Update — January 14, 2014: Sam Butler has authored a post on Avid’s official blog with some more information about his new role, and with details about the personnel that will succeed him.
Sam Butler has been named senior product manager for Avid‘s music notation and learning products, including Sibelius, Sibelius First, Sibelius License Server, the Sibelius Scorch web plug-in and the Avid Scorch iPad app.
Sam is well-known to frequent and casual Sibelius users alike in his former role as technical support manager, and brings more than a decade’s worth of Sibelius experience and knowledge to his new position. Ever since Avid’s restructuring in 2012, Sam has been the most public face of Sibelius on the official chat page and Facebook, answering questions from users and providing technical assistance.
About his history with Sibelius and his recent work, Sam said, “Over the years, I’ve created tutorial videos, done demo and training tours, written sound sets and the Sibelius Standard SoundWorld, produced the Sibelius Sounds libraries and managed the support team from in-house staff to an out-sourced model and back to a combination of both, which is where it is today. For the last 18 months, I’ve been assisting the new development team to become more familiar with what goes on under the hood of Sibelius and Scorch. It has been remarkable how quickly they have taken to the task. After successful releases of both the Scorch plug-ins and iPad app, we are in good shape to release a new version of Sibelius.”
Sam’s long history with the software and his institutional memory were referenced in this blog’s recent profile on Sibelius technical lead Michael Ost, a relative newcomer to Sibelius development. In discussing his work, Michael said, “We rely on the remaining Sibelius team members at Avid for history lessons about why some feature is written the way it is, how some process works, and where to find some buried, tweaky feature.”
Bobby Lombardi had been heading up Sibelius’s product development since 2012. Sam said that “Avid is expanding the Sibelius Product Management team so that we can provide an even greater focus on Sibelius and Scorch in 2014. Bobby Lombardi will still be involved with the Sibelius and Pro Tools development teams.”
Sam will continue working out of Avid’s Pinewood Studios office location in Iver Heath, on the perimeter of the London metropolitan area. He has been based there for several years following work at Sibelius’s old Finsbury Park location, where he started working for Sibelius Software in 2002 as a technical support specialist providing support for registration and technical issues.
It was not immediately clear who will be succeeding Sam in the technical support role.
Avid has not publicly divulged when the next version of Sibelius will be released, but it is known that the next version of Sibelius will be 7.5. With industry speculation growing about a product announcement at the 2014 NAMM show later this month, the news of Sam’s new position comes at an opportune time.