Inconsistent behaviour of group dynamics

In the past, when I group dynamics horizontally, they all align nicely - which is why I do it. But now, Dorico, sometimes some dynamics just wont align. Completely by trial and error I found that this happens when they are under a slur.

I can remove the slurs, group the dynamics and add back the slurs. But I have not read anything about such a restriction in the manual. I fell sure this never used to happen before.

What am I missing?

Hi, Andro!

I was curious and did some simple tests, trying out different combinations of slurs and dynamics.
I could not reproduce your problem at all.

Could you please provide us with a file that exposes the problem?

It is weird, yes. I’ll try to cut down my score and out it up. Dorico never used to do this.

Here is an except from the score. Try grouping the dynamics for the bass clarinet in the second system. Observe that they do not align. Now remove the slur. Observe that they do align. If this does not happen for you then there is something very weird with my installation.

Noctuary excerpt.dorico (1.3 MB)

I’m afraid I can’t reproduce it. When I group the Bass Clarinet dynamics, they align nicely, and leaving the slur in place or removing it makes no difference. When opening your file, Dorico reported several missing fonts, which I ignored. Would those fonts have caused a problem?

works as expected for me as well

To clarify:
First I selected a whole bar by clicking between the notes in the first bar of the second system of the Bass Clarinet part, then shift-clicked in the last bar, and then typed j (for jump bar), “filter dyn” and enter. Then I chose Dynamics > Group from the right-click menu (I have a custom keyboard shortcut for that as well).
Not that I think you don’t know how to select or group dynamics, just to explain what I did.

It works for me as well. Even if I have other things selected (besides dynamics), “Group Dynamics” works perfectly. Out of curiosity, did you check to see if it works on the excerpt for you? If so, that means there is something that works for a minimal excerpt, but not correctly with the full one. Also, I was shown fonts that I did not have when opening the file. Could this be a possible reason?

The fault shows in the minimal excerpt. Hmm. I use Adobe fonts. I wonder if these interfere. Hard to imagine, but anything is possible. I’ll try deleting them. I do find the Adobe Creative Cloud fonts to be almost more trouble than they are worth.

Well well well. I changed the music font to Bravura from November 2, and removed all Adobe fonts. Now the dynamics work and align. That’s unscientific of me as I changed two major variables at once, but I just wanted a quick answer. So now I will change one at a time to refine this result. Not good! And very strange.

Maybe inconsistent baseline in November2?

Just for the record, going further on, the problem persists even when using Bravura. One of those forever insoluble matters. At least I can delete slurs, align dynamics and redo the slurs - not a total pain, but would be nicer if things behaved themselves as they used to.

But since grouping does work for the rest of us, this suggests there is still something different about your software setup.

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@Mark_Johnson exactly, but what? As far as I know it’s a standard install from the Steinberg Download Assistant. However, I am running Windows 11 Insider Preview, which release is not totally guaranteed by Microsoft, so I may just be asking for it! :slight_smile: How the OS could interfere with Dorico layout I have no idea, but anything is possible in complex systems.

My observations (FWIW):

  1. If you filter>dynamics, then grouping always works.
  2. If you leave the selection as is, grouping fails. But the residual selection includes only the initial dynamic P and the 1st slur.
  3. If you remove the 1st slur from the selection (ctrl-click), grouping works. And the residual selection is the group of dynamics and the 2nd slur (perhaps logical as it is now the 1st selected slur)
  4. If you remove just the long 2nd slur from the selection. Grouping fails (residual selection as in 2 above). Same result for removing just the 3rd slur.
  5. However. If you remove just the 4th slur. Grouping works (residual selection is the group of dynamics and the 1st slur!).

This is definitely unexpected behaviour.

Certainly you should ensure that you only have dynamics selected before you try to use Align Dynamics. The issue will be that, under the hood, slurs and dynamics share the same linking/grouping capabilities, and very probably there is an issue where one or more slurs being included in the selection will somehow gum up the works. I’ve made a note to look into this in more detail in future when I have more time, but if you ensure you only have dynamics selected, it should work reliably.

Thanks @dspreadbury but I noticed that it is impossible not to select the slur as well, and this behaviour I didn’t see previously. I accept that as as explanation, but more fundamentally, why are the slurs being selected when I only try to select dynamics? How are they connected? Never used to happen. Maybe Dorico has a grudge against bass clarinet. :slight_smile:

What action(s) are you taking? I have a shortcut for Filter All Dynamics, and I have never seen the command fail.

I click on the dynamic with the mouse. I Ctrl-click on the others I want to group. The slurs get selected too.

But this never used to happen until now.

All I can say I have a different mouse on the computer but that is totally ridiculous. :frowning:

If you Ctrl-click directly on the selected slur, does it properly deselect?