How to make sheet music out of MIDI performance in a DAW?

Discussion in 'Acoustic' started by Andrew, Feb 6, 2018.

  1. Andrew

    Andrew AudioSEX Maestro Staff Member

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    Hey Audiosexers!
    I am having an issue trying to render sheet music out of my REAPER project. The gist is - I was asked by my teacher to provide a sheet of one of my tracks - and the task ended up in a spectacular failure.

    That project contains a myriad of recorded expression:
    • Woodwind and Brass parts are recorded using breath controller (so note-starts are initiated by CC2 > 0, not just by note-on)
    • Notes are purposely shifted to compensate for delay in recorded samples in Kontakt libraries
    • Articulations are usually contained in separate tracks

    To start somewhere I re-recorded all the parts on piano VSTi so that it can be readily quantized and in turn exported to Musescore as MIDI.
    But it flopped and Musescore haven't correctly translated the timings (Anvil Studio didn't have a problem though). Not to mention how time consuming was that exercise.

    Could any of you share software/procedure recommendations on how to simplify the process of turning such MIDI performance into actual human-readable sheet music form?
    Thanks for input!
     
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  3. oisinn

    oisinn Ultrasonic

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    I was just this minute playing around with Midi and generating scores and thinking about printing out. Not much experience at it though.
    Anvil Studio does look good to me but you will have to pay out 39 bucks to obtain the printing function. However I have been experimenting with MagicScore Maestro v8 and the Scoring, Midi and Printing seem to tie in very efficiently AND it is available on the Sister Site for you to try out. All the best:like:
     
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  4. BibouLeNoob

    BibouLeNoob Kapellmeister

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    For you CC2 issue, you could use midiconverter3 from pizmidi which converts any midi signal to any given other one (ie CC2 to note on).
    For quantization, you could try to import your midis as a melody track within BIAB, it is surprinsingly good in quantizing to either straight or swing notes (it's a hit or miss thing). It also produces very simply customizable lead sheets and simple partitions.

    You can also try the tons of news scripts available via reascript, especially those from kawa, mpl and juliansader who provide workflow helpers for all things related to midi
     
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  5. scrappy

    scrappy Producer

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    In asking you to provide a sheet from "performance" midi, I think your teacher has set you up to fail.
    It's never gonna come out legibly on the printed page the way it sounds when played from within the project.
    It's a bit of a chore I'm afraid.
    I suggest creating a copy of the project, so you don't ruin all the work you've put in with controllers and so on, treat that as a template from which to basically re-edit the pianoroll (or whatever your midi input preference is) so that it is, or looks, correct when printed to paper. Though it will sound shit, it will be a legible score.
    just like transcribing from recordings in the olden days when I was alive, you have to "correct" the performance to be legible but at least you have more than just your ears and a pen to work from.
    example:
    you know where your notes begin when triggered by breath control rather than by note on, and you know the pitch and the length.
    So simply enter a note on the pianoroll that is the correct pitch and length.
    Each part of the piece will need different treatment. As you say, some parts can simply be quantized but others can't.
    You may have to transpose parts up or down an octave for them to sit right on the stave, especially if your teach wants a grand staff layout.
    So it's not easy to have an overall strategy.
    You may have to treat each part and even smaller sections of those parts differently.
    computers are great, but...
    When it's finished I would also give the teacher a print out of the original project pianoroll (especially the parts where there is no apparant note on action) and ask him if he could easily score it.
    Then I'd walk off and tell him to swivel on it.
    Good luck
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2018
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  6. Andrew

    Andrew AudioSEX Maestro Staff Member

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    @scrappy That's what I'm currently doing. I play all the parts one more time using piano VSTi so that the tracks are easy to work with, but it's still quite a chore trying to align timing and length for every midi item, and considering the enormous advances in AI, I imagined there's something in development which would intelligently transcribe what I had in mind in that performace.
    Not today Mr. Weasley it seems...:sad:
     
  7. suefreeman

    suefreeman Kapellmeister

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    you already have this function in REAPER ?
    Why use another software ?
    ( or at least you can edit and preview before you export for other software )
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2018
  8. Andrew

    Andrew AudioSEX Maestro Staff Member

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    Because the notation view in REAPER still has some rough edges and the pdf exports are a bit buggy.
    It's good for visualization and quick check though.
     
  9. Funk U

    Funk U Producer

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    Hey @Andrew, I don't know if you have Cubase, but if you do try exporting the midi/or convert the REAPER project into cubase first. Because to notion features are implemented Cubase much better. Just an idea.
     
  10. scrappy

    scrappy Producer

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    Yeah, it's a chore. But at least you're on your way.
    Plus, of course, you will (eventually) get the satisfaction of holding in your hand a nicely engraved physical manifestation of all the work you put into the piece in the first place. just try to make the chore as much fun for yourself as you can.
     
  11. junh1024

    junh1024 Rock Star

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    I don't wanna sound like like a dick, but Sibelius has a lot of PP+options to make rough MIDI look better as a score.
     
  12. Andrew

    Andrew AudioSEX Maestro Staff Member

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    Yes, but for some reason it never quite work for me (at least in 2013).
    Maybe now it's improved.
     
  13. nikon

    nikon Platinum Record

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    First of all, great question...
    IMO, there is no way to "clean" export score from sequencer for orchestra to play... even with some additional batch processing.
    Basic scenario would be to export score from scoring software to sequencer, and for vice versa you should always rewrite your score inside some scoring programs correctly.
    Export will work from Cubase, Logic, Reaper but you'll always have that issues with multi-articulate tracks and timings for some legato patches, and you will see that exported score has some bad timings, quantize errors or exported notes are 8 x eight note with slur above etc... and then you have a big job :)

    Basically if you look this video for example (inside Cubase):



    It's just treble and bass clef inside staff sheet and you can see how is hard to make this readable. I think quicker would be to rewrite again for bigger project :)
    So, I think standard way is: export best you can and then rewrite clef by clef..

    EDIT:

    I found one more info in this video, very useful:



    And, like I said before, export best you can and then is translated into Sibelius or other scoring program.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2018
  14. junh1024

    junh1024 Rock Star

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    I use Sib5 on Win7. Itworks!

    Cubase isn't a dedicated scoring app so the staff splits are really stupid & fixed. A dedicated scoring app will have a more intelligent split. Ex:

    http://www.rpmseattle.com/of_note/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/110917_open_midi_file_notation.png

    Maybe also try Dorico

    "
    Re: Midi files and also Performance settings

    Post by PaulWalmsley ยป Wed May 25, 2016 1:22 pm
    Just to add to Daniel's response, the quantisation algorithm I've implemented (which isn't yet fully wired into the application) should do a reasonable job in most cases (hopefully better than Sibelius's, which I also had a hand in :)"

    - https://www.steinberg.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=97746
     
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  15. Andrew

    Andrew AudioSEX Maestro Staff Member

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    Revisiting this topic now with results.
    Managed to get away with using Sibelius, out of all the solutions it managed to format everything correctly, only smaller scale adjustments had to be made.
    Thanks for suggestions.
     
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