The 2021.11 software update is now available and introduces MIDI Step-time note input and a new way to quickly create irregular bars in Sibelius on iPad and iPhone. These new features continue to expand the improvements to Sibelius for mobile, and are free to all via the App Store.
If you’re new to Sibelius for mobile, you can download the app for free from the Apple App Store. If you have an active subscription or support plan for Sibelius or Sibelius Ultimate, you can log into the app and unlock the features straight away.
While some might consider Sibelius for mobile to be a simplified version of our desktop application, the truth is that the new application is much more advanced with respect to user input interactions. Sibelius for mobile lets you seamlessly enter notes via touch, pencil, keyboard shortcuts, mouse events, and now, MIDI devices. There is no need to lock into using just one method of input—all input streams are running all the time.
M32 MIDI Keyboard image courtesy of Native Instruments
Sibelius for mobile now supports wired and wireless MIDI input devices. If you’re using a MIDI device with any other mobile application, that device should work perfectly within Sibelius for mobile. Wired devices require no configuration, so you can simply plug in and go! If you’re using a MIDI device connected via Bluetooth, you’ll need to check the “Bluetooth MIDI Devices” option in the “More” menu. To do this, simply tap on your device’s name to connect. Bluetooth connections can be created or removed at any time; there is no need to restart the application.
Before starting, make sure Bluetooth is enabled in the iOS/iPadOS Settings app.
In our initial MIDI In release, we’re providing support for Step-time note input. Step-time is a simple way to enter notes into Sibelius at your own pace by choosing rhythms as you go from the Keypad. Just like in Sibelius on desktop, to use this feature, select the place in the score you’d like to start inputting notes, followed by the desired note duration via the keypad (or by using keyboard shortcuts).
Once you’ve done that, you’ll be all ready to start entering notes into the score by playing them through your MIDI keyboard. You’ll hear the notes as they’re entered and can correct pitches on the fly by using the Pitch Correction Tool to add accidentals:
New Command for Pickup/Upbeat and Irregular Bars
Adding pickup/upbeat and irregular bars in Sibelius for mobile hasn’t been possible; until now. Irregular bars are used for all sorts of reasons and allow you to have a bar that contains more or fewer beats than what’s defined by the time signature.
There are a number of places where this new command might be useful. One example is adding a pickup measure to your score. To accomplish this, enter a note with the desired duration for the pickup bar, and trigger the “Transform Selection into Irregular Bar” command. That’s it!
As a special case, if you transform a selection in Bar 1 into an irregular bar, Sibelius will automatically renumber that bar as bar  (and hide the bar number change, just like Sibelius does on desktop when creating a pickup bar via the Quick Start).
Another example where the new command is useful is in merging one or more bars. You can make a passage selection larger than one bar, or a multi-item selection that defines the start and end point for the desired irregular bar, and then trigger the “Transform Selection into Irregular Bar” command, like so:
- First, select the rhythm you’d like to be in your new bar, which can consist of either notes or rests
- Then, select the rhythm you need, and search for the new “Transform Selection into Irregular Bar” command in Command Search. Sibelius will use your selected rhythm to create a new bar of that length: