Distorted playback Dorico 5

For about a week now Dorico is giving me lots of trouble when I want it to play the score I’m currently working on; when therés not many instruments involved, everything works okay, but when the score is more crowded, I encounter lots of crackling and distorted playback, so obviously the system gets overloaded. Stopping one instance in VE Pro solves a lot, but then I don’t have Woodwinds or Strings f.e., so that’s no option. But why didn’t this happen before and just started recently?
It’s a score for large(r) orchestra: Triple woodwinds, Standard brass (4331) Timpani + percussion, Harp, Celesta and Piano and standard string section.

I’ve tried several solutions found here: check for updates (everything is up-to-date), set playback template to silent (I had to rebuild all VST routing from scratch after applying that :roll_eyes:), kill all FX (nothing loaded but reverb), and shut off build-in soundcard and wifi, but nothing helps.

All instances are loaded in VE Pro, orchestra used is VSL Synchron(ized) using expression maps, currently no reverb active.

The deadline for sending the score and audio demo is closing in, but I’m out of options to solve it.

I’m on windows 11, i7-12700k, 64 GB RAM, Komplete Audio 6 soundcard, MSI Motherboard, all software running from fast SSD’s

I’ve attached a screenshot of the Soundcard settings and a diagnostics report, so maybe there’s something in it showing the cause of the issue.?

Dorico Diagnostics.zip (1.7 MB)

Audio crackling and distortion can often be caused by an unsuitable audio buffer size. Try changing that via Device Setup which leads you to your audio interface control panel. [I see you added a shot of that while I was typing.] Try that.

You can find a lot of information about audio buffer sizing on the internet.

I can’t tell you a setting. You will need to determine experimentally.

As an aside you may want to come down to 41,000. It’s very very hard to really hear the difference with 48,000 and gentler on your CPU. {Mind you, re hearing a difference, this is a very controversial topic. But I’d drop down to 41.000.]

Thanks for your reply and trying to think with me

I could try this, but the problem just started recently. I’ve worked on many scores in Dorico, several of them (much) larger than this one and although I run into a problem now and then, I never had any issues with distorted playback. I didn’t change anything in my settings, so tempering with them seems a bit strange, when it was always okay before…

Is the VE Pro running on the same computer as Dorico or do you have a separate machine for it?

It’s on the same machine

Are you saying you are not even going to try it?
It doesn’t take much time to see if it works.

I’m on a Mac M1 and TouchMac '17. And when all this was happening to me I was still (and am still) new to Dorico
I too have had that problem. I too tried every advice given on this forum and known to Heaven but still crackled, popped. This can’t be right. I added a second computer (needed to pry it back from my eldest gamer anyway) and still crackled. Added VEPro, thinking that this setup would help. (not sure if it did, but I am really happy I did add it to my app-rig) Had to use a second computer as some plugins didn’t work on an M1 and for the aformentioned VEPro. (Those plugins now work on the M1 -that didn’t before-in the latest update to VEPro)

Anyway, long story short, I too have a massive project, that I couldn’t move forward with, but was feeling lucky, so I trashed my template, which I found among the shared templates on this forum and downloaded and installed and used it.
Started afresh. And no more crackling. Dind’t matter what the buffer or memory allocation was for my project (large scale musical) that fixedmy issue.

I do have crackling in one particular automation, (I think it’s vibrato use in a
2 singers at once) but I 'll find that out later or not, as Dorico is not for me the end of mixing, etc.
Just a great program for dreamers/realists alike.
I hope that helps you! bonne chance.

Lowering the buffer size normally increases the problem instead of solving it, but I did try it, unfortunately it didn’t make any difference.

I had a video session with Ulf in the meantime, but had to leave before we could figure out what the problem is. I’m on the bus right now on my way to work and won’t be home before midnight, so I will continue the search first thing tomorrow morning with the option Ulf gave me.

Thought of that as well, but the score was created in a clean template file, so it’s pretty fresh. If nothing helps it could be an option to try, but I will see first what the suggestion by Ulf results in. We ran several tests and tried some setting changes, but until now it didn’t help. Also everything looks fine in Windows task manager, Latency monitor, Dorico and VE pro and so on.

Note that I did not mention specifically lowering buffer size - that can cause more load on the CPU. Try increasing the size of the buffer.

I’m unfamiliar with your USB buffer setting. I don’t see that on any devices I know. It may be worth finding out more about that and what it does.

And please try reducing the sample rate to 41,000. I promise you normal adults cannot hear the difference with 48,000.