I agree to Idea Close integration with Pro Tools I disagree to Idea Close integration with Pro Tools


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Close integration with Pro Tools

I would love to see a close integration between Sibelius and Pro Tools where you can create a score in Sibelius while simultaneously being able, through a special linking system with Pro Tools, tweak the midi notes and the audio playback in Pro Tools (including use of plugins, freedom to choose virtual instruments that play back through Pro Tools, automation, bussing etc).

To give an example, you could create a written score for say the 1st violin section in Sibelius, entering all dynamics and technique and expression text as appropriate, and those would then be interpreted and translated into midi through the Sibelius engine, and then sent to one or more tracks in Pro Tools where you could tweak the midi note lengths, velocity, expression, exactly which VST plays back what, add automation, maybe insert plugins like EQ or compression or whatever and manipulate and automate those in real time with the playback of the score. And you would be able to set up a sophisticated routing in Pro Tools where eg the strings could be grouped, and brass, etc, possibly with additional processing per groups, and so on.

At this moment, the creation of written scores for performance by live musicians and the creation of "broadcast quality" soundtracks are still two different worlds. The standard sounds that come with Sibelius have greatly improved, and it is possible to use third party VSTi such as Eastwest, VSL, etc, but the features available in Sibelius are too limited to really tweak the midi notes to satisfactory end results.

In practice, this means for those Sibelius users for whom playback quality is essential (film composers, composers for visual media) they will either (i) start a score in Sibelius and then export midi to a sequencing program or (ii) vice versa (and probably more common) write a score in midi and then import it into Sibelius if there is a budget for parts are to be performed and recorded live.

This usually means doing everything twice, which is not just time consuming (and in film scoring deadlines can be quite short) but also expensive; and in reality a lot of film scores will be created directly in a sequencing program, with Sibelius only coming into the picture when there is budget for live players and professional orchestrators etc.

That is unfortunate, and it would benefit the quality of many film scores and increase the musical standards if composers could fully and seamlessly utilize a notation program like Sibelius without barriers or extra steps between notation and playback. Composers wouldn't be limited by their (lack of) midi keyboard skills. It would also be much easier to create a written score for the scoring stage if there is a somewhat decent Sibelius score to start with and, again, save time.

Many sequencing programs (like Cubase, Logic, and Pro Tools) have a notation editor but those are a far cry from the sophisticated and easy to standard of Sibelius. The built in notation feature of Pro Tools (since PT 8), based on Sibelius, is nice but in reality doesn't really help as PT cannot import Sibelius files.

This would require a sophisticated integration between Sibelius and Pro Tools which goes well beyond the Rewire application. In terms of pricing I would consider paying for an external application that would serve to integrate the program, if it turned out to be that the development costs of this application would make the standard Sibelius program significantly more expensive. I realize that an application like this would have little value for people who are primarily interested in the notation features.


Submitted by 2 years ago

Comments (6)

  1. I would love this, as well, though ideally it would be open to more DAWs than just Pro Tools. Pro Tools is great, but it has a long way to go to catch up to the film-scoring features in Digital Performer. In any case, it would be a huge time-saver and I would pay good money for it.

    2 years ago
  2. This is pretty niche stuff and in an age where film production is calling on less and less original scoring the price is sure to be high and demand low. A nice idea but if this were to go into devlopment it would increase update costs for a lot of people who would never use its options.

    2 years ago
  3. That said, I understand the ex product manager of Sibelius Daniel Spreadbury has mentioned that he is looking at a notation editor with possible interoperability with Cubase. I guess the film industry is not the only market

    2 years ago
  4. I disagree that film-scoring is "niche". The market is huge and growing every day, especially when you take into account games, and web videos. More important for Avid' sake, the number of hobbyists and aspiring pros is growing even faster.

    More to the point, it's not just media composers that could benefit from this. Anyone who needs realistic audio realization of their scores, beyond what Sibelius could achieve would benefit from this. That could be arrangers, concert composers, some types of electronic composers, and yes, the ever-growing market of media composers.

    And your point about product bloat, while well-intentioned, is misplaced. It would be cheaper to develop and require less system resources to run than continuing to increase the built-in sample library in Sibelius.

    I predict that interoperability is the next big thing in music software. Much in the same way that products like Word, Excel, Access and Powerpoint developed more and more features for the user to move data between them, music users' productivity will exponentially grow as different music software becomes more interoperable. Not just in ways I described at the beginning of this thread, but things like being able to copy and paste music, markers, midi data between various software. And multiple users collaborating on the same piece of music.

    2 years ago
  5. peter.roos Idea Submitter

    To comment on the above comments, film scoring is not a niche market by any measure. My suggestion was for this to be a $$ upgrade option so it wouldn't come at the expense of any Sibelius user who doesn't care about playback. I am happy to pay $$ for something along these ideas.

    Yes, I agree that Pro Tools is not the greatest midi tool, by a long measure. But it is the only midi / audio pro tool in the Avid group, so we have to take it one step at the time.

    2 years ago
  6. Frankly, I couldn't care less about integration with Cubase or Pro Tools. I would have no objection if it did not get in the way of using the notation program. The single most important innovation for me is integration with much better sounding instrumental and orchestral sounds. VSL, for example, is a Rube Goldberg contraption of unbelievable complexity that demands staggering amounts of time and labor to utilize. Sibelius SOunds 7 sound better than Sibelius Sounds 6, but it is still unacceptable for decent sounding orchestral demos. Garritan is easy to use, but its sounds are mediocre. If Sibelius could integrate with really first-rate instrumental and orchestral sounds --above all string sections!--then Sibelius would be in an excellent position to meet the coming competition from Steinberg,

    2 years ago

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  1. The idea was posted
    2 years ago