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Getting Started with Avid Link – Your New Creative Home

Whether you’re a longtime industry professional or just getting started, we are very excited to introduce Avid Link, a brand new and completely free app (available on macOS, Windows, iOS and Android) aimed at helping anyone in the audio or video industry connect and collaborate with others.  Avid Link is also a replacement for the existing Application Manager and is packed with a ton of informational content and capabilities for you to take advantage of in your daily creative activities.

At Avid, we set out to build a creative community that goes one step further than other communities out there. With Avid Link, you’ll not only have a community to show what you can do, but you now have a place to manage and drive collaborations with friends and colleagues, while also having the opportunity to meet new people with skills and talents to help put the finishing touches on all of your projects.

Setting up your profile

One of the first things to do when you launch Avid Link is to set up your profile and set your status to public. Navigate to the profile tab to start shaping your presence in the Avid Link community. If you already have an Avid account you can log in with those credentials, or if you don’t have an Avid account, you can easily create one from the Profile tab.  For users that had a portfolio created on the Avid Artist Community, you will find some of your profile will be filled with this information and content.  This is due to the Artist Community getting fully integrated and improved within Avid Link, so any content you had there will now live within this app.

In the profile tab, you’ll be able to add and edit all of your information via the gear/cog icon in the top right corner. To set your profile to public, which makes you appear in search results and allows others to connect and invite you to projects, click on “Edit about me” and check the box next to “Make my profile public”. Here you can also add a preferred artist name, short bio, work info, location, personal or social links, and, scrolling to the bottom of this page, you can tag yourself with relevant talent & skills. The more detailed your Talents & Skills section, the more likely you will appear in relevant search results.

You can also associate relevant content with your profile so others can hear and view examples of your works. Add audio tracks, embed YouTube videos, and share Sibelius scores to your profile in the “My Portfolio” section.

Connecting with others

Once your profile is set up, and your status is set to public, you can be found and discovered by other members of the community. Also, you can now simply send connection requests in the Find Talent tab to build up your contacts of people you may want to communicate or collaborate with.

Looking for someone to clean up some troubled dialogue recording for your video project? Just search dialogue editor, in Find Talent and see if anyone wants to collaborate to get the job done. Looking for a singer to add vocals to your latest track, just search singer or vocals in Find Talent and send a connection request to anyone you’d like to work with.

Once you’re connected, you can freely send messages to each other and invite one another to Pro Tools Cloud Projects directly within Avid Link. While collaborating you’ll also receive updates on any changes and updates made to the project as they happen without needing to be at your Pro Tools system.

An upgrade to Application Manager

Beyond Avid Link’s creative community is a newly revamped Application Manager filled with new features and improvements. We’ve simplified licensing, making it easy to instantly activate and de-activate entitlements for all of your software. Keeping products up to date has also never been easier with new auto updating, silent install features, and filter views that show you all of your products that have an update available or that haven’t been claimed yet. Also, if you’ve purchased Media Composer, Pro Tools or Sibelius from a channel partner you can easily redeem them in Avid Link to manage the download and licensing, by clicking on the “Redeem” button at the top right corner of the Products tab and entering in the download code.

The Installation, License Server, Administration, and Notifications settings can be found in the Preferences section of Avid Link, accessible from the menu within the macOS menu bar at the top of your desktop or in your Windows tray at the bottom of your desktop.

Purchasing plugins and apps

Looking for new plugins, apps, training content, or hardware compatible with your Pro Tools, Media Composer or Sibelius products? The Marketplace completely integrates shop.avid.com and has been streamlined to make it simple to find the products you’re looking for thanks to all new filtering and search options that allow you to quickly and easily track down the tools you need enhance your projects or sessions.

Looking for more information about Avid Link? Check out our FAQ.

Introducing Avid Link

Avid Link is a free app for anyone looking to find, connect, and collaborate with other creatives, promote your work and get discovered, and purchase and manage products—all in one interface.




What’s New in Sibelius 2019

We’re really excited to announce the immediate release of our first upgrade for 2019. At the NAMM show in Anaheim, California, we’re introducing a new Review Mode, and building on the existing playback features to allow you to navigate and play back your score quickly. In addition to this, we’ve fixed a good number of outstanding bugs.

If you’re lucky enough to be at the NAMM show in the coming days, drop by booth Booth 15502 in the North Hall and we’ll be very happy to show you round the new features and improvements.

 

Review Mode

Review mode is a brand new way to navigate your score without making any unintended changes to text, staff spacing or any other part of the musical notation. You can scroll around the score, free of worry that you may unintentionally move something you didn’t mean to.

You can toggle this mode in a few ways. Go to Review > Restrictions > Review Mode:

You can also assign it a keyboard shortcut, from File > Preferences > Keyboard Shortcuts > Review Tab > Toggle Review Mode.

When it’s engaged, you’ll see a small padlock icon light up in the Status bar, at the bottom of the score. You can click this to toggle Review Mode as well:

To make sure no unintended changes are made to the score or part info, we’ve added a Review Mode tick box to File > Score Info as well.

Scores will remember their locked state when you save them, allowing you to send the score to someone for reviewing, however if you send a locked score to someone with an earlier version of Sibelius (back to 8.6), they’ll be able to open the score and will of course find the score to be editable.

 

ManuScript support

We have added support for enabling and disabling Review Mode using Sibelius’ plugin programming language, ManuScript. Here’s a snippet that toggles review mode on and off:

activeScore = Sibelius.ActiveScore;
locked = activeScore.EditingLocked;
activeScore.EditingLocked = not locked;

Although there are no new shipping plugins in this release, be on the lookout for new plugins that integrate Review Mode in the future.

Play and Replay

To help you navigate your score and play back more easily, we’ve added a number of improvements to ‘Go to Page’, ‘Go to Bar’ as well as introduce a new Replay Line. Both ‘Go to Page’ and ‘Go to Bar’ functions, found in Home > Edit > Go To, now move the playback line to the start of the page or bar you go to. This saves several steps afterwards to play back the score from that point. Simply use the shortcuts Cmd+Alt+G/Ctrl+Alt+G to Go to Bar, and Cmd+Shift+G/Ctrl+Shift+G to Go to Page and press Space to start playback.

We’ve added a new Replay Line that shows the location in the score you can replay the music from (when using Ctrl+Space on Win or Alt+Space on Mac). This appears as a dashed green line and can be turned on from View > Invisibles > Replay Line:

In addition to this, we’ve made a small change to turn OFF the preference to Use different zoom during play and Flexi-time by default (it should stay on if you already have this set). This preference has its uses, but is better suited for new users in its new default state. To toggle this, go to File > Preferences > Score Position.

 

Half Speed playback

In this release, we’re introducing the ability to play the score back at half-speed. You can find this in the Play button’s dropdown:

Play at Half-Speed triggers playback from the position of the playback line at, you guessed it, half the tempo. This will be particularly useful for composing, arranging and teaching with Sibelius.

 

Working with playback lines in the Timeline

The Timeline (found in View > Panels > Timeline) has had a number of small tweaks to help with playback too. This now closely matches the score, so you can see the Playback Line and Replay Line. The Replay Line is part of the default Timeline preset and on by default. The Presets are found in File > Preferences > Timeline.

Clicking anywhere in the Score View or Rulers in the Timeline will move the playback line, and let you immediately play back from that place using the Space bar, as usual.

Related to these changes, the Show Repeats preference is now on by default too. This writes out the repeat structures in the Timeline, meaning you can now play back from anywhere within the repeat structure and start playback from there – something that was previously really tricky to do using the slider in the Transport panel.

The Replay Line and Playback Line, with Repeats shown, in the Timeline

Keen observers will also note the Bar Numbers and Timecode markers are now left aligned, so you can now have more confidence in knowing where these are.

 

Avid Link Integration

As you may already know, we are also introducing Avid Link manage your Avid account, licensing and subscription, as well as integrate a number of our other services. This replaces Avid Application Manager that has been included with Sibelius for the last few years.

Our part of the roll-out includes integrating several of the Link pages within Sibelius, allowing you to check out the latest news, manage your profile, find and chat with others with direct messages or within the Lounges. You can also head over to the Marketplace to add NotePerformer, PhotoScore Ultimate or AudioScore Ultimate to your toolkit.

This is all found in the File tab in Sibelius:

Your account login from Application Manager or the Avid Link application will be picked up by Sibelius when you start up, much like the Cloud Sharing Dashboard. However, if you aren’t logged in, you will be asked to log into those pages you visit.

To find out more, head over to the Avid Link blog: “Getting Started with Avid Link—Your new creative home“.

 

General bug fixes

As with every release of Sibelius we do, we fix a number of critical and legacy bugs. This release is no different so you will find Sibelius to be more reliable than ever. In summary, they are:

  • All dialog pop-up messages now respond on letter input from keyboard to choose Yes, No, Cancel and so on. This fix was only on Windows.
  • When Sibelius is running in a narrow window, the Text Style menu is now correctly layered in front of the sub-ribbon.
  • The correct font variant is being used once more on Mac (e.g. Myriad Semibold became Regular) etc.
  • EPS and PICT options have been removed from the ‘Convert Folder of Scores to Graphics’ plugin since they are no longer relevant.
  • Sibelius could, in some cases, crash when using the batch processing plugins. This now no longer happens.
  • TIF images are now the correct size when imported into a score.
  • Font substitution is working correctly with fonts with extra styles e.g. Optima > ExtraBlack
  • Part extraction works well once more. There was a problem when extracting a single part, the extracted part was opened in another window that couldn’t be edited until main window was closed.
  • The dimensions of a video no longer reset after starting playback on Mac
  • The video dimension are also now correct when reopening the Video window on Mac
  • In rare cases, Sibelius could crash when the Quick Start was disabled and opening a new score. This now no longer happens.
  • Sibelius now more reliably responds to keyboard shortcuts after having created a score from the Quick Start on Mac
  • Sibelius no longer crashes when exporting scores with special final barlines to MusicXML

 

We hope you enjoy our January release of Sibelius. If you’re at the NAMM show in California, please do drop by the show and we’ll be happy to show you round the new features and improvements.

Express yourself with Sibelius

Create beautiful, captivating scores more quickly than ever before with the world’s best selling notation software.




Best of Sibelius 2018

Now that 2019 is here, let’s review some of the highlights of Sibelius 2018. We started off 2018 with some ground breaking new multi-edit workflows, then had a complete overhaul of our automatic note spacing algorithms to yet another overhaul of Sibelius’ underlying infrastructure that gave us great support for Retina and High-DPI displays, and vastly improved accessibility for visually impaired users. Along the way, we fixed a raft of legacy bugs so Sibelius has never been healthier or in a better shape as we move into 2019, where we’ll bring you more exciting new features, workflows and improvements.

Oh, and we also released a free version of Sibelius – yes, completely FREE!

Let’s dive in!

 

Supercharge your workflows

The premise of the spec for this release of Sibelius was to do many functions with one action, rather than having to do many actions many times on several objects. Sibelius has always had this in some form, for adding and removing playing articulations, but it was lines and text that sorely needed improving.

Marking up your score with slurs, ties and other lines in Sibelius has always been a repetitive task, until now.

This even works across multiple passages separated by rests, and across multiple voices too:

…and it was for this work we were awarded the Editor’s Choice Award in Music Inc. Magazine.

 

Text

In the past, changing dynamics and playing instructions across multiple instruments was really manual. Each item needed to have been edited independently, until now. In our 2018.4 release we added ability to add text to multiple notes or passages at once. Editing multiple pieces of text is simple too. Here’s a sample of what’s now possible:

Combining the new multi-edit features and lines features, means marking up a score has never been faster:

(This GIF is slowed down to allow you to follow along. In reality, it’s possible to go much faster than is illustrated here.)

 

Find in Ribbon

Along the same theme of speeding up your workflow, we have made several improvements to the “Find in Ribbon” search box. Searching and executing—these are now one and the same thing. We’ve refined the layout of the search results to make it easier to see what you’re looking for, as well as made it faster to execute the commands you need.

The keyboard shortcut to access this is now “,” (comma) so you can touch-type your way round every feature in Sibelius, making this the fastest way to use the application, by far (at least 50% faster than reaching for your mouse each time…)

 

Intelligent note spacing

Sibelius 2018 introduced a complete overhaul in the way music is spaced. Sibelius is now musically aware of how music should be spaced, and not only automatically adds space when needed, but also gets the spacing right every time, but also gives you the flexibility to tweak it as you need to. This, when combined with Magnetic Layout, provides the very best looking scores, right first time.

 

In Summary

  • Unisons in two voices with different rhythms no longer collide
  • Rhythm dot spacing and placement is improved, esp. in cases involving rests
  • Dotted minims and semi-breves in voice 1 no longer collide with simultaneous notes in voice 2
  • Leger lines of voices at the same rhythmic position no longer touch
  • Semi-breves in two voices, same pitch, now go side by side and are not super-imposed
  • Crossing voices are now laid out head-to-head, rather than stem-to-stem as they were in previous versions
  • Unison dotted notes of the same value now always share a rhythm dot
  • Music is now correctly respaced when lyrics and guitar frames are deleted
  • Spacing is now correct before a start repeat barline
  • Sibelius now also takes articulations and stem direction into account when spacing notes
  • When dotted notes in multiple voices share the same pitch, Sibelius now correctly (and consistently) only shows a single dot. Previously, Sibelius would only do this for notes that were in a space and not when on a line
  • The correct number of dots are now displayed on dotted chords with two or three notes.

For a complete rundown, see my previous post.

 

Grace note spacing improvements in multiple voices

Later in the year, we did a lot of work getting the default spacing of grace notes correct. In previous versions, it was always a huge chore to get the correct spacing, especially when using gracenotes in multiple voices.

Opening older scores will continue to look exactly the same. To take advantage of the new spacing, simply select the passage of music and do Reset Note Spacing from the Appearance tab.

 

Experience better performance

In November, we introduced a far-reaching upgrade to the underlying infrastructure of Sibelius, with over 400 changes/improvements/bug fixes. As a result, Sibelius is faster and more responsive, delivering an improved user experience – including support for high-resolution displays, better accessibility support for screen readers, and a host of smaller enhancements that make the score writing experience smoother and more fluid.

Accessibility

In this release, we’ve paid a lot of attention to improving the way Sibelius works with screen readers. Screen readers, for those who may not know, are applications that can read and describe what is happening on the computer screen to help users who can’t see the screen well, or even at all.

The screen readers themselves don’t know anything about music notation, so it has been our job to generate descriptions of the score elements on the screen. As such, we have vastly improved the way screen readers read and describe what’s happening on the screen.

 

Examples:

Pressing Tab will select the first staff object in the score and describe what the object is and where it is

“Select, quarter note, pitch C#5 ,bar 1, beat 1” When selecting a slur, Sibelius will say:

“Select, start of slur on bar 1, beat 3 line ending at bar 1, beat 4”

Sibelius will announce the action you do too, such as “Move” note, or “Edit” note. The description that follows is the same as when selecting objects.

At this time, we only recommend using screen readers on Windows, as there’s so much further to go on Mac.

Read more about this release, along with a comparison table for our Accessibility support, here.

Goodbye EPS, hello true black PDFs

Exporting to PDF has been improved to support greyscale, which converts to only the K color channel in CMYK.

To use this, go to File > Export > Graphics, choose PDF and untick “include colored objects”. Alternatively, go to File > Export > PDF and, again, untick “Include colored objects”.

Due to limitations in Qt5, we aren’t able to continue to support Encapsulated Postscript (EPS) file export. As such, Sibelius 2018.7 was the last version to support this feature.

Sibelius | First

In the middle of the year, we introduced a new free tier for Sibelius that makes it completely free! Beginners can now start out using the same tools as the professional composers, arrangers, orchestrators, engravers and publishers.

Sibelius | First is built from the same codebase as Sibelius | Ultimate, so is upgraded just as often, and includes (where appropriate for the feature-set) all the same improvements.

Built with simplicity in mind, but also with the power of Sibelius | Ultimate, with Sibelius | First, you’re able to start writing music straight away using alphabetic input or with Flexi-time™ using a MIDI keyboard. You can even mark up your score with dynamics, hairpins and phrasing with our new multi-edit workflows, allowing you to enter and edit multiple objects at once.

For a deep-dive in this revolutionary version of Sibelius, please see avidblogs.com/sibelius-first-now-available.

Legacy bug fixes and other improvements

In addition to all these great features and advancements in Sibelius, we spent a huge amount of time under the hood making Sibelius faster, intuitive and more reliable.

  • Drum roll please… it’s now possible to delete the first bar of a score without losing the System text that’s attached to it e.g Title, Composer text, and so on
  • You can now change many types of barline at the same time
  • File > Print: The page orientation is now only changed by changes in Document Setup if printing Normal pages. This no longer happens with Spreads, Booklet or 2 Pages Per Sheet and avoids the problems where these would get reset to portrait paper rather than remain landscape, as is correct for these printing arrangements.
  • The space after a Key Signature and Start Repeat barline is now slightly wider and won’t collide with each other.
  • It’s now possible to add a Dashed slur to a grace-note.
  • The “Combine Tied Notes and Rests” plugin is nice and fast when processing music in large scores.
  • The space after a cautionary Key Signature change is now not too wide. If you find it is, add a System Break at that point and reset note spacing. This will snap things into line again.
  • When selecting a coinciding double barline and rehearsal mark, alt-clicking elsewhere in the score no longer creates a new rehearsal mark and double barline in the wrong place
  • When copying and pasting from one slurred phrase to another, slurs are no longer duplicated
  • On Windows, the Help button (question mark in the right top corner) in the Print Spooler window was unnecessary so has been removed
  • In very rare cases, Sibelius would crash when opening a score with a different playback configuration from the Quick Start
  • Plug-ins > Simplify Notation > Remove Overlapping Notes no longer says its effect cannot be undone
  • Comments containing em dashes (–) now display correctly once more
  • It’s now possible again too to add lines to passages of bars that only contain rests
  • A low level issue in our undo queue that would occasionally cause Sibelius to unexpectedly quit is now resolved
  • Empty text boxes no longer remain after removing multiple items of text with undo
  • Keyboard focus is now brought back to a text object after changing the size of it in Text > Format > Size
  • As well as several improvements to grace notes, Sibelius will now retain the spacing correctly when copy and pasting passages. This saves the extra step to reset the note spacing.
  • Several rare problems entering lyrics and chord symbols have all been resolved. This even included a crash and issues with the Undo queue
  • A lyrics extender line now no longer reappears after saving and reopening a score. This would only happen if there were empty bars between two lines of music that contained lyrics.
  • You can now enter multiple pieces of text or lines using a very short lasso selection
  • When entering multiple hairpins onto a minim followed by a minim rest, it no longer results in a hairpin under the rest
  • All the “Name” fields in the Edit Instrument dialog are retained when saving and reopening a score. As such, you can now use the “Instrument change name” and “Instrument change warning name” fields independently.
  • Engraving Rules > Chord Symbols: Characters are now displayed correctly in the Language drop-down list on Mac.
  • In the Timecode and Duration dialog, the “Start video from” field now works correctly.
  • Note input, and dragging text objects are no longer sluggish when the Inspector is open.
  • The Edit Lines and Edit Symbols dialogs are now much more stable under the hood. Before, it was even possible to invoke multiple cursors on Windows and cause incorrect navigation behavior on both Windows and Mac.
  • Split Bar plug-in no longer overwrites the right hand side barline with a Normal barline.
  • Join Bars plug-in works properly once more when creating special barlines.
  • Kontakt 6 is now recognised as a “Kontakt” device rather than a standard AU or VST plugin

 

This completes the run-down of Sibelius in 2018 – if you’ve made it this far, I’m impressed, and thank you! We’ve got an exciting roadmap for 2019, and we can’t wait to tell you what we’re up to – so watch this space!

Express yourself with Sibelius

Create beautiful, captivating scores more quickly than ever before with the world’s best selling notation software.




What’s New in Sibelius 2018.11

We’re really excited to introduce you to the November’s release for Sibelius | Ultimate, Sibelius and Sibelius | First. All three tiers are benefiting from this far-reaching update.

This release has mainly focused on modernizing the Sibelius codebase and many of the improvements are under the hood. These manifest themselves in the way Sibelius appears on your screen and draws the score, and is now even able to make use native OS features like Full Screen on Mac, DPI scaling on Windows, and so on.

In short, Sibelius has never been faster at redrawing the score as you drag individual objects or the page around; Sibelius has also never looked so good on high-DPI screens on Windows and Retina screens on Mac. We’ve thrown in some note spacing improvements and fixes to a slew of legacy bugs too.

If you can’t wait to get stuck in, open Application Manager on your computer to download and install the update. You can also get the update from your Avid account at my.avid.com/products. This update is available to all Sibelius | First users for free as well as all those subscribing to Sibelius or Sibelius I Ultimate, and to those with a license of Sibelius with a current Software Update and Support plan. If you need to renew, head over to your account.

If you’re on an older version of Sibelius, you can upgrade from one of our resellers or on our webstore.

 

Upgrading the Sibelius infrastructure

The improvements in this release touch nearly every bit of the program. This is largely due to a complete upgrade of Sibelius’s underlying infrastructure, Qt. Qt is a cross-platform development framework that enables Sibelius to run on various platforms and devices. We’ve been using this since Sibelius 7, released in 2011, so it’s high time we upgraded this to take advantage of the new capabilities. The development team have been chipping away at this herculean effort for more than 2 years, so it’s a relief to get this out into the real world . This sets us up to provide more exciting features using the very latest cutting technology.

 

The UI

I’ll start with the user interface (UI), since it’s the most obvious change. Overall, it now generally looks cleaner. Although Sibelius showed nice high-resolution images and icons in previous versions, Sibelius itself didn’t natively support high-DPI and Retina screens so very little of the UI was able to take advantage of these modern displays. Now though, you’ll notice some very subtle, and some more obvious, improvements in the way Sibelius displays the text and icons in the Ribbon.

Not all items in Sibelius have been upgraded to support the sharper icons – we still have some work to do in the Mixer, Ideas panel and so on, however the ground work has all been done now to make this much easier to implement and maintain in the future.

Sibelius is now able to take advantage of native OS features, and we’re able to make some other subtle changes such as:

  • You’ll see the scroll bars on Mac are now defined by the OS, so will show automatically based on your mouse or trackpad, as you set this up in System Preferences.
  • The pop-up messages now animate when they appear, and have the default color based on your System
  • On Windows, docked panels now have a narrower title bar so they take up less vertical space
  • Tick boxes in the Preferences used to be white-on-white, making it hard to know if they were ticked or not. These are now blue with a white tick, as you’d expect. This particularly affected the Input Devices and Timeline preferences.
  • Across all dialogs, the headings of each section would collide with the box below This was more noticeable in the Preferences and Engraving Rules dialogs.

 

On macOS

The Keypad and Transport panels

All the panels in Sibelius now have the nice rounded corners. These have always been there under the hood, but were prevented from appearing by the older implementation of Qt4.

Both the Keypad and Transport panels now support the lovely higher resolution graphics, giving a nice sharp look. Here’s a comparison of the old and new Keypad on a Retina display:

The Ribbon

You’ll notice the text seems sharper, and this is because Sibelius is now able to be more pixel accurate with the way it displays text. You’ll see this in all the dialogs and pop-up messages as well.

Here’s a comparison of the Layout tab with Sibelius 2018.7 above, and the newer 2018.11release below

Many of the icons throughout the Ribbon have been upgraded to support higher resolution images as well.

The Quick Access Toolbar that was once only available on Windows, has made it to our Mac version as well. You’ll find this in the top right hand corner of the screen and is useful to quickly accessing Save, Undo and Redo.

On Windows

Sibelius now respects any DPI scaling, and the evidence is apparent when you start Sibelius up. Everything from the splash screen to the Mixer are now scaled and no longer blurry or disproportionate. Since we can support any DPI scaling upwards of 125%, you’ll now see sharper icons as well as a well-proportioned Ribbon, utilizing the full horizontal space to display the features.

This also works when you have multiple monitors, allowing you to have your Panels on a different screen, or even your score and parts on different screens. Sibelius will now respect per-monitor DPI scaling, allowing the windows and panels to look great on a regular monitor or even a nice 4K monitor.

 

The Ribbon

In previous versions of Sibelius, the Ribbon would get pretty crowded when using high DPI scaling, from 200%+, say. Now Sibelius will lay this out and better use the whole width of the screen. Here’s a comparison of Sibelius 2018.7 above, with 2018.11 below:

Accessibility

In this release, we’ve paid a lot of attention to improving the way Sibelius works with screen readers. Screen readers, for those who may not know, are applications that can read and describe what is happening on the computer screen to help users who can’t see the screen well, or even at all. Both Windows and macOS come with their own built-in solutions called Narrator and VoiceOver. There are popular 3rd party solutions such as NVDA that is an open-source screen reader for Windows.

The screen readers themselves don’t know anything about music notation, so it has been our job to generate descriptions of the score elements on the screen. As such, we have vastly improved the way screen readers read and describe what’s happening on the screen.

Sibelius will read the names of Manuscript Papers when tabbing through scores in the Quick Start, as well as read the dialog as you set up a new score. Once in the score, Sibelius will read the contents of the Ribbon as you access this with the keyboard. Since nearly all of Sibelius is keyboard accessible, it’s possible to navigate the program using keyboard shortcuts and hear what’s happening. For example:

Pressing Tab will select the first staff object in the score and describe what the object is and where it is

“Select, quarter note, pitch C#5 ,bar 1, beat 1”

When selecting a slur, Sibelius will say:

“Select, start of slur on bar 1, beat 3 line ending at bar 1, beat 4”

Sibelius will announce the action you do too, such as “Move” note, or “Edit” note. The description that follows is the same as when selecting objects.

Searching Sibelius with “Find in Ribbon” will speak the results too. The keyboard shortcut to access the Find in Ribbon box is simply comma “,”. When it has keyboard focus, you’ll hear Sibelius say: “Find in Ribbon, Editing text”.

You can then start typing to find and perform any action you need, for example: To reset the position of an object, for example, you type “reset” and Sibelius will provide a list of all features that have Reset in their name or in their description. Use the arrow keys to cycle through the results to hear them, i.e.:

“Reset Position, moves the selected objects back to their default position”

Pressing Return will then apply that change – even when not using a screen reader, using ‘comma’ to access Find In Ribbon is by far the fastest way to use Sibelius!

Each screen reader is different, and it’ll take more work on our side to gain parity with them all. To help you decide which is right for your workflow, we’ve put the following table together:

 

 

Menus, Dialogs and Ribbon etc.

NVDA Windows
Narrator
macOS
VoiceOver
Splash Screen, Version & Build Number X X
Quick Start X
Ribbon X X X
Find in Ribbon X X
File tab X X X
Pop-up messages X X
Ribbon galleries (Lines, Text, Symbols) X X
Edit Symbols and Edit Lines dialogs X X

 

 

Objects in the score

NVDA Windows
Narrator
macOS
VoiceOver
Bar Rests X X
Clef changes X X
Key Signatures X X
Dynamics X X
Staff text X X

 

 

Objects in the score

NVDA Windows
Narrator
macOS
VoiceOver
Lyrics X X
Guitar frames X X
Instrument Changes X X
Staff lines X X
Staff symbols X X
Notes and rests X X
Notes on a transposing instrument X X
Start and end of System and Passage selections X X

 

There’s clearly more work for us to do, so we’ll continue to chip away at this very important area of the program. As the table shows above, we don’t recommend using VoiceOver on macOS yet.

During the development of these improvements, we’ve also fixed the following legacy bugs we had with screen readers:

  • Sibelius no longer crashes when closing Audio Options or Playback Devices when using NVDA
  • The bar number is no longer spoken followed immediately by the succeeding bar number

 

Goodbye EPS, hello true black PDFs

Due to limitations in Qt5, we aren’t able to continue to support Encapsulated Postscript (EPS) file export. As such, Sibelius 2018.7 was the last version to support this feature. However, exporting to PDF has been improved to support greyscale, which converts to only the K color channel in CMYK.

To use this, go to File > Export > Graphics, choose PDF and untick “include colored objects”. Alternatively, go to File > Export > PDF and, again, untick “Include colored objects”.

Note Spacing

To improve on the note spacing features we’ve been introducing this year, we’ve fine tuned the following:

  • Reset Note Spacing in the score or part no longer affects the This only affected scores using Version 3 spacing though.
  • Sibelius now only respaces multi-voice bars when adding or removing notes when the “Respace multi-voice passages during note input and editing” preference is set. In recent releases, Sibelius would perform a ‘Reset Note Spacing’ under the hood during articulation and accidental editing, which was found to be too heavy handed.

 

Video playback

We’ve changed the engines used in Sibelius to sync a video (or audio file) to a score. On Windows, we now use DirectShow for QMultimedia and on Mac we’ve replaced the old 32-bit QuickTime player with AVFoundation. This change may require you to re-encode your videos to one Sibelius now supports, or install the necessary codecs to play the video.

 

Switching between feature-sets

Since our release in June this year, your installation of Sibelius has had three tiers inside the single installation, so Sibelius will run the feature-set you are eligible for. This has been useful for those starting with Sibelius | First, trying out the Sibelius features then subscribing or buying the full feature of Sibelius | Ultimate. Since then, we’ve had several requests to allow you to check out the Sibelius | First features, say, to see if they are suitable for your beginner students who are starting out with their music studies. In today’s release, we’ve introduced this feature for Sibelius | Ultimate users only: simply hold down the ‘Alt’ key when Sibelius starts up and you’ll see the following dialog asking you which variant of Sibelius you’d like you run:

Clicking the version you need will run Sibelius with just those features enabled. Restarting Sibelius, without holding down ‘Alt’, will revert to running the full Sibelius | Ultimate feature set. Windows users should be aware that you need to hold down ‘Alt’ just after running Sibelius. If you hold ‘Alt’ at the same time as running the application, you will see a Properties window appear.

 

Overall stability and bug fixes

As with every release of Sibelius, we fix a number of bugs, both old and new. Here’s a summary of what’s included in this release:

Rhythm Dots

When dotted notes in multiple voices share the same pitch, Sibelius now correctly (and consistently) only shows a single dot. Previously, Sibelius would only do this for notes that were in a space and not when on a line.

The correct number of dots are now displayed on dotted chords with two or three notes.

Kontakt 6 Support

Kontakt 6 is now recognised as a “Kontakt” device rather than a standard AU or VST plugin. This means Sibelius will now be able to automatically load sounds as it has been able to do with Kontakt 5 and earlier. So, if you have a Kontakt library, such as Virtual Drumline, old or older version of GPO/JABB, Sample Logic’s Fanfare or Rumble etc. you can now use these in the latest version of Kontakt. It’s worth noting that Kontakt 6 appears simply as “Kontakt” in your Playback Configuration.

Bug fixes

  • All the “Name” fields in the Edit Instrument dialog are retained when saving and reopening a score. As such, you can now use the “Instrument change name” and “Instrument change warning name” fields independently.
  • Engraving Rules > Chord Symbols: Characters are now displayed correctly in the Language drop-down list on Mac.
  • In the Timecode and Duration dialog, the “Start video from” field now works correctly.
  • Note input, and dragging text objects are no longer sluggish when the Inspector is open.
  • The Edit Lines and Edit Symbols dialogs are now much more stable under the hood. Before, it was even possible to invoke multiple cursors on Windows and cause incorrect navigation behavior on both Windows and Mac.

 

Plugins

  • Split Bar plug-in no longer overwrites the right hand side barline with a Normal barline.
  • Join Bars plug-in works properly once more when creating special barlines.

 

Compatibility

It’s important to be aware of the latest system requirements for the Sibelius products and this release contains the following changes:

  • Full support for macOS 10.14 Mojave
  • Sibelius will no longer run on Mac OS X Mavericks

There are no changes to Windows. For a full run-down, please see our System Requirements for Avid Sibelius Products .

 

Performance

On the whole, Sibelius is now faster than ever before. You should notice this when dragging around the score, performing edits to multiple text objects, adding slurs and articulations across several systems, and making changes at the end of large scores – all of which are vastly improved.

If you’ve made it this far down the list of improvements in this build, I’m impressed – thanks for sticking with it! This release has been a long time coming, and we’re really proud of how much has been achieved. Upgrading architecture is no mean feat, and much of the original implementation of Qt has been refactored or rewritten to bring the improved support for accessibility, high-DPI screens and so on.

We’re now in a really great place to bring some exciting features and new workflows to Sibelius in 2019, so watch this space.

Express yourself with Sibelius

Create beautiful, captivating scores more quickly than ever before with the world’s best selling notation software.




Note Spacing Improvements in Sibelius 2018.6

Today, we’re pleased to announce and release improvements to Sibelius that reach as far as installer and licensing, note spacing, workflow and a host of bug fixes.

This is a free update to all Sibelius and Sibelius | Ultimate customers with a current subscription or software update plan. To download the new installer, head to your Avid Master Account.

In conjunction, we’re also releasing our first ever free version of Sibelius: Sibelius | First. This completes our suite of “First” products alongside Pro Tools | First and Media Composer | First, perfect if you’re entering the world of music recording, production and video editing.

Sibelius 2018.6 not only delivers on improvements to long standing issues, but also simplifies our approach to developing and producing several applications and solutions to a huge variety of musicians. With the release of Sibelius | First today, we now have a complete desktop range of music software, an iOS app, an iOS SDK, and a whole ecosystem that lives on the Avid MediaCentral Platform in the cloud for running music publishing solutions that are delivering millions of scores around the world each month. Whether you’re a beginner, student, educator, professional musician, engraver or publisher, we now have something geared towards your musical need.

Read on to find out what’s new in June’s release of Sibelius.

Sibelius – A New Single Installer

We now have a single application called “Sibelius” that will run with the features based on the license you have activated. In the past, we’ve had separate applications for all the different flavours of Sibelius that would run with different features based on the version you had installed.  The three tiers are:

 

• Sibelius | First – will run when you have no license of either Sibelius or Sibelius Ultimate

• Sibelius – will run only when you have a Sibelius license activated

• Sibelius | Ultimate – will run when you have an Ultimate license activated

 

This allows a new customer to come in, try Sibelius | First, unlock more features by subscribing to Sibelius, then need the Ultimate features as their music and career develops etc.. On the practical side, it also allows us to reduce the number of installers we have to maintain, and simplify the activation process by consolidating the separate activation processes into one.

On a new computer, Sibelius will now only install a single application. On a computer that already has either Sibelius or Sibelius | Ultimate, or even Sibelius | First 2018.1 or earlier, these will get replaced by the new application, called “Sibelius”.

When you run Sibelius, it now checks the licenses and entitlements it can run with:

• Is there a Network License Server running on the network, only used for Schools (Sibelius has always done this)

• Is there a license of Sibelius or Sibelius | Ultimate on this computer

• Is there an on-going trial of either Sibelius or Sibelius | Ultimate

• Is there entitlement to run Sibelius | First

If any of the above is true, it’ll run in that mode. If not, we’ll pop up a new redesigned welcome dialog:

This gives options to start a new trial of either Sibelius or Sibelius | Ultimate, or activate your own license, or continue with Sibelius | First. There’s a “Don’t say this again” tick box so you can run the trial or Sibelius | First straight away without having to choose it each time. If you have a license of Sibelius or Sibelius | Ultimate, click Activate, which will launch Avid Application Manager. The simplest thing to do is to log in and Sibelius will auto-activate. If you need to manually activate, click the Licensing page and paste in your System ID and Activation ID, which you can find in your Avid Master Account.

Once the activation is complete, restart Sibelius and you’ll find the activation is picked up and Sibelius will run with either the Sibelius or Sibelius | Ultimate features.

“Sibelius is, without a doubt, the most comprehensive and deeply flexible orchestration tool available. If I can conceive it, Sibelius can put it on paper in a very intuitive way that most mirrors my original thought. Every dynamic and articulation is readily available and easily inserted and edited at a whim.”

—Mark Yaeger, film composer

Notation improvements in Sibelius 2018.6

Note spacing

Grace notes in multiple voices

Writing grace notes across multiple voices in Sibelius has been historically hard to do. It has usually required a plugin and then some manual changes in the Inspector to align correctly – but a simple Reset Note Spacing would revert all your careful placement. From now on though, Sibelius will always get this right. Here’s a typical example of the old spacing verses the new:

Under the hood, Sibelius is aligning the grace notes in voices 1 and 2 together. When there’s no corresponding note in the other voice, Sibelius will insert a hidden rest that is used to ensure the correct spacing is preserved.

Opening older scores will continue to look exactly the same. To take advantage of the new spacing, simply select the passage of music and do Reset Note Spacing from the Appearance tab.

 

Note spacing of chords in multiple voices

Thank you to those who reported cases where chords with back-to-back stems started to collide with the new Version 3 spacing, introduced in April, when compared to version 2. In some cases, stems would touch ledger lines as well.  We’ve fixed many of these now so you should find things are generally cleaner:

Sibelius 2018.1 and earlier

Sibelius 2018.4/5

Sibelius 2018.6

We’ve also tackled some of the more gnarly issues with chords that were left over from our release in April too. The below comparison shows how things have come on. The improvements are in the following areas:

• When chords in two voices are a semitone apart, they are now slightly offset when they are written in the stave.

• Notes no longer collide when there are unisons in either chord. This was particularly tricky when there were unisons in both voices. In these cases, the chords will appear side-by-side, as required by the new note spacing algorithm.

• Sibelius now treats the note spacing offsets differently when the notes are within the 5-line stave compared to when they are outside the staff on ledger lines

General improvements

Changing notes by semitone across tied passages

In Sibelius 2018.4, we introduced the ability for all tied notes to be changed when the first note is changed. We omitted support for the Shift+Page Up/Down shortcut, which moves a note up or down by a semitone. Now, in 2018.6, you can select the first note of a tied note and move all tied notes by a semitone:

General bug fixes

We’ve been hard at work improving the overall stability of Sibelius, as well as chipping away at problems that have been reported via our forum, Twitter feed and new Facebook group (thank you again to all those who submitted them!). In summary, they are:

• Deleting the first bar of a score no longer deletes the time signature

Continuing the improvements from April’s release, where we added the ability to delete the first bar of the score without losing your Title page and other blank pages, title, composer and other text etc.. In today’s release, the Time Signature is no longer lost. This works in such a way that it retains the Time Signature that was in the first bar of the score, as you would expect, however Sibelius will now check to see if the next bar contains a Time Signature change, and places that in the new ‘bar 1’ after the deletion. For example, if you’re deleting bars 1 to 5, and there’s a Time Signature Change in Bar 6, Sibelius will now display the Time Signature that was in bar 6, rather than retaining the initial Time Signature that was in bar 1. If you’re used to being cautious of deleting bar 1, try it now – it’s really quite liberating!

In addition to this:

• Empty text boxes no longer remain after removing multiple items of text with undo

• Multiple cursors are now displayed when entering expression and technique text across multiple staves

• Keyboard focus is now brought back to a text object after changing the size of it in Text > Format > Size

• As well as several improvements to grace notes, Sibelius will now retain the spacing correctly when copy and pasting passages. This saves the extra step to reset the note spacing.

• When the Quick Start is disabled, the blank score that is automatically created used Version 2 voice spacing instead of Version 3

• Several rare problems entering lyrics and chord symbols have all been resolved. This even included a crash and issues with the Undo queue

• A lyrics extender line now no longer reappears after saving and reopening a score. This would only happen if there were empty bars between two lines of music that contained lyrics.

• In rare cases, Sibelius would crash when working with text

• You can now enter multiple pieces of text or lines using a very short lasso selection

• When entering multiple hairpins onto a minim followed by a minim rest, it no longer results in a hairpin under the rest

 

This completes the improvements in this release. The development team are already working hard on the next release, which we can’t wait to deliver to you.

If you’re new to Sibelius, head over to avid.com/sibelius-ultimate for a complete overview. If you already have Sibelius but haven’t yet upgraded to Sibelius or Sibelius | Ultimate, please take a look at avid.com/music-writing-software for a comparison of the two. To upgrade today, visit the Avid.com webstore or choose from one of our resellers.

Express yourself with Sibelius

Create beautiful, captivating scores more quickly than ever before with the world’s best selling notation software.




Sibelius | First — Avid’s Free Music Notation Software is Now Available

Introducing Sibelius | First

Today, we are really proud to release our first ever free version of Sibelius. We’ve taken the power and the time-saving workflows from Sibelius | Ultimate and created a streamlined application for creating music that makes it fun and easy for beginners, hobbyists, and students to compose and share simple, professional-looking scores.

If you’re new to Sibelius and can’t wait to get started, head to my.avid.com/get/sibelius-first. This will take you through a simple sign-up form and will deliver the new Sibelius installers to your inbox.

Start your first score with a template or from scratch

Input notation with your mouse, MIDI controller, or keyboard

Add instruments to your score to build up your orchestration

Sibelius | First is built with simplicity in mind, but also with the power of Sibelius | Ultimate. With Sibelius | First, you’re able to start writing music straight away using alphabetic input or with Flexi-time ™ using a MIDI keyboard. You can even mark up your score with dynamics, hairpins and phrasing with our new multi-edit workflows, allowing you to enter and edit multiple objects at once.

Need to find a feature? Simply type in what you need into the “Find in Ribbon” search box in the upper right corner and Sibelius will find it for you immediately. Here’s a quick overview showing how quick it is to mark up your score with slurs, dynamics and a trill:

You can even share scores online to collaborate, get discovered, and be heard.

“This is a brilliant way to introduce new composers, songwriters, arrangers and musicians to music notation. Sibelius | First will help to make it easier and less daunting to turn musical ideas into written music, whether you’re starting with just a thought or a midi sequence.”

—Booker White, orchestrator, Disney

Unlocking more features and Upgrading

When you reach the limits of Sibelius | First’s features, there are two paths to upgrade to either Sibelius or Sibelius | Ultimate. Here’s a simple table of how the features compare:

Sibelius | First

Sibelius

Sibelius | Ultimate

Ideal for…

Composing simple scores with up to 4 instrument parts (staves)

Composing simple/moderate music with up to 16 staves

Composing, arranging, and publishing scores and parts of any size and complexity; creating notation worksheets and exercises for education

Availability

Available for free for anyone to download and use

Subscribe monthly or annually, or purchase and own a perpetual license

Subscribe monthly or annually, purchase and own a perpetual license (educational discount available), trade-up from other notation software, or get network licensing

Number of computers you can install a single copy on

N/A

2, for use by same person (e.g., desktop + laptop)

Software updates and support

Download the latest update as it becomes available

Access all new releases and Standard support through a subscription or renewable 1-Year Software Updates + Support Plan (included with new perpetual licenses)

Cloud Sharing

10 scores

20 scores

Unlimited

Number of voices per staff

2

4

4

Sync video

No

Yes

Yes

Sibelius Sounds sample library

No

10GB

32GB

Timeline view

No

No

Yes

Layout Control

Basic

Some

Complete

Thanks to the new single installer for Sibelius, unlocking more features and upgrading to Sibelius Ultimate is really simple. To get started visit this page that provides an overview of the two: avid.com/music-writing-software.

After starting your new subscription or license, open Avid Application Manager to check the new licensing has been picked up (re-sync the account if not) and simply run Sibelius again to get access to the new features.

Sibelius | First workflows for teachers and professionals

Sibelius | First can open any Sibelius file going back to version 1.0 to 2018.6. It can also open files that have more than 4 staves, however these will open up in a read-only mode. This is perfect for sharing scores with people who don’t have Sibelius (yet) and need to review, play back and even print scores. It’ll also be a useful workflow for teachers to send scores to students as reference material.

 

PhotoScore and AudioScore First

 Simply scan music in or transcribe music with PhotoScore First and AudioScore First

 

• Free editions of the popular PhotoScore Ultimate and AudioScore Ultimate are included for all Sibelius| First users. You’ll find these in your Avid Master Account.

• Upgrade to either Sibelius or Sibelius Ultimate and you’ll’ received PhotoScore Lite and AudioScore Lite that will unlock the number of staves and pages of music you can scan, and expand the number of music of audio you can transcribe at once.

• If you need the full power from these applications, upgrade to PhotoScore Ultimate and AudioScore Ultimate.

 

Here’s a quick overview of how the different versions compare:

PhotoScore First

PhotoScore Lite

PhotoScore Ultimate

Max Staves per System

2

12

64

Max Pages per Score

1

20

400

AudioScore First

AudioScore Lite

AudioScore Ultimate

Max Audio Length

1 min

6 min

6 min

Shortest Note Value

8th

16th

32nd

Max Instruments per Score

2

4

32

Sibelius | First is the perfect introduction to music notation software. Whether you’re a student just starting out, or someone who is coming to music later in life, there is no better place to start than Sibelius First.

Create beautiful, captivating scores—for free

Sibelius | First* is a new streamlined version of Sibelius that makes it easy for beginners and hobbyists to create simple, professional-looking scores.




Join the Avid Sibelius User Group on Facebook

Share music, notation workflows, scoring ideas, and network with other community members — Join the Avid Sibelius User Group on Facebook.

 

JOIN THE AVID SIBELIUS USERS ON FACEBOOK

Express yourself with Sibelius

Create beautiful, captivating scores more quickly than ever before with the world’s best selling notation software.




NotePerformer 3 for Sibelius

Today, Arne Wallander, of Wallander Instruments, releases NotePerformer 3. This new version includes several improvements and subtle tweaks to the already impressive playback and sample engine that can only be used to its full potential in Sibelius.

If you haven’t come across NotePerformer yet, you’re in for a treat. I was first introduced to the sounds from Wallander Instruments in the early days of the WIVI instruments. They were impressive little libraries that played tiny samples but used sample modulation to affect its playback. There was even a mini stage that you could drag the instruments around in to change the pan and reverb to suit the ensemble you’re writing for.

Fast forward to today and Noteperformer is a completely automated performance engine in the form of a single virtual instrument that intelligently reads the music and gives a unique performance every time.

Setting up NotePerformer couldn’t be easier in Sibelius:

 

  • Simply run the NotePerfomer installer
  • Run Sibelius and open your score
  • Choose the NotePerformer Playback Configuration
  • Hit Play

 

NotePerformer automatically triggers the correct samples for each instrument and playing articulation, allowing you to simply compose or orchestrate your music without any distractions. There’s hardly ever a need to touch the Mixer in Sibelius even, as NotePerformer will adjust the performance of each instrument based on the other instruments that are playing at the same time. From the NotePerfomer 3 documentation, Arne writes:

“In NotePerformer 3, all instruments pay attention to the other instruments, and perfectly synchronises their performance each other’s beat. Even between instruments that would normally be difficult to synchronise, such as brass and percussion. And by intelligently time-warping the performance of musical phrases, NotePerformer compensates for differences in sound between notes of different expression and articulation, like a well-rehearsed musician.

In summary, this produces a tightness of sound that you normally only hear in live music. With an ordinary sampled orchestra, stacking of sounds tend to sound muddy or diffuse, or with unwanted syncopation, because there’s no cross-correlation in performance between different instruments and articulations.”

New to NotePerformer 3 are a range of plug-ins for Sibelius to simplify the use of power features. Such as resetting the mixer volumes, pipe organ registration, vibrato amount or section-building. For full information, please see the online support guide for Sibelius on the NotePerformer website.

If you’re upgrading from NotePerformer 2 to 3, you’ll be very pleased with the results. Here’s a quick comparison I made earlier, where you can clearly hear the difference in balance and mix, giving a such clearer performance of the score:

If you are new to NotePerformer, we strongly recommend you check it out today. We’re announcing the availability to buy NotePerformer from the Avid.com Marketplace. Head over there now to add NotePerformer to your copy of Sibelius or Sibelius | Ultimate today.

NotePerformer for Sibelius

Perform your music with realistic human phrasing for all instruments

Express yourself with Sibelius

Create beautiful, captivating scores more quickly than ever before with the world’s best selling notation software.




What’s New in Sibelius 2018.4

We’re really proud to announce the release of Sibelius 2018.4, making huge steps forward in many areas of the program. In summary, we’ve expanded on the recently added multi-edit workflows to now include the ability to enter and edit multiple text objects; given our note spacing rules a complete overhaul; enhanced the way you can interact with tied notes and much more, spanning over 70 individual improvements.

If you can’t wait to dig in, head over to your My Avid account to download the latest installers, or run Application Manager to check for the latest updates. If you’re on an older version of Sibelius, you can upgrade via the webstore or from one of our resellers.

 

A note about the product name

As you will have seen, Sibelius, Media Composer and Pro Tools nomenclature has been aligned so we will have the same three tiers for each product line. To read about this announcement, please head over to the separate announcement. To keep things easy, we still use “Sibelius” as a collective term for all three flavors of the desktop application. As you will have read in my previously posts, all notation products we build here at Avid are done with a common code-base, allowing us to build Sibelius | First, Sibelius, Sibelius | Ultimate, the Sibelius Cloud Publishing render engine and the Avid Scorch iOS app all using the same core notation engine. This means that all our notation products will benefit from the improvements, for example the note spacing or the low level optimizations I’ll cover below.

So, the improvements are…

 

Multi-edit workflows – Text and more

Following on from the award winning release of Sibelius in January this year, April’s release of Sibelius takes the multi-edit workflows a step further, by introducing the ability to add text to multiple notes or passages at once. Editing multiple pieces of text is simple too. Here’s a preview of what’s now possible:

This new feature deserves its own blog, so to find out more about how this works, and how you can start using it, head over to this page. (don’t forget to come back here to find out more about the amazing new improvements we’re releasing!)

 

Ties

As with our last release, where we introduced the ability to add ties intelligently across passages of music, we’ve given them more attention in this release too. Direct from user feedback from our social media forums, we’ve added the ability to edit the left hand note of a tie, and all notes to the right move with it:

This saves a nice little amount of time so you no longer have to individually select each note that’s tied, which can be fiddly across complex passages of music. This even works across multiple bars too:

Complete overhaul of note spacing

Note spacing in Sibelius has always been great, but has had a few reliability issues, especially when writing in multiple voices or when adding and deleting objects. More often than not, you have to do Reset Note Spacing, or nudge the spacing with Shift+Alt+arrow keys, or even worse, manually set the position of the notes using the X properties in the Inspector. Now though, the need to do those things will be really really rare.

As you’ll see below, there are huge improvements in the clarity of music in multiple voices. There’s no more ambiguity around which note is dotted, or even what the note values are themselves. Sibelius also automatically spaces the notes like this now so you no longer have to manually move notes individually using the “X” property in the Inspector.

 

Examples

Here are many of the common examples of the cases we’ve been working on. In all cases, you can see an obvious improvement.

In summary

  • Unisons in two voices with different noteheads no longer collide
  • Rhythm dot spacing and placement is improved
  • Dotted minims and semi-breves in voice 1 no longer collide with simultaneous notes in voice 2
  • Leger lines of voices at the same rhythmic position no longer touch
  • Semi-breves in two voices, same pitch, now go side by side and are not super-imposed
  • Crossing voices are now laid out head-to-head, rather than stem-to-stem as they were in previous versions
  • Unison dotted notes of the same value now always share a rhythm dot

All new scores created from now on will use the new note spacing, however all old scores will open up and appear in exactly the same way they did before. This is important as we need to give you the confidence that nothing will change. To turn on the new spacing though, choose Version 3 Voice position rule in Engraving Rules > Notes and Tremolos.

If, in your old file, you have manually set the positions of notes using the X property in the Inspector, here are the steps you need to take to reset the spacing and take advantage of the new voice position rules:

 

  • Go to Engraving Rules > Notes and Tremolos and choose the Version 3 under Voice position rule
  • Select the music you have respaced
  • Go to Appearance > Design and Position and click Reset Position
  • Go to Appearance > Reset Notes and choose Reset Note Spacing

You’ll now see the notes and rhythm dots line up nicely

 

More subtle improvements to note spacing

When entering notes in multiple voices, Sibelius now helpfully adds or removes space around notes as you enter or edit them. This always makes sure your music is well laid out. Here’s a comparison of the same passage of music written out using the old and new spacing algorithm:

The hope is that this new note spacing intelligence in Sibelius will go unnoticed, as it’ll always do what you expect it to do. What it’s doing in the background is resetting the space for that bar as you enter and edit notes. However, we’ve added a new Preference in Sibelius in case you’d prefer to turn this off. You’ll find it in File > Preferences > Note Input and you can untick “Respace multi-voice passages during note input and editing”. N.B. toggling this on/off doesn’t change the spacing you have in your score.

Many of these improvements are pretty subtle, for example rhythm dots are now taken into account when spacing passages of rests. This, of course, happens automatically so you don’t need to manually respace your score. To show you the old vs. new spacing, here’s a comparison – notice the dots on the 16th-note (semi-quaver) rests:

In addition to this, deleting lyrics or guitar frames now automatically respaces the affected music, so you aren’t left with extra space where these objects once were. Here’s a comparison of old vs. new so you can see the affect when deleting lyrics:

Old:

New:

There are further improvements to the spacing before a start repeat barline. This is now always correct but was only correct before when preceded by an end repeat barline. This is more noticeable with note stems that line up against the start repeat line.

Sibelius now also takes articulations into account when spacing notes. A small but important detail to enhance Sibelius typesetting finesse, especially in cases where space is very tight.

When you have “semiquaver, quaver-rest, semiquaver” beamed together, the fractional beam of the rest collided with stem of following note. As well as this, the spacing was different depending on the direction of the stems. You’ll now find this is spaced well and nice and consistent:

What else?

There’s more, you ask? This release includes a slew of further improvements to Sibelius that will collectively make a huge difference to the way you use the program. They are:

Drum roll please… it’s now possible to delete the first bar of a score without losing the System text that’s attached to it e.g. part name, title, composer, copyright, tempo etc.. If you need to delete these objects too, you’ll have to actually select them and delete them. You can add bars to the beginning of your score, delete them as your will commands, and you’ll find the System text remains attached to bar 1.

In 2018.1, we introduced a change in the way you can access the Ribbon. In 2018.4, we’ve added a shortcut “,” (comma) to give the Find in Ribbon box focus. This means you can now access any feature in the program by simply hitting one key. Enjoy!

In response to user feedback from our release in January, it’s now also easier to change the types of barlines in a score. Simply make a passage or System selection and when you change the type of barline, it’ll change them all. Of course, Start and End Repeat barlines are exempt from this and continue to be added at the start and end of the selection.

As well as all these improvements, there are smaller fish we fried:

 

  • In rare cases, typing into Find in Ribbon would crash on Mac. This no longer happens.
  • The space after a cautionary Key Signature change is now not too wide. If you find it is, add a System Break at that point and reset note spacing. This will snap things into line again.
  • Highlights are now displayed and printed correctly once more when they span across multiple systems and pages
  • When selecting a coinciding double barline and rehearsal mark, alt-clicking elsewhere in the score no longer creates a new rehearsal mark and double barline in the wrong place
  • When copying and pasting from one slurred phrase to another, slurs are no longer duplicated
  • On Windows, the Help button (question mark in the right top corner) in the Print Spooler window was unnecessary so has been removed
  • In very rare cases, Sibelius would crash when opening a score with a different playback configuration from the Quick Start
  • Plug-ins > Simplify Notation > Remove Overlapping Notes no longer says its effect cannot be undone
  • Comments containing em dashes (–) now display correctly once more
  • It’s now possible again too to add lines to passages of bars that only contain rests
  • A low level issue in our undo queue that would occasionally cause Sibelius to unexpectedly quit is now resolved

 

To paraphrase Columbo, just one more thing…

 

  • Wide spread low-level improvements have been made to the way Sibelius handles certain data structures – particularly noticeable when working with large scores on slower computers.

 

We hope you enjoy the many improvements in this release that span both Sibelius and Sibelius Ultimate. If you have a current update and support plan or subscription, you can download the new version from within Avid Application Manager on your computer, or directly from your My Avid account.

If you’re new to Sibelius, you can download our free 30-day trial and buy from the webstore or from one of our resellers.

Express yourself with Sibelius

Create beautiful, captivating scores more quickly than ever before with the world’s best selling notation software.




Introducing Sibelius Multi-Edit Text Workflows

In January 2018, we introduced huge enhancements in marking up your score quickly with slurs, hairpins and other types of line. With April’s release, we are adding to that the ability to add and edit text on several notes on a single staff or across many different instruments at once.

As soon as we released the Multi-edit workflows in 2018.1, we were bombarded with “well, this is great, but what about text, and what about even more intelligent ties”… so we listened and set to it.

Multi-Edit Text

Sibelius 2018.4 introduces the ability to enter and edit text across multiple staves all in one go. Entering text in Sibelius has always been easy to do, but if you wanted to apply the same text to several instruments at once, you’d have to copy and paste the text manually across to those other staves, and even then would have to do this process one at a time if the music didn’t all start on the same beat. Now though, it’s much easier and can be done in far fewer steps.

To enter text across multiple staves, simply make your selection and enter the text as normal using the standard keyboard shortcuts e.g. Ctrl/⌘+E for Expression text or Ctrl/⌘+T for Technique, for example. Before you start typing, you’ll see cursors appear under the note you have selected. When you start typing, the text is entered across all staves:

Of course, like adding slurs, hairpins and other staff lines across multiple staves, Sibelius will enter the text on the first note that’s under the selection, allowing you to quickly mark up the score with dynamics and other technique text:

Editing text is simple too. Select more than one piece of text of the same style, and press Return or F2 to start editing. As when entering the text, you’ll see all text objects update as you type.

What is supported, and what isn’t?

When editing more than one text object at the same time, ensure you have the same type of object selected i.e. Expression text or Technique text. Sibelius won’t allow you to edit when you have a selection that includes a combination of several text styles e.g. Fingering and Figured Bass, say.

It’s worth noting too that changes will be applied to all the text items that are selected, so after editing all text items in your selection, they will end up with the same content. This is useful if you want to change several different dynamics to be the same, say.

Multi-edit text also only works for Staff text, but does not work for Chord Symbols or Lyrics, nor any System text.

 

Multi-edit overview

As you can see, combining the multi-edit lines with the new multi-edit text, it’s possible to mark up a score incredibly quickly:

Sibelius 2018.4 doesn’t just include these new enhancements but spans new improvements to note spacing, working with tied notes and a total of 70 improvements. To read more about all this, head over to the What’s new in Sibelius 2018.4 blog post.

Express yourself with Sibelius

Create beautiful, captivating scores more quickly than ever before with the world’s best selling notation software.