Dorico making Motu soundcard volume jump

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harmonica
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Dorico making Motu soundcard volume jump

Post by harmonica » Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:45 am

Hello

I'm using Dorico 1.1 on a Mac with a Motu soundcard (an Ultralite mk 3).

During the working day I often have other audio software running. Quite a few times, I've opened Dorico while sound is playing via other software and been knocked out of my seat as Dorico ignores my audio settings and forces the volume up to maximum (sometimes 40dB higher than I'm currently working). This happens when I open Dorico itself. If I then bring the volume down again, it happens again when I open a Dorico score.

Is there a way to fix this?

I do need to keep other audio files running when working in Dorico - if there was a way to open Dorico and close it, like other audio software, it would be much easier to integrate it into the working day.

Thanks

Sarah

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Re: Dorico making Motu soundcard volume jump

Post by pianoleo » Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:58 am

A question, rather than a solution, Sarah:

Does the jump in volume occur when you open Dorico (the program) or when you open a file in Dorico?

If the former, why not leave Dorico open?
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Re: Dorico making Motu soundcard volume jump

Post by ShikiSuen » Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:06 am

It is not the issue of Dorico but of its bundled VSTAudioEngine.app program. More exactly, the CoreAudio2ASIO converter (included in the VSTAudioEngine.app bundle) is the one to blame, if you have met exactly the same issue with Cubase and Wavelab on your system.

I personally think that it is totally ridiculous and insane if an audio plugin app refuses to directly utilize CoreAudio on macOS. All non-Steinberg audio-production apps for macOS (incl. AVID Pro Tools non-HD) utilizes CoreAudio directly.
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Re: Dorico making Motu soundcard volume jump

Post by harmonica » Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:19 am

Hello

It happens in both cases - i.e. if I open Dorico itself or open a file from within Dorico. Also if I close Dorico or a Dorico file.

I've double-checked this with a very low volume track - I've also checked what the Motu software is doing:

Motu's Audio Setup has a tick-box marked 'Enable Core Volume Controls'. It's a though the Dorico software is over-ruling this, even though there's no evidence in the user interface to the Motu software. I've checked the audio setup within Dorico itself and the tickbox is still ticked but the software is over-ruling this. When I press the buttons on F11 and F12, to rapidly bring the volume down again, I notice that Dorico has forced those core volume controls up to maximum (as seen on the Apple interface, with those horizontal squares and as heard in the room).

It's pretty shocking if you forget that's about to happen and you're working on something. A fix or workaround would be greatly appreciated!

Sarah

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Re: Dorico making Motu soundcard volume jump

Post by PaulWalmsley » Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:33 am

ShikiSuen wrote:
Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:06 am
I personally think that it is totally ridiculous and insane if an audio plugin app refuses to directly utilize CoreAudio on macOS. All non-Steinberg audio-production apps for macOS (incl. AVID Pro Tools non-HD) utilizes CoreAudio directly.
Please stop making these unfounded assertions. CoreAudio2ASIO is a very thin adaptor layer that allows the Steinberg audio engine to address audio devices using the ASIO abstractions, so that most of the logic can be cross-platform.

Guess what? If you are using Pro Tools then this is a cross-platform application too, and at some point in the application stack it will have a similar adaptor layer that converts its internal APIs into CoreAudio, WASAPI, ASIO or whatever. All cross-platform applications will have a layer which *directly uses* CoreAudio, and a layer where they have an internal representation, and Steinberg is no different.
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Re: Dorico making Motu soundcard volume jump

Post by PaulWalmsley » Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:44 am

harmonica wrote:
Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:19 am
It's pretty shocking if you forget that's about to happen and you're working on something. A fix or workaround would be greatly appreciated!
Firstly, some context:

The reason for this is that Dorico uses Cubase's pro audio engine, and the default setting for the audio engine is that if you set the output fader to 0dB, then the sound card output is at 0dB. This is very important in a professional context because you need to rely on the levels. Also in a professional context you never have the soundcard output connected directly to the speakers without some kind of volume control.

However, this can catch you out if you are not used to this of workflow. Fortunately there is an option: In Dorico / Preferences / Audio Device Setup press the Device Control Panel button and untick the option to 'Set Device Attenuation to 0dB'. This is something that you should only need to do once and then and the setting is remembered for future sessions.
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Re: Dorico making Motu soundcard volume jump

Post by harmonica » Fri Aug 11, 2017 11:34 am

Hello Paul

I just sent you a friendly message about an issue I'm experiencing with Dorico. Perhaps you might want to read over and moderate your reply.

I'm experiencing daily issues with Dorico - as promising as it is, Dorico, quite frankly, still feels like a work in progress. I'm happy to give Dorico a try though - and give the team the benefit of my user feedback. Very often, items in Dorico are either not present at all. Some are spoken about but not yet implemented. Others are in the software but the documentation is incomplete so we don't know they're present. Hence writing to the forum - the problem I described doesn't exist with any of the other software I'm using on a daily basis (e.g. Max; QLab). It's disrupting my workflow - and in the wrong situation could also damage my speakers (or worse still, my ears).

The information you send in the second paragraph would have sufficed. However, instead of addressing this issue politely and promptly, you infer that I'm having issues because I'm not familiar with a 'professional' workflow. You're also giving me a mini tutorial on levels. Is this the attitude Steinberg would like to project to all customers?

For the record, I have two degrees in engineering - one in electroacoustics - and am a professional composer, working in theatre houses around the UK (as well as New York). I know how to hook up my studio, thanks. I understand when I need to work with material set at a 0dB level and when I do not. I decide when I need to use Core Audio and when I do not. I have two deadlines looming: one for an opera, another for a major London theatre production. Right now, I'm wondering if I can even cope with using Dorico, if I feel I have to run the gauntlet and have my expertise questioned, just for pointing out such a problem.

Sarah Angliss

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Re: Dorico making Motu soundcard volume jump

Post by PaulWalmsley » Fri Aug 11, 2017 11:50 am

I apologise if you thought my tone was condescending - that was certainly not my intent. Dorico users cover a very wide base from those very familiar with a pro audio workflow to those who don't use playback features at all. The reason for the context was that this subject comes up very often and the usual response is 'Why isn't this the default?' and so I wanted to give the background to that reason. This was also to explain the convention used in Steinberg products where 0dB out = 0dB out, bypassing the system volume.
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Re: Dorico making Motu soundcard volume jump

Post by Derrek » Fri Aug 11, 2017 7:50 pm

Paul,

I found your initial response to Sarah both civil and informative. Her concern as a professional with Dorico's lack of documentation is realistic (which I believe all of you on the Dorico Team have acknowledged), but your response itself was not the problem.

Thank you for your ongoing help informing us about the program.
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Re: Dorico making Motu soundcard volume jump

Post by Robby Poole » Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:55 pm

I don't think you were rude in your response, Paul. It was civil and informative, as Derrek said.

I will say that if you read your response back to back with your response to Shikisuen's nonsense, one might think there is a sarcastic tone to it. But I did not get that from your serious post to Sarah.

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Re: Dorico making Motu soundcard volume jump

Post by ShikiSuen » Mon Aug 14, 2017 2:23 am

PaulWalmsley wrote:
Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:33 am
ShikiSuen wrote:
Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:06 am
I personally think that it is totally ridiculous and insane if an audio plugin app refuses to directly utilize CoreAudio on macOS. All non-Steinberg audio-production apps for macOS (incl. AVID Pro Tools non-HD) utilizes CoreAudio directly.
Please stop making these unfounded assertions. CoreAudio2ASIO is a very thin adaptor layer that allows the Steinberg audio engine to address audio devices using the ASIO abstractions, so that most of the logic can be cross-platform.

Guess what? If you are using Pro Tools then this is a cross-platform application too, and at some point in the application stack it will have a similar adaptor layer that converts its internal APIs into CoreAudio, WASAPI, ASIO or whatever. All cross-platform applications will have a layer which *directly uses* CoreAudio, and a layer where they have an internal representation, and Steinberg is no different.
Thanks for your clarification. You mentioned that *all cross-platform applications*, leading to my another question: What do you think of how Logic Pro utilizes CoreAudio? In the same way or simpler?
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Re: Dorico making Motu soundcard volume jump

Post by ShikiSuen » Mon Aug 14, 2017 2:36 am

PaulWalmsley wrote:
Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:33 am
ShikiSuen wrote:
Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:06 am
I personally think that it is totally ridiculous and insane if an audio plugin app refuses to directly utilize CoreAudio on macOS. All non-Steinberg audio-production apps for macOS (incl. AVID Pro Tools non-HD) utilizes CoreAudio directly.
Please stop making these unfounded assertions. CoreAudio2ASIO is a very thin adaptor layer that allows the Steinberg audio engine to address audio devices using the ASIO abstractions, so that most of the logic can be cross-platform.

Guess what? If you are using Pro Tools then this is a cross-platform application too, and at some point in the application stack it will have a similar adaptor layer that converts its internal APIs into CoreAudio, WASAPI, ASIO or whatever. All cross-platform applications will have a layer which *directly uses* CoreAudio, and a layer where they have an internal representation, and Steinberg is no different.
One more thing happened prior to your guys' dismissal from AVID (not blaming or taunting you, just a timestamp): The speaker-blowing issue of CoreAudio2ASIO driver happens prior to "Cubase Elements/AI/LE 7.0.6, WaveLab 8.0.3 and WaveLab Elements 8.0.3", according to Steinberg article:
https://www.steinberg.net/en/support/kn ... -mavericks

I thought that this issue gets completely solved since then, until I read Harmonica's complaint above. This issue **almost made me deaf** when I was using Apogee Duet with Cubase 7 on macOS Mavericks. I guess I am the first person to address that this issue could cause permanent hearing problems to users who uses digital output volume controlled by the macOS, and here is the article I wrote during that time to urge all mac Cubase users to perform the update (for their sake of avoiding hearing loss):
http://www.midifan.com/modulenews-detailview-15512.htm


I thought you guys should have the responsibility to unckeck the device attenuation by default in Dorico, with ear health warning texts written clearly in the CoreAudio2ASIO driver settings window... until I read this:
PaulWalmsley wrote:
Fri Aug 11, 2017 11:50 am
I apologise if you thought my tone was condescending - that was certainly not my intent. Dorico users cover a very wide base from those very familiar with a pro audio workflow to those who don't use playback features at all. The reason for the context was that this subject comes up very often and the usual response is 'Why isn't this the default?' and so I wanted to give the background to that reason. This was also to explain the convention used in Steinberg products where 0dB out = 0dB out, bypassing the system volume.
Currently Dorico is not a pro audio workstation. Dorico is born for being a music typography software, not an audio workstation. Music engravers do not care about the audio summing precision cost caused by the lack of forced device attenuation normalization to 0dB. Are you guys expecting users to professionally do precise audio mixing in Dorico? If so, then why you guys sell Nuendo at the same time? for what?

P.S.: I don't feel anything good from being toxic. However the biggest problem among Steinberg products are the overpursuit of product "completion". Cubase is for MIDI arrangement, but it ships with too much non-important things, including its notation part which is pretty terrible to use. Dorico is the most comfortable music engraving software I am using, but your ambition regarding the completion of Dorico in pro-audio area is overflowing, pulling and tearing the balls of Dorico from running stable as a mere music typography software. I am afraid that you guys may need to make its VSTAudio app more standalone like the Vienna Ensemble Pro, for those people who don't have that budget to buy a license of Vienna Ensemble Pro.

To say clear, regarding what I assumed ideal at this moment: Dorico does not access CoreAudio but only access CoreMIDI. Dorico sends MIDI playback and VST Expression playback data to a standalone Dorico Player (the VSTAudio app) and Dorico player handles the audio playback for composition demonstration purposes. If Dorico Player is down, one could just restart Dorico Player separately without rebooting the Dorico main app.
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Re: Dorico making Motu soundcard volume jump

Post by djw » Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:16 am

That's blunt ShikiSuen, but all the points you raised are valid.
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Re: Dorico making Motu soundcard volume jump

Post by ShikiSuen » Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:27 am

djw wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:16 am
That's blunt ShikiSuen, but all the points you raised are valid.
I love Dorico, and I feel thankful to Dorico team for their ideal design of this software (as a music engraving software). I see the trending that pretty much people's comments are doting on Dorico (maybe due to their living background), leading to my worries that only blunt expression could get my points not flooded away.
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