Why does having no sound or synthesizer sound appear to be the default when opening some files?

I have observed that, when opening files from foreign sources, such as the seven example files (Drozdoff, Rameau, Winstead, etc.) provided with the first version of Dorico, I have no sound or the “mind-blowing synthesizer effect” referred to in Anthony’s video Troubleshooting Playback Issues in Dorico. On the other hand I had no problems with the files I had created myself. Shouldn’t Dorico itself do what is required to play any file that a user loads without further ado? After updating to 2.2 yesterday I attempted to play each of the example files and experienced several crashes when applying the default template. I could solve the problem by deleting the VSTAudioEngine2_64 directory. In some cases I also had to load a specific instrument before I could hear any sound.

I note that there is no visual feedback from Dorico itself in the form of a progress bar as the sounds are loaded. This happens in the HALion window, but this is partly hidden from view by Dorico, and the former’s skeuomorphic (and dark) interface is not as easy to read as a standard Windows interface or the custom Dorico interface.

Is it safer not to click anywhere in the program while this process takes place to avoid problems? Finally, I am wondering if having more than one file open is a potential source for disaster. I guess that, in such a case, the sounds already in use have to be discarded and the new ones uploaded.

Dorico loads sounds in the background with no progress bar etc. precisely so you don’t have to worry about this kind of thing. You can have multiple projects open and switch between them; the only thing to be aware of is that if you quickly switch back and forth between two projects, and one of them hasn’t yet loaded its sounds, you’ll have to wait for it to finish loading its sounds before you can switch back to the other one, so that it doesn’t have to switch horses mid-stream.

I wonder whether you may possibly have an older version of HALion Sonic SE installed, and that’s why you’re finding that the sounds in the demo projects aren’t loading on their own? When you first installed Dorico 2, did you install the “Dorico Playback 1” installer, which installed HALion Sonic SE 3, replacing HSSE2 that was installed with Dorico 1?


I really cannot tell, but I see that I have the following directories where I keep downloaded files: Dorico Playback 1 - HALion Sonic SE 3, Dorico Playback 2 - Orchestra Library, and Dorico Pro 2 - Application Installer (all 2018-06-06). I am not sure if I actually installed the playback engines. When I go to directory C:\ProgramData\Steinberg, I see directories HALion and HALion Sonic SE dated 2017-05-23. Should I now download the latest versions of Dorico 2.2 Playback 1 - HALion Sonic SE 3 and Dorico Playback 2 - Orchestra Library from the Steinberg Download Assistant and install them? I am wary of meddling with these files without a clear indication to do so. Thanks in advance.

Old or new HALion Sonic SE shall not matter as the contents (the sound and preset files) did not change. So I wonder what the problem might be in this case.
When you load one of the example projects, go to Play Mode and open the HALion editor window. Can you load sounds in there directly?
E.g. try to load - no matter what the actual player shall be - a piano sound into the first slot. And if you play on the virtual keyboard on bottom of the screen, does sound come out?


I tried four example files. Here are the results:

Rameau: synthesizer sound, glissando OK, load Yamaha S90ES Piano; Cb. sounds.
Hewitt Jones: synthesizer sound, First contact shown in Editor, no sound on glissando, load template, sounds load, playback OK
Coldplay: no sound, First contact shown in Editor, load template, sounds load, playback OK
Winstead (first try): synthesizer, error message when opening the editor (“A serious problem has occurred: Please try to save your project under another name…”), First contact, glissando OK, no sounds load when applying template, no sound on playback
Winstead (second try): no sound, editor window much shortened and not showing all the slots, exit Dorico and delete VSTAudioEngine2_64 directory
Winstead (third try): no sound, load [GM 074] Flute, glissando OK, error message again, glissando OK, playback OK

I am wondering why the correct sounds are not loading automatically when I open a file and I have to go through several steps each time.

I note that my CrashDumps directory generated five files this morning. Is one created whenever a file is loaded, or only when a problem occurs?

Please start Dorico and from the menu choose Help > Create Diagnostic Report. That will create a zip file on your desktop, please send it to ‘u dot stoermer at steinberg dot de’ or attach here.

So the sound files are all there and can also be loaded. Weird that it does not do automatically. Also the “serious problem” message worries me, but the diagnostic report will tell me more.


Thanks for your reply. I made two tries:

  1. Open Winstead, synthesizer sound, load template, flute sound loads, plays OK.
  2. Open Winstead, load template immediately, flute sound attempts to load (“Loading Flute Combi” displays with an “x” in a red square but does not complete), eventually Dorico says that it is not responding; exit Dorico, but VSTAudioEngine refuses to unload and has to be terminated using Task Manager)

Diagnostics Report (attached) generated after reloading Dorico.
Dorico Diagnostics.zip (301 KB)

Hi Marc,
you have a very old version of HALion Sonic SE. You have 2.0 and current is 3.1. So please use the Steinberg Download Assistant to download the Dorico Playback 1 package, that contains the installer for the new version. With that new version I expect it to work properly.

Ulf, I suffer exactly the same problem on my mac (and was running the same version of HALion as Marc). I’ve just read through all of the release posts I can find and not a single one instructs the user to download an updated version of HALion. (https://www.steinberg.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=246&t=148867&p=800411&hilit=available#p800411 https://www.steinberg.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=246&t=144356&p=776673&hilit=available#p776673 https://www.steinberg.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=246&t=138740&p=746525&hilit=available#p746525 https://www.steinberg.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=246&t=128058&p=693878&hilit=available#p693878 https://www.steinberg.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=246&t=113743&p=621655&hilit=available#p621655)

Furthermore, the SDA just says Dorico 2.n Playback 1 - HALion Sonic SE N - I can’t say I’ve ever paid attention to whether “n” has changed from the previous version, as I don’t have the previous “n” in front of me to compare.

May I suggest that when a new version of HALion is bundled it might be mentioned in the release announcement, please?

There isn’t a new version of HALion included with Dorico 2.2. It’s the same version that we’ve been including since Dorico 2.0, when it was new, and when we did recommend that everybody run the HSSE installer in addition to the Dorico 2.0 installer.

Daniel, that’s my point. It’s not in the Dorico 2.0 announcement here (https://www.steinberg.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=246&t=138740&p=746525&hilit=available#p746525), it’s not on the “new in Dorico 2.0” page (https://www.dorico.com/new-in-2/)
and it doesn’t appear until page 39 of the Version History that was distributed with Dorico 2.0 (https://redirect.viglink.com/?format=go&jsonp=vglnk_154369926820511&key=e4fd14f5d7f2bb6d80b8f8da1354718c&libId=jp5ylm8y01024e3t000DAgb43nutc&subId=96da0d780eb78a049c91c2d4428eb2ca&loc=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.steinberg.net%2Fforums%2Fviewtopic.php%3Ff%3D246%26t%3D138740%26p%3D746525%26hilit%3Davailable%23p746525&v=1&out=http%3A%2F%2Fdownload.steinberg.net%2Fautomated_updates%2Fsda_downloads%2FDorico-2-2.0.0-44b04f1e-3f76-4fad-a938-d35e5f7dbd19%2FDorico_2.0_Version_History.pdf&ref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.steinberg.net%2Fforums%2Fviewtopic.php%3Ff%3D246%26t%3D149074&title=Dorico%20Pro%202%20and%20Dorico%20Elements%202%20available%20now%20-%20www.steinberg.net&txt=Version%20History%20PDF)

To be fair, it IS about a third of the way down your blog post here, in the automation section: https://blog.dorico.com/2018/05/introducing-dorico-pro-2-and-dorico-elements-2/

Where were we supposed to read it?

If MarcLarcher missed it, and I missed it, isn’t there a fairly strong possibility that other people might have missed it?

Sure, Leo, you’ve defeated me with your Google skills. I throw myself upon the ground and beg for mercy.

I was Googling in order to double-check that I hadn’t missed something, rather than to throw stones, Daniel. You have my respect, mercy and eternal gratitude!

Dear Leo,
Just a quick note to say I was not concerned at all in this thread, that I discover now… Marc-André Roberge created it and I think he’s the one cited here :wink:

D’oh! Sorry for dragging you into this one, Marc. I have to admit I’m running two different computers with two different operating systems and (apparently) two different versions of HALion. For some reason I never upgraded HALion on my mac, though I did on my Windows machine.

Daniel, Ulf,

I installed the latest version of the HALion Sonic SE, and the correct sounds now load without problem and the examples files play perfectly. Thanks for solving my problem.