Transcribing MIDI Files and Recordings to Notation
When you import a MIDI file, Musician transcribes the performance in the MIDI file to notation. The data stored in the MIDI file is basically a recording of what notes (pitches) are played at what exact times by various instruments (in staves).
A good way to understand transcription is to think of the MIDI performance as a piano roll used on player pianos that were popular in the late 1800's and early 1900's. The holes in the piano roll determine what notes are played at what times. If you unroll the piano roll horizontally, you will observe that the holes mark the beginning and ending times of played notes. The vertical position of the holes determine the pitch of the notes.
Here is an example of a piano roll:
Basically, the above piano roll is all that Musician is given when it must transcribe a MIDI file, to notation. Musician is able to transcribe the above piano roll information into notation. This example happens to be the Bach Minuet file, minuet.mid, that is installed in the C:\Program Files\Notation\Songs (or on Windows Vista \Users\YOURNAME\AppData\Roaming\Notation\Songs)directory. The result of the transcription looks like this:
In Notation Composer, but not Notation Musician, you can actually see the piano roll "holes", as illustrated here:
Musician must make many decisions about how to transcribe any given MIDI performance to notation. These decisions are similar to those that a trained musician would make when he or she hears music and writes down the notes on paper. (Very few musicians have this special training in "music dictation".)
Some decisions about how to transcribe the music are closely related to the style of the music. Musician does not attempt to determine what the style of music is, in order to make the appropriate decisions in transcribing the MIDI performance to notation. Instead, Musician lets you make a few simple choices about how to transcribe the music.
In particular, you can instruct Musician to:
|Choose either Standard or Swing style in determining how to display rhythms such as illustrated here:|
|Detect and display split upper and lower voices as opposed to single voice, as illustrated here:|
|Remove overlapping notes in order to reduce the number of ties, as illustrated here:|
|Remove rests smaller than some size you specify, such as a quarter rest, as illustrated here:|
|Detect grace notes, trills, and tremolos.|
The options described above are offered in the Transcription Options dialog described in the next topic. Musician offers you the opportunity to specify the transcription options in several circumstances:
|As you import a MIDI file, click the Transcription Options button in the File Open dialog box.|
|As you download a MIDI file from the Internet, click the Transcription Options button in the File Save As dialog box.|
|Before you record from your MIDI keyboard, choose the Transcription Options command in the Setup menu.|
|When you use the Split Hands command, click the Transcription Options button in the Split Hands dialog box.|
|When you use the Merge Staves command, click the Transcription Options button in the Merge Staves dialog box.|
Also, after you have imported a MIDI file, or recorded a performance at your music keyboard, you can request Musician to transcribe the performance using a different set of transcription options, by using the Re-Transcribe command.