Severly distorted sound

I am having problems with severe distortion on the sound from a transciption I am doing for 9 piece Clarinet Choir.

The instrumentation comprises 1x Eb clarinet, 3x Bb clarinet, 2xAlto clarinet, Bass clarinet, contra alto clarinet and contra bass clarinet.

Dorico automatically assigns Clarinet Combi to the top four instruments and Bass Clarinet Combi to the bottom Five with their corresponding expression maps from the HALion Sonic SE/HSO library.

I have tried setting up a new score with the same instrumentation from scratch and copying the parts from the original score but still get the same result and also exporting and reimporting an XML file again with the same result.

The sound is also distorted if I play the keyboard on the VST instrument rack.

To try and isolate the problem I have experimented with the Aria player VST loaded with instruments from the Garritan Concert and Marching Band 2 collection and the default expression maps. In this case, if I am starting completely from scratch, I get undistorted sound for about two to three minutes and then distortion occurs again. Not as harsh as the distortion from HALion but, nevertheless, severe distortion. I can clear the distortion by closing Dorico and the Steinberg Hub and reloading but it re-occurs after a couple of minutes. If I just close Dorico and reload from the hub without closing the hub the distortion is still there.

If anyone can offer help and advice as to what is occuring and how I can get round it, I would be most grateful.

I am running on an Asus Laptop under Windows 10 with an i5 processor and 8mb of RAM feeding a Dell U2410 Monitor and speaker through an HDMI connection.

Have you tried increasing the buffer size in Device Setup>Device Control Panel? You could also try to load another instance of Halion, and route some of the instruments to this second instance… If you are using the Speakers in you monitor then distortion is to be expected… just lower the volume, or use headphones instead…

Thanks for you reply but I’m afraid it is none of those things. The distortion is a low grumbling sound with some semblance of pitch variation but not speaker overload. It also happens with a single instrument on a score let alone nine clarinets which Dorico should easily be able to cope with using a single HALion instance. In any case the sound can be good on a complete reload but then becomes distorted after a period of time even without me touching anything.

Something like that has been reported here before, and in that case the problem was another software program that was interfering with the sound.

Do you run Saffire Audio?

Thanks Derrek, that sounds a sensible suggestion to investigate. I do have Finale 2014 and Sibelius 8.5 on my system though not running at the same time as Dorico but it is always possible that Avid has something going on in the background.