Condensing 3 Trombones

I’ve attached two documents and some screenshots. Can anyone please explain to me why the one condenses to 1 staff and the other to 2?
The only difference as far as I know is that the second has dynamics, and I have tried hard to make the dynamics identical on each separate staff.
It may be that the one staff view is undesirable anyway, in which case I am happy to force the issue with a custom condensing group if necessary, but I would like to know what I’m missing. Thanks.

Missing the attachment.

I’m unsure if Dorico will condense three staves by default. I was under the impression you HAD to make a custom group to do it. Even then, it still may not work out of the gate, you may need to fiddle with some condensing options. I have gotten it to work in my scores however, so I know it’s doable.

Dorico will probably condense any number of staves (it has done 8 horns onto one staff for me) but it can only handle two voices on a condensed staff.

Depending what condensing options you choose for displaying rests, don’t forget that rests also eat up voices.

Missing attachment (1.48 MB)

One of the attached examples places all three voices on one staff. 2 with stems up, 1 with stem down.

Wait really? Only two voices on a condensed staff? Now I’m confused because I’ve definitely gotten 3 trombones on a staff before. I think it was totally mono-rhythmic, maybe Dorico will transform that into a number of “voices” it can deal with.

Edit: OP, taking a look right now.

Okay I got it. Took a second but I figured it out and learned something on the way. You gotta use “condensing change”, which is in engrave mode. And simply making the custom condensing group of tbn 1 2 3 didn’t work. Playing with a bunch of menu options for condensing didn’t really work either. Tried selecting all dynamics and linking or grouping them, that didn’t work either.

This worked:

  1. Go to engrave mode
  2. Select the passage you want to force onto 1 staff. I suggest holding cmd (on Mac) and dragging.
  3. Click Engrave > condensing change.
  4. Tick the box in the top left for tbn 1 2 3.
  5. Under Manual Condensing, click toggle for “condensing approach”. Select manual condensing.
  6. Click each part and click the center " > " to send it to the right side.
  7. On the right side, drag each part where you want it (to make things up stem or down stem as desired). Make sure everything is under “staff 1”.

That’s it!

Thanks for looking, Robert. I used manual condensing on an assignment a few weeks ago, though I will have to refresh my memory. But I’m trying to understand why these two documents yield different results.

Beats me to be honest. It’s a new feature, and it’s a COMPLICATED feature. There’s a ton that goes into it, since the goal is not just to combine staves, but make a musical judgement as to whether or not combining staves is a good idea. Who knows what improvements might be down the pipeline, but for now I’m happy to have learned that condensing changes can solve these types of problems. Follow those instructions to a T and you should have no problem.

It’s the dynamics that are causing the passage not to be condensable onto a single staff. I suggest you delete the dynamics in that passage and input them by extending the note input caret across all three trombones, then using the Shift+D popover to input them across all three staves at the same time, to be sure of getting them all identical between the instruments.

If several instruments have the same rhythm, Dorico can combine the notes into chords, which only uses one “Dorico voice”. You can’t have more than two different rhythms on the same condensed staff.

Excellent, thanks. However I am having trouble with mf>p<ff.
If I enter that in the popover all is well. But if I drag the handle of the ff or p, or lengthen the hairpin after leaving note input mode, condensing reverts to two staves, even though I haven’t unlinked the dynamics from each other.
Perhaps there’s a way I’m unaware of to line everything up while still in note input and shift-d mode?

Yes, indeed there is. Use Space to advance the caret after typing e.g. < and you can keep hitting Space to expand the hairpin, then when the hairpin is the expected length, type Shift+D again and then type “ff” to finish the hairpin and add the “ff” dynamic.

Thanks. However, even using that technique, if I extend the hairpin into the measure before the one with the quarter notes, it no longer condenses to one staff.