Macintosh OSX (JAGUAR): Using Sibelius and Reason

Sibelius is one of our favorite music programs. Not only does it offer great power an flexibility with notation, but it was one of the first MIDI applications to make the jump to a Macintosh OSX native format. Since Reason is a powerful soundfont compatible program that is also OSX native, we'll illustrate this setup for using Sibelius as the notation program, and Reason as the soundfont program.

Note, these instructions are for OSX JAGUAR (10.2.X) users only. PANTHER (10.3.x) users shouldn't follow these directions.

To get these two programs to communicate to each other, you'll need to use a separate third-party utility to patch them together. We'll use a program called MIDI Patchbay which is available for free download from the internet.Here's how you do it:

1.) Go to and download the "MIDI Patchbay" utility. Install it by simply dragging it to your hard drive's "Applications" folder.

2.) Open MIDI Patchbay and select "MIDI Patchbay input 1" for your MIDI input. Select "MIDI Patchbay output 1" for your MIDI Output. Leave this program running in the background while you are working.

3.) Open Reason, and go to the preferences window. In the "MIDI" window, you set the interface for your MIDI input keyboard. In the "Advanced MIDI" window, set Bus A to "MIDI Patchbay output1".

4.) In Reason, create your Virtual Drumline instruments by loading them into separate "NN-XT Advanced Sampler" modules from the "create" menu. Route each instrument to a separate MIDI channel in the "MIDI In Device" area at the top of the Reason interface window. This would be a good time to save your Reason session.

5.) Open the Virtual Drumline template in Sibelius (included on your Virtual Drumline CD), and go to the "Devices" window. You should see "MIDI Patchbay input 1" as a Device. Be sure it indicates "Yes" in the "use" column. If you've correctly configured your MIDI settings in Reason, you should be able to click the "test" button here (for MIDI Patchbay input 1), and hear some random sounds.

6.) Open the "mixer" window and click the "reset sounds" button. Now set each battery track so that in the "device" pull-down menu (we're still in the "mixer" window) is set to "MIDI Patchbay input 1." Also, be sure that the channels in this window, correspond to the channels you set up in Reason (i.e. snares= channel 1, tenors = channel 2, etc.).
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