We’re excited to be back with our fourth release of 2023. This update includes a nice little featurette that enhances Redo, improves on the recently released AI data-driven chord feature, and above all, is a bug-fix release. We often get requests to “just fix bugs,” so we have! Read on to find out more.
As always, you can download the update from your account which also contains a link to the Apple App Store to update the mobile app on your iPhone and iPad.
AI-Powered Chord Feature Improvements
Firstly, many thanks to those who have been using the recently released data-driven feature to add Chord Symbols to your scores. If you haven’t read the two articles we posted last month, please head over to them now:
- Introducing AI Model for Chord Auto-Complete
- In-depth technical overview: Data-driven workflows within Sibelius
Since the initial release in June, we’ve been busy increasing the accuracy of the model in several ways and adding several more chord types. To do this, we trained the AI model using scores we generated ourselves, so no new external data sets were used this time. This has improved the model with shorter form block chords and other simple vertical harmonic analysis.
The new AI chord symbol suggestions now use a very clever hybrid model. In addition to the results obtained from our modeled data, we also suggest results from our built-in Chord Analyzer (i.e. the one that powers the AddChordSymbolFromPitches ManuScript method). The upshot is that the harmony suggestions will now contain chords with various extensions (add 9, sus4 etc.), and you'll see suggestions within passages that are separated by a large number of rests.
During this work, we've also optimized our legacy logic for analyzing chord symbols, so the "Add from Notes" plug-in now runs approximately twice as fast as it did previously. We’ve cleaned up the new chord import UX as well, allowing it to work more reliably in the first beat of a passage, and even works when you trigger it using other text objects using different text styles. We fixed an issue where the space bar would not control the navigation of chord symbols properly when the AI-Assisted Chord Symbols (Auto-Completion setting) were toggled on. The navigation will work as expected now. Importantly for visually impaired users, screen readers now announce the position of the cursor when it moves within chord symbols too.
With this hybrid approach, Sibelius can now quickly add chords to your score for passages that use both polyphonic and monophonic music. Here’s a comparison of the chord symbols generated by Sibelius 2023.6, the Add From Notes plug-in and the new hybrid model in Sibelius 2023.8:
Sibelius now includes new improvements to enhance the Redo function to let you redo the last command or action with the familiar Redo shortcut or method. For those familiar with Microsoft Office applications, you’ll feel right at home. There is a common feature in PowerPoint where you can color an object a certain color, then select another object and repeat the same colorization without having to go back to the color picker each time; or you can style some text, then apply that style several times to other pieces of text as you select them.
The principle is the same in Sibelius now too, where you can reapply the last action over and over. We’re expecting you to find this particularly useful in several cases, especially on mobile, and it should save a good amount of time in your day.
If you're in need of running a command (or adding an item) several times in a row, you can simply apply the action again using the standard shortcut, which is Cmd + Y on Mac, and Ctrl + Y on Windows. This is particularly useful on mobile too as you can now skip going back to the menus. Simply trigger the redo command and your last command will be repeated. As a reminder, previous versions of Sibelius for mobile had five different ways to trigger a redo operation:
- via the top toolbar (long-press the undo icon to reveal "Redo" in the drop-down menu)
- via the keyboard shortcut Cmd + Y
- via a three-finger swipe gesture to the right
- via the context menu which appears after a three-finger tap (icon on the far right side)
- via the Command Search Menu
To this list, we're happy to share a "new," sixth option for triggering a redo:
6. via a dedicated button on the mobile keypad
The new enhanced redo command will come in handy in several situations, including:
- Adding symbols will allow you to add the same symbol again, saving you the time of going back up to the gallery to find and recall the same symbol
- Adding an articulation from the Keypad works in the same way
- Transposition actions (such as Cmd + Up or Ctrl + Up to move by an octave) also apply
- A change made in the Inspector on desktop will apply the last value you chose (useful for changing X and Y properties to specific values)
- Setting options for key signatures and time signatures are retained
- Re-running a plug-in
- If you need to rapidly add bars to the end of your piece, or repeat a selection, or add special barlines, or alternate between two time signatures…
It’s worth noting that selections, whilst in the Undo queue, are ignored by the new enhanced redo command, allowing you to select an object or location in the score and redo the last action. Some other actions are not included, such as dragging to move an object with the mouse.
Just to reassure you, there are no changes to the way Sibelius handles regular undo and redo operations (on either desktop or mobile). The new enhanced redo feature nicely takes over only in the moments where the redo stack is empty. Said another way, the only time the legacy redo command was previously useful was immediately after an undo operation. In the new implementation, the redo command can do much more than simply redoing an undo; it's a powerful and customizable shortcut.
As mentioned above, the majority of the work in this release has been to make Sibelius even more stable so it can run reliably on modern computers. Much of what we’ve achieved has been from direct feedback from you, our loyal customers, and we thank you for it! As always, you can get in touch with our support team via social media or to raise a case directly from the support portal. We log every bug reported and feature idea requested, so please get in touch!
- Firstly, we’ve fixed a legacy issue where rhythm dots and fractional beams in hidden voices no longer cause spacing problems.
- Slurs in another voice are no longer lengthened when changing the note value of another voice. This bug only presented itself when changing the note value in the same rhythmical position as the start of the slur.
- Time signatures created in new scores are now spaced correctly, as are repeat barlines.
- The Explode plug-in is now fully functional within Score Subsets. Thank you to Bob Zawalich and others for their help with the overall analysis of plugins within Score Subsets.
- Adding an extra staff above or below from the Add Instruments dialog now applies to the Score Subset that’s in view.
- The filters inside the Instruments gallery on mobile now behave as you’d expect.
- Sibelius no longer crashes after undoing ‘Paste as Cue’, or when navigating chord symbols with arrow keys when the Ideas Panel is open, and we’ve fixed a problem where Sibelius could hang or sometimes crash when exporting a score to a previous version.
- Kontakt 7 is now recognized as a Kontakt device rather than an ordinary AU plugin. This will allow you to choose a Kontakt-based sound set and use Kontakt libraries inside Sibelius. This improvement will only benefit users on Mac since we don’t yet support VST3.
- The About box on Mac is no longer clipped.
- And as previously announced, the minimum version of macOS we now support is macOS 10.14 Mojave. Sibelius will no longer install on earlier versions of macOS.
And just one more thing…
- Noteheads are no longer missing when printing scores exported to PDF and printed from Adobe Acrobat Reader. Hooray! However, there’s fallout if you’re using the Tahoma Faux fonts in your score. The bold and italic effects are synthesized, and aren’t true bold and italic styles, which is normally OK but these fonts are missing crucial metadata inside them for a computer to use them properly. With our change to fix printing in Adobe Reader however, while this font will display correctly in Sibelius, they won’t export to PDF correctly. The fonts are quite old and we haven’t been able to contact the font creator to request they fix it.
That’s all for this update. We look forward to hearing how you get on with the new features and improvements.
This update is available across Windows, Mac, iPhone, and iPad, and is included in your Sibelius subscription or Software Updates + Support Plan for perpetual license holders. To download the latest version for desktop to receive the above improvements, visit the My Products page in your Avid Account. On mobile, you can get the latest update through the App Store.
If you’re running an older version of Sibelius with a perpetual license, you have a few options to upgrade to the latest version (and get the next year of updates included too!) from here. To see everything you may have missed, check out our “What’s New in Sibelius” summary.
If you’re not familiar with Sibelius yet, welcome! You can download the free 30-day trial from here: https://my.avid.com/get/sibelius-ultimate-trial
Adobe and Acrobat Reader are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Adobe in the United States and/or other countries.