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Posted on Mon, Aug 04 2008 21:40
by jonlipow
Joined on Sat, Jul 19 2008, Posts 14
Hi everyone,
I just purchased VSL Special Editions bundle and am using Pro Tools LE 7.4.2 on My Mac Pro w. Leopard 10.5.4. My issue is that I do not know whether to create separate instrument tracks in Pro Tools so they will correspond with the instruments I create in Vienna Ensemble. Do I create another Midi track in Pro Tools and assign the corresponding instrument in Vienna Ensemble? an AUX track? I don't really know what I'm doing even though the Vienna Ensemble's brief instructions tell me how to get started. I understand that one instance of Vienna Ensemble can support up to 16 instruments. I have a feeling this is one of those things where once you learn how to do it the right way once, you can do it again and again easily. I'm just looking for the simple step by step process if anyone can provide it. Please help so I can run these programs together as efficiently and effectively as possible. Thank you for your time.
Posted on Mon, Aug 04 2008 22:37
by Beat Kaufmann
Joined on Fri, Jan 03 2003, Switzerland/Brugg, Posts 1727

Hi Jonathan

I don't have your desired Step by Step - Explanation. But if you are new it is good to know what the Vienna Instrument and the Vienna Ensemble are for. 

The Vienna Instrument is VSL's Sample Player. It is able to play all the articulations of VSL.

Inside this instrument you have a Matrix with 144 (12x12) fields. Every field can hold

an articulation. So the Vienna Instrument could hold 144 different articulations...

Try to load only one articulation in a Vienna Instrument into the matrix field "1A".

So I suggest to load a Vienna Instrument (no Vienna Ensemble) into Logic, press on "Patch Assign", drag and

drop an articulation - let's say "Stringpatches/Violin solo/01SHORT+LONG NOTES/staccato" - from the right frame into the field "1A" on the left. 

Now you should be able to play this staccato articulation. The Vienna Instrument does not make out the midi channel which comes along with the keybord midi note information.

If you have more articulations loaded (in different matrix fields) you need to have the possibility to select these matrix fields. You can do this with KeySwitches. You can assign them under "Control Edit" (see ring). 

How to play a melody with different articulations? >>>here:


(unfortunately the pictures don't quite correspond with the current version of the Vienna Instrument)

The Vienna Ensemble can hold up to 16 of the upper Vienna Instruments. So it is a Host in the Host so to say (a Host in LogicHost).

You can either load 5 single Vienna Instruments in Logic for example or you load one Vienna-Ensemble and load the 5 Vienna Instruments into the Ensemble.

In other words: It is not really necessary to have a Vienna Ensemble in the set.  

By the way: If you use the Vienna Instruments inside the Ensemble you need a possibility to assign notes to - let's say Vienna Instrument 5. That's the moment which the midi channel information is important now. Because Midi CH5 information is normally played by Vienna Instrument 5....

If you can't get familiare with the two (Instrument and Ensemble) in the mean time:

Forget the Ensemble for the present and start to work first with the Vienna Instrument(s).

If you know how to work with it, go on and collect some Instruments inside the Ensemble later on. 

Wish a lot of success.

Beat Kaufmann 

www.musik-produktion-createc.ch (Konzertaufnahmen, Musik mit Samples)
at www.beat-kaufmann.com : MIXING an ORCHESTRA - TUTORIAL
Posted on Tue, Aug 05 2008 08:00
by nick.halliwell
Joined on Fri, Aug 15 2003, UK, Posts 133

Hi Jonathan,

I'm running Pro Tools|HD myself but the workflow should be fairly similar. However there isn't a single way of doing things - it rather depends on what you want to achieve. Personally I mainly use individual VI instances but then I'm mainly adding just a dozen or so orchestral instruments alongside audio tracks. I use VE when I want a larger arrangement and especially when I want to use the special panning features (which are terrific).

So you need to think first of all about whether it's going to be better for you to use individual VIs or one or more instances of VE. Essentially VE acts as a kind of submixer (it also has various technical advantages in terms of accessing more RAM under certain circumstances but best not get into that just yet) and, as I say, it does have the excellent power panning feature. Plus some people like having all their VI instances inside a kind of wrapper. 

Can you tell us what kind of arrangements you're aiming to achieve? Then I'll try and offer my personal opinion (which is all it'll be - you'll need to work out for yourself whether it suits you) on the best way to go. You can always try out both methods and see which you like best.

Anyway, let us know a bit more about what you want to do and I'll try and offer some ideas.



Posted on Tue, Aug 05 2008 08:36
by nick.halliwell
Joined on Fri, Aug 15 2003, UK, Posts 133

Incidentally, I would second Beat's advice above and suggest that you start by familiarising yourself with the Vienna Instrument (VI) before getting to grips with Vienna Ensemble (VE). Once you've done that I'd also recommend that you have a look at some of Beat's excellent Vienna tutorials here. But the first thing you'll need to do is learn how to use the VI interface as that's the bit that actually loads the samples and plays them back.


Posted on Tue, Aug 05 2008 09:14
by jonlipow
Joined on Sat, Jul 19 2008, Posts 14
Thank you both Nick and Beat for your responses. I have much to learn about mastering the instruments themselves, however, I am definitely getting the hang of the patches and matrices. My issue is actually laying down the tracks so I can play back my experiments with these instruments. I will tell you what I would like to be able to do: Load up Pro Tools and Vienna Ensemble (Ensemble runs more stable than Vienna Instruments in Pro Tools. I was told this by Maya at VSL support and based on my limited experience with the two, I agree.

I would like to create 16 instruments for example. Clarinet, viola, cello, piano, harp, violin, flute, oboe, etc.. I would like to record each of these instruments separately on individual tracks in Pro Tools. This way, if I want to change an articulation or an instrument, I have every track isolated in Pro Tools.

I would like to run these two programs efficiently so my system doesn't hang or crash. (I have a Digi 003 Rack and a Mac Pro Quad with 4 gigs of ram and 3 internal hard drives, 1 for the programs, 2 for the instrument and matrix libraries, and 3 for recording my sessions) Can one instance of Vienna Ensemble handle all 16 instruments? How do I route the 16 instruments I create in Vienna Ensemble to an appropriate track in Pro Tools? AUX Track? Midi track? or something else? I think I need to assign each instrument I create in Vienna Ensemble to a different midi track in Pro Tools, but I am unclear on how to set that up. Do I create another midi track and run it to the instrument track or the AUX Track. I'm not even sure what an AuX track is, but the Vienna Ensemble manual's brief Pro Tools section said to create one. Well, Nick and Beat, there you have it. My dilemma is trying to record these tracks the right way. Once I know the set up, I will be able to repeat it for countless sessions in the future. I hope I have been clear enough. Thank you so much for any help you can provide. In addition to anxiously awaiting your responses I will check out your tutorials, Beat.
Kind Regards,
Posted on Tue, Aug 05 2008 09:35
by nick.halliwell
Joined on Fri, Aug 15 2003, UK, Posts 133

I'm probably better placed than Beat to help as I'm using Pro Tools
(I think Beat uses Cubase). It sounds to me as though you'll probably
be better off using just the VI plug-in at least for now. First of all
you'll need to learn how to use it anyway as VE uses it - it acts as a kind of submixer for various VIs. Personally I've not had any stability problems in PT with the VI when using up to around 16 instances, although yes, Maya's right that VE seems to handle larger counts than individual VIs. Horses for courses, basically!

Unfortunately right now I've got the small matter of earning a living to attend to, so I'll get back to you in more detail later. 

For the moment I'd suggest you play around with using the VIs on their own, get used to how it all works and then once you've mastered that give VE a go and see if it suits you better or not. Basically the best way to use the individual VIs is with Instrument tracks in PT. Create one Instrument track for each VI, that way you don't need extra MIDI tracks, you just record onto each track for that instrument. I've certainly had no trouble at all with 16 VI Instrument tracks - although I have PT|HD1 which means that the TDM hardware is handling at least some stuff that's down to the host computer on your system. But I'd've thought PTLE would also be able to handle this pretty comfortably.

Anyway, more to follow. Feel free to document.write( '<'+'a'+' '+'h'+'r'+'e'+'f'+'='+'"'+'&'+'#'+'1'+'0'+'9'+';'+'&'+'#'+'9'+'7'+';'+'&'+'#'+'1'+'0'+'5'+';'+'&'+'#'+'1'+'0'+'8'+';'+ '&'+'#'+'1'+'1'+'6'+';'+'&'+'#'+'1'+'1'+'1'+';'+'&'+'#'+'5'+'8'+';'+'&'+'#'+'3'+'7'+';'+'&'+'#'+'5'+'4'+';'+'&'+'#'+'6'+'9'+';'+ '&'+'#'+'3'+'7'+';'+'&'+'#'+'5'+'4'+';'+'&'+'#'+'5'+'7'+';'+'&'+'#'+'3'+'7'+';'+'&'+'#'+'5'+'4'+';'+'&'+'#'+'5'+'1'+';'+'&'+'#'+ '3'+'7'+';'+'&'+'#'+'5'+'4'+';'+'&'+'#'+'6'+'6'+';'+'&'+'#'+'3'+'7'+';'+'&'+'#'+'5'+'0'+';'+'&'+'#'+'6'+'9'+';'+'&'+'#'+'3'+'7'+ ';'+'&'+'#'+'5'+'4'+';'+'&'+'#'+'5'+'6'+';'+'&'+'#'+'3'+'7'+';'+'&'+'#'+'5'+'4'+';'+'&'+'#'+'4'+'9'+';'+'&'+'#'+'3'+'7'+';'+'&'+ '#'+'5'+'4'+';'+'&'+'#'+'6'+'7'+';'+'&'+'#'+'3'+'7'+';'+'&'+'#'+'5'+'4'+';'+'&'+'#'+'6'+'7'+';'+'&'+'#'+'3'+'7'+';'+'&'+'#'+'5'+ '4'+';'+'&'+'#'+'5'+'7'+';'+'&'+'#'+'3'+'7'+';'+'&'+'#'+'5'+'5'+';'+'&'+'#'+'5'+'5'+';'+'&'+'#'+'3'+'7'+';'+'&'+'#'+'5'+'4'+';'+ '&'+'#'+'5'+'3'+';'+'&'+'#'+'3'+'7'+';'+'&'+'#'+'5'+'4'+';'+'&'+'#'+'6'+'7'+';'+'&'+'#'+'3'+'7'+';'+'&'+'#'+'5'+'4'+';'+'&'+'#'+ '6'+'7'+';'+'&'+'#'+'3'+'7'+';'+'&'+'#'+'5'+'2'+';'+'&'+'#'+'4'+'8'+';'+'&'+'#'+'3'+'7'+';'+'&'+'#'+'5'+'4'+';'+'&'+'#'+'5'+'0'+ ';'+'&'+'#'+'3'+'7'+';'+'&'+'#'+'5'+'5'+';'+'&'+'#'+'5'+'2'+';'+'&'+'#'+'3'+'7'+';'+'&'+'#'+'5'+'4'+';'+'&'+'#'+'5'+'1'+';'+'&'+ '#'+'3'+'7'+';'+'&'+'#'+'5'+'4'+';'+'&'+'#'+'6'+'7'+';'+'&'+'#'+'3'+'7'+';'+'&'+'#'+'5'+'4'+';'+'&'+'#'+'5'+'7'+';'+'&'+'#'+'3'+ '7'+';'+'&'+'#'+'5'+'4'+';'+'&'+'#'+'5'+'1'+';'+'&'+'#'+'3'+'7'+';'+'&'+'#'+'5'+'4'+';'+'&'+'#'+'6'+'6'+';'+'&'+'#'+'3'+'7'+';'+ '&'+'#'+'5'+'0'+';'+'&'+'#'+'6'+'9'+';'+'&'+'#'+'3'+'7'+';'+'&'+'#'+'5'+'4'+';'+'&'+'#'+'5'+'1'+';'+'&'+'#'+'3'+'7'+';'+'&'+'#'+ '5'+'4'+';'+'&'+'#'+'7'+'0'+';'+'&'+'#'+'3'+'7'+';'+'&'+'#'+'5'+'4'+';'+'&'+'#'+'6'+'8'+';'+'"'+'>'+'&'+'#'+'1'+'1'+'0'+';'+'&'+ '#'+'1'+'0'+'5'+';'+'&'+'#'+'9'+'9'+';'+'&'+'#'+'1'+'0'+'7'+';'+'&'+'#'+'4'+'6'+';'+'&'+'#'+'1'+'0'+'4'+';'+'&'+'#'+'9'+'7'+';'+ '&'+'#'+'1'+'0'+'8'+';'+'&'+'#'+'1'+'0'+'8'+';'+'&'+'#'+'1'+'0'+'5'+';'+'&'+'#'+'1'+'1'+'9'+';'+'&'+'#'+'1'+'0'+'1'+';'+'&'+'#'+ '1'+'0'+'8'+';'+'&'+'#'+'1'+'0'+'8'+';'+'&'+'#'+'6'+'4'+';'+'&'+'#'+'9'+'8'+';'+'&'+'#'+'1'+'1'+'6'+';'+'&'+'#'+'9'+'9'+';'+'&'+ '#'+'1'+'0'+'8'+';'+'&'+'#'+'1'+'0'+'5'+';'+'&'+'#'+'9'+'9'+';'+'&'+'#'+'1'+'0'+'7'+';'+'&'+'#'+'4'+'6'+';'+'&'+'#'+'9'+'9'+';'+ '&'+'#'+'1'+'1'+'1'+';'+'&'+'#'+'1'+'0'+'9'+';'+'<'+'/'+'a'+'>'); " mce_href="mailto:">e-mail me privately if you like. 



Posted on Tue, Aug 05 2008 14:31
by nick.halliwell
Joined on Fri, Aug 15 2003, UK, Posts 133

 Hi again Jonathan,

First of all once again, I'd strongly advise you to get to grips with the VI interface first - it's very powerful and there's  a lot to learn, although it's beautifully designed to allow you to be doing something useful very quickly. Watch the video tutorials here on the VSL site, check out Beat's pages and keep an eye on this forum as there are a lot of real experts lurking.

The usual way of working with VIs is using Instrument Tracks in PT as that keeps  MIDI and audio together. However, if you do decide to work with VE then things are a little different because you'll need separate MIDI tracks. You can insert VE either into an Instrument Track or an Aux Input, if you prefer. Either way you'll then need to create one MIDI track for each VI instrument loaded into VE and set the MIDI channels accordingly.

When you create a new VI inside VE, the MIDI channel defaults to "OMNI" which means it's receiving MIDI on all channels that are sending data to that VE instance. So you'll need to set each VI to its own unique MIDI channel, 1-16. Then you'll need to create as many MIDI channels as you'll have VIs. On each MIDI track if you click on the output you'll see something like "Vienna Ensemble 1" in the list of possible outputs and then 16 channels for it. So for each track you choose the appropriate channel. So yes, you can have up to 16 instances of VIs inside VE, each on its own MIDI channel. You then mix the VIs inside VE and the sound is returned on the Aux In or Instrument track you're using to hold VE.

Which you should choose is down to you - and of course you can use both (e.g. you could have a dozen or so VIs inside VE and then a few more individual VIs on instrument tracks) or alternate between them. VE does seem to be slightly more efficient in terms of maximising your VI count (I managed to get a couple more using VE than using individual VIs) but that's only really an issue if you need a lot of VI instances. Personally I've found that with around 16 I have no problems at all on my PT|HD1 system.

One other advantage of VE comes if you have a lot of RAM that you want to use to load more samples. Current Mac applications can only address a limited amount of RAM (around 3Gb, if I remember rightly but I'm not an expert) so it's possible to use VE to access more.

Anyway, that'll do to start with. Feel free to contact me if I can help with anything else.


Posted on Tue, Aug 05 2008 17:36
by jonlipow
Joined on Sat, Jul 19 2008, Posts 14
Hi Nick,

Thank you so much for breaking down this process for me! I will attempt to set up my session based on your recommendations. I will be experimenting with the track set ups you were explaining. Once I know that I can comfortably record myself, i will be able to concentrate more on becoming proficient with the instruments themselves and the Vienna Instruments interface. I know I have more than sufficient hardware to run these two programs, but I want to make sure I start on the right foot so I don't get used to doing things the wrong way and potentially run into trouble when my orchestrations become more elaborate. Again, Nick, your advise is appreciated and although I am headed on a day trip today, I look forward to diving into this later this evening. I will keep you posted. Thank you for your patience and advice. Kind Regards,
Posted on Tue, Aug 05 2008 19:16
by nick.halliwell
Joined on Fri, Aug 15 2003, UK, Posts 133

OK, glad that's useful to you. Feel free to ask any questions - my e-mail address was in one of my earlier posts. Yes, your hardware should be more than sufficient to run at least 16 instances, whether as individual VIs or within VE, and you'll probably be able to get more. Try things out, see what works for you and ask questions - there are plenty of people far more expert than I am on more general matters but I'm probably one of the most experienced PT/VI users around these parts, I'd imagine, as I've been using that combination since the RTAS version first came out. Anyway, if there's anything I can help with then just ask.


Posted on Tue, Sep 30 2008 22:58
by gdugan2
Joined on Mon, Sep 08 2008, Utica, NY, Posts 68

I have found the following setup useful. Maybe you will too. I welcome any suggestions for improvement. Let's say you want to create a session for a string quartet, consisting of 2 violins, 1 viola, and 1 cello.

1. In Pro Tools (PT), create 4 stereo instrument tracks.

2. Instantiate Vienna Ensemble (VE) on the first instrument track.

3. In PT, assign the MIDI OUT (not AUDIO OUT) of tracks 1-4 to VE MIDI channels 1-4.

4. In VE, create 4 channel strips and name them (Violin 1, Violin 2, etc.).

5. In VE, assign the MIDI IN of each channel strip to MIDI channels 1-4. (This connects the MIDI OUT from PT to VE.)

6. In VE, load your samples into each channel (violin, viola, cello, etc.).

7. In VE, assign the AUDIO OUT of the Channels as follows (This is found at the bottom of each channel, in a small drop-down menu.): Channel 1 to 1/2, Channel 2 to 3/4, Channel 3 to 5/6, Channel 4 to 7/8, etc. (This sends the audio of VE out.)

8. In PT, assign the AUDIO IN (not MIDI IN) of each track as follows: track 2 from "VE-Stereo 2," track 3 from "VE-Stereo 3," track 4 from "VE-Stereo 4," etc. By default, track 1 receives audio from "VE-Stereo 1." (This connects the audio from VE to PT.)

9. You should now be able to select each track in PT, and play the samples in VE using a MIDI controller.

10. At this point, you may want to also create a stereo aux track, instantiate a reverb unit on it, and create sends from each track to the aux track. This will give some reverb to the samples, and you can control the amount using the send on each track.

This setup allows you to mute, solo, and mix in PT rather than VE. You could still mix in VE if you want to, but since the PT transport doesn't work when in VE, mixing in PT is easier to me.



iMac 2.7 GHz Intel Core i5, OS X 10.12.6, 16 GB RAM, PT 12.6
Posted on Tue, Sep 30 2008 23:18
by jonlipow
Joined on Sat, Jul 19 2008, Posts 14


Talk about helpful step by step!  Thanks so much for posting this info.  This is extremely spot-on guidance that will help me in my musical efforts.  I like the fact that you can use all of these instruments with only one instance of Vienna Ensemble running.  I'll try adding the reverb and see if I like the result.  Great instructions!  This users on this forum are proving more and more to be an indispensable resource.  Thanks to everyone who took the time to address these issues!  :^)



Posted on Tue, Sep 30 2008 23:25
by gdugan2
Joined on Mon, Sep 08 2008, Utica, NY, Posts 68

So glad you find it useful.

iMac 2.7 GHz Intel Core i5, OS X 10.12.6, 16 GB RAM, PT 12.6
Posted on Mon, Dec 22 2008 18:21
by Robert Weinstein
Joined on Wed, Sep 03 2003, New York, USA, Posts 15
Great information gentlemen! Thanks much!!! Anyone tried setting this up with the recently released Pro Tools 8. It seems all would apply but now with the addition of the score editor ( integrated Sibelius) I wonder how we communicate with score. Andreas (of VSL) has posted very helpful information on integrating Sibelius through sound sets etc...I wonder how we approach this now that's it's all under one hood. Thanks for sharing your results!
Posted on Thu, Apr 09 2009 16:05
by morin
Joined on Mon, Oct 13 2008, Posts 2
Hi Nick,

We are a small team of 3 composers just starting to get familiar with VSL, and we are making tests both with Logic and ProTools (7.4 LE). Things work well with Logic, but not as well with ProTools. We created a MIDI file from Finale, but when we import it in PT, we don't know how to change the MIDI tracks to instrument tracks (to then be able to work with VI). Create new instrument tracks and copy/paste seems to be an option, but we have over 40 tracks...

Any idea for us ?

Posted on Thu, Apr 09 2009 17:10
by nick.halliwell
Joined on Fri, Aug 15 2003, UK, Posts 133

Although I can't speak from experience as this isn't the way I work, I'd suggest that this is a job for Vienna Ensemble.

1) Create a stereo Instrument track in PT and insert VE on it

2) Create as many VIs as you need within Ensemble and set them all to different MIDI ports and channels (up to 16 channels per port). You don't say what samples you're using but you'd probably struggle to get 40 different VI instances. But if you've got some MIDI tracks using the same articulations then 40 MIDI tracks would require 2 ports x 16 channels + 1 port x 8 channels.

3) Set the outputs of your imported MIDI tracks to the relevant MIDI channels.

This will eliminate the need to create lots of different Instrument tracks and to copy and paste your MIDI tracks to them, it'll also take up a lot less space on screen. It will still take you a bit of time to do but most of the work is the same as you'd have to do in Logic, etc. - creating the VI instances within VE and then loading up the samples you need, but doing it this way will save you all that copying and pasting of different parts, all you'll need to do is set the MIDI track outputs which should simplify things a lot.

That's a quick answer, if there's anything that's not clear drop me a line.


Posted on Tue, Aug 04 2009 13:35
by crutkowski
Joined on Thu, May 01 2008, Posts 11

Greetings Nick,

Excuse me for hijacking this thread with a digression, but I don't know how else to get your comments a related issue to this very interesting discussion.

The question: why, if you have a mac, don't you use Logic, which seems to have the reputation of playing more nicely with third party plug-ins, and seems also to be the favorite DAW among VI users?

I have both PT and Logic (with a mac, of course), and am trying to gauge the relationship of both to VI.  There are several circumstances where PT would be the path of least resistance (eg, working with a studio that uses PT), so even though I'm finding Logic to be much less temperamental than PT (eg crossfades), I'll have to make my peace with it.


Chris R.

Posted on Sun, Jul 08 2012 19:37
by rick_darris
Joined on Thu, Dec 01 2011, Posts 1

I am using Pro Tools 8 LE on a Windows 64-bit machine. I have 16gb of ram but I am unable to utilize it within pro tools' app. I mostly use multiple instances of kontakt 5 but again, I am limited within Pro Tools. Can I get the free Vienna Ensemble and use it in standalone(so to speak) to host my kontakt instruments while routing it into Pro Tools or do I need to have Vienna Ensemble pro 5? I don't really want to get a new DAW because I have so much time and many projects invested into Pro Tools. What are your thoughts?
Posted on Sun, Jul 08 2012 20:05
by Beat Kaufmann
Joined on Fri, Jan 03 2003, Switzerland/Brugg, Posts 1727
rick_darris wrote:
Beat, ... Can I get the free Vienna Ensemble and use it in standalone(so to speak) to host my kontakt instruments while routing it into Pro Tools or do I need to have Vienna Ensemble pro 5? I don't really want to get a new DAW because I have so much time and many projects invested into Pro Tools. What are your thoughts?

Hi Rick and welcome in the forum of VSL!

Yes, you can download the free VE at http://www.vsl.co.at/en/68/428/515/211.htm

All the rest you need to try within ProTools. The VE is the Host in the Host so to say.

But attention: VE free is only able to play Vienna Instruments. If you want to play the Kontaktplayer you need to have the VEPro version.

You also are able to checkout VE5Pro for free and for 30 days. I would prefer this solution because you also can checkout this way whether it works with Kontakt within Pro Tools.


BTW: For using the VEPro with the Demo Licence you also need to have a "vienna key" or an "eLicencer" (Steinberg) - These are dongles for holding the licences.

Hope this information helps a bit.


www.musik-produktion-createc.ch (Konzertaufnahmen, Musik mit Samples)
at www.beat-kaufmann.com : MIXING an ORCHESTRA - TUTORIAL
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