Finale Slur Settings

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John Ruggero
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Re: Finale Slur Settings

Post by John Ruggero » 26 Feb 2016, 22:55

And here again is the slur experiment file with the changes incorporated:
Slur Experiments.musx
(106.8 KiB) Downloaded 155 times
Slur Experiments2.xml
(155.42 KiB) Downloaded 139 times
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Knut
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Re: Finale Slur Settings

Post by Knut » 27 Feb 2016, 17:31

A continuation of John's quest for optimal slur settings would be settings for ties. Peter, and perhaps OCTO, use different thickness for slurs and ties, whereas I try to make them as homogenous as possible, using placement as the identifying factor. Exactly how ties should be placed according to the notes is largely a matter of taste and tradition, but in my view, their shape (thickness, inset and height) should be similar to the same settings for slurs.

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John Ruggero
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Re: Finale Slur Settings

Post by John Ruggero » 27 Feb 2016, 19:00

Thanks, Knut. That would indeed be the logical next step.
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John Ruggero
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Re: Finale Slur Settings

Post by John Ruggero » 28 Feb 2016, 21:20

Knut, after investigating tie thickness, I find that I have no issues with the Finale defaults because I like Finale's default slur thickness, and the two are the same at .25 spaces. So it appears that we are in agreement as far the homogeneity of slurs and ties. I prefer that slurs recede into the background, especially since they are often large and could dominate. Ties are quite easy to see and do not have to be thick IMO.

As far as tie contour, I also see nothing wrong with the Finale defaults. I must sometimes adjust ties manually when they are very small and/or there is a danger of a conflict with staff lines, but this is not frequent.

I am not completely satisfied with my medium slur contour setting, because the slur is too bowed on the beam side. But it is OK on the note head side and does not conflict with most ties. Since more slurs are on the note head side, I will gladly accept the compromise and adjust the others. And I can always change the setting as necessary.

In any case, I never expected perfection, just a something better. And even when the slur is not perfect, adjustment is much easier if it is close to correct.

Having done quite a few pages with my new settings, I find that I have brought down the number of hand adjustments considerably, so that when I do have an occasion to do it, it is a pleasure rather than an annoyance. Of course, I am not engraving music of great complexity, so that may color my impression.
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Knut
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Re: Finale Slur Settings

Post by Knut » 28 Feb 2016, 22:24

John Ruggero wrote:Knut, after investigating tie thickness, I find that I have no issues with the Finale defaults because I like Finale's default slur thickness, and the two are the same at .25 spaces. So it appears that we are in agreement as far the homogeneity of slurs and ties. I prefer that slurs recede into the background, especially since they are often large and could dominate. Ties are quite easy to see and do not have to be thick IMO.
I agree.
John Ruggero wrote: As far as tie contour, I also see nothing wrong with the Finale defaults. I must sometimes adjust ties manually when they are very small and/or there is a danger of a conflict with staff lines, but this is not frequent.
To my eye, Finale's default tie contours are very different from both the default slur contours and my preferred custom settings for slurs (which are pretty close to yours). Also, I think the ties are too flat by default. Their correlation with 'avoid staff line' settings often results in a curve spanning only a single space in height, even when the length is closer to medium. I also prefer somewhat different placement than what Finale offers by default, especially for inner ties and facing stems, where I find the gap between tie and note to be way too large.
John Ruggero wrote:I am not completely satisfied with my medium slur contour setting, because the slur is too bowed on the beam side. But it is OK on the note head side and does not conflict with most ties. Since more slurs are on the note head side, I will gladly accept the compromise and adjust the others. And I can always change the setting as necessary.

In any case, I never expected perfection, just a something better. And even when the slur is not perfect, adjustment is much easier if it is close to correct.

Having done quite a few pages with my new settings, I find that I have brought down the number of hand adjustments considerably, so that when I do have an occasion to do it, it is a pleasure rather than an annoyance. Of course, I am not engraving music of great complexity, so that may color my impression.
I think this is the way we all feel. There is no way too achieve perfection in all cases with the available parameters for slurs or ties in Finale. You just need to experiment to find settings that generally reflect what you like and that reduces the workload to a minimum. This is very valuable, but takes some effort.

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John Ruggero
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Re: Finale Slur Settings

Post by John Ruggero » 29 Feb 2016, 01:23

That is very helpful feedback, Knut, in that I now feel like I am at least in the right ball park. I will investigate tie contour again tomorrow, carefully considering your comments.
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OCTO
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Re: Finale Slur Settings

Post by OCTO » 29 Feb 2016, 07:30

Here are my adjusted settings:
slur2.png
slur2.png (176.39 KiB) Viewed 3765 times
I haven't changed anything in the slur design, only because it will anyway be edited.
One important setting for me is the slur's tip (which must be something) and thickness - the left part of the slur is more thick than the left part.
I agree with Knut that slur can look like ties, but not always. Shorter ties and shorter slurs were earlier done by punching with the same puncher. But longer slurs were done by knife, and therefore they differ; also the pressure is not constant increasing/decreasing. This cannot be achieved in Finale. In my taste, slurs must start increasing the width very quick, and than keep that width until short decreasing on the right end.

Therefore I like not symmetrical slurs, here with bolder with on the left side.
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John Ruggero
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Re: Finale Slur Settings

Post by John Ruggero » 29 Feb 2016, 14:36

OCTO., your new slur thickness settings are very nice, especially if one wishes to imitate hand engraving. So now we encounter a matter of philosophy which I don't think has been discussed yet on this forum, but is a very important underlying theme: is our goal to imitate all the features of hand-engraving?

However, I have looked through many hand-engraved editions, including Henle, and I rarely see the effect that you are describing. To me, the hand engraver's goal seems to be a symmetrical slur, which is generally achieved, but occasionally an error produces one which is heavier on the left, or even on the right. This means that not all the hand-engraved slurs have the same "settings", which adds a human element. Perhaps a randomizing element should be added to Finale settings to produce something that is not so uniform.

I made a mistake by not checking the "avoid staff lines" setting at 8 and have revised that in my latest settings. My slur tip setting has always been at .05 Spaces or 1.2 EVPU.

I will investigate ties today, keeping your comments and Knut's in mind.
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Knut
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Re: Finale Slur Settings

Post by Knut » 29 Feb 2016, 15:05

OCTO wrote:Shorter ties and shorter slurs were earlier done by punching with the same puncher. But longer slurs were done by knife, and therefore they differ; also the pressure is not constant increasing/decreasing. This cannot be achieved in Finale. In my taste, slurs must start increasing the width very quick, and than keep that width until short decreasing on the right end.
I wouldn't personally use asymmetrical slur thickness. I'm all for replicating certain aspects of manual engraving, but I always try to make use of the computers ability for symmetry and precision. Some may find the result somewhat colder, but to me, intensional faults in fonts or settings have little value on a computer, where every single instance of the same symbol is replicated exactly anyway.

It's true that shorter ties (as well as certain slurs) were punched instead of cut into the plate, but this practice seems to vary quite a lot. Many engravers cut even the shortest ties, and aim to retain homogeneity across the board. Personally, I prefer to follow this philosophy.

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Re: Finale Slur Settings

Post by OCTO » 29 Feb 2016, 16:15

It is definitely everything up to personal taste, but here is what I mean.
This is Chopin, Peters edition, first page.
Bold toward the right:
Screen Shot 2016-02-29 at 17.09.02.png
Screen Shot 2016-02-29 at 17.09.02.png (25.5 KiB) Viewed 3755 times
Bold exposition on the left side:
Screen Shot 2016-02-29 at 17.08.54.png
Screen Shot 2016-02-29 at 17.08.54.png (20 KiB) Viewed 3755 times
Non-symetrical slur:
Screen Shot 2016-02-29 at 17.08.48.png
Screen Shot 2016-02-29 at 17.08.48.png (27.4 KiB) Viewed 3755 times
Non-symetrical slur, equal bold on the middle, quick ending on the right:
Screen Shot 2016-02-29 at 17.08.28.png
Screen Shot 2016-02-29 at 17.08.28.png (20.2 KiB) Viewed 3755 times
Bold on the left:
Screen Shot 2016-02-29 at 17.08.22.png
Screen Shot 2016-02-29 at 17.08.22.png (18.7 KiB) Viewed 3755 times
Bolder on the right:
Screen Shot 2016-02-29 at 17.09.12.png
Screen Shot 2016-02-29 at 17.09.12.png (32.79 KiB) Viewed 3755 times
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