Condensing and grouped staff labels

I remember this came up briefly on the Facebook group, but I don’t believe it ever made it’s way to the forum. My apologies if I am repeating someone else or if the team is already aware of this.

Under Engraving Options I have Staff labels for identical adjacent solo instruments: set to Group between staves. When setting up Custom condensing groups via Layout Options, the labels still appear between the appropriate staves, except when there’s an odd number of instruments. The leftover instrument always gets it’s own staff label instead of sharing. I don’t know if this is a bug or intended behaviour, but could there be a way for the shared staff labels to appear even when there’s an odd number of instruments?

Attached is a picture demonstrating this. The horns are labelled correctly, but Trumpet 1 and Trombone 7 get their own label instead of sharing. Trombones 1–6 share nicely, but not with 7.

Sometimes, a tiny detail in the instrument name will prevent this grouping, like the option for showing transposing note in Edit Instrument names (at the bottom of the window), or an extra space or Enter… Hope this helps!

Not in this case. This was a brand new project, the instruments were created by duplicating the players to ensure they really are identical, and no notes have been entered.

Dorico won’t group the staff labels for instruments that aren’t in the same condensing group. As an alternative approach to solving this conundrum, how about allowing the instruments to all be in the same condensing group, and then specify the allocation via a manual condensing change? Or is there another reason that won’t work for you?

I’m probably not understanding this properly, but Dorico does seem to group staff labels even if the instruments aren’t in the same condensing group. The attached picture shows the custom condensing groups I setup. There’s three condensing groups for horns, but they all share a label in the score.

What I want is trumpet 2 and 3 always on the same staff, and trumpet 1 on its own staff. Once that is done, I want to let Dorico condense automatically, switching between shared stems and separate voices where it sees fit, but never moving the trumpets off their assigned staves. To my understanding, once I specify a manual condensing change, Dorico will use that until I tell it otherwise, so I would have to add manual condensing changes every time trumpets 2 and 3 go from shared stems to separate voices and vice versa. I’m certainly not opposed to leaving them all in one group, but I currently don’t see how that will work in my case without a ton of manual condensing changes.

That’s fair enough, yes, so you’re right that condensing changes don’t provide the perfect solution. I’ll take a closer look at this and see what we might be able to do about it.

Thanks for looking into this. The new condensing changes feature in 3.1 have been really great to work with.

Quick update on this: we’ve now implemented this improvement to staff label grouping for the next (major) release.

Wow, you work fast! Thanks again.

It seems that the old behaviour is happening again. I believe I remember it was indeed fixed in 3.1, but it is not longer fixed in 3.5.10.

If you have a specific project in which this problem still occurs, ChuckDimeCliff, please reduce it to the minimal size required to reproduce the problem (ideally just the affected instruments, and one or two bars) and attach it here so we can take a look.

This was done in a brand new project. I added the players, setup the condensing groups, and that’s it.
Trumpet (378 KB)

Thanks for this example, ChuckDimeCliff. We have improved precisely the opposite case, i.e. where you have a custom condensing group of Trumpets 1 and 2 condensed onto a single staff and then Trumpet 3, uncondensed on its own staff; but the converse is unfortunately not accounted for, for annoying technical reasons. We’ll work on getting this resolved in a future version. Apologies for the inconvenience.

Yes, that must be why I remembered it working at one point. Thanks for looking into this.