Dorico and Eastwest Word Builder - problem?

Hi Ulf, I would use: ‘Ha le lO yia’ This is pretty easy to recognize as you cycle through the individual syllables. As you play the keyboard you should be able to make out this word as you play successive keys - there is a ‘reset’ button on the right hand side of the PLAY GUI which will start the word from the beginning - This is also available to program via a CC number (default CC31).

I don’t think you need a test project to be honest - The issue is that when you actually plug some notes onto the staff you are using in Dorico and try and playback, nothing really happens. You can see the keys depressing on the PLAY GUI keyboard, so the notes are getting through somehow, but the sound of the choir that you can hear when you are simply playing the keyboard, is no longer there. Something is different between playing the notes on the keyboard and having Dorico play them back - this is the crux of the problem. You can also see in the GUI that PLAY and OPUS for that matter, split the Word-Builder elements onto separate midi channels.

Hope this helps!

Good Morning Ulf, as I said I stopped using EWQL, but I owe you more than a few favors. Using the default "In the beginning patch that you already have loaded. If you run Choirs in a DAW with any random midi notes in the men’s range you will hear that the words change clearly on every note, (even if not perfectly as humans would sing them) but at least you’ll get a sense of exactly what you are listening for.

Do the same think in Dorico with quarter notes or whatever, and you will get sound but no words. The tweaking that was mentioned is more about adjusting the relative strength and length of consonants and such to make it sound more appropriate to a particular phrase, but that doesn’t affect the problem here one way or the other. As, even when it is not the best, you can always tell the difference between words and not words being used…

Hi folks, thanks very much. I slowly start getting through.
Yes, I tried in Cubase with the phrase “I see the moon,…” and yes, I can hear the choir singing that, not so clear but it’s recognisable.
The same in Dorico and again, the choir sings loud and every note, but it’s only vowels and the text is not recognisable at all.
Now I understand the difference and how it should sound like in Dorico as well.
Let’s see what I can find out further…


it might be worth quickly summarising my experience with Symphonic Choirs after a couple more tests with Play 6.19.

Results are identical in Cubase with either Play version , and Dorico in Play 5. Dorico in Play 6 seems to have clearly reproducible behaviour. It sings the first syllable and cannot move on, perhaps because Dorico is not able to send the correct Hold Syllable instruction . The screenshot shows the setting.

However, if you simply click a note and then repeatedly single click the same note, the text is followed through perfectly. This again strongly suggests to me that the issue is, as EWQL claim, related to a problem with Dorico following the requested note off procedure as it immediately sticks after the first note on. Why Sibelius works until it reaches a repeated note of 100% length while Dorico gets stuck immediately is a mystery here, I think.

Perhaps you are already making further progress, Ulf. Below is a very basic test project in case it helps. With luck the behaviour could be reproducible using Hollywood Choirs but no guarantee.
hallelujah test.dorico (734.6 KB)

Many thanks @dko22. I’m making slow progress on this since I can’t dedicate all of my time, but I will stay on the case and report my findings as I go along. Thanks for all of your input, it really helps me.

very kind of you, Ulf. I won’t pester you any more just now but will keep Play 6 installed for a few days at any rate just in case you come up with something you’d like us to test. I’m not working on any choral project at the moment.

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Yes, thank you, Ulf!…the future of many great and as yet unwritten choral works composed in Dorico, is resting on your shoulders. ;-))

Oh Dear, I’m not quite sure if I can handle such burden :wink:

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no pressure then! :wink: Incidentally, I just had confirmation from EWQL that Wordbuilder works the same way for both PLAY 6 and OPUS. There is also no difference between the implementation in Symphonic Choirs and Hollywood Choirs. So a fix for any of these combinations should with luck work for all.

Just a quick update: Turns out to be quite difficult. I have Dorico in the debugger running and actually see no reason from our side, why it does not work. I will similarly look into Cubase, because there it does work. When I can’t find anything further, I have to get together with EastWest and see if we can work it out together. So don’t expect any results anywhere soon.


That’s why it feels so good to work with Dorico. Not only because it is a very, very good piece of software, but also because of the team that is so committed to solving problems, working for the users, trying to make things possible. Thanks, Ulf!

I just tried OPUS in Sibelius - v.2019.9 - I could hardly remember how to use Sibelius anymore, but even though I’ve let my subscription lapse, it booted up. I managed to get get the Opus Word Builder Choir onto a stave and the bizarre thing is that it works in exactly the opposite way to Dorico at the moment. When you play the keyboard on a live stave you only get a simple vowel sound, it doesn’t cycle through the syllables, but when you PLAYBACK notes on the stave, it sings back the text and also resets to the start of the text each time you stop and then restart playback. So it sort of works.
I know this does not have much relevance for Dorico, but I thought it was interesting. The midi assignment on the stave is also set to ‘1’ as you cannot select ‘omni’ like in a DAW, and I still think that that has something to do with the overall functionality of the software in non DAW’s, but maybe Ulf will clarify.

Out of interest Ulf, did the debugger show anything of interest in comparison to Cubase?

Many thanks!

I thought OPUS is supposed to work the same way as PLAY 6? PLAY 6 works normally in Sibelius 7.1.3 except for having to shorten repeated notes to get the division recognised. Playing back with my MIDI keyboard definitely advances correctly to the next text. If what you’re saying is correct, then Opus is different which isn’t good news for testing. Or that Sib 2019 is different from 7.1.3 – less likely I would have thought.

I wondered for a minute what would happen if you could put on and off between notes directly in the controller lane between notes (making sure they’re well spaced for testing purposes) matching the “hold syllable” setting in Wordbuilder options. It may not be the same thing as note on/off (although there is a hint in the WB manual that they are related) and thus irrelevant. Doesn’t work anyway.

I’m sure by now Ulf will have thoroughly tested all the obvious things. I think we are agreed that the problem is Dorico is failing to deal with the new “note off” requirement from PLAY 6? If Ulf can’t yet crack it then the chance of me being able to do so is slim though I occasionally have a tinker.

My comparison with Cubase did not bring a major break through, but I do believe now that it has to do with the timing of the MIDI notes, which is slightly different in Dorico. I have to work with other engineers to dig deeper into it. I’m still confident though that sooner or later we will find a solution. You just wait and see :slight_smile:


I have every confidence in you :wink:
Obviously, it’s not something simple that could be fixed by a little note start/end offset, otherwise even the likes of me would have found that by now.

Good news, people. Well, it’s not fixed, yet, but I now know why it does not work. Actually, Wolfgang from EastWest helped me and pointed me at the wrong information that Dorico passes to the plug-in. Obviously for all other plug-ins this wrong information is not relevant and gets ignored, but Wordbuilder depends on it and therefore fails to advance the syllables properly.
So a fix can’t be that far away any more and I dare say that with the coming Dorico 4 you can also use Wordbuilder then. Get your choirs ready :wink:
Many thanks also to Wolfgang for his support on this.


Wow, well done Ulf, this is excellent news!

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Yes, found and fixed the bug now. Get ready for your next choral master piece in Dorico 4 :smiley:


Singers and players get often applause. This time the applause is for you!!


Obviously, now what we need is for Dorico to send lyrics to Wordbuilder automatically…


P.S.: Just kidding… :relaxed: