Spacing problems with unisons

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jan
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Spacing problems with unisons

Post by jan » 18 Aug 2017, 08:23

For my layout plugin I am experimenting with automatic correction of some Finale spacing issues.
Example image 1 is Finale's default output (Problem: the second unison note is not taken into account with accidental collision and is too close to the first unison note).
Image 2 is what my plugin created.
In image 3 additional space was added before the last note and between the unison notes, but no "overall" spacing correction was made.

Do you consider the solution 2 as good practice?
I.e. the 2nd note in the top staff is shifted slightly to right to better see the 3/4 feeling.
spacing with unisons2.jpg
spacing with unisons2.jpg (429.06 KiB) Viewed 2679 times

The original Estrella engraving uses this approach quite often (e.g. m. 2, 8, 10, ...).
Actually only in m.6 the stems are aligned.
estrella2.png
estrella2.png (331.31 KiB) Viewed 2663 times
Gould recommends (in general) alignment with the stems - like in image 3 though probably with a better overall spacing.

This video shows some more of my experiments on these Finale spacing issues:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhdM6Hi6txc
Any comments are very welcome.
Last edited by jan on 18 Aug 2017, 11:01, edited 4 times in total.

Knut
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Location: Oslo, Norway

Re: Spacing problems with unisons

Post by Knut » 18 Aug 2017, 09:16

jan wrote:
18 Aug 2017, 08:23
For my layout plugin I am experimenting with automatic correction of some Finale spacing issues.
Example image 1 is Finale's default output (Problem: the second unison note is not taken into account with accidental collision and is too close to the first unison note).
Image 2 is what my plugin created.
In image 3 additional space was added before the last note and between the unison notes, but no "overall" spacing correction was made.

Do you consider the solution 2 as good practice?
I.e. the 2nd note in the top staff is shifted slightly to right to better see the 3/4 feeling.
spacing with unisons2.jpg


The original Estrella engraving uses a this approach quite often.
https://raw.githubusercontent.com/engra ... trella.png
Gould recommends (in general) alignment with the stems (i.e. image 3).

This video shows some more of my experiments on these Finale spacing issues:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhdM6Hi6txc
Any comments are very welcome.
That's a great idea for a plug-in! Finale also has trouble in much the same way when spacing seconds (or any offset notes, really), which might be something you would want to consider incorporating into the same plugin. Anyway, first things first.

Under tight conditions, sure, but I would try to maintain only a subtle misalignment between the staves if at all possible.

The instances in the beginning of the Stella showcases this very well; here the extra space needed for the offset half note is distributed across all three beats, keeping the quarter notes on beat 2 more or less aligned without distorting the spacing. The instances in the last system are less subtle and more similar to your second solution. There doesn't seem to be any good reason for it, other than more sloppy work, but there will inevitably be cases where there is no way around making the apparent offset more elaborate. Whatever the situation may be, the trick is to make good use of any available space in the measure to minimize the effect as much as possible.

With all that said, taking the entire measure into account like this is perhaps more complicated than what a plug-in can handle, in which case your solution is at least much better than both alternatives.

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John Ruggero
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Re: Spacing problems with unisons

Post by John Ruggero » 18 Aug 2017, 17:54

A vote for example 3 with the right hand evened out. The half note is a secondary voice that shouldn't be involved in the spacing.
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

Knut
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Re: Spacing problems with unisons

Post by Knut » 18 Aug 2017, 20:44

John Ruggero wrote:
18 Aug 2017, 17:54
A vote for example 3 with the right hand evened out. The half note is a secondary voice that shouldn't be involved in the spacing.
Maybe I'm misunderstanding you, John, but isn't that what's done in example 2?

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John Ruggero
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Re: Spacing problems with unisons

Post by John Ruggero » 19 Aug 2017, 01:23

Sorry, Knut, I edited the last post down to the point where it is cryptic. The stems of the quarter notes don't appear in line with each other in example 2; I think they should be. I think that is standard practice and what the engraver was trying to accomplish in the original example, but eye-balled it rather than using a ruler.
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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jan
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Re: Spacing problems with unisons

Post by jan » 19 Aug 2017, 07:49

Here is the solution that John was referring to (I think).
I edited the beat chart for 2nd AND 3rd note. It's much more difficult to get good results like this, but it looks better than image 3.
solution6.jpg
solution6.jpg (85.94 KiB) Viewed 2627 times

Knut
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Re: Spacing problems with unisons

Post by Knut » 19 Aug 2017, 08:07

John Ruggero wrote:
19 Aug 2017, 01:23
Sorry, Knut, I edited the last post down to the point where it is cryptic. The stems of the quarter notes don't appear in line with each other in example 2; I think they should be. I think that is standard practice and what the engraver was trying to accomplish in the original example, but eye-balled it rather than using a ruler.
I see. Then it appears our Ideals are identical.

Knut
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Re: Spacing problems with unisons

Post by Knut » 19 Aug 2017, 09:17

jan wrote:
19 Aug 2017, 07:49
Here is the solution that John was referring to (I think).
I edited the beat chart for 2nd AND 3rd note. It's much more difficult to get good results like this, but it looks better than image 3.
solution6.jpg
This is basically what I meant as well.

Whenever there isn't an abundance of space in a measure, you would distribute the extra space needed for the half note (offset space) across all beats, i.e., space for beat 2 (including the offset half note) is decreased by 2/3 of the offset space, while space is increased by 1/3 of the offset space for beats 1 and 3. This keeps all beats evenly spaced and all quarter notes lined up.

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John Ruggero
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Re: Spacing problems with unisons

Post by John Ruggero » 19 Aug 2017, 09:41

Yes, the final last example looks fine to me. I am looking forward to trying out your plugin, jan!
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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