Cubase Score or Sibelius?

I have just bought Cubase 6 upgrading from 5, which I admit I haven’t used for a while (got carried away on the piano for a few years :wink: ).
I am really quite excited about the new note expression stuff .!

I often use scores for writing in parts (orcherstral stuff mainly also synths like Omnisphere, Absynth) .

I am about to write a lot of stuff and am wondering what new features I might find with score in Cubase 6?

I am also thinking over whether to purchase Sibelius? I quite liked old Cubase (5) score and things like Display quantise, which was absent on Sibelius 5. Cubase is more powerful in terms of music production, but the Sibelius interface is more useable (or was when I last looked).

The idea of exploding piano parts into four part harmony which I understand Sibelius does, is quite tempting., I have a number of orchestral packages like East West, some of VSL, Garritan - IO think they are not compatible with Note expression… am I right in this?

What do people think about Sibelius versus Cubase score?


For notation Sibelius is way better, the scoring in Cubase has not been improved for many versions, Cubase 6 scoring is the same as Cubase 5, this is an area that Steinberg should really improve.

I use Sibelius for writing and printing scores, and Cubase for actually recording it all, so until Steinberg make considerable improvements to Cubases score editor, Sibelius is the way to go, though be aware, Sibelius 7 does not work on Win XP or earlier (as in does not install at all).

I have only used Cubase score once in a major way (about SX3 time - not any different now as far as I can see). There is a lot of functionality but it is not at all intuitive to use, and it is very unsatisfying to use, but I got there in the end and had a fairly professional looking score. But it was a lot of work to do what Sibelius does by default.

I now have Sibelius.

I think Cubase score needs redesigning from the ground up, but I expect there are more important priorities to develop as everyone who really needs notation will have Sibelius anyway.


If you can get along with Score having to be set up from the Projects page and the Key Editor plus setting things like Quantise correctly for the piece you want to print and the fact that it is really meant just to print scores and not teach others to read music or for the benefit of just looking at it whizzing past at the same speed as a magnum opus conducting as you go like Mr Bean (a long-time Cubase user) does showing off to his teddy bear :mrgreen: . You’ll get along quite nicely.

Of course Sibelius is easier to learn and use as Rod Staples says. Cubase just now and again, from the learning perspective, seems a little A about Face.

Sibelius is a Score Publisher with playback facilities.

Cubase is an Audio Sequencer with a score-edit page.

To some extent, they overlap.

Sibelius 7, recently released, offers little new in the way of score-writing tools (though it was way beyond Cubase in this area already). The main feature is a new Sound Library. It’s very big, very slow to load and demands a 64-bit system with more than 4GB RAM (though it will limp along on less).

There is a full-functioning demo of Sibelius 7 available for download, minus the new Sounds (not surprising - they are a 25GB download:-)

Rather uncharacteristcally, Sibelius 7 was released with a lot of bugs. They’re being fixed (7.01 and 7.02 patches are already out). But it’s still not QUITE ready.

Does Sibelius have ‘display quantize’? I find this rather essential if we are talkng about using a real perfromance with notation.

Not really. Use Sibelius if you want to notate a score and hear it played. Use Cubase if you want to play music, have direct control over all the sound parameters and maybe see it notated.