We recap the wild and exciting week we’ve just had in the world of music notation software, with not one, but two major products debuting on iPad. Within the span of 24 hours, both Steinberg and Avid released versions of Dorico and Sibelius, respectively, for Apple’s tablet platform, taking many users by surprise and reimagining what it means to use these powerful music tools.
First, Dorico expert Leo Nicholson joins Philip Rothman and David MacDonald to discuss the how Dorico made it from the desktop to iPad, not only largely intact, but with some new features as well. The familiar and beautiful Dorico interface gets updated to make the most of the touch surface, and its tools are enhanced to optimize the tablet platform. Dorico also gains a Key Editor in Write mode along with a histogram for showing the distribution of note velocities.
Then, we explore Sibelius on iPad and the departure that app needed to make away from the Ribbon and towards a user experience that is much more in line with Apple’s iPadOS recommendations. Apple Pencil support is integrated with Sibelius on iPad, and the new ways of inputting music offer new possibilities that might eventually make their way back to the desktop. Most encouraging is that the iPad app is included for current Sibelius subscribers and license-holders with current support plans.
Finally, we compare both applications and offer our kudos for their early success as well as suggestions for what we’d like to see improved in the future.