Dorico 3.5 not working anymore "Audio Engine Process Died"

Hello there!
I’ve had ongoing trouble for awhile with Dorico 3.5.12 with the program crashing , constantly needing to “force quit” after many slow responses to simple commands.

Now the program is not opening anymore where I get “Audio Engine Process Died”.

The Steinberg Download Assistant gets the error which directs me to the help centre directing me to downloading four components:

[eLicenser Control Center]

  • **[Steinberg Activation Manager]
  • **[Steinberg Installation Assistant]
  • **[Steinberg Library Manager]

However the Steinberg Activation Manager only supports OS 10.14 and above and I’m using High Sierra here (10.13.6).
I don’t want to update the OS on my as this will lead to other software/OS conflicts.

I’m curious if there is another solution before I uninstall/reinstall Dorico 3.5 in the hope to go back to that land of smooth and wonderfully working Dorico land.

I’d be grateful for any feedback!



Hi @Ashley_Hribar , before launching Dorico, have a look in the Activity Monitor app, if in the list of processes you can find the VSTAudioEngine process. If so, kill it. Does Dorico then start fine?

If not, open the Console app and on the left side of the window click on the Crash Reports tab. In the main window then a list of crashes should appear. Right click on one of the items and choose ‘Reveal in Finder’. Then please pick all files with Dorico or VSTAudioEngine in it’s name, zip them all up and attach to a reply here. Thanks


I just started having this problem with Dorico

I reinstalled the app to no avail. I also tried killing the VST Audio Engine in Activity Monitor, however it pops up everytime I open the app and by the time I kill it the audio engine process has already died.

Here are the crash logs for the VST Audio Engine
VST Audio Engine Crash (126.0 KB)

Welcome to the forum, @chines87. It looks to my untrained eye (really @Ulf is the expert here) like the audio engine is crashing when trying to load a particular module, though I can’t tell what. Would you also please zip up the Dorico 3.5 AudioEngine folder in /Users/your-username/Library/Preferences and attach that here so that we can take a look at that too?

Thanks @dspreadbury :slight_smile:

Here’s the folder:
Dorico 3.5 (1.5 MB)

Unfortunately several of the logs are zero bytes in length, which definitely supports the notion that the engine is crashing! I’ll have to leave this to @Ulf to look at further, because I’m out of my comfort zone with these sorts of things – hopefully Ulf will have some ideas.

Ok, thanks @dspreadbury , looking forward to your reply @Ulf

Hi @chines87 , really unusual your case. All of a sudden it does not work any more.
By any chance, did you happen to try and install Dorico 4? Because that one contains a newer HALion Sonic SE which is not compatible with Dorico 3.5 and would cause problems like you discovered.
If so, then please grab the HSSE 3.4.40 installer from our website and downgrade HSSE again.

Hello again, I have now symbolized the crash file and the audio engine is crashing during scanning of shared components. So one of your installed components is causing the headache.
Therefore, please go to /Library/Application Support/Steinberg/ and see if there is anything in there that you have recently installed or updated. If there is, then please take it temporarily out of that folder and move e.g. to your desktop, and try again launching Dorico. Better?

Hello Ulf ,
I ended up calling support and they suggested I completely delete all Dorioco files and Steinberg/Dorico related products (of course I saved all my projects ). As you’ve pointed out in this thread, trying to install Dorico 4 with my OS (High Sierra) seemed to cause the malfunction of program.
Thanks for your help and quick repy!

Thanks @Ulf and @Ashley_Hribar

I did try to install Dorico Elements 4, as I wanted to see if it would work on my macOS Sierra system, and if it did then I would buy the full Dorico 4 upgrade… but it didn’t allow me to install. It makes sense that that is the issue, thought I mentioned it earlier. It makes sense that the new HSSE would be the issue, but perhaps simply trying to install Dorico 4 is the culprit.

By the way, I checked the Steinberg folder in the Application Support folder, can’t find anything new there that made sense, so I removed all new items to no avail. Then, I tried reinstalling HSSE 3.4, which I imagine would install over the the newer HSSE, but that didn’t work either, so I’m thinking I need to do what @Ashley_Hribar did.

Can you direct me to all the files I would need to remove? I also have Cubase 10.5 which I use extensively, so if I need to uninstall that too then I’ll need to diligent about preserving all my user files and preferences (track presets, preferences, I/O setups, etc.). Dorico doesn’t have any user preferences that I’m concerned about, so I can completely remove it.

@chines87, hang on, you are on Sierra? That’s the problem. Dorico 4 needs at least 10.14. Then most certainly HALion Sonic SE is the troublemaker because you installed the latest HSSE 3.5 which is not compatible with neither Dorico 3.5 nor Sierra. That’s why, go to that Application Support folder and throw out HALion Sonic SE.vst3 and run the installer for 3.4.40. I’m sure it will work afterwards.

Yes, I’m on macOS Sierra (for now), sorry I didn’t mention it earlier, I figured it would come up in the report. I wanted to try Dorico Elements 4 to see if it would work on this system and 3.5 has been working fine.

Anyhow, Removing that vst3 file worked, however installing HSSE3.4 didn’t give me sound in Dorico. And I got a pop up that says it’s missing 3.5 upon opening Dorico.
HSSE 3.5 Missing

  • Installing the Dorico Elements 3.5 Sounds Installer doesn’t resolve the issue.

Now my sounds that were previously working do not sound, and the Halion SE plugin is missing.

However, the installer for HSSE 3.5 will not complete, and creates the VST3 file that prevents Dorico from opening. So, I’m thinking there must be a specific Halion Sonic SE 3.5 version that I was able to use from before on my system?

Thanks so much for your help, we’re almost there!

Here’s a screenshot showing that my previously working Halion SE plugin no longer is found, even though I installed HSSE 3.4. I only have the Halion Sonic plugin (no SE)

Viola from HSSE that worked before doesn't load

@chines87 , are you sure that you installed HALion Sonic SE and not on HALion Sonic? Where did you get the HALion Sonic SE installer from, from here?
If you have a look at /Library/Application Support/Steinberg/Components , is there not a HALion Sonic SE.vst3?
If you did run the installer, where did that HALion Sonic SE.vst3 get intalled with you? Could you please search for it on your harddrive. If you find it (with the correct version), then copy it over to /Library/Application Support/Steinberg/Components and try again with Dorico.

It looks like it isn’t getting installed with that installer. The 3.1.10 installer installed a folder (doesn’t load the plugin though) and the 3.5 installer installs the file that prevents Dorico from opening. However, the 3.4.40 installer doesn’t install that file. I made a 40sec video showing the installer running without installing the file, but the forum doesn’t let me upload it or post a link… but it isn’t installing that file. I searched my CPU as well, and no file is there after I run that installer.

Hi @chines87 , yeah, I just had the same experience with another customer. The installer of 3.4.40 does “think” it is already installed and therefore does nothing. I ended up transferring the plug-in by hand to the customer’s machine and now it’s working. Tomorrow I will check if we have an uninstaller somewhere for HSSE, so please hang on a bit…

Hi @chines87 , a download link for a HSSE 3.5 uninstaller is here. Please run that and then the installer for HSSE 3.4.40.

Just replying to let you know that worked. Thanks! @Ulf

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Hi Ulf,
I’m responding now to your reply on 21 Jan and have included as requested the two zipped files (Dorico and VST AudioEngine3) extracted from the System reports tab using the Console app. This is because the problem with crashing, constant rainbow spiral and need to force quit issue has started again. Incidentally, my original post “Dorico 3.5 not working anymore “Audio Engine Died”” came about before knowing about or installing the Dorico 4 version. So it appears that this problem is not related to Dorico 4. Although strangely, after deleting everything meticulously as outlined in the email from Dorico support, then reinstalling Dorico 3.5, the program, it worked fine for a few days. Then only today I’m experiencing the same issues again. I also killed the VST audio engine in the activity Monitor, but as soon as I reloaded Dorico the crashes came back again which also makes the fan in my Mac is noisy working extra hard.
I look forward to your reply and hope this can be resolved.
Best wishes, Ash