D4 Frequent crashes and hangs

Dorico Diagnostics.zip (1.8 MB)
I recently updated to Dorico 4 from 3.5, and have had a few issues, mainly Dorico crashing or hanging. It is usually when I have tried to work on multiple project windows at the same time. I am unsure of the cause: my incompetence or a fault. Also, I am finding it to be much slower in operation than 3.5 – slow to save, slow to apply changes, etc.
Windows 10, v. fast laptop.
For example, I was transcribing from one window from an orchestral work to a band one during which, every so often, changing something innocuous (like copying tempo from the orchestral project to paste into the band one), or a more complicated change (such as unblocking VSTs), Dorico just hangs. Windows asks me if I wish to wait for the program to respond or close it – waiting does not resolve the problem so I end up closing it – either through Windows prompt or Task Manager. I then try to restart Dorico, but the start-up dialogue just hangs ‘waiting to connect’. I then must reboot the computer to get Dorico going again.
I cannot do a diagnostic report at the time, as Dorico will not respond, but I have appended one after a restart – hope that has the history you need.
The latest attempt to start after a reboot got the licence activation dialogue which itself hung!
I’m not having a good day.
Thanks in advance


Sorry to hear you’re having problems, Pete. I’m afraid the diagnostic report you’ve attached doesn’t contain any crash dumps, so I’m not able to take a look and see what might be happening there. My guess is that Dorico is not itself crashing but rather is ending up hanging.

If you’re working with multiple projects open and you’re copying and pasting between them, I would suggest that you make use of the new capabilities in Dorico 4 to deactivate one or both of the projects for playback. That will make it quicker to switch between them, because you don’t have to wait for Dorico to load the sounds in either or both of them when you switch.

If you do encounter a hang, chances are the reason Dorico can’t restart is because the audio engine is still running, and possibly itself hanging. You can get a good Task Manager replacement for Windows called Process Explorer, which allows you to see individual processes running on your computer. Look for the VSTAudioEngine.exe process, and end that if you see it’s running. You can also try manually quitting the Steinberg License Engine process.

Then you should be able to restart Dorico.

If you find saving slower than in version 3.5, it’ll be because Dorico is saving a graphical preview in your project, which it can show in the Hub and (already on macOS and soon on Windows) in the OS shell itself. You can disable this by deactivating the checkbox at the bottom of the File > Project Info dialog, with the Project selected.

Thank you Daniel - I will try all of the above.

Hi Daniel
Well, all was well for while - but now I am having the exact same problem again… Dorico hanging again and again.
It always happens when I am transferring instrumental parts from one project to another in the process of reorchestration. A simple press of P for play to monitor the new arrangement often greys out the screen. Other times, a completely different keypress will cause it to hang.
I tried ProcessExplorer to kill the VSTAudioEngine process and, although that allowed me to restart Dorico on a couple of occasions, I now usually have to reboot the computer to restart Dorico.
It is very frustrating as I am on a tight deadline!!
Grateful for any suggestions

Hi @Seapaddler, this won’t help you much but us very much. If the hanging happens again, please go to Process Explorer again, highlight Dorico, do a right-click and choose from the pop-up menu “Create mini dump” and save the file. The same please do for the VSTAudioEngine. Then zip the dump files and attach here. Thank you very much

I certainly will. Thank you Ulf

Dorico4.zip (1.8 MB)
VSTAudioEngine5.zip (1.1 MB)

Hope I’ve done this correctly? Thanks

Hi @Seapaddler , perfect, thank you very much.

So from the dumps it looks like you are switching between 2 projects and that Dorico is waiting for an answer from the VSTAudioEngine. That engine on the other hand is somehow stuck in the Generic Low Latency Driver while it is making a call into AudioSes.dll which is a Microsoft library that is part of the Windows operating system. Therefore it is really difficult to tell what is really causing the hanging, because I can’t peep into that Microsoft library.

But I can propose a workaround. From the dump I can see that you also have the FlexASIO driver installed. What if you go to Edit > Device Setup and choose FlexASIO there instead of the Generic Low Latency driver, does that stabilize your operation?

Hi Ulf
Thank you. I have used your change ASIO trick before (especially after waking up the computer - Dorico has not crashed but will not play. Change the ASIO in Device Setup and it works again). However, when it hangs, cannot access anything.
Has been stable the last couple of hours - but I think I know what is different - my impatience!! If I cut and paste from one work into the one I’m working on, then I press CtrlS to save it before I go to the next instrument to c&p. However, I have usually tried to open the donor score before the new score has finished saving - hence it hangs. By being more patient and letting it finish saving before switching score, it has been stable.
I don’t know, perhaps that is all it is?
Anyway, I really appreciate your help and will follow your advice.
Thank you again

Dorico Diagnostics.zip (3.6 MB)

Hi Ulf
Oh no. Completed the project - have to provide an mp3 file… tried to export it and CRASH!
Twice now have had the “Serious problem…” banner - telling me to send the Diagnostics file.
Not my day!

No panic, I’ll take a look now…

Thank you.
Changed the ASIO to FlexASIO again - and that has done the trick.
Thank goodness - deadline made.
Thanks again, Ulf; much appreciated to know you’re there.

Hi @Seapaddler , the crash is at a completely unexpected place. Something must be overwriting memory or I don’t know. What also is strange, there seems to be no ASIO driver or VSTinstrument loaded at the time of the crash.
Did you use FlexASIO when you tried the export?
If so, what if you change to the Generic Low Latency driver before export?
What VSTinstrument(s) are you using?
If you are just using HALion Sonic SE, you could send me your project and I do the export for you. [Edit] In that case, please send directly to u dot stoermer at steinberg dot de.

Hi Ulf
Have jiggled about between the two ASIO drivers as it has hung and crashed regularly, so not sure what was ‘in’ at the crash. Last two hours to finish the writing was stable with FlexASIO - but not sure it was that loaded when mp3 export crashed.
Anyway, FlexASIO is loaded and the mp3 export worked ok this time (NotePerformer).

Ah, good to hear. Let me know if you have further trouble and we’ll take a deeper look.

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Certainly will - thanks