For my latest project, I decided to finally make the jump to Dorico after using a combination of StaffPad (composing) + Sibelius (engraving) for years. Thinking that for all of the positive feedback, Dorico could put an end to my infamous 14+ hour continuous stretches of work resulting from Sibelius’ quirks and special workarounds, I took it to task with a freshly completed piano score for orchestration, engraving, and production.
I knew there would be a learning curve, but even after consuming approximately 60% of the user manual, boy did I underestimate the nightmare this program would be. In fairness, as much of the time I lost was due to my own stupidity (if only I had known Alt + Left/Right was a thing…) as to program bugs and errors (some MusicXML eight-note triplets would import as quarter-note triplets, shifting the music forward through a fixed meter and introducing other oddities along the way; maybe I just don’t understand the program well enough, but I don’t think there should ever be a 3/4 measure with four beats in it…).
But quirks aside, I’m here for a problem related to VST playback. I reckon it was simple foolhardiness that implanted the idea to load 20+ GB-worth of sampled sounds into the VST engine via Kontakt (5). The number of crashes I encountered before I was able to get Kontakt running with both of my MIDI keyboards working and recognized by the program (8!) should have been a red flag. (As an aside, why does the program have to be restarted every time you enable another MIDI input device? If you don’t turn a device on prior to launching the software, you should at least be able to refresh the device list from the preferences.)
Well, I did get it working eventually, and it was glorious. This is great, I said, without knocking on wood: it will be smooth sailing from here on out. I have not been able to successfully load up the project since. I’ll get the little dialog box indicating that Kontakt is loading the patches into the RAM, VSTAudioEngine2.exe hogs the appropriate amount of RAM to indicate that something is happening, but the plugin window never appears. Since it only takes a few seconds for the RAM usage to come sliding back down, I think the problem is that VSTAudioEngine is crashing silently, but I’m not certain.
Attempting to save the file also induces a program crash. (As a further aside, this means that if the autosave interval is shorter than the amount of time it takes to load VST patches ordinarily, the program will automatically crash.) Thankfully, the Dorico program UI is responsive throughout all of this. I have tried disabling/removing all VST plugins; saving still induces a program crash. For those among you who might be wondering what would happen if I left the program to “do its thing” for eight consecutive hours after opening, the answer is “absolutely nothing.” As expected, a fresh install did nothing to help either, but I felt like I was obligated to try it at least once before coming here. Another oddity: VSTAudioEngine continues attempting to load patches even after Dorico has crashed.
At this point, I’d simply like to finish orchestrating the piece without any of the VST sounds associated with the file. If I can do that without exporting to MusicXML and losing all of my Setup/Engrave mode project settings, that’d be great. Things I have not tried yet: temporarily relocating VST patches to force a “skip load.” If there was a way to (like in Reaper) open a file with all of the plugins automatically disabled, that would be fantastic - haven’t found a setting for this yet. Situation is ongoing and suggestions are welcome.
Thanks in advance.