Play - VST Instruments - Activate Instrument

In Play mode in the VST Instruments section, there’s an “Activate Instrument” option just to the left of the “Edit Instrument” button.

What does this do?

It appears to turn the sound/VST Player on and off.

Hi Derrek - Maybe I’m missing something but the behavior seems inconsistent to me. II haven’t figured out the precise pattern, but it seems that when I first open a project, sometimes the button(s) are highlighted and sometimes not, yet I get sound either way.

Sometimes, when the button is first highlighted, it then changes to not highlighted after I’ve switched back & forth between Write & Play a few times.

The only consistent behavior I’m seeing is that if I explicitly select the button to highlight and then de-select (not highlighted)? Then there is no sound.

I noticed the same. It’s always unhighlighted, unless I choose to highlight it; yet the instrument plays as expected.

Yes, whether it is highlighted is sometimes inconsistent, but it does toggle the VST Player on and off if you keep toggling it.

(If I understand correctly, the VST’s like HALion function somewhat independently of Dorico proper, which is why Dorico cannot control whether their screens appear in front of or behind the Dorico screen on startup. This presumably could affect what feedback the VST would give the on/off button in Dorico Play mode on startup.

That’s probably a crude picture of what is happening and someone more versed in the inner workings of the system can finish my rough-hewing of the subject.)

A million years ago a colleague of mine prefaced the fix to a “bug” with the title “Will hocus pocus focus choke us?” Faced with a similar business requirement as far as controlling the relationship with an external program, He created a hook into the Windows O/S main message pump to intercept focus messages and change the focus back to the desired window. It worked, but it was decidedly low level O/S specific hack and I don’t know if it is still possible.

Complicating that is whether it would be possible in the Qt framework on which Dorico has been built.

I noted the other day that the Dorico Team are gearing up for the latest iteration of Qt. I don’t know the first thing about it but the hope - obviously - is that a newer version will enable them to do things they haven’t been able to do before.

Back to the OP’s post: I’ve learned to leave that button well alone and I’m not entirely sure how I get focus on the VST but enough clicking invariably gets me there. Having set up Kontakt / VE Pro / Cubase templates, an ideal role for that button is that it’s also part of the process of loading / unloading samples from memory.

It’s just lights that go in and off as far as I can tell