All profit supporting special needs music education and Help Musicians
Tutorials

Transcription software.

Targa

Among the pigeons
Subscriber
Messages
8,901
A search on google for transcription software brings up several sites.
Has anyone tried any of them, preferably the free ones?
What I want is something that will show a record of what I've played when I am just trying to make a nice noise from a random combination of notes.
 

Nick Wyver

noisy
Subscriber
Messages
5,953
I'm not sure anything exists that will accurately transcribe what you play in real time. I believe most transcribers do it 'manually' by ear from a recording - possibly slowing it down to help with that. I use 'Transcribe!' which is not free, but not expensive, and I find it very useful. If you go and have a look at the website the chap lists a whole of rival programs which you could try here.
 

Nick Wyver

noisy
Subscriber
Messages
5,953
You can if you're playing a keyboard or wind controller. You can't if you're playing a sax, unless you have some software that converts sound to midi. There are programs that do this, with varying degrees of success (last time I looked - not much success). A midi file does't contain any 'music'. It's just a set of instructions for something to play the music - like a score.
 

stefank

Member
Messages
366
You can if you're playing a keyboard or wind controller. You can't if you're playing a sax, unless you have some software that converts sound to midi. There are programs that do this, with varying degrees of success (last time I looked - not much success). A midi file does't contain any 'music'. It's just a set of instructions for something to play the music - like a score.
I've seen some software that does a reasonable job a converting single note at a time stuff to midi, but nothing that's any practical use for any sort of chords.
 

half diminished

Senior Member
Messages
1,302
A search on google for transcription software brings up several sites.
Has anyone tried any of them, preferably the free ones?
What I want is something that will show a record of what I've played when I am just trying to make a nice noise from a random combination of notes.
Targa

What is your goal here? Most of us use Transcribe! and it's brilliant but we use it as an effective (and relatively easy) means of transcribing a solo so that we can either write down the dots accurately or slow down a piece of music so that we can learn to play it accurately.

For example I'm working on two pieces at present - I Guess I'll Hang My Tears Out to Dry and Boston Bernie - both by Dexter Gordon. The first is slow but has some fantastic articulation/phrasing that I want to learn and I can't get the nuances from just reading the dots. The second is just a bit fast. Transcribe lets me slow things a bit and play a phrase in a loop which makes it easier to learn a one, two, four or eight bar phrase.

From what you've written, I can't understand why you would want to do this for a random combination of notes. We jazzers like to think we never play randomly but within a form of some kind (around a key centre, II V I VI progression etc). You've pressed the keys, why not repeat the phrase and slow it down. Then you can write out the dots yourself. Good practice I'd have thought and totally free to-boot!

You can also do the opposite. Work out then write down the dots for an improvised phrase of one, two or four bars. Then learn to play it. I do all of the above and for me at least this is all helping develop my ears!

Or am I missing something?
 

Targa

Among the pigeons
Subscriber
Messages
8,901
'From what you've written, I can't understand why you would want to do this for a random combination of notes. We jazzers like to think we never play randomly but within a form of some kind (around a key centre, II V I VI progression etc). You've pressed the keys, why not repeat the phrase and slow it down. Then you can write out the dots yourself. Good practice I'd have thought and totally free to-boot! '

A random combination of notes is my pathetic attempt to make up a tune.
I've no idea what a key centre, II V VI progression is.
Having played around for a few minutes until something sounds reasonable I don't know what I've played.
So I'd like to record it and have something, for example, show a wave form like audacity does but instead of volume peaks, points at which the note changes with A,C,F# displayed.
As it is a very simple concept I thought there might be a program available.
 

Targa

Among the pigeons
Subscriber
Messages
8,901
Flying to the stars is a simple concept.
Agreed and it is possible in its simplest form.
That it what some of the probes sent out will eventually do.
So a simple transcription program is not only a simple concept it would be simple to construct.
 

Nick Wyver

noisy
Subscriber
Messages
5,953
Agreed and it is possible in its simplest form.
That it what some of the probes sent out will eventually do.
So a simple transcription program is not only a simple concept it would be simple to construct.
Yup. It would just take 1,000,000 years to work.
 

Nick Wyver

noisy
Subscriber
Messages
5,953
Ah well, perhaps then you could get those still remaining to work on the problem. If they crack it you could make a fortune.
 

Targa

Among the pigeons
Subscriber
Messages
8,901
Ah well, perhaps then you could get those still remaining to work on the problem. If they crack it you could make a fortune.
Good idea except I gave up work in 1994 and I will get a fortune from the lottery but that might take the 1,000,000 years.
Thanks for suggesting transcribe, if all else fails I'll try that.
 

dorono

Member
Messages
28
Not to go too far off topic, but it's my belief that one solo learned by ear and memorized is worth more than 20 solos transcribed in a book or via software.

My 2c. :)
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
Not to go too far off topic, but it's my belief that one solo learned by ear and memorized is worth more than 20 solos transcribed in a book or via software.

My 2c. :)
I agreee - if you can do it. I have great difficulty remembering something as simple as "Oh When the Saints'..... Same for most sequential types of information.
 

dorono

Member
Messages
28
I agreee - if you can do it. I have great difficulty remembering something as simple as "Oh When the Saints'..... Same for most sequential types of information.
The thing with sax solos is that they're usually quite full of fast-moving notes and can be a challenge to learn by ear. Once you start feeling more comfortable learning tunes like "when the saints" by ear, I would recommend trying to learn some solos by Miles Davis or Chet Baker by ear. Then maybe move on to Johnny Hodges as his solos are relatively sparse. After that, you could go to Sonny Stitt.

I actually had a very similar discussion on another sax forum recently, so this is a pretty common issue.

I hope that helps!
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
Thanks Doron, I'm trying hard, but I'm not hopeful. Have had problems with learning sequences all my life - right from multiplication tables (when a few numbers stuck, I'd work the rest out from there, fast enough to keep the teachers happy), through med school, where I failed cos I couldn't memorise enough facts - and sequential info like the TCA cycle - and bell ringing sequences..... And directions (like first left, second right - I'll get to the first junction and have already forgotten whether it was left or right or straight). No matter how hard I work at it, sequences are really difficult for me. Even during my 20s, I'd go to the bedroom to fetch something, and forget why I was there.... Gets worse as you age, sadly. But I'm not saying I can't - just that some guys find it a LOT harder than others.
 

stefank

Member
Messages
366
Thanks Doron, I'm trying hard, but I'm not hopeful. Have had problems with learning sequences all my life - right from multiplication tables (when a few numbers stuck, I'd work the rest out from there, fast enough to keep the teachers happy), through med school, where I failed cos I couldn't memorise enough facts - and sequential info like the TCA cycle - and bell ringing sequences..... And directions (like first left, second right - I'll get to the first junction and have already forgotten whether it was left or right or straight). No matter how hard I work at it, sequences are really difficult for me. Even during my 20s, I'd go to the bedroom to fetch something, and forget why I was there.... Gets worse as you age, sadly. But I'm not saying I can't - just that some guys find it a LOT harder than others.
But can you remember tunes you have heard, but not seen? If so there is hope for you.
 
Top Bottom