Finale Slur Settings

Discuss the rules of notation, standard notation practices, efficient notation practices and graphic design.
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John Ruggero
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Re: Finale Slur Settings

Post by John Ruggero » 24 Feb 2016, 21:22

Knut, Sorry. I am not sure what you mean about the grace note settings. For want of anything better, I was using the Finale defaults which are (in EVPUs):

11 Start Point H: 0 V: -3 End Point H: -24 V: -3
12 Start Point H: 6 V: -4 End Point H: -12 V: -28
13 Start Point H: 8 V: 0 End Point H: -6 V: 48

What would your settings be?
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Peter West
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Re: Finale Slur Settings

Post by Peter West » 25 Feb 2016, 15:32

Sorry not to be on here (or anywhere) much recently die to a bit of work needing doing, but here are my preferred settings
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Knut
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Re: Finale Slur Settings

Post by Knut » 25 Feb 2016, 16:11

John Ruggero wrote:Knut, Sorry. I am not sure what you mean about the grace note settings. For want of anything better, I was using the Finale defaults which are (in EVPUs):

11 Start Point H: 0 V: -3 End Point H: -24 V: -3
12 Start Point H: 6 V: -4 End Point H: -12 V: -28
13 Start Point H: 8 V: 0 End Point H: -6 V: 48

What would your settings be?
Sorry for the confusion, John!

It turns out my vertical settings are exactly the same for slurs on the note side, but with the font I use, the gap appears a tiny bit larger than with the Maestro font, probably because of the notehead angle. I would suggest increasing this value by 1–2 EVPU when using Maestro.

I (almost) never use Finale's default spacing of grace notes. I try to limit their intrusion on spacing as much as possible, and as a consequence, grace note slurs can get rather short. Because of this, I use a smaller gap than the default to the stem of the primary note whenever the slur appears on the stem side of the primary note. For slurs on the stem side of the grace note, I draw the slur from the top of the stem, not from the curve in the flag. These modifications result in the following settings (adapted to the Maestro font):

11 Start Point H: 0 V: -4 End Point H: -18 V: -3
12 Start Point H: 0 V: 5 End Point H: -12 V: -48
13 Start Point H: 0 V: -5 End Point H: -3 V: 48

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John Ruggero
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Re: Finale Slur Settings

Post by John Ruggero » 25 Feb 2016, 22:44

Thank you so much, Knut. Those settings are a great improvement and will save me a lot of time. I was amazed at how good the slur looks even when the grace note is extremely close to the principal note.
Mac mini (OS 10.8.5) with dual monitors, Kurzweil Mark 5 with M-Audio Midisport 2 x 2,
Finale 2014d with GPO 4, JW Plug-ins, SmartScore X Pro, Adobe InDesign CS4,
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John Ruggero
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Re: Finale Slur Settings

Post by John Ruggero » 25 Feb 2016, 23:20

Peter, thanks you for your settings. It was encouraging to see that they did not differ so much from mine, and that you are using "lifted" rather than "stretched.

The greatest difference was in the first two settings. Yours seems to give better results for beamed patterns where a middle note protrudes, but less good where one of the outer notes is far from the others. The difference was negligible where the melodic line was smooth, or the slur was on the beam side. The problem seems to be that as the slur symmetry increases and the slur angle decreases, it is better able to deal with symmetrical beamed groups, but less able to deal with unsymmetrical beamed groups.

For anyone wishing to experiment:

Peter's:
Maximim slur angle: 10 degrees
Slur symmetry 75%

Mine stolen from OCTO., (who may now not agree with them):
Maximim slur angle: 40 degrees
Slur symmetry 20%
Last edited by John Ruggero on 26 Feb 2016, 23:02, edited 1 time in total.
Mac mini (OS 10.8.5) with dual monitors, Kurzweil Mark 5 with M-Audio Midisport 2 x 2,
Finale 2014d with GPO 4, JW Plug-ins, SmartScore X Pro, Adobe InDesign CS4,
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OCTO
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Re: Finale Slur Settings

Post by OCTO » 26 Feb 2016, 06:16

I still believe that no single setting can solve most of the problems in shaping slurs, and I would rather use my eye to manually edit each slur if needed.
This is my current setting:
slur.png
slur.png (164.05 KiB) Viewed 4557 times
After each slur is entered if needed there are moments that can be edited:
slur2.png
slur2.png (14.38 KiB) Viewed 4557 times
- middle point of the slur (pink) - raise
- left and right points (green) - raise
- left and right points (red) - stretch (raise)
- slur symmetric shape (blue) - raise/lower
- slur asymmetric shape (red+red) - L/R
- slur asymmetric shape (blue) - L/R

To advance difficulty of the slur design we must understand that:
- green and pink points are one dimensional (U/D)
- red and blue points are two dimensional (U/D and L/R)

Generally, as far as I don't have multiple settings for all of these moments, I can't be satisfied with Finale's fixed settings of multitude of possibilities.
If we count all possible points' adjustments (calculating 8 editing combinations: 3 one-dimensional and 3 two-dimensional minus blue point which moves both reds) we end up with 255 possible editing combinations. The math gives us that.

With my settings you really believe that each slur is "hand-made", there are not so many common shapes among them (because you have to edit the most of them!).
I absolutely don't count the "editing time" as the main criterion.
Last edited by OCTO on 26 Feb 2016, 11:02, edited 1 time in total.

Knut
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Re: Finale Slur Settings

Post by Knut » 26 Feb 2016, 10:54

John Ruggero wrote:Thank you so much, Knut. Those settings are a great improvement and will save me a lot of time. I was amazed at how good the slur looks even when the grace note is extremely close to the principal note.
You're welcome!
Just a few EVPUs can make a lot of difference, and when notes are really close together, every unit counts.

Peter West
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Re: Finale Slur Settings

Post by Peter West » 26 Feb 2016, 16:36

I think we're all fairly much in agreement that there is no rule to fix all, we just choose to start with slightly different defaults.

Slurs, I think, are perhaps the most personal part of the engraving process, and as such, I find that nearly every slur needs some manual adjustment.
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John Ruggero
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Re: Finale Slur Settings

Post by John Ruggero » 26 Feb 2016, 22:41

OCTO., if you are not using the Engraver slur settings at all, then the other settings would seem to be crucial. Are you using the Finale defaults for slur placement and contour? If not, would you want to share your settings?

Peter, I guess I have the same question for you. Would you want to share your settings for slur placement and contour?

In any case, from what you both say, I would assume that most if not all of the slurs in my slur experiment file are not satisfactory and need further hand adjustment. Yet, to my eye, especially with the changes so far suggested, they seem sufficient to handle most common cases. Am I too easily satisfied?
Last edited by John Ruggero on 26 Feb 2016, 22:57, edited 1 time in total.
Mac mini (OS 10.8.5) with dual monitors, Kurzweil Mark 5 with M-Audio Midisport 2 x 2,
Finale 2014d with GPO 4, JW Plug-ins, SmartScore X Pro, Adobe InDesign CS4,
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John Ruggero
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Re: Finale Slur Settings

Post by John Ruggero » 26 Feb 2016, 22:52

These are my settings so far:

Smart Shapes>Slur Contour>Short Span>Height: .7 spaces, Inset 30%
Smart Shapes>Slur Contour>Medium Span> Height: 2 spaces, Inset 25%
Smart Shapes>Slur Contour>Long Span> Height: 3 spaces, Inset 20%
Smart Shapes>Slur Contour>Extra Long Span> Height: 3.25 spaces, Inset 18%
Smart Shapes>Smart Shape Placement>Slur> (in spaces)
1 Start Point H: 0 V: 0.5 End Point H: 0 V: 0.5
2 Start Point H: 0 V: -0.5 End Point H: 0 V: -0.5
3 Start Point H: 0.5 V: -.5 End Point H: -.5 V: -.5
4 Start Point H: 0.5 V: -.5 End Point H: -.5 V: -.5
5 Start Point H: 0.5 V: .5 End Point H: -0.5 V: .5
6 Start Point H: .5 V: -.5
7 Start Point H: .5 V: -.5
8 Start Point H: .5 V: .5
9 Start Point H: 0 V: 0.5 End Point H: 0 V: 0.5
10 Start Point H: 0 V: - 0.5 End Point H: 0 V: -0.5
11 Start Point H: 0 V: -.166 End Point H: -.75 V: -.125
12 Start Point H: 0 V: .208 End Point H: -.5 V: -2
13 Start Point H: 0 V: -.208 End Point H: -.125 V: 2

I changed the medium slur height and many of the placement settings based on Knut's suggestions. I have not changed the Smart Slur Options, as shown at the beginning of this thread.
Mac mini (OS 10.8.5) with dual monitors, Kurzweil Mark 5 with M-Audio Midisport 2 x 2,
Finale 2014d with GPO 4, JW Plug-ins, SmartScore X Pro, Adobe InDesign CS4,
Inkscape .48.5 and .91, FontForge 20150526
http://www.cantilenapress.com

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