Avid has released the first Sibelius update of the year. Sibelius 2022.3 adds official support for the newest Windows and Mac operating systems — Windows 11 and macOS 12 Monterey, respectively.
The update is easy to spot because the user interface has undergone some cosmetic changes, including an updated color scheme. Moreover, Sibelius’s Manuscript Papers — templates, if you will — have been updated with some helpful new behaviors when starting a score.
The ManuScript plug-in language (not to be confused with Manuscript Papers) sees more than 50 new commands to move and manipulate score objects from a plug-in, and there are new methods to control several Engraving Rules.
This update also includes a number of bug fixes, some of which long-time users will appreciate.
OS and hardware compatibility
The framework that undergirds Sibelius is known as Qt. Sibelius 2022.3 uses a newer version of this framework which brings official support for Windows 11 and macOS 12 Monterey. Notably, support for macOS 10.12 Sierra has been dropped from this release, so macOS 10.13 High Sierra is the earliest Mac operating system which will run Sibelius 2022.3.
Monterey compatibility includes support for Apple silicon “M1” Macs running the Rosetta 2 translation layer, but no information was provided regarding when Sibelius will run natively on these machines as a Universal application.
Updated color scheme in user interface
Out with the old:
In with the new:
Avid said that they used the Adobe and Coblis color blind simulators to ensure the UI has sufficiently high contrast ratios and readability scores, reduced the number of colors used throughout the Ribbon and made more consistent to better show you what’s selected and what’s not, and removed gradients that had a dated look as well as an impact on scrolling and computer performance in some areas of the program.
Not coincidentally, it aligns Sibelius more with the blue button scheme in Pro Tools.
The Quick Start and File > Info (Backstage) areas have undergone similar cosmetic updates. Nothing has changed in terms of the way the Ribbon on the Backstage area are organized or their functionality.
The redesigned Manuscript Papers that are already available on Sibelius for Mobile have made their way to the desktop with Sibelius 2022.3. Avid says that there are 51 in all, ranging from Orchestra, Band, Choral, Jazz, Latin, Chamber, Solo and others.
Further, one very helpful change has been made to the way file information flows from Quick Start into the Sibelius document. New in 2022.3, anything you type in the Score Information Setup area of Quick Start will be placed in the File > Info area as metadata, and the appropriate wildcard linked to the metadata will be used in the score. Previously, unlinked text was applied, leading to many instances of the metadata and score diverging. This behavior should reduce the chances of that happening to unsuspecting users.
These Manuscript Papers are now “dynamically” generated, which means that the Sibelius team can automatically update them and provide translated versions far more accurately and quickly then before, which is good for consistency across localizations.
Some important technical information about the new Manuscript Papers:
- They are now embedded into the application.
- Quick Start will show the new embedded templates, as well as any user-created templates.
- The old templates will still be installed on your system, but they will not appear in Quick Start. Avid said it intends to entirely remove the old templates from the installer in a future release. This means that if you rely on some of the legacy template papers, you will still have access to them. However, in order to see legacy papers in Quick Start, you will need to move those papers to the location where user-templates are stored (~/Library/Application Support/Avid/Sibelius/Manuscript Paper/ on Mac, and [username]/AppData/Roaming/Avid/Sibelius/Manuscript Paper/ on Windows).
Bob Zawalich wrote this section.
The biggest change for plug-ins in Sibelius 2022.3 is that a hard-to-reproduce crashing bug was fixed. This affected people seemingly randomly, and in some extreme cases the user’s hard drive was trashed. This should make plug-ins more stable.
There were a few smaller bug fixes, which probably affect a small number of plug-ins involved with playback.
There is a new Engraving Rules method (
BarNumberFrequency), and a new Staff method (
Several new Commands were made available to ManuScript, and if you use Execute Commands to create macros or plug-ins these could be very useful. These are mostly in the Moving and Selection category, and provide features that were not available to plugins at all previously, and could be useful in any plugin, not just those coming from Execute Commands.
The significance of such changes is subjective. There are two new commands that are quite significant to me personally, because they provide ways to do things I have wanted to do in plug-ins but was never able to.
The first is the command Input Notes, which is the command a user runs by default with the shortcut N. It starts the process of inputting notes. Most plug-ins would not need such an interactive command, but it provides a way for an outside application like Stream Deck to send a command like this to Command Search, and not need to assign a shortcut to the command.
The bigger change for me is that the
Sibelius.FindCommandName() function now handles Style IDs in addition to Command IDs. This goes a long way toward making plug-ins work better in multiple languages, even when they are not translated.
If you need a complete list, have a look at the Manuscript Reference Language, which is found in File > Plug-ins.
Octave lines are no longer too long when you add them to your score. Hooray!
A number of other bug fixes are in Sibelius 2022.3, and your favorite insect(s) may well be among those squashed here:
- You can now switch notehead styles using the Ribbon or Shift+Alt 1-9 keyboard shortcuts while entering notes on percussion staves.
- Enharmonic changes are no longer broken in Dynamic Parts after an octave shift.
- System Lines now respond to Align in a Row and Reset Position.
- Z tremolo is now retained when changing voice, a long-standing bug paired with the tremolo fix in Sibelius 2021.12.
- When deleting articulations (e.g,. fermatas) that are attached to a rest, the rest no longer gets deleted with it.
- Text in the new licensing messages has been tightened up, and new translations have been added.
- The Option+A keyboard shortcut is working once more.
- As mentioned above, a hard-to-reproduce crashing bug when using plug-ins was fixed.
- Tab order has been fixed to go from top to bottom in Engraving Rules and various other dialogs.
- The cryptic labels (e.g. “Line 15”) when attempting to change keyboard shortcuts have been fixed to show the actual labels of the object in question.
- There are new Japanese translations for File > Export > PDF settings.
The Sibelius 2022.3 desktop update is free for all Sibelius users with active subscriptions and upgrade plans. The updated installers for desktop are available through users’ Avid accounts and through Avid Link.
For the latest information about compatibility for Finale, Sibelius, Dorico, and MuseScore, as well as links to the latest news and reviews about product releases, please see the Scoring Notes Product Guide.
Avid also has a “What’s New in Sibelius” page highlighting the features in recent Sibelius updates.