Horrible LAG for note input and selection!

I have been experiencing this issue ever since I bought my Dorico Elements 3 months ago.

The consistent lag that I experience when I try to input a note or select a note is driving me mad. The lag is typically about 1 second, if not longer. It would lag even on the smallest project(i.e. lag on a blank project). Go to the YouTube video link to see what I mean.


I am using an entry level MacBook Pro 13 inch from 2019, and I know that some applications like Photoshop or Illustrator might lag because of the high resolution of this laptop screen and the weak integrated graphics card embedded. But from my experiences, none of other apps lags as badly as Dorico for note input and selection. There’s bound to be a lack of optimisation or simply a redundant amount of code that causes such horrible lags. Please help me solve this issue because I believe Dorico is still by far the most graphically advanced and user friendly notation app, if the lag is taken out of the picture.

Below is also my diagnostic report.
Dorico Diagnostics.zip (517 KB)

The lag is certainly not the usual experience, even on much older hardware. So it’s likely to be a local issue that can be fixed at your end, rather than a coding issue.

(Photoshop and Illustrator similarly shouldn’t show any lag, even on integrated graphics, which have been sufficient to drive Retina screens since 2012.)

I wish it’s a local issue, that I can solve it myself. But unfortunately there are other users of Dorico saying the same thing, that they experience lag for note input and selection. And regarding the Photoshop lag, I can tell you that even the fully maxed out 15inch MacBook Pro users say they experience lag to some extent. The reason? Poor optimisation for Retina screen. I don’t know if you are Mac user, if you are, you would know that in the previous versions of iTunes, even the animation for album dropdown lags horribly, and bear in mind iTunes is developed by Apple! I just hope that the support would bring a fix to this.

Where are these other users saying the same thing? Dorico 2 ran much quicker than Dorico 1, Dorico 3 ran quicker than Dorico 2, and Dorico 3.5 runs quicker than Dorico 3. I honestly can’t remember the last time I read this sort of complaint; it used to be a common complaint and is now increasingly rare.

Frank, I’ve never seen this kind of thing before. I can see from the log that sometimes selecting something with the mouse is taking nearly 2.5 seconds.

I’d be very interested to know if you encounter the same behaviour in Dorico Elements 3.5, the 30-day trial version of which has been made available today.

Never heard of any of these issues as inherent problems, as a MacOS beta tester, and frequent user of Mac support forums. Hardware has far exceeded most Photoshop requirements for many years.

I 'm sure that Dorico’s support will try to help you pinpoint and fix the problem. My first suspicion is some other third-party software that’s interfering with mouse input.

Do you want me to show you how badly illustrator lags on my laptop? I can well upload a video of the lag I experience now. Maybe we can add each other on Telegram or something so that I can prove it to you in a more concrete manner. And for your info, Mac forum is the last place you would ever see blatant complaints against Apple’s products…they are monitored and moderated:)

OK sure, but if the lag disappears in 3.5, then I think I am entitled to a free upgrade? Because in that case it is clearly because of Dorico 3’s inherent problems and I should not be paying another 100 bucks just for my experience to be smoother.

I had the same experience on 3.1. There was a noticeable delay on just about every keystroke. It seemed like a second but was probably actually more like 400 ms. It is much better for me with 3.5.

3.1 was painfully slow for even a medium sized score IF you had condensing turned on. 3.5 is much quicker.

It was sluggish for me with condensing turned off.

I reproduced the example that the OP gave in his YouTube video, on my 2015 Macbook Pro, in Dorico 3.1.10, twice.

The first time (highlighted in green) I had the usual barrage of helpers running, but nothing much else.

The second time (highlighted in red) I had the same stuff open, but was also recording my screen with OBS.

On a much older computer that’s probably worse specced than the OP’s, I couldn’t get anywhere close to “nearly a second”, trying this specific case.

And another bad example from my side. I scanned four parts with Photoscore and wanted to combine them into one score. But already after two voices the project is useless, because I can’t play it anymore and also the editing has an incredible delay. I have attached both the project and the diagnosis as a zip file. Actually the Dorico file is too big, therefore here is a link to my dropbox:https://www.dropbox.com/sh/wfnumgogawxwjo0/AADRGu9xDIQUy9bGo2_3MTQya?dl=0
Dorico Diagnostics.zip (598 KB)

Hi Jürg!
I am not in front of my computer (babysitting now), but as you probably know, I use Photoscore quite often. Have you used a direct photoscore xml output inside Dorico? I find it way more reliable (even with the last version of Photoscore) to export to Sibelius and then xml export to Dorico… You can map a keyboard shortcut to export xml in Sibelius so the whole process is actually 10s long and the time earned in the end is unvaluable. I miss a forum like this one where we could just tell Neuratron’s devs what our workflow is, and what does not work as it should. I already raised some tickets but we’re nowhere near this forum here!

Hi Marc
Yes, I used the direct XML from Photoscore but I’ll follow your advice next time (although I was planning to let my Sibelius license expire slowly). But this project already has some work in Dorico, so I’d like to continue with it.
Thanks for your tip though, I’ll try that next time.

This score is incredibly slow to load because you have an infinite repeat structure, eg in m.96 there’s no corresponding start repeat - maybe it’s missing in m9? Also m2 in the 2nd section doesn’t have a corresponding start repeat - should m210 be the start of a new flow? There are multiple ill-formed repeat barlines, so I would suggest turning of repeats Playback in Play > Playback Options, then edit the repeats to get them correct, and the file should be responsive again

My advice regarding any barline curiosity (i.e anything else than default) should be left out and dealt with only with Dorico in the final step.

Hi, here’s the result you are interested to know. To my chagrin, the Dorico 3.5 still lags as per normal. You can see from the video that Im not running other load-intensive apps simultaneously, and that is what really led me to think that there’s something wrong with Dorico. Below is the Youtube link for illustration and attached is the diagnostics file.

Dorico Diagnostics.zip (305 KB)

I can see that the spec of your 2015 13inch MBP is abt the same as mine(i.e. 8gb of ram, both retina screen), as for the processors, mine is quad-core i5 and yours is dual-core i7, but I believe they are roughly the same. So what’s really causing the issue here? Please see my updated test on Dorico 3.5 as both the note selection and input still lag on Dorico 3.5.

Dorico Diagnostics.zip (305 KB)

Hi Paul, Thanks a lot for your response. I will try your advice carefully and I’m curious if this will work. Apparently the problem was the XML-import of those repeat signs with no start and no end. So I have to be really cautious the next time I’m importing such faulty scores like those. But it’s good to now that it’s not the problem of my setup or Dorico itself.
I report the outcome of my handling of this issue.
Anyhow the support here is ingenious …