Multimeasure rest broken by a dynamic on the rest

It appears that when a dynamic is attached to the downbeat of a bar rest, a multi-measure rest is prevented from appearing? Test score and part are below (and test project, too). Is there a useful way to fix this that doesn’t involve manually moving the dynamic a 16th or 32nd note backwards every time it happens? There are literally hundreds of them in the piece I’m working on, and when I move them back a tiny bit, they collide with the barlines in question. Tell me I’m missing something, please… Dorico’s handling of these sorts of figures is otherwise so beautiful!

(Apologies if this has been discussed already; I did try searching but didn’t see anything current.)


test.dorico.zip (374 KB)

It has indeed been discussed before. https://www.steinberg.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=246&t=152527&p=819330&hilit=break+dynamic#p819330

Ah, thank you Dan, obviously I missed that. I’m not particularly satisfied with the response, though… If I do move back the dynamic to the previous 16th, I get the unfortunate result below. (Also, it seems like I’ll need to ungroup every one to prevent the left edge of the hairpin from moving backwards as well; I can’t seem to find a key command that will move the dynamic and right edge of the hairpin. ) So the intended behavior is that in every case, I need to manually move back the dynamic enough that it clears the barline? (Sometimes that would be a 16th-note, sometimes an 8th, etc.) Aside from the inconvenience, it would then be inconsistent in the parts, depending on the spacing of each line. I don’t understand. Maybe Daniel can weigh in with some pearl of wisdom that keeps me from losing hope here?

One interesting thing to note, is that having just a hairpin (no dynamic) that ends on a downbeat does not break multimeasure rests. So this case is at least partially accounted for already. Now we just need a dynamic in an otherwise empty measure to not break the rest.

Come on, Dorico is too smart for this.


I agree that Dorico should do a better job of this by default, and we plan to do something about it in a future version.

However, this need not be a huge problem in the meantime: once you have positioned the dynamic just before the end of the bar, if you regroup it with the preceding hairpin, the alignment will be fine.

Thanks for the reply, Daniel — but with all due respect, this does quickly become a really annoying problem in a large piece. Yes, regrouping will fix horizontal alignment, but it doesn’t help vertical alignment with other instruments (unless I’m missing something).

  1. For any hairpin/dynamic combo ending on a bar of rest, I need to think about whether it’s going to start a multi-measure rest; if so, I need to pull it back.

  2. Remove the dynamic from the group, pull the dynamic back a sixteenth-note, oops, it still hits the barline.

  3. Okay, change the grid to 32nds and move it back to the right one 32nd. Now it’s too far, and it no longer lines up with any similar dynamics down the staff. I’ll need to adjust it (and the hairpin) in engrave mode — by eye? (No auto-guides, no ruler, no easy way to align them.) Fine for this piece for eight trombones, but there’s no way I’m going to be vertically consistent with a big orchestra score. I may not even be able to easily see the two dynamics at the same time, if they are in the flute and contrabass parts. And how many of these will I miss in a 300-page opera score, causing either a barline collision, a vertical inconsistency, or a broken multi-bar rest?

Here’s a different place in the same score. Here, three 32nds wasn’t enough to clear the barline; I needed five 32nds. Imagine: I later need to reflow some measures; suddenly the system is looser, and now it looks terrible (and again, doesn’t line up with the similar material below).

I apologize if this is beating a dead horse, but it’s way more involved than just pulling the dynamic back and regrouping. It requires a lot of typing/clicking/mousing, and the result in the end will be less consistent/beautiful/semantically correct than the original—even if I manage to catch all of these situations in a long score. I appreciate that it’s on your long-term roadmap; I hope this might illuminate some of the issues here, and why dismissing it as not much of a problem strikes me a little funny. I really wanted to use Dorico for an upcoming gigantic parts project, and the beautiful way it engraves end-of-measure hairpin/dynamic combos was a large reason for that! Now it appears like it would require manual overrides all over the place.

Thanks for your time.


I’m certainly not pretending this is an ideal state of affairs, and you can be sure that we will give this some attention as soon as we are able.

Just FYI: this is now fixed in version 2.2.20.