Getting the best results from Flexi-time


Sibelius’s Flexi-time real-time input feature is capable of great results, but you need to know how to use it to best effect. After the jump are some tips for making Flexi-time work harder for you.

1. Try disabling the flexibility of tempo. If you’re a competent keyboard player, you will probably find that Flexi-time works better if you choose Notes > Flexi-time Options, go to the Flexi-time tab, and set Flexibility of tempo to None (non rubato).

2. Record into only one voice. Unless you know you’re going to be playing a contrapuntal texture, switch off Record into multiple voices on the Flexi-time tab of Notes > Flexi-time Options.

3. Know your note values. If you’re not going to play notes any shorter than eighth notes (quavers), set the Minimum note value drop-down on the Notation tab of Notes > Flexi-time Options to eighth notes, rather than the default 32nd notes (demisemiquavers).

4. Record at a manageable tempo. You can use the tempo slider to adjust the recording tempo: start playback and adjust the slider to a comfortable tempo, then hit Esc to stop. Now when you start recording, Sibelius will remember the tempo you chose next time you record.

5. Use plug-ins to tidy up. There are several useful plug-ins you can use to tidy up Flexi-time after you have input some music. Most useful of all is Plug-ins > Simplify Notation > Renotate Performance, but you should also try the other plug-ins in that subfolder, Combine Tied Notes and Rests and Remove Rests in particular.

Armed with the above tips, you should find Flexi-time much more useable. Do you have any Flexi-time tips of your own to share? Leave them in the comments!

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