I am not after product recommendation but information on if this type of product exists outside of expensive dedicated music software.

For instance I sing a little melody line while strumming a 4-chord pattern on the guitar, but lack the musical ear to know what I'm singing. Or, I sing a song I know well to see what the melody line is rather than try to work it out note by note.

If such things exist, do they require careful singing - la-la-la rather than words for instance - and are they able to work around my imperfect relative pitch?

Where are we at technologically? Is it something any $0.99 app can do?

  • 2
    Unfortunately, asking for product recommendations is specifically what you seem to be doing here. There are transcription applications / plugins, but most of them are silly and unhelpful. Many applications are embedded within larger, expensive programs like Finale or Band in a Box. Don't rely on something to do the work for you. Train you ears. Use your brain. Become a better musician. Commented Jan 6, 2015 at 23:59
  • No, it's not what I'm asking which is why I said it. Imagine I was a old-school pianist who never used computers and was wondering if there were tools which would auto-transcribe my playing, since I didn't know anything about computer capabilities. And I'm sorry but "train your ears" is not helpful advice, tools exist for a reason. Of course it would be nice to get to that point but I don't see people asking about time-slowing tools being described as pointless.
    – Mr. Boy
    Commented Jan 7, 2015 at 7:58
  • For instance "this is what such a tool would be called but cheap products don't work well" would be an answer. I don't know what to Google for to start investigating, and knowing if the thing even exists would save me searching for a tool which isn't out there :)
    – Mr. Boy
    Commented Jan 7, 2015 at 8:12
  • 1
    Transcribing is a very basic music theory skill. This is something you really should be doing yourself.
    – Neil Meyer
    Commented Jan 9, 2015 at 14:19

4 Answers 4


As far as I'm aware, there is no specific plugin that will transcribe what you sing in to it, I think that's probably too complex a task. You can however run an Autotune plugin that has a display of the note you are singing and write down the notes yourself, or pull up a piano vst and just find the notes you're singing.


However much money you are prepared to spend, the best - probably the only - computer for doing this is the wet one sitting between your ears, plus your musical skills and experience.


So anyway I came across this software after failing to get useful answers here: http://scorecloud.com/

I've had fairly poor results with it so far to be honest but that may be limitations of my technique. Someone else might find this useful so I'm sharing it... it'd be interesting to hear if trained singers get better accuracy than I do (post a comment if you like).


I'm jumping right into products, sorry in advance. These are some of the best around, but there are others in each product category that would do the same thing.

There are in fact programs that will do exactly what you're asking, but they aren't inexpensive. Steinberg's Cubase, a digital audio workstation, will record a mono track of your voice through a microphone, and then with the sample editor you can use a feature called "VariAudio" which plots your voice, note by note, on a vertical "keyboard" that extends the black and white "keys" across the page so that you can see where you're singing. You can also edit the pitch and timing, making notes longer or shorter, and with other edits you can change the amplitude of the note as well.

Cubase is a program in and of itself, but it and other digital audio workstations host third-party "plugins" and those can be even more powerful. Celemony's Melodyne will not only graph your voice according to pitch but will pop out the musical notation right above it given the time signature and key of the song. It works pretty well. Also, with Melodyne, you can strum chords on a guitar or play them on a piano and it will recognize the chord and display the notes on a staff in the very voicing you used, allowing you to then change, say, the root of the chord to the third or the fifth, what have you.

These are some of the tools that industry professionals use to record and to transpose. I have heard of many more but I wouldn't personally recommend something I haven't used before.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.