Real – Time Recording of Continuous Control Changes in Sibelius


I recently had this question posed to me by fellow note-slinger John Hinchey, “Is there a way to overdub continuous control changes in Sibelius? Say you’ve got a staff with notes in it; now you want to insert just control changes, but in real time, using your midi wheels, pedals, faders etc.”

If your playback doesn’t sound very natural, you can add control changes, but in real time, using your midi wheels, pedals, faders etc. For example, you could “perform” the pedalling of a piano part in Sibelius.


Let’s assume you already have notes in the staff, which you’ve either entered in Sibelius, or perhaps you’ve imported using MIDI,  Photoscore or MusicXML.  At this point, you are ready to overdub Controller Changes onto the staff.

Sibelius 7 : Select the Note Input Tab of the Ribbon, then click on the little box in the lower right corner of the Flexi-time section to open the Flexi-time options dialog.

Sibelius 6 : From the Notes menu, select Flexi-time Options to open the Flexi-time dialog.

Sibelius 6&7: In the Flexi-time panel of this dialog, first uncheck “Record Into Multiple Voices”, then select the “Voice 2” radio button. If you have notes already in Voice 2, you can select Voice 3 or 4. Under “Existing Music” select the Overdub radio button.

Now, go to the Notation panel of Flexi-time options, and under MIDI Messages, check “Keep Controller Changes”.

OK the dialog, and that’s all there is to it! Select the bar to start recording in. CTRL-SHIFT-F (CMND-SHIFT-F) starts Flexi-time rolling, so you can record only the controller changes (CC) on this pass.


This excellent YouTube video tutorial by David Healey of Total Composure from Northern England details how to record CC controller changes in Sibelius 7: