6 best music transcription software [Free, Paid]

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  • Music transcription involves writing out the notes of a particular piece of music, as is the case with improvised solos.
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6 best music transcription software [Free, Paid]

Automatic music transcription is a mathematical analysis of an audio recording which is usually an MP3 or WAV format and the conversion into musical notation which usually comes in a MIDI format.

This involves an incredibly complex process performed by AI.

There are lots of programs out there that automatically transcribe music, and we chose five of the best to present their main features, and to also help you choose one.

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What are the best tools to automatically transcribe music?

Transcribe! (recommended)

The Transcribe! software helps users transcribe recorded music. This is an assistant for people who want to work out a piece of music from a recording to play it themselves or to write it out.

This program will not do the transcription for the user, but it is a specialized player program that is enhanced for transcription.

Check out its best features below:

  • Can also be used for play-along practice.
  • Changes the pitch and the speed instantly while allowing you to store and recall any number of named loops.
  • You will be able to practice in all keys, and you can also speed up and slow down.
  • Can be used for speech transcription.
  • If you are working from a video file, this program can display the video as well.
  • Does not work with MIDI files but it deals with audio sample data files.

There is some advice about the play-along practice is the software’s help section, and you should check that out as well.

Even if the program plays and records audio files, this does not mean that it’s an audio editor.

Transcribe!

Transcribe!

If you want to create a song from a recording, you can confidently use Transcribe!

NCH TwelveKeys

NCH TwelveKeys is a music program designed to assist musicians as they transcribe music recordings. The tool works with many instruments playing simultaneously

Here are some of the most notable features of this great tool:

  • Play music recordings and watch the notes in real time
  • Tone-enabled piano keyboard assists note identification
  • Slow down music without changing the pitch
  • Loop sections of recordings
  • Graphs monotone and polyphonic recordings
  • Configurable settings for the clearest graphs possible
  • Integrated ripper to extract audio directly from CDs
  • Supports foot pedals for hands-free operation
  • Quick and easy operation

This program is perfect for musicians trying to learn how to play a piece of recorded music without having the sheet notation, or to assist notating other compositions and improvisations.

Get NCH TwelveKeys

Akoff Music Composer

Akoff Music Composer is one of the best tools for transcribing music automatically. This program uses the complicated process of automatic music transcription.

To create a MIDI sequence for a melody that is recorded in audio format, a musician will have to determine the velocity, the pitch, and duration of each note that is played.

The user has to record those parameters into a sequence of MIDI events.

Akoff Music Composer usually transcribes polyphonic music with one instrument or with voice.

Check out the main features that come with this software:

  • Ability to keep track of a specific tempo during recording or playback
  • It analyzes the audio signals
  • Capacity to determine the note dynamics and frequencies
  • It translates all information into MIDI events and creates standard MIDI sequence
  • Feature of piano-roll note editing

Get Akoff Music Composer

ScoreCloud

This is a music notation software for both beginners and more advanced users. The program claims that it’s the equivalent of Google Translate but adapted for music.

ScoreCloud is able to turn your songs into sheet music instantly, and everything is done effortlessly.

Check out the most impressive functionalities that are included in this software below:

  • Instant score from Audio or MIDI.
  • Arrange and edit your score as well.
  • Print, export and share your work.
  • Can sink songs over the Internet.
  • Easy to use.
  • Ability to share songs, manage lists and also collaborate on arrangements with your band, class and choir.

The software can automatically store your songs online so that when you edit your score, your changes will instantly sync to all your devices.

Get ScoreCloud

AnthemScore

This is a software that automatically creates sheet music from audio including WAV, MP3 and more.

The program uses a neural network that is trained on millions of data samples in order to be able to obtain a high level of accuracy and precision.

Check out the main features of AnthemScore:

  • Produces the sheet music in a MusicXML format, allowing you  to view and edit it with any standard music software.
  • Ability to view a frequency/time plot, play on a virtual keyboard, slow the tempo, and also save the sheet music in a different key.
  • The notes from all instruments will get combined into one single part.
  • Fast processing of a song.
  • Staffs option that allows you to move all notes to the treble or bass clef without having to change their pitch.

The pitch adjust options will shift the pitch for all the notes up or down by a fixed number of octaves and semitones.

Get AnthemScore

AudioScore Ultimate

AudioScore Ultimate is the full-featured version of the software known as AudioScore Lite that is included in Sibelius.

Using this software, you will be able to turn recorded audio, live mic performances or a MIDI into transcribed notation.

Check out the most exciting features that are included in this program:

  • Audio recognition engine has been completely re-engineered in order to provide increased music detail and precision.
  • Improved recognition of multiple overlapping notes.
  • Ability to minimize the interference that is caused by percussion and drum sounds.
  • Superior pitch recognition and note separation.
  • Automatically detect all instrumentation and then it creates a score with staves labeled for each part.
  • Open a CD track or an MP3 file and transcribe it to a score.
  • Convert up to 16 instruments or notes at once into multiple staves.

With AudioScore Ultimate, you will be able to create musical scores by playing or singing into your computer using only a microphone.

You don’t have to own any musical knowledge to be able to get the best out of this program.

Get AudioScore Ultimate


These are six of the best programs for transcribing music automatically.

We recommend that you head over to each of their official websites in order to check out the complete set of features before deciding which one is the best for your needs.

If you have any other suggestions or questions, feel free to leave them in the comments section below.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in January 2018 and has been since revamped and updated in September 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.