Another little clue that the world of polyphonic note recognition is with us (and ever improving) I received this e-mail today:
Play a chord and the PolyTune will show you which strings are out of tune immediately.
Sounds like a useful gadget !
In ten years' time... a program that can transcribe an full orchestra ?
Yes, a guitar chord recognition tool is definitely useful for the purpose describe in the name of this tool: Polyphonic Guitar Tune.
However, recognizing a single chord played on the guitar is child's play compared to recognizing a stream of notes played on the guitar. The latter is what Melodyne Editor by Celemony already does pretty well.
In ten year's time, will there be a program that can transcribe a full orchestra? I suspect not. I would be thrilled if in 10 years there were a program that could transcribe orchestral music as well as Melodyne Editor today can transcribe polyphonic instruments (piano, guitar), voice (!) and very small ensembles. I had been waiting for the entire life-span of Notation Software (15 years) polyphonic transcription, and had given up hope a couple years ago that I'd ever see anything as good as what Celemony has now delivered with the Melodyne Editor.
I haven't seen the Polyphonic Guitar Tuner used, so I won't make any assessment about whether it does well at its claimed job of recognizing singularly played chords. Even if it does a fantastic job at that, though, that accomplishment is almost almost irrelevant to our hope for good note recognition (transcription) of audio stream data.