14
Aug

Music Software & Bad Interface Design: Avid’s Sibelius


Sibelius is truly revolutionary, in the sense
that no matter how carefully you work with it, it always seems to be rising up against
you. It’s hard to learn, poorly maintained and
sports a navigation system that seems to take pride in putting things where you’d least
expect them. And that’s going to be our design focus
for this video: subtleties of designing a navigation for a complex program. And disclaimer, although this will initially
start like a pretty down to Earth, reasonable design analysis, like my last video about
propellerheads Reason, Siblelius has a particularly unique ability to drive me actually insane. So I’ll keep it together as long as I can
but don’t be surprised if I go slightly off the rails at some point. You’ve been warned. So, in case you’re new to this channel,
I’m a composer and a software designer myself, which is why I find Sibelius particularly
frustrating – since it’s got some genius functionality that I make use of on a daily
basis, which is obstructed from flourishing by its bafflingly haphazard design. So what’s wrong with it? (image of AVID). *Shudder* and how did it get this way. Sibelius was created by twin brothers Ben
and Jonathan Finn. That’s them outside Kings college at Cambridge,
where they grew up. At the age of 17, they began working on a
software engraving tool as a side project, which after a few years of refining – with
encouragement from the composer Peter Maxwell Davies, they decided to publish under the
company name Sibelius Software. The homage to the famous Finnish composer,
Jean Sibelius was chosen as an oblique play on words… (Image – show ‘Finn’.) I mean… why not? When released, it began to spread through
word of mouth to composers throughout Britain, many of whom were trying out this type of
software for the first time. It was originally created to work on the Acorn
computer which had become popular in the educational space – something that would become a competitive
advantage for Sibelius later on. Its rivals at the time included Score, where
you had to type the rows of pitches and time values into a DOS-like interface in order
to see a visual result – which was massively time-consuming – and Finale, which is still
being used today. And so Sibelius, due to being comparatively
easy to use and filled with superior features – Sibelius became the dominant notation software. However, over time, as it’s features began
to multiply, the existing navigation expanded and the sheer number of buttons and menus
became overwhelming. As the long time Sibelius employee Daniel
Spreadbury observed about Sibelius 6: It’s become a very sophisticated program with many
hundreds of features, and long-time users cannot easily comprehend what it’s like
to see it for the first time, let alone try to figure out how to use it. So to try and solve this problem, Sibelius
looked to another creation app which had faced a similar build up of functionality over the
years: Microsoft Word. Here’s a clip the designer Jensen Harris
who worked on Word, describing the problems they faced while designing it. He then goes on to describe how they began
trying to reduce complexity on the screen: Which turned out to be a bit of a self-fulfilling
prophecy, since people don’t tend to click on options they can’t see right in front
of them. So, we’ll come back to this in a minute. Let’s get back to Sibelius Software, who
to complicate matters during the development of Sibelius 6, sold it to the American multimedia
company, AVID. AVID are a very mixed bag. On the one hand you have their flagship app:
Media Composer, which is an unpleasant, power hungry beast of an editing application that
only runs on high end machines, that is, if you can figure out its controls work. And on the other hand, you have Pro Tools,
a solid, easy to use audio workstation that AVID bought in 1993. And so, under this new ownership, Sibelius
6 gave way to Sibelius 7, where – sigh – ok before I go any further discussing the design
of Sibelius 7, it’s tempting to lay the blame for the bad parts solidly at AVID’s
door, but I think we should be careful not to buy into that narrative too much, since
the Sibelius design team were still largely in place when 7 came out and some of its oldest
designers were pretty vocal in defending it. So what did they do? Well, let’s again return to Jensen Harris
to hear how they tackled this problem with Microsoft Word, which was to create a new
design pattern called ‘The Ribbon’ which I’m sure you’re all familiar with. And to go a little bit beyond this presentation,
let’s have a look at the improvements that lead us to where the ribbon is today. This is Word Online, where the visuals have
been further decluttered and where options still give a clear visual indication of what’s
going to happen when you click on them. Not to mention, they now have a search function
which can be a nice way of asking the program to initiate a command, like spell checking
right away. Notice also that the labels are pretty clear. Insert. That’s where you insert things. Layout, that’s where you see options for
margins, spacing and stuff. This is what the ribbon is meant to be – clear
and easy to use. Now when Sibelius licenced the ribbon pattern
from Microsoft, they got a lot of criticism for it, with the general attitude being that
it was the wrong system to use. My own feeling is that the ribbon was a perfectly
fine choice but that Sibelius made terrible use of it. And by not designing the ribbon well, it’s
had a knock-on effect on other parts of the app too. The best way to illustrate all of this is
to see this in context, so let’s imagine ourselves to be a first time user trying to
achieve something basic. I’m using Sibelius 8, which in terms of
navigation is pretty much the same as 7. So after you’ve loaded up the app, you’re
presented with a bunch of presets. And right off the batt, there’s a slightly
absurd visual contradiction. A category titled ‘No Category’. This contains the only option anyone cares
about ‘‘Blank Page’’. Or you can scroll through the other 66 presets
to find what you want. I notice Solo Piano is the very last option. Really? Solo Piano gets bottom billing? Below Mariachi Band and Lute Tablature? Well, OK. And then in the spot where most apps have
a ‘create’ or ‘confirm’ button, they’ve opted comically for ‘Quit Sibelius’. I just love this. It’s as if they’re saying “You’ve
already seen the ‘No Category” thing, trust us, it’s only goes downhill from here. So anyway you click on ‘Blank Page’, ignore
the presets (That’s what everyone does, right? If there’s anyone out there who bothers
with this screen, could, could you let me know?). Then you go down… oops… almost got me! OK, let’s do a little design pass on this. (back button up at top left) whup! These exist already, so let’s get rid of
them. Yep, there we go. Now we’re brought to the home tab. So, with the ribbon design, home is meant
to be where you find the core actions people use all the time – you know – to avoid having
to click around too much. In Word, that’s things like font, size,
styling etc. In Sibelius, I’d say there are only 4 key
functionalities here, along with a smattering of random stuff that would be better suited
elsewhere. You’ll see what I mean in a second. So, if we want to make music, we need some
instruments right. Well, thankfully, that, at least is here in
the Home tab, where it should be although, I always have to double check to make sure
it’s the right button because the trumpet keeps throwing me and the incomplete title
‘Add / Remove’ requires a pause to understand. Add remove what? Oh, I guess it says instrument down there
to the the right but that’s not really how eyes work. OK, considering that this might be the most
important button in the app, let’s call it ‘Add / Remove Instrument’. I think it deserves the space? You’ve a button over here called ‘Revoice
Chord Diagram’. And because it looks like a add remove trumpet
button, let’s make it generic by changing the icon to a plus. Like everyone else does. OK, so when you choose to Add an instrument,
you’re faced with this eyesore. This is the real heart of Sibelius – endless
horrible dialog boxes. And even though this is one of the better
ones, the sloppy attention to detail is everywhere. So the idea is you choose instruments from
here, and put them here to add them to your score. And because the list of instruments is so
big, they gave us a search bar to make it easier to find stuff. So let’s find a cello. Um. Really…. You can’t locate ‘cello’? Oh, I guess I need to remember the full name
‘Violoncello’ that no one uses. OK, well… let’s add a guitar. Hmm that’s helpful: we have all this space
available to us but the dropdown is teeny, so we can’t see what the options are. You’re on version 8 and you haven’t fixed
this yet? But, even if it had been big enough, you still
wouldn’t have found a useful result because typing ‘Guitar’ isn’t enough to get
to get the most common types. You need to type ‘acoustic’ or ‘electric’
first because this search is from the early 90’s. Can I have that ‘Quit Sibelius’ button
back please? Thank you! So, let’s add a piano to the score. Now understanding what each elements does
is a bit of a trial and error affair. For example, the add button relates to this. But the delete button only works on this. And look at this tickbox all the way down
here. Small staff. OK. You select it and get zero feedback… and
after clicking around a bit, you realise that it’s contextual. Either on or off for the instrument you’ve
selected. Here’s a little design fix for free – (just
put the tickbox here when the instrument is selected). Let’s add a stave to the piano… oh look,
I can’t delete it now. It’s busted. So anyway, we now have our instruments – so
a typical next step in beginning a project might be to set a tempo marking. Tempo, is pretty important so it should be
in home, right? Nope! No, you need to navigate to the tab called
‘Text’. That’s intuitive. Then you need to look in the dropdown titled
‘Styles’. uuuueeee. And there’s a whole range of things in here
– different types of markings: techniques, expressions. Ah, I get it, all these things are written
as text. That’s how they’re being categorized!
– even though some don’t contain text. Oh and I love how there’s a category called
‘Common’. Yet, before you open it, they only show the
first two options… hey guys, I’m fairly certain Tempo is more common than a direction
to pluck your strings. But as if that wasn’t painful enough what’s
coming up next is just insane and I pity any first time user would be forgiven for completely
losing the plot here. So, you click on tempo and your arrow turns
a nearly indistinguishable shade of blue (breaking 4 accessibility guidelines) which when you
finally notice it, indicates that something’s going to happen. OK, so let’s click with our special blue
arrow. Umm. Right. OK, it wants us to enter text… Oh, I get it. Now we type ‘Tempo=120’. Cool. Oh wait no. We did it wrong. I can see from the transport controls that
that didn’t work. So, here’s what you should have done. You need to click the dropdown, pick tempo. Click with the blue arrow. See the insertion point and then… right
click to trigger a massive dropdown containing a bazillion options. And there we go… the word ‘Tempo’. Right. So we click on that and… finally… and…
oh man, the note value still isn’t there. Nope you need you need to now right click
again, open up the ludicrously large dropdown again, select the note value and then finally
type your tempo. Oh and by the way, it’s really easy to accidentally
deselect this whole thing so you may have to attempt this multiple times. OK – let’s do a quick fix. How about. You go to home, where a vital function like
‘Tempo’ should be and when you select it, you get a ghost beside your cursor which
you can place and edit immediately. You’re welcome Sibelius. I’ve just massively improved your app. But this type of fix doesn’t repair the
larger structural issue, which is the extremely messiness and inconsistency. For example, there’s a category called Note
Input, which apart from one or two specific ‘input’ type functions, contains options
that could just as easily belong in the next category called ‘Notations’. This takes a long time to learn, especially
since each one is maxed-out with unnecessary detail. So, for those who say the ribbon was a bad
choice, I’m not really in agreement because this isn’t really how a ribbon is meant
to work. It’s just a higgledy piggledy launchpad
for ever more horrendous pop ups. I mean look at this one. What on earth does this do? Oh!… my head is beginning to hurt. I mean look at this category called ‘Layout’. It’s definitely the most appropriately named,
but which is undermined by the next one called ‘Appearance’. You want to edit the staff spacing? (cause it says staff spacing there) Then you
have to click on this eeeeency little button to get a monster terminal called, ‘Engraving
Rules’ Y…y….y… Whaaaat? And there’s hundreds of disparate settings
with no visual cues to help you know what effect anything is going to have. Just a parameter dump perpetrated by some
dev who probably assumed that a designer would clean it up later. Using it is an absolute nightmare. Trust me. Even Finale, with all its problems, does a
better job of this – at least giving you some indication of what’s going to happen. But even if they did this, you’ll nearly
always find that the thing you want to edit is in some other dialog box. I mean, let’s just move over to the ‘Appearance
tab’ and click the eency ‘Design & Position’ button and… oh no…. another endless list of crazy options. What about ‘Instrument’ names. Oh, we’re back to that ‘Engraving Rules’
dialog again. The same dialog triggered from two different
menus that have titles which are basically synonymous with each other. You ever heard of Morris Pratt? Look up Morris Pratt and watch his 80’s
Star Wars commercial for Quinnsworth. It’s pretty good! Here’s another one. Imagine you plugged an external sound unit
into your computer, as many many people do. Like every other audio app in the world, you’d
probably want easy access to allow you to switch to that device, right. OK, I’m going to roll up this ribbon and
you tell me where you’d look to find that option. Press pause and take all the time you need. OK. We ready. Was your answer in the ‘Play’ category? No? I’m not surprised but that’s where it
is. Don’t worry though, the test isn’t over. Where do you think we go now? Did you say ‘Configuration’? Congratulations, that was the right answer,
but no, you’re wrong… it’s in this little eency button down here. But we’re not quite there, because first
they show you a bunch of audio sampler settings and you need to figure out to look in the
last place anyone ever would… right at the bottom left and there we are ‘Audio Engine
Options’. There we go. Why can’t they do a pass on how things are
structured – starting with the tab names? I mean, if you look at another program called
Dorico, you can see how easy it can be. They have one category called ‘Write’
that contains all the things you need to actually write the notes in your score. And another one called ‘Engrave’, which
allows you to edit the appearance of everything you’ve written. And look at how the engraving rules work. THey appear under the actual score so you
can see the results of the changes you’ve made. Why do dialog boxes when you can do this? Oh man, I just mentioned Dorico didn’t I? Well, I guess I’m going to have to talk
about ‘The Event’ then. OK, real quick: after AVID bought Sibelius,
they went through a corporate restructuring, selling off assets and laying off some of
their employees. As part of this, they decided – quite bafflingly
– to stop supporting Sibelius while firing the entire London team. Here’s a picture of the Sibelius office
in in Finsbury Park taken by an employee before they closed the doors for good. So, because Sibelius was a widely used application,
there was a very large and widely covered public outcry. Ben and Jonathan Finn stepped in to try to
buy it back again but were rebuffed. And in 2014, as AVID’s share performance
was tumbling, they altered course – announcing that they were actually going to support Sibelius
afterall… only they now had to build a new team from scratch because Steinberg, who make
the excellent Cubase, had already rehired most of the original Sibelius team, putting
them to work on a direct competitor called ‘Dorico’. So, when I make comparisons between Sibelius
and Dorico, to a certain extent I’m comparing what Sibelius is to what Sibelius could have
been. But – it’s not like the current Sibelius
team can’t make changes? AVID may not be responsible for Sibelius 7,
but you can bet they’re responsible for not improving it at all. I mean, they made it compatible with tablet. Great. Now it can annoy us all on tablet too. And they added a timeline so we can see the
same information twice. Amazing! An extra window I need to close before I begin
a new project. Fix the bugs. Stop it crashing all the time. FIX THE BUGS! Make it easier to find things! By the way if you look down to where the ‘Quit
Sibelius’ button is on this page, you’ll see a Like button beside it. Press that. Press that too. Oh yeah… god… I forgot to mention the search system – it’s
called ‘find in Ribbon’. Remember earlier I mentioned that in Word
Online, if you search for something like ‘Word Count’, it’s useful because you can just
do it right there? Well, guess what Sibelius does, you enter
what you’re looking for like, I want to to create a page break and rather than act
as a shortcut, it instead drags you over to the place on the Ribbon where that button
can be found and highlights it for you, Thanks a lot! It’s like the app is annoyed at you for
not understanding it – like a passive aggressive child. It’s over here, idiot. The black beams can stretch. They stretch really… really high. So Sibelius has lots of plugins which are
essentially bug fixes by people sick of waiting for AVID to make proper improvements. But for some reason, each category has its
own plugin button. So you have to keep opening each individual
plugin folder to find what you want. This is a solved problem! Can we just have one place for plugins please? Why would you do this? Do you ever mix up Elizabeth Olsen with the
Olsen twins? For a while I thought she was, like, the breakaway
twin – even though I knew their names were Mary Kate and Ashley and her name is Elizabeth. What’s Wikipedia say… oh, she’s their
younger sister. Oh, that makes sense. They have this horrible dropdown with a million
icons in it. And some of them are really important – like,
I’m always looking for the guitar string icons – and I can never find them in all of
this. What am I reviewing next? Comment and tell me? Be careful when turning the pancakes. You drop them and they have to go in the bin… You hear me, Lieutenant Uhura, pay attention,
I want clean pancakes this time! [QUIT SIBELIUS Button on her terminal] Oh,
that’s handy! Why, when you select these buttons, do they
look like half filled barrels of urine? Choose nicer colours! The Purple Urine combo isn’t doing it for
me. Let’s take a hairpin and stretch it to the
next page. Oh look. The hairpin’s busted. Hey you know the way, in classical music you
need to give part cores to each musician? Where do you think you’d go to see the part
scores? Where do you go? Where would any sane person put the options
to see the part scores. Surely not hidden away up here behind this
plus icon – the plus icon – universally understood to mean ‘Add something’. Oh, man. Why are they there? Why would you use this to mean ‘Part Score’!? Answer me! [Image of Jean Sibelius]. Sometimes things become melty. The cheese melts in the microwave. The music melts in Sibelius. You use the tempo slider to quickly change
the tempo. But then Sibelius keeps resetting it. Oh the Tempo’s busted. The cheese melts amber yellow but Sibelius
melts red. The music is bleeding. I bring up the dropdown but it’s filled
up with gore. Why’s everything so misaligned and crooked
– look at this. Line it up! Why won’t you line it up! It’s almost like the position of things
was decided by a roll of the dice? This app should be called ‘Morton Feldman’! You know the way you try to convey vital information
by making the arrow a subtle shade of blue? You know how hard that is to see? Do you know how many accessibility guidelines
that breaking there? If Beethoven was alive today, Sibelius would
prevent him from being a composer. It keeps flowing. Feldman’s yeast. Add it to the mix and half bake to perfection. Hairpin intestines. Oh no., intestine’s busted. Press the button! [quit button]. Come get your buttons. I go to File Export Video, change all the
terrible default settings and choose a location to save it in… You know, at the end of de day, I tink dey
did a great jab. Der a credit to demselves. …and you know, then I realise I need to
tweak something, so I go back to the score for a sec, and when I come back, all my settings
are discarded and I have to specify the location again. Every time! Remember my settings! REMEMBER ANYTHING! Morris, you’re losin’ the enthusiasm. Open file – Sibelius crashed Save file – Sibelius crashed Copy notes – Sibelius crashed Play score – Sibelius crashed Quit Sibelius – Sibelius crashed Open Sibelius – Sibelius crashed Read email – Sibelius crashed Fondle the gore – Sibelius crashed Melt the cheese – Sibelius crashed Sibelius crashed
Sibelius crashed Sibelius crashed Through long nursery nights he stood
By my bed unwearying, Loomed gigantic, formless, queer,
Purring in my haunted ear That same hideous nightmare thing,
Talking, as he lapped my blood, In a voice cruel and flat,
Saying for ever, “Sibelius Crashed!’ ‘Sibelius Crashed!’ Jon, Ben, Jerry, you make a mean Chunky Monkey,
but your Sibelius tastes funky. Does anyone else feel tired. I do…. I need the button…. Let me just just find the button. Oh… there it is. [CLICK] And now, I sleep.

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100 Comments

  • Tantacrul says:

    Hey everyone – I'm sure you've noticed that there's been a large gap between my videos recently. The reason is that I have a lot of other work I need to take on to pay the bills. Although my channel is still growing nicely, it's is not yet at the level where I can dedicate the sort of time I think it deserves. So, if you have a bit of spare coin, I'd ask that you please consider become a Patron to support my channel. If not, don't worry. Thanks a lot for watching, regardless! https://www.patreon.com/Tantacrul

  • Orochii Zouveleki says:

    | ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄|

    |….Quit Sibelius…..|

    |________|

    (__/) ||

    (•ㅅ•) ||

    /   づ

  • Pink Scissors Media says:

    You gave me groin pains every time you showed off questionable design and layouts. Holy shit, why is the Quit Sibelius button so much bigger than the "create" button? Why is it anywhere NEAR that button?

  • Pink Scissors Media says:

    So many infuriating choices here, I hate it.

  • William Nuno says:

    YouTube heard me say I want to try a program like this. It’s convinced me otherwise for now

  • Moritz Alshuth says:

    Wow. So this is benchmark software and comes at, what, 500€. Always been using alternative called Capella. Very happy with it, for decades. Started in DOS, now version 8. Supports python plug-ins. Under 200€ and very well written. None of that menu disaster which you so hilariously poked at.

  • DIDALUTRON ArtiCiencia says:

    I had had more than 8 years composing with Sibelius, and with nothing of problems. For me Sibelius is the best music software

  • John Fruz says:

    I honestly do not believe I have ever laughed so hard at anything before in my life, and I hardly know anything about music. This is by far the best review of anything I have ever seen. "The chees melts amber yellow, Sibelius memts red. The music is bleeding. I bring down the drop-down. It is filled with GORE.

  • QuantumBurrito says:

    Hello, welcome to a man's decent into madness. May I take your coat?

  • Tanner frey says:

    i clicked on this video because i remember using the interface for i think 4 or 5 and it was still ass, it's baffling that it actually got worse lol

  • BoneDaddy1969 says:

    Man, and here I was wondering if Musescore might've been below average, but Sibelius just takes the cake for bad notation programming huh.

  • Lorenzo Pagani says:

    Jesus what a fresh hell this is

  • Kaira Allen says:

    laughs maniacally while shamelessly using Notion

    Jk actually my computer broke a month ago 👌

  • Richard Samuelson says:

    Well, fuck.
    Total obliteration. Awesome.

  • Kukle Maps says:

    Q U I T
    S I B E L I U S

  • SP Plays says:

    I genuinely thought that I was dumb for finding this software so asinine – glad to know that this wasn't totally the case 🙂 . Cool video!

  • ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) says:

    Crash Sibelius

  • Kai Lin Lee says:

    Just hearing the name Sibelius for the first time since I was in middle school brought me ALLL the way back. Can't believe that even in 2011 we were still using Sibelius on these massive computers and had to save on FLOPPY DISKS.

  • MultiJeje12345 says:

    I pressed the dislike
    Don't EVER beg for likes AGAIN.

  • Alexander Trefz says:

    So, while a good amount of the critique here is entirely justified, i cant help but notice the completely wrong parts here.

    9:15 both those buttons relate to the right. They add to the list of things on the right. The Add buttons relates to both, a case could be made, as it picks from a set on the left, but it most certainly relates to the right. There is nothing wrong with those 2 buttons.

    12:25 "Layout" and "Appearance" are not even close to being synonymous – Appearance seems like a poorly chosen name as the appearance of a note sheet seems irrelevant, but layout certainly means something very different from appearance.

    16:55 That actually is a lot more useful than acting as a shortcut. Acting as a shortcut means that you will forever more have to always type the words into the searchbox and press the result. This actually teaches you in words as well as visually where you can find the button. This is actually a very good solution.

    But again – most of this program seems truly awful.

  • MikeOceanMusic says:

    I find everything "Avid" is unnecessarily complicated. Reminds me of the architect from the Matrix. They know they're top so they make everything pretentiously complicated just because.

  • The Exiled Nomad. says:

    It'd be more intuitive to engrave a composition in MS Paint compared to Sibelius.

  • gandalftheantlion says:

    clearly sibelius hates pianos and tempo

  • Lucien Tindall says:

    Look at paintdotnet

  • Oğuz Sabitay says:

    "It's almost like the position of things was decided by the roll of a dice."

  • C.S.I. in America says:

    AVID turns anything they touch to shit. When they bought Digidesign they turned Pro Tools into a bloated turd that crashed all the time and became increasingly filled with features that weren't useful. The AVID video editing system was, as most of the video editors I worked with over the past 40 years, was the tool of Satan. Most facilities I worked with as an audio engineer and composer eventually switched to Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere…although, since Apple screwed that pooch with Final Cut X, many have had the misfortune to switch back to AVID. I use Sibelius 7 because it's about the only game in town, but I fully understand your frustration with the crap design AVID has thrown together.

  • James Peterman says:

    Initially I enjoyed your professional but entertaining review of an important software. Near the end of the video, however, your "descent into madness" was completely unnecessary and quite annoying, especially with the horrible sound effects when I'm trying not to wake my baby in the same room. I appreciate your ideas and some of your presentation, but you tried too hard and missed the mark. Regardless, I will still be sharing this video with my arranging team for their reflection.

  • Paulson Cain says:

    Holy shit, as antiquated as it is, Finale is better than this.

  • dogryme6 says:

    Sibelius, more like the Siberian Sensory Deprivation.

  • Lambent Sonata says:

    Wow. Well-made video, but the software you just described was SO bad, that watching this video gave me a headache, and at one point came close to causing me to suffer an acute psychotic break. Maybe you should put warnings about that in your description. Oh, wait, you did. My bad; I should have read that before proceeding. :-/

    As an amateur music composer and (sometimes) professional computer programmer (and Charles Dickens fan), if I had my way, every programmer who writes software like this should be boiled in his own source code and buried with a 100LB rusty steel treble clef crammed through his heart.

  • John Muddy says:

    Write a witty comment, Sibelius crashed

  • Viper Corn says:

    I needed a good laugh. Thank you

  • Olivia Page says:

    I had to deal with this at gcse when I was 15/16, with no lessons on how to use it by my teachers, and some of the students literally didn't know how to read music. I'm so pleased I never have to use sibelius again!

  • Sparrow says:

    I took a single Music Fundamentals course in college where I needed to write score using Sibelius and it was excruciating. Even doing the simplest scores was completely unintuitive. So happy that I never needed to use it afterwards

  • AliceAttentionWhore says:

    The last 5 minutes of this video felt like psychosis.

  • Patrick Callahan says:

    Top quality content. Love how you edited the interface in photoshop throughout. Great additions.

    Also the descent into madness

  • Lylium says:

    I dont think ive ever watched someone literally lose their mind before.

  • HiveTyrant36 says:

    I used Sibelius as my first program. I didn't know just how bad it was until I switched to Reaper and got used to it. I will never go back.

  • Holton 345 says:

    After watching this, as I was saving my brass quintet file in Finale 26, I noted that Sibelius crashed. I don't even own (or *want*) Sibelius, yet it crashed anyway. Amazing how that works. Great video!

  • IrnBruNYC says:

    “You’re on Version 8 and you still haven’t fixed this yet?” So glad I found your channel. This software is currently $569 USD on Amazon!

  • Andrew says:

    But I did guess the Play tab! Don't lie to me!

  • netanya says:

    My old high school taught Sibelius in Middle School. However, because I didn't do music in high school, I consider myself lucky I never had to endure this torture. SIBELIUS CRASHED!SIBELIUS CRASHED!SIBELIUS CRASHED!SIBELIUS CRASHED!

  • Fly 5 says:

    Wow, i didnt know you could visalise cancer!

  • Timotheosis says:

    "The black beams can stretch. They can stretch really high." That cracked my shit.

  • Danilo Novaković says:

    This is what happens when companies wanna save money on designers and make software engineers do it xDDD

  • DeepDownDerp - Quality Entertainment! says:

    I remember Sibelius in music class at school, that shit was horrific. I think the teacher thought so too because he bought Logic Pro X for the computers lmao

  • Rex Orbis says:

    Quit Sibelius.

  • Daniil Knigin says:

    they just need a uxui designer. ive seen interfaces like that before (helped to fix em), usually a team of developers behind those just dont think its necessary to hire a ui designer. *sadface*. sometimes you can get away with shit like this, if its a corporate software with small amount of well prepared users, but this is not the case lmao. i bet when they purchased that ribbon thing they were like – ah, this is perfect, no need to hire a designer now!

  • Cristian García says:

    “App should be called Morton Feldman” lmao

  • Neubulae says:

    As a non-user my mind is totally blasted and torn by just looking at the stupid design… Urgh…

  • tupak303 says:

    Wow, that was intense. Hats off!

  • microcolonel says:

    How's LilyPond?

  • Skyre Ventes says:

    Sibelius Crashed. Sonic Scores Overture opened and subsequently crashed.

  • Mir5 says:

    This is not a critique, it's a masterpiece.

  • HECKproductions says:

    meanwhile tuxguitar is a complete senseless mess but very easy to use anyway for some reason

  • - Mcfat - says:

    i tried to quit sibelius but i accidentally liked the video

  • EarlFaulk says:

    I actually passed Sibelius up for Coda Finale Guitar. I had to email the company to ask how to copy paste notes as inputted. The program would always change the notes into a different scale. They didnt have it in help….I spent an hour looking for it.

  • Zoe Kirk says:

    Since you've covered this and MuseScore, why not cover Noteflight?

  • guy sinclair says:

    When Skyrim is more stable than Sibelius.

  • THE16THPHANTOM says:

    that quit button was funny… it would be hilarious if accidentally clicking on it instantly quit the application without any other confirmation dialogue.

  • Aelwyn says:

    I had to learn finale back in the day and so many people told me how Sibelius was so much better! I recognize that finale has its problems, but I'm glad I didn't buy the other side's jargon either!

  • asd says:

    I'm a dev and I'm sure he nailed it at 12:43 they probably didn't really hire a designer.

  • asd says:

    14:12 is the best, "Configuration" and "Setup" next to each other 🤣

  • JesusGreen says:

    After watching this I think I'm going to have nightmares that someone sits me down with this and forces me to write documentation explaining every feature of the program and how to use it. That's my idea of hell right there.

  • usy 09 says:

    By the title alone, I must say: YES!! Yes, this is so true!

  • Soandnb says:

    Everything in this video is wrong. The "Quit Sibelius" located where it's currently at is the most genius decision they made.

  • Angh balahr says:

    Did you get your permit A38 for your Sibelius?

  • Michael Dobachesky says:

    Awesome outro 😆

  • ARC the Clarinet Master says:

    6:53 I use saxophone quartet and brass quintet!

    14:02 Hey, I guessed Play! Why wouldn't it be there? That's the window that utilises the sound.

    With that said, I don't care what anyone says – I still love Sibelius. I've been using it for around 7 years now, and I'll probably still use it for decades to come. I personally find the interface intuitive and easy to use, and I wouldn't have it any other way. I never had much of a problem with finding instruments, since I simply browsed through the different categories to find them, and I've pretty much memorised them at this point. (I actually learned about Orff instruments from Sibelius, if that helps.) However, I will agree that the timeline is bullshit, and needs to die – it's a pain having to close it every time I open Sibelius.

  • Brendan says:

    Everything you said in this video is exactly how I feel about Maya 2018

  • jsamc says:

    Nerds think they are programming for other nerds thats the problem. Also the more "sophisticated" the program appears the more they figure they can charge.

  • ChocolateSouffle says:

    I wasn't expecting this to be a horror video, but I loved the dark insanity of the end.

  • Kukilatoo FourFiftyFive says:

    This reminds me of 1st gen open source alternatives of Adobe products, glad they changed it

  • Powi says:

    Avid is just a joke… and I thought Pro Tools was too complicated….

  • Bedroom Junkie says:

    I had no idea I would be pissing myself watching a music software review…. suddenly found that I was chuckling so hard, that I litterally had no choice but to press the pause button before I wet my pants. "come get your buttons!" (unexpectedly top work) #QuitSibelius

  • Jimbo 2: Revengeance says:

    So that's why every single music composer is insane…

  • Kanashimi says:

    I recently had a discussion with a kinda more professional music person about MuseScore vs a program with not that many more features, while the former costs nothing and the latter costs half your bank account. They said that the features that Sibelius does have were kinda worth it for professionals, and he kinda made me think I was wrong with my opinion. But this video kinda tells me that sometimes, the amount of features might not matter all too much.

  • CheekiBreekio says:

    We're supposed to learn digital music at my school using Sibelius. Pray for us 🙁

  • MunMun MurMur says:

    I'm neither a composer or really into design at all but this video was so well done it kept me watching for the entire duration.

  • MELONAZEPAM says:

    thanks for making this video. i was thinking abot getting sibelius but f that.

  • kage no Ishi says:

    That subscribe at the end though

  • Truly Infamous says:

    Wouldn't it be easier to write it out by hand and get it preformed?

  • Dayta says:

    i just found sibelius flying around here thought about if its worth installing and give it a shot … thanks to your video and no offence for just watching it half way through ive seen enough to happily remove the whole sibelis and tick the box "yes everything from avid is crap" … so thanks for the free hard disk space goes to you and a thumbs up as compensation for not watching the video until the end 😀

  • Егор Феклисов says:

    Latex > Word

  • sleepynomi says:

    i had to use sibelius for my music gcse and i will never fucking use it again

  • Dennis van der Kooij says:

    the dialog is filled with gore

  • 7stringprogmetalguy says:

    Ok, Finale sucks but it's still better than Sibelius.

  • Sarcasynronic says:

    And lilypond?

  • Matteo Fabbri says:

    "Experience the easiest way to write music
    " cit. 😀

  • Oriru Bastard says:

    Good lord, I remember this piece of garbage.
    I tried working with it and gave up in less than a week.
    It wasn't fun to learn and it was even less fun to use.

  • zeroblackstar says:

    This is the most informative review I've ever watched.

  • Lexx Osaurus says:

    Sibelius and Protools are both industry standard and they both SUCK so goddamn hard. I was forced to learn them both and I honestly avoid them both at all costs. I use Musescore (with my own soundfonts loaded in) and Logic Pro for my personal projects. I just…can't fucking stand them. I know you described Protools as "easy to use" but honestly it's so glitchy and idk any audio engineer who actually likes it as their preferred program.

  • Firmicute s says:

    …. its the first time I've ever noticed visual tearing…
    now I cant stop looking at that wobbly upper area

    wobble wobble

  • lil'MissMisan says:

    i had to use this program for gcse music before I dropped the subject

  • LuigiGamingLP says:

    1980 has called, they want their icons back too.

  • renzo pividori says:

    A napolitan chord played with pizz. Sound like a tasty pizza

  • Paul Woelke says:

    This turned from a history lesson into a design critique into a piece of art. Great work!👍

  • TheCheck says:

    Thank you MuseScore for shielding me from the horrors of this world

  • Anoop Maharjan says:

    problem need help piano score 3/4 time signature and problem is there is a note its like dotted half notes joined with double beams in a bar how to i insert it its E and C# double stops next is C# and they are joined with double beams i cant figure it out how to write it in a bar

  • Marjan Peternel says:

    Awesome video! A few Sibelius versions back the app would just stop saving if I didn't quit the app for a few days even though I pressed save every 10 minutes and had auto save in place. I lost most of an orchestral score because of it once… And don't even get me started on the activation nightmare. I sometimes lose half an hour because Sibelius decides it doesn't want to get activated online today… I mean, I pay a monthly subscription and it wants to check every other day if it is still valid…

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