real time transcription?

• Feb 16, 2016 - 15:29


Can MuseScore do a real time transcription? I have a midi keyboard connected, and every keystroke is recorded at the preselected note value. E.g. if I've chosen the quarter note, every keystroke is transcribed as a quarter note. Is there a way to have MuseScore listen to my keyboard playing and automatically adjust the note value without requiring manual edit for each note? I hope I'm explaining this clearly. Thanks.



You explained it quite clearly. That is currently not a feature of MuseScore. However, you can change the duration pretty quickly if you can spare a finger for the computer keyboard—e.g., to switch from entering quarter notes to eighth notes, just hit [3].


As Mark has explained in many posts, real time note entry is a "red herring" and not a feature required by serious professionals.

While I quite disagree, the fact is that all commercial notation software has this feature and the two biggest freeware products do not.

So if you need this feature, you have to plunk down some "Dough for the Do-Re-Mi" (old BMI slogan from the 1970s). Nothing wrong with that, actually.

In reply to by MikeHalloran

This isn't really the place to hash this out yet again, but since you mentioned me by name, I'd like to correct your mischaracterization of my view.

I never said that no serious professionals have ever requested this feature. It is quite clear that some number of professionals have. But what is equally clear is that lack of this feature does not make the program unsuitable for serious professional use. That is the "red herring".

Anyhow, I would very much like us to have this feature someday; there are just other features I personally would like us to have more that get higher priority.

In reply to by MikeHalloran

I was looking for the feature because I have a song from which I need to transcribe the vocal line for a simple sheet music for church use. And rather than doing it one note at a time, it would have been handy to play the music, have it tempo synced in MuseScore, and for me to follow the melody on my midi keyboard and have MuseScore transcribe it for me.

Alternately, I'm not a formally trained musician, and transcription is something I am interested in learning. I feel like I can learn a lot by how MuseScore "correctly" transcribes the music I play.

All this to say that MuseScore being a free software, it's bound to draw not just professional musicians, who, presumably, will think nothing of paying for commercial software for their livelihood, and draw in a lot of hobbyist / amateurs like myself, who would find features like this useful.

By the way, I found a workaround. I can play the track in GarageBand, play along with a midi keyboard, which GB transcribes, and then print the sheet music as PDF and convert it using MS website. A little convoluted, but doable. Alternately, I think other DAW softwares allow simple midi export (which GB doesn't allow) and import that directly to MuseScore. I'm hoping to figure out how to do that in PreSonus Studio One soon.

In reply to by kenhan

Yes, this is a common use case, and it's probably a more common type of request - basically, real time transcription as a way around learning to notate rhyhtms for oneself, as opposed to a speedier way of entering rhythms one already knows how to notate. There's also the matter of multiple notes to consider: whether it is assumed that everything being played in is supposed to go onto a single staff and represent a single voice (which more or less presupposes you already know how to notate the passage but are just looking for a faster way of entering it) versus whethere it is assumed that the program should attempt to figure out an optimal assignment of notes to staves and voices (which is basically impossible to get "right"; no three trained professionals would make the same choices in many cases).

So in developing such a feature, it is important to really understand which use cases and which type of user it is intended to address. It would be quite possible to develop a version of this feature that was faster for the professional user looking for a more efficient way of entering a passage he already knows how to notate but turned out to be next to useless for the beginner hoping MuseScore can figure out how to notate the passage for him. And vice versa. Again, my sense is, it's actually the beginner use that is the more common request we get and thus the more important to solve well.

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