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More Apps: Digital Performer 9, Soundslice Viewer

MusicXML application support keeps growing! At Musikmesse we had just under 200 applications supporting the MusicXML format. Today we are up to 212 applications. Many of these new additions are small, specialized apps done by individual developers for Android, iOS, or Web platforms.

This week though we have seen two more significant releases for the larger MusicXML community: Digital Performer 9 and the Soundslice MusicXML Viewer.

DP9MOTU’s Digital Performer is one of the leading digital audio workstation applications for Mac and Windows. It is particularly popular for film and TV scoring. People have been asking me for at least a decade when Digital Performer might add MusicXML support, particularly to export from QuickScribe notation to dedicated notation editors like Finale and Sibelius. This is finally here with Digital Performer 9.

Peter Kirn at Create Digital Music says that “I think what could prove to be the biggest feature in DP9 is MusicXML export.” MOTU has posted a video where Frank Macchia calls MusicXML export from DP9 a “dream come true.” When this feature was first previewed at NAMM, I heard Marc Mann whoop for joy. Customers who use both Digital Performer and a dedicated notation program can see their lives getting a lot easier with this release.

Digital audio workstations were naturally slower to adopt MusicXML than music notation specialist programs. With the release of DP9, it seems safe to say that the majority of DAW applications with notation functionality now support MusicXML export.

  • October 2007: Cubase 4.1 adds MusicXML export and import
  • September 2011: SONAR X1 Producer Expanded adds MusicXML export
  • July 2013: Logic Pro X adds MusicXML export
  • June 2015: Digital Performer 9 adds MusicXML export

MusicXML export is usually offered first since it tends to be the more valuable workflow for DAW customers that use notation. MusicXML import is also useful for a different set of workflows. We hope that will become more popular in future DAW application releases.

Meanwhile, Soundslice has released a significant new MusicXML player that is both free and web-based. The Soundslice developers couldn’t find any free, high-quality, web-based MusicXML viewers that could display, play, and transpose MusicXML files. So they took their MusicXML rendering from the Soundslice Player and made it a separate, limited service.

The viewer also shows off Soundslice’s responsive notation. Resize the web browser window after you upload a score and see how Soundslice reflows the music to match the available space. You can do this in other applications and web sites, of course, but not in a free web site with no subscription or signup required. This should make a great complement to other MusicXML readers, both for musicians who have downloaded MusicXML files and for developers testing their MusicXML export and overall understanding of MusicXML notation.

Congratulations to MOTU and Soundslice on these new software releases! Do you have MusicXML software or a source of MusicXML scores that we don’t have listed on our site? Please let us know so we can add you to our lists and round out our picture of the MusicXML community. Feel free to post on the MusicXML forum, or contact us via Twitter or Facebook.