I receive a lot of questions about the sample library I developed with Tapspace called Virtual Drumline. It seems that many of the questions involve implementation within notation programs like Finale or Sibelius, and because percussion mapping and notation can be somewhat complicated, it can lead to a bit of a learning curve if you're just getting started. 99% of the time, these questions are specific to the host program (Finale or Sibelius) and whether or not you're using a properly configured VDL Template. Most of the time, VDL is working just fine, but the problem is more a matter of understanding how to properly use your tools. In other words, most of the time, it's the driver, not the car.

While I'd love to be able to help everyone who contacts me with Sibelius or Finale (or template configuration) problems, I simply don't have time for this sort of one-on-one coaching. Here are a few tips, however, that may help you get on track.

If you're using a template, read the instructions. Don't just skim them - actually read them.

Learning how to properly implement your template files can be a bit overwhelming if you're just starting out, so take the extra time to fully digest what you're reading. The template documentation from The Write Score is quite thorough, and mostly revolves around configuring some of Sibelius or Finale's more intricate percussion mapping functions.

If you're not using a template, I highly recommend you do.

The amount of detail and work that's gone into them will far exceed the small fee you'll pay, and they'll help you get up-and-running way faster than if you attempt creating all these various files and mappings and xml files yourself. Don't know what a template is? Read this.

Check out Virtual Drumline Demystified.

Since a lot of people are using VDL within Sibelius or Finale using the templates I mentioned above, we produced an onscreen video tutorial course with VDL master, Bryan Harmsen (from Visaudio Designs) called Virtual Drumline Demystified. It contains over 5 hours of video and focuses specifically on the process of integrating VDL within Sibelius and Finale. It uses some older versions of those programs as well as an older version of Kontakt Player, but the information still applies. If you're more of a visual learner, this can be really helpful.

If you're having legitimate problems with your Virtual Drumline installation, submit a support ticket with Tapspace.

I may likely end up being the guy answering your question there. Please keep these questions specific to VDL though. If you're having problems with Sibelius or Finale (or implementing your template from The Write Score), direct your question to those developers.

Have you looked through all the Keymap Diagrams in the VDL User Guide?

If not, you may be missing out on tons of extra sounds and functionality you may not have known was there. Virtual Drumline instruments can go pretty deep in how they function, so keep the VDL User Guide close at hand. It's a PDF file inside the "Documentation" folder of your Virtual Drumline library folder.

join the Virtual Drumline Users group on facebook.

There's a public group for VDL Users on Facebook that can be a good source of community and information. 

Participate in the Tapspace Forum.

The Tapspace Forum is a place where other VDL users share ideas and solutions. In many cases, you'll find already-existing answers to your questions by using the "search" feature. Use the search feature! If you can't find your answers, feel free to post.

A word to the wise: be courteous, write in complete, intelligent, well-thought-out sentences, and include all details about what you're trying to accomplish (and what you've actually tried). If you're in a panic and post to the forum as such, you won't likely get much help.

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