Dorico 5 - Halion issue (and temp. fix) w/ microtonal playback

Hey all! I’ve downloaded Dorico 5 in order to update from 3.5 and ran into a microtonal playback issue. Basically, documents that were created in 3.5 or earlier, when opened in 5, would simply play back in 12-TET unless I changed the microtonality playback expression map. Eventually, a colleague discovered that this issue could be fixed if one simply deletes Halion from the VST and MIDI rack in the Play window, and then re-instates it with all the identical instruments. I’m glad the solution is so easy, and am wondering how it can be addressed in an update. Purposely, I just use Halion to realize microtonal audio so that I don’t have any more advanced playback issues. I also notice that playback can sometimes be weird in 3.5 after opening 5 as well, or with 5, and that once upon opening 5 the audio engine quit. Is the microtonal playback issue a bug that’s easy to fix?

If you just re-apply the Playback Template, does that fix it?

Yes, it does! Wow, that’s even better. So probably (?) it’s easy to find the root of this issue. I switched from Silence back to Pro and it’s fixed!

One more thing - the tonality system I have in 5 will change to say “Custom Tonality System” instead of the equal temperament that is normally loaded, which isn’t really a functional issue because it’s just whatever I had re-named for no reason - but it is a little weird. Maybe it would be helpful info for anyone investigating this.

I don’t think there’s anything for us to investigate here. You can go to Library > Expression Maps and ensure that the expression maps you’re using have the appropriate microtonal playback method specified (you may have to expand the top part of the dialog to find the option there).

Thanks for jumping in, Daniel (really appreciate your work on this software). There are a few new developments, as I’ve been working with the software extensively today with the goal of getting playback correct in 5, and exporting microtonal MIDI data with pitch bend attached.

The solution that I included in the very first comment (deleting Halion and reloading with new instruments the user picks themselves) seems to be slightly superior at the moment for my purposes (although it takes longer) because it doesn’t cause any pitch bend export issues. However, when trying benwiggy’s slightly more convenient solution, something strange happens to the microtonal playback method specified. Namely, no matter which playback method is selected, we get VST Note Expression (I think), and are thus unable to use pitch bend to export microtonal MIDI data! In other words, after I’ve switched a playback template in a document to fix playback, selecting “Pitch Bend” in expression maps does not show pitch bend in the MIDI data.

My aforementioned colleague was able to fix this second issue by clicking “Reset to Library Defaults” in the lower left corner of the Expression Maps, but this didn’t work for me unfortunately. For now, my workaround to export pitch bend is to use the initial solution of reloading Halion and picking instruments manually, which does seem to work so far.

Luckily, at the moment this seems to be entirely possible to work around, though I am eagerly awaiting an update addressing these compatibility issues. Despite the hurdles, I am extremely happy that I can now export microtonal MIDI data for clients!!!