My friend and colleague John Hinchey recently wrote a series of tutorial posts for Sibelius over on Avid blogs. The title of the series is “Three Things” — There are actually four different articles in which he covers plugins, drumset notation, names and multi-rests, which I wanted to share here.
A Curated Plug-in Set is a collection of Sibelius plug-ins that can be installed at one time and run from a single location. These sets are described in the Of Note post Working sets, My Plugins, and Curated plug-ins in Sibelius.
In order to install a curated plug-in set, you will first need to install the downloadable plug-in Install New Plugin, which will be used to install other plugins.
Here are step-by-step instructions for installing Install New Plugin. There are different instructions for Sibelius 6 and for Sibelius 7 or later.
There are about 650 published Sibelius plug-ins, of which 150 ship with Sibelius. A lot of people never use plug-ins. They can’t find them, or can’t install downloadable plug-ins, or can’t figure out which plug-in does what. This is unfortunate, because plug-ins could save them a lot of work.
A Working Set of Plug-ins
In Sibelius, plug-ins are organized by category and you run them by finding their names on a menu or by using a keyboard shortcut.
As an alternative, you can create a set of favorite plug-ins that you identify by name and find in the same place. I call this a working set. The plug-ins in the working set should be ones you use often and will be easily available when you need them.
A curated plug-in set is a working set of plug-ins chosen for certain groups of users. It can be based on instruments, such as harp or guitar, or it can be created for a specific project or a school class. A set consists of a zip file containing a text file of plug-in names that make up the set and a folder of downloaded plug-in files which will be installed on your machine.
The files needed to create a curated plugin set can be provided by a plug-in curator, who is an experienced Sibelius user who selects a set of plug-ins that would be useful. This could be a teacher, or a co-worker, or anyone else you trust who is comfortable choosing plug-ins.
If you have multiple copies of a plugin in different locations (typically a downloadable plugin you have forgotten about installing, and so you installed it again to a different location), you may not be running the copy of the plugin you expect. This is true even if you explicitly run it from one of the plugin menus (or in Sibelius 6 and earlier, from the single plugin menu).
If the plugin files are identical it doesn’t matter which copy is run, but you may have installed an update which has different code, and you will find that you are not seeing the effects of the change.
What are plugins and how do I run them?
In Sibelius, plug-ins are extra features created using a programming language called ManuScript. Sibelius ships with about 150 plug-ins. These plug-ins are documented in the Sibelius Reference. Plug-ins can do many of the same things that built-in Sibelius commands do.
Some Sibelius plugins (for example, Respell Sharps as Flats) run without taking any input from a user. They do not display a dialog, but just run and do what they were designed to do.
Other plugins take input from users by putting up a dialog box that has boxes to type into, or check boxes, list boxes, or radio buttons. You might see a dialog that looks like this:
In this dialog there is a great deal of data, but the initial values in the edit boxes will change every time the plugin is run, because they are pulled out of the current score. The plugin does not save anything from the previous run, but instead always starts fresh.
Other plugins, however, remember what a user typed in the last time the plugin was run, assuming that the same settings might be used again. Here are some different ways plugins can save these settings.
Laissez vibrer [Fr.] allow to sound, do not damp.
Laissez vibrer, or L.V. indications such as the one pictured above, are common notation practice. Instead of writing out a series of notes or chords together for what might be a long duration, the player is simply instructed, via a tie and the abbreviated ‘l.v.’ text, to let the note(s) ring out for as long as they would sound.