Audio Cutting Out - Solved!

I have Dorico Pro 5 on an MS Surface i7, 32GB RAM, and 2TB SSD. I’m using NotePerformer for playback.

Today, I started having an issue of audio going off and on during playback. There are no other apps running and I’ve tried restarting.

This is very disruptive to creativity.

Any ideas? Thanks.

You need to tell all the details about your audio setup, hardware, etc. What version of NP? What VST’s if any? Else how can we help? Have you checked Device Setup sample rate is commensurate with your gear?

How long does it go off and on for? Fractions of a second? Minutes?

Bluetooth involved?

If it used to work and suddenly not any more, then something must have changed in the system. Did you install some new software or hardware.
And please do from the Dorico menu Help > Create Diagnostics Report and attach the corresponding zip file here. Maybe from the log files I can see something.

Thank you.
1-No new apps installed.
2-NotePerformer is the only VST involved. I also have VSL Synchron Special Editions 1 and 2 Plus and VSL Dimension Strings installed–and have had all along–but I am not using them for playback with Dorico right now.
3-The audio cuts out for a couple of seconds at a time and then comes back, then cuts out again. There is no discernible pattern.
4-I am using NP 4. I believe I am on the latest build, but don 't see where to check that.
5-I attached a diagnostic report run shortly after the last incident. (It’s hard to run it exactly during an unexpected 1 or 2 second event.)
6-My mouse is Bluetooth (MS Arc) and has been since I bought this laptop/Surface. There is no other Bluetooth involved, unless the MS Surface pencil uses it.
7-Per advice on this forum, I have been using FlexAsio since I first installed Dorico, although I can no longer remember where to find that setting to check it. I don’t see FlexAudio in Device Manager and forgot where and how I installed it, although I am certain I did.
Dorico (1010.2 KB)


Unless @Ulf has solved this, may be worth running:

I was asking about Bluetooth headphones/speakers actually, These can be troublesome.

Despite previous well received advice regarding FlexAsio, try using the Steinberg Generic Low Latency ASIO Driver.

[Was that introduced recently? I can’t recall.]

Hi @konradh ,
thanks for the diagnostics, but in the contained log files I found nothing special or anything that could give me a hint towards your issue.
You are already using FlexASIO at a sample rate of 44.1kHz and a buffer size of 882. The buffer size is quite high and so audio drop outs are really not expected.

As Andro suggests, you could also try with the Generic Low Latency driver from Steinberg. It is still around and can be used. Choose from the menu Edit > Device Setup and in the drop down list of ASIO drivers it shall turn up. With that driver in place, do you still have the drop out errors?

If the generic driver makes no difference, enable logging in FlexASIO. Good details on that here:

Don’t for get to turn off the logging when done, or your audio will glitch!

I believe I have narrowed down the problem.
1-I have no audio issues with any other applications (Windows MediaPlayer, YouTube, Cakewalk, PowerDirector, Firefox, etc.).
2-I have no issues when I switch the Dorico playback template to HALion (see image).
3-The problem seems to be limited to NotePerformer in Dorico.

Based on that, does anyone have suggestions? This is a major impact to productivity. I have contacted Wallander.

Thank you.

Noteperformer has a 1 second delay in which it does all of its calculations. Dorico accounts for this, but is it possible you are simply overloading NP with too many instruments, too many notes, too fast a tempo, etc., and not enough processing power for it to do all the calculations it needs within a second? Does it work fine with smaller ensembles?

The delay has always been there and is expected. The issue is that music will play, then stop for a bar or so, then start again for few bars, then cut out, etc. This happens no matter how many instruments are playing.

The last score I did had more instruments playing.

I didn’t mean at the beginning, I meant that if at some point during playback the one second buffer isn’t enough for NP to do the necessary calculations, maybe it just drops out until it can catch up. If it still happens with only a few instruments playing, then this theory seems unlikely though.

It’s pretty bad. I can’t playback more than a couple of measures without interruption.

Regarding the number of instruments, NotePerformer was designed for orchestral music and most composers I know use it.

Wallender suggested I run the NotePerformer 4.1 update.

  1. Now the NP playback will only play a couple notes, stop for a couple of notes, play a few more, etc. Far worse than it was before.
  2. And since the update, HALion does the same thing.

I can’t work like this, but I don’t know what to do next: new, powerful computer that plays all other audio fine, no problems in other apps, all software up to date.

Although I have not tried it since this NP update, last night audio export sounded fine–but I obviously can’t stop and export every time I want to listen to a change.

In Windows Settings / System / Sound, what is your Output audio device? When you click it, what format are your Output settings? (24 bit, 48000 Hz or similar)

Back in Windows Settings / System / Sound, scroll down to More Sound Settings and click it. In the window that pops up, click your default playback device and click Properties. Under the Advanced tab, do you have exclusive mode checked or not?


Does this problem occur with all scores, or just this one?

Also, while the file is playing back, open Task Manager and click Performance. What is your CPU and Memory usage?

@FredGUnn , Thank you for assisting. Answers:

Realtek High Definition Audio(SST)

Sample rate 16 bit, 48000Hz

Exclusive is checked. I tried unchecking. That did not help.

Hardware Acceleration of audio allowed
Audio Enhancements enabled

While a score is playing, Dorico is using 20-25% CPU. I caught an image at the peak, and it seems unusually high for this machine, but I have no way to compare it to anyone else.

@Janus , Yes. Same problem with other scores. I opened my last score which starts with very few instruments and it was stuttering horribly.

By the way, my diagnostic file said I’m using FlexASIO. I don’t know where to see that in Windows. (I hate Win 11.)