Recording Midi into MuseScore with a midi instrument

• Mar 24, 2010 - 13:55

I have a Roland V Accordion. I'd like to know if there is an application in MuseScore that will allow me to play a midi file (song) into the program and save it for export to Notation Musician. (That's the program that I'm familar with to tweak midi files.)


MuseScore is more a free (as beer and speech) equivalent++ of Notation Musician (I never use it).
MuseScore is a powerful scorewriter. There is no midi recorder in MuseScore .

What you are looking for is a Midi recorder. You can try a free software like Seq24 or any midi sequencer.
Then, you record your performance, save as Midi and open it in MuseScore (or notation musician if you insist :) )

In reply to by Nicolas

Then why is there a "Activate MIDI entry" (my translation from the french version I am using) button on the toolbar? I assumed this would be to allow recording of input from a MIDI-enabled device. I have a Yamaha keyboard and a LogiLink USB MIDI Cable that I bought just for this purpose.

I'm really enjoying MuseScore, thank you so much for such a professionally written and easy-to-use yet fully-featured program. I thought the MIDI button on the toolbar would add to my enjoyment. But it may have helped if somewhere in the help documentation it explains exactly what the MIDI button is there for?

I have downloaded Anvil Studio so that I can record direct from my keyboard. I have also downloaded LMMS for Windows which looks promising in this regard. Some people might find this page useful if, like me, they want to record directly from a MIDI device like a synthesizer:

In reply to by David Bolton

MIDI button is there to turn on or off MIDI "step-time" input. Instructions for using MIDI keyboard during note entry are in the handbook (under Note entry).

Now I have read that it makes more sense. I didn't have internet connection when I was playing with the Yamaha keyboard so I went through the offline manual and obviously did not find this. However, I am still extremely impressed with the software and when I find a sequencer capable of recording my Yahama keystrokes I will nevertheless be editing my recordings in MuseScore.

One of its additional strengths is that is is available in French! :)

Thank you for your reply.

In reply to by Nicolas

Is it likely that this feature will be added in newer versions of MuseScore?

The 2 main features that I would love to see in musescore is the ability to record parts in using a midi keyboard and to then be able to load various vst instruments to play them!

In reply to by Nicolas

Hi, no I was looking for a notation program like Finale, Overture and Sibelius.

Please don't think I'm dissing MuseScore, I absolutely love it and use it all the time. I actually bought Finale Songwriter a few years back but have stopped using it for doing more comprehensive scores.

The only feature I miss from programs such as the ones I mentioned earlier is being able to record parts into it.

In reply to by dickiefunk

I think the point is, you can use a sequencer to record your parts, then import the resultant MIDI files into MuseScore. It's not quite the same, since presumably you wouldn't always be playing full compositions in their entirety but would be wanting to record things piecemeal - a few measures here, a few measures there, maybe one instrument at a time. And direct support for real time MIDI entry would be a lot easier than needing to create tons of individual MIDI files, open then as new scores, then copy and paste into your master score, which is pretty much how you'd have to do it now.

But do realize, adding real-time MIDI entry would likely be a pretty huge undertaking technically, and in my experience with other programs, the benefit is very small, as the results usually take just as long to massage into something readable as it would have taken to just enter the notes the regular way. So personally, I wouldn't be holding your breath - even if some day the feature does find it's way in, it's pretty likely you'd ultimately find it disappointing, just as it is in other programs that allow this (like Finale).

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Real-time MIDI entry is the thing I miss most in MuseScore. Right, it does not produce very usable results and correcting the problems might easily take more time than writing clean results, but while I mostly tend to derive compositions from improvisations, I really like the sequencer/notation combination Sibelius and Finale offer, it just makes composing much more fun. Sibelius (Finale probably as well) has a quantization tool which mostly does most of the rhythm-correcting job.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

While I don't know what's going on in MuseScore's code, I'm not sure it would actually be such a monumental task to get real-time recording into MuseScore. Apple and Microsoft provide a tonne of APIs under their audio/MIDI libraries and by linking (coding) these up into the user-interface, you get these functions available to any app using the library. The hard part technically would be positioning the notes with their correct location (times) and durations into the score - MuseScore would have to translate a stream of notes at different times into the right parts of the bar - I'd expect this is not a trivial task for any application. Note that there are a few other 3rd party audio/MIDI libraries available too (eg. Juce, or PortAudio which abstracts across different platform's audio/MIDI libraries).
Like many others using OSX I'm sure, I use Logic Pro X to record tracks and export them as MIDI files, ready to import into MuseScore. It's not ideal obviously, and Logic's score editing features are certainly not ideal (it's not designed for this) but MuseScore is so feature-rich, and does its core tasks extremely well so I'm not too fussed about it. You can also enter single notes/chords in MuseScore fairly easily, but it's not real-time and you need to select the note length beforehand. Functionality-wise though, real-time recording is a bit of a 'missing link' and leaves an important method of getting music into a score un-addressed. One for the future perhaps?

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Guys, just to add a bit to this: since Cakewalk's demise last year, BandLab has taken over its main product, Sonar Platinum, renamed it to Cakewalk by Bandlab, and has released it free to the public. This is a $400+ piece of software that is now available for free. Sonar (and Pro Audio before it) has always had a musical notation mode. Not the best, but certainly not the worst, either. But more importantly, you can record MIDI in CbB and then export the MIDI file. What's more, you can watch it in Staff mode as you are recording the music, which I think is kinda cool, really. I have recorded several parts using my Roland GR-33 Guitar Synth and then gone back and "cleaned" them up via edit afterwards. You know, getting rid of all the 32nd rests and converting a lot of the 32nd notes over to 16ths and 8ths, as appropriate. It wasn't all that difficult to do within the Cakewalk interface.

I actually recommend doing this before exporting the part as a MIDI file. Just a couple days ago, I wanted to print out a guitar part that I'd recorded via MIDI and decided I'd load it up in musescore for editing and also for a nicer looking printout. Well, what happened was musescore loaded a much more complex file than was showing in CbB -- CbB doesn't display note resolutions any finer than 32nd notes. But this piece had several sections where there were 64th notes in abundance, and a few sections where there were even 128th notes. And 128th rests. Most of these were artifacts that could be discarded -- and either weren't even heard in the CbB playback, or were so minimal as to not even count, musically. And in other areas, the transcription that musecore plays differs entirely in "feel." Even when I tried to quantize it, the difference was striking. In some cases I had to completely redo the notation to get the feel I wanted. And in others, I'd simply given up. It became too much work. So beware.

I ended up actually transcribing the part by hand, writing the part out with pen and paper, copying it from Cakewalk's score, since that sounded like what I wanted to hear. Musescore's rendition wasn't even close, sad to say. I'm a bit mystified as to why it is so far off, to be honest. The only thing I can think of is that Cakewalk applied some rather heavy quantization to the part that didn't get picked up in the literal MIDI transcription.

In spite of all this, bottom line -- you can record MIDI in Cakewalk and then translate it over into musescore. And you can do it for free. Just be prepared to do a lot of edits to your recording.

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