What’s New in Sibelius — May 2019

By in Music Creation, Notation

We’re pleased to announce the immediate availability of our May 2019 release of Sibelius, building on the recent releases in January and April This release improves stability, playback and audio engine performance, printing and PDF export accuracy, and more; all done in direct response to user feedback.

Although the development team is fully underway with the next feature releases for our Sibelius desktop and cloud products, we’ve been able to promote up several changes to give you a worthwhile release with a good number of improvements to the current feature set.

In case you missed it, here’s a summary of our recent releases:

January 2018

Automatically add lines across multiple staves and voices, add and change different barlines at once, enhanced Find in Ribbon


April 2018

Add and edit multiple text, Complete overhaul of note spacing, Sibelius is now FAST esp. when handling large scores!


June 2018

New Gracenote spacing and further refinement of note spacing



November 2018

Upgrade, modernization and re-engineering under-the-hood. Full Retina and High-DPI UI. Renewed support for Accessibility


January 2019

Review Mode, Half-speed playback, quick score navigation and Timeline features


April 2019

New Loop Mode, musical Scrub, Mark up your score in Review mode, FlexiTime with NotePerformer


For those who can’t wait to get up and running with the latest version, you can automatically download and install the update via Avid Link. If you need the full installers to download, you can do so from your Avid account at my.avid.com/products. The update is available to all those with a current upgrade plan or subscription and applies to all three flavours of Sibelius | First, Sibelius and Sibelius | Ultimate.

We would like to express our gratitude to all those who have been in touch recently to help provide the valuable feedback we needed to make so many improvements in the last month or so.

Playback & Loop

Following on from the introduction of the new Loop mode in April, there are several small improvements in the way music is Looped:

  • Looping extremely large sections is nice and snappy
  • For playback devices that have large latency, Sibelius now uses the built-in latency compensation to correctly position the playback line during loops. This is really noticeable when using NotePerformer.
  • Sibelius is now no longer really slow to display the Playback Devices dialog when using a Playback Configuration that contains very large sound sets (such as NotePerformer).
  • Sibelius used to only play a single MIDI note when two notes are on the same pitch in different voices. Sibelius now plays the correct complement of notes in this case.
  • A selection that contains an incomplete nth time repeat now always plays the loop as though it’s the last-time repeat. Previously, it would loop more than what was selected.
  • In some cases, the first note of a loop could sound louder or sound like a grace note after starting playback within a looped section.

PDF Export and Printing

Exporting to PDF (via File > Export > PDF, File > Export > Graphics > PDF and through the OS print dialog) and Printing are now much more consistent with each other, and better precisely represent what’s in the score. All fonts, especially those which don’t have dedicated styles for Italic and Bold so are synthesised, now print and export to PDF correctly. In addition to this, we’ve fixed a problem where the metadata inside the PDFs now correctly reports the operating system.

The Norfolk and Pori fonts benefit from these improvements too. If you haven’t tried these out, we thoroughly recommend them by heading over to the NYC Music Services website where you can download these fonts for free (donations welcomed). They come with a full set of instructions and use Styles for Sibelius, making it really easy to fit to your existing scores and be part of your new scores too. We are grateful to Bernie Cossentino and Jeff Kellem for putting these fonts together.

Angled Slash Chords

Angle Slash Chords from the Pori Chords, Norfolk Chords, and Norfolk Chords Sans fonts now print correctly. Image courtesy of Scoring Notes.

Stability and more

On the whole, you should find Sibelius much less likely to crash. As you may have seen, a crash reporting window pops up in the unfortunate event crash with a section to write comments to describe what was happening just before the crash. With the information that’s provided here, it has allowed us to fix many of the top problems in each update we release, and today’s release is no different. In summary, the fixes are:

Sibelius no longer crashes:

  • on exit in rare cases when the replay marker is shown in the timeline
  • when playing the score back after exporting audio
  • when the metronome click is enabled in Loop mode

Since April’s release, we’ve been seeing an increase in audio related problems. These could range from not being able to select your preferred output for devices with several outputs, to ‘Audio Engine Error’ errors on startup, to crashes on exit. The good news is that we’ve tightened this all up these problems are now very unlikely to happen. Related to this, Sibelius is no longer really slow when opening the Audio Engine Options dialog when using the MBox ASIO drivers on Windows.

Windows only: If not already on your computer, Sibelius now installs the latest Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2017. If you don’t have this installed, Windows will restart your computer to complete the installation.


Other Improvements in this Update

As well as the changes mentioned above, we’ve thrown in another handful of nice fixes too:

  • Non-transposable notes do now correctly truncate when using the ‘R’ key (depending on the Preference set in File > Preferences > Note Input). Related to this, if you have the preference to “Truncate notes at end of bars when using repeat”, you’ll now be pleased to know this happens when you repeat multiple notes at once.
  • For a long while now, having 2 consecutive repeat signs used to cause problems with playback, bar numbers wouldn’t display and the Timeline would display the infinite loop that would happen when you played the score back. Now, all these problems have been fixed.
  • When working in parts, the colouring notes operation is now correctly added to the undo queue.
  • When opening a MIDI file, the ‘Show metronome marks’ option now works as it should when clicking OK from the MIDI File tab.

And that’s it for now. We hope you enjoy these new improvements and we look forward to letting you know about the next major feature release of Sibelius in due course.

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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.