I'm a guitarist who is working on Jazz transcription. I'm doing OK with identifying the right notes and fingering, but am struggling with notating rhythm. It would be really useful if I could plug an instrument in (e.g. via Midi), trigger a click track, and see the rhythmic notation for the passage that I'm working on.

I have a Roland GI-20 interface for my guitar, and a Godin guitar with right pickup to translate to Midi. I realize that potential problems with this, so am open to getting a USB/Midi keyboard instead.

I'm using Guitar Pro 6 for transcription, but that may be able to capture Midi.

I use Linux Mint as my day-to-day OS, but also have a Windows 8.1 machine I can use.

Would love some feedback regarding the Midi-->notation recording.

closed as off-topic by guidot, Dom Dec 17 '18 at 0:27

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  • Keep this question open. I think this could benefit a lot of people. The OP is not really asking for gear recommendation. The OP is asking about what software can be used to capture MIDI. – MrTheBard Mar 27 '15 at 11:20
  • As the answers indicate, clean up all MIDIs you produce this way and beware of tied-into 64th notes. MIDI capture is notorious for preserving every slight rhythmic inaccuracy you make. – Dekkadeci Feb 15 '18 at 15:59
  • Possible duplicate of Transcribing a Standard MIDI File to sheet music – guidot Dec 16 '18 at 18:55

All full-featured notation programs available these days can "transcribe" from MIDI input (and even GarageBand has a notation mode). But these are always prone to errors, since your rhythmic inputs are non-mechanical timings, for which the program needs to guess what rhythm you meant.

So really, this functionality is provided mostly as an input shortcut for people who already know what notation they want -- the player must be able to catch the errors made by the program and correct them.

That said, the transcription you're already doing is a great way to teach yourself these rhythms, and even better if you can compare when you're done with a professional or published transcription.


You could always utilize a scoring program, such as Sibelius or Finale. I've used both and they're both pretty good at capturing MIDI and transcribing it. The programs often generate some strange rhythmic interpretations for MIDI performances, but Sibelius has a built function where you can find an equivalent notation and sometimes it fixes it, sometimes it's still a little wonky.

However, you can certainly plug in a midi controller and get a 'decently' transcribed version with both programs. In Sibelius you can also generate tabs (with rhythms) or just a traditional music score. Both programs have demos available so you should download them and see if they work for you.


Almost all DAWs can record midi input - in addition they have metronome and post edit capability you could use to clean it up.

I would:

  1. Use any DAW to record the midi
  2. Clean up the midi with respect to timing issues etc
  3. Import the midi into Sibelius to get

You could do 1 and 2 pretty well in Sibelius also but for me it would be easier in a DAW (However your mileage may vary!!)

An alternative would be to use something like Cakewalk 3.0 (ancient software) but it is really old and only runs on XP, so probably isn't an option.


Try ScoreCloud. It does a fantastic job with MIDI input. Better than anything else I've tested.

ScoreCloud now has a new accoustic analysis, so you do not need midi anymore. Very cool!

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