Struggling to get going, sound problems suspected


I had Dorico 2 on trial, and everything went smoothly.

Now I bought Dorico 3 and I’m really struggling to get it going, and getting quite frustrated. I suspect it has something to do with loading the sound library, as Dorico playback is very erratic (instruments missing, lots of sound hiccups, and taking ages to load). Starting up is very slow.

I’ll attached the latest Dorico Diagnostics dump, after it hung again, maybe that’s of diagnostic value.

My scores are orchestral, but not ridiculously big (20 instruments or so?). 5 mins of music.

Other info: I needed to reset the sample setting, as my sound driver seemed to default to 48000. I’ve set it to 16 bit 44100, and set it accordingly in Dorico (see attached), as instructed in your Troubleshoot Playback Issues video (I also tried to rebuilt the VST database, as instructed). But I’m still having problems. I’ll also be needing to untick that “Allow ASIO host application to take …etc” tickbox at some point, as I really need sound from other apps for my work, but I’ll have to cross that bridge when I get there.

I have Windows 10 with 8 GByte of Ram, the same as my previous laptop on which I ran Dorico 2.

Any help appreciated, I really would like to get going.

(Note that I live in NZ, there doesn’t seem to be overlap with your office hours)

Dorico (287 KB)

Check this thread, and try what I did. It fixed my problem; worth a shot. Playback ist kaputt - #14 by maresz - Dorico - Steinberg Forums

Well, if you meant (re)setting the sampling rate, that didn’t work. As I mentioned, I had to set that anyway, because my sound card defaulted to 48000 originally

The Generic low latency driver doesn’t perform quite as well in my experience as a regular ASIO driver. Unfortunately Realtek is not really a pro audio card and are unlikely to have proper ASIO drivers. If instruments are missing and things cut out, probably the computer is not able to keep up with the load. Can you increase your ASIO buffer size? It is probably simply too small. The smaller the buffer, the harder it will be for an underpowered audio card (or system) to keep up. Small buffers are nice, but are really only necessary for real time recording situations and that generally isn’t a concern for notation. The smallest buffer sizes generally only work with systems that either have a pro audio card with proper ASIO support, or alternatively are just very powerful.

Since you are on a laptop, also make sure you aren’t running in “power saver” mode, since this limits your CPU to slower speeds and has a major effect on the ability of the system to handle audio. This is something that often goes unconsidered when dealing with these types of issues on laptop computers. I myself have run into these types of performance issues and spent several minutes troubleshooting until I finally realized that power saver mode was on, and was limiting my CPU to like 10 or 20% of its capability.

Also run task manager and sort by CPU usage to see if anything is maxing out your CPU. High disk usage can also cause this because samples are streamed from disk, and unless you have an SSD you can run into issues where the samples cannot be loaded quickly enough due to something else using the disk at the time (ex. a scheduled virus scan).

You can also consider looking at NotePerformer, which is much smaller than the Halion player and puts much less load on the system, and sounds better. It gives a much more realistic idea of orchestral balance as well. (although it shouldn’t be necessary to purchase this to get sound working reasonably with Halion if you look at the things above)

G’day Justus, user mducharme made some valid comments.

But even with the Realtek chip and the Generic Low Latency ASIO Driver you shall be able to get decent playback, but as mducharme pointed out, you need to use a bigger ASIO buffer size.
Currently you are set to smallest in the driver control panel; move that all the way up to largest.

One more thing I recommend is to check the Multi-Core option in HALion Sonic SE. Therefore open the editor window of it and choose the Options tab and look out for ‘Multi-Core’.
What is your setting there? I recommend to let it use 1 or 2 less than the available number of cores you have.

Please try out and let us know if things are getting better.

In Device Setup, try re-selecting the current audio device.

Hi all,

Thanks for your help so far, guys.

To clarify a few things:

I have problems even if I switch off all my other applications, disconnect the WiFi. And there’s nothing suspect showing up in my Task Manager. So competing processes don’t seem to be the problem.

I’ve looked at power options, as suggested. I don’t have a “power save” mode as such (except for stuff that happens when I unplug). I only intend to use Dorico when plugged, anyway. The only thing I could see was PCI Express Link State Power Management (of which I don’t know what it does). I switched it off, but to no avail.

I probably dont have an ASIO compatible driver (I don’t know what it is, and I’m sure if I asked at the computer shop, they wouldn’t know either), but the Dorico specs see “recommended”, not “required”. I do have the 8Gbyte Ram that is recommeded (I made sure of that when I bougth it).

I tried maxing out the ASIO buffer size (leading to a 100ms buffer), but it didn’t have an effect.

Multi-core: I only have options of “OFF” (default) or “2 cores”. Switching between them has no effect.

I tried re-selecting the audio device, but no effect.

Finally, I’m not 100% sure the problem is really sound related: Dorico is also very sluggish: it sometimes doesn’t seem to start up at all, or takes 5 minutes to do so. It frequently goes into “non responding” state for a minute, etc. (attached a crash report from the last time that happened and I had to reboot it).

I realise I don’t have a souped-up laptop, but Sibelius (and Dorico 2) always ran fine. I’m happy for it to be a bit slow loading, etc, but I’m not happy for it to not run at all. I don’t care that much about the quality of instrument sounds, as long as it’s workable (it will never sound like real people playing anyway). It’s a bit sad that performance is so greatly effected by something I don’t particular want (particularly if it would mean it doesn’t run at all, of course). We don’t all work in Hollywood, so to say.

Hope I can get it working, because there’s some stuff in Dorico 3 that I really look forward to using…

Thanks again,


Sorry, it won’t let me attach the crash report, as it’s too large (??? 6 Mbyte)

Regarding the crash report, you could use instead a file transfer service like Dropbox (or others). Alternatively, I could provide you a login to my ftp server where you could upload that stuff.

First you just reported sound problems, now more general problems.
Well, if your laptop has only 2 cores, it seems a bit underpowered, I may say.
Do you work with videos in Dorico? Removing the video engine from Dorico might make things a little better,
because with Dorico 3 the video engine is known to draw more cpu usage than before (and even while it is idling).
We are working on it already. But please try to move C:\Program Files\Steinberg\Dorico3\Components\videoengine.dll
out of that folder into a safe place. Then start Dorico and see if it makes any difference.

Thanks Ulf.
I’ll try the video-route you suggest tomorrow (it’s late night here) and will let you know how I get along.
Meanwhile, here’s a link to a crash report on Dropbox, if you feel inclined to have a look:

Just to clarify: I’m saying I’m not sure whether the sound is the problem, but the symptom is definitely the sound being a problem. If that makes sense.
I realise my laptop is no
t high-end. But I’m not looking for high performance (but I AM looking for something that works). If Dorico doesn’t work at all on my Lapton (unlike e.g. Sibelius), that would be disappointing. But hopefully the video route works.
I’ll get back to you tomorrow!

Thanks for the data. There is one crash dump contain. I’ve seen the same pattern before with one of our beta testers, but already at that time I could not reproduce it, nor could I make any sense out of it. But since it is only a single crash, we can assume that it only happens very rarely.
Regarding the start up times, the log files don’t suggest anything unusual in that respect.Since you don’t have a high spec machine, start up times of around 1 min is quite normal, I suppose. Longer start ups I could not find.
Btw., one does not need a high spec machine to run Dorico, something average shall suffice. A two core machine however seems a bit sparse, since Dorico has a lot to do in parallel, especially when you want to play back with 2 or 3 instances of HALion Sonic, I don’t really wonder that you have audio drop outs under those conditions. We officially recommend an intel i5 or faster.
I wonder though, you say you never had problems with Dorico 2. Dorico 3 might need a bit more horse power now, but not that awful lot. Therefore, I can only think of the video engine as the trouble maker that slows everything down.

Another suggestion - check your anti virus software, it could be it is scanning the Halion sample files every time they are read causing lots of extra disk activity. On my old system (which was less powerful) I had to exclude the sample folders from being scanned.

Run task manager when you are trying to play back and check both the CPU and disk activity listed.

Thanks again,
Having switched off (i.e. removed) the video component, I now got it running for one file (which was the project I did with Dorico 2). It’s still giving problems for my other file (imported from music XML), but I’ll have another look at that file, and also at those other suggestions you mention.
I can live with 1 minute loading time, it’s a consequence of my own decision to buy cheaply. What would be useful, though, is some sort of indicator on the main interface that shows that Dorico is loading sound files. At the moment, I think I need to go to play, than open a file, then open the Halion controller, to see this loading being in progress (?). That itself takes half a minute anyway.
Incidentally, is there a way of running in “no-sound” mode (which is fine for 50% of the time), just to get round performance problems when I don’t need sound anyway?

The play button in the mini-transport in the toolbar will be grey/disabled until sound loading has finished, at which point it pops up green and enabled again.

You can set the ‘Silence’ playback template (via Play > Playback Template) to prevent Dorico from loading any sounds, thought the audio engine will still be running.

Thanks Daniel.
That’s what I would have thought, but I see the play button become green (after about 40 seconds) and still no sound (although the playback line moves)… I then open the Halion edit instrument panel, and it stills shows “loading” (the progress bar) for another 20 seconds. Only when that is finished, does it actually play sounds. Anyway, it’s not a major issue.
Thanks for the tip on the silent playback, as well.


Here’s an update:
I tried to exclude this folder from my anti-virus:
Program Data/Steinberg/Content/HALion
but with no effect (I presume this is the folder to exclude as it’s the really big one?).

If I export audio to WAV file using the “HSSE+HSO (Pro)” template, it sounds fine. If I play it back real-time, it gives those hiccups. That seems to confirm that performance and computer power are the main issue.

If I use the “HSSE elements” template, it works fine, and this gives me a workable solution (i.e. work with that, and export Audio when i want to hear the detail and higher quality), though it’s not great of course.

Nevertheless, I had another crash (or rather: a hung program that forces me to kill the process. Rather hoping I don’t get too many of those). Since you reported that my last crash was “very unusual”, I’ve taken the trouble to also upload this crash report to Dropbox again, in case you want to check whether it’s the same thing again.

Hi Justus, in that diagnostics report is no new crash dump contained, just the one I already saw. So yeah, the program was just hanging. Difficult to tell if it was really deadlocked or might have come back after some time. Should you experience those hangs frequently, then you could download Process Explorer (Process Explorer - Sysinternals | Microsoft Learn). When Dorico hangs, launch that and find the Dorico and VSTAudioEngine processes, right click on them (one after the other), choose ‘Create mini dump’ and then provide us.

Thanks, I will!

Hi JustusR,

One last suggestion regarding power management - you can try installing and using this third party tool: Power Plan Assistant for Windows 7 / 8 - Features and Benefits

It gives you an icon on your system tray that lets you switch between high performance, balanced, and power saver. I switch to high performance before using Dorico on my laptop, and switch back to Balanced or Power Saver afterwards.

Ok, sorry, me again.
I had two real and true ‘crashes’ this morning (not just hung), so here’s a third attempt at diagnostics:

In both cases I was trying to change the name of my two clarinets, because they wouldn’t condense.

(also, Dorico is still very - unworkably - slow, even if I use only the Elements playback template. In spite of my machine not being great, something still doesn’t seem to be right). I haven’t had time yet to look at that PowerPlan tool.