Possible problems with flute articulation

I am using Dorico 5 and am studying flute. I built a simple melody line with two eighth-note turns embedded in a sequence of eighth notes. I represented each turn as four 32nd notes. Just to provide a context, after the second turn I had an eighth note followed by a dotted quarter note.
Here’s the PDF
Turn practice - 2023-12-16 - Full score.pdf (25.4 KB)

The resulting score line plays back nicely except that the last eighth note sounds as four discrete 32nd notes and the following dotted quarter sounds as three discrete eighth notes.

I have tried all sorts of articulation specifications. The only one that worked correctly was to make every single note staccato, then save-close-and-reopen Dorico. The result sounds so awkward that I don’t really want to use it for practice.

I just re-created your example and it sounds fine - try this one and see if it works for you.

flute-turn.dorico (915.4 KB)

1 Like

If you attach you Dorico file I expect somebody will be able to identify the problem.

Edit: I hadn’t seen Stephen’s response and hope that resolves the difficulty.

Thank you! That gets us a lot of the way to the answer. First, somehow, I missed the release of Dorico 5.1, to which I saw references when I was browsing the Forum. I have

Version (Jul 5 2023)
Dorico 5 AudioEngine Version

Second, I have found in the past that flute articulation can be a bit squirrelly in many MIDI instruments. You chose a violin instead. Actually, my particular example comes from a Bach piece probably written for a keyboard instrument.

When I tried to run your example, Dorico gave me the error message

This project references a Playback Template
playbacktemplate.noteperformer that is not installed on this system.

So, I will immediately update to the latest version of Dorico. Hopefully that will fix the problem.

I haven’t looked up what Note Performer is. Did you include some other MIDI libraries? If so, do you recommend that I do also?

This problem is not holding me back, as I can do it easily in Cubase. I did want someone to be aware of it in case it was a real problem in the current release.

It should be arriving this coming Monday. You have not missed it.

turn.dorico (537.2 KB)

This version plays back fine for me using default Dorico sounds.

NotePerformer is indeed a third-party library and probably the most widely-used one. However, the problems you are having are almost certainly unrelated to either the particular sound library or the version of Dorico you are using and will likely be resolved quickly if you can include the Dorico file.

Thanks, Mike!
Here it is:
TurnPractice.dorico (954.1 KB)

There is one more glitch that I had forgotten. I had to force-quit Dorico once today when it froze on startup. I believe that this can happen when I try to restart Dorico before the sound engine part of Dorico has completely terminated. This has never been a problem before with the actual operation of Dorico. This time I think that I generated an Apple crash report but didn’t send it.

When I just now tested “TurnPractice.dorico”, Dorico first told me that there were two unsent reports and would I like to send them? So, I did. After that, Dorico again showed the broken-up notes at the end.

FWIW, I am running Sonoma 14.1.2 on a 16-core Intel Xeon cheese-grater desktop Mac Pro.

Sorry, your file plays perfectly here (Win 10).

Try re-applying the Playback Template and see if that makes a difference (I see that your flute instrument is in slot2 in Halion rather than slot1, which would indicate you have been playing around with other instruments…)

1 Like

Your file plays back fine here, too, with with same version of Dorico 5 as your own, a 2013 MacBook Pro, macOS Catalina, 16GB of RAM, and the default instruments and playback template. It is strange that the problem file plays back fine for me and Janus but doesn’t on your system which is much more up-to-date than my laptop. It seems I was overly optimistic re how readily the playback problem could be solved but hopefully somebody will have more valuable insights!

1 Like

Ahh, I see the likely problem. I don’t talk “Playback Template” yet, although I will read up on all that tonight or tomorrow.

Consider the problem from the standpoint of a more naive Dorico user who is just trying to set up a quick “smart metronome” to use while learning a specific flute technique. When I started Dorico up, it asked me if I wanted to create a new project, and gave me some “project templates” to choose from. Rather than choose a blank template, I chose “solo piano”, which was the only solo score template available. I then saw that I had one player, named “piano” and one instrument, a “piano”. I wanted to change the instrument to “flute”, but had trouble figuring out how to do that. So, I gave the player a second instrument, a flute, then tried to delete the piano instrument. I thought that I had succeeded, but it now seems clear that the piano MIDI instrument is lurking in Halion slot 1 and echoing parts of the score, with a delay.

I will do some more reading and get myself over this problem, but I would like to gently suggest that what I did was what a user might do. Getting into a situation with zombie MIDI instruments is, IMHO, an unnecessarily harsh consequence for many users of this product. So, perhaps, Steinberg’s user interface designers might want to think about this a bit.

Just to help me, is the “playback template” the same as the “new score template”, or is it perhaps more like Cubase’s VST rack? I am somewhat familiar with Kontakt, but I am new to Halion.

Which version of Dorico are you using? (Pro, Elements or SE?)

If you are a new user, you really should take the time to work through the First Steps project. That will give you an insight into most of how Dorico works.

A playback template is collection of various MIDI/VST routing and assignments for a project. When you load a playback template, it points everything in the project to the correct MIDI slots, assigns patches to each player based on the instrument that player is holding, etc.

If things get bungled up, often the best thing to do is re-load a playback template.

I think the complexity is like comparing a basic text editor to MS Word. The latter is far more complex because it does more things. Of course user experience can be masterfully steered, but there’s a limit! And playback can be very complex.

1 Like

OK, y’all were right, thank you!

I found an instructional video from 2021 that takes 1.5 hours to describe playback templates. At around 7 minutes into it, there are instructions for just my case. I “reapplied the playback template” and voilà, the blank slot 1 in Halion was gone as were the ghost notes at the end of the playback.

So, I consider my problem solved, thank you all. I will listen to the remaining 1.25 hours of the video, but I beg the developers of Dorico to review the user interface in this area.

Whereas I beg the new user to have a touch of humility and learn the software before criticising its design. There are many users here to help.

(and it is etiquette on this forum not to credit yourself with a solution)

1 Like

OK, sorry, I didn’t understand what “solved” meant. I was trying to thank you all, not take credit for the solution.

Don’t be too chastened by the forum regulars, Stu. I’m glad you’ve been able to get a solution to your issue. It’s definitely easy to do “the wrong thing” (from the point of view of the ideal use of playback templates, at any rate) in Play mode, but it’s hard to balance the need to allow experienced users to make changes to playback settings, using different plug-ins, etc., and to provide enough guard rails that inexperienced users don’t create problems for themselves. There’s certainly more we can do in this area in future.


Hi Daniel,

Thank you for your reply. Actually, I found all of the forum responses to be very helpful. I’m not Tantacrul, but I spent almost 35 years as a software designer and developer. I often designed, built, and tested user interfaces for critical computer systems. I don’t mind that Dorico requires expertise in musical notation to use for producing musical scores. I also don’t mind if Dorico provides special functionality for MIDI users. I often recommend Dorico to musicians and music teachers who I feel have expertise in score writing. I can almost guarantee that telling these possible customers that they would also have to be proficient in MIDI templates even to hit “play” would cause instant rejection of your product. I personally remain a loyal customer of both Dorico and Cubase.


1 Like

Well, that’s a relief!