After a long and difficult battle with logic's score editor, we decided to get a sheet music program to help us make printable copies for accompanists. We first got sheet music, which is a finale program. It was the very cheapest one that we could start with. It served its purpose, but it was soon apparent that we needed a professional scoring program. We chose Sibelius because it was at the music store in a box, and we were eager. After trying a few tutorials on Sibelius 6, we got a bit disheartened. The program had changed quite a bit. So we waited for a new series to be released, and continued with Logic. I have watched the first two courses that are available, to get a head start on the layout of the program. It is of excellent audio and video quality, delivered in HD. I found it easy to understand, and would feel confident in using it to score a musical. However my talents are not in composing, but in running DAWs, synths and audio hardware. We will go through the process and record the stumbling blocks of a composer with a limited technical background, but good composition skills, for other fresh Sibelius 7 users.
Sibelius 7 100: QuickLook Guide
this is a smaller course, and details the methods available to score a simple one instrument song. The French traditional song Alouette is used for the demonstration. Mr. Goss delivers the subject matter clearly, albeit very quickly. It was necessary about once per video to pause and review what was said. We followed along with the tutorials, and generally there were no problems. The use of the phrase computer manual was used a few times, which being an unfamiliar term, needed a pause for explanation. This number pad is not available to us laptop users. The next hiccup was when Mr. Goss begins to play out notes using the keyboard input mode. But they only required us to look back a half of a minute to review the menu choices. It was also required a couple of times to pause the video to read a pop up window. If you don't, you will miss critical information.
Sibelius 7 101: Lead Sheet Project
The next course starts off very similarly to the 100 level course. This course sets up with Greensleeves for the demo song, but does mix in Alouette for a few of the videos. This did cause us to stop and confirm that we did not confuse our courses. The information is clear and it doesn't matter which song is used to get it across, but it may cause a moment of confusion for a musician following along with their own project open. One thing that may take a bit of getting used to in Sibelius itself, is the placement of notes using the mouse. It is very sensitive to where you place the note, and seems to prefer if you place the curser so that the intended note is over top of the rest that it is replacing. After watching this I will probably get an external number pad to make note input easier. There are also a couple of great products for people who need more assistance. One is a keyboard that has all the shortcuts and key commands printed on it, and the other is a dust guard with the same.
In short there wasn't much difficulty in going through these tutorials, and retaining the lessons. We can both navigate the software for the basics, and have already experimented with a few larger orchestrations. I am quite satisfied with this purchase, and look forward to the next instalment which is the Piano Score Project. If time permits I will try to post a review on it as well.