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 (1643points) 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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