Software for converting music into 'manuscript' notation?


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I play in a rock band, and we write all our own music.

In recent times the style of stuff we have been writing has become a little more 'prog-rock'
(ie: ' a diminished 11th here, a 3rd inversion of something weird there' - that type of thing!)
than the 'basic' rock format of "the chord progression is this"...
then largely improvising around those chords.

I have noticed that some cheap 'home-style' keyboards have a facility that
illustrates the notes you have played on a manuscript graphic on the screen.

Now I think, as to do this by hand would be time-consuming and, frankly boring!,
getting a computer program to do this for us would be useful.

I know that this sort of stuff is available, 'cos I've 'googled' it - but what I'm seeking here is advice
from anyone who has actually used one of these systems and can therefore recommend a particular program?

I'm not talking about orchestral works here - a relatively simple program should do it,
and I don't see the point of spending a fortune:

I could buy one of the aforementioned keyboards & play the stuff on that
if more than a small amount of cash was required.

Any suggestions gratefully recieved!

Thanks in advance,

John.
 
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My recommendation is Finale PrintMusic. I have their 2006 version and I've used it for arranging wind parts for a musical, writing lead sheets for a band, and writing out a full piano part. It's easy to use and quite cheap ($100 US). I took a look at their other versions. Any of the better versions (Allegro or the full Finale) are more than you'd likely want. You might be able to get by with Finale SongWriter ($50 US); the main drawbacks of SongWriter compared to PrintMusic are that you're limited to only 6 verses of lyrics (maybe not a problem for your band), only get the Maestro font (the classical-style font; I prefer their Jazz font), and only 8 staves compared to 24 (maybe not an issue, but if you're trying to write out full parts, piano is 2, bass is 1, guitar is 1, drums are 1, vocals are 1, which is at 6 assuming you don't double anything). Either could be an option though.

What you *don't* want to do is go for Finale Notepad. It's dirt cheap but very, very limited in features, plus it doesn't have real-time MIDI recording (i.e. play on your keyboard to a click track/the existing mix of tracks and record the MIDI data as notes on your score).
 
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I second the Finale motion, although I'm using the full Finale package (as it's great for full orchestral scoring too). I'm not familiar with Finale Printmusic only the full blown Finale package Katnthos, is Printmusic sort of Finale Lite?

Sibelius is also highly regarded and is very popular with professionals.

One word of caution, the learning curve on the "full" packages of both Finale and Sibeleus is pretty steep. This is one instance where you don't want to buy more than you'll need, or you'll wind up confused and very sorry.

Scoring and notation programs are different animals than your typical music production software. They're quite powerful, but can be daunting.

Your mileage may vary.
 
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Thanks for your input Mike/Ray (I thought I could rely on you!) -
I've checked out the above links & I think I'll likely go for Finale Songwriter.

For our purposes 8 staves is sufficient - the primary use of this is to have a
'reference point' around which to base improvisation.

Saved me some head-scratching, that!

.
 
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meisenhower: Finale has 5 or 6 versions, each with successively fewer features, but they're all the same core product with the same core workflow. PrintMusic is middle of the road for Finale products; Allegro is better, SongWriter and NotePad are worse in terms of features.

Jpscoey: Good luck with it. You should find it pretty easy to use, especially if you're just playing the notes in on a keyboard.
 

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