It was suggested to me by the powers that be here at Tapspace that I should share the setup that I use with Sonar 4 as a host. I know some of the windows users (the few of us here that still exist), have Sonar. But, I was led to believe that some folks might not realize that it can be used as your host program for running multiple instances of VDL2 and other VSTs., DXIs etc. etc. We all know that Sonar is a powerful sequencing/mixing program that is great for tweaking your projects when the writing phase is over, but here is how you can utilize it during the writing process as well. The following process is being explained using Sonar 4 Studio Ed., Sibelius 4, VDL2 and Maple Midi. Obviously there might be a few slight adjustments for different versions or which virtual midi cable you are using. Furthermore, this explanation assumes some knowledge of the subject! Anything that might need clarifying, feel free to contact me!
1. Open Sonar 2. On the ";quick start"; menu click on ";create a new project"; 3. In the ";new project file"; menu click on ";blank (no tracks or buses)"; 4. On the left side of the screen where the ";rack"; is, right click and choose ";insert midi track";. Repeat this process until the number of midi tracks match the number of staves in your Sibelius score. 5. At this point I find it very handy to re-name each track to correspond to its part in the score. (i.e. change track 1 to ";flute";) 6. The next thing you are going to do is load VDL2 and any other virtual instruments you may be using. In the tool bar click on the icon that says ";DXI";. This will bring up the ";synth rack";. This is where you have access to VDL2. Click on the plus sign and VDL2 should appear somehere in the drop-down menu. Find it and click on it. This brings up an options window. Check the following boxes: ";first synth output";, synth property page"; and ";synth rack view";. UNcheck all others. The VDL2 interface appears. This also creates a DXI track under your midi tracks. You can now load your instruments into VDL2 as normal. After you do this, close the VDL2 interface to get it out of your way. NOTE--It is NOT going away when you do this. You can bring it back by simply double clicking it in the synth rack. 7. Repeat step 6 until you have all instances of VDL2 that you need loaded and setup with instruments. Note that each virtual instrument that you load into the synth rack will bring up a new DXI track underneath all of your midi tracks 8. At this point, if you have not already done so, open the sibelius project that you are working on or beginning, or whatever. (as always--make sure you are using VDL2 templates) 9. Now, back in sonar, you need to set all of the inputs and outputs for each track. Open the first track to view its properties. Click on the input. This brings up a drop-down menu. Go to Maple Midi Port 1 and select channel 1. Now click on the output. Another drop-down menu appears. Select the ";instance"; of VDL2 that this particular track/instrument is loaded into. (Each instance that you have loaded into sonar will appear in this menu. It will say Virtual Drumline 2 1 and then Virtual Drumline 2 2 and so on) Now click on the channel. Set this to which ";slot"; you have that particular instrument loaded into that instance of VDL 2. 10. Now back to sibelius. Pull up the mixer window by pressing M, and highlight that instrument of your score. In the device drop down menu select Maple Midi Port 1, and then select channel 1. NOTE--FOR EACH SEPERATE INSTANCE OF VDL2, YOU WILL USE A DIFFERENT MAPLE MIDI PORT. For example, if you are using instance 2 for your keyboard instruments, and it comes time to set those ins and outs, you would select maple midi port 2 and so on. Don't worry what it says in the ";sound"; window, if everything is set right you should now be able hear that instrument. To test it, just click on a note or input something with your midi keyboard. If you don't hear anything, check your speaker or monitors and/or check everything in steps 9 and 10. Make sure that you pay attention to every tiny little thing. Those of us in the midi world know that one little setting that is wrong can create big problems. It can be frustrating, and it is usually something very simple that is wrong. Make sure that the channel in the sibelius mixer corresponds to the INPUT channel in the track properties in sonar. Make sure that you have the correct ";instance"; of VDL 2 selected in the OUTPUT. AND make sure that in the ";channel"; menu you have selected the channel that corresponds to where THAT instrument is loaded into THAT instance. (snare being 1, tenor being 2 etc. etc.) AND make sure that the input echo icon is selected green. This is the little icon next to the ";R"; on each track. 11. Repeat steps 9 and 10 until all tracks have been set. REMEMBER--once you have done all 8 instruments in instance 1, you will then use Maple Midi Port 2 and so on. 12. When you have done all of this SAVE this as a project. That way ALL of your settings are saved in one Sonar project and the next time you go write, all you have to do is open that sonar project and ALL OF THE ABOVE is opened. Remember to save your settings in sibelius as well. 13. Minimize Sonar and just let it run in the backgound and go to town with your writing. You will only need to bring it up again if you need to change settings or instruments etc. etc.
I don't think that I missed anything, but I am a human being and may have screwed something up in the steps or worded something confusing. If anything needs clarifying, do not hesitate to send me a message or post a question on the board I hope this can be of help to VDL2 users out there.