FR: It would be nice if

Just finished a fairly big job (score was 177 pages, 617 pages of parts) so just mentioning these while they are fresh in my mind. With the exception of condensing whole rests, everything listed below was reasonably achievable, it just would be nice if …

  1. It would be nice if there was some sort of way to have dynamics set to auto erase barlines. File statistics says I had 2825 dynamics, and well, I had to deal with stuff like this probably a few hundred times:

  2. The new Hold duration % maximum setting for fermatas seems inadequate, topping out at 999%. I know that sounds ridiculous, but this piece had 56 “holds and pauses” and many of them looked like this:

When you have both whole notes and 16th notes with a fermata, Dorico seems to use the smallest note value for the percentage calculation. This is fine, but on many occasions at faster tempos I topped out at 999% so had to use a hidden metronome mark. That also works fine of course, but is more steps to add one, hide it, then add another at the original tempo and hide it, so it would be nice if the Hold Duration % could accept even larger values.

  1. When a condensing label and dynamic or other text share a beat location, it really makes a mess of vertical spacing unless you use a huge default horizontal offset value:

It would be nice if there could be some smarter settings when the label shares a beat with other items as to not wreck the vertical spacing between staves in the score.

  1. A cue with a clef change spanning a system looks like this …

… but a cue with a clef change starting a system looks like this:

I think I prefer the method used spanning the system, as the clef will be correct if the player quickly glances over to the beginning of the system, rather than the way Dorico handles it when the cue starts a system. There’s not an option for this now is there? If not, it would be nice if there were settings to control this.

  1. Also on the subject of the above, EO / Bar Numbers / Clefs / Minimum Gap doesn’t seem to work for clefs used in cues that start a system in the current implementation. (Note positioning of the bar number 25 and the treble clef.) It’s not terribly hard to fix, but it is yet another thing to have to proof for, especially when cueing a treble clef instrument into a bass clef instrument. If Dorico insists on changing the clef here rather than presenting the instrument clef then a cue sized clef, it would be nice if it would obey the EO settings for clefs and bar numbers.

  2. It really would be nice to be able to use pitched cues in a Percussion staff without having to temporarily “switch” to a pitched instrument too.

  3. It would be nice if there was an easy way to align Tempo indications in a system. Here’s what I get by default in this situation, where the tempo indications have to be moved and aligned using the cross-hairs:

  4. It’s often common for multiple percussionists to use the same part layout. That way they can divide the part as their setup allows, and see what the other is doing. There’s no option to show the bar number range under the bottom staff in this situation is there? I get the first range by default instead of the second which I’d prefer. (I still want the systemic number above.)

Anyway, it would be nice to not have to manually adjust all of those.

  1. Probably a bit of a dream, and I have no idea how it would actually work, but it would be nice if Dorico could somehow auto-generate a Percussion Map for a project that could be placed in a page template for the front material:

  2. It’s common for rehearsal marks, system text, tempos, etc to appear above the strings. There are minimum distance settings for rehearsal marks but only in relation to the staff below, not a staff above. It would be nice to get better vertical spacing in situations like this: (Page is not overfull.)

  3. And finally, it would be really nice if whole rests could be positioned when Condensing. Stuff like this looks really poor and there aren’t really any good workarounds, at least there aren’t any when you need both score and parts to be correct and you have hundreds that would need fixing.

Anyway, those few “quality of life” tweaks would have definitely saved me a bunch of work on this job. Thanks for considering!


That’s a big score!

#3. I don’t have an answer, but I agree vertical spacing can be a mess when you have several items (tempo, rehearsal mark, text label, etc.). Your #7 seems related.
#8. Extremely interesting. I would like all percussion parts (except timpani) to print as one part so the pricipal could assign parts as needed. How do you do this? I’ve been creating a separate score with all the other parts deleted, which is clearly a poor solution.

1 Like

Do you mean a separate Layout, rather than a score? If not, I would think the layout would be much more useful.

One can combine unpitched percussion into kits (as you may know) which can appear in your score as either separate lines, a grid, or a five-line staff (or multiple five-line staves depending on how many instruments you have), and one can specify different layouts for the parts than the score in Layout options.

I honestly usually leave collision avoidance off for text, but have a shortcut and stream deck button for it so I can turn it on individually if needed. At least that way it usually doesn’t mess up the vertical staff positioning in the score as much. The problem with #3 specifically is that there’s usually a dynamic at an entrance, and often a condensing label there too, so the automatic vertical spacing allotted is completely unreflective of how much is actually needed once the label is correctly repositioned. Since a label and dynamic co-exist so often, a setting to specify how that positioning is handled would be a real timesaver!

Yeah, as @Derrek mentioned, just use a layout that contains those percussionists. Or if you don’t want to do any perc assignment, just add all the individual perc instruments. For this job, the composer didn’t really consider how he had the pit percussion assigned, and just wrote what he wanted. I had a spreadsheet (ballet is 20 movements) to try to figure out how to minimize perc changes, but in the end the 2 players had to share a few instruments. They can see what each other is doing this way though, so if the configuration allows they can switch up if necessary. I had each player’s instruments combined into kits, with a percussion key placed at the beginning. Putting one player in their own group avoided naming issues like Snare 1 and Snare 2, as there’s physically only 1 snare shared between them.

1 Like