Piano World Home Page

Any advances-- converting mp3 or wav file to midi files?

Posted By: bfb

Any advances-- converting mp3 or wav file to midi files? - 01/30/12 06:28 PM

i think this subject was approached a couple years ago and the consensus was there wasn't anything good for converting mp3 or wave data into a midi file - that could be read as notation.

Is that still the case, or has anything better come out since then?

one of my favorite solo piano works is Dave Grusin's Random Hearts- on his solo piano movie theme CD. No sheet music or lead sheets available. a little too complex to figure out in my head and i'm not a transcriber. so the mp3 to midi - even if crappy- would give me a foundation to work off.

anything interesting out there to play with?

thanks!
Posted By: gvfarns

Re: Any advances-- converting mp3 or wav file to midi files? - 01/30/12 06:35 PM

widisoft WIDI, maybe? I haven't used it, only heard.
Posted By: bfb

Re: Any advances-- converting mp3 or wav file to midi files? - 01/30/12 06:47 PM

Originally Posted by gvfarns
widisoft WIDI, maybe? I haven't used it, only heard.


that seems to be first thing pops up when googled. wonder if its really worth 129 bucks!
Posted By: gvfarns

Re: Any advances-- converting mp3 or wav file to midi files? - 01/30/12 06:51 PM

Maybe try a free software implementation first. It might be good enough since there is only one timbre to worry about hopefully.

Or maybe someone else in the forum has mor knowledge about this.
Posted By: dannac

Re: Any advances-- converting mp3 or wav file to midi files? - 01/30/12 08:23 PM

I've tried Audio Score & Intelliscore, not very accurate.
Hit and miss .... you have to spend so much time cleaning up the notation. it's not worth the time.

IMO ... use something like Transcribe from www.seventhstring.com, really good for figuring out songs.

Probably many softwares can do the the same thing, but this one allows you to set up your own shortscuts for making selections, loops, etc ....

Works great with a foot pedal also.
Posted By: bfb

Re: Any advances-- converting mp3 or wav file to midi files? - 01/30/12 08:41 PM

what i was hoping to accomplish with it it to at least see enough in the output to be able to discern a melody line and identify a chord structure underneath. and then take that, create a lead sheet from it and then reconstruct from there. i think i'll try something free and see if i can get anywhere close....
Posted By: bfb

Re: Any advances-- converting mp3 or wav file to midi files? - 01/30/12 08:45 PM

dannac- thanks for that website- really looks interesting. they pretty much say the "problem" has not yet been solved...
Posted By: Kawai James

Re: Any advances-- converting mp3 or wav file to midi files? - 01/30/12 09:59 PM

Bruce, you may also wish to try the trial version of Melodyne in order to decipher the notes of the tune:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4YEebBN2ok

Cheers,
James
x
Posted By: bfb

Re: Any advances-- converting mp3 or wav file to midi files? - 01/31/12 12:46 AM

Originally Posted by Kawai James
Bruce, you may also wish to try the trial version of Melodyne in order to decipher the notes of the tune:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4YEebBN2ok

Cheers,
James
x


thanks James.... Now that really is fascinating stuff. appreciate your pointing it out to me. a bit outside my price range for what i want to do, but really technologically interesting.

i guess the beauty of technology like that is it might allow someone with more musical talent in their head than in their hands to be able to fully express themselves.
Posted By: Kawai James

Re: Any advances-- converting mp3 or wav file to midi files? - 01/31/12 12:53 AM

Yes, I believe there is some truth in that.

However, the cynic in me suggests that this kind of software may actually result in more over-produced, sterile music, where everything is beat-for-beat and note-for-note perfect.

James
x
Posted By: bfb

Re: Any advances-- converting mp3 or wav file to midi files? - 01/31/12 01:56 AM

its not cynicism- its the truth. music quantization and midi editing is like that Christian Bale movie - Equilibrium. no highs, no lows... no life!

this one program- amazing midi- might be worth looking at. and if that doesn't work. i guess i will just have to listen to the song long enough to where i can work it out in my head because i can see this spinning off course into a techno-trap quickly.
Posted By: Glenn NK

Re: Any advances-- converting mp3 or wav file to midi files? - 01/31/12 04:06 AM

My take on this is that if each key/note of a piano only produced the fundamental (no overtones at all), it could be possible. But that is not the case.

Even the simplest of cases (hypothetical of course) where each note had only the fundamental and the first overtone (an octave higher), and the pianist struck only two keys an octave apart (dampers on the strings to prevent SR), how could software tell if one or two or three keys were struck?

Now add the complexity of all the possible overtones in one string (twelve or so will pretty well define the timbre), and no dampers on the strings.

Now suppose that the piano is playing middle C, and so is the clarinet. The fundamentals of both are pure sine waves which have identical shape (it's only the partials that define timbre). I'm not betting that software can tell them apart.

I'm not a believer that this one will be sorted out soon by software.

What then becomes so amazing is that gifted and experienced musicians can do it.

Glenn
Posted By: gnembon

Re: Any advances-- converting mp3 or wav file to midi files? - 01/31/12 06:10 AM

Originally Posted by bfb
i think this subject was approached a couple years ago and the consensus was there wasn't anything good for converting mp3 or wave data into a midi file - that could be read as notation.

Is that still the case, or has anything better come out since then?


If you like digging into papers and do research, I would recommend you looking into this:

http://www.music-ir.org/mirex/wiki/

To be honest - with any complication with the input recording, it is not solvable and I think won't be.
Bach Inventions - possibly; Chopin's Fantasie-Impromptu - forget about it.
Posted By: Dazzie2

Re: Any advances-- converting mp3 or wav file to midi files? - 01/31/12 12:07 PM

seems like the same subject i want to talk about !! is Is it possible to convert CD , mp3 song files to midi and using a program software like - PreSonus Studio One, when it has been converted to midi take out the sounds you want, e.g In my case I would leave the drums and bass and that would be like my backing track ?
Posted By: Kawai James

Re: Any advances-- converting mp3 or wav file to midi files? - 01/31/12 12:28 PM

In theory, yes.
In practise, it's not quite as successful as you would hope.

The quality of the outcome depends largely on the input audio source. If you are feeding the audio->MIDI software a fast, complicated track, with lots of instruments, it's unlikely that you will get a 'clean', accurate MIDI representation.

James
x
Posted By: Brent H

Re: Any advances-- converting mp3 or wav file to midi files? - 01/31/12 01:10 PM

And reverb, whether naturally occurring or added in post-processing, seems to make it hugely more difficult.
Posted By: erichlof

Re: Any advances-- converting mp3 or wav file to midi files? - 01/31/12 07:13 PM

Hi,

This problem has a parallel in the visual realm called "image recognition" software. Let's say you wanted the computer to make a positive ID of all the trees it sees with it's on-board camera. I believe most cutting-edge research software can make positive IDs of trees from photos or a still from a well-shot video. But if you increase the noise with FX filters or show it a loose impressionist painting of a tree, the computer at this stage of the game, in 2012, will fail. Software is not able to always filter the unnecessary information and get down to the core of what 'a tree' is and the general Platonic concept of a tree that us humans have in our minds.

There are 2 ways to deal with this problem - brute force and machine learning. Brute force would be to give it a huge database of every image of a tree you can find(close to an infinite variety). Machine learning would be to teach it like teaching a small child - 'this is tree, this is what a tree typically contains (leaves, a trunk, etc.)' and then through agonizing trial and error, revision after revision, you might get what we have today in cutting-edge software.

A practical example of fooling today's software is when you have to enter a secret code on a website from an image that has been distorted somehow. It might read "Apple" but the letters are skewed and lower software cannot handle this yet. But humans right away say, "oh that says Apple. "

Sorry to diverge there, but getting back to "acoustic recognition" software, the same brute force or machine learning techniques are applicable. If you wanted the computer to recognize a C minor chord no matter what inversion or what instrument(s) are playing it, you could give it a huge database of every possible C minor chord instance ever written in classical/jazz literature and then it would just compare the chord in question to its HUGE database of harmonies. Or, and this is the way of the future I think, you start from scratch and teach it basic ear-training. To my knowledge, this is not yet possible in 2012 - to accurately notate harmonies and separate the individual notes that make them up, and then transfer that into a score, one after the other.

I think software could be taught (and maybe has already been taught) how to hear melody in real time, as it is linear. But harmony and its subtleties is much more difficult (even for humans with Absolute Pitch). It will come someday, but it might be another 10 years from now (when we have more massive parallel processing and 3D chip technology).

That being said, we are living in a great time for technology advances just on the horizon!
Posted By: gnembon

Re: Any advances-- converting mp3 or wav file to midi files? - 01/31/12 08:25 PM

What you are saying touches the core of the problem. Image recognition programs can address very specific questions like "detect if a tree is on a picture" or "find a licence plate on an image and if there is, what is written on it", but not "tell me what's on the picture".

If you would like to apply that to music, a relevant question that can be answered would be "in this piece, does the clarinet play c or d note", and the one that is too broad would be "name all the instruments and write down what they are playing"
Posted By: erichlof

Re: Any advances-- converting mp3 or wav file to midi files? - 02/01/12 05:18 AM

Yes I agree that a computer could be taught to pick out a pitch and match the Hz to its table of frequencies. And like you said, to be able to pick out an instrument in a dense orchestral chord and say what note it is playing - that's way off down the road yet technologically speaking.

I was pondering this afternoon how this problem might be solved and there may be a way through harmonic/spectral analysis. All clarinets for example have a certain dominance of harmonics, as does a violin or a trumpet. If we ('we' meaning computer scientists) could teach a computer to identify timbre, it would be able to make an educated guess as to what instrument it is listening to and what pitch it is playing (by subtracting the unnecessary overtones for that particular instrument's spectral signature).

As Glenn already mentioned above, when you get a wash of harmonics like a piano with the sustain pedal down, you would need serious algorithms to try an subtract the unnecessary overtones and then try to single out the individual pitches. I think this will ultimately require a hybrid approach of brute force (a huge table of a piano's harmonic spectra to refer to) as well as some decent machine learning (ear training for quality of Major vs. minor chords, inversions, octave doublings, etc.)

I'm not saying it is impossible - everything that can be computed in this universe will ultimately be computed by the time we humans are done with our quest for knowledge/tech. But I wouldn't know how to even start this kind of software project. It maybe a decade before we make significant strides.

Which stinks because I would love to have Bill Evans' complete solo piano recordings transcribed note for note in MIDI, and with his dense lush harmonies, it would take me forever to do just one album by ear. smile
Posted By: Brent H

Re: Any advances-- converting mp3 or wav file to midi files? - 02/01/12 11:09 AM

I think the majority of Bill Evans arrangements (or at least a good many of them) have been transcribed onto sheet music and commercially published.
Posted By: bfb

Re: Any advances-- converting mp3 or wav file to midi files? - 02/01/12 03:40 PM

Originally Posted by Glenn NK
My take on this is that if each key/note of a piano only produced the fundamental (no overtones at all), it could be possible. But that is not the case.

Even the simplest of cases (hypothetical of course) where each note had only the fundamental and the first overtone (an octave higher), and the pianist struck only two keys an octave apart (dampers on the strings to prevent SR), how could software tell if one or two or three keys were struck?


Glenn


seems like you could program the recognition software to only indicate notes or signals at a certain volume or dynamic level? it would seem the overtones would have a different dynamic signature than the struck note? not that i have a clue...
Posted By: Serge88

Re: Any advances-- converting mp3 or wav file to midi files? - 02/01/12 04:14 PM

There is Band in a Box from pgmusic with Chord analysis. Here what they say,
"The Audio Chord Wizard has the amazing ability to analyze, extract, and show the chords from audio recordings on-screen and then write them to the Band-in-a-Box chord sheet."

I tried it a few times and it help me find the melody and the chords of a song.

Serge
Posted By: bfb

Re: Any advances-- converting mp3 or wav file to midi files? - 02/01/12 04:18 PM

good input Serge. haven't used Band-in-Box in a long time..
Posted By: Glenn NK

Re: Any advances-- converting mp3 or wav file to midi files? - 02/01/12 04:54 PM

Originally Posted by bfb
Originally Posted by Glenn NK
My take on this is that if each key/note of a piano only produced the fundamental (no overtones at all), it could be possible. But that is not the case.

Even the simplest of cases (hypothetical of course) where each note had only the fundamental and the first overtone (an octave higher), and the pianist struck only two keys an octave apart (dampers on the strings to prevent SR), how could software tell if one or two or three keys were struck?


Glenn


seems like you could program the recognition software to only indicate notes or signals at a certain volume or dynamic level? it would seem the overtones would have a different dynamic signature than the struck note? not that i have a clue...


A small problem arises: what if I play middle C very quietly and high C loudly? The dynamics solution to distinguish the two notes then won't work.

As a piano player I very often do play notes at different dynamic levels (velocities in the midi terminology) for effect and nuance.

On a clarinet, a number of notes can be played with different fingerings (upper and lower registers). The result is notes with the same/similar pitch but different timbres. How does software get the right one?

In general instruments that can play more than one note at a time and in which there is "cross-talk" (sympathetic resonance) between notes will be extremely difficult to decode. Single note instruments (horns, etc) that can't hold more than one note at a time may be possible.

But personally I'm not betting on the complex instruments ever being decoded.

An orchestra? I don't even dream of that one.

Glenn

EDIT:

When is the last time you heard a good saxophonist that didn't use pitch bends - now what does the software do? Guitars use them frequently and they employ SR.

I've created pitch bends in my MIDI editor - is there an easy way to notate this on a score?

There are so many complexities that the practicality of the undertaking is questionable.
Posted By: gnembon

Re: Any advances-- converting mp3 or wav file to midi files? - 02/01/12 07:12 PM

Originally Posted by erichlof
I'm not saying it is impossible - everything that can be computed in this universe will ultimately be computed by the time we humans are done with our quest for knowledge/tech. But I wouldn't know how to even start this kind of software project. It maybe a decade before we make significant strides.

Yes and No. I am actually doing my research in music analysis as a computer scientist. Technically speaking there is a simple algorithm i.e. list all possible combinations, evaluate how the spectrum (cepstrum, whatever) would look like for each configuration and pick the most probable one, but there is a catch - such a system would work in exponential time and the problem is NP-complete which means that no machine would be ever able to scale it well.
Posted By: glovewildplaces

Re: Any advances-- converting mp3 or wav file to midi files? - 03/02/12 04:43 PM

Great discussions guys.
Bruce B,
(Disclaimer I'm just a very old very part-time hobbyist piano thumber for a couple of years, but longtime computer geek.)
Anyway, I tried all the all of em (Celemony Melodyne, IntelliScore Ensemble, Widisoft, AudioScore) disclaimer#2 just my results & i am no pro but... None were very useful. (even if they got a fair portion of the notes in midi they were not timed correctly/quantized.)

But as part of my ear training (for me, there was no substitute for closing eyes & opening ears) process I use dirt cheap, Seventh String Transcribe all the time. (used to use Audicity...weak by compare) It just plain works at showing you the various runs & chords etc. (most of the time & after a little practice I got good enough to know when it is right or wrong.) Yea, I slow it down allot sometimes, not as much as I used to ! smile
I can now pretty much tell what key a piece is in & hack/play very short time within a minute or 2 just by listening, no softare.
Here is 30 day trial.
http://www.seventhstring.com/xscribe/download.html
Here's a playlist put together of Mark H's great tutorial on Transcribe & his lightning fast input into Sibelius.(remember though that is for sax so he doesn't have to worry about piano chords)
Btw, No credit for me on tutorial at all. He did all of it (I just organized it into a easy list of them.)
But notice he DOES NOT use the spectrum tool (because he has such a good ear ). I use spectrum tool all the time for the various chords mostly.
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL951DF7D2DF08491A&feature=g-playlist

Oh yea, if you download the piano version of Random Hearts ("Now Playing: Movie Themes - Solo Piano") it is fairly easy to see what is happening with the complex jazz chords he does(key of Am) by using Transcribe. (I ain't saying i get all the notes perfect each time....at all)

good luck, it sure is allot of fun.
imho, yrmv. & sorry about small font.

Edit Disclaimer#3: 7th String Transcribe is NOT auto transcribe software. It provides really good fidelity when slowing down music (very important for picking out triads, etc) & pretty good guesses of which notes are played via waveform spectrum analysis. Regardless, it is just a visual associating learning tool but once your ear tuning get's there well....& imho all it takes is no more practice than learning to read music.
Posted By: bfb

Re: Any advances-- converting mp3 or wav file to midi files? - 03/02/12 07:35 PM

thanks Glovewildplaces- i will look at Transcribe.

PS: for an "old guy" you sure are comfortable with SMALL FONT!!! I guess your eyes are still as good as your ears!

Posted By: glovewildplaces

Re: Any advances-- converting mp3 or wav file to midi files? - 03/03/12 01:38 AM

Thanks ! Sorry, about that font I just try & make fit cause i'm so long winded.;)
© 2019 Piano World Piano & Digital Piano Forums