How To Convert Audio To MIDI – Phantom Sounds

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How To Convert Audio To MIDI

Have you ever wished you could turn a recording of a live instrument or vocal performance into a MIDI file that you could edit and manipulate on your computer? This process, known as audio to MIDI conversion, can be a powerful tool for musicians and producers.

In this article, we'll explore what MIDI is, how audio to MIDI conversion works, which are the best tools to convert audio into MIDI and some of the benefits and limitations of this technique.

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What is MIDI?

How Audio to MIDI Conversion Works?

Best Tools to Convert Audio to MIDI

Benefits and Limitations of Audio to MIDI Conversion

What is MIDI?

MIDI, or Musical Instrument Digital Interface, is a protocol for communicating information about music and other audio events between computers and electronic musical instruments. MIDI data consists of messages that control various aspects of a performance, such as specifying which notes are played, at what pitch, and with what velocity.

One of the key benefits of MIDI is that it allows you to edit and manipulate musical performances in ways that would be impossible with audio alone. For example, you can change the pitch of a MIDI performance without affecting its tempo, or vice versa. You can also easily add or remove notes, change the order of events, and even create entirely new performances by combining elements from different MIDI files.

How Audio to MIDI Conversion Works?

Audio to MIDI conversion involves analyzing an audio recording and extracting musical information from it. This process can be done using software that is specifically designed for this purpose, such as Melodyne or Auto-Tune.

To convert audio to MIDI, the software must first analyze the audio file and identify the musical events it contains. This typically involves identifying individual notes and chords, as well as determining their pitch, duration, and other characteristics. The software may also analyze the timing and velocity of the notes to determine how they were played.

Once the musical events have been identified, the software translates them into MIDI data, which can then be saved as a MIDI file or imported into a music production software such as Logic Pro or Ableton Live.

Best Tools to Convert Audio to MIDI

Most of the DAW’s on the market already have a built-in conversion mechanism. In Ableton for example you can easily convert audio to MIDI by just selecting the clip, and opening up the Create Menu or right-click(Win) / CTRL-click(Mac).

Recently Spotify has released a free audio-to-MIDI converter called Basic Pitch. It is a lightweight, lightning-fast audio-to-MIDI converter that features pitch bend detection and works on recordings of almost any instrument, including voice.

 

Benefits and Limitations of Audio to MIDI Conversion

Audio to MIDI conversion can be a useful tool for a wide range of applications. For example, you might use it to:
  • Transcribe a live performance or recording for use in a music notation software.
  • Create a MIDI version of a song to use as a starting point for remixing or rearranging.
  • Extract specific musical elements from a recording, such as a guitar solo or vocal melody, and use them in a new composition.
  • Analyze a recording to learn how a particular musical passage was played, or to generate a score for a live performance.
However, audio to MIDI conversion is not a perfect process, and it can be challenging to achieve accurate results, especially with complex or highly dynamic recordings. Some of the limitations of audio to MIDI conversion include:
  • It can be difficult to accurately identify the pitch of certain instruments, especially those that produce a lot of overtones or harmonics, such as electric guitar or saxophone.
  • It can be difficult to accurately identify the timing of notes, especially in recordings with a lot of background noise or overlapping events.
  • It can be difficult to accurately capture the nuances of a performance, such as vibrato or sliding between notes.
In general, audio to MIDI conversion works best with relatively simple, monophonic recordings, such as a solo vocal or instrumental performance. It is less reliable with complex, polyphonic recordings, such as a full band performance or a recording with multiple overdubs.

Audio to MIDI conversion can be a powerful tool for musicians and producers, but it is not a perfect process, and it is important to understand its limitations, if you want to get some already made tech house MIDI, check out our shop here.