Fast Tuplets Playback Issues


In two separate projects now, I have run into issues with the playback of fast(ish) tuplets. It sounds as though the computer can’t keep up and the notes get all jumbled, like they’re crashing into one another. The playback recovers after the tuplets.

However, if I play the same notes at double duration and double tempo, the playback is fine. E.g. sixteenth-note triplets at 88 bpm (plays badly) vs. eighth-note triplets at 176 (plays fine). This leads me to believe that it has something to do with how MIDI is handled “under the hood” instead of the software instruments struggling to keep up. This isn’t related to a score being “tall” – I’m currently experiencing this problem with a solo instrument.

I’m using the built-in Mac audio driver and I have the buffer size maxed out (2048 samples). I typically use NotePerformer, but I’m using Kontakt for this current project and have tried the Halion options as well – same issue with all instruments/playback templates. My computer specs are below.

Any advice about how to resolve this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks,

2019 MacBook Pro
Mac OS Mojave (10.14.6)
2.2 GhZ i7 processor

In the Playback Options in Play mode, try reducing the amount of “humanization.” The setting is a proportion of the beat length, not of the note length, so it affects short written notes in a slow tempo more than longer written notes in a faster tempo, even if the speed in terms of “number of notes played per second” is the same.

A bit of quick experiementation here doesn’t reproduce the problem, Lawton. Can you cook up a minimal example that reproduces the problem and attach it here?

Hi Daniel and Rob,

Thanks for your advice. I reduced the “humanization” to zero and it still did not correct the issue. I looked at the piano roll editor in Play mode and found that the playback positions of the notes were offset from their notated positions, which I was able to resolve by using the Reset Playback Overrides function. The playback is now correct.

However I’m confused because this is material that I entered directly into notation. I understand the playback overrides exist to preserve slight imperfections in a MIDI-recorded performance, but I wouldn’t expect playback to differ from notation when I entered it directly into Dorico. If “humanization” is on, are those divergences from the grid reflected in the Play mode piano roll or is the humanization calculated at playback time?

All the best,

As Daniel already asked, if you attach a project that shows the problem, somebody might be able to explain it. Otherwise everybody is just guessing.

Hello – I’ve attached a file that I think demonstrates the issues I’m describing. Mm. 47-49 is a good example; I entered the notes in this tuplet passage manually but the playback is significantly ahead of the notated position (visible in Play mode). I can get them back on the grid by resetting playback overrides, but I’d like to understand why this occurs so I know how and when to account for it in the future.

Don’t judge the score too harshly – it’s a work in progress!

Dorico Tuplet Playback (631 KB)

Every note in the score seems to have the playback start and end properties set, and those are consistent with the “off the beat” playback.

So the question is, how did they all get set? How exactly did you enter the notes? Playing “live”, importing a MIDI file, or something else?

I doubt very much that they all spontaneously set themselves :slight_smile: