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  • Solo Violin Cuts out when long held notes

    I'm doing basic string quartet using SIbelius Solo Strings - Extended I & II.   When a violin part hols a single note for multiple measures (by using standard ties) the sound cuts out af roughly the 4th beat of the third measure.  Curiously enough it bahaves differently depending on the "expression"  

    1. On pp there are no problems
    2. On p it cuts out
    3. On mf the sound decreases suddenly
    4. On f, I'm getting some digital artifacts but no cut out

    This is only happening on violin.  On viola and cello the notes play properly. 


    AFAICT this is not a Sibelius problem since the notes play properly using General Midi or Sibelius instruments.


    FIle is attached

  • Hello EricNJ!

    We were not satisfied with the results of the looped Solo Strings sustain samples, so we left them unlooped (except for the piano layer). Simply retrigger the sample before it ends and you will get a bow change repetition. In Sibelius this can be done by leaving out one of the ties.

    Best regards,

    Vienna Symphonic Library
  • Andi,

    Before posting this I looked through previous discussions and I was hoping for a different response.   AFAICT this is not a viable solution for multiple (and somewhat inter-related) reasons.  

    Firstly, if you do not explicitly put in a tie in the score then the player will articulate this as a separate stroke.  Putting in "legato" or adding in slurs is confusing to the player and may force the player to bow differently than they would want.  On a long held note it is typically up to the player to decide when to switch bow direction.

    Secondly, if you do not explicitly put in slurs/phrases in a passge, it is understood by the payers that the notes should be separately bowed - i.e., detache.   In Sibelius Playback, you can specify the duration of un-slurred notes - the value I typically use is 85%.   This is not a perfect mechanism - you get longer gaps in some situations than desired - but it is 'good enough'.    But in order for this 're-trigger' technique to work you need to set the duration of unslurred notes to 100%.    You then lose the separation between notes every where else in the score.

    I tried various work arounds.  I set the 'unslurred notes' to 100% in Sibelius, then tried adding detache and non-legato instructions.  The notes still played back legato.  I could score a passage of 8th notes as dotted 16ths - that gets the desired sound but it is very confusing for the players.

    I'm hoping that there is something we can do here  I realize that sampling is somewhat of an art form and that compromises have to be made, but this is basic.   As a composer - as opposed to someone doing film scoring - the score has to come first so the players know what to play.  If we have to make some compromises in the authenticity of the playback, that is an acceptable solution.


  • Hello Eric!

    I suggest leaving the length of unslurred notes at 100%. You can shorten the playback duration of notes individually with the Sibelius Inspector.

    Concerning the layout, you can do as follows in order to keep the tie included for human players.
    - Remove the tie
    - Add a slur. If you are a perfectionist, you might flatten it slightly so that it looks exactly like a tie.
    - Exclude the slur from playback (Sibelius Inspector/uncheck Play on pass 1)

    Best regards,

    Vienna Symphonic Library
  • Andi -

    That still isn't going to work.  Switching the ties for slurs might work as long as you don't have too many of them in your piece.  But you can't possibly go through a score and select hundreds of individual notes and shorten the playback duration.  There's got to be something better here. 

    This is basic stuff here.  I'm not asking for some esoteric bowing technique.  All I want is for tied notes to tie and non-tied notes to be non-tied. 

    Is there any way to configure VSL so that if you specify deteche or non-legato in your score it will shorten the duration of your notes a little?   This seems like a simple thing to do.


  • Hello Eric!

    I'm sorry to say that there won't be a library update for the Solo Strings in the foreseeable future with looped samples.

    As far as I know Sibelius doesn't offer the possibility to change note-lengths according to Sound IDs. In the Vienna Instruments player this also can't be done, as the player reacts to MIDI commands and  will not turn off a note, before it gets the command to do so.

    Best regards,

    Vienna Symphonic Library
  • Andi:

    I haven't made myself clear.  VSL recognizes many techniques in Sibelius - pizz, arco, etc.  In the documentation "Optimizing Sibelius Playback with Vienna Ensemble" on page 7 it states that you can trigger the Detache Patch via two techniques:

    Detache: There are two ways to trigger this patch:1) Use the keypad’s tenuto mark. 2) Create the Technique Text command “detache”.

    This is not working.   There is no switching.  When a note is marked Tenuto, the 'Velocity X-Fade' slider goes from 112 to 120, but otherwise there is no switching. 



  • Hi Eric!

    Thanks for pointing that out. The behaviour of tenuto marks has been changed with the last sound set installer update because of user demand. Detache will not be triggered by tenuto marks any more, but only by technique text commands "detache" and "portato". I will update the manual as well.

    The change of the Velocity X-Fade slider (CC11) is produced by your settings in the Sibelius/Play/Performance menu or by your dynamic marks or by live velocity in the Sibelius Inspector.


    Vienna Symphonic Library
  • Andi - Long delay in response here.  I've been trying to make do with the inadequacies of this product, but this is not going to work. 

    Firstly, applying the detache is erratic.  Sometimes it works and sometimes it does not.  If there is any pattern to this, I have not figured it out.  This is likely a Sibelius issue.

    Seondly, as far as I can tell there is no way to combine detache with non vibrato.   The detache sample always has vibrato.

    However, even if there were a way to work around these limitations, marking detache every place where you do not have slurs, and then marking normal whenever you hit a slur is totally impractical for any piece for solo strings more than a few minutes long,.

    Unless there are some obvious simple solutions to these problems, it seems that I have spent a lot of money for a very over priced and inadequate tool for use with Sibelius.


  • Hello Eric!

    Please note that we don't produce sounds for Sibelius. I always say that it's easier to get good results with DAW software than with notation software. So I think your comment about the "inadequacies" of the Solo Strings is not justified.

    There are two possible reasons that come to my mind why detache sometimes works on your system and sometimes doesn't.
    1.) There are other Sound IDs from earlier in your score that contradict the detache command. In this case put a "normal" or "ord." command before the detache command.
    2.) There's an error somewhere in your setup. In this case, please check the Troubleshooting chapter of the "Optimizing Sibelius Playback" manual.

    You can trigger the "detache_long_noVib" patch with help of the custom cells. How to do this is explained in the aforementioned manual on page 12.

    It's not necessary at all to mark detache at every place wihout slurs. The detache Sound ID will stay until you reset it with a "natural" or "ord." command. So if you have a detache section, then a legato section with slurs and then a detache section again, the detache command will still be active after the legato section.


    Vienna Symphonic Library
  • I just wanted to Thank you for changing the way detache triggered. We now need to specify 'detache' only once and this is default sound without any articulation markings, which is the conventional interpretation of scores and also the way players interpret it.

    The tenuto marking was not the best option and thankfully its no more!

    Also in line with Andi's comment I wanted to add that VSL is one of the rare sound libraries that provide Sibelius sound set. This is much appreciated since its a lot of work and you did not have to do this. As far as my limited experience, this seems to work great.

  • And I would like to add, that with any kind of music software you ALWAYS have to decide if you want a perfect looking score or a realistic sounding mockup. You said in your 2nd post: "On a long held note it is typically up to the player to decide when to switch bow direction." When you program your music with a sample library then YOU are the player. You can retrigger the note exactly at that point where you want the bow change. If you had looped sustain samples you would have to accept where the bow change is in the recorded sample.

  • I'm having a question regarding this. I hope it's ok if I borrow this thread since it's pretty much the same topic.

    Is there any command to retrigger a note within a (slurred) note length? I assume it might work to type in note on/off for that pitch but it would be a bit time consuming to find the correct midi note value for the pitch, so I was wondering if there'd be another way. This is for "looping" a harmonic.

  • Hello J.Hall!

    I guess you are are talking about Sibelius, right? The only way to retrigger a note without actually writing a note is with a MIDI command. For example ~N60,100 triggers a C4 (MIDI pitch 60=C4) with velocity 100. With ~O60,100 you can stop the note.


    Vienna Symphonic Library
  • In my opinion, seasoned with 30 years of intensive practice, my advice, for what it is worth, is :

    if you are serious about making realistic mock-ups (or demos, or whatever), do it with a good sequencer;

    if you are serious about making nice looking scores, do it with a good dedicated software.

    While I long for that, as my life would be easier, I never found one unique software making both possible.

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    @andi said:

    Hello J.Hall!

    I guess you are are talking about Sibelius, right? The only way to retrigger a note without actually writing a note is with a MIDI command. For example ~N60,100 triggers a C4 (MIDI pitch 60=C4) with velocity 100. With ~O60,100 you can stop the note.


    Thank you very much!

    I am familiar with that command but I assumed it wouldn't work so I didn't actually try it. But it does work! It enables me to have many tied whole notes, specifically with artificial harmonics in this piece I'm writing at the moment. No more awkward silences in ambient pieces. 😊


    And Stephane, yes I agree with you mostly, but since I only use Vienna in Sibelius when writing music for live musicians I want a good workflow in it. Having to notate it in Sibelius and then go mock it up in a DAW immediately to hear the result would be very time consuming (I do this if I write music that has aleatoric or similar elements in it but I prefer not having to). And I would never use my Sibelius versions with VSL samples for anything but to show the conductor and musicians if they want to get an idea of the piece.

  • Very belated response here.    To give some background, I am studying composition and have been working with Sibelius for over a year - using Sibelius 7 Sounds.   I do not expect perfect sounds, just a reasonable enough fascimile so I have a sense that my compositions "work".    However, in Sibelius Sounds the violin staccato had an annoying vibrato quality which was highly distracting - and it was made clear to me that this would not be changed.  This led me to VSL Strings.  

    Now are the quality of the sounds in VSL better than Sibelius?  Absolutely - no doubt about that.  

    But as a tool to assist in composing?  The fact that you have to tweak settings in the Inspector to get glissando or ties to work, the fact that you have to continually type normal or detache, etc., makes it an inadequate tool for composing.  

    In other words, following the score is more important to me than absolute realism of the sounds.  I realize that I'm in the minority of VSL users in this regard.

  • Eric -

    Some very thoughtful comments, and it looks as though you have really tried to develop a workaround.

    Here is mine:

    My suggestion is not limited to your specific problem.  For example, I have discovered that for certain mallets, in pitched percussion, VSL has reduced the range of playable notes on the instrument -- you can write the notes on the staff in Sibelius, but they won't play, because the samples aren't there.  It's as though VSL took a saw to a piano keyboard.  So, to get the notes I want, I have to choose a mallet I don't want.  That problem, too, can be corrected as I suggest here. 

    As I am working up a composition in Sibelius 7.5.1, I do my best to make it sound as I want it to.  I still get the benefit of analyzing compositional structure from looking at a score, but I don't worry about how it looks too much.  When I stop working and make an audio or video for submission, I use that somewhat bizzare looking audio copy, after making adjustments for mixture and loudness -- using speakers, not headphones.  This copy will also contain text notes, such as identifying a motive, I have written on the score to help me see the structure I have created.  I then save this as a separate audio, or "play" copy.  This copy makes the audio for video for submission.

    I then save another "print" copy.  This is supposed to be the professionally correct, playable version of the score.  In this I clean up the appearance of the score, changing dotted notes to tied ones so that players can see the beats, for example, checking multiple stops on strings, changing clefs for certain instruments if necessary, general work up of appearance or crowding of notes and staves, adding cues for parts, and other things I can't think of right now.  However, it could be at this stage that you would renotate the areas where you want ties to be in your print score.  As you point out, your score speaks to players, while Sibelius speaks to a machine.  You just cheat on Sibelius a little bit, not playing the "print" version to create your audio demo.

    I should add that in the final clean up and polishing, I sometimes (actually, ALWAYS!) find musical problems that need correction, so I have to return to the "audio" version to adjust that as well.  And then you have to have a good memory so both scores, as you make adjustments, are the same.  So wait as long as possible before undertaking this dual-score approach.

    Not perfect, but it seems to work pretty well.


  • Hello Steve!

    Some mallets only get used in a certain range. That's why they haven't been recorded for the whole range.

    It's not necessary to create a playback and a layout version of your Sibelius scores. If you want something different for playback and layout, you can hide notes or text commands that you want for playback and you can exclude notes and text commands from playback that you need for the layout with the Sibelius Inspector.

    Best regards,

    Vienna Symphonic Library
  • Thanks for the reminder, Andi.

    I assume that for excluding something on playback that's needed visually, you go into the Inspector and indicate that the particular notation in question is not to be played?