I'll tell you right off the bat that I HATE scoring music. But someone needed some sort of score of my music so I down loaded Sibelius First and went for it.
I'm converting midi to notation so I have spent may, many hours editing the midi file to where Sibelius could use it. Sibelius loves to string tied notes together when many fewer are actually needed. It seems to have a mind of it's own when it comes to eliminating notes and rests. There is probably a logic there and I just need to learn it but it was driving me crazy.
Sibelius First can only use the internal GM sounds which basically suck. Good samples would really help but when playing it back you are trying to follow a line that kind of jerks across the score as the notes are being played. I wish you could select a voice and each note would be highlighted as it plays. This seems like a pretty basic feature for a $600 application.
It also has a twelve staff limit. A killer for orchestration. I guess that's why it's called Sibelius First. It's a demo with a demo mode.
I'll probably just bite the bullet and buy the real version.
I have never used Sibelius First, but have been using the full version of Sibelius since 1994. I often work as an orchestrator and much of that is done with converting MIDI files into Sibelius files. There certainly are some tricks to use, but I find that the more preparation I do in the sequencer, the easier it is to import into Sibelius.
Perhaps give some specific examples, and I'll try to help you.
Hi Fastlane - I can sympathize! It's a myth that you just import midi into Sib and it turns it into a beautiful score. As Daryl says, it's best to edit the midi in your sequencer first so that notes are quantized and do not overlap. Go for monophonic lines too, unless you feel confident about editing in Sib and are familiar with the conventions of notation. I did a basic video tutorial of this on my site, realstrings.com, but shout back if you have more questions!