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  • Pro Tools8 and Vienna setup and a bit more!

    Dear friends,

    First I like to wish you all a very happy, healthy and musical 2009!

    I am completely new on both Pro Tools8 and Vienna. I have both PT8 and Vienna running. I bought the Vienna strings for a CD production I am in at the moment. I only need to get a string setup of 5 voices working so no big orchestra. All the other instruments will be recorded live. My recording team works with PT8 so I have it running on my Mac now. I took the string score from Sibelius and exported this into midi.

    First questions:
    What is the best way to get Vienna instruments linked to Pro Tools8? Do I need Vienna Ensemble in PT8 or can I only work with the Vienna Instruments? Do I have to either link VE or VI to every separate instrument track? Panning and things like reverb will be done in PT8 so I only need the articulations and velocity from VI!

    Second question:
    When I have the midi imported in PT, how can I get my Vienna Instruments articulations and velocity changes into this imported midi in PT?

    I hope I am clear enough. To be honest, I am not so technical but by trying out this week I start to understand more and more. I hope you will keep your suggestions as simple as possible for me so I might understand it.

    Thanks so much and take care,

    Ben van Dijk
    Bass trombone-Flamenco Guitar
    Rotterdam Philharmonic orchestra
    Rotterdam Conservatory "Codarts"

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    Hello and welcome Ben,

    I have just checked: You have purchased the downloadable Special Edition Strings Full Library.

    I assume and hope that you are working on OS X - the Vienna Instruments and Vienna Ensemble are available as RTAS instruments on OS X.

    Vienna Ensemble is a host aplication for the Vienna Instruments (a multitimbral version with an integrated mixer). You will find some help in the manuals of our software. And of course there are also our Video Tutorials.

    To switch between articulations, you can use Keyswitches or Controllers - very easily assignable in the Vienna Instruments Interface.

    Hope this helps!



    Paul Kopf Product Manager VSL
  • Hi Paul,

    Thanks for welcoming me on the Forum and in the Vienna family.
    What a great program to work with but for a musician who is not such a technician a bit slow to understand.

    Also thanks for your reply and yes, I purchased Special Edition Strings.

    I am working on an OS X and already begin to understand how to get VI connected to PT8 but..........
    I also am able to switch between different articulations with either Keyswitches or controllers on my M-Audio 61 es keyboard!

    You understand I still like to find the answers on my previous questions in my post.

    Take care,


  •  Hello Ben,

    sorry that my answers have not covered your questions, I thought they did. Just to make sure: You can already load VI/VE as an RTAS instrument, right?

    I am not a PT User myself, so maybe someone wants to jump in here to help Ben out. I believe I´m not sure what Ben means by "linking the VI to PT". 

    So here we go: 

    Q: What is the best way to get Vienna instruments linked to Pro Tools8?

    A: You can use either Vienna Instruments (1 VI for 1 instrument / section) or Vienna Ensemble ( 1 VE for up to 16 instruments / section on 16 MIDI channels of this multitimbral host application).

    Q: Do I need Vienna Ensemble in PT8 or can I only work with the Vienna Instruments?

    A: You can work with the Vienna Instruments just as well. Vienna Ensemble should make your work more comfortable (only 1 additional window)

    Q: Do I have to either link VE or VI to every separate instrument track?

    A: Each VI should take care of one section or instrument, be it as a VI plug-in or as one VI instance within the Vienna Ensemble.

    I hope that helps.



    Paul Kopf Product Manager VSL
  • Hi Paul,

    Thanks for your replies and yes, I start to understand the Vienna tools more and more. Sorry for not always using the correct words. As I explained earlier, I am just a simple musician!

    At this moment I am rehearsing for our New Years Concerts with the Rotterdam Philharmonic. When I will be behind my Mac again I will try to tell you how far I am.
    As I said earlier, I am starting to understand VI more and more and also PT8 starts to become more easy to understand.
    Yesterday I found a way to intergrate the articulation-keyswitches into PT8. I will explain later.
    Now I am working on how to get the velocity changes in an easy way. I will get there!

    I hope there will be some onther Vienna users who also try to work with Pro Tools8 so I get some feedback on this side also.

    Thanks for your help till now.

    Ben van Dijk

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    Hi there Ben,

    Sorry, I've only just seen this post. I've been using VSL with Pro Tools since the RTAS version was released in 2007. The first thing to say is that Pro Tools 8 is a brand new release with changes to RTAS and, if I understand correctly, neither VE or VI are guaranteed to work with it yet. Having said that some people report that it does work just fine whereas others have been having problems. Personally I've not upgraded to PT8 yet because VI is such an important part of my workflow. I'll only do it either once it's officially supported or when I've got plenty of time to test it and then, if it doesn't work, to roll back to PT7.3. I'm sure the programmers at VSL will be working on updating the RTAS version as soon as they can.

    I'm not entirely sure I understand your first question either - you seem to suggest that you're running VI/VE separately from PT and need to connect the two. You don't need to do this because VI/VE both come in RTAS format which can be run from inside PT. Basically, in PT7.3, this is what I do:

    1) Create a stereo "Instrument Track" in PT (must be stereo). Set its MIDI input and audio outputs, if necessary.

    2) In the insert slots, choose "Vienna Instrument" (or Vienna Ensemble, but I mainly use VI and from you say it sounds as though this will suit you better too) from the "Instruments" submenu.

    3) You'll see a "VSL server" window and in the centre of it there's a button which you click to display the actual VI GUI. Click this button.

    4) Now load up your samples and you can now play them with your MIDI keyboard.

    As to your second question... Personally I don't import MIDI, I record it directly into PT, adding at least rough articulation switches, velocity info, etc. on-the-fly, although I then edit this and tighten it up afterwards. For me, and I imagine many other people, this is the beauty of the VSL system: the ability to play parts in and hear them more or less in real time. I'm a musician rather than a programmer so I find this more satisfying. On the other hand some people, especially those from classical backgrounds, prefer to write arrangements in notation software and then import them so perhaps that's what you mean. If so then you can do this perfectly well. There are a few approaches to doing this. Perhaps the simplest would be that you set up the VI as set out above and then import your MIDI to a separate MIDI track. Then you set the output of this MIDI track to "Vienna Instrument" (any MIDI channel). This will play back your MIDI part using the samples you've loaded. However what you can now do is record your velocity, expression, volume changes, keyswitches or whatever you use to switch articulations into the INSTRUMENT track. In other words you'll have two separate tracks both sending data to the VI, the Instrument track and the MIDI track. Keeping them separate (at least during the editing stage) might make things easier to manage - but this is a matter of personal preference. The other way to do it would be to copy all the MIDI notes from the MIDI track to the Instrument track and then get rid of the MIDI track. This leaves you with fewer tracks on-screen and looks neater, some people prefer this. You can then record velocity, etc. into this track and you can simply add notes (outside the instrument's playing range) for articulation keyswitches.

    Feel free to e-mail me if you'd like me to explain this in more detail. If you're just starting with VI then this probably seems a bit overwhelming as there is quite a lot to learn. But you'll be amazed at how quickly you get up and running; there are just a few key concepts you need to get your head around and then you're up and running.

    Hope that helps!


    Mac Mini M2 16Gb RAM 500Gb int. SSD 2Tb ext. SSD Pro Tools/Mixbus An awful lot of VI, Synchron-ised and Synchron libraries, amongst others. VSL user since 2003.
  • Hi Nick, Just saw your great reply. Did not check the Forum a few days and can tell you I am very pleased with your reply. Have been fiddling arround on the issue and can tell you I made good progres. At this moment I am in the intermission of a concert with my orchestra but will come back to you for sure. Thanks so much and take care, Ben

  • Hi Nick,

    As announced in my previous message here is how I have it working now. Found some information about this in the Forum!
    I would like you to tell me if I do things correct!

    After opening PT8 I started a new new session and made 4 instrumental tracks.
    I dragged my midi file, made of a Sibelius score, into the screen and got 4 extra tracks, this time "midi tracks".
    I then dragged the midi into the instrumental tracks and deleted the midi-tracks.
    Of course I gave the instr-tracks the name of my instruments. In this case a string quartet violin1, violin2, viola and cello.
    Then i pushed the Inserts A-E button and via multichannel plug-in into instrument.

    Here I found 4 options;
    Vienna Ensemble (stereo)
    Vienna Instruments (stereo)
    VST Vienna Ensemble (stereo)
    VST Vienna Instruments (stereo)

    I choose VST Vienna Instruments (stereo), don't ask me why but it seemed the most advanced.
    As I do not need panning or Reverb from VE, we will take that from PT altiverb plug-in, I thought it was better to use VI!

    After doing this in the first field of the Inserts A-E I got VSTVnlstr. By clicking this I came in Vienna Instruments Server interface.
    Here it was possible to assign the right instruments to my tracks and of course the needed articulations.

    So far about the set-up I have made. Again, I am very interested if this is a proper way to do it and do I get the best results from this?
    In the VI server I see a little button with RTAS. Does this mean I use the RTAS from Vienna and is this right? The sound I get seems to be all right and the first results I have are pretty good!

    Now I am working with this and as I say before I am getting pretty nice results already. Hope to be able to ask you more about this later.

    Thanks so much for your help and hope to hear more soon.

    Take care,


  • Hi Ben,

    I assume you have something like the FXPansion "VST to RTAS" wrapper installed? Without that normally VST plug-ins don't work in Pro Tools. Normally you should use the RTAS version, which will be the one called "Vienna Instrument (stereo)" because this is the version designed specifically for use in Pro Tools. However the situation with PT8 is slightly more complicated. Because it's a brand-new version and Digidesign have changed things, VSL will have to make changes to the RTAS plug-in to make it work at maximum efficiency and they've not had time to do that yet. Some people say that the previous RTAS version, designed for PT7.x, is working absolutely fine in PT8, but other people have reported problems, which is why I've not upgraded yet. 

    So my advice to you would be to try it and see: first of all do try the RTAS version, "Vienna Instrument (stereo)" because in theory that is the best version for PT. If it works for you then great. However if it doesn't work properly then, while we're waiting for the new RTAS plug-in for PT8, you can use the wrapped VST version, if that works. Again, some people have had problems with the VST version and the wrapper, but other people have found it to work just fine. As I say, the current RTAS version is designed to work with Pro Tools v7 (I'm using 7.3 and I'll wait a bit longer before upgrading to v8) and does work well. I've been using it since it was first released in around Sept 2007.

    I hope that's clear, the situation is a little complicated because Pro Tools 8 has only just been released and it will take a little while for VSL to update the RTAS version. I did put my own e-mail address in my first post so feel free to contact me privately if there's anything else I can help with.

    Personally I mostly use VI because I don't require huge arrangements and I mainly use hardware reverb or else plug-ins in RTAS or TDM format. However VE can be very useful in some circumstances. It really depends on how you like to work. There isn't one single "best way of doing things" - different people do things differently, thank goodness.



    Mac Mini M2 16Gb RAM 500Gb int. SSD 2Tb ext. SSD Pro Tools/Mixbus An awful lot of VI, Synchron-ised and Synchron libraries, amongst others. VSL user since 2003.
  • Nick - you rock! many thanks from a newbie (also from Rotterdam... funny, actually....)