Sibelius on Mac
  • mjballoumjballou
    Posts: 990
    I'm finally about to make the jump from PC to a Macbook Pro. I need a new laptop because of travel, so the timing seems good. My question - what have people's experiences been with Sibelius for Mac? Any input will be gratefully received. My scores are a cappella and generally no more than four parts, so I don't need to know how much trouble you had with a symphony or syncing the timing on your latest film score (smile).
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 1,236
    The answer will slightly depend on if you’re buying a used intel mbp or if you’re getting a new M1. I can’t speak to sib on the new m1’s (I don’t expect any problems but I don’t have any direct experience;) but I can tell you that while I’m not a current user, I never had any issues running Sibelius on my older Mac laptop. The new ones are so much more powerful than that which I used to run that I can’t imagine you’ll have any problems.

    (And fwiw, just in case you’re tempted for any reason, Dorico is about to drop a new version that is M1 native, and even the non-ARM version runs flawlessly on M1 machines.)
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,660
    I have been a sib on mac user since it came out and never had any issues... ever... in 20 years... however, I am also considering Dorico... you might want to consider it also... (I think the team is the original sib people)
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  • m_r_taylor
    Posts: 272
    I used Sib 6 on a Macbook up till a year ago when I got Dorico, which I've been much happier with, but that's comparing a 2020 program with a 2009 one. I'm sure the most recent iterations of Sibelius are just as good, but I didn't consider them at all because they have been moving to a subscription model and that's more expensive in the long run.

    I would recommend trying out the free versions available, so you get firsthand experience of what works for you. Sibelius First is free and only accomodates 4 separate parts along with some other limitations, but that might be your ticket.
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  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 1,236
    Correct. Avid bought out Sibelius, fired the whole development team en masse (“corporate restructuring”) and then Steinberg (Yamaha) came along, hired the whole team, and had them create dorico from scratch. It is, in a certain sense, “Sibelius 2.0” which is to say, experienced developers got the chance to start from scratch with all the lessons learned from the first time around. 4.0 is expected very soon (within a month’s time; likely late this week or next week).
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  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 1,236
    To echo mrtaylor, there are free and limited versions of Dorico too. Just fyi- the working model is different and takes some getting used to. Almost everyone prefers it once they have acclimated, but there is a learning period for most people.
  • Settefrati93
    Posts: 202
    +1 for dorico. It's amazing.
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  • GambaGamba
    Posts: 366
    I regularly use the current version of Sibelius (8) on a 2020 MBP at work. Previously I used Sib7 on a variety of Macs through college and beyond.

    Not sure how much profanity is allowed on here, so let me say that Avid’s stupid licensing system is an occasion for sin for me. This is not a Mac-specific problem, just bad programming and corporate greed.

    Sometimes it crashes randomly, but again, that’s just Sibelius being Sibelius. 99% of the time it works beautifully.
  • bhcordovabhcordova
    Posts: 1,009
    So, the creators of Sibelius used to work at Microsoft?
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 1,236
    No, the creators of Dorico used to be the Sibelius development team. Then the new corporate buyers fired them all, and steinberg turned around and hired them all to build something new from scratch.
  • bhcordovabhcordova
    Posts: 1,009
    I'm sorry Serviam, I should have posted that in purple!
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,660
    I am about ready to jump to Dorico... I was (in the early years of the company) a Sibelius Ambassador... teaching groups in educational systems how to use Sib... but with their subscription only model (bah, humbug!), I am finally jumping off.

    ??????????????BIG QUESTION to all Sib Users!???????????

    What do I do with the thousands of .sib files of my comps and arrangments?!?! Convert them to MIDI? Print out all the scores? Convert to XML? (I have sib version 6 and not sure I can convert).
  • XML is the way to go, as it will preserve much more data than MIDI (which will only save the notes, poorly). I don't know what's built in to Sibelius 6, but the Dolet plugin (which was created by Michael Good before he sold MusicXML to MakeMusic) for your version is free now.

    https://www.musicxml.com/dolet-plugin/dolet-6-plugin-for-sibelius-5-1-and-later/

    My understanding is that—in the older versions, like you're using—the plugin produced better XML (more data retained) than the built in export functions, though the most current version of Sibelius no longer has that issue as MusicXML has met even wider adoption.

    I can't speak highly enough about Dorico. With the last version (3.5) it was finally mature enough to move almost all of my engraving to it (I used Finale and Score as my main tools previously). A new version is supposed to be released on Wednesday (1/12/22), and promises to be even better.
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  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 1,236
    I have also heard that the Dolet plug-in produces better results. I think they even discussed that on an episode of scoring notes.

    To answer Francis:
    If you have any intention of ever bringing those scores into any other program, then you’ll want to do that via XML. Midi is a very “dumb” format, whereas xml contains oodles more semantic data.

    I would take your whole archive and back up the original Sebelius files, make sure that you have archive/reference PDFs, and then also save XML and midi files. You will want the PDFs because those are the universal document format and because music XML always introduces some errors and you’ll want to go back to an original copy of the score to make corrections. A MIDI file may be useful if you want to do a mock up in a DAW, and honestly, the file sizes tend to be so minuscule that you really don’t pay a penalty for keeping that extra format just in case.

    Before I jumped ship from Sebelius I saved everything is XML and ended up creating new versions of everything in dorico. Fortunately, at the time my library wasn’t so extensive that it would’ve prevented me from embarking upon this project. I would have a much rougher go of it now since I now have hundreds of dorico files. In the end, I did reference the PDFs a few times just to make sure that I had everything, or because I wanted to imitate the layout that I had done in Sibelius before, but after that, all of my scores looked so much nicer in dorico that I have never gone back to those old files after four years.

    The release date for version four is Wednesday morning (1/12/22), by the way.
  • m_r_taylor
    Posts: 272
    @francis

    As said, yes to all of that. XML, PDF, MIDI, (.MP3 of the MIDI too?) and backups of everything including the SIB files.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,660
    Thanks all for your input.

    I am going to take a look at my AllSibsOfAllTime folder and see how many files I actually have. From there I can assess which ones to convert to Dorico via XML... I will make a separate folder for that lot (Active), and then I would probably just PDF the rest and save that along with the .sib file (Archive). My files reach all the way back to the first year Sib came out, so there are just too many to convert to XML.

    I often think printing to paper would be a good idea just in case of an EMP.
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 1,236
    I often think printing to paper would be a good idea just in case of an EMP.

    Quite so. This is the only ‘foolproof’ method of archiving. I keep a large binder of all my psalm settings for this very reason. Another good alternative is a cloud service although this isn’t a perfect solution.

    One good question is: if you died, how would your work live on? Would your heirs go through old hard drives? Or would they open binders and pass on the hard copies? I suspect the latter.
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  • m_r_taylor
    Posts: 272
    At the very least print out the stuff you like the most.

    Maybe get a USB stick and label its contents like you would a packing box.

    Don't forget the dead man's switch in case of an emergency. 2 folders shipped to Camp David, 1 more to the Kremlin and another to the Times, so the world can finally know the truth.
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  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,660
    total sib files... 22,309... now i will have to sort them out one by one... a lot of duplicate files, and also individual orchestral parts... ugh.
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 1,236
    Holy moly!