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Best software to transform midi to piano note sheet #2629125
04/01/17 04:00 PM
04/01/17 04:00 PM
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 28
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Alexsms Offline OP
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Alexsms  Offline OP
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Hi, guys.

I'm a beginner piano player, and I have a bunch of midi files played on piano by different people. They are all improvisations and no scores available for them. There is also no separation of left hand from right hand in the midi files itself.

I like them much, and I would like to learn how to play it. I would like to transform them into note sheets for convenience. I don't have a perfect pitch, and not very experienced in musical notation, so I must mostly rely on some very good tool, I can only do some final edits myself, at best.

What will be the best tool for this? I'm especially concerned about proper separation of left hand from the right hand tracks. It will be a nightmare if I'll need to do this manually.

I've tried MuseScore because it's good and free, but sheets it generates from midi don't seem optimal at all. It doesn't seem to do the mentioned hand separation in the best way. Are there any better options?

Last edited by Alexsms; 04/01/17 04:02 PM.
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Re: Best software to transform midi to piano note sheet [Re: Alexsms] #2629139
04/01/17 04:13 PM
04/01/17 04:13 PM
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Alexsms Offline OP
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So you could understand the problem, here is an example of what mess MuseScore generates:

http://rgho.st/private/6YRQh4HFt/449d7bde1396d2e463812cbcf94078f7

Just look at this mixture of different cleffs..

Last edited by Alexsms; 04/01/17 04:14 PM.
Re: Best software to transform midi to piano note sheet [Re: Alexsms] #2629150
04/01/17 04:32 PM
04/01/17 04:32 PM
Joined: Jul 2010
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TheodorN Offline
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TheodorN  Offline
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If it's improvisations, then the score will be messy, no matter with which software you render the MIDIs.

Last edited by TheodorN; 04/01/17 04:32 PM.

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Re: Best software to transform midi to piano note sheet [Re: Alexsms] #2629163
04/01/17 05:13 PM
04/01/17 05:13 PM
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Boynton Beach, FL
Morodiene Offline
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I think Finale or Sibelius would be best for this because you have the most options for creating and editing scores. There still will be considerable clean-up to do, however.


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Re: Best software to transform midi to piano note sheet [Re: Alexsms] #2629171
04/01/17 05:27 PM
04/01/17 05:27 PM
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TheodorN Offline
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As a beginner myself, I'd be hesitant to take improvisations from other, probably experienced players in this case, and try to do the same. I think it's better to study the fundamentals of improvising first, than try to do something which seems very complex.

Only the key of the piece on the picture you posted, is a difficult key to play in, and certainly not suited for beginners. Though the piece can always be transposed.

I would rather try to figure out the basic ideas of the improvisations, than copy something advanced and complicated. I wonder if Morodiene, who is a piano teacher, agrees with me. cool

Last edited by TheodorN; 04/01/17 05:27 PM.

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Re: Best software to transform midi to piano note sheet [Re: Alexsms] #2629189
04/01/17 06:31 PM
04/01/17 06:31 PM
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Alexsms Offline OP
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Thank you for all recommendations. I still would like to learn those pieces smile I just like that kind of music - composed ad-hoc, under some fleeting emotion - more than more re-known compositions.

I've pondered over this problem a bit, and now I have a more specific requirements for the tool I need.

I decided it will be easier to start learning such piece while replaying it in Synthesia. It much more easier to understand which hand should go where than in those confusing note sheets MuseScore creates.

I'll be creating/correcting an auto-generated sheet at the same time. But I'll need that this notation tool be able to present me a piano keyboard where I can dynamically move some sort of demarcation line separating 2 hands. So it should work like this:

1) I select some measure with a mess of notes in it.
2) On diagram of piano keyboard all notes/keys played within the measure are highlighted
3) I move the demarcation line to a correct position and all notes in bars become accordingly redistributed between 2 staffs within that one measure (left hand's notes go to the bottom staff, right hand's - to the upper one)

Then I can do some final corrections by hand, and repeat the process for the next measure.

Are some of those powerful tools, like Finale or Sibelius, provide such features?

Last edited by Alexsms; 04/01/17 06:34 PM.
Re: Best software to transform midi to piano note sheet [Re: Alexsms] #2629205
04/01/17 08:05 PM
04/01/17 08:05 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,394
Boynton Beach, FL
Morodiene Offline
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AFAIK, they do not integrate with Synthesia.

Your best bet is to work with the mess that you'd get from Finale (there are ways of quantizing it so it's not giving you 32nd notes everywhere), in combination with using your ears to help you learn how to play them. Chord analysis can be very helpful here as well.


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Re: Best software to transform midi to piano note sheet [Re: Alexsms] #2629215
04/01/17 09:21 PM
04/01/17 09:21 PM
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oscar1 Offline
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I work with both musescore2 and Sibelius. In many ways Sibelius is like a big paid upgrade of musescore2, they share a lot of basics (for example shortcuts etc..) but sibelius goes way above and beyond obviously.
The sibelius has an option called renotate performance which can re-quantize and clean up messy score.
I would personally not really bother much with synthesia, I found learning this way far more difficult - but maybe you are different.
BTW sibelius has also onscreen keyboard that will highlight notes during playback.

However the biggest problem of improvisation and notation is the "free" tempo. The barlines will cut long notes then use slur to join them so you will end up with a lot of hard to read notation, even though the passage may be actually simple.
I found out that the best way to approach improvisation is with improvisation of your own. Simply listen what the passage sounds like, use the notation as a guidance and rewrite the left hand as chords and arpeggio of chords - because that what left hand will be 99% of time. (sibelius has a add chord from notation plugin) Then make it sound that way but your own. To copy exactly key presses from synthesia is IMHO a nigthmare and far from learning music, more like a game.


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Re: Best software to transform midi to piano note sheet [Re: Alexsms] #2629218
04/01/17 09:59 PM
04/01/17 09:59 PM
Joined: Jan 2010
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ElmerJFudd Offline
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If played at free tempo you need to first import the midi file into a good MIDI sequencer, like Logic Pro, Digital Performer, and the like. Then you can create a tempo track that you can use to stretch and compact the grid with tempo changes that make your free improvisation fit properly into bars and beats. At which time you will be able to use quantization to correct little imperfections and then use that sequence to generate notation - either in Logic or DP or export to MIDI again which will open in Sibelius or Finale with much greater accuracy.

It depends how important it is to you to analyze and preserve what's in those MIDI files. Honestly, you could probably notate from scratch with great accuracy from listening back to what you played if you're a decent transcriber.

Re: Best software to transform midi to piano note sheet [Re: Alexsms] #2629289
04/02/17 03:40 AM
04/02/17 03:40 AM
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TheodorN Offline
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What oscar1 said about free tempo. Improvisers will play very much rubato. They will increase or decrease the tempo throughout the piece, with different dynamics all the time.

Cleaning up MIDI files of improvisations, will therefore require a lot of work, but if you're willing to put in that work and time, by all means do it. You'll learn to read music in the process.

I've been going through Bill Hilton's videos (and a few others) about improvisation. Love them, so much information. It is clear improvisation requires a good knowledge, and practice, of scales, chords, chord progressions, and chord inversions, or voicings, sixts, sevenths, ninths, and so on.

Here is one of his videos, on cocktail piano.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OC2K7VAYd1A&index=3&list=PLpOuhygfD7QlnF-gxs4wKb2F8V4nPdZYd

Last edited by TheodorN; 04/02/17 03:41 AM.

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Re: Best software to transform midi to piano note sheet [Re: oscar1] #2629305
04/02/17 06:43 AM
04/02/17 06:43 AM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,394
Boynton Beach, FL
Morodiene Offline
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Morodiene  Offline
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Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted by oscar1
I work with both musescore2 and Sibelius. In many ways Sibelius is like a big paid upgrade of musescore2, they share a lot of basics (for example shortcuts etc..) but sibelius goes way above and beyond obviously.
The sibelius has an option called renotate performance which can re-quantize and clean up messy score.
I would personally not really bother much with synthesia, I found learning this way far more difficult - but maybe you are different.
BTW sibelius has also onscreen keyboard that will highlight notes during playback.

However the biggest problem of improvisation and notation is the "free" tempo. The barlines will cut long notes then use slur to join them so you will end up with a lot of hard to read notation, even though the passage may be actually simple.
I found out that the best way to approach improvisation is with improvisation of your own. Simply listen what the passage sounds like, use the notation as a guidance and rewrite the left hand as chords and arpeggio of chords - because that what left hand will be 99% of time. (sibelius has a add chord from notation plugin) Then make it sound that way but your own. To copy exactly key presses from synthesia is IMHO a nigthmare and far from learning music, more like a game.
+1!!

Also, the thing about improvisation is it is spontaneous. Anytime a person tries to recreate their improv, it never quite makes it and will lose that original feeling.

If one comes up with a great idea via improv, then that idea can be taken and made into a composition, which would not have the spontaneous aspect, but it could also be more satisfying to listen to over and over again, if good compositional principles are applied.

Why not take these improvs as inspiration to create your own? Perhaps the feeling or the basic idea, without copying note for note? I think this would be much less frustrating and much more fruitful.


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