Frequent Crashes in Dorico Pro 5

Hi. My name is Dylan, and I have been a Dorico user for around a year.

First of all, this notation program is excellent. I love all of its features and it has significantly aided me in my compositional studies and endeavors over the past year. I am greatly appreciative of the dedicated developers of this fantastic program.
That being said, I have been having some large issues with the program as of late. It didn’t happen so much on my old Windows machine, (it was occasional, but not frequent), but I upgraded to a much better Windows laptop and have been experiencing a massive amount of periodic crashes every time I use the program. Triggers include opening / switching between two or more scores and occasionally my audio device will disconnect, cause the device manager to spaz out and eventually stop responding. Both of these problems are usually always fixed by going into task manager and ending the ‘VST Audio Engine’ program, and then reopening Dorico. A minor inconvenience, but an inconvenience nonetheless. I actually upgraded from Dorico Pro 4 to 5 in hopes that this software issue would be addressed, but it remained a problem. It has occasionally cost me 5-15 minutes of work and overall is just an unnecessary pain to manage and worry about when I’m in the work mindset. I would love to get some more insight on to what could be causing this, or an acknowledgement that the problem is being addressed.

I truly appreciate the effort Steinberg puts into this program, and I have nothing but praise to give outside of these software problems. Thank you for your time.


Hi Dylan, welcome to the forum.
Please do from Dorico’s menu Help > Create Diagnostics Report and post the corresponding zip file to a reply here.
The contained logs and (hopefully) crash files will give us some deeper insights into your problem.
Thank you very much

Dorico (842.7 KB)

Sure thing, hope this helps!
Thanks for your reply.

Thanks very much. The diagnostics does contain two freeze dump files of the VSTAudioEngine. Unfortunately, both files have zero length and so therefore can’t be read by my debugger.
Please have a look in your Documents folder, there is a subfolder Steinberg/Crashes. That is the place from where the diagnostics reporter picks up the dump files. In that original location, do the dump files have other than zero bytes length?

And you are speaking of Dorico frequently crashing, but is that really crashing or just no responding any more. Maybe not from your user’s point of view, but from an engineer’s point of view crashing and not responding are two completely different things.

Huge scores? Audio device - what is it? Audio interface drivers up to date? What Windows version? Windows on latest updates? Enough RAM? What CPU? Other programs running simultaneously? Latest version of Dorico? Bluetooth involved (always a suspect at the table)? What is Task Manager telling you about processes? What VST’s?

Yes, large scores. I switch between Bluetooth and Wired headphones frequently, but the bluetooth device (Apple AirPods) is normally what causes the device setup page to freakout upon disconnecting, but the large score crashes are separate. VST is NotePerformer 4. Task Manager does not seem to note anything abnormal outside of '(not responding) next to Dorico when it occurs.
Most of the time, the only other programs running are Discord and Google Chrome, with maybe a few miscellaneous game launchers that open upon startup like Steam.

Device specs:
|Processor|12th Gen Intel(R) Core™ i7-12700H 2.30 GHz|
|Installed RAM|32.0 GB (31.6 GB usable)|


Edition Windows 11 Home
Version 22H2
Installed on ‎3/‎16/‎2023
OS build 22621.2283
Experience Windows Feature Experience Pack 1000.22662.1000.0

You are right, I used the wrong term when describing these problems. It stops responding, which renders it unusable until I close the application via Task Manager, along with the VST Audio Engine. There are a few crash reports that are non-zero bytes, which I will attach here. (810.9 KB)

There are many 0 byte reports, but these are the ones I could find.
Thanks again.

Hi @Dylan_Flenniken , thanks for the data.

The contained dump files are from different locations. First there are 3 dumps without “Dorico 5 Audioengine” in their names. Those are actually real crashes, namely during audio export.

The other dumps are so called freezedumps. We have a watchdog thread running and when the watchdog detects that the audio engine does not react to any input any more. In the debugger I then can see that the main thread is blocked, because some system function can’t proceed because it is waiting for some system resource or other thread to finish. But I can’t really tell what the root cause of the problem is.
Could you please get the free utility Process Explorer. It is like TaskManager only more powerful. Then, when Dorico is freezing again, please run that program and in the process list find the VSTAudioEngine5.exe, make a right click on it and choose from the popup menu Create Dump > Create minidump. Please zip up the output from that and post here. Thank you very much.

Also, does it happen randomly to you, or can you say, when you do this or that it is likely to happen…
Any hint is appreciated. (2.6 MB)

The issue is most likely to happen in mostly two scenarios:
Switching between large orchestral scores
Reconfiguring the audio device setup (Bluetooth normally involved)

. I also had an issue yesterday where I shut down without saving, and my computer had opened the “are you sure you want to shut down” screen. When I clicked no and returned to Dorico, it stopped responding and had no autosave when I reopened it. That however was mostly user error, as I shouldn’t have shut down without saving, but I figured I would report that issue as well.

Thanks Dylan, I will take a look tomorrow morning.

Hi Dylan, I’ve sent you a private message via the forum, please check.

Hi Ulf

I am hoping you could take a look at my diagnostic file. Since I updated to Pro and added Note Performer (although I am not currently using Note Performer in this project), Dorico has been hanging multiple times.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Hi @Aelmsley , I just took a first look and NotePerformer and contents gets recognized by Dorico. However, there are 5 audio engine dumps contained which I will run through the debugger later in the evening. A little patience please. Thanks

Hi Ulf,

I try to increase the size of a flat in Eb in the Chord Symbols Editor, and Dorico crashes. This has never happened to me before. Restarting Dorico or Mac doesn’t solve the problem. Could you please take a look ? Thanks !
Mac OS Big Sur 11.7.10 Dorico Pro 5.1.30
Dorico (1.8 MB)

Hi @Carlovanderput , you mean that Dorico crashes and you can’t get it going again? In that case, have a look in the Activity Monitor app for a VST Audio Engine process and kill it, after that Dorico should start up again.
I’m the audio engine expert and regarding the Dorico crashes Daniel will have a look.

No, I can restart Dorico, but as soon as I edit a flat in the Chord Symbols editor ( now I tried Db instead of Eb…) Dorico Crashes.
I did hundreds of edits in this editor in the past, and never had a problem.
Should I contact Daniel ?

No worries, Daniel will come here sooner or later in any case.

Hi @Aelmsley , I ran now the five audio engine crash dumps through my debugger and they all show the same problem: heap corruption. But not the audio engine itself but the SWAM-Cello plug-in. So our engine is going down because that plug-in is doing something wrong and is crashing.
We at Steinberg can’t do anything about it. It’s now up to you to get in touch with the makers of SWAM plugs, hand them over the dump files and ask them to fix the issue.

Thanks Ulf

I sent them the diagnostics file.


Sorry to hear about this, Carlo. Can you please confirm the steps you’re taking to reproduce this crash? Are you using Library > Chord Symbols, or are you double-clicking the chord symbol in Engrave mode, or something else?