SIP Newsletter #31

Brussels, January 10, 2009


- Freeware Service Pack 012
- SipLJ and the integration of Tom's tophit in SIP utilities
- SipSip
- SipXML2Score
- Change

Dear Score user,

The excitement these days is of course the announcement of Score 5.
At my end of the Score utility factory, things have been very active as of late.
The past month, focus was on the converters for Sibelius and Finale as this group of products continues to be a rewarding portion of the things I make.
While the new Score will no doubt render a few of my tools useless, I continue to invest in new development.
As soon as I get my hands on Score 5, I will integrate it into SIP and assure that those tools which still run in DOS (such as SipXref) will also be upgraded to a pure Windows environment.

Freeware Service Pack 012
All users: Install FreewareServicePack 012 which includes a new version checker. After installation (download, unzip, copy the modules to your SIP folder) hit the 'Version' menu on the main panel to check if you are up-to-date with everything.
This Service Pack includes a number of improvements and new functionality of SIP freeware.

1. Sip Control Center - build 122
Note that the new control center works with a differenr SIPCNTRL.INI file. At first use of this new SIP Control Center, the user is prompted to re-establish the links with the Score world and third party tools which we have learned to appreciate.
You will see that the freeware buttons are arranged alphabeticallly with a new tool added: SipLJ.

2. SipLJ
For those users who have Tom's LJ, there is now a simple interface from SIP to LJ.
The program, like most other SIP utilities, works on any number of files in one go while the flexibility of its control has been maintained.
No more need to switch from one program to another or change from Windows to DOS and back.
With one push of a button, the program LJ is run. Even the setting of the /SX switch, considered cumbersome by some, is done automatically.
There is an illustrated user guide of SipLJ. Download the PDF file from this website.
The interface is SIP freeware and is included in Freeware SP 012.

3. SipStack
This program which I use regularly to combine MUS files of one or a few staves before I send pages to the printer for correction underwent a few improvements.
It is Score 5 ready in that it accepts up to 100 staves.

4. SipLedger
One user found an oversight: that ledger lines of grace notes had the same length as normal size notes. A fix was applied.

5. SipXMLxtract
While this program used to be separately downloadable, it is now added to the SIP freeware and is distributed in the Freeware SP 012.
It is especially useful for users of SharpEye scanning software which produces Music XML.

SipLJ and the integration of Tom's tophit in SIP utilities
Not only do we have SipLJ, but the two converters to Score from Sibelius and Finale now have the LJ feature.
The feature is documented in the user guide.

As said, the LJ feature can now be set and the conversion will pass this program prior to providing the resulting MUS file.
One user who is specializing in large orchestral scores had a few partularities of which I want to mention two:
(a) staves changing from a single line to five and back to a single line. This complex percussion notation can now be converted by SipSib.
(b) customer defined Sibelius symbol fonts, Schott and Baerenreiter, which are now also covered by the program.
Furthermore, about a dozen other improvements were made, some of them fixes, others are added functionality.

Like SipSib, this program now includes the LJ feature.
On top of that some stability chages were made.
The problems with signature conversion in orchestral scores has been fixed.

Not the kind of Change politicians mean but Change in the sense of small coins, in my case, the little things that come with the package called SIP.
SipEdit was extended - it can now set all the lyrics attributes for processing with LJ. SipVert was updated - it needed to as it died when there was no names file.
SipSplit was extended so it can ignore an invisible staff on input.
Furthermore, there is a new SIP help file with little documentation added.

This month I file an escrow CD. As you may know, the software called SIP will become public domain to speak in musician's terms as soon as I kick the bucket, or get struck by Alois' what's his name (Alzheimer) desease. Whichever comes first. New Notations London liberates the source code incase I am no longer capable or willing of doing that myself. Also, if that F-16 enters my office at eye-level you guys still want to have some assurance that SIP will live on. Not that I plan to go any time soon.

What next?
There is a request for two utilities: (a) a global ripple program for large orchestral works: SipRipple; and (b) an extension to SipSplit to select different instrument numbers in a single pass.
I would like to take a look at what Score is capable of in these areas before I will get my hands on that.

A happy New Year to all and for now, Long live SCORE!

Jan de Kloe