Black Friday is here! Or rather, it will be here, or maybe by the time you read this article, it will have come and gone. No matter — almost all of this year’s holiday deals take place before, during, and after the actual day of Black Friday, which this year is November 25.
That’s good news, because you can read about all of the deals in the world of music notation notation software and related technology and listen to our podcast episode where we discuss our take on the hottest deals and discounts, and help make the most of your holiday spending budget, and still have plenty of time to take advantage of some serious savings.
Support Scoring Notes while you shop
Yes, we will get right to it. But first, a bit about Scoring Notes. We can’t do it without you, the reader. Thank you for coming here to get your fix on the field of music notation software and technology. Stay informed with all the latest news, tips, reviews and more — if you haven’t done so already, please subscribe, and like us on Facebook and Twitter.
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A note to our readers and listeners
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Also, if you do your holiday shopping on Amazon, here’s an easy way to support Scoring Notes without it costing you anything extra. Simply start your shopping by clicking this special link for Amazon’s Black Friday deals, or click the image below. Then, add your items to your Amazon cart and make your purchase. For any purchase you make after clicking the link or image (even if it’s not a Black Friday special), Scoring Notes will receive a commission fee, at no cost to you. It’s as easy as that!
We also have a curated list of products we use and recommend — everything from computer accessories to music printing and binding supplies.
Listen to the podcast episode
On the Scoring Notes podcast, David MacDonald and Philip Rothman discuss their take on the hottest deals and discounts, and help make the most of your holiday spending budget in the world of music notation and related tech. Listen now:
All prices listed are in US dollars unless otherwise noted. Prices may vary by country or region, and may not all be available in your area. Be sure to verify pricing with the seller.
Sibelius and other Avid products
Avid has deals on Sibelius Ultimate, Pro Tools, and Pro Tools Ultimate that are running through November 27, 2022, and will likely be extended through January 4. For the pro-level products, these are as follows:
- 20% off annual subscriptions ($159, down from the regular price of $199)
Pro Tools Studio:
- 33% off annual subscriptions ($199, down from the regular price of $299)
Media Composer Ultimate:
- 20% off new annual subscriptions ($399, down from the regular price of $499)
There are discounts for the “Artist” level subscriptions, too; Sibelius Artist is $84, a 15% reduction from the usual price of $99.
However, if you already have a previous version of Sibelius Ultimate as a perpetual license and want to get current, we recommend that you instead purchase the “Sibelius Ultimate – Get Current” product for 1 year for $149 or 3 years for $299. Either of these is less expensive than the subscription, and will additionally allow you to keep your perpetual license.
Finally, if you have a qualifying competing product like Finale, you can get a subscription to Sibelius Ultimate for just $120, through the competitive crossgrade offer.
As always, your best source for Sibelius reviews, tips and news is right here on Scoring Notes. Here are all of the updates released in 2022:
- Sibelius 2022.10: Make into part command and better text dynamics
- Sibelius 2022.9: Staff names in groups; more selection commands
- Guitar tab can be fun in the Sibelius 2022.7 update
- Sibelius 2022.5 brings multi-section headers, other workflow boosts
- Sibelius for Mobile adds transpose feature
- Sibelius 2022.3 adds Windows 11, Monterey support
- Dynamic parts come to Sibelius for Mobile
Earlier this year, MakeMusic ran a summer sale to discount their prices on Finale, and then, on September 1, they announced that those new lower prices would become permanent.
Now, during their Black Friday sale, which runs from Wednesday, November 23 – Wednesday, November 30, 2022, those prices are discounted even further, as follows, with the code CYBER22:
- New retail license: $99 (66% off; reg. $299)
- New academic/theological license: $79 (20% off; reg. $99)
- Upgrade from a previous version of Finale: $79 (20% off; reg. $99)
- Trade up from Allegro, PrintMusic, or Songwriter: $79 (20% off; reg. $99)
The Garritan libraries are also on sale:
- Garritan Anthology: $199 (50% off)
- Garritan Sound Libraries (with the exception of CFX): 20% off
- Garritan Anthology + Upgrade to Finale Bundle: $249 (50% off)
This year we saw the release of Finale version 27.2, with a fully revamped SMuFL-compliant jazz default file and document style, as well as native Apple Silicon support. Version 27.3 is promised to include some of the most useful JW Plug-ins by Jari Williamsson, but at this time it has not been released.
Dorico and other Steinberg products
Steinberg has the best “Cyber Weeks” promotion we’ve seen from them yet: 50% off off of many of their products, with no coupon code needed.
The deals are valid through Wednesday, November 30, 2022.
Chief among them, as it pertains to Scoring Notes readers: A discount of 50% is offered on new licenses, crossgrades, updates and upgrades for Dorico Pro 4 and Dorico Elements 4 in the Steinberg online shop and at selected reseller partners. You can also save 50% on the Lifetime Unlock in-app purchase for Dorico for iPad, for a price of $60 (reg. $120).
It’s worth noting that even the competitive crossgrade to Dorico Pro 4 is eligible for this offer. Normally $300, during the Cyber Weeks sale the price is just $150. Proof of ownership of either Finale or Sibelius (perpetual license or 12-month subscription) is required, and you do not need to relinquish your license to your current product.
In addition, WaveLab, Cubasis, the Absolute and Iconica Opus instruments, and Nuendo Live are 50% off; however, Cubase and Nuendo do not appear to be part of the promotion.
Just recently, Dorico 4.3 was released, further bolstering the Key Editor and introducing a slick notes-from-chord symbol generation feature. 2022 was the year of Dorico 4, and it’s been exciting to follow this program’s progress over the course of any entire year.
Here are all of the Dorico updates in 2022:
- Dorico 4.3 brings Key Editor power tools and chord symbol note generation
- Dorico 4.2 adds percussion to the Key Editor and improves linked mode
- Dorico 4.1.10 update is available
- Dorico 4.1 review: a better Key Editor; improvements to lyrics, interface and more
- Dorico for iPad adds one-time purchase in addition to subscriptions
- Dorico for iPad adds “Open In Place” for better file management
- Dorico 4.0.30 reinstates the tempo editor, fixes VST issue and more
- Dorico 4.0.20 update brings fixes and improvements; iPad version also updated
- Dorico for iPad 2.0 brings over many desktop features, plus annotations
- Dorico 4.0.10 update is available; trial version and iPad update to follow
- Dorico 4 review: Do more with your score
Once again, this year, MuseScore is free. It doesn’t get any cheaper than that!
MuseScore.com is used by musicians to share their work with the community, for music teachers to share tasks with their students, and for performers to find digital sheet music, and a MuseScore Pro+ subscription unlocks scores that are licensed from print publishers. MuseScore Learn is a repository of online video course that run the gamut from learning how to play musical instruments to learning how to use MuseScore itself.
MuseScore is giving Scoring Notes exclusive discounts to both MuseScore Pro+ and MuseScore Learn, as follows:
- MuseScore Pro+ subscription that gives access to Official Scores licensed from print publisher + all PRO features like downloading, printing, transposing, etc. — 70% off (normally 65% off)
- The regular price in the US is $120/year, so with the discount it is $36/year
- MuseScore Learn subscription that gives access to courses — 83% off (normally 50% off)
- The regular price in the US is $240/year, so with the discount it is $40/year
The official release version of MuseScore remains at 3.6.2, as it was last year, but that’s because MuseScore 4 is nearing its official debut. Head on over to musescore.org to learn all about what’s happening there, and to download the beta versions.
Muse Group, which owns MuseScore, also owns Ultimate Guitar, Audacity, and StaffPad.
Speaking of StaffPad, the music composition app that uses handwriting recognition as the means of music entry: With the long-awaited iPad release and the complete overhaul of the app on the Windows side in early 2020, it has since been updated several times.
They are running a sale where you can obtain StaffPad for just $45, which is 50% off its usual price of $89.99, from Monday, November 21 through Monday, December 5, 2022.
Furthermore, the beautiful StaffPad Edition sound libraries are all on sale at 30% off their usual price during the same time period. These libraries may be downloaded directly through the StaffPad app on iPad and Windows. This includes instrument libraries from Cinesamples, Orchestral Tools, Spitfire Audio, and more. We’ve talked about StaffPad’s impressive playback capabilities on the podcast, along with a musical example of what it can do.
Late in 2020 we saw an “audio update” to StaffPad which introduced “Audio Staffs” into the score: recorded audio tracks that can be created and edited right alongside notation-based instrumental and vocal staves. Other audio-related features that appeared in this update included tempo mapping, adaptive audio to keep your audio in sync with your score tempo, royalty-free production sounds and loops, and studio-quality effects. StaffPad was further updated in July 2022 with further support for media scoring, including a Time Staff which complements the Audio Staff, allowing you to create precise tempo maps that line up perfectly with required timecode hit points.
Notion and other PreSonus products
PreSonus is ringing in the holiday shopping season once again with sales on their subscription, software and hardware products. New to this mix this year is the Notion Mobile app.
From Monday, November 21 through Wednesday, November 30, customers can get 25% off a 1-year PreSonus Sphere Membership. PreSonus Sphere membership includes: the Studio One 5 DAW and Notion 6 scoring program, all Studio One and Notion add-ons, 30GB cloud storage, collaboration tools, and exclusive member content and training. That brings the already reasonable price of $179.40 down to just $134.55.
On the hardware side, the StudioLive Series III mixing consoles are being discounted considerably, with savings running into the hundreds of dollars.
In October of this year, PreSonus released Notion Mobile, a a free, native cross-platform music composition tool for iOS, iPadOS, MacOS, Android, Windows, Chrome OS, and Fire OS mobile devices. It’s a native cross-platform app, so you can write anywhere and not have to rely on having a constant internet connection. Notion Mobile and its core sounds are free with unlimited staves. The optional Feature Bundle adds a more expansive sound library, plus handwriting recognition, multi-format file export, and wireless network transfer between any mobile or desktop device running Notion Mobile, Notion desktop or Studio One.
PreSonus Sphere members are provided with the Feature Bundle as part of their membership for any device they own as well as Notion for desktop, every Notion add-on sound, Studio One 6 Professional and much more.
The online notation editor Noteflight is running a special for Noteflight Premium, affords users the full range of features in Noteflight’s web-based notation software. It’s on sale for 50% off, through Wednesday, November 30, 2022. It’s also 50% off Noteflight Premium with SoundCheck, the performance assessment tool that’s directly integrated with Noteflight notation.
Announced today, Noteflight Premium now includes full digital access to a Premium Music Library of over 80,000 scores. All Premium subscribers can view, play, and edit their own versions of the most popular songs from Hal Leonard, and all Premium music can be used for performance assessment with SoundCheck. Noteflight says that this announcement “is only the beginning of Noteflight’s expanded Premium benefits”.
Soundslice is the slick web-based software turns that sheet music into an interactive learning environment. Syncing music notation with real recordings, it’s perfect for practicing, teaching, sharing, transcribing and more. It works on any device with a web browser.
This year, Soundslice is offering a discount on a year’s worth of their Plus plan. Usually it’s $50 a year, but it’ll be available for $40 a year if you sign up between Wednesday, November 23 and Monday, November 28, 2022. The Plus plan gets you access to a whole bunch of features, including their new OMR engine.
Yes, that’s right — among its many regular updates this year, Soundslice has entered the OMR space, with its photo and PDF scanning feature released in beta format in September. “It analyzes an image, figures out which parts are notes, what the notes’ pitches/rhythms are, where the bar lines are, and so on — all while trying not to get fooled by skewed photos, bad lighting and crud on the paper,” according to Soundslice founder Adrian Holovaty. We’ll be talking with Adrian on an upcoming Scoring Notes podcast episode, so stay tuned to learn much more about this exciting development.
At NYC Music Services we’re joining the Black Friday party this year with some deals of our own, on our marketplace for music notation technology. Notation Central is the place to make the most of the music notation software you use.
This is one of our biggest sales yet, with 22% off nearly everything in the store, from Tuesday, November 22 through Wednesday, December 14, 2022. That’s 22% off, on the 22nd of November 2022, for 22 days… get it?
This includes items like:
- 22% off all Scoring Express templates for Sibelius, Dorico, and Finale, including the bundles for Dorico and Finale
- 22% off all Notation Express profiles for Sibelius and Dorico, including the 15-key/XL bundles and the Dorico 4 upgrade
- 22% off all music and text fonts
- 22% off ebooks and video tutorials like Using Sibelius Effectively, SWA Masterclass Sibelius Ultimate, and Dorico Basics
- 22% off the Sibelius plug-ins Graphical MIDI Tools and UltraMix…
- …and more!
Just use the code 22IN22 at checkout to see the discounts applied.
There are some extra savings to be had, too: Use the code SMUFLME to get 25% off when you purchase two or more SMuFL fonts from NorFonts together. This includes BopMusic, Da Capo, Groove, Mezza, Mezzo, RealScore, Rhapsody, Scordatura, Soli, The Copyist, and Tutti, for use in Dorico and Finale 27. Stack the code SMUFLME with the Black Friday discount for super savings of more than 40% off.
In June of this year we released a major update to Scoring Express, our collection of professional templates, based on the same templates we use at NYC Music Services. We now have all-new Scoring Express packages for Dorico and Finale, and updates to the Sibelius versions. Everything looks great, whether you only use one program, or, if you use more than one software platform, to use Scoring Express to make your finished output look as similar as possible, regardless of what program it originated in.
The Sibelius and Dorico bundles are ordinarily $45 off compared to buying each genre separately, so this is a great opportunity to pick up the bundle of all the Sibelius collections or the bundle of all the Dorico collections and stack your savings by using the 22IN22 code for an incredible value of $80 off. It’s like buying the Chamber and Jazz collections and getting the Theatre & Studio one for free, and still having $5 left over in your pocket!
Elgato Stream Deck and Stream Deck XL
Elgato’s Stream Deck consoles, originally intended for gamers, have become indispensable to many Sibelius and Dorico users, thanks in part to Notation Express, the custom-designed profiles created especially for these devices from our own Notation Central marketplace that make powerful Sibelius and Dorico features easy and fun to use.
The Notation Express profiles are 22% off their usual prices of $29.99 for the 15-key profile for Sibelius or Dorico, and $39.99 for the 32-key XL profile, for Sibelius or Dorico.
If you’re looking to pick up the Stream Deck console itself, the Stream Deck and Stream Deck XL consoles can be found at Amazon. Those prices can vary, but the last we checked, the prices were as follows:
- 15-key Stream Deck console: $118.53 (21% off regular price of $149.99)
- 32-key Stream Deck XL console: $201.99 (19% off regular price of $249.99)
Many other retailers carry the Stream Decks as well, so shop around to see if you can find a good deal.
Acon Digital, purveyors of cutting edge audio editing software and processing tools, have some great Black Friday / Cyber Monday specials on the entire wide range of products they offer, from audio editing, restoration, mastering and effects processing — all conceived with ultimate audio quality and usability in mind.
We rely on their Restoration Suite to help produce our Scoring Notes podcast. Whether you are an audio production neophyte or a top-flight professional producer, you’ll want to have their tools at the ready. (Fun fact: Acon founder Stian Aagedal also worked on the playback engine for StaffPad!)
Onto the deals: The main attraction is a whopping 70% off Verberate, their algorithmic reverb plug-in that simulates real acoustical surroundings with exceptional realism. For just $29.97 (reg $99.90) you can pick up an efficient tool with a realistic simulation of real acoustical spaces and mechanical plates, and the new time variant Vivid Hall algorithm which goes beyond convolution.
All other Acon products are on sale during the special period for 30% off their usual price. This includes new purchases as well as any updates to any products, such as the Restoration Suite, the Mastering Suite, the audio cleaner AudioLava, the Acoustica Premium Edition bundle, and various other plug-ins.
Acon’s sale period runs from Monday, November 21, through Monday, November 28, 2022.
Elbsound.studio, the impressive enterprise run by Finale and font expert Jan Angermüller, is having a Black Friday sale.
From November 24 to November 30, 2022:
- Use the code BLACKFRIDAY50 and save 50% off Perfect Layout for Finale upgrades (e.g., from Silver400 to Silver, from Silver to Gold, etc.).
- Use the code BLACKFRIDAY10 for 10% off all other Perfect Layout products (Silver, Silver400, Gold, academic versions and the v1.x to 2.x update).
- Use the code BLACKFRIDAYFONTS for 20% off the Elbsound Music Fonts Package (200+ music fonts) and the Elbsound Text Fonts Package (400+ text fonts).
These discounts can also be combined for new users. If you want to buy Perfect Layout Gold, you can purchase Perfect Layout Silver400 with a 10% discount and then get the Silver400 to Gold upgrade for 50% off.
If you purchase Perfect Layout for the first time now, you are also eligible for a free update to the upcoming Perfect Layout v3.0, which Jan says is very close to release: “With about 400 additions since the last v2.x version, Perfect Layout v3 brings again many requested features and improvements for automating and optimizing the score and parts layout in Finale.”
It’s not technically a Black Friday deal, nor is it music notation software, but during their version 2 launch offer, you can pick up all three of Affinity‘s applications for macOS, Windows, and iPad for one low price of $99. This is a one-time purchase, and not a subscription.
One price gets you:
- Affinity Designer 2, the vector graphics software;
- Affinity Photo 2, a fully-loaded photo editor; and
- Affinity Publisher 2, professional page layout software.
These applications can be the perfect complement to working with music notation software, whether you need an easier way to create cover graphics, preliminary materials for your score, worksheets or books, or create more complex graphical elements to include in your score via your notation software.
Over at the Cinesamples web site, they are offering 65% off sitewide, through Wednesday, November 30, 2022. All of their products are now compatible with the free Kontakt Player.
EastWest / Sounds Online
EastWest / Sounds Online is making their products available for 60% off the usual price in their EastWest Cyber Month Sale.
In addition, new subscribers to ComposerCloud+ can obtain access to the entire collection of 42,000+ virtual instruments for just $179/year, during their Black Friday sale.
Dozens of Black Friday deals can be found at Best Service on more than 1,000 products such as sound libraries, plug-ins, and other music production software.
Vienna Symphonic Library
The entire list of deals is at the VSL 2022 Black Friday Deals web site. The sale runs from Monday, November 21 through Wednesday, November 30, 2022.
Vienna Ensemble Pro 7 is available at €125, which, at 36% off, is the lowest price ever. Upgrades from earlier versions are available for just €65, a 32% savings.
It’s the first time Synchron Strings Pro is included with their Black Friday Offers, at an discount of 38%. All of the Vienna releases of the past 12 months will be available at their original introductory prices. You can save up to 50% on Big Bang Orchestra Packs that are not part of any of the large Synchron Collections. In addition, the SYNCHRON-ized Special Editions are available starting at €149; the VI Series Brass and Woodwinds, based on the Vienna Instruments player, are discounted at around 30% off; and the VI Vienna Imperial piano is 50% off.
An enormous catalog of sample libraries, sounds, and effects is on sale at 50% off their usual prices during the Native Instruments Cyber Season Sale.
There’s 50% off individual instruments, effects, and expansions. Also, get up to 75% off selected iZotope mixing and mastering tools, and 50% off TRAKTOR PRO 3.
This sale is active now and runs through Tuesday, December 6, 2021.
Spitfire Audio announces the Black Weekend 2022 – running from Thursday, November 24 to Wednesday, November 30, 2022.
The Black Weekend will feature three bundles with up to 75% off, exclusive to this sale, as well as other discounts including 40% off selected libraries, including BBC Symphony Orchestra Core and Professional, Spitfire Symphonic Orchestra range, and Hans Zimmer Drums, and 25% off on individual libraries, including Albion One and Eric Whitacre Choir, and up to 25% off on libraries released in the last 12 months, such as Polaris and Mercury.
Throughout the Black Weekend, Spitfire will be running a daily wheel spin on their website where customers logged into their account get one spin per day with lots of incredible prizes up for grabs, including libraries, gift cards, exclusive bundles and the Everything Collection.
In addition, the new library Aperture Cassette Symphony is free to anyone who spends £249 / $299 / 299€ during the Black Weekend. It’s then available to purchase for £199 / $249 / 249€ after the Black Weekend sale finishes.
Finally, if you’re looking for something other than football or American football to watch his weekend, on Friday, November 25 at 5pm GMT / 12 noon EST, Spitfire Audio will host a Composer Clash on its YouTube channel, where you can watch Spitfire Audio’s in-house composers clash for the crown as they have just 30 minutes to compose a 30 second track. Voting is open to the public who will decide who the winner is and those who tune in live will have the opportunity to win over £10,000 worth of Spitfire Audio libraries during the YouTube premiere.
A Sound Effect
Independent sound community marketplace A Sound Effect turns 8 years old this week and celebrates with its biggest-ever community sale through Monday, December 5, 2022, featuring more than 1500+ premium sound effects libraries, plugins and virtual instruments, at up to 81% off.
- Discounts of up to 81% on 1500+ of the most popular sound effects libraries, plugins and instruments.
- All orders come with a brand new bonus pack, featuring 30 premium sound effects from independent sound creator Celine Woodburn + the free 60+ page Sound Success Guide e-book.
- Orders with 3 products or more also include the SoundBits Bonus pack, featuring 40 premium sound effects, for free
- A new AI-powered search engine makes it quick to search through the more than 5000+ products on the site
- From time to time during the sale, customers can instantly download free sounds from the sale page
- Depending on the order amount, customers can also get additional premium perks free with their order, including popular libraries and plugins such as Cinematic Hits Designed, Everyday Life, FIGHT, Enforcer, liftFX, Upright, EMF and many more.
Thank you! I have 1,000 cookies an a glass of milk for you and your helppers whenever you are ready for it.
Little Johnny Deadline