Condensing - bug or brain

Hi Folks,

I can’t seem to get the woodwinds to condense. I’ve tried making a new Dorico file, restarting my computer, and of course checking all the condensing settings around Dorico. The strangest thing is that this flow was part of a larger file, and all the other flows condensed. Any ideas?
Mahler example - condensing issue.dorico (2.6 MB)


I’ve been having a look at this.
I have not yet found the cause of the problem but have discovered that if you insert a system break at the first barline (ie after the anacrusis) then the music following that will condense. It’s not much to go on, but hopefully it might provide some clues for anyone else who tries to troubleshoot this.

Added later:
It looks like there is something about the anacrusis bar which is causing the problem. I started a new project, added the players, and created the anacrusis bar using shift-M 3/4,1 (and added the key signature and some more bars, naturally) and then copied and pasted the notes from the original project into the new one. Condensing worked without a hitch.

Similarly, but with less work involved:
I created a new flow within the existing project, set up the time- and key-sig’s, and then copied the existing notes into the new flow.

My guess is that the anacrusis bar might have started life as a normal 3/4 bar with the notes being entered on the third beat and then the first two beats of rests deleted by using Remove Rests. When I tried that myself, condensing only worked in the bars following a system break. If the two beats of rest were left at the start of that first bar, then condensing worked fine.

If you want to “convert” the existing project, try the following:

  1. Turn condensing off
  2. Select all the notes and rests in the anacrusis bar, and Cut - this should show a whole bar of rest
  3. Click on the rest in the 1st Flute
  4. Paste, and press R twice (while the notes and rests are still selected) - this should fill up that bar with notation
  5. Click on a note at the start of the 3rd beat in that first bar and press shift-M then 3/4,1
  6. Click on the very first note in that first bar and press shift-B then -1
  7. Turn condensing on

After some experimenting, I came to the same conclusion, but Steven beat me to it. But I found a similar, but slightly simpler solution:

  1. Turn condensing off
  2. Insert a 3/4,1 time signature right on the first note of the anacrusis. A barline appears before it, so there must be something there. The system track also shows a short bar.
  3. Delete this empty bar by clicking the trash can in the system track.

Schermafbeelding 2021-12-08 om 23.00.30

1 Like

Thanks Steven and Pjtor!

I appreciate the feedback. I guess it was more of a brain issue (our toddler doesn’t sleep well and I’m running on empty) rather than a bug… But it’s still strange that the Remove Rests prevented Condensing. I hadn’t made an anacrusis bar since this is an example taken from later in the movement.

I can’t get rid on the a2 now, I tried “preventing single stem unison” but that didn’t work (screenshot 1).

Also, it seems to be a weird inconsistency in that the Cl.1 and Cl.2 are stacked rather than Cl. 1. 2, but it if I turn of abbreviations (see second screenshot here) the Clarinet in A 1. 2 appears on one line. Any suggestions? I prefer abbreviations as this excerpt is will be part of a published article where all the other examples have abbreviated instrument names.
Screenshot 1

Screenshot 2


I’m afraid I can’t assist with the instrument names. I haven’t yet needed to use condensing very much and, when I do, I usually don’t need to change the default settings too much.

Have you checked for Condensing settings in all three “Options”? - Layout Options, Notation Options and Engraving Options.

Also, in Setup mode (Edit Names…), check that the Full name and Short name of similar instruments are the same (ie no extra spaces or different punctuation in one clarinet than in the other, for example). Mismatches there can sometimes produce unwanted results.

In Engraving Options > Staff Labels

Clarinet 1 has a stray space in the abbreviated name. Unfortunately, removing it doesn’t remove the double staff label. My experience is that sometimes, there must be something invisible in the instrument names that causes this, maybe some style formatting? I’ve sometimes resorted to simply assigning both instruments again in Setup Mode (Change instrument to itself). That makes the names absolutely identical, and repairs the staff labels.
(Edit: only re-assigning clarinet 1 does the trick in your case.)

If you don’t want the transposition to show in the staff label for the clarinets, do this for both clarinets in Edit Names… :


Thanks for the help, folks. Almost there.
How do I get rid of the a2, and “prevent single stem unison”, if I’ve chosen it already in notation options and nothing happens for any of the woodwinds?

I’m not sure if there is an official/proper/better way of doing it, but it is possible to hide the “a2” and “unis.” text by selecting it in Engrave mode and enabling Hide in Properties > Player Labels. You can select more than one text item at a time and then hide them all with one click.

I can’t tell if you are wanting single-stem unison or the opposite, but in Notation Options > Condensing > Unisons, there are two sections. Whole-phrase unison approach gives two choices which are Allow single-stem unison and Prevent single-stem unison. Mid-phrase unison approach has Allow mid-phrase unisons and Prevent mid-phrase unisons.
Between these two sections, you can have four different combinations:

Allow single-stem unison
Allow mid-phrase unisons

Prevent single-stem unison
Allow mid-phrase unisons

Allow single-stem unison
Prevent mid-phrase unisons

Prevent single-stem unison
Prevent mid-phrase unisons

Try all four and see if one of them achieves what you want.

Thank you so much.
The mid-phrase worked even though it was the start of the phrase…
I suppose I had tried this option too before I had the other solution of fixing the condensing issues, so I hadn’t gone back to this yet.
I appreciate the insight. All the best…

With condensing, “Dorico Pro considers a sequence of notes between rests as a single phrase” (quote from the manual - the section entitled “Condensing calculations and considerations”).