NotePerformer 4.2 adds support for new sample libraries and more


NotePerformer, the popular playback solution from Wallander Instruments for Dorico, Finale, and Sibelius, has received an update to version 4.2. The update also includes revisions to NotePerformer Playback Engines (NPPE), with support for four new sample libraries.

Playback engines were the (literal) headline feature of the NotePerformer 4.0 release in May of this year. It added the ability to leverage NotePerformer’s longstanding intelligent interpretation system with popular sample libraries, alongside NotePerformer’s own impressive sounds. At the time Wallander Instruments promised support for more libraries in future NPPE updates, and that promise has been made good in 4.2.

NPPE screenshot showing new engines
Synchron and SYNCHRON-ized are two of the new playback engines supported by NotePerformer 4.2.

What’s new in NotePerformer 4.2

NotePerformer 4.2 newly includes support for the following sample libraries:

The addition of these new playback engines brings the total number to thirteen, and covers many of the most popular orchestra libraries. NotePerformer 4.2 is a free update to anyone with an existing NotePerformer license, and NotePerformer Playback Engines remain separate purchases, though there is a rather generous free trial for each engine that includes an unlimited number of one-hour sessions.

I want to make particular note of the Cine Series for Musio playback engine, as it is still a relatively new product from Cinesamples, having launched a little over a year ago in 2022. Musio is a subscription to Cinesamples libraries that also includes the new Musio player, rather than Kontakt. The subscription is reminiscent of EastWest’s ComposerCloud X and includes most of the Cinesamples’s well-loved libraries as well as many new ones that are exclusive to the new platform. The new Musio player requires the instrument libraries to be completely rebuilt, which is why it is a separate NPPE engine from the older Kontakt versions.

NPPE screenshot highlighting system resources for Musio engine
This orchestra template includes just about everything offered by the Musio Cine Samples except solo strings, and it’s still using only a little over 10GB of memory.

Musio’s new player is amazingly light and efficient, especially when compared to the Kontakt versions of the same instruments. Loading a large orchestra template in Musio’s NPPE engine consumes less than 13 GB of RAM for me. Additionally—and this felt pretty weird to me at first—Musio doesn’t expect the user to have downloaded an instrument before they start using it. When you select an instrument in Musio, or select a Musio instrument in NPPE, it is downloaded in the background, which means you may have to wait a bit the first time you load a large project on a new computer. (These download) You can download instruments ahead of time and manage your sample storage the way you would with any other sample library, but you don’t have to. In some ways, this is the perfect pairing to the set-it-and-forget-it paradigm of NotePerformer!

The Musio library and player are both works-in-progress, but Musio is pretty open about this, and you can see their roadmap of improvements. The complete version of CineStrings Pro was only released for Musio a few weeks ago, and many features like keyswitches and multiple microphone placements are still to come. Cinesamples hasn’t stated so explicitly, but I imagine that at some point in the future they will drop support for Kontakt in favor of their own player.

Screenshot of the Musio player
Musio allows the user to select from any of the libraries presented, even if they aren’t currently downloaded.




Reverb with verve

Another particularly notable addition to NPPE engines is the SYNCHRON-ized SE1 library. This isn’t the first Vienna Symphonic Library product to be supported by NotePerformer, but it is the first in VSL’s super-dry SYNCHRON-ized series. The other libraries in NPPE are wet—recorded in more live acoustic spaces—generally concert halls, and some amount of reverb is recorded along with them. Users can control the acoustic reverb by mixing the various microphone placements or using digital signal processing techniques. This makes it easy to create realistic performances, but can give up a lot of control of the overall sound and make it tricky to mix instruments recorded in different halls and with different mic placements.

Dry libraries, like SYNCHRON-ized SE1, are recorded in acoustically dead spaces (recording studios) and provide complete control over reverb to the user’s digital signal processing. With reverb power comes reverb responsibility, however. These dry instruments sound kind of terrible on their own! So implementing SYNCHRON-ized SE1, NPPE also adds a new system for imitating the mic placements in spaces that come with wet libraries. I hope that this is an indication that we will see more dry libraries—preferred by many users—added to NPPE in the future. It also strikes me that handling dry libraries would be one of several important steps toward supporting jazz and commercial music libraries, which tend not to be recorded in large acoustic cathedrals like orchestral libraries.

In addition to the attention-grabbing playback engine additions, there are a number of small but significant updates to things like panning, balance, and articulations. These small improvements are too specific to enumerate here, but it is worth mentioning them. Since the addition of NPPE, NotePerformer has to balance, both figuratively and acoustically, every combination of notation software, sample library software, and the samples themselves.

As is often the case with NotePerformer and Wallander Instruments, this is a quietly impressive update to a tool I use every day. It is exciting to see new libraries added to NPPE, especially newly developed libraries. I wrote in May that the most exciting thing about NotePerformer 4 “is the groundwork it lays for the future”. Just a few months after that, we are already seeing the benefits, and I suspect we will continue to see more.

Price and availability

NotePerformer 4 is currently free for all existing NotePerformer users, which includes access to all of NotePerformer’s own sounds. Current registered users can request a new download link at the NotePerformer web site, which will provide the user with the latest version of NotePerformer 4.

The latest edition of the version history is found by scrolling down to near the bottom of NotePerformer’s home page, or you can download it directly from this link.

Current NotePerformer users will only have to pay additionally if they want to use one of the supported sample libraries listed above. For each of those, NotePerformer offers a one-time purchase of between $59 and $89 per playback engine. Note that this is just the bit that connects to that other library of samples, which you will need to purchase separately.

If you don’t already have NotePerformer, a single-user license is the same price as it’s always been: $129 for a perpetual license. That one license gives you the ability to not only use it in Dorico, Sibelius, and Finale, but it also allows you to use it on as many computers that you personally use.

Further, NotePerformer offers a rent-to-own option, where you can rent it for $10.75 per month, and, once you’ve forked over a total of $129, it turns into a perpetual license, making this effectively an installment plan for those unwilling or unable to commit the entire cost of the product at once.

Finally, there is a 30-day trial available, which runs for one hour. You need to restart your notation software to keep using NotePerformer after one hour, if you’re in trial mode.


  1. Adrien de Croy

    For me the biggest improvement is in articulations and dynamics especially with legato. 4.0 and 4.1 had a few lumpy dynamics in legato sections, which under certain tempi could cause unpleasant effects.

    These are basically gone, and it’s now basically as smooth as one could want. I’m very pleased with this update, it’s a major improvement for me in sound quality due to this factor alone.

    Dynamic matching between articulations is also much better. So for example changing patch between a legato for a few slurred notes, and a short patch for a separate note afterwards could come with an associated unwanted change in dynamic. This is gone now which is great. The guys at Wallender have done an amazing job. It’s now at the stage where out-of-the-box notation into NotePerformer is better than I can do massaging notes with VSTs in a DAW.

  2. Mike Philcox

    Thanks, Adrien, for your comments. I tried NP with NPPE months ago and was mostly very impressed but was disappointed by some of the “lumpy dynamics” so I’m glad to hear they have been addressed.

    It is also wonderful that there is an available NPPE for Cine Samples for Musio. It sounds wonderful and is one of the few sample libraries that has a trial version so buyers can know in advance what they are getting. I haven’t tried it yet but certainly will.

  3. Mike Philcox

    David, I note your comments concerning “dry” playback and was disappointed with the playback of the provided orchestral excerpts for the Synchron-ized Special Edition vol. 1. I thought the Synchron-ization of the samples involved adding reverb to make them more consistent in sound with the Synchron libraries and I’m wondering if the NPPE processing removes any added reverb and your “kind of terrible sounding on their own” comment refers to the playback on the NPPE site but this can be much improved via adjustments to the new mic placement abilities and external reverb. Or, possibly the reduced sound quality (to me, at least) is based on the fact these are older samples recorded using older technology.

    Thank you for the continuing series of great articles involving music notation software and related topics!

    1. David MacDonald

      Thanks for reading, Mike. I don’t own a copy of any of the VSL libraries mentioned, so I couldn’t test them in NPPE. My comment on the libraries sounding bad on their own is based on my experience using dry libraries in a DAW. The NPPE for SYNCHRON-ized SE1 is designed to add the reverb that is missing. If you don’t like the SE1 demo on the NPPE demo page, that’s totally understandable, but I would say it is probably pretty representative of NPPE playing back SE1 using its default settings. There are definitely some controls for reverb that you can adjust, though. I’d say you might be better off using a different library if you’re not wild about the SE1 sounds (which again, is totally reasonable!).

  4. Mike Philcox

    David, thank you for your response which clearly addresses the issue I was wondering about.

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