I would love to switch to Dorico...but I can't get it to play

Dear Dorico community,

OK, I would like to be done with Sibelius, but…! I can’t get Dorico to play properly. Mostly, it doesn’t make any sound at all, although some of the sample scores seem to play a bit.

Sibelius plays just fine, so the audio on my MacBook Pro with Catalina 10.15.7 seems to be OK.

I have both Note Performer and the Play engine installed in Dorico, and I have tried to sort things out in device set-up, but no luck.

How might I diagnose the problem?

Grateful for any advice,


Sorry to hear you’re having problems with playback, Mike. Have you worked through the troubleshooting steps recommended in this video?


Thanks for your super speedy reply! Well, I did find out from the video about the “Playback Template” menu item under Play, and chose the one successfully for Halion and then for Note Performer, and finally got some appropriate sound.

That’s great. But yikes that’s pretty tech-y! Why doesn’t Dorico just do that for you (or warn you that you must) when you choose a VST instrument?

Also, a small note: the video seems to refer to an earlier version of the program, asking the viewer to look for “apply default playback template,” which doesn’t exist on Dorico 3.5 anymore, apparently. It just says “Playback Template…”

Thanks! I’m off to experiment with Dorico in a more serious way now.


Daniel and any one else,

So, periodically I try to free myself from Sibelius and say, OK, I’ll try to write this next piece in Dorico, and then I get stopped by some simple but annoying thing. (The last time was what seems to me Dorico’s peculiar approach to rhythm dots, which I eventually overcame by getting Notation Express.)

Now the issue is that, once again, I get no sound from Dorico playback. Files that made sounds before (using Noteperformer) now are all silent. When I try a new file using a Dorico template, again nothing.

I haven’t changed a thing! And Sibelius and all my other audio works just fine.

Any suggestions?



Hi Mike, have you tried re-setting the playback template to Noteperformer?

Have you checked your audio settings in Edit–Preferences?


Thanks! Yes, I had reset the playback template, with no effect. But following on your clue, I did solve it.

At the very bottom of the Edit dropdown menu is Device setup – an option that doesn’t show at first even on the screen of my 16 inch MacBook Pro, as it is off the bottom of the dropdown. Only if I scroll to the very bottom does it show this all-important menu item! (See attached image.)

And going through there, I found the “Device Control Panel” and discovered that no output was selected. So I selected MacBook Pro speakers, and then I had sound.

But why was it turned off? I never did that. And why didn’t the program just default to that anyway? And why is this menu item so hard to find?

It would be great if this could be made easy-peasy in the next iteration of Dorico.

Thanks again Dan.


Here’s an image where you can see “Device setup” appear only after scrolling to the bottom of the menu, despite my big screen laptop. – Mike

At least to say, the Edit menu received a rework and will become much shorter in the next Dorico version.

For me the issue is that when I launch Dorico, it remembers if I had headphones plugged in last time, rather than sensing the current state. It is easily solved by plugging & unplugging the headphone. (And when I do, I sometimes find notes hanging over, which I can silence by starting and stopping playback.)

I’m pretty sure this has been brought up elsewhere, but I just wanted to add it here in case it applies in the OP’s situation. Is anyone else still experiencing the same thing?