How to transcribe or do the music notation thing

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Mario Lewis, Apr 12, 2004.

  1. Mario Lewis

    Mario Lewis

    Jul 6, 2001
    Clinton, MD
    O.K. I'm a relative newbie to this idea, but I'm convinced it's possible and portable. So here goes.

    I want to be able to write/compose/transcribe (I don't know what term is best) the stuff I play onto sheet music.

    Essentially, I sometimes hit a brilliant streak at rehearsal where I can do no wrong. Could be my mood, could have been a great day at work or a crappy day and I take it out on my bass and do some really great stuff with tout thought or planning. Well, I'd like to be able to do it again! So, if I had some software on my laptop that I could take with me that would put on to paper what I'm playing, that'd be like REALLY USEFUL!

    Now, I think I need first an A/D converter to plug my bass into and have the signal converted from an analog to digital signal. Then do I need a MIDI converter to convert that into something that some software program could use to put what I'm playing on paper?

    I am totally clueless and the guys at GC salivate everytime I come in there because (I think) they see me coming and I have no idea of what they're trying to sell me. So I don't ask them anymore.

    Please help.

    As a sidenote: I've been doing some homework on this issue, and I'm thinking that a product like Finale Guitar is what I need, but my question remains, how do I get my analog bass signal into this application????

  2. Mario Lewis

    Mario Lewis

    Jul 6, 2001
    Clinton, MD
    Sorry for the bump, but I am REALLY interested in how to make this happen.

    References to web sites that will tell me are welcome as well.

  3. Sounds like Autoscore is what you're after. I haven't had any experience at using this software, but I remember looking at the website a while back and thinking it might be useful. It may or may not be quick enough for bass players... Worth a shot though.

    NOTE: NOT compatible with Windoze XP, 2000?

  4. Don_Cholo


    Apr 2, 2004
    the firsrt thing u need to do is learn the basics, like making bass lines out of chord changes and then u can just record ur self with a minidisk player and it wont be too hard to remember what u did when u hear it because u know what u made it out of. check out the "evolving bass player" - Rufus Reid, this book talks a little bit about this stuff.
  5. Mario Lewis

    Mario Lewis

    Jul 6, 2001
    Clinton, MD

    I still want to know how to get my bass to talk to FinaleGuitar.

    Can you help with that? My playing and understanding of the instrument and music in general is fine. It's the techie stuff that I need help with.
  6. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Honestly. You can forget any program that claims to be able to convert audio to midi. It won't work, unless it is very cleanly recorded and monophonic.

    Use a notation program like Finale Notepad to <b>check</b> what you transcribed via ears, brain and pencil. Type it back into Finale and see if it sounds right.
  7. I use Sibelius 3 for notation and scoring. Finale is a popular one too. Sibelius 3 will also do tab if that's your thing. A lot of times in rock groups I'll be the only one that can read music so it's a big help being able to do tab.
  8. Slot


    Oct 17, 2003
    Sydney - The Shire
    Transcribe!- - nothing compares

    It doesnt write it out for you though, it just aids in the transcription process by slowing the song down to a desired tempo. Its looping capabalities are what make it so great though.

    Then get finale or sibelius and punch the notes in as you go.

    There is no shortcut for us bass players, and i dont see that as a bad thing. The more you know about all aspects of music the better you will be, and the more work you will get.

    Just have a crack at it, it takes time, but music notation isnt much harder than simple maths once you get into it.
  9. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    It's called musical literacy, and there is no machine made that is a substitute for it.
  10. Why not use a recorder (see other threads for suggestions [MDs etc.]) when you rehearse? That way you'll at least have a copy of your creations, so that when you learn how to transcribe (there really isn't any short-cut… you will eventually learn by doing!) you will have plenty of material.

    Good Luck!
    - Wil
  11. Finger Blister

    Finger Blister

    Jul 8, 2003
    Create sheet/tab for my bass lines during rehearsal or
    even gigs. It's really quite easy if you have a little mixing board.

    Here are some Hints to get Started

    • DI out to your own 'mini mixer' or other method. {see 'Hints')

    • Record to DAT, Minidisk, or even Cassette off of personal mixer.
      (Got a PC right there? Straight from personal mixer to soundcard)

    • Play recording into PC soundcard to create a .wav file.

    • Now you can convert .wav file into Sheet Music using
      something like Intelliscore .

      Or convert .wav to a midi file and use something like Power Tab

    The key is to get your part isolated and recorded.
    There are many ways to do this.

    Multi-track recordings of rehearsals and gigs with something
    like a Tascam 2488 or a Boss BR1180 ...
    make it a snap to get DI direct recordings of your Bass
    that are completely isolated burned to CD...

    and on, and on, and on...
  12. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    I'll concur with the advice that the first thing is to get it "in the can" (recorded). Once that's done, you can pick back over it at your leisure. Personally, I find my minidisk recorder to be brilliant - I can capture four or five hours worth of material, mark out the highlights and then get them onto my computer (where Transcribe and a Finale based program both help in working up a trustworth transcription).

    Doing the transcription manually at a later date helps for several reasons. Firstly, what may have sounded like genius the night before might be revealed as somewhat sloppy in the cold light of day. Secondly, by transcribing it, you burn it into your brain. Reams of notation are no substitute for building your vocabulary.

    Wulf (currently listening back to last night's gig and marking it into songs)
  13. Finger Blister

    Finger Blister

    Jul 8, 2003
  14. Mario Lewis

    Mario Lewis

    Jul 6, 2001
    Clinton, MD
    O.K. I have a minidisc recorder, and I'll try that. Not sure about 4 or 5 hours worth of time. Getting levels right might prove to be a challenge. Unless I try it before I head to rehearsal.


    And for the record. The Yamaha B1D would work in conjunction with any MIDI wave form kind of box, but it'd require installation/modification to my bass and more $$ than I want to spend for this purpose at this time.
  15. Finger Blister

    Finger Blister

    Jul 8, 2003
    Then your set.
  16. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Mine's a Sony unit with 'LP4' mode. Quality is good and, for a mic pinned up on stage somewhere near me, I don't think the improved quality of the other modes makes up for the loss of the massively long recording time. I can certainly hear more than enough to pick up on all my moments of genius and glaring mistakes... :D

  17. buy the roland midi pickup or get the rmc its liek perzio that sends midi. i found this program that can tab midi for any instremnt. so u take the midi file and put it in and u get a tab. i tried it out playing some of my own stuff i wrote it was dead on. ill trying to find the program. it was free i got it off of the site were all the bass tabs on this site were are taken from.
  18. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    The program may be free but the midi pickup will set you back a bit! It's still worth learning to transcribe by ear - the ultimate goal is that you can play what you hear in your head without having to spend ages figuring it out... and that opens up the whole world of improvisation to you (and creating music rather than just joining the dots).