Grinding, growling and distorted music on playback of an orchestral piece

I get “growling” “Grinding” sound and “distorted” music after a few pages of playback of an orchestral piece which continues for a few pages then can recover to normal play back before the end.

What’s the cause of this and how do I get rid of it?

I use Dorico 3.5 Pro and Noteperformer4

I asked this question of Steinberg technical support on October 12th and was asked to send a copy of the project file which I did and which was sent to the developers for analysis. Steinberg technical support followed up a few times but we’ve heard nothing back from the developers. How do I proceed to get a diagnosis, understanding, and remedy so that I may proceed with my project.

BTW I’m very impressed with Dorico in so many ways

Thank you

Where did you get Noteperformer 4? On the website the latest version is 3.3.2.

Did you already try to increase the buffer size?
Is it happening randomly or only at a specific passage?

As stated by derhannes, the latest publicly available version of NotePerformer is 3.3.2. NotePerformer 3 is expressly noted by the developer as providing only “beta support” for versions 2.2.10 and up of Dorico. Presumably, Wallander Instruments is waiting for future changes to Dorico before it is comfortable labelling Dorico as a supported application. If you really are using NotePeformer 4 (as a beta tester, for example) I wonder if it might be programmed to work with only version 4 (and above) of Dorico, which is just around the corner. Of course, this is all musing on my part. However, I wonder if the sound of your project is less distorted and growly when you instead use the Steinberg Symphony Orchestra that comes with Dorico. The answer to that question would at least help to focus where the sound problem is.

NotePerformer seldom puts much strain on the CPU but if indeed it’s a beta of NP 4 that’s being used there may be bugs and I would report this to Arne Wallander rather than expect the Dorico team to take action. It’s not so likely that the problem is at the Dorico end

Thank you Derhannes - I bought NotePerfomer4 from the official source being Wallander Instruments and the version is 3.3.2 in July this year

Thank you Klafkid - yes, this is happening in the same specific passages. I have not tried to increase the buffer size and, as I write this, and do have a technology part to me, don’t know why, for this specific issue, I should have had to and how to do it. Should there have been some set up or automatic alert from either NotePerformer or Dorico? I should add that what I’m doing is using a 26 voice base orchestration which plays fine, creating a working file for creating an arrangement, revoicing (if that is the right term) that working file, playing that and then not saving the changes i.e. the orchestration reverts to its original form. It is that file which exhibits these aberrations whilst I’ve left my original file in pristine condition and shan’t play it until I understand the issue I have and how to recover / avoid.

Thanks - I don’t think I’m registered as a beta tester of NotePerformer and wouldn’t have bought if I was to be a beta tester - I would have bought a tried and tested stable product. I’ll try and find and use the Steinberg Symphony Orchestra that comes with Dorico - I’d bought NotePerformer 4 based on all I was reading to give me the best platform for arranging from one orchestration to another because naturally the sound is very important.

Hi Bill, could you please send the project file to ‘u dot stoermer at steinberg dot de’ and I can see what I can find out.
Btw, it’s unusual that you don’t hear back from the devs once they are on a case.

dko22 - thanks - that’s very helpful - its not a beta of NP4. As a user of Dorico and NP is a plug in I guess my initial view is through the Dorico application set up.

Thanks Ulf - I’ll do that

Ulf - I’ve just sent the file across to you - thanks

Ok, in that case, Ulf is indeed your man for the audio side!

Something (surprisingly) not mentioned by anyone yet is this: is it possible that in that section there are very low key switches that are sounding? You’d have to check in the piano roll editor.

That was my first thought as well, but Bill sent me the project and it plays fine with me. I told him to check now other things like drivers and buffersize, let’s see…


Thanks Romanos - I’ll look at that, and,

Ulf, yes, I’ll take a look at drivers (I implemented Dorico’s advice for NotePerformer4) and buffersize (new item for me). Is there a reference table for relevant drivers for different plugins or whatever?

Just so we ar all clear (many of us were curious at the mention of “note performer 4”, it is actually version 3. Here is the website as of this moment:

well corrected Romanos401 - don’t know how the 4 crept in, but have just taken a quick look at the invoice which makes no reference to version number and I’ll take a look at the project details after Christmas. I’ll accept your correction and apologize for wasting people’s time on that red herring, and will check it after Christmas to satisfy my own curiosity as to why the 4 crept in and superseded 3


I’m in email dialogue with Ulf and hopefully we can find a resolution.

Romanos401 - I think the 4 may have crept in because NotePerformer64 appeared somewhere and subliminal laziness may have internalized that somehow. Apologies for misleading.

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Ulf has been extremely helpful and I think we have a solution in as much that the growling etc went away. I’d been set up under Dorico 3.5 Pro with ASIO4All and Generic Low Latency drivers. Ulf directed me to another driver, and use FlexiASIO 1.8 driver by Etienne Dechamps, downloaded from Steinberg which eliminated the symptoms. We also tried audio export to try to distinguish whether it was the file or the driver - that worked fine so the file was not corrupted.

Romanos401 - I’m still to take a look at key switches but I don’t think they enter into it.

Gold star to Ulf and all those who helped me think through the issues above - well done Dorico.


Just one thing to rectify, the FlexASIO generic driver is not from Steinberg but from Etienne Dechamps. Accordingly, many thanks to Etienne for his work and making it available for free.

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Changed - thanks