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When the Spectrum Analyzer window is open in Cubase, I can hover the mouse over the graph and a little white circle tracks the graph, telling me the note name corresponding to each peak.

Is there any easy way to tell whether that note name is an actual fundamental note or is a harmonic of a lower-pitched note? Currently I'm certain I've got more peaks than there are notes in the chord…

BTW when I transcribe I start with my ears then use SA to confirm what I think I'm hearing. SA isn't my primary transcription technique.

Cubase LE Spectrum Analyzer window

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You're right, spectrum analysis is not as much use as we might hope! And it's best on simple material that is simply analysed by ear.

But there are different ways of presenting a spectrum. Cubase probably aims at the engineer looking to e.q. a recording. A musician looking to transcribe notation needs a different approach. Do you know Transcribe!? The spectrum display coupled with 'Note guesses' is rather neat. In this example it's pretty clear we're hearing a F major chord. (It's only fair to say that results aren't always so clear-cut!)

(Other transcription utilities are available.)

https://www.seventhstring.com

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    Anecdotally, I've found the spectrum useful for confirming my "guesses" for low bass notes that are overshadowed by drums, but otherwise it's not very useful.
    – Edward
    Mar 7 at 17:49

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