Double bass in wrong octave when clicking on notes

Hello everybody,
When clicking on a Double Bass’s notes, the sound is one octave lower than expected. The playback is in the appropriate octave though.
All the notes at the bottom of the bass clef don’t sound because they’re out of range.
Not a big deal, but frustrating for a double bass player like me!


Looks that you are right…
Was not like this on v. 1.0.10…

I have to say that this problem do not exist using VST, VSL SE.

Thanks for your answer Alain! I was experiencing the same behavior with 1.0.10 though.
I’ll try with another VST, might be a bug with Halion Sonic SE

Yes, this behaviour is the same in both 1.0.10 and 1.0.20. We will address it when we rework the note auditioning code to work with lower latency.

Effects electric bass as well, and I’d bet, but haven’t tested it effects guitars as well since they’re also written 8va

Daniel, I just updated to 1.1.10 and created a new project using the Concert Orchestra template.

When I enter notes into the Double Bass staff with my midi keyboard, the note that is entered appears one octave too high on the staff (one octave higher than the note entered on the midi keyboard), and the auditioning note that is played back is one octave too low (two octaves lower than the note entered on the midi keyboard). If I move the note down one octave in Write mode and click on it, the correct note plays (one octave lower than written). The notes also play back correctly in Play mode after correcting the octave in Write mode. Once the notes are in the correct octave in Write mode, the auditioning note is correct when you click on a note, but any new notes entered have the original problem.

I tried “Apply Default Playback Template…” from the Play menu, but that didn’t help. Any ideas on a solution that doesn’t involve manually changing the octave in Write mode?

I just tried this myself, editing a piece I entered for harp and doublebass entirely from my laptop. I plugged in a 2-octave midi keyboard; both harp and bass notes appear in the correct octave (bass written an octave higher than sounding), but the auditioning bass note sounds two octaves too low (3 octaves lower than the written note). But - if I raise the bass note an octave, it both sounds and looks right. And if I lower again by an octave, then both notation and sound are correct. Howard is this the same behavior you describe?

Yes, it’s similar. I have an 88-key keyboard (Roland RD-700NX) that I use for note input. So far I have noticed this problem only with the Double Bass. If I enter a bass clef D below middle C, Dorico puts the note one octave higher than that – above middle C on the staff, and the auditioning note is 3 octaves below that (2 octaves below the note I actually entered). But everything is fine once I move the written note down one octave in Write mode. Strange.

We do know about this issue. It’s quite a knotty problem, and caused by the complex interaction of 3 separate bits of transposition logic that are all in different parts of the application:

  • the instrument has a transposition
  • the input note may get transposed depending on your note input options
  • the played-back note gets transposed according to the expression map (since bass patches are often shifted up an octave so that you can still access the keyswitches in the lower octave of your keyboard)

We have looked at this issue in the past but it’s been a tricky one to solve.

Thanks, Paul. That does sound like a tricky one! I’m sure you’ll get it sorted out eventually. In the meantime, it’s easy enough to just move the entered notes down one octave and all is well after that. I just retired on the first of this month and now I have lots more time to play with Dorico. I’ve been using Sibelius for many years but now I’m focused 100% on Dorico and I’m really enjoying it.

Congratulations on your retirement, Howard. I hope you will have many happy hours of music-making with Dorico ahead of you!

I strongly believe I understand fully what this thread is talking about. Unless I am doing something wrong, I do not have the same issue with a piccolo (which seems similar to the Double Bass). Is there a fix to this, or some kind of work around I could employ?


The double bass, compared to the piccolo, has the additional complication that the patch in HALion is transposed up by an octave. This is so that it can be played on a midi keyboard whilst keeping the keyswitches in the same place as the other string patches (this is a common convention in some sample libraries). It’s this extra transposition that causes headaches in the note input code. The workaround of sorts is to disregard the pitch you hear during note input - trust the pitch you see.

OK, that is what I have been doing up to this point. And now I get what you is meant about the keyswitch. Thanks Paul for the prompt response.


Unlike Robby, I do have this issue with a piccolo. Using the Note Performer piccolo on an 88 key keyboard I just about have enough notes at the top to get things written without using the keyboard octave keys - and anything being written sounds an octave too high. Playback is fine. The Note Performer Contrabass also has this problem. I haven’t tested other octave-transposed instruments (guitars?) but I’m guessing they would all have the same problem.

Would user involvement (i.e. identifying misbehaving instruments within the users sound library) make a solution more possible?

No, the issue is not, I’m afraid, that we don’t understand the problem, but rather that fixing the problem is very involved because we don’t want to interfere with the low-latency echoing of the notes that you play or with the careful handling of instruments that transpose at intervals other than the octave. It is definitely on the list for us to fix in due course.

Heh - been away for a week and Daniel’s changed…

Apologies, Daniel, I didn’t for one minute mean to imply that you didn’t understand the problem - I have no doubt that you do. What I was trying to find out (based on Paul’s post above) was whether user involvement - i.e. giving users the option of not just identifying incorrectly sounding instruments but the means to them correct their playback pitch - might be one way to address this issue. But with a latency issue also involved obviously it’s beyond that.