General Question

zina's avatar

What's the best (free, online) music transcription program? Not notation software, but transcription (or pitches) from audio recordings.

Asked by zina (1643 points ) March 10th, 2010

I’m transcribing a very complicated folk tune, full of intricate, fast ornaments. I’m able to do it, and I’m using Express Scribe among other things to slow it down while maintaining pitch. But I can’t help but think on the mechanical level that there are programs that could just spew out the frequencies without me doing that grunt work, especially since it’s a single-line solo recording and the guy sings pretty crisply (of course I know I’ll have to do a lot of clean-up in the notation). I Googled and see a few online (ie seventh string)... but not sure about it. Does anyone have experience with them?

I also have Finale, but it seems that only works with MIDI/synth input, which I don’t have set up at the moment. Plus, if already knew the notes to play them on the keyboard I’d just write it down!


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4 Answers

radiantradon's avatar

There is a program called Audacity that can do sound editing, I don’t think it transcribes pitch to notes though… :-/

rentluva5256's avatar

I’m not exactly sure what you’re asking, but I use this website,, and it’s pretty cool. You can write notes into a staff and it plays it back for you. Is that what you’re looking for?

Vincentt's avatar

I think @zina wants a program that can be fed music, upon which it will poop out a (rough) notation, saving a lot of work. Unfortunately, I know of nothing that will do this. Audacity won’t, though.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Guitar Pro 5 is not free, but it might do just what you want.

I know that it is easy to find as a torrent on Pirate Bay but I cannot advise you to use commercial software without buying it ~

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