Combined Dynamics - can't get p-pp or p-ff to appear correctly

I’ve searched in the forum, and I’ve searched in the manual but I can’t find the solution I need.
I see the “combine dynamics” option in the side panel, but for the life of me I can’t get it to show either “p - pp” or “p - ff”
I see the arrows to switch the sides of the dynamics, and I can get one side down to pp but I can’t get the other side down to p – it only goes down to mf. And for the second thing I need, once the louder side goes up to f there’s no hyphen between the dynamic markings.
I do know about the “prefix” and “suffix” possibilities for dynamics in the bottom panel and I can create the dynamic “p” and then add the suffix “- pp” but the suffix doesn’t appear in the same font as the main dynamic. I’ve looked in the Library/FontStyles dialog and can change the font style for the dynamics text to bold italic which comes close, but it’s not the glyph that happens when I simply enter FF in the dynamics popover. I’ve tried p-ff and p-pp in the dynamics popover but the result only shows the second dynamic I typed into the popover.
What am I missing?

The dynamics on either side of a combined dynamic need to be flavours of both p and f, you can’t have a combined dynamic that’s got a variant of p on both sides, like p-mp; ditto ff-mf.

In the dynamics popover, you shouldn’t need to include the hyphen, just write e.g. “pff” – although I think you can include the separator if you want. You can then change the default appearance of combined dynamics, so they look the way you want, in Library > Engraving Options > Dynamics.

Dorico’s “combined dynamics” are for immediate execution, like fp. If you’re trying to indicate different dynamics for 1st and 2nd times through a repeat, this doesn’t work for that. Currently the best we can do for that is fake it with text.

Usually easier to add two dynamics at two rhythmic location, the first with a hyphen as a suffix, then nudge them to appear combined.

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If that’s the case, why does Dorico’s Combined Dynamics include the hyphen for some combinations of dynamics?

That’s what I ended up doing as being the fastest and most versatile. Thanks!

Thanks for that solution – I tried it and it works nicely. How will that impact other combined dynamics should I want something like fp to appear without a hyphen?

There’s a property you can use for individual dynamics:

Thank you! How in the world do you remember all of this? Or even remember where to look it all up when you can’t remember it? You are amazing!

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Well, she wrote the book in which to look it up… :wink:


Welcome to Oz! (definitely don’t look behind that curtain over there, nothing to see)

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Because some make sense without a dash, like mfp, but some would not, like p-mf.


Sorry to bump an old topic (I’m new to the forum… please let me know if that’s taboo).
But a question… how do you add a “hyphen as a suffix” in this case?

Hi Nick – Welcome to the forum! The suffix Dan refers to in post #4 is in Properties. Select your dynamic mark, open the lower zone, and put - (or, better, –) in the Suffix field. Normally this field is for verbal directions such as “dolce” but you can put anything in it.