Specific project unable to activate audio engine

I have a large project I’ve been working on, and just last night it has quit connecting for playback, and it seems to be the case no matter what I try. I have gone through these steps and they are consistent every time - Dorico will successfully open the project, and then the NotePerformer loading banner appears as usual since that is my playback template - but it hangs for a much longer time than usual. Eventually it will disappear and then the top transport bar does not “power on” thus remaining gray and disconnected:

If I then manually click the ‘power’ icon on that bar, I will invariably get a spinning wheel and the entire program must be force quit.

I tested by switching to a basic Halion playback template, and the same happens regardless.

Then when I go to restart Dorico, it gives me the dreaded:

I can get Dorico to load again by going into my Activity Monitor and force quitting “VST Audio Engine” but even after doing so, the project will still not work!

I have then also tested other projects which use either NotePerformer or Halion, and they load and connect for playback no problem.

Here is the Dorico Diagnostics file from when I’ve clicked “terminate” on the last round - the forum is not allowing me to attach since it is over 4MB.

https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fi/9c0bq1t9fnv5e1a0rwqd0/Dorico-Diagnostics.zip?rlkey=wbuhwmnkddily9ifchwdqpfg4&dl=0

Let me know if you need any other info from me. If it would be necessary to provide the project file in question I can do that as well. Thank you!

Yes please, send the project file to u dot stoermer at steinberg dot de
Thank you very much

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Hi , thanks for the project data. It looks like you got hit by an old long time bug, that we could not eliminate so far, because we never could reproduce it on our side.
The bug is, that the audio engine data somehow bloats, i.e. over the time the instances of VSTinstruments increases. With the current state the audio engine loads 1 NotePerformer, 2 Kontakt 7 and 83 !!! Kontakt instances (exact version I don’t know).
I will send you back a version of your project where I delete the audio engine data. You then need to just reapply the playback template and you are back to a normal state.
But that does not explain why that bloating is happening.
So you are working already a long time on that project, right? Do you have your computer running for days sometimes and not closing Dorico but only changing projects? Can you give some other hint of what you are doing especially with that project?
Thanks

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Thanks for the speedy response and fix Ulf! The project file works great now.

Yes, that is weird, I have no idea what could be causing this. In answer to your questions:

Do you have your computer running for days sometimes and not closing Dorico but only changing projects?

No, never – I shut my computer off every evening or when I leave the house, and also usually restart entirely when I run into weird issues. By working on it a long time I simply meant it’s a file I’ve been regularly accessing for a few months. It might be worth noting I also tried a previous backup file (from when I knew it definitely worked) and that still was giving me the issue!

Can you give some other hint of what you are doing especially with that project?

The only thing I can think is that occasionally, when NotePerformer’s sounds do not satisfy what I need, I have added a separate VST in the play tab using Kontakt 7 (Sample Modeling Strings). I do this sometimes for more complex parts which NPPE cannot handle as well. It is possible some of the flows were connected to Kontakt for a staff or two, while most of the time I do stick with NP. I think that’s about the only ‘unusual’ thing I can think of which would be related to the audio engine specifically (but I often do this on all my other projects too). Let me know if that is helpful, and thanks again!

Thanks for your answers. It does help a little bit, as it rules out certain suspicions we had.
But let me ask once more please, it appears to me as if you add a Kontakt instance and the next day you have to add it again because it vanished somehow, is it like that? Or do you actively delete Kontakt instances and the next day reinstate them again?
Many thanks

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Hi Ulf,
No, I usually always leave my Kontakt instances in the project just in case I need them later on, so I wouldn’t have removed them. I don’t recall if they ever vanished, the only case in which I think that could have happened is maybe I switched playback template at any point, and it removed the Kontakt instance – but I don’t believe I had ever done this with that project specifically. It is possible I had done this though, as I mentioned the project is many months ongoing so I don’t remember everything I’ve done to it :wink:

The only other thing worth mentioning, which I forgot, is I had a plugin on the insert effect of the master output channel (Izotope Ozone 10).

But other than those two things nothing really special about it! I think I may have used Kontakt in only one or two of the flows, the rest were all NP.

Hope that helps, thanks again!

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