Request: A feature to apply independent note spacing on a per staff basis


When working with different ratio tuplets on a single staff or similar, the music on the other staves tends to look rather uneven due to Dorico’s automatic alignment of the music falling at mutual rhythmic positions. While this is the desired behaviour most of the time, there are times when you want to override it. Below follows an example:

Dorico’s default note spacing:

After manual adjustment:

In order to achieve the result shown in the second image, you have to manually drag the handles in the note spacing mode or input values into the ‘Voice column X offset’ box in the ‘Note Spacing’ section of the properties panel. In a large score with condensing turned on it takes up to 10 seconds per adjustments on my machine (see specs in my signature), which you probably can imagine how painstaking that would be… A possibility of evening out a passage independently from the other staves according to the current note spacing rules would therefore save a lot of time and headache.

Is that something worth considering or is there maybe an easier way to achieve this that I have missed?

All the best! :slight_smile:

Don’t know what happened to your images, but I do not think they are what you anticipated. Are you trying to link to images we do not have access to?

Sorry! :blush: It should be correct now though! :slight_smile:

Use Engrave > Note Spacing Change to enter a temporary note spacing change for that measure or measures. Try a custom ratio of 2. That should get you closer.

I already tried that without success. The problem is that Dorico is automatically aligning the notes in all the staves together into columns. I want the ability to have the note spacing in a staff of my choice temporarily calculated without considering the music in the other staves.

Voice column indexes are at the heart of how Dorico spaces notes horizontally. I wonder if this would be a real can of worms.

I wouldn’t want to speculate on how exactly something like this might be done without a lot of discussion with the rest of the team. What I can say is that we are trying to improve the performance of the application when condensing is enabled so that hopefully it becomes less painful to make these kinds of edits. I would expect that despite the frustration of condensing making these kinds of edits slower, you are still coming out many hours ahead.

Thanks for your reply! I can definitely see why this would need a lot of discussion about how it would be implemented considering how carefully thought out every feature is, which is clearly paying off I’d like to add. Having an instant condensed score after only a few clicks is indeed a luxury and an invaluable time saver. :slight_smile:

Just out of curiosity, was this by any chance an XML import? I tried to reproduce your example above in a default Dorico file and the spacing problems were not present…

It was made natively in Dorico. Assumably, this is due to a quite tight overall note spacing, and if you add more bars to the system of your “replica”, you would experience the same issues.

Well, I couldn’t reproduce it with tighter spacing either, but never mind. (The reason I asked was that it looked suspiciously like ANCIENT Finale spacing :slight_smile: