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How can I get 'better' sounding playback when composing in Sibelius? Poor (or clearly synthesised) playback puts many people I know off using Sibelius.

Or is this something that varies depending on the operating system, and version of Sibelius?

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3 Answers

I realize this question is old, but it's still relevant, so I'll add that Sibelius supports the Rewire protocol which lets you use it in conjunction with a sequencer like Logic or Digital Performer where you can run your samples in more of a user-friendly way.

Also, if you have the Symphonic Orchestra samples from East West, then you can download a ready-made playback configuration for Sibelius: http://www.soundsetproject.com/soundsets/eastwest/

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Doesn't Sibelius support MIDI playback? Just connect a fancy synthesizer or keyboard. ;-) Possibly, it will have to be put in General MIDI mode.

According to the Sibelius 5 VST info page, it also supports the VST standard for playing back music with Software Synthesizers that you'd install on your OS (only Windows and Mac I'm afraid). There are surely a lot of free ones out there. You'll probably need one that is versatile and can cover all instruments, that means the General MIDI standard.

The ones I am familiar with and I can surely recommend because of their versatility (covering all instruments of the General MIDI standard) are HALion Sonic, the quite more complex HALion 3 or the older, now kind of obsolete Hypersonic 2.

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In addition to the first answer, Sibelius supports among other things (and also sells) the Garritan line of instruments samples and there are multiple other choices. I use the Garritan Personal Orchestra package.

Note that apart from "realtime" playback, you can produce enhanced "recorded" playback from Sibelius as a sound file in several formats.

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