Painfull use of thee explode feature when arranging

Sorry, this has allready been discussed in this forum.
I experienced two problems which make arranging from piano or multi voice instruments a painfull work.

The explode feature :

  • is not design to work properly with a mix of chords and voices
  • does not replace dynamics

https://www.steinberg.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=142551&p=766778#p766778
https://www.steinberg.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=246&t=145765

I hope I’m not the only one to have this needs. I really like dorico, but it is for me (and maybe for many arrangers ?) a top priority to have a smarter explode function. My old Sibelius did the job with much better results and I really don’t like to go back to my old engraving software.

Daniel, I hope the team will find a solution soon. Is there any improvements planned for this in the next release ?

Since voices can be filtered and copied separately, I was under the impression that the copy/explode function was only designed to split chords.

Yes, but the problem is that many orchestrators are not consistent in their uses of voices for the sake of shorthand. So two instruments may be sharing a staff, but there may be lots of instances where there is only one voice representing both: either both notes in the same voice, or a unison line represented by “a2,” for example.

An explode function would have to be quite smart to know how to parse the changes in voicings.

I’m just saying that at this stage of Dorico’s development, expecting Dorico to somehow make sense of chords and voices is likely expecting too much. Exploding one voice at a time may be the wisest course and then recombining into parts as necessary.

Yes indeed I have 2 situations in général :

  • when I have to split a piano part in différent voices. A piano part is typically a mix if chords and voices
  • when I have to split two instruments sharing a same stave. E.g. a Horn oechestral part. Derek, I agree IT should have writen without 2 separate voices. But its not the case when imorting drop XML files and as say Dan there are A2 sections that need to be split to.
    Dorice explode function responds to the need of splitting chords, I Just suggest that arrangers like me need to go further with a global and Smart explode function.

Basically it could process as I do manually :

  1. Split voices
  2. split chords using filter and copy to stave below
  3. Put the result in the same voice and remove voice begining and endings

Its very time consumming


Although I appreciate that the current Explode feature doesn’t work well for your specific workflow, Florent, there will be no significant chnage in the way it works in the forthcoming update.

Indeed, Dan. Add to that the fact that Elaine Gould recommends sharing stems (read: voices) in many circumstances to make rhythms easier to read, it would be nearly impossible to cover all situations intelligently. Computers can only do so much.

I have a feeling what would need to come first is a dynamic treatment of “intelligent playback instructions” like 1. and a2 which could actually affect data below the surface, rather than merely displaying text. This would (will?) pave the way for Dorico to parse out these varied textures to represent multiple players for the purpose of expanded parts.

We’re not planning on tackling this issue in that direction. As we’ve always said, we intend to make it possible to automatically produce a condensed score from complete individual parts, which will produce labels like 1., 2., à 2, etc., but there will be no need to handle this from the point of view of Explode etc., because the music will by definition already exist in its “exploded” form.

Daniel, this is a future killing feature of Dorico. I will envoy to have it.
I just try to show how a smarter explode function is important for arrangers that are using piano parts or import music from other softwares where instruments parts are often a mix of chords and voices.

I really hope for solutions in Dorico. I would like to be as productive as I were with Sibelius.

Maybe a macro could be a solution but there is no feature to assign shortcuts to macro. Any change for that in the future?

Obviously we intend to enrich Dorico’s scripting features in future, as we have said many times. However, until that time you can use third-party external software such as AutoHotKey to automate driving various parts of Dorico’s user interface, including (for example) loading a specific Lua script via the Script menu.