Green and hopeful

EdWord B. True

New member
Hi, I'm approaching retirement; and my life-long passions of writing and music have been largely put on hold in order to provide for, and raise a family. My mother was a pianist; and I played alto saxophone for a couple of years through junior high; and haven't played since. Nonetheless, I've been blessed with inspiration over the ensuing decades; so there's many songs written where I've simply either wrote the lyrics and set a melody to them, or vice versa.

What I'm hoping to discover with this group is whether or not there has as yet been developed software which will do the following:

  • Take a vocal recording and translate into a musical structure. I.E. at least a rudimentary form of sheet music.
Thanks to anybody who reads this post, and has any suggestions. Sincerely, Eddie
 

keith.rogers

Bobby'); DROP TABLE USER
I don't know of anything like that. Not saying it hasn't been written somewhere as an AI "proof of concept" but the likelihood anyone could pitch it as a money-maker is pretty slim, I'd think.

If you have a melody, any kind of "auto-tune" plug-in (Melodyne or, increasingly, ones that come with a full-featured DAW, can identify the notes, and from there it could be written or tabbed out, possibly converted to MIDI first.

If you played an instrument, you should be able to find the notes, e.g., on an inexpensive keyboard, and write out the melody and lyrics. Then you could probably enlist others to provide different chord & song structures. A site like kompoz.com might work for that - I see folks just posting lyrics alone, there.
 

gecko zzed

Grumpy Mod
If it is a vocal performance with no other accompaniment, it can be done.

For example, on a vocal track in Reaper you can use its tuning plugin (ReaTune) to send a midi note each time pitch changes. You can record this as a midi track, and then use notation within Reaper to produce a score of this track.

However,, there are obstacles.

1 ReaTune will send heaps of spurious notes for any change or inflection on the vocal track, so you need to do a lot of cleaning up afterwards.

2 To produce a score that follows general scoring conventions, you will need to identify time signature and tempo on the vocal trakc and set up the bats where they should belong.
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
Quite a few bits of software can do what you want but they are tricky to use because you need to sing to a click, so it can determine where the bars are, and of course you also need to sing to something that makes you sing in tune. As with all things in the computer audio world - a very simple thing takes a long time for the editing - dotted crotchets might appear as weird triplets, or bizarre clusters of rests appear where you don't expect. Much depends on what you want to actually do - as in sheet music or something you can edit?
 

EdWord B. True

New member
Quite a few bits of software can do what you want but they are tricky to use because you need to sing to a click, so it can determine where the bars are, and of course you also need to sing to something that makes you sing in tune. As with all things in the computer audio world - a very simple thing takes a long time for the editing - dotted crotchets might appear as weird triplets, or bizarre clusters of rests appear where you don't expect. Much depends on what you want to actually do - as in sheet music or something you can edit?
Sheet music is the initial goal. I can carry a tune...all while being 'in tune'; however, my vocal chords only last so long before petering out after a couple songs.
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
I suppose the key question is what you actually want to do? I think you want to be able to hum a melody you've come up with and be able to see it as notes on a stave. Presumably then you can play it back on a piano or sing it? If the voice gives up a bit, so you wait and record again, it just involves editing.

Me, for example - I'd never have a need to sing, play any of my instruments to do this apart from a keyboard - and my musical jotting is best served by a keyboard, played to a click. I can then view it as notes on a stave, or as notes on a piano roll editor. I can do all sorts. I'm not sure that there is a simple system for doing the same thing with humming a tune. I certainly cannot sing an E without something to stop be singing an Eb or F. So you'd need a click for your timing and some kind of tuning note. I suppose it boils down to what you actually want to achieve? It sounds a very simple task, but it's actually quite difficult to manage from the voice perspective. Software can identify notes, but I'm imagining what it would actually show you sang? It's a bit like playing a cello or other not fretted instrument. My double bass tuning I thought was pretty good. Cubase revealed I was hitting the right notes exactly about 10% of the time. I was always a tiny bit off. Lots of practice improved it. They odd thing was it was only when playing on my own. As soon as other instruments were being played - my tuning was great. I think your singing could be like my bass playing. If you have to sing to a tuning note or a melody, and have to take your timing from a click, then it's not going to be easy or nice to do, I should think.
 

EdWord B. True

New member
I suppose the key question is what you actually want to do? I think you want to be able to hum a melody you've come up with and be able to see it as notes on a stave. Presumably then you can play it back on a piano or sing it? If the voice gives up a bit, so you wait and record again, it just involves editing.

Me, for example - I'd never have a need to sing, play any of my instruments to do this apart from a keyboard - and my musical jotting is best served by a keyboard, played to a click. I can then view it as notes on a stave, or as notes on a piano roll editor. I can do all sorts. I'm not sure that there is a simple system for doing the same thing with humming a tune. I certainly cannot sing an E without something to stop be singing an Eb or F. So you'd need a click for your timing and some kind of tuning note. I suppose it boils down to what you actually want to achieve? It sounds a very simple task, but it's actually quite difficult to manage from the voice perspective. Software can identify notes, but I'm imagining what it would actually show you sang? It's a bit like playing a cello or other not fretted instrument. My double bass tuning I thought was pretty good. Cubase revealed I was hitting the right notes exactly about 10% of the time. I was always a tiny bit off. Lots of practice improved it. They odd thing was it was only when playing on my own. As soon as other instruments were being played - my tuning was great. I think your singing could be like my bass playing. If you have to sing to a tuning note or a melody, and have to take your timing from a click, then it's not going to be easy or nice to do, I should think.
The goal is similar to what you suggest; however, since I don't play an instrument, is to have sheet music which would allow others to play the song. Singing the songs I've written on key isn't an issue, transcribing them to paper most certainly is. Having so stated, it would seem the best suited software would 'hear' what's being sung, and then put into music notes, cadence and lyrical content. I can easily surmise editing would be required, perhaps even desired, for each new project.
 

DM60

Well-known member
OK, long way to get there, but ...

As stated, ReaTune, Waves, etc. will convert your notes to MIDI, which will be placed on a piano roll. From there, once it is cleaned up, you can then get the MIDI to export to notational software. However, what I think you would want to do is, get the melody translated, cleaned up etc. Then find the key and determine what chords you want with them, usually a standard chord progression I–V–vi–IV to start with for that key.

The songs won't be award winning, but with some knowledge, a little savviness you could do it. For example, get some of the MIDI software to play the chord progression, put a MIDI effect like arpeggio, etc. then start laying down your tune. Once you have a good "demo tape", then you could get other to play it and get a really good song.

Just some ideas.
 
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