Two Stave - French Horn Section - Best Way to Setup

I know this may have been covered before but i think the post covered here is failrly old

Just wondering the best method for setting up a french horn section with however many players might be required for each stave eg, Hns 1-2 then Hns 3-4, etc. I’ll probably be setting up a EWHWOB Stave for 6 Horns to cover the artics missing in the BBCSO Pro Library. I know i did this a while ago but i seriously am struggling to remember the quickest and easiest method.

I did do a bit of digging on here but couldn’t find much. Apologies if I’ve missed something obvious! Looking forward to custom Instruments at some point but do feel a bit like a spoiled greedy brat asking for that! Proud Dorican! Cheers in advance to the wizards on the forum who usually come to the rescue! Thanks guys and girls. Cheers Simon :slight_smile:

IIRC, If you want to be able to combine the horns in various ways, you are best served by setting the overall condensing group to include all horns and then to use condensing changes at System/Frame changes when you need to combine them in specific ways.

Thanks Derrek. I haven’t really even tapped into the world of condensing yet. That could be a powerful option. Forgive my ignorance but i don’t exactly know even what system/frame changes are? I think I tried condensing way back in Dorico 3 so I’m sure its come a long way since then. I’m kind of in a world of hurt with some of my orchestral xml imports. I have staves everywhere and my Engrave mode skills are practically non-existent! I’m starting to like layouts though. Toddler Madness and work so not much D4.1 atm. One day I’ll be able to condense my life into being able to Dorico condense further!! Bad joke! It’s way too late over here at 1:30am in Melbourne Australia and 8 degrees! Thanks for your super fast response Derrek. Cheers Simon.

Clicking on a note in Engrave Mode and pressing SHIFT+S lets one force a new system to start at that point (note). SHIFT+F would start a new Frame at that note. If one had only one system per page as is often the case in orchestral scores, they almost amount to the same thing, although I feel SHIFT+S would be the more flexible option in that case.

Once one has started a new System (Frame) one can perform all sorts of changes starting at that point, some by Right-Clicking on the Signpost, others by selecting the signpost and using the Engrave Menu to (for example) make a Condensing Change starting with that system.

For clarity: Condensing Changes can happen anywhere, not just at the start of a system. Condensing Changes that affect the which instruments appear on which stave can also appear anywhere, but if they’re mid-system they’ll only take effect from the start of the next system. System/Frame Breaks thus aren’t a necessity even if you’re making the kind of condensing change that alters the disposition of instruments on staves, but it’s helpful to have decided on the casting off before you start tinkering with condensing changes.

Thanks for all the tips guys. What would be the best way to just make a standard french horn section 2 stave instrument in setup mode without condensing? I guess this would be the first thing I’d like to feel confident doing before trying the condensing and engrave mode customising options you both were kind enough to offer me! Thanks so much for your time. I guess I would find it easier to have a 2 stave instrument assigned to a 6FH patch than assigning 6 solo horns then trying to hook up all the expression maps and routing with VEPro,etc and then condensing all of those. I do admit even though I’ve been using Dorico since 2.2 I’m only beginning to understand the other modes. Most of the time It’s usually trying to setup playback or percussion mapping things,etc. I’d be struggling without this forum! my bookmark list from this site is longer than the manual! Cheers again, Simon

The main point of condensing is so you can make proper separate parts for each player while combining them the normal way in the score. It’s overall more work to write them as in the score and have to separate them out later.

Also, you wouldn’t use a “2-stave instrument” but a separate player for each staff. But if you’re not writing for human players and just need to organize the score for playback, you can do it however you want.

I would recommend using six separate Horn staves and condensing. You can always assign the six horns to one or two VST (or VEP) tracks in Play. Using voices to notate six horns on two staves is going to be much more complicated in the long run.

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