Instruments drop out consistently at specific points during playback

I’m not sure if this is a known issue, since I’m not sure how to word the issue exactly in a way that might potentially match past reports.

I rarely use playback, so I’ve only just noticed this, but I’ve found that every time a particular file is played back (even after quitting and restarting Dorico, etc) there are specific points at which instruments drop out, and their music is not audible until a later specific point. These points are consistent, do not correspond to any signposts or dynamic markings etc, and would seem random except for the fact that the file plays back the same way every time.

The VST audio engine has plenty of memory to spare (it’s currently using 1.23 GB; I have 16 GB) and all of the sounds have loaded correctly in the HALion Sonic SE window. There are also no anomalies visible in “play” mode, and at no point do any of the virtual instruments appear to be muted or soloed; they simply don’t play back at certain points. So far I’ve only noticed one file where this issue occurs, so it could be something I messed up specifically, but I’m not sure.

Just to eliminate another option: if you select one of the notes that doesn’t play, is “Suppress playback” in the Properties panel (Common group) activated?

If not, it would probably be helpful to share a zip file of this project here, so someone can take a look.

I’d also suggest to increase the ASIO audio buffer size and see if that makes any difference.
Furthermore, on HALion Sonics’s options tab, you could check if multi processing is switched on.

No. (It would not make sense in any case; all of the bars in this flow so far are repeated, and some of the notes will play back the first time but not the second time.)

I increased the buffer size from 384 to 2048 samples (the maximum) but did not notice any changes.

Multi core processing was switched off. I tried switching it on, but it did not seem to make a difference.

If not, it would probably be helpful to share a zip file of this project here, so someone can take a look.

It’s too large to send as an attachment, so here is a WeTransfer link:

The playback issues begin to crop up on the second playthrough of bar 28 and are fairly consistent from there onwards.

Thanks very much for the data. Unfortunately, on my machine it just plays normally (from what I can judge).
There is one more thing, on the HSSE options tab, what is the maximum number of voices set to?
Also, have you tried doing an audio export, does that sound fine or also show drop outs?

Also, have you tried doing an audio export, does that sound fine or also show drop outs?

The exported audio also has the drop outs, although strangely enough, not as many of them as the original file.

Now, that is most curious, because during export the audio engine can take time to render really everything, there is no time constraint for the next buffer to be processed, thus during export there shall never be any drop outs (as far as the audio engine is concerned).
Could you please also share the audio file with me? I’d like to hear it in order to deduce of what the problem might be. Thanks

Sure—here it is:

Thank you very much, but please excuse me, i’m just an engineer and musically poorly trained, and I can’t hear any drop outs. At least not drop outs that would be caused by the audio engine not being able to produce the proper output. Would you please indicate in minutes and seconds where you hear drop outs or where the output is not as expected? Thanks.

Notable drop outs that I noticed, timings approximate:

First violin drops out from 5:09 to 5:59
Cello drops out from 6:15 to 6:18
First violin drops out from 6:38 to 6:55
Double bass drops out from 6:31 to 7:25
Cello is intermittent from 7:22 to 7:29
First violin drops out from 7:40 to 7:57

Thanks very much, now I can also hear it (resp. not hear). So this concludes that they are not drop outs in the sense that the audio engine is not capable of keeping up with processing. That would result in noise or no audio at all for short moments.
But now it is even more a mystery to. I also need to discuss this with others on Monday.
In the meantime, I have one more question. If you open the HALion Sonic SE editor window, in the left column you can also mute or solo an instrument. So if you solo e.g the bass and play back the piece, does it then also happen that some notes or passages are not played back properly?

Yes, just tried it—when soloing an instrument the playback will still drop out, in the same places and for the same duration.

There are no dropouts occurring here. Your file is in Dorico 3.5 format… I think you should start by upgrading to 3.5.10
(my guess is that there is some bug in the expression map system that causes the dropouts for you…)

Thanks fratveno, good point and definitely worth trying.

because the project file only goes up to just over 7 mins instead of the full 9, it’s not possible to check the last couple of dropout but in general it seems to be an issue just after a repeat sign (except for the very odd single bar of cell dropout which I also confirm). If it were happening with other users, I would say there is some bug with the repeats but it works perfectly fine here as well so that can’t be the case unless – and fratveno has a point here – the bug is only present in 3.5.0. I fear it’s one for the team in the office on Monday.

My fear is something messed up just in this project. Curious what happens if just the notation is copied and pasted into a brand new project and then the Halion playback config is reapplied?

Yes, I think it’s quite likely that naomi is experiencing a bug with the processing of dynamics after repeats in Dorico 3.5.0 that is fixed in 3.5.10. naomi, you can download the update here.

Yes, this ended up being the problem: updating to 3.5.10 has indeed solved the issue, and there are no more playback drop outs.

I didn’t even realise there had been another update… probably should have been the first thing I looked for lol. Thanks to everyone who helped out though!