What is missing in Dorico for VSL


I have read this on VSL forum

In general our instruments can be used with Dorico. We have a few requests for the Dorico team though, before we will offer Expression Maps. I don’t know about their timetable and when they will get to work on these requests.

What is missing in Dorico ?



May I suggest that we share both here and on the VSL forum (see this thread) the steps needed to get VSL VIs working in Dorico.

Andreas at VSL has asked for a handful of improvements to Dorico’s support for VST Expression Maps. These are not specific to VSL but are in general limitations in how expression maps work in Dorico so far – things like being able to define groups of playing techniques that are mutually exclusive with one another, being able to define custom playing techniques, and so on. These limitations do not, however, mean that it is not possible to use VSL with Dorico, as you most certainly can, and if you’re competent both with expression maps and with setting up matrices in Vienna Instruments, you should be able to get good results.

Getting VSL to work with Dorico is not the problem. What works with halion works with VSL (and Spirfire, and Orchestral Tools and you name it) one just has to adapt the expression maps, which, for some strange reason, seems to be rocket science for most people. Accomodating the Hollywood orchestra would be a real challenge though…

The problem, especially for third parties is that Dorico’s Expression map system is work in progress and also not documented.

The connection seems pretty obvious to me, if not to you!

Actually, I’m not spending any time on this till Expression Maps at least get to be stable, regardless of the state of the documentation. I’m not really interested in playback which is “better in theory, but only half works”…

Are those demands in your “to do list” ? for next release ?
What will be great is to move from one template to another in one click e.i. to HSO to VSL …

Of course we plan to continue working on VST Expression Maps in Dorico. However, I cannot say with certainty when we will be able to address the specific issues raised by Andreas at VSL. They are not simple, isolated things that can simply be checked off: they are part of a broader and deeper set of features concerning playback.

Neither am I. My point was simply that what DOES work, works equally well (or bad) regardless of library used. There is nothing missing in Dorico that affects VSL users in particular…

Hello Daniel

Can we have a look to the demands of Andi ?

Thinking about your remark ; does the demand of Andi are liked to the Dimension instruments ?



I’m the one who originally asked VSL’s Andi what his requests (better than “demands”, as one can read in this topic) were in the VSL forum. You can easily spot that, as the user name is the same. You can also easily notice that that was my very first post in that forum.

Prior to buying a small Vienna library (for something specific) very recently, I had always used whatever library came with the notation software. I had (still don’t have, I think) any interest in mocking up scores. I’m classically trained in composition and orchestration, and, while I’m happy to see that many users get genuine enjoyment from working with sound libraries, I can’t help but to think they’re a crutch. I had no prior experience with Vienna, and Dorico’s documentation is summed up in John’s videos.

That being said, I set up my Vienna library in Dorico at the first try.

Everything that is implemented works. I think most are misunderstanding what’s being said. When Andi says they won’t offer Expression maps, they literally mean they won’t offer their own (complete and ready to go) xmaps, as they wouldn’t be comprehensive yet. You can download their Xmaps for Cubase and import them into Dorico. While I’ve heard some members saying you might find some bugs in that process, it should mostly be fine. I certainly haven’t been able to reproduce them.

And besides, as it was said in that other topic where I suggested sharing our Xmaps, the truth is that flexibility is often required when working. A catch-all expression map might sound nice, but praxis will force most of us to adjust them to the necessities of the project as we go, which means that Xmaps never crystalize into one definite form.

Being able to modify (and perhaps at some point record or automate) note velocity and other CCs would be far more important to get the most out of these kinds of libraries, in my opinion, than any other improvement to expression maps. As I said, I’m not the least bit curious in mocking up scores, but Dorico’s Play mode is certainly making me reconsider. If the integration between the Play and Write modes is frictionless enough, I might be tempted to touch up some things. Otherwise, I already spend enough time in a DAW working in electroacoustic music, thank you.

Do you have the manual of the Expression Maps

Download the expression maps for your instruments at vsl. In the zip file are the matrix-presets, the cubase expression-maps and a manual (pdf).


The manual on VSL site is very poor
I would like to merge all the Expression files in one file



That won’t be practical. VSL has two different expression maps for the winds, for example, because the different ranges of the instruments require the key switches to be at different extremes of the midi range.

You name the expression depending of the instrument ! so there is no problem !

You have one for the Solo violin and one for the Bass !

Each instrument has it’s expression map

Hello Daniel

What is the name of the file containing the HSO expression Maps ?

My Idea is to have the HSO file on my MacBook and the VSL file on my MacPro



Then the problem is one of language. I’m not understanding what you mean. You mean the library, perhaps? So you can import all Xmaps in one go?

You mean the library, perhaps? So you can import all Xmaps in one go?

Sorry for my English

On VSL site there are 13 x .expressionmap files (see screen copy)
I would like to merge those files into one, so I don’t have to load 13 times
Screen Shot 2017-07-11 at 17.34.43.png

You will have to download all the expression map files that you need, extract them and open them one by one in Dorico’s Expression map editor, by selecting ‘Import Cubase Expression Map’ repeatedly.

When done, you can highlight all the Xmaps you have imported (you cannot currently delete the default Halion Xmaps, so this can be a little confusing at first) by ctrl or shiftclicking them in the left column, and click on ‘Export Library’. That way, all your converted Xmaps will be saved to one file, that you can import into other projects by using the Import Library function.

Please observe that these Cubase Xmaps contain LOTS of techniques that are not currently understood by Dorico, and hence will not work. Also, all techniques seem to be (at least those I just tried) set to Volume Dynamic: Note Velocity. For VSL these should be changed to: Control Change 11. Otherwise the techniques that Dorico does understand all seem to be coded correctly as long as the corresponding default matrices are used in the Vienna Instruments Player.

Is there a way to access Vienna Instruments Pro directly in the VST dropdown in Play Mode? All I see is Vienna Ensemble Pro. I realize, of course, that VE Pro can host instances of VI Pro, but I am talking about accessing it directly.

Re: VSL Expression Maps, it would be nice if many in the community shared their EM creations, and it would be nice to have a single map encompassing all articulations across woodwinds, brass, and strings. This, of course, would require a quite lengthy map and a standardized VI Pro matrix across all instances.

But perhaps asking VSL or Steinberg to provide this is unrealistic. For one thing, VI Pro matrix selection is still limited to keyswitches. Judging by the graphics on the VI Pro virtual keyboard, even Program Changes map to and reserve keys, something I hadn’t expected. It’s likely you will end up reserving too much of the virtual keyboard and squeezing out keys needed for playing notes.

I am making another run at a single EM for my VSL library, which is mostly Special Edition, but I can’t imagine succeeding with the full instrument libraries.