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Topic: Change channels in Sibelius

  1. #1

    Change channels in Sibelius

    I am working on a string quartet and need to change from first violin arco on channel 1 to first violin pizz on channel 2.

    Does one change that with midi messages? I can only find bank changes which I don\'t think apply to the kontakt player.

    I could create a different track for the violin pizz and copy the part. Is that general practice? It really ruins a score. Or does one edit that in the sequencer instead of the notation program?

    thanks for your help


  2. #2

    Re: Change channels in Sibelius

    I fear that the 2nd option you mention is what we all actually do in real life. Sibelius is no sequencer and even sequencers like Cubase SX don\'t support channel switching. You have to have a track for each articulation (for some pieces I use about 90+ tracks).

    I suggest one of those 2 workarounds:

    1) The simple one:

    * Create your score and finish a version that is optimized for printing (i.e.: no separate tracks for pizz. strings etc.)

    * Save a backup copy of that score and add as many staffs as you need for the different articulations (e.g.: 1 additional staff for pizz, 1 for tremolo, etc...). Copy over the passages that require special articulations and delete those passages on the regular sounding staff (e.g.: Copy over the pizz. notes from the lush staff and delete the notes from the lush staff).

    * You now have one score for playing and one for printing.

    2) The simple but a little more elaborate one:

    * Create your score and include the staffs for different articulations from the start.

    * Enter your music and in passages where you need e.g. pizz. strings you copy over the notes from the lush-string staff. But dont delete the notes on the lush string staff.

    * Select the passage you just copied (on the lush sounding staff) and change the note type to \"silent/dont play\" (should be #3 but look it up in the manual).

    * Do this with your complete piece. Once you\'re finished click the right mouse button, select \"Other > Staff type change > Pitched > no lines/hidden\". You mouse pointer should turn blue. Now go to the first page, click into the white paper border to the left of the 1st bar of a special articulation staff (to the left of the print margin)

    * The complete staff should turn invisible. Repeat this with all staves you want to hide. Once you are finished, tug around the visible staffs and space them to your liking until you are satisfied with the result.

    * You now have a printable score, that will use hidden tracks to play back special articulations.

    Personally I like using method #1 and do all editing after the score is finished in Cubase SX. I hope this helped. If all my rambling was useless, then please don\'t hesitate to ask again.


  3. #3

    Re: Change channels in Sibelius

    Hi Peter,

    Thanks for your post.

    It does make perfect sense so I will continue with your first option.


  4. #4

    Re: Change channels in Sibelius

    I might add that, after creating on score for printing and one with all articulations, I save the latter one as midi, import it into Cubase and tweak it there. Sibelius is a great notation program but lacks all the powerful editing functions of a sequencer.

  5. #5

    Re: Change channels in Sibelius

    Hello all,
    I asked this very same question a few days ago. Andy also suggested the duplicate staves/hide staves workaround. Ok so far as it goes but,
    contrary to what was said in this thread about not sending channel messages, how then does Overture manage it? Changing to Pizz with String quartet multi loaded is simple in Overture. You just put in \'pizz\' on the score, double click and specify that it means change to the approriate channel. Works just fine and \'pizz\' on each stave can be specified to go to the approriate channel for that stave\'s instrument.
    I apologise for banging on about this but this is crucial. It should\'nt need a workaround. I would like a response from Garritan or NI. Gary did reply to a email but from a Sib point of view saying he didn\'t know the prog in detail. He did offer to ask a Sib expert though. I didn\'t pursue that though because I thought the answer would come up in the forum. Maybe I should ask him again. The Sib help file says you will only need to send a channel change command in unusual circumstances but doesn\'t tell you how to do it!
    If I want to use the KS combo in my score, am I expected to run a stave dedicated to that too?
    I have looked at various midi sites for the change channel command but can\'t make much sense of the hex numbers etc. I\'ve inspected the properly- behaving- exported -from -Overture midi file in Cubase list editor but it reveals nothing.
    However, it does reveal that a channel change occurrs. (if you ask for the list editor \'notes\' to be shown in colour coded channels you can see, and the channel numbers are also displayed) And the default instrument the midi file plays duly changes at the appropriate point (but not to the correct instrument)
    Opening this midi file on Sib loses the pizz channel change but keeps any pitch bend info that may have been drawn in in Overture. Odd as Sib 3 allows drawing velocity levels over each note (horribly implemented) but no pitch bend or any other controller. This means I can\'t develop a score by hopping from Sib to Overture and back. I\'d happily ditch Sib for Overture but Overture is very awkward for actually composing in and there\'s no mixer Well maybe I could live without the mixer but its still crude compared to Sib. C\'mon, its not rocket science, the sampler side of things is getting sublime, but the sequencer/notator side still seems ridiculous.

  6. #6

    Re: Change channels in Sibelius

    Sorry, when I referred to Andy I meant Adam (Burford)

  7. #7

    Re: Change channels in Sibelius

    Also, Cubase 5 will switch channels across the VSTi as long as the Chn column is set to \'\'any\'\'. Looks like Sib is the odd one out so far.

  8. #8

    Re: Change channels in Sibelius

    Overture can do the changes from arco to pizz (with the implicit channel changes) because Don Williams specifically programmed Overture to take advantage of GPO. Prior to the programming Don did, it probably wouldn\'t have been easy to do the channel changes. What I\'m meaning is that I wouldn\'t necessarily expect other programs to be able to replicate the things that Overture can do, because Overture is a special case - and a nice one! The function of making a channel change in mid track is somewhat unusual and it wouldn\'t surprise me if the majority of midi programs (notation and sequencers) don\'t support it. Traditionally a midi program would use a program change to change articulations, but regrettably program changes aren\'t a possibility in the Kontakt player (and would involve some nasty implications for a RAM sampler even if they were).

    I\'ll definitely encourage you to find a midi channel change command in Sibelius though. I know the basics of Sibelius, but unfortunately don\'t have the very intimate knowledge of Sib that\'s probably needed to help on this. It would be quite nice to have the ability to perform the changes though, if possible.

  9. #9

    Re: Change channels in Sibelius

    Well, the \"Kontakt Gold\" player for Sibelius can do this channel switching, too. So there IS the possibility to do it but nobody knows HOW to do it with other samplers. The Sibelius company obviously has no interest in telling us because they want to sell their own Kontakt players. (Can\'t blame them for it, although it is quite inferior to GPO)

    I have a fair amount of kowledge about Sibelius and the more intricate facets of its MIDI functions, but sadly I don\'t know how to switch channels... Otherwise I wouldn\'t have written the lengthy posting up there.

  10. #10

    Re: Change channels in Sibelius

    Well here we go again. I do appreciate all the replies and can see from the forums over at Sibelius that this question comes up many times.
    However let me try to clarify what we know and don\'t know.
    If Overture can do it then there must be a command that GPO Kontakt responds to.
    It also responds in Cubase with the midi channel set to ANY.
    Sib can do it with Kontakt Silver.
    So is this ridiculous or what? We are not talking about $20 shareware programs here. The way GPO sets up (say) a string Quartet, channel switching is a must, not a luxury or exotic once in a blue moon requiement. No C\'mon, no more workarounds, no more stalling, what is the midi command that switches the channel?
    Perhaps a Sib user with Kontakt silver could look at the midifile and see if it reveals what the command is. Pleeeeeeeease!

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