Error connecting to Audio Engine


I had this error repeatedly and it really slows me down in my work, so maybe someone can help me on that.

I start Dorico, that works fine. Then I open my last project, and I get this error: No Sound at all, after a while the little red triangle appears and it says “Error connecting to Audio Engine”. If I try to save the project at this point, Dorico doesn’t respond anymore.

I have to admit that I use several VSTs that could be part of the problem. In this project I use 3 instances of the Vienna Synchron Player, Toontrack SD3, Synthogy Ivory and Spectrasonics Trilian. But if Logic could handle all this without any problem, why shouldn’t Dorico?

Any idea what I could do?
Dorico (622 KB)

Hi Christian, something is crashing the audio engine. The diagnostics contain plenty of crashdumps.
2 of the crashdumps point directly at the Synchron Player as the culprit.
The others I can’t tell, yet, but I’ve seen the pattern of the callstack already in the past,
so I need to go through my records and see what was the cause for it.
Sorry that I’m not clever enough to immediately recall, but I will find and come back soon.

Hi Ulf,

thank you for taking the time to help me.
I just checked the Vienna Synchron Player on my Mac, it’s up to date.
That goes also for all the other VSTs and the eLicenser.

Hi Christian, what verison of the eLicenser Control Center do you have? The crashes, where I said I have seen the pattern before, were caused by our copy protection scheme. So if you have an older eLicenser Control Center than, then please upgrade to the latest, which you can download from

I checked the eLicenser Website just yesterday, I was already on, as of today there is 2267.
So, I’ll give that a try and let you know, if there is any improvement.


So, I updated the elicenser Control Center, but I still get the same behavior. I also tried to restart the computer.
Any other idea?

To be honest, I’m running out of steam then. But could you please post another diagnostics report, so I can see the latest crash dumps. Maybe in the dumps now something has changed as well.

Ok, here’ s another diagnostics report.

I just tried one other thing:
I use an external display, an ultra wide monitor (LG HDR 5K), which uses a lot of graphics power and has speakers (so it pops up as a audio device in the system. I unplugged it and just used the internal Macbook display and Dorico loaded the project without any problems. Is this a coincidence or do you think that display could be the reason for the audio problem?
Again, thank you for your help!
Dorico (812 KB)

I don’t think it has to do with the monitor, but never say never.
Thanks for the new data, and indeed, the pattern of the callstack did change.
Unfortunately, I don’t have a Mac here in the home office, so on Monday I need to ask someone else to resolve the crashdumps for me.
Until then, I would exclude one by one the instrument plug-ins from the project and see if you can find out, if one of the plug-ins is causing the instability somehow.

Alright, I’ll try that. Thanks for now and have a nice weekend!


I’m a little desperate. I can’t do any changes to my Audio Settings because everytime I try this Dorico crashes. So, I can’t do any changes, I can’t work, at this point I just need to save my file and the work I already spent on this.
So can please someone at Steinberg look again at my Diagnostics and tell me what the problem is?
Is there a way to save a file without connected to the Audio Engine? Is there to open a document without the original Audio settings?

Dorico (972 KB)

Hi Christian, I’m sorry to hear about your trouble. I have a couple of questions, though.
What do you mean by changes to your audio settings? Do you try to add or remove instrument plug-ins, or are you trying to change the sample rate? Please be a little more specific on what you are exactly doing and what is happening.
Is it already crashing when you are loading a project? If not, then you could go to Play Mode and choose ‘Play > Playback Template’ and then the Silence template. That will unload all plug-ins and resets the audio engine to a basic state where it does not do anything anymore. Can you continue working under that state?
In the diagnostics we keep the logs of the last 10 runs. In many of them the log breaks off during loading of Trillian. I would suggest moving Trillian temporarily out of the way, so that the VSTAudioEngine does not “see” it anymore. Therefore, take Trillian out of the folder /Library/Audio/Plug-ins/VST2 (it should be lying around somewhere there) and move it e.g. to your desktop. Does it still crash?

Hi Ulf,

I can open Dorico.
I can open the project I’m currently working on.
Then there is two different behaviors.

One: The VSTs are loading, after maybe 30 seconds I have all the sounds; when I choose a note, it’s playing. I can go on working. I can change my Playback Template to Silence or to Note Performer. I can do changes in VST Instruments.

Two: The VSTs aren’t loading, I get no sound when I choose a note. After at least a minute or two the red triangle appears (below right), when I click on it, it says “Error connecting to Audi Engine”. From this moment on I can still work, I can do changes in Write Mode, I can even switch modes, but if I try to save the project, the spinning ball appears and Dorico doesn’t respond anymore.
Sometimes the spinning ball already appears when I try to change one of the VST Instruments, let’s say from Vienna to Halion, or when I try to open the “Device Control Panel” in “Audio Device Setup”. Also, if I try to change the Playback Template, the spinning ball appears.

To put this into perspective: During the last days, behavior number two appeared in 9 of 10. I can’t work like this.

Meanwhile I managed to save a version of my score with a Note Performer Setup. I will now try to reopen the original File without Trilian and see if that makes a difference.

It’s really frustrating. I have a very nice sounding setup to do arrangements. I used to do the arranging part in Logic, and when the result is what my clients liked I would transfer everything to my notation app (Sibelius back then) and do just the score. I really had hoped to speed up this whole process by using my sound setup directly in Dorico. But right now I’m losing too much time with trouble shooting.

Anyway, thanks for helping!

Sorry Christian, it really hurts me, when reading this. But please bear with us, it is extremely tedious to find out the cause for this.
Let’s first try without Trillian and see if that makes a difference.

Hi Ulf,

I tried two ways. First I removed Trilian from the VST folder. Same behavior than before.
Second, I removed Trilian from the Whitelist. Same behavior.

Then I set up a version just with Note Performer and Vienna Synchronized Player. Dorico again not responding.

Then I set up a version with Note Performer and Ivory, works.
I added Superior Drummer, still works.
I added Trilian, still works.

But: As soon as I play with some of the Audio Settings in the Audio Device Panel, Dorico sees that spinning ball again. Even without doing any changes, just by opening that panel.

So, I’ll try to include the Vienna Synchronized Player again to see how far I can push this.

It would be very helpful for us if you could reproduce the crash again and make a note of the time, then attach another diagnostic report and tell us exactly what happened.

Do you have any other audio applications running at the same time? Any IAC buses, Soundflower or anything that might be part of the audio device chain?

Hello Paul,

I just recreated one of the crashes I mentioned earlier.
I went to the Audio Device Setup and changed the Sample Buffer Size. I closed the Device Control Panel, opened it again and changed the Buffer Size again. That caused the spinning ball and Dorico doesn’t respond. The time was 13:01, it should be the last of the crash file in the diagnostic report.
Dorico (972 KB)

Christian, also, please have Activity Monitor running and look for a process called VSTAudioEngine. It’s the audio engine of Dorico and runs as a separate process. So if that one dies, Dorico will continue running, but when Dorico tries to communicate again with the dead process, then Dorico gets the spinning beachball. So it is important that you monitor the VSTAudioEngine process and when it actually disappears.

Christian, another question, please. Do you have the Dorico license on a USB dongle or on the soft-eLicenser?
Your crashes could be related to our copy protection scheme.
And no, I don’t say or mean you are using cracked software.

Hello Ulf,

I watched the activity monitor, it’s exactly like you described. While loading or when I change some of the audio settings the CPU goes up for the Audio Engine, and then it disappears. Dorico looks good at this point, but like I described, as soon as I start to save my file it crashes.
I have the license on the soft eLicenser, although I have an USB-dongle too. Should I try to transfer the license to the USB-dongle?