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I'd like to extract midi data from a pdf sheet music. What kind of OCR soft could do that job?

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Originally Posted By: Moshe13us
I'd like to extract midi data from a pdf sheet music. What kind of OCR soft could do that job?


Please take a look at this article.

Here's another article with some worthwhile suggestions.

And another article here.


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I have in mobil application
https://sheetmusicscanner.com/


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I have extracted MIDI from sheet music, and wasn't happy with the results.

It scanned with minimal errors, but the music was stiff, quantized with every note at exactly the same velocity. It was like step-entering a song.

If that is all you want, scanning is for you. If you want the computer to play the music you scanned, you may be in for a disappointment.

In most forms of music, we don't play the notes exactly where they appear in the notation. We rush some, drag some, in order to get a groove. In the melody, we may rush the beginning of a phrase and drag the end for expressive purposes, or vice-versa.

We don't play every note at the same volume, either. Imagine talking to someone, making sure each syllable of each word is exactly as loud (or soft) as all the others. It'll sound like a 1970s speech robot.

For me, I find it better to play the notes into a sequencer. That way I get the groove and volume (velocity) right. If I hit a clunker of a bad note, I just keep on going. Fixing a wrong note in MIDI is easier than injecting life over a quantized, scanned or step-entered piece of music.

I'm not trying to discourage you, just making you aware of a possible pitfall.

Insights and incites by Notes ♫


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Originally Posted By: Notes Norton
I have extracted MIDI from sheet music, and wasn't happy with the results.

It scanned with minimal errors, but the music was stiff, quantized with every note at exactly the same velocity. It was like step-entering a song.

If that is all you want, scanning is for you. If you want the computer to play the music you scanned, you may be in for a disappointment.

In most forms of music, we don't play the notes exactly where they appear in the notation. We rush some, drag some, in order to get a groove. In the melody, we may rush the beginning of a phrase and drag the end for expressive purposes, or vice-versa.

We don't play every note at the same volume, either. Imagine talking to someone, making sure each syllable of each word is exactly as loud (or soft) as all the others. It'll sound like a 1970s speech robot.

For me, I find it better to play the notes into a sequencer. That way I get the groove and volume (velocity) right. If I hit a clunker of a bad note, I just keep on going. Fixing a wrong note in MIDI is easier than injecting life over a quantized, scanned or step-entered piece of music.

I'm not trying to discourage you, just making you aware of a possible pitfall.

Insights and incites by Notes ♫



Great advice!

However, in a DAW like Cakewalk or Cubase that has extensive MIDI editing capabilities, one can achieve passable results. It is still a lot of work. Far from a magic "push this button" solution, but doable.


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If you already have a PDF, the best utility I have used is PDFtoMusic Pro. It's expensive, but it's the most accurate IF the music came from one of the major notation programs or from a publisher.


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Originally Posted By: AudioTrack
Originally Posted By: Moshe13us
I'd like to extract midi data from a pdf sheet music. What kind of OCR soft could do that job?


Please take a look at this article.

Here's another article with some worthwhile suggestions.

And another article here.

@audiotrack thanks a lot. I already tried some but I'll surely find a useful tool with your input

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Originally Posted By: jacko_karel
I have in mobil application
https://sheetmusicscanner.com/

Thanks. Are you personally satisfied with it?

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Originally Posted By: Notes Norton
I have extracted MIDI from sheet music, and wasn't happy with the results.

It scanned with minimal errors, but the music was stiff, quantized with every note at exactly the same velocity. It was like step-entering a song.

If that is all you want, scanning is for you. If you want the computer to play the music you scanned, you may be in for a disappointment.

In most forms of music, we don't play the notes exactly where they appear in the notation. We rush some, drag some, in order to get a groove. In the melody, we may rush the beginning of a phrase and drag the end for expressive purposes, or vice-versa.

We don't play every note at the same volume, either. Imagine talking to someone, making sure each syllable of each word is exactly as loud (or soft) as all the others. It'll sound like a 1970s speech robot.

For me, I find it better to play the notes into a sequencer. That way I get the groove and volume (velocity) right. If I hit a clunker of a bad note, I just keep on going. Fixing a wrong note in MIDI is easier than injecting life over a quantized, scanned or step-entered piece of music.

I'm not trying to discourage you, just making you aware of a possible pitfall.

Insights and incites by Notes ♫


Thanks for infos. But the goal is to start with something, then edit it until it becomes more satisfying.

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Originally Posted By: Byron Dickens
Originally Posted By: Notes Norton
I have extracted MIDI from sheet music, and wasn't happy with the results.

It scanned with minimal errors, but the music was stiff, quantized with every note at exactly the same velocity. It was like step-entering a song.

If that is all you want, scanning is for you. If you want the computer to play the music you scanned, you may be in for a disappointment.

In most forms of music, we don't play the notes exactly where they appear in the notation. We rush some, drag some, in order to get a groove. In the melody, we may rush the beginning of a phrase and drag the end for expressive purposes, or vice-versa.

We don't play every note at the same volume, either. Imagine talking to someone, making sure each syllable of each word is exactly as loud (or soft) as all the others. It'll sound like a 1970s speech robot.

For me, I find it better to play the notes into a sequencer. That way I get the groove and volume (velocity) right. If I hit a clunker of a bad note, I just keep on going. Fixing a wrong note in MIDI is easier than injecting life over a quantized, scanned or step-entered piece of music.

I'm not trying to discourage you, just making you aware of a possible pitfall.

Insights and incites by Notes ♫



Great advice!

However, in a DAW like Cakewalk or Cubase that has extensive MIDI editing capabilities, one can achieve passable results. It is still a lot of work. Far from a magic "push this button" solution, but doable.


You're right. But before editing a midi track, you have to get one first. So far, the softs I've worked with gave output polluted with errors. For that reason, I'm looking for a high-end tool (my system is win 7 64b)

Last edited by Moshe13us; 04/03/22 10:27 AM.
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Originally Posted By: Matt Finley
If you already have a PDF, the best utility I have used is PDFtoMusic Pro. It's expensive, but it's the most accurate IF the music came from one of the major notation programs or from a publisher.

Isn't it the soft from Myriad?

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Originally Posted By: Moshe13us
Originally Posted By: Matt Finley
If you already have a PDF, the best utility I have used is PDFtoMusic Pro. It's expensive, but it's the most accurate IF the music came from one of the major notation programs or from a publisher.

Isn't it the soft from Myriad?
Yes. And I see the price is much less than it was a few years ago when I bought it.


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Originally Posted By: Byron Dickens
Originally Posted By: Notes Norton
<...snip...>

For me, I find it better to play the notes into a sequencer. That way I get the groove and volume (velocity) right. If I hit a clunker of a bad note, I just keep on going. Fixing a wrong note in MIDI is easier than injecting life over a quantized, scanned or step-entered piece of music.

<...>
<...>

However, in a DAW like Cakewalk or Cubase that has extensive MIDI editing capabilities, one can achieve passable results. It is still a lot of work. Far from a magic "push this button" solution, but doable.


That's why I included the above paragraph.

For me, it takes more time to turn a step-entered or scanned piece of music into something that lives and breathes like music, than to record something in real time that has wrong notes that need to be fixed.

But that's just me. I have basic keyboard skills and if it's too tricky, I have a wind MIDI controller which works like a saxophone, my main instrument.

There is more than one right way to make music.

Insights and incites by Notes ♫


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Another way to get a song into a DAW or BiaB is to get a MIDI file of said song. You may have to purchase that MIDI file to get a correct transcription but the prices are very reasonable, plus it will save a lot of time. YMMV


Why is it that the people who tell me to calm down are the ones who tick me off in the first place!

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As has been mentioned. Translating from PDF to MIDI is most likely to give you a very 'mechanical' outcome, totally void of the nuances that define and describe the creativity in a musical passage. There may be a lot of additional editing to get the piece to sound like a reasonably natural performance, it that's your goal.


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Originally Posted By: AudioTrack
Translating from PDF to MIDI is most likely to give you a very 'mechanical' outcome, totally void of the nuances that define and describe the creativity in a musical passage.

Which is exactly what you want. No more, no less information than is in the printed score. You do NOT want your scanner injecting "nuances" into a MIDI transcription, that's what humans are for. I point this out because some of the language here is suggestive of a limitation or defect, which this is not.

Last edited by Mark Hayes; 04/04/22 04:23 AM.
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Agreed. Definitely not a defect. It's just a fact, and I hope the O/P understands that any output will not initially include the expression that a live performer would normally interpret when playing a written piece.
However, it would be a starting point for them to work further with the MIDI to refine it if they so wished.


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Thanx for your valuable input. I mainly use BiaB to produce backing tracks that will allow me to play-along on my guitar.
I've tried to work with an (expensive) australian transcription service but the bill was too high.
Currently, we can get tons of jazz sheet music that can be useful for backing (piano, strings...) or mixing with BiaB tracks, but the best I can get is midi with good samples libraries. Hence my question relative to get midi data from pdf sheet scores.
Mo.

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Could you give an example of a song you are trying to do?


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For example, as a MPB lover, I downloaded Tom Jobim's sheet music with piano scores. When I manage to isolate the piano track, played with a piano sample, the result can be quite studio-like. Nowadays, you can find high-end samples libraries which are too good to be true.
If realism is the name of the game, you can have the best of two worlds with midi and audio.

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