every year this gets harder to believe. They continually try in their promotions to get customers to crossgrade to Synchron.

My investment in the core VI Standard instruments came right when VSL was insisting they were going to continue to support the series and keep working on VI Pro. I made an investment decision at that time, and it turned out to be the wrong one. Even computer operating systems get left behind. I just wish VSL had not tried to straddle the fence in their forum statements. They made a business decision that they couldn’t openly state what was actually the case.

All this is the most long-winded way to say that I agree with you Gil75. In fact, I would say the word “priorities” might need to be replaced by “present and future.”

Making expression maps for the Synchronized SE series seems to be easy. There is a certain coherence, even if strings and winds are slightly different, high and low winds are different, and vni/vle and vc and cb are also different. And I’ve not seen the libraries other than Vol.1.

The old VI SE was easy, since I could collect everything in a matrix with a few lines. I had to create my own presets even in that case, but it was feasible.

The full VI library is different. There are so many articulations, that not even VSL included all of them in their presets. Then, each library has a different factory preset, requiring a dedicated expression map.

This is the reason why most VI users have created their own presets. In my case, I designed a huge schema including everything, and then created all the presets according to the same schema. A huge work, made a bit simpler by the hidden Cmd-Opt-W trick, allowing for replacement of similarly-named patches in a preset.

With Synchron Player this should be even easier, since you can edit an ordinary text file (something I’ve requested multiple times for VI, with no success).

Vienna Instruments is a very mature player. I would love to see realtime time-stretching added, but I fear this would require a deep rewriting that I don’t expect. A mature and powerful, very stable player, that has recently been refreshed. So, I wouldn’t say that the VI collection will be obsolete anytime soon (unless the new Macs will make them incompatible with the new silicon; and even in this case, we Mac-heads will be able to run it as a VEPRO server).


But Synchron, as far as I can best understand, is a different product - not only does it run on a different player, but the sound library is different - the stage, the mics, the approach, everything about it is “hipper”, less classical.

Why can’t VI simply take their VI Cube samples / performances and make them compatible with the Synchron player, so that it’s a little more streamlined and widely compatible with their newer fare? Some people simply like the sound of the Cube better than the Synchron stuff…

The synchronized versions of the VI libraries use by and large the same samples as the original so one can hardly say that they are for a different kind of music. With the new Synchron only libraries, I would agree— they are increasingly going sectional and more orientatated to a big band Hollywood style. Probably that’s where the money is but I’m not sure I welcome the trend.

As for Expression Maps, I don’t believe VSL will release any for the VI libraries. They do seem to have decided that Synchron is the future,like it or not. For the full libraries, as has already been said, everyone’s needs are different. Some of us have already created libraries but they’re unlikely to be 100% appropriate for anyone other than the author. Special Editions are another matter as the fairly limited number of patches means most people will use most of them. VSL will probably release their own before long and they will no doubt be of interest to those who have, reluctantly or otherwise, largely headed down the Synchron route, though whether they’ll actually be any better than what’s already been produced by Dorico users is anyone’s guess.

They have already done so with the Synchron-ized libraries, which are a different thing than the Synchron libraries.

Basically VSL has three different library approaches. The samples for the VI series were recorded in a “neutral” stage setting. For the Synchronized series, these same recordings were adapted (virtually placed via their MIR technology I presume) for the Synchron stage. They are not new recordings. Finally, the Synchron libraries were directly recorded in VSL’s Synchron stage.

So there are only two different sets of original recordings, neutral and Synchron. The Synchron-ized libraries are based on the former, not the latter.

They however released a complete set of expression maps for Cubase. Dorico can import them. I’ve just tried, and it seem that Dorico 3.5.10 can do an excellent job in translating them.

Not all the techniques are mapped to Dorico’s playing techniques, but most of them are. This means that one can immediately start working with Dorico and the VSL VI libraries, using the preset supplied by VSL, and some slightly modified expression maps imported from the Cubase set.

I’ve been working on my own universal expression map and preset for VSL VI libraries, but at this point maybe it is better to use the data supplied directly by VSL.


Paolo, how did you do this, can you summarize, please?
thank you!

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:

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.


yes, VSL have released Expression Maps for Cubase and indeed I use theirs for the VI solo strings for instance and it seems to more or less work though of course all the new Dorico features since 3.5 (such as NoteLength) are not supported and there are supposedly various adjustments required such as what you’ve just mentioned. It’s just that on new projects, I’m working only with Synchron.

Incidentally, I use in one or two libraries sustain as well as natural. FOr instance if you have a passage with con sord, you may very well want to use sustain but you certainly don’t want to use a natural.