First contact sci-fi sound and its remedy

The key bindings are saved in /Users//Library/Application Support/Steinberg/Dorico/keycommands_en.json on Mac or C:\Users<yourname>\AppData\Roaming\Steinberg\Dorico\keycommands_en.json on Win, so you could make a back up copy before starting to experiment.

For the other question: I think the issue is not about “resetting the sound system”. You say that sometimes the sounds load correctly and sometimes not. This suggests the following:

  1. The sound libraries were not installed correctly or only partially.
  2. Dorico not telling the audio engine to load the correct sounds.

I first would further investigate into point 1. Is it always the same sounds that get loaded / not loaded?
E.g. the piano will always load, but a violin never. Or is it that a piano sometimes loads and sometimes not?
That what you describe could happen if the HSO library didn’t get installed. Because the piano sound comes from the HALion Sonic library, but for the violin sound by default Dorico will choose the HSO library. But if that one isn’t there or can’t be found, then that ‘First Contact’ sound will get loaded.
So I propose, you create a new project with a piano and a violin and tell me what sounds do get loaded.

Hi Ulf,

thanks a lot for your answer. I will check into these things at once and report back.


(Hmm, I quick replied some time ago but it apparently did not get through…second try…)

In a new document when I create the violin first and then the piano, the violin gets First Contact and the piano gets Piano.
If I do it in the opposite order, the piano still gets Piano but the violin gets nothing.

So, is this because HSO is not properly installed? It does show up in the dropdown of the VST pane though.

Okay, that really suggests that something is wrong with your HSO installation.
Well, HSO comprises the HSO player plug-in and the sound and preset files. The player plug is not interesting in this case because also HALion Sonic can load and play the HSO sounds. Dorico will always use HALion Sonic as player and never the HSO player.
So the most important part are the sound and preset files. The sound files contain all the samples and are therefore huge, so all together they are about 6 GB. In a normal, default installation the sound files will get installed to C:\ProgramData\Steinberg\Content\HALion\VST Sound\VST Sound - HSO
Have a look there, you should find 26 files with the ending .vstsound.
If they are there, please check the directory C:\Users<yourname>\AppData\Roaming\Steinberg\Content\HALion\VST Sound\VST Sound - HSO
In there you should find the same number of files, similarly named, but they are just shortcuts to the other files in Program Data.

Then there should also be the file C:\ProgramData\Steinberg\Content\VST Sound\FCP_SMT_027_HSO_Presets_01.vstsound

Please check and report.



there is only one folder, “VST Sound”.

The C:\ProgramData\Steinberg\Content\VST Sound\FCP_SMT_027_HSO_Presets_01.vstsound exists.

So all the HSO sounds are missing then or are maybe in a wrong place.

You could try and find the file FCP_SMT_001_HSO_Bass_Clarinet_Solo.vstsound on your hard drive(s) which is one of the 26 needed files. If it is no where to find, then I guess there is no way around a reinstallation.

The Bass Clarinet file is in

C:\ProgramData\Steinberg\Content\HALion\VST Sound\VST Sound - HSO

But if I understood correctly, that is only the shortcut?

No, the shortcuts are in C:\Users<yourname>\AppData\Roaming\Steinberg\Content\HALion\VST Sound\VST Sound - HSO

But they are also necessary…

OK. So all the 26 files are in the VST Sound - HSO folder, but I seem to be missing the shortcuts set.
Time for a reinstall then, is it?

I did a reinstall and;

C:\ProgramData\Steinberg\Content\HALion\VST Sound\VST Sound - HSO
All 26 files there, just like before.

C:\Users<yourname>\AppData\Roaming\Steinberg\Content\HALion\VST Sound\VST Sound - HSO
This folder still does not exist.

C:\ProgramData\Steinberg\Content\VST Sound\FCP_SMT_027_HSO_Presets_01.vstsound
The file is there.

When I test the program, I have the same problems as before. Now, I will try to uninstall all and do another reinstall.

OK, so now I have uninstalled everything and then reinstalled it.

Same problem.

What next?

And now I have uninstalled everything, made a fresh download, and reinstalled. Nothing changes.

Maybe I am just missing something simple but I really do not know where to go to next.

Really sorry you have such trouble. I would have expected that a reinstallation would have solved your problem…really weird.

Then do following: Delete completely the folder C:\Users\UStoermer<yourname>\Roaming\Steinberg\VSTAudioEngine_64
Don’t worry it will get recreated the next time you start Dorico. Also, starting will take a little longer than usual because the engine will need to do a rescan in order to generate all the files.
Then close Dorico and zip up the complete content of that recreated folder and post here.

Hi Ulf,

thanks, I really appreciate you taking time for this.

I found the folder in C:\Users[name]\AppData\Roaming\Steinberg, I guess that is what you meant?
Anyway, I deleted the folder. See attached the recreated one.

Just to provide the information, my computer is a Lenovo Thinkpad T440s, i7 processor, 12 GB ram and 512 GB SD. Integrated graphics and sound. I run Windows 10 which was upgraded from Windows 8.

LAE (239 KB)

Thanks for the upload, but couldn’t find any clue in there.

One thing that sprang into my mind though, well, we people that develop these things take so many things for granted and obvious, that of course for the users are not.

When you uninstalled Dorico, did you just uninstall Dorico or also all the other components (HSO and the lot)? Though of course the Dorico installer as such runs as one big blob, in fact, behind the scene are several separate product installers invoked. Since we also sell HSO as a standalone product, we have a separate installer for it. The Dorico installer triggers it’s own installer and that of HSO and other components.

I guess you just uninstalled Dorico itself, but not HSO, right? Then, when you reinstall Dorico it detects that HSO is already installed and won’t change anything in regards to HSO.

So I propose that you really uninstall everything that gets installed along with Dorico:

  • First delete that folder C:\Users[name]\Roaming\Steinberg\VSTAudioEngine_64 again.
  • Open the Windows Control Panel, go to System > Apps & features
    – In the field ‘Search this list’ type Steinberg, that will show you all components that got installed along with Dorico
  • Click on each item listed and uninstall it, the order thereby doesn’t matter

That should give you a clean system. Then again, run the Dorico installer. No need to download the whole lot again. During the beginning of the installation, have a look when the installer says what it is going to install. It will list ‘Dorico’, ‘Components’, ‘HALion Sonic SE’ and ‘HALion Symphonic Orchestra’. Check that behind each item is written ‘Will be installed’ and not ‘Already installed’.

Again, sorry for all the hassle. Wished I could spare you from this.


Ok, I’ll try that. However, I think I deleted everything, but I will do it again just to be sure.

I do not have the folder in the place you are saying. C:\Users[name]\Roaming\Steinberg does not exist on my system but C:\Users[name]\AppData\Roaming\Steinberg does, and this is where the folder is.

I managed to uninstall everything except the eLicenser and the Steinberg Download assistant. Now reinstalling.

Sorry, yes, that’s the one I meant.


Eventually it seems to have worked. I started a new document, added violin and piano and both sounds were assigned correctly. I just hope it stays like that now! Probably I did not uninstall everything properly when I tried last time before this.

Thank you Ulf for your patience,

have a nice weekend,

Ha ha! I’m glad it is sorted now.

Have a good one, too. :slight_smile: