It’s summertime! Time to get outdoors, hit the beach, relax, and … go to school?
That’s right — but it’s the kind of school you’ll want to attend. Now’s a good time to learn some new Sibelius pro skills and tips, and pick up some tools, to set you on the right course for the coming months and years ahead.
Over at our Notation Central marketplace, we’ve got several products on offer in our Sibelius Summer School Sale going on now through June 30, 2021.
SWA Masterclass Sibelius Ultimate video tutorials
Sibelius expert John Hinchey is well-known to Scoring Notes readers and podcast listeners. His epic review of optical music recognition software is authoritative on the subject, and he’s appeared on the Scoring Notes podcast multiple times, once to expound on that OMR review, as well as to give us his advice from working on cruise ship charts and under tight deadlines.
Suffice it to say: John knows what he’s talking about, and that’s never more true than when it comes to working in Sibelius. He’s shared his knowledge in a 23-part (!) series spanning more than 7 hours in the SWA Masterclass Sibelius Ultimate video course.
There haven’t been many in-depth video courses on Sibelius Ultimate recently, so John’s videos, created for Streamworks Audio and available at Notation Central, is especially timely and relevant.
John walks you through Sibelius Ultimate, so you can learn at your own pace, with topics that include:
- Input and editing of the core musical elements: notes, articulations, dynamics, text, lyrics, chord symbols, etc.
- Score and part layout, how to get your chart looking great to enable your musicians and singers to give you focused rehearsals and their best performance
- Creating parts for rhythm (slashes and chords), piano/keyboards (grand staff), guitar (with chord symbols and/or chord diagrams), bass, drum set, vocals (leads, BGVs, and choir), horn parts (including doubling)
- How to use the House styles and Manuscript papers features to speed up workflow
- Using built-in features and free plug-ins to speed up note entry as well as score and part layout
- How to export audio tracks of your arrangement for reference and rehearsal
- How to export your finished charts on paper or as PDFs
The course packet includes Sibelius Ultimate files so you can follow along and get your arrangements up and running quickly. A complete course outline is available on the product page.
The SWA Masterclass Sibelius Ultimate video course is very reasonably priced at $49.95, but through June 30, 2021, they are an absolute bargain at 50% off — just $24.95 for the entire series. No coupon code is necessary.
Scoring Express templates
The Scoring Express collections of premium templates, manuscript papers, house styles, fonts, and plug-ins for Sibelius Ultimate that we released a few months ago have proven enormously popular.
The Chamber, Jazz, and Theatre & Studio collections — based on the same templates we use at NYC Music Services — are designed to get you excellent professional-quality results with as little setup as possible.
The settings in Scoring Express files are the result of decades of experience preparing music notation at the highest level. Embedded throughout each file are carefully considered parameters that refine positioning, placement, and design. They reflect the expert advice and tips you’ll find right here on the Scoring Notes blog.
Plus, Scoring Express takes full advantage of the Norfolk and Pori fonts that not only bring a unique beauty to your music, but deliver unique features as well, like the angled slash chord (ASC) symbols.
There’s no better time than summer to shore up your Sibelius templates, and get ready for your upcoming projects!
Now through June 30, 2021:
- Get any two individual Scoring Express templates for 20% off, or…
- If you can’t decide which two to get, get the Scoring Express Bundle, which includes all three collections! You’ll save $40 compared to buying them separately, plus an additional 20% off for the summer sale, for a total discount of $70.
Just add the products to your cart, and the discount will be reflected at checkout.
Ebooks: Using Sibelius Effectively, Notes to Notes, From DAW to Score
If reading is more your style, there are three ebooks worth adding to your library. Pick up at least two of these titles by June 30, 2021 and get 20% off:
- Using Sibelius Effectively, by Luciano Williamson
- Notes to Notes, by Tristan Noon
- From DAW to Score, by Tristan Noon
Just add at least two of these books to your cart, and the discount will automatically apply during the checkout process.
Using Sibelius Effectively
What if you had someone walk you through Sibelius’s functions in a clear and collegial way, and not only explain how the program works, but actually give their honest-to-goodness opinions about the software’s strengths and shortcomings, and helpfully guide you along the best possible path? You know, how to use Sibelius effectively?
Enter Using Sibelius Effectively: A Guide to Sibelius Ultimate, the very appropriately-titled ebook by Luciano Williamson, which does just that — condensing years of experience and expertise using Sibelius into a thoughtful, practical 70-page explainer. Written in an easy-to-follow, engaging style, its focus is on helping you produce quality music notation from the program.
This guide, which Luciano originally wrote for the composition students at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and began life as a lecture plan covering common tasks in Sibelius, quickly grew into a document longer “than every essay I ever wrote while studying at the college, combined,” Luciano said.
The purpose of Using Sibelius Effectively is clear: “This guide is not intended to replace a book on music notation (there are many fine examples of these), nor is it a thorough guide on every single feature in Sibelius (the Sibelius Reference Guide included with the software already exists!),” Luciano says in his preface to the guide. “Rather, this guide will walk you through the basic steps of creating a new score in Sibelius the ‘right’ (i.e. most efficient) way. While I have my own (strong) opinions on many notation conventions, in this guide I am only interested in describing how to achieve the results you want in the most efficient and future-proof manner.”
Using Sibelius Effectively: A Guide to Sibelius Ultimate is available for just $8.99.
Notes to Notes
Notes to Notes: The Ultimate Guide to Business in Film & TV Music isn’t the first publication of its kind, but what I find compelling about it is its easy-to-follow structure and author Tristan Noon’s approachable style.
In it, he describes his experience in readable terms without going down lengthy tangents. He manages to convey important information about equipment, libraries, and tools he uses in his own work, setting up business accounts and invoices, fee structures, royalties, and more with specificity but avoids getting the reader lost in the technical weeds.
He’s also realistic: “The most daunting facet is finding work, and making enough money to live comfortably on. At first, it is unlikely that you’ll be earning more than a few thousand pounds per year, so keep your overheads low for as long as possible. One key thing to remember is that not everybody’s journey to success is the same,” Tristan says in Notes to Notes. “You have to find your trajectory naturally, and when you find what works for you, it’s imperative to run with it, as this is your formula, so to speak.”
Notes to Notes, which is available from Notation Central for just $11.99, is like a travel guide to the music business. On its own it’s a fun read, and the best travel guides contain both practical tips and helpful suggestions for your trip. Just like the best guides, Notes to Notes confidently walks you through the essential elements of the journey of your music career, so that you know exactly where you need to go to explore further and make the experience your own.
From DAW to Score
From DAW to Score is Tristan Noon’s 88-page comprehensive guide for those that want to find out more about film and TV music. It goes into detail about many topics, from how to deal with clients, right through to how to prepare your midi ready for the quickest approach to orchestrating in Sibelius. This book unlocks all of the secrets of MIDI orchestration and allows anybody to begin their quest to orchestrate film, TV or games music.
The book delivers a comprehensive and essential guide to working in the film and television music industry. One of the key elements about being employable in today’s tough climate is the ability to work quickly. This book breaks down all the barriers and secrets that have been kept for years regarding how orchestration is achieved, from exporting MIDI out of a DAW, and into notation software.
From DAW to Score: An Essential Guide to Music in Film and TV and Transforming Your MIDI Data into a Score Ready for Recording Sessions is available for just $8.99.
Sales end June 30, 2021
Unlike summer, which we hope will last for a long while, the Sibelius Summer School Sale is only good for a limited time: through June 30, 2021.
- The SWA Masterclass Sibelius Ultimate video course for $24.95 (50% off)
- Any two individual Scoring Express templates for 20% off
- The Scoring Express Bundle for 20% off
- Any two (or all three) of the ebooks for 20% off
Enjoy the best summer school you’ve ever had!
More on the Scoring Notes podcast: Learning how to use music notation software
On the Scoring Notes podcast, Philip Rothman and David MacDonald recount how they began with zero knowledge about programs like Finale, Sibelius, and Dorico, and progressed to the point where they can actually teach those programs to others. Learn about some key philosophies so that you have more confidence when you work with the software you use to create music.