Sibelius 8.6.1 update available; plug-ins updated for magnetic glissandi lines


Avid today released Sibelius 8.6.1update-download, a maintenance update coming on the heels of the Sibelius 8.6 update that introduced magnetic glissandi lines for the first time in the program. The 8.6.1 update further refines that feature and addresses some bugs brought about from earlier updates. In addition, a number of third-party plug-ins from Bob Zawalich have been updated to work with magnetic glissandi lines in Sibelius 8.6 and higher.

Sibelius First 8.6.1 was also released today, inheriting improvements to note spacing and the new magnetic glissandi lines introduced in 8.6. One notable improvement there is that Sibelius First now includes MP3 export. Previously, for licensing reasons, it was only included in the main Sibelius product.

A new version of Avid Scorch for iOS is available today as well, which includes compatibility with files created in Sibelius and Sibelius First 8.6.1, as well as improvements to playing back to connected external MIDI devices.

Fixes for magnetic line issues

With respect to magnetic glissandi lines, the most notable improvement in Sibelius 8.6.1  is that the positions of slides that were manually adjusted in an earlier version prior to 8.6.0 are retained when opening those files in 8.6.1 (specifically the LX, RX, and LY values in the Lines section of the Inspector). This was first reported and documented by Bob Zawalich on the Sibelius chat page shortly after the update.

This problem is fixed in Sibelius 8.6.1

However, it should be noted that if old scores were opened and saved in 8.6.0, the slides will continue to be offset incorrectly. These will have to be adjusted in 8.6.1.

If you are in this particular scenario, don’t globally reset the positions of all lines, because that will affect non-magnetic lines as well. Instead, here’s how to make that adjustment: Make a selection, use Home > Select > Advanced Filter > Lines to filter the Line style (that is, the line actually called Line), and then open the Inspector to set the LX, RX, LY and RY values in the Lines section of the Inspector to 0. This works because these values only affect magnetic glissandi lines, so any non-magnetic lines will be left alone.

A related improvement: The positions of magnetic glissandi lines are more accurately retained, as regular lines, when exporting 8.6.1 files to earlier versions. Avid’s Sam Butler says that “Sibelius does this best when exporting to 8.1-8.5 but some shift may occur when exporting to 8.0 and earlier.”

Another fix in 8.6.1 is that playback of guitar slides now respond appropriately to their setting in the Inspector and the Home > Instruments > Edit Instruments > Edit Instrument… dialog, just as other magnetic glissandi lines do. The choices are Chromatic, White notes, Black notes, Continuous or None. If the Inspector is used, Instrument default will be the option that is set in the Edit Instruments dialog.

Fixes for problems introduced in earlier updates

Earlier 8.x updates brought with them a handful of new bugs, causing problems for scores that once behaved correctly. The following bugs are fixed in 8.6.1:

  • Sibelius now positions accidentals correctly when Prefer top accidental at right is selected in Engraving Rules > Accidentals and Dots
  • The spacing between the clef and the first note has been improved. Note that scores created in Sibelius 8.4 to 8.6.0 will have had a small amount of extra space allocated to key signatures in some cases. This has now fixed in 8.6.1 but if you’ve manually adjusted the spacing in scores using 8.4-8.6.0, you’ll need to check this spacing for any adverse affects.
  • The gap after a double barline in an unpitched instrument part can now be reset once more. There’s no need to delete the hidden key signature marking as a workaround.
  • Sibelius no longer crashes when rapidly creating a new score from the Quick Start dialog.
  • Revoice Chord Diagram now works as expected once more.
  • It’s possible once again to be able to delete a user-created Guitar Scale Diagram.
  • When in note input mode, the color of the mouse pointer is now the same as on keypad once more.
  • The staff size change of a system is no longer lost after deletion and undo action, if it’s not the first system.

Playback fixes

  • Sibelius no longer crashes when recording Live Tempo if the playback line is at the end of the score.
  • Trills that trigger soundID changes of +trill.half and +trill.whole now play back more reliably.
  • The option to enable MP3 surround encoding has been removed from the File > Export > Audio options.

Updates to plug-ins that involve magnetic glissandi lines

Separately from the 8.6.1 update, but related to it, prolific plug-in creator and Scoring Notes contributor Bob Zawalich has updated some of his downloadable plugins so they will retain the magnetic glissandi properties when run in 8.6 and later.

Bob says:

Magnetic glisses in Sibelius 8.6 are an extension of the Note Slide property. Plugins written before Sibelius 8.6 were not aware of the magnetic glissandi properties, and if you run them on a score that contains magnetic glisses, they will be turned into slides. You can reset the slide style in the Inspector if that happens.

I have updated some of my downloadable plugins so they will retain the magnetic glissandi properties when run in 8.6 and later.

Here is the full set of updated plugins:

Add Interval
Add Slash Noteheads for Parts
Arpeggiate Chords
Copy Double Note Values
Dot Undot Rhythms
Fix TAB Collisions
Fix TAB 5 String Banjo
Lower Pitch Chromatically
Notation from Live Playback (in the Bagpipes Suite in category Composing
Percussion Pitch Map
Raise Pitch Chromatically
Respell Accidentals Allow Doubles

I note that you should not need to use the Raise Pitch Chromatically and Lower Pitch Chromatically plugins in Sibelius 8.6 because there has been support for chromatic transposition with the Shift+PgUp/PgDn keys since Sibelius 7.5.

A number of shipping plug-ins were updated to handle magnetic glissandi lines by the Sibelius developers. These will be updated for you automatically when you install Sibelius 8.6.1 or later.

Bob has also created a new plug-in, Convert Non Magnetic Glisses, to replace non-magnetic glissandi lines with magnetic glisses. It requires Sibelius 8.6 or later, and will only process instruments containing one or two staves (including ossias). You must passage select the line and their starting notes. It it worth reading the documentation to learn about the plug-in and how it interprets these lines.

All of the plug-ins may be downloaded in Sibelius at File > Plug-ins > Install Plug-ins.

At NYC Music Services we maintain a comprehensive list of all of the Sibelius plug-ins as well as the list of the most recently updated ones. Go to the NYC Music Services site, on the Resources page, and click Sibelius Plug-ins.

The Sibelius 8.6.1 update is free for all Sibelius users with active subscriptions and upgrade plans. The updated installers are available from Avid Application Manager or through users’ Avid Accounts.


  1. Charles Gaskell

    The first update since my Standard Support and Upgrade plan expired! Nothing here to make me rush in and renew it again – yet…

  2. Bob Zawalich

    This is entirely a bug fix update. It fixes a number of problems introduced in the 8.x series of updates, and if you have any of those versions it is definitely worth upgrading to if you are still in standard support.

    These days new versions of Sibelius tend to implement a single new feature, rather than the wide array of new features we were used to getting every 2 years. If you are not interested in the feature that gets added, it is indeed hard to justify paying to upgrade.

    But I think this particular upgrade is a good one.

  3. Brian Blyth Daubney

    I had Sibelius 8.6 on my old Dell computer but have just updated to Hewlett Packard and do not have my old programme as mist of it was upgraded online from Sibelius 7 (the only CDs I have) I have now Sibelius 7 uploaded onto the new computer. How do I recover the upgrades to 8*.6 which I had one the Dell

  4. Tim Whalen

    Pardon me if I missed this, but has the Sibelius team addressed the spacing issue of a forward repeat barline colliding with a key signature without having to add spacing in engraving options or using Bob’s plugin?

    1. Philip Rothman

      Tim: Yes, this was fixed up for good (hopefully) in 8.4.2.

      1. Tim Whalen

        hmmmm, I had 8.6.0 and this was still an issue

        1. Sam Butler

          Hi Tim

          Please send me the score and I’ll check it out for you.


  5. Hannes Kerschbaumer

    As a contemporary composer I still miss the ability of the glissando line to be “intelligent” (extend the line to following noteheads by pressing the spacebar as it is possible with the simple line).
    At the moment the glissando is just a slide as we already know it and works just between two notes.
    or is there any workaround to create such an “intelligent glissando” which I do not know yet?


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