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Author Topic: Sound World and Sibelius Player MIDI implementation chart
Posts: 1


I am starting to work with Sibelius 7. I would like to know the way SoundWorld and their components work. I understand  that in most cases it is not imperative to know the details, but I'm use to control every aspect of playback with midi messages and "envelopes" for obtaining the most realistic playback any VSTi can provide (incluiding Sibelius 7 Sounds) , beyond some "limitations" with SoundWorld elements. Anyone knows the MIDI implementation chart for Sibelius Player and Sibelius 7 Sound, what kind of implicit midi data is created by the playback dictionary options like crescendo, legato, bend, etc. when no sound ID is available, what midi messages are created for system lines like ritardando, etc. Resuming, is there information about midi data that Sibelius elements creates (playback dictionary, staff lines, etc.), midi data that Sibelius Player understands and supports (MIDI implentation chart) and midi data that Sibelius 7 Sound library instruments respond to depending on their programming? I already read the reference guide and other official documents on these topics and I'm afraid I need more specific details.

All this is for a better understanding and using of Sibelius and Sibelius Libraries. I'm assuming that if no sound ID is available the MIDI messages determine the notes' effects that are playback( like emulating a  bend or portamento using midi data and messages based on a VSTi sound, instead of a bend or portamento using directly recorded samples of a sound library).
A lot of people misunderstand the purpose of MIDI and associates MIDI with MIDI sounds of GM.
It is posible to use MIDI data to simulate real instrument sounds not recorded in samples without sounding "MIDI" and not using a GM configuration; all depending on the Player ENGINE's capabilities. This is why it is important to know MIDI information about software and hardware, specially infomartion on such a great notation program as Sibelius 7.

*For example, while researching how sound sets work I stumbled up a curious fact: you actually can't control every aspect of a VSTi and their patches just by depending on the playback dictionary and the ID messages that are sent to the VSTi. Sure you can control volume and attack for every patch (including those with switches), but what about other midi parameters that a specific VSTi allows to control (for some patches)? I think sound sets just map the patches with an ID and contribute to ID changes, but not to controlling specific patches' parameters beyond volume, attack and setting some controllers to a default value (define within the sound set) for patches that use switches (keyswitches and controllers). You HAVE to know the MIDI implementation chart of the software and/or its built-in player engine's MIDI implementation chart (if any).

Congratulations to Mr. Smith for the awesome guide to Sibelius 7 Sounds. I hope that some day this official document  will include information about so many unanswered  SoundWorld's ans Sibelius 7 Sounds' questions (and MIDI specifics implied when using SoundWorld elements):

1)Sibelius Player MIDI implementation chart and MIDI messages and data that Sibelius Player engine understands and  supports
For example when using Sibelius 7 Sounds: can I use LSB  for modulation wheel, portamento, pan, etc.? Does Sibelius Player Engine understand these messages? What control changes numbers and controllers are available and supported for the engine and/or Sibelius Libraries' instruments? All RPN are supported (MSB and LSB depending which number is use)? And pitch bend sensitivity in Sibelius 7 Sounds' instruments? What about NRPN for controlling special features that Sibelius may offer? There dimensional sound controllers are available?  What Universal System Exclusive Messages are supported? Can I use MIDI Tuning Standard Real Time and Non-Real Time MIDI Messages? What System Exclusive Messages can I use to control Sibelius unique features more precisely? What about polyphonic aftertouch, channel aftertouch, midi time code, etc.? etc., etc.

2)Sibelius 7 Sounds complete instrument's (also for patches that use switches) parameters, in addition to the smart   knobs controllers numbers (my gratitute for providing that useful information)

3)Meanings of the sound qualities that the smart knobs control for every instrument.

4)Midi data and messages implicitly created and sent by Sibelius elements (playback dictionary when no ID sound changes are available, system lines, stave text, system text, symbols, etc. - beyond the ID messages that are interpret by the sound set) to external VSTi or Sibelius Library.
For example, does ritardando lines work sending  Real Time MIDI Time Code Messages? Knowing this is important when working with other programs and fixing issues.

5)SoundWorld hierarchy and rules to considerer when creating a non existent sound set (beyond information provided by Avid in the soundset editor's documentation)

6)When using an VSTi host in Sibelius, the Sibelius built-in player determines which midi messages can be interpreted and understand in the playback process and which can't?
Without knowing these it's a mayor task to obtain great realistic playback using external VSTi (since they are host on Sibelius and responds to Sibelius' commands), but it's a titanic task to do it using Sibelius Libraries since sound parameters, controllers, midi instructions, etc. are almost complete unknown and/or for the users to discover on their own.

P.S.: I apologize for the message extension, but I'm afraid I could not be clearer enough on such complicated issues if I was more succint.

*Another example of this is not knowing with certainty if cresc. hairpins generate implicit NoteOnVelocity midi messages (I presume there are). Dynamics using NoteOnVelocity may affect some instruments' volume, but there will be some instruments not responding to these dynamic indications, because their relatives volumes are determine by the modulation wheel controller. You can make sure if an instrument's volume responds to NoteOnVelocity MIDI messages or Mod wheel controller MIDI messages in the Sound Library's sound set.

Best regards,

Bruno V.
Hugh Smith
Hero Member
Posts: 1112

Hi Bruno, welcome to the forum.

The information I provided in the S7S User Guide I obtained from what is included with the program by default. Anyone using Sibelius 7 has access to this same information. The only elements in the document that are from Sibelius are a few of the Smart Knob explanations. If a future update to this document is necessary, a few more of those sorts of details may be added at that time.

There is a hierarchical structure to SoundWorld's sound ID system. I don't know exactly what that hierarchy is though - I've learned what I know just by studying the sound sets that are included with Sibelius. And keep in mind, SoundWorld is easily extensible - you can make up whatever ID string bits you need and it will work nicely, at least it has for me so far.

For the rest of the questions you're asking, I don't know the answers to since I am not an employee of Sibelius/Avid with access to the inner workings of the software. You'll need to ask them for that information.

Hugh Smith
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