Recording Key Switches & CC Data into Sibelius

Q: How do I record Key Switches and Continuous Controller data into Sibelius?

I built a “Frankenstein”; using a fixedIP address I hooked a PC (slave) to a Mac which works very nicely. I use VEPro 5 server but mainly using EW Symphonic Orchestra Gold.

I saw a video on YouTube where the composer added staves to play those key switch notes and hid them, but it was not very clear. Can you explain what was done?

itzhak Yaron

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Finale Quick Tip : Use MIDI Input To Create Chord Symbols

Did you know that you can enter chords on your MIDI keyboard to create Chord Symbols over the staff?


If you would like Finale to recognize MIDI entry to generate chord symbols, choose Allow MIDI Input from the Chord Menu. For many of Finale’s existing chord libraries, this is all you need to do; with the Chord Tool selected, you’ll be able to play in (typically root position) chord voicings on your MIDI keyboard to produce chord symbols at the bar and beat locations you specify.

Depending on the chord library you choose, you might find that an existing chord library or a particular chord symbol within the library doesn’t recognize your chord entry.

Only chords that have been defined for MIDI entry will produce Chord Symbol text.

Fortunately, it is straightforward to enter new MIDI chord definitions which can be used to generate a specific chord symbols:

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Sibelius : How to Keep Flexi-time From Adding Unwanted Measures to Your Score

Q: I have been unable to solve the problem whereby Sibelius 7 appears to add numerous measures to the end of my score as I am recording (in Flexi-time) when I input notes via MIDI controller. I am not sure what I am doing to cause the score to expand in that way. This is not a major problem, but having to delete needless measures every so often is a bit of irritation. I would be delighted if you could suggest a solution.

A: By default, the Flexi-time feature of Sibelius 6 and 7 is designed for you to be able to  begin recording with no previous sense of the form of the piece – e.g. the idea is that you are simply going to begin recording your recorded ideas into Sibelius, and much the same as you would if you were recording with a tape recorder or DAW, within reason, you will want to be able to record until you make a mistake (or run out of ideas).

To facilitate this, when you first begin recording in Flexitime, Sibelius adds blank bars to form a “container” for the transcription it will create. By default, this is set at 100 bars. The good news is that if you are using Sibelius for a scratchpad to record your ideas, Sibelius will generally capture everything.

But, if your score is past the stage of plunking in thematic ideas on the MIDI keyboard, it’s likely you’ve already determined the  “form” of your piece – perhaps you are trying to record the trumpet lines in an existing orchestral score, or a sax line at rehearsal letter B in your big band chart. The last thing you need in an existing score is an extra 100 bars added every time you turn on Flexi-time to record 8 bars in the middle of the piece!

Fortunately, it’s very simple to keep Sibelius from adding these additional bars.


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Clean up MIDI Import for Drums and Percussion in Sibelius

Have you ever wondered why sometimes when importing a MIDI file containing drums or percussion, the resulting notation looks like garbage in Sibelius, while other times, the drum tracks import correctly, requiring only minor cleanup? Part of the answer can be found in the original General MIDI specification, which Sibelius uses to determine which tracks contain drums and percussion in MIDI files…

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Notation Workflow : Tips For Moving Logic Files into Sibelius or Finale

For Logic users there may come the time that one needs to get a file over to Finale or Sibelius to finish a project. Logic has its own proprietary notation display formatting and doesn’t currently support Music XML. However, you can export a Standard MIDI File (SMF) and achieve good results. To maximize compatibility before exporting a SMF, you’ll need to do some adjustments, as described below.

The important proprietary formatting items are Display Quantize, Interpretation mode and to a lesser degree, Syncopation mode. These items affect Logic’s display only – playback remains unaffected. You may also need to deal with pedal markings (these do affect playback). Let’s look at what they do, and how to pass along this information in a SMF.

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Finale Tip : Quickly Delete Duplicate Unison Notes in the Same Layer

Jack Butler: “Gonna rip these walls out and, uh, of course re-wire it.”
Ron Richardson: “Yeah, you gonna make it all 220?”
Jack Butler: “Yeah, 220, 221. Whatever it takes.”

from “Mr. Mom”, 1983 

Sometimes, after certain editing operations, or when importing a midi file, you’ll wind up with doubled unison notes with shared stems in a single layer:

While there are some cases where doubled unison notes (on the same stem / layer) are appropriate, it’s more common to see either stems up / stems down divisi in two Layers, or single noteheads, with technique text indicating “a2” throughout the particular unison passage, like this:

Fortunately, there are several solutions for eliminating duplicate unison notes appearing in the same Layer in Finale:

  • Finale’s Explode Music Tool
  • TGTOOLS Process Extracted Parts Plugin
  • JW Chord Manager . . . Plugin

Let’s take a look at how each works :

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Creating a New Score from Transposed Parts in Finale or Sibelius

Q: I’ve got a chart with just the parts and I’m re-constructing a score. I want to enter the notes as they are without going through transposing. Is there a way to just enter the notes onto a transposed score? It seems like there must be an easy way to do this. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks . . .

A:  I’ll walk through the steps for creating a score from an existing set of printed parts in both Finale and Sibelius. You can create a new score from existing transposed parts in either program, but as you’ll see, one notation program has a clear advantage in this particular area.

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