Avid Sibelius 7
Avid Sibelius 7

Sibelius 7, Score writing software from Avid in the Sibelius series.

bgallaghermusic 01/03/2015

Avid Sibelius 7 : bgallaghermusic's user review

« Not Perfect, but still better than Finale »

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Value For Money : Correct Audience: Anyone
I finally bailed on Finale after several years of working with it. (It was the standard program at my university so it's what I started with) Thank goodness I did. I now use Sibelius for any score or lead sheet I need to produce.

I'm not saying that Sibelius is a godsend, but it is much more intuitive and user friendly than Finale. I found myself so often pulling my hair out over the most simple of tasks when using Finale and with Sibelius, I've retained many more of my beautiful, brown locks.

First thing I would say is not to install the, frankly, ridiculously over-sized sound library. It is not nearly impressive enough to justify taking up 40GB of your hard-earned hard drive. Unless you really get a kick out of wasting space on your computer this is one thing I would uncheck in the installation phase.

The first pleasant thing I noticed about Sibelius is it doesn't crash so often. I became addicted to saving after every note in Finale because of it's instability. I have had occasional issues opening older Sibelius files in the newer version but otherwise it is pretty steady. For someone who has never worked with notation software you will still need some time to get up and running, but with the helpful manual and fairly straight-forward interface, you will be plugging in your music at a decent pace in no time. Speaking of the manual, that is another huge issue with Finale. I would have to scour the internet searching for hours to figure out how to do the such basic tasks... It blew my mind to see how complicated it could be to enter music into a computer program. I'm sorry to continually compare Sibelius to Finale but they are basically the only two programs in the game and one is much worse than the other.

One great thing about Sibelius is how intuitive it is in terms of layout. When making parts out of a score, for example, it really sets things up nicely for you. I rarely have to go in and correct. Finale will do screwy stuff like have 20 bars on one line and 2 on the next... oh god. Hours of my life were dedicated just to making my parts legible after completing the full score. Have I made myself clear?

In summary, I do know of some long-time Finale users who don't have the kind of issues I did because they simply know the program in and out, but for the rest of us there is Sibelius, and it is wonderful.

Please do yourself a favor and buy this program. Don't just trust me, look at the rest of the reviews you will find everywhere on the internet. There is simply no comparing these two programs.