Sibelius 7 Notation Software: Updated UI, More Samples, 64-bit, More Interchange and Sharing

Avid released Sibelius 7 yesterday. Highlights in the new version: A new UI. The most apparent change is a new user interface with dockable, tabbed panels. The design borrows heavily from Microsoft’s Office Ribbon, though a more subdued appearance makes it look just as comfortable on the Mac. My guess is that power users may just hide the whole thing and stick to keyboard shortcuts, but it should do wonders for discoverability for new users or more casual users not comfortable with that. There’s also a nice new inspector, which looks a lot more usable and less-clumsy than the previous …

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Tablet Scores: Avid Answers Our Scorch Questions; Bluetooth Page Turners for iPad, Android

Digital notation took a big step forward last week with the release of Avid Scorch, the first take on mobile notation from developer Sibelius. (It’s the first mobile app, period, from industry titan Avid, so it’s interesting to watch them go first with notation – especially as even Apple skipped scores with their first release of GarageBand.) Anything new is liable to generate a lot of questions. So we’ve taken those questions straight to the source, to the Sibelius team at Avid. One of the things I always enjoyed about the folks at Sibelius is that they’re an exceptionally bright, …

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Not Quite Sibelius for iPad, but Avid Scorch Could Become an iTunes of Notation

Let’s get this out of the way first: if you’re looking for a tool for composing and editing scores on your iPad, Avid Scorch isn’t it — not yet, at least. But as a score reader, Scorch could be a glimpse of a future in which tablets create a new marketplace and exchange for notated music. Scorch is, first and foremost, a score reader. It shares the mature notational display engine of Sibelius, and makes use of Sibelius’ (and now Pro Tools’) scores. That includes Sibelius’ broad library of musical symbols, guitar tab features, and handwritten fonts, among other features. …

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A More Open Pro Tools 9 Works with Your Hardware, Workflow

To many users, it’s been a long time coming, but using Pro Tools software no longer means working exclusively with Pro Tools hardware. Pro Tools 9, announced today, is a “software-only” version. That is, you can use it with your hardware – your audio interface, your DSP tools of choice, even the built-in audio hardware on Macs and PCs when you’re on the go. Users are likely to remain fiercely loyal to their DAWs of choice, including Logic, DP, Cubase, SONAR, and Ableton Live. But today’s announcement is nonetheless big news for production. It means, on one hand, those tools …

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Live Stream of Avid Press Conference; Pro Tools News, Anyone?

For anyone waiting to hear some news, Avid is live-streaming their press conference from the Audio Engineering Society (AES) convention in San Francisco, at 4PM California time (7 PM Eastern). Okay, they’re not quite Apple – I’ll be seriously freaked out if CEO Gary Greenfield showed up in a black turtleneck – but it’s an interesting approach, and one we may see increasingly in audio tech. I’ll have some news from Avid following the event. Updated: It’s over, and now you can find out what happened. I’m saving this article to save our comment thread below about good Avid press …

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Going Native: New Pro Tools HD Native, Your DAW, and Low-Latency Performance

For some time, the move has seemed inevitable – even more so as the rumor mill started echoing with suggestions that a native release was coming. But now, it’s happened: Pro Tools HD will now run without HD DSP hardware. And that’s not all — you can also use the same hardware with your existing DAW of choice, for users of software like Cubase and Logic. There’s a price tag attached, though. This remains what for many would be a high-end solution. At US$3495 retail and up, it’s not competition for buying a basic interface card and Cubase. Think, instead, …

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Avid Offers New Interfaces, Analog Warmth Software for Pro Tools HD

While out of the budget of many home musicians, Pro Tools HD remains the lifeblood of the studio, broadcast, and live worlds. Make no mistake – even in a slow-moving economy, that’s still big business. Users sometimes accept Avid’s hardware grudgingly, but revisions are significant news. Avid has promised a series of new products for its audio lineup; the first major announcements have arrived in the form of revised audio interfaces and a software effect for adding analog warmth to mixes. Both are targeted at Pro Tools HD. (The audio interfaces also support Core Audio and ASIO on Mac and …

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Symphony I/O: Next-Gen Apogee High-end I/O, Works with Any Mac DAW Via USB

Looking for all the world like a high-end audiophile stereo radio receiver as much as pro audio equipment, the shiny, new Symphony I/O has arrived from Apogee. It’s a top-of-the-range audio interface designed for low latency, high-quality digital-to-analog conversion, and quality clocking, as well as flexible input and output, coming from a company known in the category. With Pro Tools HD support, it’s also a rival to Avid’s own audio interfaces, while also working with all major Mac DAWs – even Ableton Live. You’re talking an investment of a few grand here, depending on configuration, so this isn’t likely to …

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New, Improved M-Audio Axioms, Q&A, and Controller Keyboard Choices

Avid is updating their M-Audio Axiom line of USB controller keyboards. New in this version is DirectLink, which provides automatic mappings for software like Ableton Live, Logic, Cubase, and of course Avid’s own Pro Tools, similar to what’s in the Axiom’s big-brother Axiom Pro. The controller itself has also been improved, with lower-profile faders on the 49/61 model, smooth rotary encoders (not knobs!), an angled-up top panel so you can see what you’re doing more easily, and other tweaks. Perhaps the most significant feature is improved keyboard, with an updated semi-weighted action and adjusted playing angle. The updated Axiom enters …

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Digidesign Name is Gone, But Avid Reassures Customers in Open Letter

Avid users of the future? From the Vancouver Film School Sound Design for Visual Media program (CC-BY). A big motivation behind the push to unify its brands, says Avid, is that a new generation of independent producers is blurring the lines between video and audio work. Get used to saying “Avid Pro Tools.” Avid is retiring the “Digidesign” moniker this month as it works to unify its product lines in music production, music notation, and video production. I spoke on the phone yesterday with Mark Williams and Adam Castillo of Avid’s Communications team to talk about their plans. Today, they …

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