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There is a song that I cannot find in midi format, and was wondering what the best process would be to create such a file, if I have either the original score and/or an audio recording of an orchestra playing it (i.e. Berlioz: "Roméo et Juliette"

).

Related question: Are there any software or other programs that can transcribe from audio recordings or somehow read/interpret the sheet music automatically, or must all notes be manually entered into a midi editor?

Note: I have some experience editing .midi file source code as well as using midi editors. But stll wondering what are the best way to approach transcribing existing songs (and realize that some approaches may collate all the instruments, while the ideal result should differentiate each instrument in a separate channel).

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  • Related question, concerning extraction of piano voice from a given audio.
    – guidot
    Feb 6, 2023 at 8:59
  • How do you plan on using the MIDI file you create? The use will affect the method (and the nature of the file.)
    – Theodore
    Feb 6, 2023 at 16:17
  • Hi @Theodore, I mainly use .midis in an app called Synthesio, that notates the music as falling notes on a virtual piano keyboard, and then I can choose which instruments to show (i.e. a score might include two violins and one piano, but I might turn off the piano and just try to play the two violin notes). Feb 7, 2023 at 19:03

2 Answers 2

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Lots of paid score-editing programs, e.g. Sibelius, have some sort of music scanning capability. You supply a pdf, or scan in the sheet music a page at a time and you end up with a score.

If you google you'll be able to find a pdf score of Romeo and Juliet, so that might be your starting point. This will be much faster than physically scanning each page…

Even though the accuracy of the scan is pretty good, you still need to cross-reference the created score against the original.

And, sadly, current technology doesn't yet allow the creation of notation from an audio recording of a symphony orchestra. But I look forward to the day when we can say "show me the notation of what are the second violins doing there."

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It's quite a bit of work, but if you can sight-read the sheet music even at a very slow tempo, you could play a MIDI keyboard to input the MIDI data part-by-part into a digital audio workstation (DAW). Reaper is free for trial use and has quite a good MIDI editor for correcting your mistakes. The nice thing is that you can also use VST plug-ins to play your parts all together to aurally check the music as well.

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  • Thanks, I am looking for a faster solution but good to know! Feb 7, 2023 at 19:04

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