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Avid Sibelius 7 First (download) Reviews

3.5 stars based on 11 customer reviews
  • Aaron
    from Los Alamos, NM January 16, 2016Music Background:

    Sibelius 7 First

    I haven't come close to using all of its features, but once I understood the layout and organization, using this program to arrange and compose various combinations of instruments became quite easy. I've made scores, lead sheets, and horn arrangements quickly and easily.

  • Barry Gilman
    from San Pedro December 10, 2015Music Background:
    Guitar, Bass, and sound mixing for Christian Bands 40 yrs

    Sibelelius 7 First - Impressive!

    This is a first rate, highly featured program. It contains most of the features of its big brother Sibelius 7.
    It has everything an amateur enthusiast or musician would likely need including score transposition, midi support for input and playback, photo scan/conversion of sheet music, audio music recognition , lyrics, chord notation, guitar tab, support for transposing instruments, and much more. It comes with its own library of good instrument sounds that can be assigned to the staves. Lots of export and publishing options are provided.

    This is a very large program and it is delivered in multiple components that can be time consuming and a bit of a challenge to install. It took me over four hours to download, unzip, and configure. As with most heavily featured programs it takes significant learning to become proficient (it is worth it). There is an introductory tutorial that is very helpful but it does take five hours plus to get through. The User's guide is very well written but is a bit overwhelming at 483 pages (the index is linked to the document and is the way to get around. New users will want to keep the guide close at hand.

    Overall this is a highly impressive and powerful program that will more than fill the needs of most musicians and composers. Once acclimated it is fun and efficient to use.

  • Customer
    from NJ August 19, 2015Music Background:
    Worship Leader, Composer

    Nice Product --- Contentious Support

    When I first purchased Sibelius I was overwhelmed with the challenges of this program. The program does a LOT, and I give it high regards in that respect. But for even basic stuff I had to hire an experienced user to get me started, which after a few sessions, I got the hang of it.

    But as one learns more, one wants to do more and here is the rub.

    The support forum experts are not my cup of tea. Arrogance is the order of the day. If you can't locate an answer on your own, or if it's something they assume you should know, the responses are berating, belittling and even downright insulting!

    So, get the program. Then prepare to bite your tongue, brown nose and butter-up in order to get help.

  • DP
    from Los Angeles July 9, 2015Music Background:

    Sib 6 version better than Sib 7

    I already had Sibelius 6 on my laptop which I bought in 2011. Now I needed a copy of it for my desktop. In Jun 2015 I downloaded the Sib 7 version (thinking it wud be basically the same as Sib 6); but found the interface completely different from that of the Sib 6 which I had bn used to. So, I got the Sib 6.2 version downloaded onto my desktop primarily bec/ I was already used to the format. But I also discovered that the new Sib 7 version is not as good as the previous version.
    I find the overall structure and commands of Sib 7 a lot more detailed and complicated. The simplicity of Sib 6 is better. I also found the sound of the instruments in the new Sib 7 to be inferior to the sounds in the mixer of Sib 6.

  • Dixie Lee
    from June 3, 2014Music Background:
    teacher composer

    sibelius first

    Not too impressed so far. Tried to scan some music but of course the rare piece of music I would need that happens to use more than 12 staves on one line happened to be the first thing I picked up and this pared down version would not read the last line so it was useless. Other places i found that most users like Libelous after they get used to it, but theire general consensus is my old software, noteworthy composer, is easier to enter thanSibelius general so glad I didn't buy the expensive one and will probably only use this one for the occasional scanning job.

  • James E Conley
    from United States January 22, 2014Music Background:

    Powerful but broken for guitar

    First, this is really powerful software for getting huge scores together-- orchestral sized works. It's fairly flexible in how you can input music (computer keyboard, MIDI, even scanning) but it suffers from a lot of little annoying bugs and for guitar players a few really crippling problems that you just wouldn't expect. For instance, bends are really annoying to enter. You'd think something like "add a note, add a bend degree" would be the way to go, but sadly you need to enter target grace notes for all but 1/4 bends. Painful, but, sigh... okay. However the real problems are the bugs with slides which just don't work correctly at all if you have grace notes as starting positions, for instance. Apparently this has been broken since ~2.0 so don't hold your breath for them to fix it.

  • Joseph G. Saulsbury
    from Columbus. Georgia October 9, 2013Music Background:
    Pro Keyboards Hammond Organs plus Yamaha Synthss

    Avid Sibelius 7 FIRST

    This software is great for scores of any size group. The Templates which
    are in the program are already set up for ease of use. The Technical
    Support is great. There is a small learning curve but once you get the
    lingo down it becomes a breeze. This program is good for Bands , church
    choirs , jazz groups, and what ever your creative mind can come up with. The software also saved me some time when meeting deadlines for my
    jazz group church choir ensemble. Try it out//

  • Michael Pearce
    from Imperial, MO April 23, 2013Music Background:
    Beginning Musician

    Very Powerful for the Money

    "First" is a budget-minded version of Sibelius with the more advanced features stripped out. All of the commonly-used features are there. So far, I have only run into one or two features I wish were included, but they weren't critical. On Avid's web site, there is a detailed feature comparison matrix that shows which features were included or left out of First.

    I am a Pro Tools user, which has a very basic score editor that can't do a lot of the things I needed (like tablature, repeats, etc). Sibelius First does those. However, I am disappointed in the lack of integration with Pro Tools. Pro Tools has a "Send to Sibelius" function, but with Sibelius First installed, Pro Tools doesn't recognize it. I can't even cut-and-paste. I have to export and import MIDI files.

    I was pleasantly surprised with the ability to enter notes from a MIDI controller and to play the score on my audio interface. It just works, without any complicated setup at all.

    Sibelius First comes with a piece of software to scan printed sheet music and build a score from it. I tried it once, and it was very inaccurate, so don't buy it for this feature.

    Sibelius is a powerful program, and the learning curve is rather steep. Though it does a lot of things for you, learning how to do things differently can be a challenge. I have had to rely on 3rd-party training videos, but I'm getting there.

  • jerry thomas
    from lousiana February 19, 2013Music Background:
    retired hobbist

    my thoughts on sibelius 7

    this is a fantastic program even if you are not a studied pianoist it just fun to play around with and I have found that I am learning to read notes. still a longer way form the stage performance but it`s work all that you pay for it. buy and have fun learning. thanks for reading jerry thomas

  • Paul
    from January 14, 2013

    Great Sharing Ability

    I like Sibelius for sharing, but there are certain things I don't like. The work flow is great, but does have a clunky feel to it every now and again. Because it is so easy to add/make changes/edit, it is also that much easy to make changes you didn't intend on. I keep having to retrace my steps as I go. Also, the transport (the tool that controls playback and tempo) could be better. The controls on it are set in such away that it is almost impossible to control tempo, and I always have to specify what part to playback.

    I love this app for sharing, but the video share feature could be better. There's an option to upload your compositions to Facebook as a scrolling video, which is really cool, but the playback looks very cheap and is often out of sync with the music.

    The keyboard input isn't very reliable. If I use it, it's only the get a better idea of what I'm playing rhythm wise. But that's it. When I record my playing, the notes always come out a little messy on the staves.

    However, where this program really sells itself to me is the quickness in which I am able to compose. Since my purchase I've been cranking the compositions out. Regardless of its faults, I think that's the most important aspect -- to get music out as quickly and as accurately as possible.

  • Bradley Olinger
    from Virginia, USa November 15, 2012Music Background:
    Singer, Recording Producer(Home Studio), Lyricist

    Great Beginner or Singer/Songwriter Software

    I found it to be more than capable for my needs. Since most of the music I write is within it's limits, there is little need for me to upgrade. I am still getting used to it, but I have have found it is excellent software. I also have been using it, in addition to working on my own ideas, for putting together audition cuts for my musical theater repertoire as well.

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