Laptop Studio — Music software reviews, news and info for computer music

28 September 2005

Sibelius 4 review — Computer Music

Filed under: Music software at 7:21 pm Comments Off on Sibelius 4 review — Computer Music

Sibelius 4, the latest version of the industry-standard scoring application, is heavily praised in the latest Computer Music magazine. They give it their Editor’s Choice award and say good things about its power and ease of use: “For composers and arrangers, Sibelius works beautifully as a musical word processor. … There’s a shortcut for almost anything you might want to do, and it’s in this area that Sibelius scores (ahem) over its rivals.”

Sibelius is aimed at the musically literate amongst us, with its emphasis on scoring. However, it has very good playback features too, using Kontakt Player Silver to turn your score into an orchestra. You can even burn a CD of your composition.

The Dynamic Parts feature, new in this version, scores (ha ha) very highly. Sibelius 4 automatically treats every score as a collection of parts, cutting down on manual part extraction. They say this is an excellent feature for arrangers — indeed, it sounds like the sort of thing you would expect a computer to do for you.

They also discuss the new scoring for video features, and describe them as “very intuitive”. You can attach video to a score and synchronise them — it even comes with a sample video in case you’ve got no money left for a camera after buying Sibelius.

The last couple of Sibelius updates have had dozens, if not scores (chuckle) of improvements, as they point out: “There are so many useful additions in the most recent versions — including the Kontakt Player Silver synth — that it’s well worth taking the plunge.”

The final score (stop it, you’re killing me) is a perfect 10 out of 10, with an extra award for Performance to go with the Editor’s Choice. They say Sibelius 4 is a very good arranging tool, excellent for teachers too, great for video scoring, and produces fantastic sheet music. “If you’re just a ‘latest thing junkie’, you can buy Sibelius 4 with our blessing. It’s still the best scoring application there is, and you won’t be disappointed.”

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