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#779013 10/16/23 03:42 AM
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I just discovered a new software for analyzing music - Song Master Pro.

https://aurallysound.com/products/song-master-pro

I find it quite amazing. You only drag or select an audio file into the app and it analyses:

- tempo, time signature, key
- chords
- song structure
- and generate stems (vocal, drum, bass, drums, guitar, piano and the rest)
- stems can be converted into midi (except drums) and the midi can then directly be dragged into a daw other programs.
- tools for pitch, chord, song structure adjustments and more

Demo version has full functionality (limit 15 min usage at a time)

Easiest is to download and test it for youself.

I am very impressed over the very clean, effective and user friendly GUI.

shlind #779015 10/16/23 04:05 AM
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I had a look at a few of the videos including by other providers. It certainly looks to have some impressive features.


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Yes, this does look very impressive! If the audio to MIDI is accurate one could take an audio track, convert it to MIDI, then print either notation, tabs, or both. That would be a way to learn a song, much better than how I ruined a lot of my old vinyl!


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shlind #779024 10/16/23 06:35 AM
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First I have seen of this, but it does approach my workflow for some projects. In fact, much of this feature capability is already present in other packages. For example, creating stems from an mp3 is readily avialable on the web (https://ezstems.com/) and audio to midi really can't be done any better than Melodyne. Right? And getting the chords from an mp3 in EZKeys or EZBass Bandmate is as good as I have seen. And regarding all the section analysis I generally do this by ear in my DAW. But if the demo download is safe and allows full feature assessment, I may give it a try. Thanks for the heads up.

Last edited by MusicStudent; 10/16/23 06:37 AM.

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DrDan #779029 10/16/23 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by MusicStudent
First I have seen of this, but it does approach my workflow for some projects. In fact, much of this feature capability is already present in other packages. For example, creating stems from an mp3 is readily avialable on the web (https://ezstems.com/) and audio to midi really can't be done any better than Melodyne. Right? And getting the chords from an mp3 in EZKeys or EZBass Bandmate is as good as I have seen. And regarding all the section analysis I generally do this by ear in my DAW. But if the demo download is safe and allows full feature assessment, I may give it a try. Thanks for the heads up.
Have you used ezstems? Reading through the instructions for installing Spleeter and Python made my eyes water. I have Song Master Pro and found it very useful. I also have Melodyne Studio, which has its own set of uses. I use the combination to transcribe bass lines and create backing tracks using the original song to play over.

Last edited by TheMaartian; 10/16/23 07:37 AM.

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shlind #779030 10/16/23 07:34 AM
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First impressions

Pros:
Downloaded and installed demo. No issues at all - very simple. Single exe file with no bloat. Looks like it can be removed easily.

Upon opening, I like how it is set up. I dragged an mp3 file from a recent project and it immediately set chords and "Sections" in seconds. I know this is well done because I had already done this in the past and it took me a fair bit of time. So this is a time saving plus.

Cost for Song Master 3.o (not the Pro version) is $60 USD. Don't think I need the pro version features to integrate midi.

Cons.
This program has been around since early 2021. Fact that I never heard of it suggests that it is not too popular.

This content and analysis is useless unless it can be moved from here to my DAW or into other applications like BIAB. For example the chord chart - I see no way of exporting/dragging this out of this application to another! Maybe a function of the free limit demo which does not allow saving?


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Originally Posted by TheMaartian
Have you used ezstems? Reading through the instructions for installing Spleeter and Python made my eyes water. Song Master Pro does a LOT. I have Melodyne Studio, which has its own set of uses.

Opps, Wrong link, sorry. I should have referenced https://studio.moises.ai/library/. This is all web based and free and works like a charm!


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DrDan #779033 10/16/23 07:58 AM
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I just tried to test ezstems with a song I'm working on: Too Rich For My Blood by Patricia Barber. Song Master Pro did the song analysis pretty quickly and took a couple of minutes to create the 5 stems I asked for. It did a very good job with the stem separation. I tried using ezstems with that song, but was told that the max file size for the free version was 5.2 MB. Too Rich For My Blood is a little over 80 MB for an 8 minute song. So, I wasn't able to do a stem comparison. 5.2 MB is pretty limiting, and if I've got to pay, I might as well use Song Master Pro, which I've already paid for.


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Originally Posted by TheMaartian
I might as well use Song Master Pro, which I've already paid for.

I have done my research and see no way to export the "Chord Chart" or the "Section Breckdown" content. Best would be format editable to allow it to integate into other apps, but I don't even see a pdf printout option in any menus. Can you even export the stems as audio files?

Is any of that available in the paid version?


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shlind #779047 10/16/23 09:39 AM
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Dan, I'm going to buy I bought the pro version and I'll find out if it's limited in the demo version, or not there at all. In my case, I don't need to transfer anything but you are correct, it would save time. EDIT: it can export an edited audio file (pitch, tempo etc.) as FLAC, OGG, or WAV file.

I have no idea why I did not know about the existence of this program. I use Transcribe now, and an iPhone app called Chord AI, for assistance in transcribing songs.

Quick Observations:

Pros:
loads and analyzes a song very quickly

much friendlier user interface than Transcribe, a competitor product.

the interface looks a lot like Studio One.

more accurate for transient (short) chords than Transcribe, possibly because of the next item below

big plus: the ability to specify SNAP TO a measure, beat, eighth note etc.

supports and recognizes more complex chords than some, like minMaj7, 7#11, b13 etc. that some other programs pretend do not exist

has the expected looping, pitch and tempo controls, nothing special but again, easy to find and use

It shows tempo as the song plays, and shows one decimal place! This one relates directly to BIAB. My recording studio goes crazy with files I generate in BIAB because, even if I do not change the tempo, the tempo of an exported file 'wanders' ever so slightly. Remember, BIAB only supports integers for tempo. As I play such a file in Song Master, the metronome marking changes (for example, 153, then 154, then 152, then 154 etc.). No, it won't export this as a tempo map but it is useful info to know about my song.

Upgrade price for Pro is the same overall price whether you get it outright or upgrade; I like straightforward pricing so I don't think I'm missing something or hit a 'gotcha'

and here's one I really love: you can change the time signature. I write sambas, and it analyzed one and gave me a time signature of 4/4 with a tempo of 77; however, my song was written at twice that tempo, 154 bpm, and I want the Song Master display to match my notation, so I changed the time signature to 2/2 and it matches. Very cool; I've never seen another program do this besides BIAB (which Bobflatpicker and I requested as a feature a few years ago).

incredible customer service. I ran into a minor wrinkle registering the paid version. I had used SHOP PAY and it created an automatic login to the Song Master Aurally website account, but did not tell me the password I need to register the software!!! Bad design. I wrote to the customer support and the program creator immediately gave me instructions to reset my password, and I registered.


Cons:
seemed to get confused deciding between full and half-diminished 7th chords, but that might be my audio sample; need to test further

I'm still trying to find a Con about the features. I'll report back again.

The demo times out after 15 minutes; no problem, just start the program again.


Didn't test:
anything to do with MIDI, exporting etc. since this requires a paid version. I'll be back to write more about this.

Last edited by Matt Finley; 10/16/23 11:21 AM. Reason: added more info especially about registering

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DrDan #779098 10/16/23 11:44 PM
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Originally Posted by MusicStudent
Originally Posted by TheMaartian
I might as well use Song Master Pro, which I've already paid for.

I have done my research and see no way to export the "Chord Chart" or the "Section Breckdown" content. Best would be format editable to allow it to integate into other apps, but I don't even see a pdf printout option in any menus. Can you even export the stems as audio files?

Is any of that available in the paid version?
I haven't figured out a way to export the chord chart yet. Will have to contact the dev and ask. If not available, then that would be a perfect feature request.

In the Mixer tab, after you Generate Stems, you can select Save Stems. As a test, I used the same song "Too Rich For My Blood". It's an 8 minute song that took about 3 minutes to generate the stems. Clicking on the Save Stems button automatically created a folder under the SongMaster/Stems folder with the artist name and then the song title and saved the stems in .WAV format. They play just fine in any media player. Here's the folder address that was created on my system:

C:\Users\johna\Documents\SongMaster\Stems\Patricia Barber\09 Too Rich for My Blood.stems


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shlind #779113 10/17/23 05:43 AM
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I had a nice exchange with the developer.

We talked about exporting a tempo map (although Song Master has one decimal place in the tempo display, so that wouldn’t work into BIAB at present since BIAB supports only integers for the tempo).

He asked what format an exported chord chart should be if he added that feature. I told him I would get back to him, because I didn’t remember if BIAB accepts chord charts or that’s something I read in the Wishlist.

Help me out. Is there a way besides using Music XML to import chords into BIAB? Read a PDF? An ASCII (text) file? A comma delimited spreadsheet? And remember, Music XML is great for chord info but has no meaning with just audio.

And I don’t want to get into another argument with PG Music about BIAB ‘reading’ the chords from MIDI. MIDI has no chord into. BIAB interprets the chords from MIDI but that’s not the point here since what we want is the ability to import what a different program thinks the chords are.


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Originally Posted by Matt Finley
I had a nice exchange with the developer.
...
He asked what format an exported chord chart should be if he added that feature. I told him I would get back to him, because I didn’t remember if BIAB accepts chord charts or that’s something I read in the Wishlist.
...
I was thinking about this. I'm not aware of a standard exchange protocol for chord charts. If the primary purpose of this is for BiaB users get chords identified by SongMaster in an existing music file and then get them into BiaB as easily as possible, maybe something along the lines of a text file (easier to create than a PDF or Music XML file) structured like a BiaB song sheet (assumes 4 bars per line):

Key: Xx
Tempo: nnn
Bar:Beat:Chord, Bar:Beat:Chord, etc.

Example: a 12 bar blues in C

Key: C
Tempo: 80
Time Sig: 4/4
1:1:C, 2:1:C, 3:1:C, 4:1:C
5:1:F, 6:1:F, 7:1:C, 8:1:C
9:1:G, 10:1:F, 11:1:C, 12:1:G

For a bar with a chord on beats 2, 3 or 4, you would just note the beat in the second digit.

More likely, you could also do something like the following, where only chord changes are noted (again, the same 12 bar blues progression)

Key:C
Tempo: 80
Time Sig: 4/4
1:1:C
5:1:F, 7:1:C
9:1:G, 10:1:F, 11:1:C, 12:1:G

This is less cluttered and makes it obvious which bars in BiaB need chord entries.

I would open the chord.txt file in one window next to the BiaB window and manually enter the chords in BiaB.

One question is: what is the bar:beat resolution for chord change detection in SongMaster. Four beats per bar for a 3/4 or 4/4 time sig? Two beats for a 2/2? Eight for a 6/8? Or is it higher than that, like 8 for a 4/4 time sig. Versus BiaB pushes and microchords.

You could also use the text file to enter chords into any DAW that has a chord track, like Studio One. I would still like the idea of 4 bars per line to limit the width of the text file window and avoid any potential need to scroll horizontally.

Thoughts?

Last edited by TheMaartian; 10/17/23 07:30 AM.

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shlind #779125 10/17/23 07:31 AM
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At the very minimum... Copy Chord Names (Text file by Section Parts) to the Clipboard.


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Originally Posted by Matt Finley
And I don’t want to get into another argument with PG Music about BIAB ‘reading’ the chords from MIDI. MIDI has no chord into. BIAB interprets the chords from MIDI but that’s not the point here since what we want is the ability to import what a different program thinks the chords are.

No argument here, BIAB creates MIDI Markers where the chord "names" are embedded in the midi file. Scaler does the exact same thing. When a midi file from BIAB or Scaler is dropped into Reaper a prompt is posted asking if you want to insert the Midi Markers into the Reaper file as Chord Markers. Unfortunately, only Reaper appears to recognize this feature. However, as you mentioned BIAB does not read these midi markers for its input. But Song Master Pro could do this for us Reaper folks. grin

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Last edited by MusicStudent; 10/17/23 08:02 AM.

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shlind #779142 10/17/23 11:52 AM
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OK, here we go. Dan, I think what you are seeing as chord names in Reaper (or any 'chord track' in other DAWs) is just like in BIAB, the interpretation of what chord it is when reading the MIDI file. Simply put, chord names are not embedded in a MIDI file. The MIDI standard does not contain it. This is even true of MIDI 2.0, and I couldn't believe they didn't add that function. If any music program is including chord names along with MIDI, it must save that file as a different extension than MIDI. As there is no standard for doing that, we get all these programs with their proprietary and incompatible formats.

To my knowledge, only Music XML standard at present does contain the actual name of the chord in the text, or at least the info that you can read the exact chord name if you understand the code. The problem with how that works, and it would be the same problem with Song Master, is that a chord might be assigned the wrong name during the Export as Music XML process. I can demonstrate, for example, how BIAB calls a 7(#11) a 9(#11) when exported. 7Alt is another example where you have to flip a coin and decide whether it will be exported with a # or b 5 and/or a # or b 9. And even in BIAB's MIDI Chord Detection, there are as many as four alternatives to a chord's name when given the notes that make it up.


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Originally Posted by Matt Finley
OK, here we go. Dan, I think what you are seeing as chord names in Reaper (or any 'chord track' in other DAWs) is just like in BIAB, the interpretation of what chord it is when reading the MIDI file.

No way. It is not an interpretation! Just like from Scaler. Reaper is only pasting the contents, not reading the notes.

Oh, is that what you ment for argueing? Certainly don't want to do that. grin


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DrDan #779149 10/17/23 12:37 PM
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Ok, that’s good info. So if you changed the name of a chord in that track in Reaper, and made it a chord name that was not at all what the MIDI notes spell, that would work?


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Originally Posted by Matt Finley
So if you changed the name of a chord in that track in Reaper, and made it a chord name that was not at all what the MIDI notes spell, that would work?

Yes! Both BIAB and Scaler add midi markers to the output midi file which contain the chord name they have assigned (i have no idea how they do this, but they do). Reaper knows how to insert these midi markers into its own "project markers" when the midi is inputted. The markers serve only as text labels on top of each bar.


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DrDan #779182 10/17/23 07:10 PM
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OK, good. We are halfway there (without even arguing; I don't think I've ever argued with you). Then how is this chord info transferred into any other program? It won't go as a MIDI file. I'm assuming it is exported as a file type used by Reaper. Is that correct? If so, we've circled around to make my point. If it works some other way, I would love to learn how.


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This intrigued me as I didn't know of a method.
I did find this, on th'InterWeb though.
Quote
Here is some info I picked up from the Qmidi help section about how chord events are used (I hope there are no copyright issues....):

Text meta events with the "%" prefix are used to store chords using the standard notation format where the first letter is the chord name (capitals letters A-G) , the second is the alteration (#, b or blank), followed by the chord description.

Example:

FF 01 len "%D#/F"
FF 01 len "%B m7" <-- recommended blank space if no prefix (QMidi will check this!)
FF 01 len "%Gbsus4"
The FF introduces metadata,
the 01 is "text event",
len is the number of characters payload and
the rest is the text string. I imagine the " marks are not actually part of the string.

At present I have absolutely no idea if this is a universal convention.


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How about abc text files? will they work?
Biab can export and import chords from abc files. However I don't know if it covers all details needed (variations of chords, time positions within the bar etc). It is very easy to test, populate biab with chords on the finest level and with the most complicated chords available then save special abc. And redo with open special abc etc, Also open and modify the text file to see if the changes loads correctly. But maybe it is very buggy, there were a lot of problems importing abc files when it was launched some years ago so I stopped using it.

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Originally Posted by Matt Finley
. Then how is this chord info transferred into any other program? It won't go as a MIDI file.

I'm assuming it is exported as a file type used by Reaper. Is that correct?

No the chord names are not transferred to any other program. Currently in my workflow once the Chord Names have been added to the Bar Markers, to allow me to visually see the chord names in the timeline, there is nothing else they can do. They are only text and while Reaper does allow me to list in table form these text markers: by (Chord name - Bar Number) I don't see a way to print them.


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Back to the original topic, I had a project today that caused me to use and learn much more about Song Master Pro, and I can say I am far more impressed with it than before.

Song Master Pro identified the chords better than any other resource I have ever used, and I've tried a lot. This may be the first program I would trust with the task.

It's a small thing, but so valuable, to have the tempo identified with accuracy to the tenth of a BPM. The song I was studying turned out to be a steady 115.2 bpm. Why they recorded or released it like that, I have no clue, but it means that I cannot get BIAB rendered tracks to match it exactly. At least with this knowledge, I can make precise tempo adjustments in my DAW. [I really wish BIAB would support non-integer tempos; it's something I've requested for several years and if nothing else, it would make it possible to change tempos within a bar smoothly.]

The first thing I had to do was pitch shift the song, into the key I wanted to perform it on horn. I have several programs that do this, but it's nice to stay in the same tool awhile. Not only does it adjust the pitch in terms of half-steps, but also in cents. I raised the pitch 13 cents to where I wanted it. [Some out there will claim that you can't hear such small adjustments, but I can, and I've proven it to disbelieving engineers].

I then used the Mix, Extract Stems. It works very well, and I think has more power than any of the Spleeter variations. This made .WAV files for Drums, Bass, Piano, Guitar, and what they call The Rest for sounds other than those named. Each of these can be saved, muted or soloed, and adjusted by volume. This may be the most helpful tool I've ever used to decipher a song. [Then BIAB can take over.]

I had some trouble with extracting MIDI and making use of it, but it does appear it can be done once I figure out a couple of nuances. For example, I can take an audio bass, turn it into MIDI, move it to a DAW, and assign a Bass (or other) virtual instrument. I can also view that MIDI in music notation form in my DAW or in my dedicated notation program (as Mario mentioned).

We have all grown up with BIAB having to explain to new users how MIDI is not Audio, and Audio is not MIDI.

But the world is changing.

ps I love the GUI. Everything is where I would have guessed. What a pleasure.


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shlind #798700 02/05/24 11:02 PM
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Thanks for paving the way Matt. This sounds interesting. I am interested in getting stems. I may give it a try.


LyricLab A.I assisted chords and lyric app. Export lyrics and import directly into Band-in-a-Box 2024.
https://lyriclab.net
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Originally Posted by Matt Finley
Back to the original topic, I had a project today that caused me to use and learn much more about Song Master Pro, and I can say I am far more impressed with it than before.

Sound interesting. I usually have to learn entire repertoires quickly, and I've used Transcribe! as a transcribing aid for years. I also bought Decoda, from Zplane, but it has many limitations and it looks like won't be further developed.

The lack of a chord chart export feature in Songmaster pro is an important con for me, though. On the other hand, how does it manage tempo and time signature changes?

Last edited by Cerio; 02/06/24 12:56 AM.

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Any news on the "exporting chords" feature?

Cerio #798739 02/06/24 06:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Cerio
On the other hand, how does it manage tempo and time signature changes?

I've just tried the demo. It handles tempo changes and time signature changes very well.

Also, really intuitive and smooth, and it's REALLY good figuring out the chords. Very impressed, so far.

Last edited by Cerio; 02/06/24 06:28 AM.

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shlind #798766 02/06/24 08:01 AM
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Transcribe: yes. I use this often, but today I only had it open so I could play a note on the piano keyboard. I didn’t need any other functions.

ps the Stems in Song Master Pro include a Vocal track. I didn’t list it because my song had no vocals.


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Originally Posted by shlind
Any news on the "exporting chords" feature?

I finally decided to buy the program after trying the demo for a while, I've tried (and used) several similar programs in the past and this is, by far, the best one, so thanks for bringing it here.

I contacted the developer about this and other FR, and he said me that he had just iust implemented the option to view a song as a song sheet (similar to a lead sheet format) as well as exporting it as a professional looking pdf. Both features will be in the next update

He also said that he is going to start working on an additional export feature (probably MusicXML) immediately.

Great.


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shlind #798943 02/07/24 01:18 PM
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That’s great news. Thanks!

And yes, the developer is very accommodating and reachable.


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Last edited by DrDan; 02/09/24 01:22 PM.

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shlind #799305 02/09/24 01:08 PM
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Not surprised. They seem to be coming fast and furious now. Thanks for the tip.


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Free and runs from your computer, not the cloud. How neat is that?! Thanks for sharing the news DrDan. If I may ask, how did you find out about the Audacity AI plugins?


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The spleeter algorithm, used in most of those programs and webs has always been open source and free to use:
https://github.com/deezer/spleeter

There's also a graphical implementation for windows, really easy to use and also 100% free:
https://makenweb.com/SpleeterGUI

But Song Master goes much further than that, is the perfect program for working musicians who need to learn / transcribe lots of songs quickly, in the most efficient way.

Last edited by Cerio; 02/09/24 06:35 PM.

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shlind #800559 02/17/24 06:28 PM
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BIAB puts the chord (spelling in as a Marker field)
Reaper can read the markers and put them in the marker field.

Studio One has to process imported MIDI notes or Audio to recognized chord spelling and put them in the Chord track. It can then drive MIDI and/or Audio track tuning via the chord track.

IFAIK Cubase also can recognize chord spelling from MIDI data or Audio data to load into its chord track for use with MIDI tracks.

IFAIK Cakewalk and Logic currently do not have chord tracks.

Music XML can spell 33 types per chord for chord charts.
So, I would say the best options for now is:
Options 1: Output a MIDI file:
- MIDI block chords for systems that recognize the chords +
- Chord names as a marker in the MIDI file for systems that recognize the markers and put them in a marker track
Option 2: Output a Music XML file:
- Music XML if you're workflow involves notation.


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A new version has just been released, Iv'e been using the beta version for the last weeks and the new features are really impressive:
https://aurallysound.com/pages/release-notes-pro

Simply put, it's the perfect transcribing assistant and song learning app out there.

John, the developer, is also very open minded to new suggestions and appreciates bug reports. In fact, several of the ideas on this thread (and many more) have been implemented on the new version.

Last edited by Cerio; 03/24/24 02:25 PM.

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shlind #805031 03/24/24 01:11 PM
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Hot Damn, this is really good news. I have kept my eye on this and am now even more excited to see the updates. With these revisions this app is distinquishing itseft from others which makes the cost feasible. Thanks for the follow up here.

Dan


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Great news.
I just made a quick test for one song.
It seems that Biab imports the overall chords and structure ok I had to set the BB song bar offset to 1 in the XML import menu (default was 2).

I just made a very quick test with one single song it seems to get the "basic" chords in but missing the qualifier ie Bm comes in as B and G7 as G etc, but I have not analyzed it in detail. It looks like it is in the import function, if I open the XML with MuseScore4 the chord qualifiers are shown there.

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Looks like a powerful update. You are correct, the developer listens. I suggested exporting the tempo map, and here it is.

My browser flagged the download because not many have yet downloaded it.

I did a double-take with I saw the update is only 112 MB. That's less than one RealTrack.


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shlind #805102 03/25/24 12:34 AM
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How does the chord transcription feature compare to Chordify?


LyricLab A.I assisted chords and lyric app. Export lyrics and import directly into Band-in-a-Box 2024.
https://lyriclab.net
Play-along with songs you know and love, download SGU files
https://playiit.com/
shlind #805150 03/25/24 06:56 AM
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Joanne, I have not tried Chordify. Up until Song Master Pro, my go-to program for chord transcription (besides me) has been Chord AI, an iOS app. If you are familiar with that excellent app, perhaps it will help to know that Song master Pro is far better.


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I just ran a song (Naufragio as sung by Ibrahim Ferrer) through the demo version.
It did a very nice, if overly complex version of the chords.
Often it would change chords entirely on a bass line change (passing tones). Mostly enharmonics, but something you notice.
Nice work, but I would simplify before before bringing to rehearsal.

Nevertheless, Good stuff overall.
If I could import the xml into biab and get decent charts that would save a lot of work.
I guess you really won't know the cleanup effort till you buy the stuff.

I think I'll give them the $$$


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shlind #805160 03/25/24 07:46 AM
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Note that Song Master and Song Master Pro have just been updated, to v4.0 and v2.0 respectively.

The Song Master v4.0 release notes:

https://aurallysound.com/pages/release-notes

The Song Master Pro v2.0 release notes:

https://aurallysound.com/pages/release-notes-pro

Here's the download page to save you some clicks.

https://aurallysound.com/pages/download

Last edited by TheMaartian; 03/25/24 07:49 AM.

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Originally Posted by mrgeeze
If I could import the xml into biab and get decent charts that would save a lot of work.

I export music xml from Song Master Pro > Musescore all the time and it works flawlessly. It's an incredible time saver.

Unfortunately, I've made a few testes importing those same music xml files into BIAB and the result hasn't been good. In fact, I've never been able to use Biab music xml import / export feature successfully.

Last edited by Cerio; 03/25/24 11:40 PM.

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Cerio #805249 03/26/24 01:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Cerio
Unfortunately, I've made a few tests importing those same music xml files into BIAB and the result hasn't been good. In fact, I've never been able to use Biab music xml import / export feature successfully.

Yes, that's the same experience that I have had.


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I did some more tests looking into the MusicXML files.
Both BIAB and Songmaster PRO are using MusicXML 3.0
But they seem to handle the chord ”qualifier/extenstion specification" differently!

Looking in the MusicXML files for some sample chords as an example.

SongMaster PRO exports a chord E7 resp E9 as:

<root>
<root-step>E</root-step>
</root>
<kind>dominant</kind>

<root>
<root-step>B</root-step>
</root>
<kind>dominant-ninth</kind>

And BIAB exports a chord E7 resp E9 as:

<root>
<root-step>E</root-step>
</root>
<kind text="7">dominant</kind>
</harmony>

<root>
<root-step>E</root-step>
</root>
<kind text="9">dominant-ninth</kind>

(strange that it should differ if they using the same the standard).

MuseScore uses MusicXML 4.0 and seems to import both versions correctly as far as I can see.
as well as GuitarPro 8 uses MusicXML 2.0 and seems to import both versions correctly as far as I can see.

But BIAB misses the chord ”qualifier/extension specification” when importing MusicXML from SongMaster Pro ie an E7 or E9 chord comes in as E and similar for others. But the basic chord structure for the song seems to be imported ok (ie chords without qualifiers/extensions). Also BIAB seems to be able to import its own created MusicXML correctly.

Maybe there is a configuration issue somewhere (or some simple change one can modify in the MusicXML file to get it working?)

I don't know if there is one correct way to implement the standard or if both ways are equally correct. But interestingly other software companies seem to be able to handle it so it works for both cases.

shlind #805262 03/26/24 03:40 AM
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Music XML in BIAB also has issues with importing songs with time signature changes.

I understand that PG Music has been asked to consider updating the product to support Music XML 4.0


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shlind #805289 03/26/24 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by shlind
.....
<root>
<root-step>E</root-step>
</root>
<kind text="9">dominant-ninth</kind>

(strange that it should differ if they using the same the standard).
On of the many complications of MusicXML in particular and XMLs in general is that so many tokens have options/attributes that one may or may not choose to use. Looking at MusicXNL 3.1, of which I happen to have a copy, I'm fairly confident that the that the text="7" attribute is optional, as are various other attributes of kind (use-symbols, stack-degrees, parentheses-degrees, bracket-degrees, print-style, haligh, valign). And that's just one token of many.

Also of course, the specification says what tokens and attributes are/mean, and in what context, but how that's interpreted by the software may be imperfect.


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pretty cool program. i have demoed the thing and it does do a lot of fun things.


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Originally Posted by AudioTrack
Originally Posted by Cerio
Unfortunately, I've made a few tests importing those same music xml files into BIAB and the result hasn't been good. In fact, I've never been able to use Biab music xml import / export feature successfully.

Yes, that's the same experience that I have had.


Too bad. I was hoping for a shortcut to manual labor.

As mentioned elsewhere, support of a current version (4.0?)of music xml by PG music would be helpful.


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Maybe it does not help with v4.0 for this specific problem with importing chords.

If v3.0 allows for using an optional textstring as a chord specifier rather than the detailed <kind> chord specifier as it seems to be at the moment (see above). Then maybe this problem will remain in 4.0 unless BIAB changes the way to interpret the chord specifier (only a speculation).

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I just ran a test with a Brazilian song (lots of complex chords). While Song Master Pro (updated) read the chords well, the Music XML loaded into BIAB showed only the chord root. I had to type over every chord to include 7, m7, Maj7, 9, 13, etc. It did get the roots in the correct positions in measures and surprisingly did read slash roots.

I need to read the code to find out where the error is.


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features that I’d like with chord AI

it can interact with YouTube for it’s source material

Is available on iPad


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I have done some more testing on importing MusicXML generated by SongMaster Pro into BIAB.
As mentioned in posts above when importing a MusicXML file that has been generated by SongMaster Pro directly into BIAB it only loads root chords no extensions.
But maybe there is a workaround.

If I import the MusicXML file into MuseScore it loads all chords correctly. If I then export the same score (the MusicXML just loaded) out again as MusicXML from MuseScore and then load it into BIAB it may work. But it did NOT!

If I copy the same score (the MusicXML file I just loaded into MuseScore) into a fresh new empty score in MuseScore and from there export it out as MusicXML from MuseScore and then load it into BIAB….

… It seems to Work FINE.. (all chord extensions are there).

It seems that MuseScore4:
1) exports scores that have been created from scratch in MuseScore correctly in a format that BIAB can read (ie it includes both the ”text string chord extension names” as well as the <kind> chord extension definition parameter).
2) but when exporting a score that has been loaded from MusicXML it seems just to just export exactly the same MusicXML file that was originally loaded.

I don’t know what the standard states or which of the software that need change or maybe both (but MuseScore seems to import MusicXML files correctly both from SongMaster Pro and BIAB)

So there might be a workaround a bit heavy but it seems to work.

EDIT ------------
To me it looks like that the chord extention is specified by:
1) the <kind> chord extension parameter in MusicXML but also
2) an optional ”name text string” parameter (it is only my guess that it is optional I don’t know if it is mandatory)

SongMaster Pro only adds the 1) the <kind> chord extension parameter and not the 2) ”name text string” parameter.

But this seems to work fine with MuseScore (as well as GuitarPro8 and Notion 6) and it loads correctly with the correct chord extensions These programs do not seem to need the 2) ”name text string” parameter, they work fine with only the 1) the <kind> chord extension parameter.

But this is not the case with BIAB it seems not work without the the 2) ”name text string” parameter. it seems that BIAB requires the 2) ”name text string” parameter in order to interpret the chord extension and BIAB seems to ignore the 1) the <kind> chord extension parameter if it is given alone without the 2) ”name text string” parameter.
(but as said this is only my guesses I don't know what the standard states).

EDIT2------------
I had to experiment with the BIAB load special settings: ”BB song bar offset” and ”Number of bars in XML to skip” in order for the chords to align correctly in BIAB. It seems to depend on if there is a non complete bar at the beginning of the song. The setting that worked for me was ”BB song bar offset=2”, ”Number of bars in XML to skip=1” and the first bar was only 1 beat (in the original song from SongMaster Pro via MuseScore). The file that I tested had chords spread over various beats 1,2,3,4 and they seemed to align correctly. Only thing it will miss the first bar with only one beat.

EDIT3 ---
It seems to work fine with the default settings as well ie ”BB song bar offset=2”, ”Number of bars in XML to skip=0”. Only thing is that the 3 first beats will get an C chord since my song only begin with one beat in the first bar.

Below attached are screen shots:
1) SongMaster Pro first 20 bars
2) Imported MusicXML from SongMaster Pro into MuseScore after copied over to new empty score
3 New MusicXML exported from MuseScore and imported into BIAB with default settings ie XML bars to skip=0.

Attached Files (Click to download or enlarge) (Only available when you are logged in)
Last edited by shlind; 04/04/24 03:52 AM.
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Thanks for the update shlind. I would have expected that Music XML 4 would have been backwards compatible, but perhaps there are other features in there that don't quite match up.

Your experimentation and feedback have provided valuable information.


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shlind #807442 04/15/24 02:58 AM
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Back to SongMaster Pro for a bit, which program I've just started exploring.

I'm guessing I know the answer to this and it's "yeah, sometimes it just does that".

I've been trying to analyse the Dave Brubeck band's "Take Five" and it seems to fail fairly spectacularly to do what it should. It thinks it's in 4/4 (OK, easily enough fixed) and unsurprisingly I have to correct the timing at the beginning. It looks like it probably gets the chords right. But it fails to get most of the stems anything like right. Drums are OK, bass may be OK, most other instruments are in "The Rest" apart from some occasional witterings and the odd section where it decides the Sax is a guitar.

I can't say I'm surprised, really, as this always seemed a major "wow, that's incredible" and the instruments all have rich spectral content. It does transpose and adjust tempo OK, which was a large part of what I wanted, and I imagine it will work better for other pieces. I haven't seen anything yet that suggests there's a way to better tune it for generating the stems of other sounds.


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Originally Posted by Gordon Scott
Back to SongMaster Pro for a bit, which program I've just started exploring.

I've been trying to analyse the Dave Brubeck band's "Take Five" and it seems to fail fairly spectacularly to do what it should. It thinks it's in 4/4 (OK, easily enough fixed) and unsurprisingly I have to correct the timing at the beginning. It looks like it probably gets the chords right. But it fails to get most of the stems anything like right. Drums are OK, bass may be OK, most other instruments are in "The Rest" apart from some occasional witterings and the odd section where it decides the Sax is a guitar.

I can't say I'm surprised, really, as this always seemed a major "wow, that's incredible" and the instruments all have rich spectral content. It does transpose and adjust tempo OK, which was a large part of what I wanted, and I imagine it will work better for other pieces. I haven't seen anything yet that suggests there's a way to better tune it for generating the stems of other sounds.
Hey Gordon, I'm fascinated by what's going on under the hood with stem separation. I suspect that if the program wasn't trained on songs similar to Take Five, then it probably won't do a good job because of the sonic overlap of the various instruments.

One thing you might try is to make it easier to for the program by slowing down the tempo of the file you feed it . . . just a thought.
Another thought is to email the file to the developer and see if they can do any better. At a minimum you'll makke them aware of the kind of music you're trying to decompose.
--Steve


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Originally Posted by Gordon Scott
I've been trying to analyse the Dave Brubeck band's "Take Five" and it seems to fail fairly spectacularly to do what it should. It thinks it's in 4/4 (OK, easily enough fixed) and unsurprisingly I have to correct the timing at the beginning. It looks like it probably gets the chords right. But it fails to get most of the stems anything like right. Drums are OK, bass may be OK, most other instruments are in "The Rest" apart from some occasional witterings and the odd section where it decides the Sax is a guitar

I've been using the program intensively during the last months, and it's by far, the best buy I've made in many years, I'm saving sooooooo much time when transcribing songs / entire repertoires.

The program, however, is not perfect, and still have its limitations. I'm not sure which stem separation algorhtym is used by the program, but in any case, the algorhtym has been trained to meet the demands of most musicians and music aficionados, which means that works REALLY well with mainstream music (essentially modern pop and rock tunes), and not so well with jazz, and other not so popular styles.

It also works pretty well with modern mixes (from 1970s onwards), but not so well with older songs where, for example, the bass may be panned all the way to the right, while the drums are panned all the way to the right.

Regarding chord recognition, the program, again, does a great job with simple harmonic material (pop, rock, blues, soul, funk tunes) but may have some problems with more advanced, jazz based, compositions.

I've also found that the quality of the source has a great impact on the results: just avoid 192khz and below MP3s.

Knowing these limitations is essential to get the most out of the program, and avoid getting frustrated.

Last edited by Cerio; 04/15/24 10:25 AM.

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Cerio #807477 04/15/24 11:09 AM
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Steve ... I'll let AurallySound know, though I'm a bit sceptical how much they can improve things. I'll be interesting to find out.

Originally Posted by Cerio
Regarding chord recognition, the program, again, does a great job with simple harmonic material (pop, rock, blues, soul, funk tunes) but may have some problems with more advanced, jazz based, compositions.

I've also found that the quality of the source has a great impact on the results: just avoid 192khz and below MP3s.

Knowing these limitations is essential to get the most out of the program, and avoid getting frustrated.
Chord recognition on jazz is very exuberant. Not surprisingly it picks up on all sorts of stuff that jazz players put in. I knew I'd have to rationalise.

The observation about bit-rate is helpful ... I hadn't considered it, though now I'm informed it's obvious.

What I'm asking of it is quite a lot and I'm far from surprised it didn't make it. It will still be useful for things like transcription, though sometimes harder work. That's life; and it'll likely get better with tech advances.

Last edited by Gordon Scott; 04/15/24 11:20 AM. Reason: just a typo

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shlind #807478 04/15/24 11:25 AM
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I'm interested in Cerio's observation that the quality of the source file makes a difference. Like Gordon, I had not considered this.

Although I have only fed WAV files into Song Master Pro, the source of those WAV files might be from recording something of lesser quality, such as a YouTube video. I assume such a file is already compressed considerably. I plan to run a comparison of the same song recorded from Apple Music (high quality) and YouTube. And maybe a file ripped from a CD.


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Originally Posted by Matt Finley
Although I have only fed WAV files into Song Master Pro, the source of those WAV files might be from recording something of lesser quality, such as a YouTube video. I assume such a file is already compressed considerably. I plan to run a comparison of the same song recorded from Apple Music (high quality) and YouTube. And maybe a file ripped from a CD.

Please, share your results when you have them


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shlind #807500 04/15/24 03:42 PM
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I have a reply from AurallySound who also say panning can be an issue and Take Five is panned strongly:
Quote
I took a listen and expected it to do considerably better than it did. My guess would be the rather unusual panning of instruments (the center is really open (!)) is quite different from the rock/pop songs used to train the stem separator. Will training does do some dynamic re-panning it doesn't do anything as extreme as pushing the drums so far left--perhaps something to look into.
Take Five was recorded in 1959, so could have originally been mono limited stereo. That they expected it to do better is encouraging, though some other tunes I tried were also less than brilliant.


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Purchased today. What a frikin mess trying to transfer the chord chart to anythink which I can use in my DAW!! A huge dissappointment. It looked so promising!!!

Wrong Key or Wrong Chords or Wrong timing. Sent xml to BIAB. That looked good, but there was not a good agreement with the chord names and the midi was using "held" chords across bars instead of replaying the chord. I don't think I have ever seen BIAB do that. When I sent xml to MuseScore, all the right names but the key was wrong. Chart was F (one b), but the chords were F#. Tried text output but that just throws an error.

All I can do is stare at this output and wonder what is going on...

Last edited by DrDan; 9 hours ago.

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is that a long-winded way of telling me let the buyer beware?. Or I should’ve known better.


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Originally Posted by DrDan
Purchased today. What a frikin mess trying to transfer the chord chart to anythink which I can use in my DAW!! A huge dissappointment. It looked so promising!!!

What are you trying to import in your Daw exactly?

The XML won't include notes nor lyrics, just chords, parts, key and tempo, which is exactly what I expect to import in musescore. As far as I know Reaper or any other DAW won't import that XML, simply because most DAWS are not designed to work with that info.

Importing the XML into musescore has worked flawlessly for me (and I've been using SMP a lot during these last months), so I suspect there's something you're not doing correctly. Would you mind to share your project here?

Last edited by Cerio; 6 hours ago.

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Originally Posted by Cerio
The XML won't include notes nor lyrics, just chords, parts, key and tempo, which is exactly what I expect to import in musescore. As far as I know Reaper or any other DAW won't import that XML, simply because most DAWS are not designed to work with that info.

Importing the XML into musescore has worked flawlessly for me (and I've been using SMP a lot during these last months), so I suspect there's something you're not doing correctly. Would you mind to share your project here?
XML should handle all the notes, lyrics, key, tempo and notational stuff like crescendos and trills.
Should != does frown


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My workflow is a tad different. Currently, I want to get the Chord Chart out of SMP and into EZKeys2. EZKeys2 does not input xml. While it can work directly with an audio file, I don't like the chords I am getting from that path.

1) Run SMP on song mp3
2) Opps I see the mp3 is in Key F#, I want it in F. No problem SMP can transpose all the chords. Good
3) Save chord chart as xml. Good
5) Open xml in MuseScore. Good, but wait. The MuseScore chart is in Key of F#. Apparently the key change in SMP did not effect the xml output
6) Change the key in MuseScore to F. Good, but wait while the key change works the chords DO NOT CHANGE. They remain in F#. Bad, must mean the chord names are only "labels"? OK, I will adjust this later in the workflow.
7) Export Song as midi file.
8) Drag and drop midi file into EZKeys2
9 Well now we have a real mess. EZKeys lists the F# chords but can not transscrbe to F!
Here is where I started to spin. Repeated over and over, with slight differences. No Joy. I could not get the proper chords into EZKeys.

Now I could tell a similar tale of woe working with BIAB instead of Musescore in this workflow. But others have already identified issues with importing xml into BIAB.

Thanks for asking.

Dan


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I just made a quick test with one song and it worked fine for me (I have not tried SMP with EZKeys before)

Loaded the song into SMP
Exported MusicXML
Loaded MusicXML into MuseScore4
Exported partiture as midi
Dragged the midi into EZKeys2 chord line.

It seems to work fine for that single file that I tested. All chords with correct names and extensions loaded into the correct places in the time line the song had parts with several chords in a bar, and chords with various extensions.
I did not change any Keys. The song was in the correct key in SMP.

Maybe it works better if leaving the key cange to the last instans ie in EZKeys once the chords are loaded.

I just tested one song and that one worked fine for me.

(I have reported the problems with loading MusicXML files into BIAB to PGMusic as a bug (BIAB only loading root names but not extensions) They can reproduce the problem and will have the developers look into it. If there are other problems with loading MusicXML into BIAB maybe it would be useful to notify them so they can fix it all in one go.)

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Originally Posted by Gordon Scott
Originally Posted by Cerio
The XML won't include notes nor lyrics, just chords, parts, key and tempo, which is exactly what I expect to import in musescore. As far as I know Reaper or any other DAW won't import that XML, simply because most DAWS are not designed to work with that info.

Importing the XML into musescore has worked flawlessly for me (and I've been using SMP a lot during these last months), so I suspect there's something you're not doing correctly. Would you mind to share your project here?
XML should handle all the notes, lyrics, key, tempo and notational stuff like crescendos and trills.
Should != does frown

I asked the developer about the ability to export lyrics when exporting musicXML, here's his answer:
"The lyrics feature in MusicXml expects for lyrics to be broken down into syllables and each syllable given a time element for when it is sung. I don't have timing data at that granularity so I'm not exporting lyrics. There may be another way to get lyrics that I'm not aware of. I may be able to export a bunch of words at a time (not syllables)--similar to what I do with pdf export."

Exporting identified notes is currently supported via a midi file, not via musicxml. Maybe in future versions...

Last edited by Cerio; 3 hours ago.

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