A long time user of Sibelius, I’ve been resisting the urge to upgrade past 8.5. Ever since Avid introduced the subscription system, I found it unnecessary to be paying for an annual support plan (I never use it) and the upgrades didn’t seem to be worth the money coming out of my bank for a program that I could already work on as a professional engraver and arranger.
But having come to the realisation that the upgrades may solve a few of my issues regarding playback, and that there were a few new features that would improve my workflow, I decided to take the plunge.
Firstly, I have to say that the purchasing system for an upgrade seems a little slow, for a program which already has an online account, a dedicated program to manage the licensing and apparently round the clock support staff. I purchased the upgrade on the 27th, and the program wasn’t actually approved for download until the 29th. I know it seems like a bit of a whinge, but what’s the hold up? I’ve given you my money, I want my program now!
It wasn’t really a big deal for me, just more of a bugbear that the system can’t do it quicker. Moving on…
Downloading and installing the program, no problems. There was a strange problem with the compatibility of the Sibelius sounds 8.7 updater (not sure if I even needed this, but there’s really no way to tell on the Avid customer portal exactly what you need) but overall a pretty smooth transition. I believe that all my old house styles etc. should still be in the same place, but have yet to explore this fully.
Check out the video for the first look I had at the new version, complete with technical difficulties, a crash, a rant about the ribbon and a list of what features I will be enjoying in the future.
Here is my list of those features that I am interested in, that apply to me specifically. Most of these will speed up my workflow, and I’m sure there’s a few more small things that I’ll discover over time.
- Magnetic gliss lines
- No need to delete unpitched key box
- Instrument changes spaced correctly
- Lines across staves
- Smarter ties
- Breaks on multiple selection of barlines
- Extending rhythm on notes eats into notes after – good for dotted rhythms
- Multi text across staves – input and edit
- New voice position rules
- Delete first bar without losing text
- Change pitch of tied notes
- Grace note spacing
- Review mode
- Flexitime with Noteperformer
- Loading sounds improved
- Find instruments improved
- Slash notation moving easier
- MIDI import