Placement of dynamics above/below by layer

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roderick
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Placement of dynamics above/below by layer

Post by roderick » Fri Mar 13, 2020 12:50 pm

Apologies if this has been asnwered before — I can't find it though I feel I should know after 25 or so years of using Finale ...

I routinely produce orchestral scores with two instruments in some staves (wind/brass etc). I need to place dynamics above the stave for layer 1 and below, for layer 2. Is there a simply way to do this other than producing two versions of each dynamic with different specified positioning?

Thanks!

Re: Placement of dynamics above/below by layer

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Anders Hedelin
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Re: Placement of dynamics above/below by layer

Post by Anders Hedelin » Fri Mar 13, 2020 1:18 pm

I'm afraid there's no simpler way. The only way I know of is creating an extra category of expressions, one for showing above the staff. If you would create a a metatool or shortcut for the dynamics you use the most (even for those showing above the staff), it shouldn't be that inconvenient.
Last edited by Anders Hedelin on Fri Mar 13, 2020 2:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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roderick
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Re: Placement of dynamics above/below by layer

Post by roderick » Fri Mar 13, 2020 2:07 pm

I feared this could be the case. Jst wanted to be sure I wasn't missing something obvious as it's such a basic requirement in a full score. Thanks.

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Re: Placement of dynamics above/below by layer

Post by Anders Hedelin » Fri Mar 13, 2020 2:35 pm

I suppose you now how to create metatools and shortcuts?
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roderick
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Re: Placement of dynamics above/below by layer

Post by roderick » Fri Mar 13, 2020 2:43 pm

Yes, thanks — been using them for years. I just thought that by now there would be a way for Finale to differential placement between the layers :(

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Re: Placement of dynamics above/below by layer

Post by Michel R E » Fri Mar 13, 2020 9:08 pm

in most cases - emphasis on "most" - there is no need for separate dynamics in multi-layered music in an orchestral score.
possibly, since this is probably rarer than you are aware, MakeMusic might not feel like this is a priority?
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Re: Placement of dynamics above/below by layer

Post by roderick » Fri Mar 13, 2020 9:24 pm

Actualy I am pretty aware but thanks for your thoughts. I may be the odd out one here but in most classical orchestral scores I have, and write, the wind and brass are frequently written 2 per stave and therefore with rhythmic independance, they need separate dynamics.

Anyway, I don't expect this wish to be fulfilled anytime soon!

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Re: Placement of dynamics above/below by layer

Post by Anders Hedelin » Sat Mar 14, 2020 10:49 am

Actually, I'm not sure what you think would be gained by a feature automatically placing dynamics below, and above a staff respectively. With a separate category for dynamics above the staff, together with assigned metatools, these would be inserted just as quickly as the regular ones. With an automatic above-the-staff positioning you would most likely have to correct this manually anyhow, since some above-the-staff dynamics can't be placed on top of a note but has to go slightly before it, as is usual with dynamics in vocal parts.

Plus the fact that not all measures with two layers need separate dynamics below and above. It depends on the context - to what extent, and in what way, the parts are rhythmically independent.
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HaraldS
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Re: Placement of dynamics above/below by layer

Post by HaraldS » Sat Mar 14, 2020 11:15 am

roderick wrote:
Fri Mar 13, 2020 12:50 pm
I need to place dynamics above the stave for layer 1 and below, for layer 2. Is there a simply way to do this other than producing two versions of each dynamic with different specified positioning?
Yes, there is. Just for illustration, consider this JWLua code snippet:

Code: Select all

local expressions = finale.FCExpressions()
expressions:LoadAllForRegion(finenv.Region())
for e in each(expressions) do
    if e.LayerAssignment == 1 then e.VerticalPos = 250 end
    if e.LayerAssignment == 2 then e.VerticalPos = -50 end
    e:Save()
end
This JWLua code (read this if you are not familiar with JWLua) checks for the layer assignment of each expression within a selected region. As you can probably guess, expressions in layer #1 go on vertical position 250, others in layer #2 go on -50.

Though, dynamics consist of certain expressions and crescendos/decrescendos, which the script doesn't cover at the moment. The latter ones can't be connected to layers, but their vertical position could be taken as a layer assignment.

Is it something like that what you imagine?
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Re: Placement of dynamics above/below by layer

Post by Anders Hedelin » Sat Mar 14, 2020 11:26 am

I don't intend any disregard for your needs, roderick, but to be honest, I think there are more urgent shortcomings of Finale to be attended to: The use of the Beat Chart (which is sadly necessary as long as the collisions between elements in different layers are not fixed), and the vertical positioning of lyrics - which is a drag (in a kind of double sense).
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Re: Placement of dynamics above/below by layer

Post by roderick » Mon Mar 16, 2020 10:01 am

Hi Anders — none offence taken. We all have our own way of using Finale and our own specific needs. I never suggested that this was a priority, I was simply asking whether there was a way of doing this and which I was missing!

I am with you in respect of the collisions‚ that wastes a huge amount of time. Also a revision of the playback engine to allow more flexibility for third-party sounds such as those within Noteperformer3, which is excellent in so many ways but restricted by the current coding. Also the ability to tweak individual note-lengths would be very helpful.

What can be a frustration, as things stands, is when you have dynamics/text expressions assigned to each of two layers at the same point — you want to move one of them but there is no way of telling which is which without using 'show active layer only'. With articulations, the handles only show when the 'attached to' layer is selected — not so for text expressions — they show in all layers.

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Re: Placement of dynamics above/below by layer

Post by motet » Mon Mar 16, 2020 6:47 pm

I have a parallel dynamics category that in my case I use for notes with accents. It's very easy to do this. In your case
  • Create a new category (Document/Category designer) and make placement relative to the above-staff baseline.
  • In the Expression tool, double-click and go to the Dynamics category. Select all.
  • Press Duplicate. The duplicates will be created and selected.
  • Press Move To and select your new category; the duplicates will be moved there.
  • You will now be in the new category with everything selected. Press Reset to Category/Fonts and Positioning.
As others have said, you can assign metatools to these if you want. What I do is use the QWERTY row and match the keys to the Dynamics metatools in the numeric row. So R is the altered version of 4 (f), Y is the altered version of 6 (mp), and so on.

This should take much less time than this discussion has taken.

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Re: Placement of dynamics above/below by layer

Post by roderick » Mon Mar 16, 2020 7:07 pm

Thank you for this and I apologise if I have taken up an undue amount of anyone's time :-)

I guess I was just wondering whether Finale actually had an option to be layer-specific by default —which it clearly doesn't.

Speaking for myself, and acknowledging that it would not suit everyone, I do wish that the handles would only show for the active layer, in the same way as for articulations. This would, again for me, avoid occasional confusion and need to 'show active layer only' to clarify.

I appreciate all the various thoughts here.

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Re: Placement of dynamics above/below by layer

Post by motet » Mon Mar 16, 2020 7:18 pm

I wasn't scolding you about taking up others' time. With Finale, though, wishing for new features is usually futile, so one must make do.

I don't know about the Mac, but on Windows the View palette (sometimes confusingly called a toolbar) has a button to toggle Show Active Layer Only on and off. There is also a keystroke to do this (Shift-Alt-S on Windows).

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Re: Placement of dynamics above/below by layer

Post by apkyburz » Tue Mar 24, 2020 6:23 pm

HaraldS wrote:
Sat Mar 14, 2020 11:15 am
roderick wrote:
Fri Mar 13, 2020 12:50 pm
I need to place dynamics above the stave for layer 1 and below, for layer 2. Is there a simply way to do this other than producing two versions of each dynamic with different specified positioning?
Yes, there is. Just for illustration, consider this JWLua code snippet:

Code: Select all

local expressions = finale.FCExpressions()
expressions:LoadAllForRegion(finenv.Region())
for e in each(expressions) do
    if e.LayerAssignment == 1 then e.VerticalPos = 250 end
    if e.LayerAssignment == 2 then e.VerticalPos = -50 end
    e:Save()
end
This JWLua code (read this if you are not familiar with JWLua) checks for the layer assignment of each expression within a selected region. As you can probably guess, expressions in layer #1 go on vertical position 250, others in layer #2 go on -50.

Though, dynamics consist of certain expressions and crescendos/decrescendos, which the script doesn't cover at the moment. The latter ones can't be connected to layers, but their vertical position could be taken as a layer assignment.

Is it something like that what you imagine?
Harald, this is amazing, how far are you with the script?

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Re: Placement of dynamics above/below by layer

Post by roderick » Tue Mar 24, 2020 6:30 pm

That looks really inetersting and thank you for drawing it to my attention.

What can make life trickier, if you forget to attend to placement at the time of placement, is that the handles on text expersssions show all the time regardless of which layer is active. Articulations only the show their hande when theeir layer is selected. I'm sure that makes sense to someone but I personally find it unhelpful!

Thaks again for the suggestion.

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Re: Placement of dynamics above/below by layer

Post by HaraldS » Tue Mar 24, 2020 7:11 pm

apkyburz wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 6:23 pm
Harald, this is amazing, how far are you with the script?
Well, as no one uttered any interest up to now, I did not enhance it in any way. I put that snippet together to show what would be basically possible. If anyone is interested and has a clue about how hairpins should be handled (specifically: in which case they should go above the staff, in which case below), I could enhance that script.
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Re: Placement of dynamics above/below by layer

Post by Christopher Smith » Tue Mar 24, 2020 9:10 pm

This is a bit of a kludge, and may cause problems when you re-open this file many years from now (ask me how I know!) but before our modern dynamic placement abilities, we had a way to deal with it.

Create a set of dynamics as articulations, with the Articulation Tool. You can set them to normally go below the note, unless there is more than one layer, in which case the dynamic will flip like articulations do. You can also set them to stack with the other articulations so that if you have an accent, the dynamic (as an articulation) will automatically go lower to avoid it. Another advantage is in the parts, if you separate Flute 1 and Flute 2 into their own parts, then the dynamics as articulations will automatically go below the note as soon as it realises that there is no other layer present.

You can also assign them with metatools, to the layer you want. Assigning conventional dynamics to certain layers I find to be hard to manage, though it is doable.

I must say though, that I don't recommend this. It's too big a kludge.

Nor do I recommend creating a second set of dynamics to go above the staff, as some have suggested. The reason again is voiced linked parts. Every dynamic that is above the staff in the score will have to be adjusted in the part. I would rather drag it manually in the score, then just select it and hit "clear" in the part. It will turn orange to show that it isn't the same as the score any more, but I won't have to manually drag it.
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Re: Placement of dynamics above/below by layer

Post by apkyburz » Thu Mar 26, 2020 2:29 am

HaraldS wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 7:11 pm
Well, as no one uttered any interest up to now, I did not enhance it in any way. I put that snippet together to show what would be basically possible. If anyone is interested and has a clue about how hairpins should be handled (specifically: in which case they should go above the staff, in which case below), I could enhance that script.
Well, twice yes.
My question is one of work/reward ratio on your side. If it only takes you a few minutes to do it, and you happen to have a few free ones, I'd be very thankful for your investment.

I find myself using yours, Mazuck's and Elbsound's LUA-work quite extensively and, not having any useful knowledge about Lua, I'm really thankful for your work.

Best,

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