On Mac, Dorico 4 does not launch but hangs indefinitely waiting for the audio engine

Hi @Ulf - thanks for this detailed help.

Oddly Dorico was not hanging when I tried just now (I’m going to try again with my external hard drive connected, in case that is the reason).

I can’t find a Dorico 4 folder anywhere with anything in it - other than the program itself.

Also the Audio Engine that Dorico is using is VSTAudioEngine 5 (which is too big to upload here) . I can’t find “Dorico 4 AudioEngine” - the VST engine is the only one that comes up in search.

Attached: two samples of the VST AudioEngine 5 process. In both cases Dorico didn’t hang. I’ll try to catch it hanging and send that next.

Sample of VST Audio Engine -2 (Dorico not hanging).pdf (99.2 KB)
Sample of VST Audio Engine (Dorico not hanging).pdf (150.8 KB)

Terminal says nothing when I perform this test. Just gives me a new command line.

If I type “echo test” without the rest, it says “test”

I’ll try to make Dorico hang and send you another process sample.


Hi @Ulf - more data that I hope is useful.

Ok so I got into Dorico fine with the external drive attached.

However when I went into Play Mode on my current file, and tried to add another instance of Kontakt, it froze.

Attached at the samples of Dorico and VST AudioEngine 5 at that moment.

Sample of Dorico (not responding).pdf (126.4 KB)
Sample of VST Audio Engine 3 (Dorico hanging when setting up VSTs in play mode).pdf (114.5 KB)

THEN after force quit, Dorico hangs on startup.

Here’s the VST AudioEngine log during that:
Sample of VST Audio Engine 4 (Dorico hanging on startup).pdf (113.0 KB)



Hi @Alex_Eddington , thanks for the lot of data. It appears to me that if Dorico hangs it is because of Native Instruments. The audio engine tries to restore the program data by also sending the plug-in state to each individual plug-in. Kontakt is one of them and that’s where it stalls the main thread and then no more communication with Dorico is possible any more.
So may I ask you to try projects without Kontakt and see if Dorico still gets into this kind of trouble?
Furthermore, when you force quit Dorico, you also need to kill the audio engine. For that you must start Activity Monitor and search in the list of processes the VST Audio Engine process and kill that then. You will see that Dorico afterwards will start up smoothly.
And if you take anothe process sample, may I ask you kindly to send it as plain text rather than pdf. The data is already tough to read and the terrible formatting for the pdf makes it even more hard.
Thank you very much

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Emails sent. Thanks.

Hi @andrea-calligaris , also thanks to you for the data. In your case the audio engine hangs in our Baios component which contains some basic routines for the audio engine. Since I’m not the expert on that end I will need to discuss this with other engineers here at Steinberg on Monday.
So right now all I can do is asking you for some patience. Thanks

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Will do, thank you Ulf!

I can’t attach a .txt file in this forum, should I paste them into a doc? Or will it accept .rtf?

No rush, it’s not a severe issue.

If you ZIP the text file, can you attach it here?

Hi @Ulf - as you suggested, Dorico opens and seems to run fine without Kontakt. I started a test file with many staves and had different VSTs working alongside Noteperformer.

I was able to add 3 instances of Kontakt without Dorico hanging, although there was some erratic playback.

Then I saved, quit Dorico, restarted, added a 4th instance of Kontakt - and that’s when it froze.

I really hope I can get Kontakt working in Dorico, I’m keen to get some expensive new libraries working with playback for a current project!

I’ve attached process samples from VST AudioEngine 5, labelled with what was happening at the moment of the sample.

Thanks so much for your help. Enjoy your weekend!

(@Derrek you were right - I can upload a Zip of the txt files!)

Sample of VST Audio Engine - after save and restarting Dorico adding another Kontakt instance - Dorico hangs.zip (30.8 KB)
Sample of VST Audio Engine - 3 Kontakt instances - no crash.zip (42.3 KB)
Sample of VST Audio Engine - no Kontakt.zip (76.4 KB)

Hi @Alex_Eddington, from the process sample I can see that you have Kontakt version 6.6.1 but that is a little outdated; current version is 6.7.1. I would try to update and see if the latest version may already fixes your problem.

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I updated Kontakt and I think the problem is fixed - for now at least. Thank you @Ulf for helping me with diagnosis!

Not yet actually. It stopped working after I had Kontakt (standalone) and Dorico open at the same time. Is that likely to cause problems? I was trying to update an endpoint configuration including expression maps, and Dorico froze.

Hanging persisted after closing standalone Kontakt and restarting Dorico.

Here are the sample processes from these issues:

Archive.zip (86.1 KB)

UPDATE: restarting Macbook has not helped.

It’s like my Dorico file is cursed by previous problems with Kontakt. It won’t even let me delete the instances of Kontakt or Noteperformer. Is there a way to wipe the VST slate clean? Is that what the “Silence” playback template is for?

Hi @Alex_Eddington , I will have a look at the dump files. And yes, the silent template shall wipe everything in regards to the audio engine. Please try.

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The stack of the audio engines looks in both cases same and is also just like the others before. So I think somehow the plug-in-state data must be rotten somehow. That’s why, please try the silent template and see if that heals your situation.

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Hi @Ulf - Unfortunately using the silent template and then starting again (saving under new filename) doesn’t seem to be working. Dorico is hanging when adding any VSTs to the rack of this project now. Other projects work fine.

Sample of VST Audio Engine (after Silent playback template, hangs when adding any VST).zip (27.1 KB)

I have quite a bit of work in one of the flows of this project, as well as the setup of the players and score. Is there a way to export my setup (without VSTs) to another project to see if that works?



Have you tried exporting the file as XML and then importing it into a new Dorico file? Sometimes that clears out behind-the-scenes file corruption.

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Thanks @Derrek I’ll try this.

Hi @Alex_Eddington , very odd, it hangs at the very same spot in Kontakt again. Can you please send the project file to u dot stoermer at steinberg dot de? I can wipe out the audio engine data from the project file by hand.

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I wouldn’t recommend using MusicXML export and reimport to try to salvage the information from the flows you’ve already been working on: a great deal of information will be lost.

Instead, you can certainly get back to a good state by applying the default playback template, HSSE+HSO (Pro), which will clear out all of the existing audio engine state. But of course any per-instance tweaks you’ve made to Kontakt or other plug-ins will be removed.

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Thank you @Ulf - sending now. Strangely it is a 25.5 Mb Dorico file! Why would that happen?