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Are there any methods to doing this on Ubuntu 14.04? What kind of quality should I expect from the midi file?

  • When you say "other formats," what are you thinking of? Do you just mean other formats that can hold audiorecordings? Do you know of any ways of doing this on other OSes besides Ubuntu? If formats like ogg, mp3, wav, aiff, flac, m4a/AAC, m4a/ALAC, and so forth hold audio waveforms (or their Fourier transforms), the corresponding conceptualization is that MIDI holds a musical score. That is, it is symbolic--it says what instruments to use and how to use them. Playing a MIDI file synthesizes the audio from this information. So it couldn't sound just like you ogg. Does the ogg include voice? – Eliah Kagan Aug 11 '14 at 1:42
  • @EliahKagan Thank you for your comment Mr Kagan. When you say "other formats," what are you thinking of? As you say; any container that holds wave forms, or similar. MIDI holds a musical score. Yes, and I fully realize that. Any OGG conversion would be difficult, particularly if vocals were involved. Any user who would attempt to make a midi, would do well to try and remove vocals first. – Akiva Aug 11 '14 at 3:33
  • Hi, I would say, it's very, very experimental now. I know a few programs doing this transform and most of them are for Windows. Sometimes it's even easier to transform the song manually, because methods are the same: you write a track-by-track polyphony song. It's even better for your talents. But, if you are lazy, you can contact the music author and ask him for sources. Or find the existing MIDI. Just choose the way you like most. – Danatela Aug 11 '14 at 3:52
  • I just added an answer to related question, which somehow answers this question, too: superuser.com/a/1399008/173408 – Stéphane Gourichon Jan 27 at 19:28
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Indirectly, Sonic Visualizer is able to at least help, but won't do it automatically, and you will have to be patient with the job it will requires.

Mini HOW‑TO:

Install Sonic Visualizer (sonic-visualiser from Synaptic or the Software Center).

Open Sonic Visualizer (use the Dash for this).

Open any sound file (AAC, WAV, MP3, …).

You should see a classical waveform graph appearing.

Click the “Pane” menu, then click the “Add Melodic Range Spectrogram” item, then select “All Channels Mixed” sub‑menu (that's typically what you want, but you may work on separated left and right channels).

You should see a new view below the waveform view (which, the latter, you can close if you wish). This view shows the pitch (something close to classical spectrogram).

On the left of the pitch spectrogram, you can see a keyboard‑like ruler. It will be useful, as you will see later.

Now click the “Layer” menu, and then click the “Add New Notes Layer” item.

The mouse cursor now should look like a cross, which will allow you to draw lines, just like in a piano‑roll view.

Take a look especially at what's red in the pitch spectrogram… this is typically the notes of the melody. Draw horizontal lines above it, like in a piano‑roll editor.

You may play/pause as you want, to hear both the original audio file, with the notes playing above it, as MIDI notes (it uses an embedded DSSI plug‑in as the MIDI synthesizer, so you don't have to bother to install and configure one).

When you are done, you may export your job as a MIDI file: click the “File” menu, then click the “Export Annotation Layer” item, then in the dialog box, choose the file type “MIDI Files (*.mid)”.

Save the MIDI files, and voilà!

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