How to play independent dynamics on each piano stave

This ought to be easy: playing the left hand soft and the right hand loud, for example, on the piano. I can attach different dynamics to notes in each of the two piano staves but I cannot get any of the Dorico versions to play both staves with their assigned dynamics. I tried Enable Independent Voice Playback in Play mode but that did not work. I looked through the User Manual but did not find anything. What am I doing wrong?

Welcome to the forum, Tom! This question was asked just 8 hours ago, and other times.

Have you entered your dynamics with the caret active? (Note the first Note on this page.)

I followed those directions as carefully as I could. I tried several times just to be sure I was doing it right. I never got different dynamics across the staves to play.

Can you post a sample project that shows the problem? That’s the quickest way to diagnose what’s happening and not happening.

Yes, I have a very simple project, Mark. I’m a beginner at this Forum, so I am not familiar with posting projects on the Forum. Are there instructions on how to do that?

Click the upload button…
and select your project.

When you’re very new here you may not be able to upload a file yet. Read some more threads if necessary to gain upload privileges. See Discourse Trust Levels for details.

When you’ve got the upload button Janus just illustrated, you can also just drag a file into the message window.

As far as I know, at the moment, this isn’t yet possible.
I have the same problem since I write 4 Hands piano music for a while now.
You could (as a workaround until a future Dorico-update, where this will be possible) ,
install 2 pianos and hide one staff from each piano.
then you can insert various dymamics at the same time.

I have done this with Piano in several documents recently. It requires only proper voice-specific dynamic entry and independent voice playback.

At the same time I posted to the Forum about this, I had a chat room conversation going with two guys at Steinberg Help. They were both looking into my issue and trying to figure out how to play independent dynamics on the two piano staves. One of them came back to me last night with a solution:

“… when you input by choosing a dynamic in the panel, hold Alt when clicking into the score to input the dynamic; or when using the Shift+D popover, hold Alt when you hit Return to confirm the popover. You can’t easily tell by looking at the dynamics in the project, but this should work well enough!”

This little Alt trick works for me. I never found that in the user manual (or maybe it isn’t in there). It’s weird that you have to do that, but there you are. Thank you for working with me on this, and for sending me instructions on how to post (upload) a dorico file; I have no doubt I’ll need to use that in the future!

  • Tom McLintock

Sorry I didn’t mention Alt-click (or Alt-Return with popover). I assumed you had caught that in the documentation. It is indeed there, the 2nd bullet point under 3. on this page (or 5. on the popover page). I’m glad if you’ve got it actually playing back correctly now!

Addendum, to the team: Is there any chance that voice-specific dynamics could be made to display in voice colors along with the notes in future?


I’m so glad to have had a look into this discussion.
Now I can (afterwards) change many flows in my 4 Hands piano pieces, where I wanted to have different Dynamics on each stave.
I won’t get out of work the next months.
Thank you all !!

Yeah, I totally missed the “little” Alt detail in the documentation. But it’s burned into my psyche now!

It seems to be a common problem, to oversee such little details in the documentation.