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Vienna Ensemble Pro 7 – Review

Vienna Ensemble Pro 7

Vienna Symphonic Library

Price: € 195 ($ 217); introductory prices May 23: € 145 ($ 118) upgrade (s) from Vienna Ensemble Pro 4 5 6 : € 45 ($ 50)

] Buy online or from a local distributor.

Reviews here on MyMac of products from market leaders in music library and software, Vienna Symphonic Library (VSL), have consistently been positive:

Vienna Ensemble Pro ( VEP ) is industry standard audio and music mixing / hosting application. Most serious musicians, composers, sound enthusiasts, technicians and directors use resources (virtual instruments (VIs), effects plug-ins, sequencers, digital audio workstations (DAWs), notation packages and input devices such as MIDI hardware etc) from more than one manufacturer and more than type.

A typical workflow sponsored by VEP will mix all such integrated resources in stereo and surround (up to 7.1

) with smoothing, effects, pan, reverb and so on. If you use a DAW such as Apple's Logic Pro X or listing software like Steinbergs Dorico 2 Vienna Ensemble Pro will connect external resources to them and enable configuration and manipulation for use directly in those other apps … like Logic Pro X or Dorico .

Pairing all of this together can be a complicated and potentially erroneous task. VEP provides sophisticated and comprehensive control over such audio / music sources and devices when working on a single computer. In fact, the software supports most VST / AU virtual instruments and effects plug-ins, as well as VSL's own sample player, Vienna Instruments Pro .

But VEP also works in a client-server mode so that network-connected computers can connect the same software and devices with Ethernet – and then without (extra) MIDI or audio interfaces. It supports a single set of controls and a simple readable, visually clean and clear user interface.

For a closer look at what VEP does, please see our review of VEP6 from September 2016.

Now, two and a half years later, VSL has released an update, Vienna Ensemble Pro 7 ( VEP7 ). The VSL experts have streamlined many processes, added many features and broken many errors – significantly to enhance the user experience.

At the beginning of this evaluation report, Vienna Ensemble Pro 7 is doing its job extremely well … during the assessment period, no errors, errors or obstacles were discovered. There was also no latency, layers or other deficiencies in performance.

The interface is actually easier to use in VEP7 than in previous versions. When you need a preference or need to change a configuration, it is to be found in the obvious place. The less frequently needed coaches do not. In practice, this works well.

If you are new to Vienna Ensemble Pro you will use one or more of the resources that VSL offers to introduce you to the software's conceptual basis to come to grips with how this is translated into actual workflows. If familiar with VEP6 or VEP5 the learning curve will be much less steep. These resources include video tutorials, active support forums, and a user guide.


This documentation is a 139 pages, 12.7 MB pdf. It takes you through every step of use: downloading; installation; possible snags in the latter that may arise from network configuration and firewalls, etc .; the use of the Vienna Key hardware and software protection systems and eLicenser Control Center; typical layouts and workflow environments. The manual has a glossary and directions to get support. You must rely on the document's table of contents, since there are no indexes.

What's new?

The new features of Vienna Ensemble Pro 7 can be grouped into enhancements and innovations in the interface itself, with plug-ins, and to streamline workflow.

At heart, the designers and developers at VSL have focused on building on progress and success in previous versions. Greater use of drag and drop objects is done in VEP7 : from time or tone parameter adjustment to placing rack and slot plug-ins – and much more. VEP7 stands out for the intelligent use of the visual to represent … "invisible" (ie: audio devices, channels, plug-ins and so on). Once you have understood the conceptual model employed by the designers at VSL and spent some time working and experimenting with VEP7 you are very likely to find the mass of options and controls less intimidating than they first appear.

VEP7 Interface


Actively understanding a complex piece of software with its many parameters (musical and technical) can be overwhelming. So all that the designers and developers can do to put you in control is welcome. Now, VEP7 provides useful and improved feedback and real-time views of what's happening at any time with all MIDI and audio activity and performance; as well as the CPU load taken by each instance.

An "Instance" can be considered as an aggregation of settings, configurations, parameters, channel tasks, and so on. Many instances are possible. A "profile" if you want. Because of the conceptual framework underlying VEP you should also think of instances such as "objects" to be manipulated to visually control the chain of audio devices and other software through to performance, notation or monitoring. of output. Separate instances may be employed for each of the various musical instruments used for a project, such as … strings, woodwinds, brass, and so on.

You can also use an instance for Logic that uses one or more reverb configurations with VSLs MIR Pro and a variety of FX plug-ins – and the particular emphasis on that rhythm. Then there is another separate instance for Dorico Sibelius or Finale which is directed exclusively to expression maps to render the instrument's articles as they will end up with a printed score and then where The actual sound reproduced is not that important. Being able to easily and quickly handle these cases is crucial. VEP7 makes this process very easy.

VEP7 cases

Several instances can easily get out of hand quite quickly and hide the difficulty of handling multiple musical or audio workflows. This does not happen in VEP7 . Instances are easy to build, control and work with. In version 7, they can be listed vertically as well as horizontally as tabs. The standard operating system colors (with the known Mac palette tool) can now be used in certain cases to quickly and easily access the components of your interface.

Color selection with standard tools makes identification easy

Folders and Cases can be "frozen"; This makes it easier to handle project components and versions. If the analogy of clearing large amounts of rolling data in a spreadsheet by freezing certain rows, columns and / or blocks of cells, you are not far away: cleaner and more selectable items in such a "cockpit" of controls are to the eye, yes More likely, your brain is jumping straight to where you want to be.

VEP7 also has some improvements in the display and manipulation of the channels themselves: the current articulation now shows "inside" the channel itself when using Vienna Synchron Player or Vienna Instruments Pro . A new red "frame" is now also displayed when existing patches are not available – again if you use both (or both) of the two Vienna players.

Of course, all these improvements serve to give your sessions a greater sense of integration, seamlessness, and being responsible. This represents a significant advance for the package Ensemble . And – given many ways to connect environments as rich as these – the developers at VSL are congratulating on doing a great job.


Plug-ins increase and improve control over your workflow by adding functionality to what you can do with your sounds … smoothing, compressing, limiting and analyzing – and much more.

Manage these, keep track of how you use them and even make sense of the effects ("FX") that such plug-ins have on your sound can be daunting. VEP7 has miniaturizers attached to the channels even in which FX plug-ins are inserted … making the invisible sound visible again.

The new Favorites Administrator and Plugins Preferences tab lets you create a list of your favorite plugins for a single project or type of work – and choose what you need from it. For example, if you have a number of commissions that you decide on will require extensive, more overwhelming sound than it would be appropriate, say for chamber music or a Lieder justification, you can now put together "seen" by such effects without having to start compiling – and remember – choices from scratch.

Plug-in prefs and management

The plug-in list now sorts to display the most commonly used plug-ins at the top; while the new plug-in lets you search for a specific plug-in when you have more than one manageable amount.

Plug-ins can be difficult, they can "develop" incompatibilities, and sometimes need your attention. VEP7 now scans and manages installed plug-ins to make this much easier. Sufficiently intelligent in this respect VEP7 in that it allows simple but flexible control of all the plugins that will work in the current environment – third party and integrated (VSL).

VEP7 also comes with a set of powerful plug-ins from VSL; Exciter Pro Limiter Pro Analyzer Pro and Pro versions of the surround-specific plug-ins, Matrix Mixer Pro Surround Balance Pro Surround Pan Pro . It is difficult to think of anything other than that the most demanding user will achieve a large variety of effects.

With VEP7 comes a beta version of AU3 (the only Mac "Audio Unit") plug-in. Although it is still under development, VSL is the first in the market with this great new advancement. It supports up to 48 MIDI ports (there are 768 MIDI channels) per occurrence. People at VSL are a dedicated gang, and you can rest assured that user feedback will be listened to and taken into account when completing a release version.


It is important that software users like Vienna Ensemble Pro can concentrate on music or sound; The development of complex controls and alternatives must not interfere. The designers and developers at VSL know this and have made several improvements in VEP7 to streamline how you work.

Several processes are automated; and automation is more transparent: the names of all the parameters that can be automated and all active plug-ins now appear more clearly and can be more detailed than in previous versions.

Automated Mapping

Learn "option allows you to reveal similar parameters in other programs – such as a sequencer – and thus the program's own parameters names and values; then on / off to automatically assign controls in VEP7 's plugins / channels so that the resulting mapping is preserved seamlessly

The fact that VEP is built to Work both as a standalone environment and as part of a client server server (small or large) adds a layer of complexity when configuring (and managing) connection. VEP7 now handles server discovery and connection / connection instances faster and elegantly … there are really fewer puzzles for the ambitious musician having to deal with. Storage times have also been improved in this version: Instance data is now compressed / decompressed, this will be noticed most when it comes to resource-intensive plug-ins such as Contact .

In version 7 keeping track of multiple instances has also been automated so that they can be disabled and (re-) enabled according to the criteria you create and modify.

Instance Management

It is maintained that all the data needed to work with an instance is retained (placement of samples on your particular file system, for example); while plug-ins and memory (RAM) are released from the use of the selected channel (s). Given that the audio software is often particularly processor-intensive, this is a significant advantage. An obvious purpose of this improvement in version 7 is to create and manipulate templates; Then copy / paste selectively – Channels for example – from one project to another. There is clear visual feedback on the status of all this on the screen at all times.


Installation of Vienna Ensemble Pro 7 was as smooth as always – the package can either be downloaded from a link in the "MyVSL" area on the VSL page ( as it is the aforementioned manual); or via the Vienna Download Manager (the latest version / 2.2.16928, from February this year) – a model of such tools.

With Vienna Ensemble Pro 7 y you also get the epic Orchestra 2.0 Sample Package (prize of € 105 / $ 118) which includes every instrument and articulation from the original epic orchestra – but recently improved, edited and edited mapped to the new Vienna Synchron Player and Synchron Stage Vienna ; You can get a sense of how well this whole thing is heard here.

As noted at the beginning of this review, the software worked impeccably in all ways tested and evaluated. For obvious reasons, it was not possible to evaluate all possible combinations of soft and hardware. But those who were evaluated in all cases worked as expected. The new features left nothing to be desired.

Conclusion : VSL is a specialist company in specialized fields. Its approach is professional and efficient. Technically, their experts really achieve some amazing results!

VSL is also always on top of the development and support … Three (minor) maintenance updates were released between the time when VEP7 first became available and the appearance of this review, for example.

Vienna Ensemble began life as a way to handle and make the most of VSL's own virtual instrument examples and playback engine ( Vienna Instruments ). One of its main strengths was to meet the challenges that led to the need to distribute the power of data using sound.

Now, however, Vienna Ensemble – and version 7 in particular – has become de facto way to do much more than that: elegant and effective to handle almost all your musical and audio resources.

Vienna Ensemble Pro 7 follows earlier versions of the software to provide the most streamlined, sophisticated and most versatile simplest ways to handle the complexity of audio and audio workflow in a wide range of music and audio applications.

As a product for professionals and for musicians engaged in serious music, complexity and sophistication are part of such a world. Which are comprehensive features. Yet equally important is the need for such software to be robust and manageable.

VEP 7 is actually robust and manageable. It achieves the balance between complexity and ease of use extremely well. Recommended without hesitation.

Pros : Comprehensive. Stable. Flexible. Works with multiple apps in the music and audio field. User interface a good compromise between complexity and ease of use. Good documentation and support.

Cons : No major. Yes, the learning curve is steep. But it is worth spending time getting to know the variety of things that VEP7 can do.

System Requirements :

  • macOS 10.10 and later (10.13 or later recommended)
  • [IntelCore2Duo
  • 2 GB RAM (4 GB recommended)
  • working Gigabit connection between the master and the network computer (s); Also works on a computer setup
  • ViennaKey (Vienna Symphonic Library USB Protection Device) or other USB eLicenses (eg from Steinberg or Arturia) / eLicenser Control Center software
  • other configurations may work but not supported actively; see this page and / or contact VSL for specific advice.

MyMac.com Rating : 10 out of 10

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