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Joel Roston Composer | Instrumentalist
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Linking Sibelius and Digital Performer

07 Aug 2014

This week, I found myself wanting to link Sibelius (7.1.3) with Digital Performer (8.06) in such a way that each individual Sibelius instrument was connected to its own track in DP. This would allow me to compose in Sibelius, but use samples and processing effects from DP. Seeing as there isn’t a ton of information on line explaining how to do this with Digital Performer specifically, I thought I’d catalog it here.

So, in order to accomplish this task we need a utility that allows two independent programs to exchange MIDI data with each other. Windows users, it seems, might have to download third-party software such as LoopBe30, which many people seem to use.*

Digital Performer users on a Mac have two internal options:

1. Open the Mac application “Audio MIDI Setup” and, in the main nav under “Windows,” pick the option “Show MIDI Window.” When the “MIDI Studio” window opens, choose “IAC Driver” which opens the “IAC Driver Properties” window, at which point you can add as many input busses as you need.

2. In the Digital Performer application itself, click on “Interapplication MIDI,” which you’ll find under “Setup” in the main DP nav; simply add the number of busses you need.

After adding the input busses, go over to your Sibelius project file (which, I’m assuming is already configured with whatever instruments you need) and, under the ribbon’s “Play” tab, expand the “Setup” window. When the new dealie opens, hit “New” to create a new device template and name it something that you think is awesome and helpful (for instance, I named mine, “Joel’s Special Thing”). Deactivate whatever audio devices are on the right side under “Active Devices” and, from the left side, choose and activate all of the busses you created using one of the above two methods (they should all show up as available devices under, you guessed it, “Available Devices”).

Once that’s configured, close the “Playback Devices” dealie and open the mixer (straight-up “M” on a Mac). Under the “Chorus” fader on each track are three drop-down slots. The second/middle drop-down is telling you what device is playing the instrument; click on it and change it to the DP or IAC MIDI input that you’d like it to correspond to. Do the same for all of the other instruments, obvs.

Back to DP. Create the number of MIDI tracks that you need (one for each instrument, I’d think) and choose the appropriate output. Next, under the “Studio” option in the main nav, choose “Multi Record.” This will create an input column in the Tracks window/view. Configure the input of each MIDI track based on how you assigned the inputs in Sibelius.

And that should do it.

Note: While it’s possible to run Sibelius in ReWire (which you can download here, if you don’t have it), without the above process, it only gets you as far as bussing your whole project into a single AUX track, which, of course, doesn’t allow for any granularity/separation between tracks/instruments.

*I’m basing that on this video tutorial that I found while trying to figure this out.

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