NotePerformer for Sibelius Review

Accurate playback in notation software has always been a thorn in the side for composers…

Manufacturer Wallander Instruments
Price $129
Contact via website

For years we made do with General MIDI sounds for writing and if a decent mock-up was needed we either exported a MIDI file or played everything into a DAW and spent hours tweaking the results.


Now samples can be used but they can present as many problems as they solve. But NotePerformer, a virtual orchestral sound module from Wallander Instruments, is specifically made to transform a written Sibelius score into a realistic-sounding performance. Arne Wallander is responsible for the impressive WIVI range of instruments, all algorithmically modelled. NotePerformer works on a similar principle. The winds are based on additive synthesis, the strings and percussion on Wallander’s sample dynamics technology and take up less than 1GB of RAM. Once installed as the default player, it fires up quickly when Sibelius starts up.

For interpretation, the playback is superb with realistic phrasing performed automatically from whatever you enter on the score. In other words, you hear the music played back as a real musician would play it. The program reads ahead, analyses the score and puts it all together in a meaningful way. How it performs was determined from the works of well known classical composers. Unfortunately, although perfect for classical and film music scores, it can’t play jazz.

Considering this is not a sample library per se, the sound quality, too, is very good. Instruments include strings, marching band, woodwind and brass, pitched and unpitched percussion, saxophones, piano and more.
Some instruments fare better. The weakest are the solo strings. That said, the ensembles are fine and with the built-in reverb, orchestral scores for high-quality demo purposes and some types of commercial use are perfectly feasible.