Tuesday, 12 May 2015

How to automatic transcribe music? YouTube video and audio recording.

This year marks a new advancement in music transcription. Music transcription is a tough job by any one including profession musician. There are many desktop software that helps. Most software uses a technology named Fast Fourier Transformation or in short, FFT. It can tells you what frequencies are present in a small segment of the music. But user has to guess how the frequencies are arranged in time. See photo below. It is very time consuming as you have to move through each little steps to get all the notes of a song. And most of the time, the frequencies are corrupted and masked by noise. Most desktop and mobile version uses such method. And they are not free. 


Another version of FFT implementation is called the spectrogram. It plots frequency against time. It looks more music friendly like a piano roll.  The colour tells how loud the note is. However it does not have the accuracy that music need. And it is full of ghost notes. You could hardly tell what note it is and when it goes and ends. It does not capture the burst of notes that often happen quickly and shortly in music. Below is spectrogram of a music for 30 seconds. Most of the time, this method is used to study animals calling instead of music. 




Finally a totally new and easy way to transcribe music is available. It produces accurate result that is not possible before. The above 2 current methods have been around for about 20 years. The new app is called Instant Music Transcription. It lets you record the music and transcribe it at the same time. It gives very clear cut time information for every note. For the same 30 seconds of music, you can see clean start and end of each note. Multiple burst of notes are also captured clearly. It has trim scale and time and audio playback so that you can know what note play what sound. It is as good as the music sheet! 100% free. Download now at  



Now music transcription is as easy as recording a music and seeing her musical notes!

Written by 
YC Loh 
13 May 2015

ps. The iPhone version is released on 6 months later on 131115. It has extra feature to transcribe music in YouTube video. The free app is at iTune 

2 comments:

  1. hello. very excited to try this app. unfortunately not recording on my phone. no signal showing up.

    motorola atrixHD #mb866. android 4.1.1

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hello and thanks. The latest version will work. Please email me your progress.

    ReplyDelete