Strange Condensing Results

Fairly new Dorico user here. I’m getting some strange condensing behavior and attaching some screenshots of the Bassoon parts as an example. (Using the default wind band template.)

  • Some instruments stack their staff numbers vertically, and others not. My condensing settings are set to vertical by default.
  • The two bassoon parts start out condensing fine, but then suddenly stop doing it at a certain measure in the piece, even when their rhythms match.

Anything I should check to try and fix? Thanks!

I should mention too that the 2 oboe parts also stop condensing, and then randomly recombine later in the piece. I don’t have any manual condensing changes anywhere in the score currently.

Welcome to the forum @redmagehat !

For the number stacking in staff labels, that’s generally due to these options (which I’ll share a link to, even though you’ve mentioned you believe you’ve set this correctly, as it might be you need also to change the second option)

As to why specific instruments aren’t condensing, that’s generally hard to diagnose from screenshots alone, as condensing is very context-sensitive (and the result can depend on something as detailed as whether seemingly-identical dynamics are grouped the same on two staves).

So, to get the best chance of accurate help, you’ll need to share the project itself – or at least a duplicate cut-down version of it that still shows the problem (if you’d rather not share the whole thing).

As a new user on the forum, you might not have the trust level required to share projects; if that’s the case, spend ten minutes or so reading other users’ threads until you’ve reached the sufficient trust level.

I managed to solve the label stacking problem by changing the stem preference setting, thanks! I’ll create a reduced section of my project for troubleshooting soon. I can say that when I delete the notes from one of the bassoon parts, it will immediately condense on the spot in the score showing just one voice.

I figured out what was preventing condensing in the bassoons. I think it might be a Dorico bug though. At the very end of a long passage (over 30 measures) there was one note that crossed over in the Bassoon 1 part. If I move that single note up one step, it immediately condenses the previous 30+ measures over several previous pages. I can understand why that one page might not condense, but it shouldn’t affect 30 measures back and multiple pages.

Screenshot attached. Maybe a bug? I can link to a reduced version of the project if the support team is interested, but I have a workaround in the meantime.

This is not a bug. There are options to prevent or accept condensing when voices are crossing. And there’s also the possibility to add condensing changes if you want to manually break the automatic phrasing that rules condensing in Dorico— a phrase is a series of notes between rests, and musically this does not always make sense, but Dorico gives you the freedom to modify that. Just wondering whether the bassoons had to play for 30 bars without any possibility to breathe…

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I understand now how a “phrase” in Dorico is determined by the placement of rests when it comes to condensing. Thank you for clarifying that - it makes sense now why the long passage didn’t condense.

Your breathing comment wasn’t really necessary.

Why, because the music isn’t going to be played by humans?

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I did not mean to hurt your feelings. Only to be helpful. It’s something really unusual to have woodwinds playing for 30 bars with no rest. Of course, you’re absolutely free to write what you want!

(Woodwind player here)

Not all that uncommon.

Look at any Tchikovsky orchestral work and you will see examples. Also, Smetana Moldau and Mahler (in the first symphony last movement he has the clarinets hold a note for 26 measures).

Remember that winds are able to breathe between slurs or ties, even if there are no explcit rests.

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