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Baffling issues with playback in Sibelius
Last post Mon, Jun 27 2016 by andi, 4 replies.
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Posted on Sun, Jun 26 2016 01:09
by googoo
Joined on Thu, May 19 2011, Posts 7


I've been fiddling with this for hours now and reading other forum questions about this but I am now stumped.

I am attempting to set up playback of a number of VSL instruments in Sibelius - I have seemingly done everything I need and still I am getting staccato playback of, for example, the loaded oboes (1 and 2). The score has minums and I'm getting short staccato notes meaning that the score is not being read properly by Vienna Ensemble Pro.
I gave up trying to use the individual soundsets together and reduced everything to play back via the Special Edition soundset and have rempoved the big sets samples and loaded the instruments from the Special Editions. (I have updated all the soundsets with the lastest software from VSL.)
I've been getting the classic lack of two instruments, both on separate channels, playing back without muting the other.
I'm getting one oboe not playing notes above a certain range even though the loaded sample in Vienna Ensemble has those pitches, and they are well within the oboe range (they play back fine using Sibelius' own sounds)

'Use same slot for different instruments' is unchecked - as it is by default anyway. So that doesn't explain it.

Oboe 1 and 2 have different midi channels both on the Playback Devices page, Sibelius' mixer, and Vienna Ensemble itself.

Writing legato in Sibelius as an expression doesn't work - and it would be bizarre to have to write legato at the start of a score to get sustaining notes anyhow - the note value (an adagio minum!) should surely send some kind of message to Vienna Ensemble to trigger a sus sample!

Utterly baffled here. Playback in Cubase with the same midi file doesn't have these issues (there are other ones, of course) - so why is it so complicated to get a reasonable playback with VSL in Sibelius.


On a related matter - if an instrument doesn't have a soundset, such as the Cembalo, what to do then? Should one not select any VSL soundset in Sibelius' Playback Devices?

Posted on Sun, Jun 26 2016 09:53
by andi
Joined on Wed, Feb 18 2004, Vienna, Posts 3220

Hello googoo!

It can have different reasons why articulation changes don't work as supposed. You have written that you have set MIDI channels in the Sibelius mixer. Generally it is recommended to leave the output device and channel settings in the Sibelius mixer alone. Making settings there can mess up the playback. If you have already made settings there or are not sure, reset all outputs in the Sibelius mixer to (Auto).

Further help on troubles like this can be found in the Troubleshooting chapter of the "Optimizing Sibelius Playback" manual.

The Cembalo can be used with the Special Edition or Special Edition PLUS sound set.

Best regards,

Andreas Olszewski
Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Sun, Jun 26 2016 20:16
by googoo
Joined on Thu, May 19 2011, Posts 7

 thanks for the reply.

I have reset everything on the Sibelius mixer to Auto.

Here's the trouble: On Vienna Ensemble Pro I have loaded 'Preset Oboes'  from Special Editions and set it to midi channel 1 for Oboe 1

I have also loaded 'Preset Oboes' into another channel and set it to midi channel 2 for Oboe 2

After resetting the Sibelius mixer to Auto and then pressing play the mixer converts the values from unallocated to midi 3 for Oboe 1 and midi 1 for Oboe 2. (the bassoon beneath them, set to midi 3 on Vienna Ensemble Pro gets set to midi 3 too)

The instruments are set to the stac sample during playback for some reason even though it is minims in the Sibelius score.

Also, Oboe 1, when soloed for playback, doesn't seem to be playing the correct sample or instrument and it won't trigger any notes above d (4th treble line) even though I can trigger them by clicking on the Vienna Ensemble Pro with my mouse.

I have looked through the Optimising Sibelius manual but I can't see any solution to the above oddness.

Also, I have a very quiet horn in playback - I'm trying to set the Expression level above 90 as suggested in the manual but the fade instantly moves beneath it on playback - which is odd as there is as yet no dynamic markings in the score so not sure why Vienna Ensemble Pro is doing that.

So lots of problems. Any solutions?



Posted on Mon, Jun 27 2016 08:08
by andi
Joined on Wed, Feb 18 2004, Vienna, Posts 3220

Hello googoo!

Our sound sets for Sibelius can only work correctly with the according VI presets loaded from the folder PRESET/Sibelius. Did you load a preset from that folder? Which one exactly and which sound set do you use?

If the Expression fader gets controlled by CC11 it will jump up and down according to your dynamics. That's why it is set to CC12 by default in the VI presets for Sibelius.

If you still can't get it to work, you can send your score and playback configuration (xml file and data folder) to and I will take a look at your files.

Depending on the OS you are using, Sibelius playback configurations can be found in one of the following folders:

Users\your username\AppData\Roaming\Avid\Sibelius\Playback Configurations

Mac OS X:
Users/your username/Library/Application Support/Avid/Sibelius/Playback Configurations
Under Mac OS X the Users/your username/Library folder is hidden by default. To get
access, go to the folder Users/your username. Then choose Go/Go to folder and enter “Library”.


Andreas Olszewski
Vienna Symphonic Library
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