Dorico 3.5 certain notes not playing

I have encountered a strange behavior that I never saw before 3.5. Certain notes don’t play at all. I have seen some cases like that in the past with overlapped or very short notes. But in this current case, these are lengthy notes with no overlap. I see no reason why they shouldn’t sound. In every case, it is the first note in a phrase. The second and all subsequent notes in the same phrase all play normally. If I go into PLAY mode and do even is very slight adjustment to the length or starting position, then the note sounds as expected.

It may be significant that I do have swing set on this project, and I think the silent notes all began on offbeats – I’m not sure about that.

I was in a hurry with this project, so I just fixed things in PLAY mode and didn’t try to isolate the problem. I think I can isolate it into a repeatable example. I will try to do that today, but just wanted to know if anybody else has see anything similar.

Have you read this thread?

If there are repeats in your project, that may be the explanation, per the thread Leo has linked to.

No. I did not see that, thank you.

I am not sure this lines up with my situation. I will explore further.

I believe all notes played reasonably when switching to NP, but I may be wrong about that.

I will try to isolate. In my case, there is only an initial 4-bar section with actual repeat markers and none of the missing notes happen in that section. The remainder of the piece (where the silent notes lie) has D.S. al Coda.

I should have backup copies of the file that exhibit the problem.


Correction. I have found one case where a note doesn’t play under NP, so I think this problem is independent of the VSTi

I have attached a project that exhibits this problem. I see no rhyme or reason to it. In this project, there is one note that does not sound – the first note in bar 26. I have removed everything I can from the projects. At this point, anything else I delete, causes the note to start sounding properly. That includes dynamics, notes or measures. Even turning some distant notes into rests is enough to get the problem note sounding.
Note (933 KB)

It plays if you remove the staccato, no idea what’s going on here though…

It also plays if you turn off playback of Repeats, from Playback Options, as Daniel suggested higher up the thread (and in the thread I linked to).
It’ll play if you move the forte to fractionally earlier (even a demisemiquaver/32nd note will do).

I tried inserting a measure and re-entering the music, which works fine. But then deleting the extra measure breaks it again.
I don’t know enough to suggest anything else…

I question whether it is related to any of those particular solutions. It seems that if you change ANYTHING, it plays. It feels more like a case of a stack overflow or something, not directly related to any particular feature.

I don’t need playback for this project. I am just posting this so that the developers might have something to poke at.

This was a strange and very subtle one. It turns out to not have anything to do directly with repeats or dynamics. Rather, it’s the coincidence of the dynamic and the staccato in m26 on a note that’s swung. The note’s swung position is calculated, but that causes it to shift after the dynamic, but some internal data isn’t updated and so it kind of falls in the gaps between the playing technique regions and the note gets lost. Hopefully this is something we’ll be able to fix easily.

Here is a file exhibiting the same sort of problems in 3.5. Like cparmerlee, I can’t fathom out why. Delete all the accents or all the dynamics and it’s ok. Delete the first double repeat and it plays back perfectly first time through, but not second: delete the final repeat and it plays all the notes except the crotchet at the end of b8. You can create other variations by deleting other bars/accents/dynamics. Possibly notes too, but I was losing the will to live by then (hence the MM marking). The project started in 3.1 and plays back perfectly in that. I went back to an earlier 3.1 project version to produce the cut-down file, but I also created it from scratch in 3.5 and it does exactly the same thing

I don’t really need playback, so it’s not a problem for me, but I thought it might be helpful in solving the issue to have another example. (And I’ve just seen Paul’s response, but as I’ve done the work you might as well see my file anyway)

I do have to echo the comments of many others about how enjoyable Dorico 3.5 is. I don’t need the new features but the instant print preview and the improvements to slurs, particularly across systems alone are worth the cost to me. I was quite shocked the other day to realise how insipid a piece I’d created in my previous software looked by comparison.
missing notes created in (555 KB)

Yes, that’s the kind of thing I expected. This is the curse of complexity. So many variables that must interact. I’m glad you were able to have a look at it.

And this one would be especially rare, because one doesn’t often do staccato on a swung passage, but that’s what this song called for.

If anybody is interested in hearing a rendering of the whole song instead of the chopped up thing attached above, I have posted this at

Thanks for supplying that test score, Mike. After some head-scratching I’ve found the cause of this one, and despite the fact that it has similar symptoms, turns out to be a different bug. The problem in this one can happen when you have sfz and repeats. The exact behaviour though depends on the precise locations of the repeats, location of the sfz, and the position of notes at seemingly unrelated points in the score. The logic that tries to work out how long a sfz is by finding the note that it’s coincident with, was failing when you have a repeat. The calculated position was in the wrong place, and that leads to a chain of events where notes ‘fall through the gaps’ and don’t get sent to the MIDI stream.

You should keep this paragraph handy for when someone suggests that fixing the problem they’re experiencing ought to be easy. If only it were always so!

My hat’s off to you programming guys. What little hair I have left would have long since been torn out if I were in your shoes. By contrast, figuring out how to voice notes in just the right way with just the right instruments is easy.