I have started to begin to transcribe and can transcribe the right note flawlessly, but not the right octave. I have been doing a transcribing course that uses an electric guitar and have been transcribing notes through an accousitc. How much is the harmonic character of the notes I hear on the electric influencing my transcribing, and how much do I need to be patient to develop this skill ;)?
Use a little less 'dead reckoning' and a little more experience! What instrument is playing that note? What's the range of that instrument? Is it in its 'easy middle' range?
What instrument are you transcribing FOR? Maybe the original octave is less important than putting it in the 'sweet range' for THAT instrument.
I agree, the further a sound gets from a natural instrumental sound, the harder it can be to discern its octave.