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Loading Sibelius with correct Vienna Ensemble
Last post Wed, Apr 29 2020 by Northfield, 5 replies.
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Posted on Mon, Apr 20 2020 11:08
by Northfield
Joined on Fri, Mar 13 2020, Posts 12

I am new to VSL and Vienna Ensemble and am confused by the auto-launching of Vienna Ensemble and a few other things so sorry for the list but I cannot find answesr to these questions elsewhere:

1) When I launch Sibelius it will automatically launch Vienna Ensemble unless a different Playback device is set as default in Sibelius (it launces VE even if no default device is selected). This would not be a problem if it launhced the correct VE, but it doesn't. When I created the VE for this project I loaded all the required instruments then tweaked settings a bit and saved the instrument. But when I launch Sibelius it loads the basic VE with all the instruments but not my actual saved version. It is a big project so the VE takes 5 minutes to load and then I have to open the actual VE I want which takes another 5 minutes? How do I get the VE I actually want to load when launching Sibelius?

2) Is it possible to change instruments within a stave in Sibelius and for this to be recognised by VE? For example changing from Violin I to Solo violin? This is normally how it would be written in a score. At the moment the only way I can see how to do this is by having a separate stave for everything. This also seems to apply to percussion where every instrument also needs its own correctly labelled stave e.g. China Cymbal and Crash Cymbal on different staves. This can make a score unnecessarily large. Is there a way to combine percussion instruments on the same stave and get VE to change instrument accordingly? Other sample software allows this approach.

3) What is the process of MIDI channel allocation within the Sibelius mixer when communicating with VSL? When I created the session, all instruments are allocated there own midi channel in Sibelius set-up which of course corresponds to the channels of the instruments set in VE. After all this is done and all seems to be working fine I check the Sibelius mixer and for the most part all instruments are on their own midi channel. But not all - for some reason a few instrument pairs are on the same channel (e.g. clarinets) and I don't know why. Does it matter? I don't know but normaly, if midi channels are shared then certain fucntions become locked together and this would not be desirable for two separate instruments. I assume I could change the channel but sometimes I notice this messes other channel up.

4) This may beyond the remit of this board but nothing ventured etc... I do not have VLS piano samples so am using another pack (Garrtian Orchestra in Kontakt 5) for working in an orchestral score that includes piano. Unfortunately this causes conflict with Sibelius score markings when using the VSL House Style. For example, when I put a down bow marking on any of the VI Strings, it causes Sibelius / Kontakt to load Garritan string patches and to start using them rather than VSL! There are other anomolies like this too. Is this just something I have to live with?

Posted on Tue, Apr 21 2020 07:18
by andi
Joined on Wed, Feb 18 2004, Vienna, Posts 3221

Hello Northfield!

Here are the answers to your questions.

1.) You can set up what Sibelius loads on starting in the Sibelius Preferences under Playback. I personally prefer the following settings there:

When starting Sibelius, load this playback configuration:
General MIDI (basic)

Opening Files:
Let me choose whether to change to the new configuration

2.) How to switch between solo and ensemble is explained in the "Optimizing Sibelius Playback" manual, page 33.

For percussion always use the dedicated percussion instruments from the Sibelius "Add or Remove Instruments" menu (like "Triangle") and make instrument changes where needed. Don't forget to reserve a channel on the Manual Sound Sets page and in Vienna Ensemble for all instruments on one staff.

3.) It can have different reasons why instruments don't play on the correct channel. All reasons that I know of are listed in the Troubleshooting chapter of the "Optimizing Sibelius Playback" manual.

4.) Maybe it helps setting up Vienna Ensemble as preferred device for strings in the Sibelius menu Playback Devices/Preferred Sounds.

Best regards,

Andreas Olszewski
Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Sun, Apr 26 2020 17:36
by Northfield
Joined on Fri, Mar 13 2020, Posts 12

Thanks Andi.

I got most of this to work now though not 1). Yes I can get the Instances to load automatically or when prompted but not the ones I save from Vienna Ensemble player itself. For example on one Instance ('Strings') I tweaked the individual instrument volume faders and added in a plugin on the main output and saved this as a named Project. When I load the configuration either when Sibelius launches or later, it loads the instances fine with all the right instruments and indeed some custom volume settings I had made earlier (e.g. a different main output volume) but not the ones I saved as a Project nor the plugin. How is it it remebers these earlier tweaks? In all honesty I don't really know the difference between a Project and Instance and the documentation is not very clear about this. The name I give to the Project is the name that appears on the Instance when I load the Project.  But when I load the configuration this name is not there. I don't understand this. The basic point is that it never loads my saved named modified Instance (saved as a Project) automatically.

The only way round this I found was to interupt the loading of the instances and load the saved Project instead. If I do this when it starts it seems to change to it without fuss or loss of time. If I do it when all the Instances are done, then it loads the entire lot from scratch again. What I want it to do is load the save projct from the start. This is becoming more important as I want to make modifcations to the two other instance as well.


Posted on Mon, Apr 27 2020 07:49
by andi
Joined on Wed, Feb 18 2004, Vienna, Posts 3221

Hello Northfiled!

There is a difference between a Vienna Ensemble project and a Sibelius Playback Configuration.

- A Vienna Ensemble project saves all settings in one Vienna Ensemble instance. It can only be loaded in Vienna Ensemble and not by any other software (like Sibelius).

- A Sibelius Playback Configuration saves all settings in all currently loaded plugins in Sibelius. If you always save the Sibelius Playback Configuration after you have made changes in Vienna Ensemble, your project should load the assigned Sibelius Playback Configuration (inclung Vienna Ensemble settings) in its latest state.

Best regards,

Andreas Olszewski
Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Wed, Apr 29 2020 17:30
by Northfield
Joined on Fri, Mar 13 2020, Posts 12

Yes, many thanks - it worked. I think the confusing thing is that the Sibelius configuration doesn't look like it needs saving, but it does!

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