What Orchestral Library Works the best In Dorico ( other than NOTEPERFORMER )

I’d say that ‘buggy and slow’ is not a usual description. Things can slow down for huge scores with Condensing on but a powerful multi-core CPU should mitigate that. Major bugs are few are far between.

There are plenty of people using BBCSO, Kontakt and VSL libraries, etc.

The good news is that whatever problems you’re having may be fixable!

This has come up before, and unfortunately there’s not a good answer. Here’s the summary:

If you want to write music and have it play back moderately convincingly in Dorico, use NotePerformer. You can do a little tweaking of CC values, but mostly what you get it what you get. In Dorico, NP is really your best bet (or at least, it’s a toss-up, depending on the type of music). I’ve heard tracks that people have spent a lot of time tweaking in Dorico, using high-end VSTs, then compared those to NP. Slight differences here and there, but overall the same.

Now if you want to spend hours tweaking tracks in a DAW to get a truly realistic performance, do that. The sky’s the limit, but be warned that it’ll drain years off your life. Or maybe you already know that!

I was hoping for a great solution “out of the box” that improved the quality of NP. But when we’re talking about playback from notation, there just isn’t a better solution proportional to the time spent, in my opinion.


Yes…I fear you are right. I have a lot of experience with Orchestral Mockups in Cubase. I was lucky enough to work at Remote Control on a few films and regard their set up as the pinnacle of Orchestral Playback Machines.

The problem is DAW tweaking and the like tends to generate ( at least from me ) different sort of music. I find that If I write in Sibelius it just feels and sounds more Orchestral. Also the process is much speedier and more enjoyable. The combination of Sibelius and Noteperformer seems so intuitive. Perhaps the next step is Dorico and noteperformer. While I wait for the next version to be more Sample Library friendly . I know that there will be what I want some day…



Dorico works fine with Kontakt. If you’re having issues then you should say what and which library you’re using. I don’t know which BBC library you’re using but Core gives a lot for little money. The programming is a bit sloppy in places and you need to understand how to use it but I find it’s worth it. VSL and EastWest are the longest established of the big guns and I’d certainly recommend having a look at the VSL synchronised Special Edition. Fairly transparent to programme. Orchestral Tools Berlin libraries are big hitters though I’m not entirely convinced by the more budget offerings but if you like their sound, are worth considering. Much depends on what sort of music you write so if you tell us that, you may get more concrete advice. Do you need lots of specialist articulations?

Technically and musically, for romantic/classic orchestral music, the best is Cinematic Studio. It’s middle priced and reasonable with system resources. There is currently quite a bit of Legato delay built in but updates later this year will allow you to reduce this. The library is warm and expressive if that’s what you like.

Best solution is to use any library in a Vienna Ensemble Pro instance, even on the same machine. Reason being Dorico takes really long to boot up an orchestra, so keeping it always running makes things faster and smoother. Even then with an already running instance Dorico takes a few minutes to get it sorted out which I can’t fathom. Second thing is a multi-core machine. I have a 28 core and it flies. Intel because of Thunderbolt, and audio interfaces can be picky about the exact TB controller. It’s the - whatever they call it - high end desktop line with the extra PCIe lanes.

Otherwise get lots of ram (128GB here which the extreme line makes easy with 8 slots) and most importantly, NVMe. Put all your libraries on stick(s). With this you can run any library you wish, and this particular configuration makes scrolling, moving and editing a big score really fast. Any other solution is slow with a 3rd party library, I use BBCSO.

If you don’t want to spend the money on the computer than HALion is almost or as speedy. And, when they release the Cubase/Nuendo integration (with 4 maybe) you can simply transfer it there for rendering.

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I have a big machine 18 Cores…heaps of RAM. I am having trouble loading both Kontakt ( see’s in the blacklist but not in the VST instrument window, and VSL pro7…again sees the plug in but NOT the server. I have a lot of experience with commercially available sample libraries . I own most of them. I love BBC …it’s my fav so far. But it seems not to play nice with Dorico…it’s fantastic in Cubase. My cubase template is huge…playback fine…Dorico just doesn’t…which is causing me endless grief



BBCSO and EWHO were too slow to use on a high end mac pro. I ditched it in favor of the PC desktop outlined above and it all runs like butter now. Figure out the problem with VSL pro plugin and use that, you’ll probably be fine.

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what version of Vienna Ensemble Pro are you using may I ask ?



VEP 7 has a VST3 plug-in that works smoothly with Dorico.

I don’t have access to that computer at the moment but it’s the latest as of end of last year, I bought it last November on a Black Friday sale. If it’s been updated since I haven’t done so. But it sounds like you’re on Windows and are having some kind of VST issue. There’s always reinstalling, but sorting through the VST install locations is worth doing. There’s three locations or so where those get dumped.

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I think my version Might be to Old



It might or it might not be relevant, but the latest version of Kontakt is VST3, maybe that helps?


Dan, there’s a nice ASUS board out there now with AM4 socket and Thunderbolt 4. Makes it easier to go multicore with Ryzen… :wink:


Thanks, but I have a Focusrite RED interface and they specify compatibility with Intel TB only, and a subset of TB versions at that. This board it looks like which only has 4 memory sticks. The Intel line boards have 8 which means you can get 128 without costing a fortune

Picky… :rofl: :sunglasses: :+1:
All good, just thought I’d mention it. I’ll likely go with aforementioned board and a 5950X for my next build…


Yes, but aren’t the processors and boards much more expensive? This way you could afford the 4x32GB sticks… :wink:
But let’s not geek out this poor thread…


I’d love to go AMD but have gotten seriously burned on their GPU’s, and now the 3D world (I develop games) is firmly NVIDIA. On CPU’s there are other incompatibilities, one of which I outlined above. Point being it’s not an option.

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Hello Ed,

I find NotePerformer having the more expressive result, the weakness (personal taste here) being the strings.

Some people are just reworking the strings in DAW but let the other instruments played by NotePerformer.

I think the “problem” with other libraries than NotePerformer, such as VSL Synchronized Edition or BBC SO, is the interpretation of the score: you will have to tweak CCs and note durations in the Play tab.
You can check how it can sound with VSL here.

For your Dorico/VEPro problem, please check the tutorial I posted if it can help you (it’s using VEPro 7 and BBC).

I have no doubt that Dorico is on a great path for a better interpreting of the score and so a better audio rendering.

Best regards,

I went with the Gigabyte X570S AERO G mobo with my 5950x. Works great with my Gigabyte Titan Ridge TB card.

On your other thread it appeared like you were only using Vienna Ensemble Pro. You need to load the VSTs in Vienna Ensemble Pro Server to be able to have Dorico connect to it.

You should be using the vst3 version of Kontakt with Dorico, not the vst2 as the vst3 version cannot be blacklisted. Kontakt 5 up to date or K6 should be fine. Vienna Ensemble Pro (do use v.7) has three basic advantages for me 1. you can close the project but keep VEP open so there is virtually no time required to be up and running again when you reopen Dorico. 2. Performance of Dorico when running the libraries can be much more responsive. I’ve found a huge improvement with the BBC SO and it looks like CSS will also be much improved. 3. Much easier to mix libraries and have everything in one place.

There are various views on NotePerformer. The truth is, as you say, is that it’s not objectively as good as with great samples well programmed-- with the strings mostly being the weakest point as Gil said (reduce the vibrato to around 25-40 certainly can help) but can give very nice results in some sorts of music, particularly vigorous and crisply articulated orchestral scores. Your comment on it working better in Sibelius is not really surprising. It was designed for Sibelius and the Finale and Dorico versions are officially still beta with a somewhat reduced articulation set. There are few reasons I would prefer to use Sib v Dorico but there is a case for the former if NP playback is important , I would say.