Problems with EW Player 6 and EW Symphonic Choirs in Dorico 4

Yesterday I was working on a project with a little orchestra and EW Symphonic Choir in Dorico 4. I installed EW Player 6. The EW Player instances are in VEPro. I discovered the next problems.

When playing the music, certain notes are skipped in the choir. Consequence: the words aren’t sung in the right note, because all notes shift after skipped notes. When I play just 2 parts (e.g. tenors and basses, sometimes everything is ok, and sometimes the same problem occurs). When I make a 44100 Hz, 16 bit wav audio file, the same thing happens.

This happened with Asio4all and Voicemeter (Asio). I tried to increase the buffers in VEPro and in ASIO4ALL, no improvement.

I disabled the ASIO guard, no improvement.

When I paste and copy a word in Wordbuilder In EW Player 5, the word I paste has all adjustments, that I made in that word.
In EW Player 6, only the word is paste, without the adaptations. Is anyone familiar with this?

In EW Player 6 there were a few words, with the order of the letters mixed up (first letter last and so on). I this recognizable for anyone? I had to adjust this manually. It happened regularly, that an error message came up with the warning to restart the Wordbuilder and I had to restart the EW Player in VEPro.

Has somebody a solution for any of this problems?

P.S.: With EW Player 5 I almost didn’t have these problems. With playing the music in Dorico 4 (also in 3.5) it happened occasionally, that a note was skipped, but the audio wav file was without mistakes.

How about if you get Opus instead? Opus is the successor to Player and can also play Symphonic Choirs. Player will get discontinued in the future.

And if you host Symphonic Choirs in VEPro, then it is not necessarily a problem of Dorico but of VEPro. Do you get the same behaviour when using SC directly in Dorico?

I’m spending a good deal of my time at the moment checking out what happens to existing Play 5 scores which now play back with Play 6 or Opus and can relate to some of what you’re saying. For instance, the Wordbuilder syntax is somewhat different with Wordbuilder 2 as seen in Play 6 and Opus so sometimes a syllable is swallowed as the old syntax cannot be correctly interpreted. But on the whole the Play 6 has reasonable backward compatibility – if you go on to explore Opus (as Ulf has just this minute suggested) you will find probably more examples where either a word is “swallowed” or that, mysteriously, the dynamic seems much too quiet. I’m finding increasingly that the latter can depend on where the word is split and it’s worth experimenting moving the hyphen. When I do things as Wordbuilder wants, results are largely encouraging

However, these are general things to be aware of and you’ve made a couple of specific points:

  1. notes being skipped altogether. I’m seldom getting this and may simply a be a performance issue. I certainly had that with Play 5 on a previous computer but I can’t say I notice any deterioration with Play 6. Have you tried basic things like increasing your audio buffer? Or even decreasing it – you may have seen a thread where performance issues with NotePerformer have been discussed and a current workaround is actually to decrease the buffer size. Personally, I’d wait on this one until the first patch is released as Ulf has acknowledged issues with the audio engine affecting some users and sorting that is obviously a priority.
  2. pasting from Play 5 to 6 can cause instability with Wordbuilder and as soon as you get one of those dreaded messages, you should press the UNDO button in WB which mostly retrieves the situation. Slightly safer is pasting from a text document. A consequence of this warning is that often a letter is “stolen” from the end of the text and sometimes put elsewhere which probably explains what you’ve discovered.
  3. pasting text loses any adjustments you’ve made to dynamics and settings. I seem to be getting that too but haven’t yet really explored as I previously tended to keep these to a minimum

Opus is also a paid upgrade. EW is rather mercenary and wouldn’t just give the plugin out to loyal customers (Play is flawed, it continually crashed on me so should be replaced, but I don’t need the updated samples). I haven’t upgraded, not sure if I’m giving up on EW or not.

yes, but you get Opus if you buy the Hollywood Choirs which is my book is certainly worth it (or was at any rate during the sale). Eventually they will probably make Opus available free to all but I don’t expect it to be imminent. Incidentally, Opus is no more stable with Wordbuilder 2 than Play 6 so don’t consider it on those grounds. Many have said that the Opus player is an improvement for the orchestral libraries, though.

Already own it, purchased in an earlier sale

Eventually they will probably make Opus available free to all but I don’t expect it to be imminent

Maybe, not holding my breath but if they did that it would help restore my faith in the company.

perhaps the OP hasn’t, though? Still, I’m not here to defend EWQL. If there were alternatives to Symphonic and Hollywood Choirs with a proper text function, I’d certainly consider them. But there aren’t. I don’t use any of EWQL orchestral libraries as they’ve never impressed me though again, many claim they are considerably improved in Opus.

Well damn, I haven’t launched EW Installation SW in a long time, did so and Opus shows up. Let’s see if it’s licensed … no of course not, now I need to uninstall it. Anything to make a buck.

Thanks to all of you for your supportive replies. I realy appreciate it.

I did the following tests.
@Ulf: I replaced a few VEPro instances for SC directly in Dorico.
The problem continued to exist.
Then I removed a couple of Tempo changes: that made it more stable, but playing there was sometimes a problem. After that I made a new audio wav file, was also with mistakes.
Then I diminished the buffer in Asio4all to 256: made it better in playing.
Audio wav file anew with errors.

At this moment it is only possible to get Opus with an orchestra library or a subscription (more than €200 a year just for Opus is not a good price).

Until now not yet a solution unfortunately.

Hi @mmka, you say that reducing the buffer size made it play better. Just better or even that it plays without errors?
The fact that the audio export had errors, well, it might be that we need a similar option like in Cubase for realtime export in order not to overwhelm plug-ins. That might be here the case.

And of course, I can’t rule this out, but I guess that still it is a problem in Wordbuilder. Because Dorico’s audio engine treats all plug-ins same and it sends the same MIDI information to plug-in A as well as if it is plug-in B.

I propose you get in contact with EW on this and let them do investigations. I’m sure they will get in touch with me should it turn out to be a problem from Dorico side.

Unfortunately not without errors

@Ulf We are now a few days further. I have experimented a little and found the next conclusions.

  1. The pc I was working on is with 2 Xeon processors, 10 Core each, 3.3 Ghz, 128 GB RAM and with my project the task manager in Windows showed that 80 till 100 % of the power of the processor was used (Because I don’t want too large texts in one instance of Play, I have about 24 instances of VEPro with each one Play instance running. I control them in Dorico through 6 voices for each choir voice - soprano, alto, tenor and bass). I have a second PC with a Intel i7 (4 Ghz) of 6 years old with 32 GB RAM. On that pc I’m running Dorico now. On the Xeon pc I run VEPro with all instruments and choir. Consequence: the processors of the Xeon pc are running on about 50 %, the processor of the i7 pc about 30 %, so much less stress.

  2. I discovered that the Wordbuilder in Play 6 is very sensitive for repeating notes. If there is no little gap, sometimes (!) on the second of the 2 repeating notes the same syllable is played as the first note, and all syllables after that shift one note. The insidious thing is of course that it isn’t always.

Playing in Dorico 4 works fine now with Play 6, without errors, if I “keep the rules of Play”. Also making a audio wav file works without errors.
I’m not sure if the less stress of the 2 pc’s has also an influence on the proper working now. But it seems that the problem I had, has nothing to do with Dorico 4 or VEPro. And Play 6 works fine, if I conform carefully to its rules of course.

@dko22 I discovered that I can use the phrases tool in Play as a kind of clipboard. The adjustments of the words are saved there. With this tool I can insert words in a existing text in Wordbuilder. The clipboard of Windows caused more than once a crash of VEPro. And when I select a bunch of words in Wordbuilder and delete them, VEPro crashed also more than once . So now when I want to delete a word, I start with the last letter and with Backspace I remove the letters one by one. And today I had until now no error messages or crash.

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this is certainly true but I haven’t found that the sequence is disrupted over repeated notes – unless perhaps a legato is used over them in which case Wordbuilder may not be able to identify a gap? Even there in practice, I haven’t had many problems.

never tried the phrases tool though I believe I did try deleting from the last character backwards in Sibelius/Play 5 days which seemed less unstable. Thanks for the tip.

Good news!! The past few days I have been busy again with the Symphonic Choir in Dorico version 4.0.10 in the same piece in exactly the same configuration as 2 weeks ago. The need to put small spaces between repeating notes has all but disappeared. There were no errors while playing. When creating a wav file, there was one spot (after a general break) that still needed small spaces between repeating notes. I have the feeling that everything runs more smoothly. So things are getting better and better!

I also discovered something else.
The F4 key can be used in Wordbuilder to indicate a word in the lyrics to start at when the music is played. Initially, that didn’t work for Dorico. Whenever Dorico starts playing, the lyrics start at the beginning, wherever you start in the music. I found that if you press the F4 key on a word you want to start on, after you’ve started playing, the next note starts on that word. So by starting a little earlier and then pressing F4 at the right time, you don’t have to start the music at the beginning of the lyrics every time to listen and judge a certain part. Of course this works best if you play one part, e.g. the sopranos. A really huge time saver!

Team of Dorico: the road goes higher and higher, I’m happy with it.

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FWIW, I bought Symphonic Choirs a year or two ago, when it came with Play 6, and I recently was able to download and use Opus for Symph Choirs.