Custom dynamics Sibelius plug-in (I find it essential to get realistic playback).


05 Sept 2015 Al Johnston. This is just the ScaleDynamics plug-in
(written by M. Kilpatrick, and modified by M. Eastwood and B.
Zawalich) but with a modified and augmented dynamics list to
provide for intermediary dynamic values during playback. The
intent is to give more fine-grained control over playback volume.
One can convert to custom dynamics (or else revert to standard
dynamics) by selecting appropriate choices in the dynamics mapping  
menu. It is suggested that the user make the following entries
of effect type Dynamic in the playback dictionary: ppppp, pppp,
ppp, pp, p, mpp, mp, mmp, mmf, mf, mff, f, ff, fff, ffff, fffff.
For each entry, checkmark the word properties, Case Sensitive
and Whole Word. The following are suggested for setting the
playback dictionary entries' Effect Values of Dynamic/Attack:
ppppp    = 19/10
pppp     = 29/20
ppp     = 39/30
pp     = 49/40
p     = 54/45
mpp     = 60/50
mp     = 66/55
mmp     = 70/65
mmf     = 77/70
mf     = 84/75
mff     = 90/80
f     = 100/90
ff     = 108/97
fff     = 115/110
ffff     = 121/117
fffff    = 127/121
I put it in: C:\Users\User_Name\AppData\Roaming\Avid\Sibelius 7.5\Plugins\Dynamics
(replace User_Name with your PC's actual user name)

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  • "But since Sibelius playback is mostly for reference, I don't have much use for a ppppp marking."

    Expand your mind, Bob. Sibelius playback is more than just for reference, no matter what industry hacks say. Yes, Sibelius is sold as a desktop publishing package. But with a few techniques it can be made to control a DAW/sequencer with great accuracy and a wide range of expression, and that is how MIDI mock-ups are made. Not just reference mock-ups, Bob. Full blown realistic MIDI mock-ups of a full orchestra that will sell music to a producer. What were talking about here is a systematic, reproducible method that takes the worry out of playback and frees up a composer to make music.

    As for ppppp or fffff, these are needed for fine control of the sequencer's audio output. Of course, one will not leave such a marking in a score that is to be played by musicians. That is why I worked to modify the plug-in's dynamic mapping menu to make custom dynamics fully revertible back to standard musical notation. In fact, the writers of the original ScaleDynamics plug-in themselves provided a check-box to summarily remove extreme dynamic markings.

  • I see.

    I'm a hobbiest, too, but I've invested a bit into my hobby (over about 15 years).

    I can see why folks don't write music; its a pain, and also non-intuitive. But it is the skill that makes one's traditional classical music available for live performance.

    Bob Porter said:

    It has nothing to do with my mind and everything to do with my wallet, learning curve and the fact that I am  hobbiest. Velocity, timing and pitch are controlable within Sibelius, if I choose to go that route. Good libraries for Sibelius and DAWs are  $500 to $1000. And you need several. Some one like me can't justify it. 

    It's a great idea to use Sibelius as a front end for a daw. But most of the folks on this forum, that use a DAW, have no idea how to write in notation.

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