14
votes

I have a couple of nice guitar midi files that I would like the scores for; is there any software out there that can do this sort of conversion, and output it as a PDF file?

Thanks

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  • If you're on a Mac, I believe GarageBand can do that. I'm not 100% sure though. – 11684 May 10 '13 at 12:41
13
votes

Musescore is free as opposed to many other programs such as Sibelius or Finale. However, it is still very good and can do almost everything that paid programs can do.

One of the input files accepted in Musescore is MIDI and it can output PDF among other formats. However, as guidot said, it takes a human to do it right because a MIDI file does not contain all the information needed to create a complete score. Blanks, such as key signatures, time signatures, ornaments, articulations, and enharmonics, must be filled in by guessing.

That's where a human operator comes in. Your software, such as Musescore, must take the MIDI file and create a clean score with it. Musescore does a very good job at this, but the blanks in the MIDI file must be filled in by guessing. It takes a human operator to correctly fill these in, but having software to do the rough draft is helpful.

Once you have your software (such as Musescore), open the MIDI file. Musescore will convert the MIDI to sheet music, but you will still have to correct things (such as those mentioned above). If you have a good understanding of music, it shouldn't be too hard for most pieces. Once you've tidied the score up, output it as a PDF and you're done.

5
votes

Guitar pro does midi import and pdf export, so you should be able to obtain tabs and scores from it.

5
votes

This is not quite a "conversion", since the midi file is on a much lower level than a score. So while you will surely get some output, it is more than questionable, whether somebody can play from it without considerable editing. As an example midi contains nothing about a key and so has to make wild guesses concerning accidentals, same for time signature, dotted notes, arpeggios may not be recognized as such but separate notes and many more issues. So I'm afraid to state, that there is nothing to replace human (here: a musicians) brain for that task.

2
votes

As @guidot said, nothing replaces human oversight. But a good piece of software (I use Digital Performer, which is decidedly not free) can quantize the MIDI performance, which helps it render a more conventional-looking score. But you will still have to clean it up.

2
votes

If you are looking for a free solution, Tuxguitar can help. It does have a midi input and a PDF output. It will work on windows, linux, and mac. However, you might have to do a bit of clean up; it won't know what key you are using or anything like that.

1
vote

If you know what you want the score to look like, the score-writing programs already mentioned will help you do the job. If the MIDI is configured as one string=one channel and you want guitar tab rather than staff notation, you might even get some way towards automatic conversion!

1
vote

The free software Lilypond comes with a tool called midi2ly, it converts midi-files to lilypond-files and lilypond outputs pdf-files by default. But as many of the other answers already stated: "The real work starts when the conversion is done!"

I think many of the aspects are covered in the other answers but I'll show a quick example how a score can look like directly after a midi import:

$ midi2ly infile.midi -o outfile.ly
$ lilypond outfile.ly

enter image description here

And here is a the finished score, witch apart from:

  • typing the notes
  • setting key and time signature

needed to be completely remade.

enter image description here

Note: Lilypond is available for major distributions such as: Windows, Linux, macOS, FreeBSD a.o. but it does not come with a classical graphical user interface (GUI). Instead it is working on source files that can get created with a text editor and get compiled with the program more comparable to a TeX/LaTeX workflow. There is editing software available such as Frescobaldi or software more gaining towards a GUI workflow such as Denemo.

0
votes

MidiSoft Recording Session for Win 95 Running on WIN-XP. (You can use Oracle VM VirtualBox to host WIN-XP on Linux, Win-10) MidiSoft is out of business but there are copies of this program on the Internet.

-1
votes

Hands down Rallentando Software\MidiIllustrator Maestro 3.

  • 1
    Without some additional experiences given, I'm somewhat tempted to vote for close as "commercial". – guidot Nov 30 '16 at 11:41

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