NOVEMBER 18, 2021

Avid Sibelius 2021.11 for mobile now available

1b Sibelius 202111 Features Gradient 3

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.

2 SIbelius 202111 Mobile Configurations

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.

3 Sibelius 202111 MIDI Input Options

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:

4 Sibelius 202111 Step Time Note Input


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.


Pickup Bars

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! 


7 Sibelius 202111 Transform Selection


As a special case, if you transform a selection in Bar 1 into an irregular bar, Sibelius will automatically renumber that bar as bar [0] (and hide the bar number change, just like Sibelius does on desktop when creating a pickup bar via the Quick Start). 


Merging Bars

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


5b Sibelius 202111 Bars

  • 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:




This new feature will make its way into the Desktop version of Sibelius in an upcoming release.



Tens of thousands of power users of Sibelius on desktop are enjoying Sibelius for mobile, and are always keen to see improvements that bring the workflows closer together. In today’s release, we’ve enabled the ability to use standard modifier keys to enable selection and multi-selection with both touch and the Apple Pencil. Shift-tapping can be used to extend passage selections, and CMD-tapping can be used to quickly form a multi-item selection. 

We hope you’re enjoying Sibelius for mobile on iPhone and iPad. If you are, please feel free to give the app a review. Stay tuned for more news and our upcoming desktop release as we close out the year. 

  • Sam Butler and Joe Plazak

    As director of audio software at Avid, Sam works with all the departments in Avid to produce the future of the Pro Tools and Sibelius products and solutions, while Joe scores the Sibelius hat trick: working as a developer, designer, and product owner. 

  • © 2024