Condensing Question - Different rhythms from two instrument parts on same staff

So, I’ve been looking into Condensing and was excited about using the feature until it didn’t work the way I had hoped. I like Dorico more than Finale because the workflow is more intuitive. I am speedier in Dorico after a few months than with years on Finale. I am working on copying a John Williams score to Dorico to see if I can replicate it. The original score was more than likely done on Finale. When trying to condense my flute and horn parts, it wouldn’t. I tried to make a custom condensing group; I made sure condensing was enabled, etc., but zilch. I figured out the reason is that there are some rhythms that are too different and condensing only works with similar rhythms. So, I then tried a workaround, moving the parts into different voices. For example: From measures 3-5 in the flutes, it worked perfectly. But from m. 16 and on in the same part, it didn’t look the way it did in the score. I also realized that if I moved voices I wouldn’t be able to have my separate flute parts. I don’t think combining the two parts via “players” will help either as it will just be one staff with instrument changes. I have attached what I have been able to accomplish so far with some pictures of what the end result should resemble. Any help here would be appreciated!

Jurassic Park.dorico (1.7 MB)

From those pictures I’d say that this is nothing Dorico can’t do.
Maybe try to insert a condensing change where you force Dorico to combine those players that you want condensed together, and Dorico will happily do so.
No need to change any voices to help conensing do its job.

For some reason, there was a custom condensing group set up for the full score that included Flute 1, Horn 1, and Horn 2. Meaning, Flute 1 shouldn’t condense with Flute 2, because it should condense with the first two horns.

Deleting that custom condensing group allowed Flutes 1-2 and Horns 1-2 to condense together as desired.

Elsewhere, the horns might not condense due to phrases having too many pitch crossings: you can change this threshold in Library > Notation Options > Condensing. Along with all sorts of other options about how Dorico should condense music in different contexts.

When it comes to voices, try to keep these nice and simple: if there’s a single line for the flute, keep it in one voice on its own staff.

Be aware of dynamics in condensing: if two staves aren’t condensing but look like they should, check the dynamics on those staves. Even if they look the same, if the dynamics are grouped differently between the staves, that will affect the condensing result.

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@Lillie_Harris That was fantastic, thank you! Taking that off and changing notation options did the trick. However, NOW the dynamics and such appear above the staff. For example, the [1] marking designating the F Horn 1 solo at the beginning is colliding with the Contrabassoon staff. It’s happening all over throughout the score.
Jurassic Park.dorico (1.7 MB)

If you set this option for non-active players, your problem in bar 1 will be solved

Other spots, such as the crescendo in the clarinets in bar 9 are caused by dynamics, which are not identical between clarinet 1 and 2. You can see in Write-Mode, that the messa di voce in clarinet 1 is ending before the barline, while clarinet 2 is ending on the first beat of the next bar.
Dorico is dutifully showing these differences, but they of course need more vertical spacing.
If you want them to be identical, just duplicate the dynamics from clarinet 2 to clarinet 1 (duplicate to staff above) or vice versa in an uncondensed layout.

The condensing feature once again proving to be one of the best proofreading tools :wink:


You guys are all really awesome! You’re making me love Dorico more! While I feel some of my band director colleagues try and say that I can do everything in Dorico that I can in Finale, it is not the same. Anyway, a few more follow-up questions as I continue to figure out these features.

1). In the score I have, sometimes it lists when a certain part is playing by a 1. or 2.; sometimes it says a2. I also see one that says + 3. Bassoon. Is there a way I can edit how each one looks in Dorico? Again, I am trying to replicate the (likely) Finale score to explore what I can do in Dorico, to study the music, and to learn how to use Dorico faster.

2). Also in the original score, some of the <> or >< dynamics are spaced apart in the center. In other places in my Dorico score, I have two options, take bar 11 in the Clarinet 2. For the last two quarter notes, I can either have a short dynamic that covers their length or a long dynamic that stretches into the next measure. I want a long dynamic that ends right before the next measure. Is that possible?

I love Dorico’s linked feature, but sometimes it doesn’t put the dynamics just as I want them. I know I can edit the dynamics further in Engrave mode, but then they’re not linked anymore (which could be a helpful feature if it’s not already possible).

Edit I played around some more and found an option for “Minimum distance to right of barline to allow dynamic to cross line” and the current option is 2. I could change that to 0 and fix my problem, but sometimes I may want it to cross!

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Have a look at Doricos Engraving options. There, in the Dynamics section, you’ll find an option for exactly that.
(Or, you could shorten your dynamic sign by juuuust a little, of course.)

@Estigy Yep, I did find that one! It worked pretty well!

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You have quite a few transcription errors in the transposing instruments (e.g. Clarinets b. 4/5) that you should double check.

You can edit their respective texts in the properties panel in engrave mode, iirc

Awesome! Gosh, Dorico really can do a lot!