I have recorded the output of an in-built track on my keyboard. It has a few instruments playing in the background, but I am interested in just the piano. How should I convert the recorded .mp3 file to a .midi file?

I have tried using Intelliscore for doing so, but I have not been able to adjust the thresholds and other settings to get anything meaningful out of it. Are there any other methods?

  • 2
    I assume you're limiting the answers to software solutions. You could always sit down and try to transcribe the music by ear. When you first start out, it is very time-consuming, but it gets faster and easier over time.
    – Babu
    Sep 8, 2012 at 19:13
  • 4
    This is somewhat akin to handwriting recognition - i.e. a very hard problem to solve. It'd be much easier to use a keyboard that can record the keys you play directly into MIDI format. Sep 10, 2012 at 9:31

5 Answers 5


audio to midi apps never work well beyond a melody on a single instrument. Add instruments or chords and they go downhill fast.

so you'll always be checking the results. and how do you check em? you're back to "by ear".

  • 1
    While I strongly encourage the "by-ear" method, it should be noted that there is indeed some software that is able to decompose audio tracks to single notes. It's called melodyne and seems to work quite well for single instrument tracks, judging from the press releases. I've never tried it myself, though... Sep 10, 2012 at 11:04

I have recorded the output of an in-built track on my keyboard.

"In-built tracks" more often than not are already stored as MIDI since that's the principle way to be able to play them at various speeds without incurring relevant artifacts.

If your keyboard can output them in MIDI in some manner, forget about recording the audio. Recording this with a MIDI sequencer will give you much better material to work with. Of course, if you can get the keyboard to somehow write a MIDI file on some internal device (USB stick or similar), you are likely to get an even better starting point with more information than the sequencing of a realtime MIDI string would deliver.


Read below if interested in a much more powerful new software tool available

(Only available circa the past ~5 years due to advances in the fields of machine learning [esp. "deep learning"] in computer science software)

For a a full example of extracting an mp3 sound file from a youtube video (in this case a piano concerto, so, not only piano, but a large ensemble orchestral accompaniments layered on top as well! - Rachmaninoff's famous Variation from his Paganini Variations Rhapsody piece, feat. the mesmerizing, practically divinely talented pianist...)

Yuja Wang Rachmaninoff rhapsody on a theme of paganini 18th variation# 2017 → to a fully automated solo piano reduction in just five minutes

Huge advances have/are recently being made in regards to software that addresses tasks precisely like this one (and many others, such as image classification, "deep fake" video generation, natural language processing summarization, speech recognition, etc.), due principally to the arrival of new techniques I'm sure we've all (or mostly have) heard of -- that is, Deep Learning. By far the best software for this I am aware of yet is called "AnthemScore". It's pretty incredible what it can do.


So here is an example (same one as can be found in my other answer: )... This took less than 5 minutes including the downloading of the mp3 from youtube.


And here's what it looked like in AnthemScore (notice the detection of notes clearly being based off of visualizing the fundamental frequencies of the various harmonics present - ultimately this is actually visual machine learning, just like Google's famous image recognition deep learning methods)


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    Does this software also capture dynamics (specifically, attack volume) of each note detected, as part of the midi data? May 29, 2022 at 15:55
  • You ARE aware that, although the conversion has detected a lot of the right notes, the transcription is unreadable and sounds terrible in playback? Could be a useful reference basis for a manual transcription though.
    – Laurence
    Jun 29, 2022 at 14:19
  • @LaurencePayne Respectfully I disagree that the playback sounds terrible! But yes, absolutely, I think you are correct in saying that this is primarily a[n extraordinarily powerful/state-of-the-art] tool for creating an automatically created score from which you would then use it as a basis for manually creating a human-edited score as perfectly as you can/wish. It simply gives you a tremendous head-start; and, in addition, beyond the scope and time (and char limit) imposed within this comment context here, I would also add that the tool provides many fascinating new insights into the music.. Jul 8, 2022 at 23:25
  • @BruceS Update: I just checked and the short answer is YES the software does capture the attack volume ("velocity") IF you choose MIDI [See: lunaverus.com/documentation#saveOptions ] "Additional MIDI Options Constant note volume (velocity): [...] the volume for each note will be automatically detected from the audio." Jul 8, 2022 at 23:40

You can't do that if you are work on live recording, such records your live play using "piano/keyboard" into a Digital Audio Workstation(e.g. Nuendo) which it saves the wave sounds into it.

The possible way to do its try to records your music using a "midi-controller" keyboard like behringer umx, or plug your keyboards with a usb midi cable and connect it to your recording stuff and have recording.


https://piano2notes.com should help you but it’s not free you have to pay for the full midi file but you can translate the first 30 seconds of your playing to midi for free. If you want to you could just open a midi editor and a mp3 editor and convert every 30 seconds of the edited mp3 to midi with the site and combine the midi in a midi editor, or you could just pay for the full midi it’s only about 2 dollars

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