Such a tool would be extremely useful to me. What I want it to do is, given a sound file be able to get the pitch every time it changes. I don't know how this could be done, or even if it's possible. As a beginner guitarist, I find manually transcribing music into tabs to be extremely difficult, especially for fast-played music like this.

I thought about trying to make a tool like this myself, but this type of signal processing is beyond my ability, since the tool should be able to separate instruments playing together to get the accurate pitch. I'm really hoping there's an alternative.

Thanks for reading.

  • 1
    Transcribe! is a Windows program that can help pick out the notes from a spectrogram, as well as change tempo and pitch independently. It also has other features that make transcription and practice easier.
    – JimR
    Commented May 20, 2012 at 16:20
  • I'll second that; I'm using Transcribe to learn Charlie Christian's solos, and it's made a difficult process much easier.
    – PSU
    Commented May 23, 2012 at 17:40
  • Put it in an answer then. By the way, @hassan, what is your operating system?
    – Luke_0
    Commented May 25, 2012 at 12:12
  • @Luke Mac OS X. I haven't tried Transcribe, but from what I understand it's similar to Capo.
    – Hassan
    Commented May 25, 2012 at 19:47

3 Answers 3


If you have a Mac or iPhone/iPad, you could use Capo to do this.

  • I just downloaded the trial and transcribed the first part of the song I linked to (although the spectrogram was really messy, possibly because of the song's poor quality). Anyway, what a great tool! I love it! I'm surprised it's only for mac though. Anyway, great suggestion.
    – Hassan
    Commented May 20, 2012 at 1:01
  • 1
    There's a good website for checking out similar software, alternativeto.net. It list a couple of alternatives to capo, and you can add more, if you find them.
    – naught101
    Commented May 20, 2012 at 4:33
  • Does it handle microtones that seemed necessary for the sample clip Hassan gave? Commented May 20, 2012 at 7:49
  • 1
    @UlfÅkerstedt It does seem to handle them (somewhat). I can zoom in pretty far and get good detail, but like I said, the spectrogram it draws looks rather messy, and the farther you zoom in, the messier it gets. I haven't tried the program for cleaner recordings though.
    – Hassan
    Commented May 20, 2012 at 9:36
  • Capo does not transcribe audio and identify pitches automatically. It is designed to provide tools to assist a human being in figuring out this information.
    – user1044
    Commented May 21, 2012 at 20:35

Neuratron AudioScore

Celemony Melodyne

I don't have any direct experience with these products. Please check out their Web sites and try their demos.


I have 2 apps in Apple's iTunes iOS App store that attempt do something like that to some small degree: the HotPaw Productions Sing-inTuna app, and Music Spectrograph. With the latter app you will still need to manually separate out each instrument's note pitch from the mixed together overtone series.

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