Sibelius—A Look Ahead

By in Music Creation, Notation

I’m writing this on my return from a week spent with the development team we have in Montreal, Canada. They are currently beavering away on Sibelius, Sibelius | First and Sibelius Cloud Publishing, to bring new functionality and features to all of them. However, these are no longer applications with their own roadmaps, source control streams, and build jobs. These applications—as well as our License Server, Avid Scorch for iOS, and the iOS SDK (which allows anyone to build their very own iPad app to handle native Sibelius files)—are now all on the same roadmap, and share the same code and build jobs.

Our developers have been working hard on unifying the Sibelius applications and solutions. Previously, the apps all had varying degrees of separation from Sibelius, and their own build jobs, meaning we couldn’t update them all without reapplying and replicating the work multiple times.

The new Sibelius | First built on the current Sibelius 8 code

In recent releases of Sibelius, we’ve been introducing the ability to define new staff sizes, color notes individually, and so on. And those with keen eyes, and an iPad, will have noticed updates to Avid Scorch to support these new features as well. Our applications are now unified, which means that once we add features to the main version of Sibelius and kick off a new build, all of our related apps are built all at the same time with support for the new feature we will have just added, without having to write any more lines of code. This gives us the flexibility to quickly release new versions of all our apps, or just one or two, depending on how suitable the feature is. You’ll soon see new versions of Sibelius | First and Sibelius Cloud Publishing, which will complete this transition.

Avid Scorch for iOS mixer allows you to adjust the playback of your Sibelius score right from your iPad

Scorch for iOS also allows you to change instruments to suit you

What does this all mean for you? Well, we used to release upgrades and new features every two years, and we’re now releasing new features every few months. The goal is to continue to release the larger features every few months, but also release smaller fixes when they are ready—saving you from waiting for an important fix you need to help your workflow.

As well as removing a huge amount of technical debt, this allows the whole development team to focus on the features for the right application, and not worry about how the other applications will inherit that change. It frees up the whole team to be more focused on bringing you world class solutions for creating, orchestrating, educating, editing, engraving, and finally, publishing—using just one toolset.

The Scorch iOS bookshelf view allows you to browse your scores, each with its own cover art—and Scorch comes with several free scores to get you started

The Avid Scorch store provides you with a marketplace of hundreds of thousands of paid and free scores of the world's most popular music for you to download and enjoy, with hundreds of new scores added every week

As I wrap up my trip, I’m filled with excitement for the year ahead. We have a solid roadmap for the remainder of the year and a host of ambitious new features coming in 2017 that I can’t wait for you to start using.

Composing to video: both Sibelius and Sibelius | First allow you to embed a video into your score—playback of your score is then synchronized with the playback of the video, and you can even add hit points that synchronize certain points in your score to important moments in your film

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As senior product manager at Avid, I work with all the departments in Avid from Design, Development, Sales, Marketing, Legal and Global Services to produce the future of the Sibelius family of products and solutions.
  • HansNel

    Sounds fantastic! Will I be able to access Sibelius features by creating an android app? I have some great ideas of inputting objects in a bar by using one’s mobile phone and perhaps even tablet. If you could make API’s accessable for Visual Basic, C# etc. will also be great. I don’t know if it’s still the same, but a few years back one could create quite powerful macros for Office Apps by means of VB. Please consider this…it will give us more flexibility to add our own features to Sibelius, without actually changing Sibelius’ source code as it is released by AVID. 🙂

  • Peter

    Very cool, thanks for the update Sam.