Film score template - huge time signatures

Good afternoon everyone:

How can I create a film score that looks like the attached screen pictures from Sibelius? This is the “Tim Davies” house style, with huge time signatures that appear at the top of each of woodwinds, brass, percussion, and strings. (For the record, the instruments staffs and sub-brackets are from a John Williams score, published by Hal Leonard, and Tim doesn’t use a “free bar” for the score, just ignore that for now).

Tim uses Finale but here’s how to set that up in Sibelius:

When I export an xml and import that into Dorico, and adjust the staff size and paper size, it actually looks pretty good, aside from the funny instruments (caused by the way I set it up in Sibelius with a workaround). I can fix that by creating new instruments staffs and copying and pasting the music. But the biggest issue are the time signatures. There are two things really:

  1. How can I make them only appear for certain staffs (in properties panel you can turn them off globally but that’s obviously not the way to go)
  2. How can I change their appearance so they become very tall, about two staves (in other words, they should be stretched vertically, and align with the top staff).

Somewhat related, in film score parts sometimes a large, but not huge time signature is used. See example attached (flutes always get separate parts, but ignore that for now). In Sibelius you adjust the appearance of parts, but do you do this in Dorico?


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I need these large time signatures for a scoring project also. Can Dorico do this (yet)?

You can do it in properties: scaling

To set hide-show properties independantely, I think the only way is to input the meters on each staff using Alt+click

You mean this panel?

Maybe I’m missing something but I just really don’t understand.

Doh, I work with french version so my explanation may be confusing.

1st: if you want to have meters that can be edited independtely, you need to use the ALT+click input so each staff will get its own personal meter. Then you can hide or show any one of them.

2nd: select the meter and under properties click custom scale and set it to something like 500%…

Here’s a fast rendered example

Ah … many thanks. For my future reference, this is how you hide the time signature:

  • select first bar
  • Shift M, enter time signature (e 3/4), then press Alt Enter
  • then in properties panel you can turn off the time signature for that staff

Now, let’s look at the size of the time signatures …

I was wondering whether you would post that, Frank! The next version of Dorico will have support both for large time signatures either centred or aligned with the top of each group of brackets in the score, and for large time signatures positioned above the staff, and you will be able to use one of three preset font styles (bold numerals, narrow bold numerals, narrow sans serif numerals) or indeed any font of your own choosing. I think you will find Dorico’s implementation of this functionality to be superior to existing implementations in competing programs.

That’s fantastic. We may finally switch to Dorico for film scoring sessions.

Well allright! :slight_smile:

That is very good news. :slight_smile:

Can’t wait to get the next version!

yes yes yes yes!!!

Love to the Dorico team.

I will finally be able to make the switch!

Relatedly, you will also be able to display ranges of bar numbers under multi-bar rests, and use a different paragraph style for bar numbers between the full score and the parts (indeed, you can use a different one in every layout if you need to), so it will be easier to have bar numbers that are sized and/or styled differently between the score and the parts. We haven’t yet made it possible for bar numbers to additionally draw in more than one location vertically on a system, but we hope to address that in the near future too.

My hope is that the vast majority of the special formatting needs for score and part preparation for film/TV/game/other media recording will be addressed by our next update.

That is fantastic news, Daniel!
Great news for film scoring. I’m doing my best to make Dorico-converts of all the Norwegian film composers. This should make it even easier.

Any thoughts on when we might expect this next version? :smiley:

No, I’m afraid I can’t say anything at the moment about when the new version will be available, but we are hard at work at it.

Sorry to fire up an old thread, but just confirming before I buy the upgrade, that I can use a font of my choosing in Dorico 2 for time signatures.
Is it possible to use, a common font like Ariel or something similar, for regular sized time sigs?

Thanks guys, congrats on the update.

Hi aleos.
I was curious about your question, so I tried. There are different settings in Engrave menu > Font styles : Time signature font, Time signature plain font and Time signature plain separators font. I tried modifying the first one and it has to be a SMUFL font (for symbols like C) but is perfectly modifiable. In Layout options > Time signature, you can choose the design, and normal is by default and is the setting controlled by Time signature font. But you can choose the option with plain font and then you are free to change the Time signature plain font to what you want.

Thanks for checking that for me Marc. Great!

Yeah, that works great in Version 2. See screenshot attached.

And there’s video sync in Version 2, and it works better than in Sibelius, so hooyah. Party on. :slight_smile: