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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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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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The New Avid: M-Audio, Sibelius, Digidesign Subsumed into Avid Branding?

Avid, the parent company of music product makers Digidesign, M-Audio, and Sibelius, has decided to assert the brand of its mothership more aggressively. As near as I can tell, that means you won’t see the M-Audio, Digidesign, or Sibelius brand names any more – along with video maker Pinnacle. You’ll see, presumably, Avid Pro Tools? (Right now, you see the Digi site with an Avid banner across the top that says “Digidesign is Avid.” But that was true before, so I don’t really know what this exactly means.) Avid has also unveiled a new logo made, cleverly, to look like …

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Now Shipping: Pro Tools 8, All Versions

I know some people were wondering about this – it’s now official. Digidesign reports Pro Tools 8 is actually shipping now, with the integrated MIDI edit window, score notation editor (via recently-acquired Sibelius) right in the DAW, bundled instruments and synths, some amp simulation, “Elastic Pitch,” and additional insert slots. None of this is huge news to users of competitive products, with the notable exception of Sibelius notation integration. I’m very keen to hear how people actually use that, because the score facilities in tools like Logic aren’t competitive with favored tools like Sibelius and Finale, in my experience. On …

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Pro Tools 8 Announced: New UI, More MIDI, Elastic Pitch, Bundled Instruments and Effects, Integrated Sibelius Notation

Pro Tools 8 is up on Digidesign’s website. Rather than copy and paste their features, I’ll let you read. This may not shake you from your music making tool of choice, but it looks like it could be, at long last, the substantial refresh for Pro Tools users of that platform have been waiting for. I can quickly sum up the strategy (“strategies” and “tactics” being on the American political mind lately): Get all the instruments and effects in the box: Apple’s Logic Studio set the bar for this by first bundling lots of soundmakers,then cutting the price. Digidesign has …

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Notation Software Upgrades; Finale 2008 Adds Audio Recording, Single Selection Tool, Styles

Yep, that is a waveform inside Finale. (I hope you can print out the waveform on your score if you choose, for the massive market of electro-acoustic composers.) With some software tools, less is more. When it comes to the complexity and breadth of music notation tools, though, more is often more, because everyone’s needs are different. If the “pro”, “high-end” tool happens to do exactly what you need to do efficiently and quickly, that’s the tool you’re most likely to use — even if your notation needs are “modest” in your own eyes. In other words, if you use …

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Sibelius 5 Notation Preview: Plug-ins, Ideas Hub, More

Sibelius 5’s Ideas Pad aims to change the way you track thoughts and compose in your notation software. Or you can cut and paste from its presets, bringing “presets” to scoring for the first time. Hopefully you’ll err on the side of original ideas, but the next time Don Music can’t think of a cadence — you’re in luck. (Help! How does a plagal cadence go again?) Sibelius 5 is a big upgrade to the notation tool, now part of Avid. The biggest change of all: real VST and Audio Unit plug-in support on Mac and Windows. This merging of …

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Vista Support Updates for Sibelius, Finale Notation Software

It’s already near-impossible to find a new computer that doesn’t have Vista already installed on it. As I’ve noted here, hardware driver compatibility can be a bumpy road. That’s the bad news. The good news is, application compatibility for Windows Vista is often not as big an issue. Music notation software, for instance, largely works, with a couple of additional notes regarding installation and registration. Vista Compatibility for Notation Products [Finale / SmartMusic customer support] Windows Vista compatibility [Sibelius] These links come via a promising new blog/podcast for music educators, Music Tech for Me. Both Finale and Sibelius (and various …

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