View Full Version : Program to transcribe playing into standard notation

02-01-2014, 09:09 AM
I'm full of musical ideas and would like to have them written out in standard notation. Does anyone know of a good computer program that could do so?

If I were to play along with a metronome, to keep things in exact timing, could any program take simple melodic lines and transcribe them into standard notation; perhaps quantitizing?

How about more sophisticated lines using double stops, partial chords or chords?

Mac friendly would be best for me.

it would certainly be nice to have a melody in standard form to copyright it.


Brad Bordessa
02-01-2014, 09:14 PM
As far as I know, MIDI would be the way to achieve this. I've only seen one custom prototype uke with MIDI access so your options for buying one are approximately zero (give or take - I know I'd buy one if they were available). If you can learn to play your stuff on a keyboard you would have way more options for affordable input. Or if you are willing to play/find a steel string 'ukulele you might be able to use a Roland synth pickup.

That said, it's great for your musicianship to sit and get familiar with rhythms by punching them into Guitar Pro or something similar. I enjoy the challenge of doing it the hard way. You're kind of missing out on a valuable lesson by going the MIDI route. Unless of course, you are THE rhythm man and are trying to save time off of transcribing hours of material.

02-02-2014, 06:33 AM
:agree: I like Guitar Pro too for Macintosh. I haven't seen a system where you can just play, and have the computer hear and make notation. Here is one where you "play" in on an iPhone, and it creates a MIDI file that Guitar Pro could translate.
I just enter the notes manually, by writing the tab, and the notation is generated automatically. I use the MIDI playback to check the timing of the notes.

02-02-2014, 08:41 AM
You might try the midi guitar for garageband app (you can find it in the Mac App Store), it convert audio to midi, which then can be fed into a program that can make you notation I guess.
I think the app is free but to be completely usable needs an inapp purchase. I tried the iOS version with my uke and that worked surprisingly well.

More info: http://jamorigin.com/products/midi-guitar/

02-03-2014, 05:58 AM
I've played with a few different programs, but after reading this: http://liveukulele.com/tabs/how-to-use-powertab/ I've found I enjoy using Powertab the most. It's really easy to type in the tab of what I'm playing and see the standard notation appear, plus you can play it back to make sure it sounds right.

02-03-2014, 07:32 AM
try this thing and let me know how you like it:


it takes monophonic audio (not chords or doublestops) and converts it to midi. The midi then can be exported to a notation program to make sheet music.

It has a 1/4" input meant for electric guitar, but it could be a mic or uke pickup.

They say it's very good tracking of the input, less latency (delay) for more accurate rendition.

There's also Tallstick's Audio to Midi program, which takes a wav file and converts it to midi. So you could record with your small digital recorder and take that file and run it through. I have this and it's a little tricky to use, to get it to catch all the notes. It workes better with strong, long signals like clarinet or saxophone. I haven't had good luck with weaker or short duration signals like you get from a uke. But that could be a matter of learning to use the programs' settings. It's very cheap so probably worth a try.

02-03-2014, 11:05 AM
Capo for the Mac (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/capo-3/id696977615?ls=1&mt=12&at=10l5V6) will sort of do what you want. You can demo it then pay if you like it. It works amazingly well. There is a ukulele mode that will display the gleaned chords as uke tabs.