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  • Workflow / Sibelius soundsets for VI - newbie

    I am moving on from my orchestration studies and I was intent on using Sibelius and the VSL Sibelius templates to write most of my music. This approach has been quite successful for small orchestral pieces I have written, however I am presently writing a chamber style piece with a solo clarinet and I am a little puzzled by the lack of articulations that are incorporated into the Sibelius template: just as an example there is no 'portato long' articulation defined in the Sibelius soundset.

    I wonder if people have any advice regarding workflow? I have previously used a combination of playing in the notes via midi keyboard and typing them out via alphanumeric keyboard in Sibelius for the aforementioned orchestral pieces. I don't think this approach is going to work for solo instruments because of all the subtleties of performance associated with a solo instrument. I was thinking of exporting the Sibelius score as MIDI and finessing the performance in a DAW. Does anyone have any tips on workflow? I mean, how do the likes of Bacos et al go about creating their mock-ups? Is it possible to modify the existing Sibelius templates by adding articulation definitions into Sibelius playback? I know some composers have a separate track in their DAW for each instrument AND articulation, which seems completely insane to me. There's got to be a better way of doing it than that(?)

    P.S. I have just seen a separate thread on the Graphical MIDI tool that looks worthy of investigation, but any answers to the previous questions gratefully received!

  • Hello mrfingers!

    You can always trigger additional articulations with Sibelius by using custom cells. More information about that can be found here.

    Some users prefer to stay in the notation software, some users move their projects to DAWs, many users only use DAWs. It's impossible to say what is the best way.

    Best regards,

    Vienna Symphonic Library
  • Thanks Andi. I guess everyone has to find out what works for them.

    I wonder if you can provide some further advice on a performance issue with Sibelius... When creating my templates I created 8 different instances of VE, each loaded with different groups of instruments, winds / brass / solo strings / orch strings etc, and something like 80+ instruments in the score. Now when I select an item in the score it can take many seconds for my system to react.

    Would upgrading to VE PRO help with this issue at all? I mean, does it allocate resources more efficiently than VE? I understand that you can unload samples per instance which might help with my performance and latency issues and also that it does not close down VE and re-open them up again when switching projects. Is that right? I am starting to see how VEP could be useful.... 

  • Hello mrfingers!

    VE pro can be useful in many ways, but it will not change a thing about the problem you are describing. As far as I know, Sibelius always finds out all keyswitches in a score between pressing the playback key and the actual start of playback. Selecting a note is just like starting playback. So the delay is caused by Sibelius and not by Vienna Ensemble or our instruments. The more complex a playback configuration is, the longer this will take. If you have delays of more seconds when clicking a note, I recommend changing a setting in the Sibelius Preferences: Under Note Input/Editing uncheck the option "Play notes as you edit". Then you will only hear the notes, when you actually start playback, but you will have no more delays when entering or selecting notes.

    It would also help to make smaller playback configurations for projects with smaller instrumentation.

    Best regards,

    Vienna Symphonic Library
  • OK thanks, that is useful information. I have also seen an article by Daniel Spreadbury (from 2008 I think it was!) that explains the same thing. I will adjust my workflow accordingly. I did some testing over the weekend and it seems that trimming the fat back after you have created it is not as effective as starting out thin in the first place. Then again perhaps my methodology was flawed. I seem to be spending more time dealing with technical issues at the moment than anything to do with actual music. Sigh. Anyhow...thanks again

  • Hello Andi,

    Thanks for that tip about 'Play notes as you edit'.

    I've had a similar problem with several big scores. I just wanted to confirm that I also think the problem lies with Sibelius. I wondered whether it was also a graphics issue, since I get screen white-outs and hanging for several seconds when the problem happens.

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