Alternative to “Sibelius” software …?

Alternative to “Sibelius” software …?

Can anyone recommend - or do any of you have experience of - a cheaper alternative to "Sibelius" music transcription software ? Thanks.

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Re: Alternative to “Sibelius” software …?

A friend of mine swears by Musink, Kenny - http://musink.net.

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Re: Alternative to “Sibelius” software …?

Thanks, lads - what a service. Will check them out.

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Re: Alternative to “Sibelius” software …?

I use Forte Home. I started with the Forte Free version, but after a time it conked out - this is built into the free program, obviously in the expectation that at least some of its users will go on to buy one of the pay versions. I was impressed with Forte and using it a lot, so did so.

The website for Forte Notation Software is here, and I assume this is the place to find a product list, prices and other details:

http://www.fortenotation.com/en/

It’s a German company, but I was able to buy online with a sterling bank card.

I’ve found it easy and pleasant to use. Odd tricky aspects I’ve sussed out in due course - as one (hopefully) does in so many other areas of PC use. I definitely like its ‘default instrument’ sound - something between a guitar and a piano, is how it strikes me. That made me prefer it to another notation program called Muse, which a fellow-sessioner says he finds a lot better than Forte but whose default sound didn’t appeal to me (I’ve got the free version of Muse, but have barely used it).

All the other ‘instruments’ on Forte, I have to say it, sound to me like smallish creatures being eaten alive, and their equivalents on Muse not better enough to matter. But maybe I’m not using them properly, in some way or other. I’m still in my early days as a sound engineer.

Music clips in Forte sent by e-mail, e.g., can’t be opened unless the recipient has Forte. I suppose there *may* be other programs around that can open Forte, but I don’t know them. For e-mailing or putting on CDs, I convert Forte music files to Export Audio Wave and put these latter through a (free) MP3 converter to turn them to MP3s.

Re: Alternative to “Sibelius” software …?

Lilypond, as the Prof suggested is probably the nicest looking. It is, however, not so straightforward to use.

Re: Alternative to “Sibelius” software …?

Lilypond is drop-dead gorgeous. If this < http://www.lilypond.org/text-input.html > is comprehensible (& you want exquisite scores) I’d say go for it, otherwise the learning curve may present a significant hurdle.

Kenny, what is your goal? The music notation software developer community has several niches. Maybe more information about your specific needs can help the board set you in the right direction.

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Re: Alternative to “Sibelius” software …?

I’ve used Melody Assistant for many years. It’s a bit tricky at first especially for things like Anacrusis Bars and positioning some ornament markings but it makes sense after a while. I think it costs under $50 and it prints up well. I’ve produced a number of booklets for workshops and such and the presentation quality is excellent.

Re: Alternative to “Sibelius” software …?

My thanks to all who replied. We had a couple of friends staying last night, and Alistair asked what I knew about the types of musical transcription software currently available. We did both know about "Sibelius", but also wondered what the alternatives might be, and you’ve given us a lot of options. He plays keyboards and wanted a software package which would transcribe directly on to a music score, as it’s played. I remembered reading an article in the Aberdeen press, probably about 30 years ago, about such a package being developed here at Robert Gordon’s Institute [ before it became a university ]. Oscar Peterson [ I think it was ] had been playing in Aberdeen, and had been invited to try it out, and had been quite impressed. The improvements and developments in computing since then have of course been phenomenal, so Alistair’s going to try out some of the suggestions you all so generously shared above, and hopefully, at least one of the packages will suit, without having to go to the expense of purchasing "Sibelius".
The stock of the "session.org" has just risen in Lumphanan !! Cheers to all. Kenny

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Re: Alternative to “Sibelius” software …?

…meant to add earlier …both Harmony Assistant and Finale (at least) can easily accept MIDI keyboard input for entering the notes. I have a Prodikeys (combined MIDI and PC keyboard), and writing things like reels, where the note time values are pretty much the same, is a complete doddle.

Re: Alternative to “Sibelius” software …?

Aye, Lilypond is amazing, though perhaps not as straightforward as the other suggestions. Having said that, Denemo provides a front-end http://www.denemo.org/HomePage

I can’t speak for any others, having only used Sibelius and Lilypond, but there are also:

MuseScore as mentioned above is also nice.
I’m not sure how powerful MusEdit is, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MusEdit
NoteWorthy http://www.noteworthysoftware.com/
Overture http://sonicscores.com/products/overture/index.htm

There are some online efforts too:
Capriccio http://cdefgabc.com/language/en/
Noteflight http://www.noteflight.com/
Scorio http://www.scorio.com/

Re: Alternative to “Sibelius” software …?

Sigh, my MuseScore comment should of course come above the "I can’t speak for any others"…

Re: Alternative to “Sibelius” software …?

Noteworthy is very fast to use via the numeric keypad, and notes can be entered via midi keyboard. The end result isn’t as neat as others though.

Re: Alternative to “Sibelius” software …?

Denemo looks like it will make life A LOT easier when using Lillypond. Hadn’t spotted that yet. Thanks for that.

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Re: Alternative to “Sibelius” software …?

No problem!

Re: Alternative to “Sibelius” software …?

I’m not sure how much detail you are looking for in the progam you use but if you have an iPad/iPhone you could try Tunebook for abc notation - inexpensive and seems quite good for simple, clear notation tasks. Midi playback included.

Eamon Spillane
Australia

Re: Alternative to “Sibelius” software …?

I’ve used MusEdit for years, after trying several others. For me, the method of note or symbol entry was the easiest of several packages I’d tried. (Cursor up/down to the proper line or space, type Q for a quarter note, etc.) It’s very powerful, but fast for transcribing session tunes.

The original price was low, but Doug Rogers (who wrote the package) decided to abandon his business to travel the world. He sent his customers an email promising to to make the software free for download. If someone knows a link for that download, that would be great.

Re: Alternative to “Sibelius” software …?

I have used MUSICTIME DE LUXE 3.5.5 for some years now, fairly straightforward,and fine for Trad Music where one does not require complex score writing.. from GVOX Interactive Music.
P.O.Box 2755 Westfield NJ 07091

Re: Alternative to “Sibelius” software …?

Hey, MagicScore can be good alternative, interface is easy and prices are really cheaper. http://www.musicaleditor.com/

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