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Topic: Any Finale users switched to Sibelius?

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  1. #1

    Any Finale users switched to Sibelius?

    Hi All

    I've been using Finale since 1989, have taught it and consider myself a power-user.

    However, I've been taking a look at Sibelius 4, mainly for ease of use and dynamic parts.

    I arrange hymns for a church wind ensemble for every Sunday. Often, I'm extracting and fixing parts as players are arriving. The ink on the parts is still wet when they get them! LOL

    Question for those that have used both - should I consider the switch to Sibelius?

    Thanks
    Ron Williams
    Westminster, CO

  2. #2

    Re: Any Finale users switched to Sibelius?

    Ron,

    I have used Finale on several occasions. It has never agreed with my work style, so I may be slightly biased. The first time I used Sibelius I knew I found my notation program. It fit my way of doing things and increased my productivity. I became a power user on it in about a week. Since they have added video, sync points, time code, and dynamic parts it has only become more of a jewel in my eye.

    One of my former teachers was a Finale power user and insisted it was THE only program for notation. She tried Sibelius recently and immediately purchased it. It is now her "go to" notation program. More film composers are using it as well. The dynamic parts help speed the process of changes that need to happen in sessions.

    Both Finale and Sibelius have their strong points. They are both more than capable for any notation situation. I recommend downloading the trial version of Sibelius to see how you like it.



    Derek

  3. #3
    Senior Member rpearl's Avatar
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    Re: Any Finale users switched to Sibelius?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChoralBoss
    Hi All

    I've been using Finale since 1989, have taught it and consider myself a power-user.

    However, I've been taking a look at Sibelius 4, mainly for ease of use and dynamic parts.

    I arrange hymns for a church wind ensemble for every Sunday. Often, I'm extracting and fixing parts as players are arriving. The ink on the parts is still wet when they get them! LOL

    Question for those that have used both - should I consider the switch to Sibelius?

    Thanks
    Ron Williams
    Westminster, CO
    Hoo-boy is this going to open a can of worms! I switched about three years ago, and have never looked back. I think Sibelius is a great program - the dynamic parts is a fine feature, and the integration with GPO works well. Having said that, there are a lot of Finale users here who are also very happy. I'd say go for it, especially with the competitive upgrade that is offered. Also, to be fair, there is Overture - worth checking out.
    However, I DO NOT want to start a war here with my other forum-mates. We are musicians first, software users second. I respect one's right to use whatever software they choose. Really.

    R. Pearl

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Re: Any Finale users switched to Sibelius?

    I'm a Finale user who bought Sibelius a few years ago, but didn't switch. I was so used to the Finale workflow, that anything different seemed un-iintuitive to me. I know that sounds weird. I still buy the Sibelius updates, because I need to have the latest version of both programs. I get files from clients in both the Sibelius and Finale format, work in both, but for my needs I use Finale more often. But your needs might be very different.

    As to dynamic parts, there has been a lot of talk among Finale users about wanting this feature. It wouldn't surprise me at all if it didn't show up in Finale soon.

    If you haven't already, download the Sibelius demo and give it a shot. It never hurts to evaluate all of the available choices.

    Jeff

  5. #5

    Re: Any Finale users switched to Sibelius?

    Hey thanks guys!

    I had already played with the demo and am pretty impressed. However, being an old-time Finale user, I kept looking for things as if it were Finale. LOL

    I think I might spring for the upgrade and the GPO crossgrade as well.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Re: Any Finale users switched to Sibelius?

    As a guy who tried both demos, my criteria for which software to buy is how easy it is to operate without looking at any documentation... I can tell you this much... I tried to do a small score in Sibelius... I spent an hour wondering why it was spreading my notes out because all I had was 4 measure, but when I entered more measures, the problem did not go away... It's possible if I would ahve known the program better it might have gone away, but I didn't, but then again, that was the purpose of the test...

    Anyway, tried the same score with Finale.. I managed to input the entire score without looking at the manual and without the problems I got from Sibelius... Honestly, if you're using Finale, stay with it, there's nothing wrong with the program... What advantage do you think you'll obtain from Sibelius??


    Quote Originally Posted by ChoralBoss
    Hi All

    I've been using Finale since 1989, have taught it and consider myself a power-user.

    However, I've been taking a look at Sibelius 4, mainly for ease of use and dynamic parts.

    I arrange hymns for a church wind ensemble for every Sunday. Often, I'm extracting and fixing parts as players are arriving. The ink on the parts is still wet when they get them! LOL

    Question for those that have used both - should I consider the switch to Sibelius?

    Thanks
    Ron Williams
    Westminster, CO

  7. #7

    Re: Any Finale users switched to Sibelius?

    Something to remember about Sibelius is that it caters to the power-user, rather than the click-away, no-stinking-manual types. It's not setup to be intuitive at first glance. It's setup to make maximum use of keyboard shortcuts and minimize keystrokes.

    To do a fair comparison, you will need to spend enough time to get reasonably proficient at basic entry and editing. Then you can compare it to your speed and comfort of entry into Finale. Secondly, you can evaluate the amount of time that you spend doing "parts" in Finale, vs the time spent in Sibelius.

    The final thing to check is if Sibelius supports the formatting that you've come to expect. You may need to dig into the engraving rules to find the answer. Once the rules are set, you can work quickly without worrying about most formatting details. Then again, maybe formatting oddities aren't important. As long as the performers can read the notation cleanly on Sunday morning, that may be enough.

    The only thing about the Sibelius UI that I'm not 100% comfortable with is that it expects the note duration before the pitch. I tend to think the other way around.

    -JF

  8. #8

    Re: Any Finale users switched to Sibelius?

    I have the latest versions of both programs. In my opinion, Sibelius is by far the easer program to work with. I started with Finale when the user manual came with two encyclopedia sized books. It was a nightmare to do anything. Then Sibelius hit the marker and salvation had arrived. It was so much easer to use. Then suddenly, Finale started to change and become more like Sibelius. Score setup became like Sibelius. Finale is a great program for sure, but for speed and getting the job done I use Sibelius. Get some demos and see which one fits your style, that's the best thing to do.
    Jim

    P4, 3.4 ghz, XP Pro SP2, 2 gig ram

  9. #9

    Re: Any Finale users switched to Sibelius?

    I don't know, maybe we work on very different types of scores, but I don't see the use for the dynamic parts feature. Unless I was working on a chamber score, with one instrument to a staff, where I guess I could see the use for it. However, for a traditional large orchestral score, it's unwieldy to expect each instrument to have its own staff, thus largely negating the dynamic parts feature. Unless somehow Sibelius has managed to allow two voices on one staff to be linked to two separate extracted parts? Which, of course, would be majorly cool.

    I've been a Finale user for around 12 years now, and I guess I don't work in the same direction/order as Sibelius. I've tried the demos a number of times, over a number of weeks, and never got anywhere with them. I don't see this as a fault of Sibelius, nor a particular stength of Finale - simply as the reality of working with the same software for any length of time. I think I'll stick to Finale for the foreseeable future.

  10. #10

    Re: Any Finale users switched to Sibelius?

    I'm a long time Finale user, in the process of switching to Sibelius.

    I love Finale and can work very fast with it, but I find it really tedius when it comes to layout, and I think Finale scores tend to look junky until you really tweak the layout (at which point they can look extremely professional, if you know what you're doing).

    So far, Sibelius seems to do a much better job of automatically laying out the score, so I can spend my time on entering notes, text, dynamics, articulations, symbols, etc. I can enter notes right up until a deadline and print without editing the layout, and be fairly confident that the score will look good. Sibelius had kind of a learning curve for me, since I'm so used to doing things the Finale way. Ultimately, I think Sibelius will win out in the ease- and efficiency- of use department, because its interface is a bit moreh holistic and once you get used to using the keyboard, it's much faster than point-click-point-click.

    I was the same as you with Finale--printing things up at the last minute, usually after having spent a long time working to lay the score out properly. Then extracting the parts and having to edit every single one because fonts were too big, dynamics were too far away from the staff, things collided, etc. It was a real pain, and I actually missed an orchestra reading deadline in grad school because the extracted parts took so long to edit.

    Sibelius *seems* to lay things out better on its own, so I don't need to spend as much time with stupid stuff like this. But, like I said, I'm still in the process of switching to Sibelius and I haven't really pushed it very hard yet, so I don't know how it handles large, dense scores.

    The dynamic parts are awesome--I've been desperately wanting something like this for a very long time. Again, I haven't pushed Sibelius to its limits yet, so I don't know where it starts to stumble, but so far so good.

    chris.

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