Condensing issue after adjusting a second instrument to first

I see that Daniel has said that only the first instrument in the hands of the first player can be condensed with the first instrument of another.

In starting to input a score, and not knowing this, I created Bassoon 1 and Contrabassoon as the first instruments for their respective players and then later added Bassoon 2 as second instrument. I then discovered a way down the road that this meant I could not condense Bsn 1 & 2. So, I figured out a way by copying the music to dummy staves, so that I could have Bassoon 2 as the first instrument and Contra as the second. But it still will not condense Bsn 1 & 2. Is Dorico still remembering Bsn. 2 as a ‘second’ instrument?

That’s odd: I just did a test in which I created a bassoon, and a contrabassoon + bassoon staff. In spite of what has been said in the past (and I do not know why), the two bassoon condense even though the contrabassoon appears first in the lower staff.

condensingTest210912.dorico (395.3 KB)

What condensing groups are set in Layout Options > Players > Condensing? It’s possible they’re currently set in a way that excludes the new players from your existing groups.

Thank you. Derrek, for your making this experiment.

I am actually working with two files of the same material, the first one formatted at A3 and then a copy which I formatted at Legal Size. That probably doesn’t matter, but in the A3 version, I was able to condense Bsn. 1 & 2, even though Contrabassoon has been afforded the position of being the first instrument in the hand of that particular player. (I do hope that the Steinberg folks will be hearing my sarcasm here about the inanity of that particular element of their design “philosophy.”)

BUT in my second version of the file in Legal Size, with the same settings in Layout Option>Players>Condensing, I could not get the condensing I wanted.

I do think I see a way around this – and I hate it – which is to create doubling instruments in their own right, not to worry about Dorico created “change instrument labels”, but rather to use “hide empty staves” as the way to switch when there is doubling. And, then, to make the parts, create custom layouts for, say Piccolo 1 and Flute 2) that then themselves can be amalgamated to single staves by using “hide empty staves,” and then the changes between instruments can be entered separately as staff text items.

I have to say, to all and sundry, that while Dorico is a powerful and quite beautiful program, it is also quite unforgiving and stressful to work with. And … the PDF manual is … in need of some … editing that might take into account that we don’t all of us know Dorico jargon.

Thanks for your feedback about the manual. We have to use consistent terminology within the manual for clarity, but of course we’re well aware that not everyone calls everything the same thing, and indeed might be used to other established terms from other software. The manual structure allows you to identify which pages will contain explanations vs instructions for specific tasks. If you’re looking for clarification about what something is and/or what Dorico calls it, look for explanatory topics with nouns as titles.

If you search the online webhelp rather than the PDF, you can benefit from the various extra metadata terms & phrases I have embedded throughout the manual based on user questions and feedback, using words that users like yourself have used to describe what they’re looking for. Additionally, for notation items with synonyms established in music history (like pick-up bars also being known as an anacrusis or upbeat), those terms are included in the primary topic about that item (that being the one with the name as the page title). We also have a glossary that includes descriptions and alternative names.

If you have some specific examples of where you looked for information but weren’t able to find what you needed, please do let me know. Any terms you used to e.g. search the PDF or online would be really helpful.

Finally, if you’re still relatively new to Dorico, you may find our First Steps Guide helpful - it’s written in a different style to the manual, very much intended to be read start-to-finish rather than dipped into and includes little tips and asides that clarify bits of “why” Dorico does things a certain way. You can use the guide as a PDF or webhelp, and it has supporting resources (Dorico projects and PDFs) that you can use whilst following the guide.