As of this weekend, the latest version’s of Avid’s Sibelius, Sibelius 7, is available!
Tabbed document interface
There are a bunch of new features, but I guess the most visible one is the new tabbed document view, a bit like in Office 2010 (or 7).
Sibelius’s old menus and toolbars have been replaced with a new tabbed toolbar known as a Ribbon, allowing the program’s features to be grouped in the interface more logically, helping both new and existing users alike make more efficient use of the program.
People are already complaining about how disorienting it is—just like Office 2010 came out—but it might actually be a great way to save time and navigate faster inside the various menus. If you are a keyboard shortcut wizz, don’t worry, all the shortcuts stayed the same and you can import your own shortcut settings from Sibelius 6 quite easily…
There are some sweet improvements regarding the note input:
→ Specifying pitch before or after duration. Besides, the shadow note now shows the note value of the note chosen on the Keypad. Yes!
→ Adding lines during input
→ Adding many tuplets: introducing Sticky Tuplets (a great name for a Muse cover band…)
Text and Typography
This was an area Sibelius needed a lot of improvement and I think they did an incredible job. Indeed, the font attributes are no longer in the Properties windows, but in a dedicated Format group in the Ribbon. The new text frames also seem to bring a lot of flexibility (solid or dashed)…
As a font (typeface) geek, I have to praise the introduction of a new typeface called Plantin:
Plantin was designed by Frank Hinman Pierpont in 1913, based on an original set of type by the 16th century Italian type designer, Robert Granjon. Plantin influenced the design of Times New Roman, in particular its larger than normal x-height, which improves legibility at small point sizes.
The Plantin font family,distributed under license from Monotype Imaging Ltd.
If you really like to add cliparts of kittens (or French horns) on your score, you’re up for a treat! Importing has been made easy, and Sibelius 7 enables you to resize, crop or rotate your graphics directly into it.
Exporting has also been made easier for the Web and Sibelius doesn’t give you a list of softwares when you’re trying to get some nice TIFFs (Corel Draw?!? Really?!?)…
64-bit and Sibelius 7 Sounds
Sibelius 7 is the world’s first fully 64-bit native music notation software, which means that it canharness the power of today’s 64-bit processors and operating systems.
Besides, a brand new library of sounds called Sibelius 7 Sounds have been added and some nice sound samples are available for listen here.
For more info…
Avid Sibelius 7: Price $599.99, available for download — Sibelius 7 Upgrade: Price $149.99
Thomas Deneuville is a French-born composer living in NY. Feel free to leave a comment below, or find Thomas on Twitter: @tonalfreak