Today Avid released Sibelius 2019.5, its latest update to Sibelius. Coming about one month after the 2019.4 update, today’s release contains no new features, but it brings a number of important improvements and fixes mostly in the areas of audio, playback, and printing, which makes some of the recent features more usable.
Looping playback, introduced for the first time in Sibelius 2019.4, was a nice new feature to see. It’s accessed in the Transport (found in View > Panels); you can also access the setting from the Ribbon at Play > Transport > Play > Loop, or via a new shortcut: Option-P (Mac) or Alt+P (Windows), and you can read more about how it works in our 2019.4 review.
In 2019.4, when using NotePerformer as the playback device, the playback line strayed outside the selected area, as demonstrated in a short video.
In 2019.5, this has been fixed, as seen here:
Other changes to audio and playback:
- Sibelius could crash on exit in rare cases when the replay marker is shown in the timeline
- Sibelius no longer crashes when playing the score back after exporting audio.
- Loop playback now works as it should, and no longer crashes, with the metronome click enabled
- Looping extremely large sections is more responsive
- Sibelius is no longer really slow to display the playback devices dialog when using a Playback Configuration that contains huge sound sets
- Sibelius used to only play a single MIDI note when two notes are on the same pitch in different voices. Sibelius now plays the correct complement of notes.
- Consecutive repeat signs used to cause problems with playback, bar numbers and the Timeline since it would cause an infinite loop. Sibelius now plays these just once
- A selection that contains an incomplete nth time repeat now always plays the loop as though it’s the last-time repeat. Previously, it would loop more than what was selected
- In some cases, the first note of a loop could sound louder or sound like a grace note after starting playback within a looped section
- Other audio related problems such as not being able to select your preferred output for devices with several outputs, “Audio Engine Error” errors on startup, and crashes on exit have been fixed
- Sibelius is no longer really slow when opening the Audio Engine Options dialog when using the MBox ASIO drivers on Windows
Printing and PDF export
There’s a fix in Sibelius 2019.5 that I’m personally delighted to see. The Norfolk and Pori angled slash chord fonts (ASC) now appear correctly when both printing (and printing to PDF) and using File > Export > PDF. Previously these fonts appeared correctly on-screen but would only return correct results using File > Export > PDF.
This is a major step in moving the ASC fonts, which are available from NYC Music Services and included in the larger Norfolk and Pori packages, from “experimental” status to being fully supported in Sibelius. Bernie Cossentino of Twin Page Productions, who invented the procedure for making the ASC fonts, has been cooking up some more updates to the fonts, so look for those to come next week.
Another printing related fix in Sibelius 2019.5: Text that is artificially slanted for Italic (when using a font that doesn’t have a dedicated Italic style) is now always correctly slanted when exporting to PDF.
About these fixes, Sibelius product designer Joe Pearson told me, “The overall goal in these improvements is to tackle the inconsistencies that we see in Sibelius between exporting to PDF via the OS dialog and via Sibelius itself, as well as some of the various PDF export bugs that we’ve been living with for a while now.”
The Sibelius 2019.5 update is free for all Sibelius users with active subscriptions and upgrade plans. The updated installers are available through users’ Avid accounts and through Avid Link.