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Sibelius 3 Arrives: Massive Music Notation Upgrade

Friday September 26, 2003. 04:30 PM, by peterkirn Music Software > Sibelius
Music Software : Sibelius 3 Arrives: Massive Music Notation Upgrade - macmusicSibelius has introduced Sibelius 3, a major upgrade to the music notation software. We'll offer an exclusive look at this new release soon, but in the meantime, here's an overview of new features.

170 new features have been added, plus a special collaboration with Native Instruments to design a special version of Kontakt to play back music using high-quality instrument samples (no more cheap-sounding QuickTime Musical Instruments!), burn compositions to CD, and create audio files for the Web. Here are a few of the more interesting enhancements:

Font smoothing Mac OS X's font smoothing already made Sibelius for OS X look substantially better than OS 9 versions of Sibelius and Finale, but a new display setting will smooth all graphical elements on the screen for a look closer to what you get on the printed page.

New templates 60 new instruments are included (never again will you have to remember the range of a Hawaiian steel guitar), plus new manuscript papers, bands, and orchestras, including a film orchestratration setting designed by The Simpsons composer Alf Clausen.

Focus on Staves lets you hide other staves so you can focus on one part while composing.

Recording now supports two voice recording on one staff, sequencer-style recording of dynamics and timing, with the option to play back your original performance.

Shadow notes shows you where a mouse-inputted note will be before you click, a la Finale.

Kontakt Player Silver, based on Kontakt, will become available for the Mac in November 2003 as a free download (so obviously not in time to ship with Sibelius 3, sadly -- we'll get to celebrate by American Thanksgiving). This special Sibelius edition of Native's sample playback synth has 20 instrumental sounds, upgradable to 64 and up via Kontakt Player Gold. Given the quality of Native's synths, this should be very good news indeed.

Playback Sibelius, in addition to being able to burn Kontakt's playback to a CD track, now plays back complex repeats, with individual dynamics, finally properly supports keyboard dynamics, metric modulations, and glissandi.

Auto page breaks automatically places page turns in extracted parts (a feature being introduced in the new version of Finale shipping next month, too).

Scales & Arpeggios Plug-ins Educators, rejoice!

Improved engraving Working with "several of the world's leading music engravers," Sibelius has improved upon its note spacing algorithm. Hard to describe, but it looks revolutionary. Beaming, which had been known to behave a little oddly at times in Sibelius 2 and earlier, has been dramatically improved, and the rules are fully adjustable.

Updated scanning PhotoScore, Sibelius' scanning companion product has been updated, as well, including the Lite version that ships with Sibelius.

Backwards compatibility Thankfully, you can still save in Sibelius 2 format via Sibelius 3! Sibelius adds Finale 2004 file import capability, keeping pace with its rival's file formats.

Okay, there's really quite a lot more here, so check out the Sibelius website for full details, and of course, stay tuned to MacMusic for continued coverage.

MacMusic's English Editor-in-Chief uses Sibelius for all his notated compositions, and regularly provides training on the notation software in the metro NYC area.
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