3.5.1 condensed staff labels bug

After updating to 3.5.1 it seems some labels on condensed staves have disappeared - there’s a blank second trombone stave which should read Kbpos (bass trombone) - definitely worked fine in 3.5.

I’ll upload a project file if you think it’ll be useful (but will take an hour or two to trim down the project - takes 2-3mins just switching between write and engrave mode!). I notice a couple of improvements in the changelog for condensed staff labelling so maybe this is by design and there’s a setting I need to now update?

EDIT: Oh, I should add that this is a custom condensing group - Dorico doesn’t group trombones and bass trombone by default obvs.

On reflection I think it’s worth me posting the whole project for you to investigate. I’ve read many posts in the past of others having trouble with Dorico’s slowness but I’m wondering whether I have some other underlying problem. The file is big and my computer is not particularly hefty (i4 with 4 cores @ 3.2GHz, 8gb RAM).

It has been slow work from the beginning but I’m getting very frustrated now. I’ve just put up with it as I’m convinced the condensing and superior default spacing etc. will be quicker in the long run than trying to complete this in Sibelius, but after installing the 3.5.1 update I’ve had 3 crashes today (that hasn’t happened before) and when it’s not crashing everything is so painfully slow as to make the software literally unuseable.


Please could someone take a look, and perhaps give some advice on how best to spend my money if I need to upgrade my machine. More cores right? How many is enough!?

Could you please also do Help > Create Diagnostic Report and provide a link to the zip file produced on your desktop? That will hopefully allow us to see what’s crashing.

Yup, here you go:
Dorico Diagnostics.zip (1.61 MB)
Crashing maybe is the wrong word to use - it (seemingly randomly) hangs for 5-10 minutes before windows tells me the program has stopped responding and I have to force quit.

The project is enormous, and a good deal of the weight of the project is the fact that you have fifty players and a lot of instances of HALion Sonic SE, which will be using a lot of RAM and putting a lot of pressure on your system. If playback is not super-important to you, using the ‘Silence’ playback template should help. Alternatively, if you do need reasonable playback while consuming less of your computer’s resources, NotePerformer would be an excellent choice; as an added bonus, the playback will sound better. You might find €129 spent on that is a better upgrade than hundreds or thousands of euros/pounds/dollars upgrading your hardware. This will also make the project file smaller, faster to load and save, and so on.

I’m lucky to have a powerful MacBook Pro, but even when connected to my external 4K display I find that I’m able to edit your project reasonably fluently. Starting note input on a new instrument takes a couple of seconds, but thereafter inputting on that instrument generally keeps pace with me within a latency of between a quarter and half a second, which is obviously not brilliant but somewhat workable.

What operations are you finding slow, specifically?

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Thanks Daniel,

Hm, yes I can probably do without playback for the time being - will give that a try.

Switching between setup/write/engrave mode takes 2-3 minutes. Selecting an object in engrave mode often takes more than a minute from clicking it to it turning orange. Once selected doing anything (e.g. pressing alt + arrow to shift a dynamic up or down) takes up to a minute to respond. System wide operations like adding a condensing change takes 5-10 minutes (and when complete often requires me to switch to write mode and back before the change is actually displayed). Global settings changes (like changing an engraving rule) I rack up and do all at once before going for lunch - they’re normally finished by the time I get back!

Note input wasn’t too bad as I did it flow by flow, part by part (in the part layouts before I removed them in the hope it would speed score work up a bit!) and saved and closed between each, but there’s no way round having the whole score displayed for the work i’m doing at the moment!

What would be really useful is a setting like I remember using in MS Excel where I could turn off all redraws/recalcs and stack up a load of small jobs to do at once so at least I’m not spending 90% of my time watching an egg timer…

Ok, applying the silence template has made a significant difference, it’s still very slow to react, but just about tolerable! Thank you!

Have you any thoughts on the condensed stave naming issue? I can repeat the bug quite easily by toggling the manual condensing settings of those pesky trombones.

IME, 8 GB of RAM is barely enough to run ‘serious’ Dorico projects. I had 8 GB when I bought my new computer, but Dorico was quite sluggish. After increasing the total RAM, things are much improved.

Indeed. It’s about time I upgraded this machine in any case.

Hi - I downloaded the project. On my PC, the combination of Dorico and the VSTAudioEngine use about 6.2 gig of memory for the project. I have Windows, 32 gig, and a fast processor (4.2 gigahertz; 12 logical cores) and the project is a little slow (just poking around between write/play/engrave) and it’s not too bad. The slowest operation is clicking the engrave tab or the print tab - about 30 seconds. Switching between play and write takes about a second or two.Selecting/adding/editing notes is almost instantaneous. Play plays fine.

One thing to consider would be (at least) another 8 gig of ram - I bet that would help a lot. I’m sure there is a lot of virtual disk swapping going on with the OS, other processes, and the 6.2 gig of Dorico.


I’ve got round the missing staff labels bug by switching to label each staff in the identical adjacent instruments engraving option - not ideal but it’ll do if i have to go to print before the next update!

We’ve been looking into the staff labels problem and it is indeed a regression introduced in Dorico 3.5.10, I’m sorry to say. We don’t have any immediate plans for a further 3.5.x update so you might be waiting a while for the fix, I’m afraid. Very sorry for the inconvenience.