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#2236076 - 02/22/14 05:15 PM Software X
doremi Offline
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Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 1743
Like many others here, I have tons of piano score sheets. I like to automatically convert some of them to lead sheets and corresponding MIDI files in the most efficient and cost-effective way.

Probably, that means scanning the piano score sheets to pdf and feeding them to software X. I need some basic editing capabilities of the automatically converted files, such as substitution of a chord in both the lead sheet and the corresponding MIDI file.

What software X do you recommend?
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I am 'doremi' because I play scales smile
Had I progressed to playing chords,
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#2236091 - 02/22/14 05:45 PM Re: Software X [Re: doremi]
TheodorN Offline
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Registered: 07/16/10
Posts: 1192
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There was a discussion about PDF to MIDI software not so long ago. ShiroKuro and Tangleweeds mentioned something, a search of the forums should find this thread and others like it.

I'd say the process should be to convert the PDF to MIDI, make the necessary corrections (depends on how good the software is how much is needed) and then run the chord finder feature on the resulting MIDI file. Most notation programs have a chord assignment feature, at least the better ones.

Edit: Here's the thread I was talking about.

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/2217027/Software_for_creating_sheet_mu.html


Edited by TheodorN (02/22/14 05:49 PM)
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#2236110 - 02/22/14 06:38 PM Re: Software X [Re: doremi]
Digitalguy Offline
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Registered: 02/04/14
Posts: 428
Loc: Switzerland
Originally Posted By: doremi

What software X do you recommend?


I own Photoscore Ultimate and it does a decent job. According to forums and reviews, the Ultimate version (not the Lite one) of Photoscore is superior to competitors like Smartscore and is probably the state of the art.
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#2236114 - 02/22/14 06:56 PM Re: Software X [Re: TheodorN]
Dan Clark Offline
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Registered: 10/27/12
Posts: 175
Loc: Bellevue, WA USA
I tried several scan-to-score apps. I found the best accuracy is with: https://www.musitek.com/smartscore-pro.html.

I have a Brother auto-feed all-in-one. By limiting the number of pages to something like 3-4 at a time, I can accurately scan printed sheet music directly into SmartScore. Accuracy is something like 95%. The touch-up process is fairly straight-forward.

After touchup, the music is exported into MusicXML and then imported into Sibelius 7 (7.1.3). There may be a better workflow, but I merge multiple "chunks" of a piece in Sibelius and then make necessary changes, including cleanup and assigning instruments. Finally, scores are exported to MIDI or printed.

I own both Sibelius and Finale. I prefer Sibelius over Finale. OTOH... Sibelius included a light version of PhotoScore and Finale a light version of SmartScore. In side by side testing, PhotoScore's accuracy was relatively poor at maybe 70-80%. As I mentioned above, SmartScore's accuracy was much higher.

I got the competitive upgrade price so it was $299. Still pricey, worth it IMO.

Regards,

Dan.



Edited by Dan Clark (02/22/14 07:07 PM)

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#2236141 - 02/22/14 08:26 PM Re: Software X [Re: doremi]
Digitalguy Offline
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Registered: 02/04/14
Posts: 428
Loc: Switzerland
I too own both Finale and Sybellius (both full versions), and Photoscore ultimate, as I said (I don't own Smartscore pro). So I decided to do a test. I took the first page of River flows in you and scanned it with Smartscore lite (inside Finale) and in Photoscore ultimate. Photoscore did much better (virtually perfect actually). I don't know if (and how) to post midi files in this forum otherwise I would attach the midi exports. So Photoscore Ultimate is much more accurate than Smartscore lite (in addition, Smartscore lite has several limitation and only gave me the notes, Photoscore gave me everything that was on the page, and accurately).
My 2 cents....
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#2236173 - 02/22/14 10:55 PM Re: Software X [Re: doremi]
doremi Offline
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Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 1743
Folks, I don't want to get in the middle of this, but can you (and others) please comment on the accuracy of the automatic chord recognition feature of PhotoScore, SmartScore, and similar apps? Thanks!
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Had I progressed to playing chords,
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#2236240 - 02/23/14 06:02 AM Re: Software X [Re: doremi]
Digitalguy Offline
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Loc: Switzerland
Originally Posted By: doremi
Folks, I don't want to get in the middle of this, but can you (and others) please comment on the accuracy of the automatic chord recognition feature of PhotoScore, SmartScore, and similar apps? Thanks!


I am not sure of what you mean. Do you mean, in scores where there are chord symbols, if the symbols are in the results?
There are in Photoscore, not in Finale (smartscore lite). Now if you also mean if you can playback the chords or add them to the midi file, as far I know you need (to export to) Sibelius for that. You need to use the option realize chord symbols (In v.7, it's under text, plugins).
You can have a look here
http://tomrudolph.berkleemusicblogs.com/2012/08/31/realizing-chord-symbols-in-sibelius/
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#2236253 - 02/23/14 07:55 AM Re: Software X [Re: Digitalguy]
doremi Offline
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Posts: 1743
Full piano scores typically have no chord symbols. I like to convert them to lead sheets with chord symbols (like in fakebooks) I thought software can be (easily?) programmed to recognize the chords from the full score and add the missing chord symbols, perhaps after reducing the recognized chords to a simpler subset. No?
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I am 'doremi' because I play scales smile
Had I progressed to playing chords,
I would be 'domisol' shocked

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#2236257 - 02/23/14 08:05 AM Re: Software X [Re: doremi]
Digitalguy Offline
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Registered: 02/04/14
Posts: 428
Loc: Switzerland
Originally Posted By: doremi
Full piano scores typically have no chord symbols. I like to convert them to lead sheets with chord symbols (like in fakebooks) I thought software can be (easily?) programmed to recognize the chords from the full score and add the missing chord symbols, perhaps after reducing the recognized chords to a simpler subset. No?


So you mean translating the left hand into chord symbols? Not sure it's what you mean but if you mean this, I am not aware of a way to do this. However this is a task for a notation software (such as Sibelius or Finale) not a music scanning software (as far as I know at least...)
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#2236259 - 02/23/14 08:16 AM Re: Software X [Re: Digitalguy]
doremi Offline
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Originally Posted By: Digitalguy
So you mean translating the left hand into chord symbols?

I think that the answer to the question is basically yes. The broader question is what do fakebook publishers do to arrive at their lead sheets.

I take it that fakebook publishers use Finale or Sibelius for this purpose, what is the workflow, in a nutshell?
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Had I progressed to playing chords,
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#2236263 - 02/23/14 08:25 AM Re: Software X [Re: doremi]
Digitalguy Offline
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Registered: 02/04/14
Posts: 428
Loc: Switzerland
Originally Posted By: doremi
Originally Posted By: Digitalguy
So you mean translating the left hand into chord symbols?

I think that the answer to the question is basically yes. The broader question is what do fakebook publishers do to arrive at their lead sheets.

I take it that fakebook publishers use Finale or Sibelius for this purpose, what is the workflow, in a nutshell?


I imagine they use one of the 2 leading software but I don't know the exact process they go through.... Maybe some professionals could reply here but you should probably change the title of the thread as this one does not tell much about the subject....
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#2236266 - 02/23/14 08:49 AM Re: Software X [Re: Digitalguy]
doremi Offline
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Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 1743
Agree, and I will start a new thread with a better title. The reason I used 'Software X' was that I did not even know what exactly it was that I was after. Your comments have clarified that, thanks!
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I am 'doremi' because I play scales smile
Had I progressed to playing chords,
I would be 'domisol' shocked

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#2236273 - 02/23/14 09:14 AM Re: Software X [Re: doremi]
Digitalguy Offline
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Registered: 02/04/14
Posts: 428
Loc: Switzerland
Originally Posted By: doremi
Agree, and I will start a new thread with a better title. The reason I used 'Software X' was that I did not even know what exactly it was that I was after. Your comments have clarified that, thanks!


Yes, good idea, and maybe link this thread in the new one, so that people can see the comments already made.
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#2236276 - 02/23/14 09:26 AM Re: Software X [Re: doremi]
doremi Offline
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Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 1743
Posted a sanitized question to the ABF forum in case someone is interested.
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I am 'doremi' because I play scales smile
Had I progressed to playing chords,
I would be 'domisol' shocked

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#2236304 - 02/23/14 10:39 AM Re: Software X [Re: doremi]
toddy Online   content
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Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1687
Loc: Portugal
Sorry to throw a spanner in the works here, but this question is interesting to me; and it may or may not expose the extent of my ignorance. It is this:

If you want notation symbols, then presumably, you can read them. Otherwise, what's the use of them? So if you can make sense of them (ie play a chord from a given symbol), then wouldn't it be easy enough to write the symbols out yourself in the first place?

And, furthermore, wouldn't it be better than letting a machine make 'blind' judgements? Much in the way that human translation is, for the most part, better than relying on Google Translate.
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#2236315 - 02/23/14 10:49 AM Re: Software X [Re: toddy]
dannac Offline
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Registered: 10/04/07
Posts: 598
Loc: USA
@Toddy

I play in church and the hymn book has melody only.
I cannot read music, or should say, cannot read/play music in real time.

I input melody from hymn book into notation program and let the program insert chord symbols ... make my own lead sheet.

Notation program speeds up the process for me.
If I do not like a chord it comes up with, I simply change it.


Edited by dannac (02/23/14 10:51 AM)

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#2236322 - 02/23/14 11:09 AM Re: Software X [Re: doremi]
toddy Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1687
Loc: Portugal
Yes, I understand. So it's really a tool to speed the process up - that's what I'd do to - including using Google Translate from time to time smile

But you say you 'input the melody from the hymn book into the notation program and let the program insert the chord symbols'.

Does this mean the computer actually works out the chord progression from the melody only? If so, it's a great deal more sophisticated than I thought could be. If it merely worked out the most probable chord from a bunch of notes, that is a simple thing (f#gbd = GMaj7, for example).

But if it works out the chords just from the melodic pattern, then it must have all the rules and conventions for writing part harmonies programmed into it: intricate! Not to mention the fact that Bach would have very different ideas from Britten or Bert Bacharach on how to go about it.
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#2236758 - 02/24/14 11:47 AM Re: Software X [Re: toddy]
dannac Offline
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Registered: 10/04/07
Posts: 598
Loc: USA
Quote:
But you say you 'input the melody from the hymn book into the notation program and let the program insert the chord symbols'.

Does this mean the computer actually works out the chord progression from the melody only? If so, it's a great deal more sophisticated than I thought could be.
But if it works out the chords just from the melodic pattern, then it must have all the rules and conventions for writing part harmonies programmed into it: intricate! Not to mention the fact that Bach would have very different ideas from Britten or Bert Bacharach on how to go about it.



Yes, you can see examples in this thread.
http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthrea...tml#Post2236274

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#2236778 - 02/24/14 12:29 PM Re: Software X [Re: doremi]
Morodiene Offline
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Well, if you want Bach, you play Bach. wink Otherwise, there are conventional chord progressions that match with melodies rather well.
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#2236801 - 02/24/14 01:52 PM Re: Software X [Re: Morodiene]
toddy Online   content
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Registered: 09/30/11
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Loc: Portugal
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
Well, if you want Bach, you play Bach. wink Otherwise, there are conventional chord progressions that match with melodies rather well.


True, there is no greater way to spend your time on this earth than playing Bach, but you might want to do something in the style of Bach, mightn't you? But then, I really think it would be time to start working out your own chords. Although I suppose harmonizing in the style of Bach would be something computers would be rather good at, given a clever programmer.

But it would always be second rate Bach.
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#2236806 - 02/24/14 02:07 PM Re: Software X [Re: toddy]
doremi Offline
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Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 1743
Originally Posted By: toddy
But it would always be second rate Bach.

not necessarily
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I am 'doremi' because I play scales smile
Had I progressed to playing chords,
I would be 'domisol' shocked

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#2236817 - 02/24/14 02:30 PM Re: Software X [Re: doremi]
toddy Online   content
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Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1687
Loc: Portugal
No, I meant a machine would be second rate. The fact that someone like Nicole Pesce can do 'first rate' Bach is fine. But the idea of a machine doing it makes me nervous....but it might happen, I suppose. A computer could conceivably come up with a decent fugue, but it would never be able to do a Mass in B Minor, would it?
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Mics: SP B1 & MXL V67g/ Alesis MicTube Preamp/ Xenyx302/ Yamaha HS7s .

"Only a fool is fooled" pv88, All Fools' Day 2014.

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#2236833 - 02/24/14 02:50 PM Re: Software X [Re: doremi]
doremi Offline
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Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 1743
All of us here will always be second rate Bach, with or without the help of a machine. There is no good reason for refusing the help of the machine on that basis.
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I am 'doremi' because I play scales smile
Had I progressed to playing chords,
I would be 'domisol' shocked

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#2237028 - 02/24/14 08:17 PM Re: Software X [Re: doremi]
Macy Offline
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Registered: 03/09/10
Posts: 611
I'm interested in Photoscore vs Smartscore. I've downloaded both demos and from what I've seen Photoscore is doing a better job of recognizing and converting than Smartscore.

But #1, I want to edit the results (fix problems and ultimately make other changes) and Smartscore seems to have more editing features.

But #2, Smartscore seems really buggy and some rather simple editing functions either don't work at all or only work sometimes (can't figure out how that can be but the same keypresses are ignored sometimes and work other times).

Personally, I find Photoscore editing interface more logical and like I said above it always seems to work. But it is limited.

So my question is - is anyone happy with Smartscore for editing, or do you see bugs like I do. Do I really need to use Finale or Sibelius for editing? I don't mind paying for Smartscore or Photoscore but I would like to avoid further expense just for editing the scores and ultimately converting them back to pdfs for my iPad.
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#2237039 - 02/24/14 08:37 PM Re: Software X [Re: Macy]
Digitalguy Offline
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Registered: 02/04/14
Posts: 428
Loc: Switzerland
Originally Posted By: Macy
I'm interested in Photoscore vs Smartscore. I've downloaded both demos and from what I've seen Photoscore is doing a better job of recognizing and converting than Smartscore.

But #1, I want to edit the results (fix problems and ultimately make other changes) and Smartscore seems to have more editing features.

But #2, Smartscore seems really buggy and some rather simple editing functions either don't work at all or only work sometimes (can't figure out how that can be but the same keypresses are ignored sometimes and work other times).

Personally, I find Photoscore editing interface more logical and like I said above it always seems to work. But it is limited.

So my question is - is anyone happy with Smartscore for editing, or do you see bugs like I do. Do I really need to use Finale or Sibelius for editing? I don't mind paying for Smartscore or Photoscore but I would like to avoid further expense just for editing the scores and ultimately converting them back to pdfs for my iPad.




I agree, Photoscore is limited for editing, you can always export as midi and edit in a good freeware like Musescore, but you will lose all the info that is in the page and is not on the midi files (chord symbols, text, etc.). The perfect solution is indeed Sibelius (not Finale for Photoscore), maybe you could go with Sibelius First...

Edit: I have just realized you can export virtually everything as xml, and then use the free Musescore for editing.


Edited by Digitalguy (02/24/14 08:45 PM)
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#2237142 - 02/24/14 11:25 PM Re: Software X [Re: Macy]
Dan Clark Offline
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Registered: 10/27/12
Posts: 175
Loc: Bellevue, WA USA
Originally Posted By: Macy
I'm interested in Photoscore vs Smartscore. I've downloaded both demos and from what I've seen Photoscore is doing a better job of recognizing and converting than Smartscore.

But #1, I want to edit the results (fix problems and ultimately make other changes) and Smartscore seems to have more editing features.

But #2, Smartscore seems really buggy and some rather simple editing functions either don't work at all or only work sometimes (can't figure out how that can be but the same keypresses are ignored sometimes and work other times).

Personally, I find Photoscore editing interface more logical and like I said above it always seems to work. But it is limited.

So my question is - is anyone happy with Smartscore for editing, or do you see bugs like I do. Do I really need to use Finale or Sibelius for editing? I don't mind paying for Smartscore or Photoscore but I would like to avoid further expense just for editing the scores and ultimately converting them back to pdfs for my iPad.

Macy,

My experience with SmartScore is similar to yours. I don't particularly like the SmartScore interface and some of the features seem buggy. That said, the only thing I use it for is to edit the few mistakes that SmartScore makes when it converts a scanned script. The rest of my editing is in Sibelius 7.

Which brings me to my primary criteria - accuracy. I first started looking for other options when my initial scans with PhotoScore lite required a lot of editing just to clean them up and make them exactly like the original sheet music. It's a waste of time editing just to clean up scan/conversion mistakes. All the great editing features won't make up for poor scans.

Regarding comparing a lite version of a product to a full production version of another product and drawing any conclusions, is not a reasonable test. My initial test before buying SmartScore was Lite to Lite. SmartScore was more accurate.

To double-check my original test results, I downloaded the latest demo version of the PhotoScore Pro Ultimate, chose another printed score, scanned it directly from my scanner, and reviewed the results. Then, using my copy of SmartScoreX2 Pro, I repeated the test. Again, SmartScore was more accurate. (From the Neuratron website, it appears the demo version of PhotoScore is EXACTLY like the purchased version except that you can't print or save the converted file.)

If someone can find a public domain score that I can use, I'll repeat my test using that score and post the results. (Since my scores are copyrighted scores that I purchased, I don't feel comfortable posting the results publicly using those scores.) The only caveat is that the score must be a clean, commercially printed score - no handwritten scores.

Regarding editing, I understand that you don't want to buy more software for editing. However, I don't recommend either SmartScore or PhotoScore for editing the score. Both are scanner/conversion tools with some editing added in. Both will frustrate you because sooner or later you will run into "the wall" - you need to accomplish something, and those software packages don't support the feature you need, the feature is poorly implemented, and/or the feature is buggy.

You will get better results from purpose-specific editing tools. Although I also own Finale, I strongly recommend Sibelius 7 for editing scores.

For detailed MIDI editing, try Reaper or FL Studio. I have both, but much prefer Reaper even though FL Studio has the better reputation as a MIDI editor. As hard as I try, I just can't get used to FL Studio. Reaper seems more consistent, stable, and easier to use. And for $60, Reaper is great value for the buck

Right now I own no less than five commercial score editors and three DAWs. I've wasted a lot of money trying to get editors work before finding decent quality software for editing. Sibelius and Reaper are my recommendations for editing.

Regards,

Dan.

p.s. I've not used MuseScore, but since it's free it's a good place to start.


Edited by Dan Clark (02/25/14 12:18 AM)

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#2237216 - 02/25/14 03:10 AM Re: Software X [Re: Dan Clark]
Macy Offline
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Registered: 03/09/10
Posts: 611
Originally Posted By: Dan Clark

Macy,

My experience with SmartScore is similar to yours. I don't particularly like the SmartScore interface and some of the features seem buggy. That said, the only thing I use it for is to edit the few mistakes that SmartScore makes when it converts a scanned script. The rest of my editing is in Sibelius 7.

Which brings me to my primary criteria - accuracy. I first started looking for other options when my initial scans with PhotoScore lite required a lot of editing just to clean them up and make them exactly like the original sheet music. It's a waste of time editing just to clean up scan/conversion mistakes. All the great editing features won't make up for poor scans.

Regarding comparing a lite version of a product to a full production version of another product and drawing any conclusions, is not a reasonable test. My initial test before buying SmartScore was Lite to Lite. SmartScore was more accurate.

To double-check my original test results, I downloaded the latest demo version of the PhotoScore Pro Ultimate, chose another printed score, scanned it directly from my scanner, and reviewed the results. Then, using my copy of SmartScoreX2 Pro, I repeated the test. Again, SmartScore was more accurate. (From the Neuratron website, it appears the demo version of PhotoScore is EXACTLY like the purchased version except that you can't print or save the converted file.)

If someone can find a public domain score that I can use, I'll repeat my test using that score and post the results. (Since my scores are copyrighted scores that I purchased, I don't feel comfortable posting the results publicly using those scores.) The only caveat is that the score must be a clean, commercially printed score - no handwritten scores.

Regarding editing, I understand that you don't want to buy more software for editing. However, I don't recommend either SmartScore or PhotoScore for editing the score. Both are scanner/conversion tools with some editing added in. Both will frustrate you because sooner or later you will run into "the wall" - you need to accomplish something, and those software packages don't support the feature you need, the feature is poorly implemented, and/or the feature is buggy.

You will get better results from purpose-specific editing tools. Although I also own Finale, I strongly recommend Sibelius 7 for editing scores.

For detailed MIDI editing, try Reaper or FL Studio. I have both, but much prefer Reaper even though FL Studio has the better reputation as a MIDI editor. As hard as I try, I just can't get used to FL Studio. Reaper seems more consistent, stable, and easier to use. And for $60, Reaper is great value for the buck

Right now I own no less than five commercial score editors and three DAWs. I've wasted a lot of money trying to get editors work before finding decent quality software for editing. Sibelius and Reaper are my recommendations for editing.

Regards,

Dan.

p.s. I've not used MuseScore, but since it's free it's a good place to start.


Thanks for your comments. Good to know you've found SmartScore a bit buggy too. And I am worried that I wouldn't find either of them completely adequate for future editing feature-wise. Hence I'm looking into the other options. But I'm getting contrary results when doing recognition.

I downloaded the demo's of both SmartScore and PhotoScore Pro Ultimate and tried them the last several days with pdf scores that I have previously scanned and use on my iPad now. In every case PhotoScore has done a significantly better job of Recognizing with fewer recognition errors to correct. Note that I haven't used either to actually scan. So it may be (???) that SmartScore is somehow smarter in setting up your scanner (and may be for mine?) than PhotoScore. I'll have to try actually scanning from inside these programs to see if I get a different result. But I've got hundreds of scores already scanned that I wouldn't want to do over, so that is the most important accuracy comparison for me.

Tonight I've downloaded demo's of Finale Print Music (2011 is latest version) and Sibelius First to try as editors. Both are smaller versions of their $600 programs at about $120. (I won't spend $600 for just editing). I'll be trying them in the next few days. I also tried MuseScore today and I found it really bad and lacking features. Keep in mind that I want to correct and edit (add to) scanned scores and not create scores from scratch, which is a different application than mine. And of course other people could disagree if their application is different and human interfaces are obviously at least somewhat subjective anyway.
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#2237272 - 02/25/14 09:03 AM Re: Software X [Re: Macy]
doremi Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 1743
Originally Posted By: Macy
....But I'm getting contrary results when doing recognition.

What exactly does 'recognition' encompass?
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#2237296 - 02/25/14 10:10 AM Re: Software X [Re: toddy]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11935
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: toddy
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
Well, if you want Bach, you play Bach. wink Otherwise, there are conventional chord progressions that match with melodies rather well.


True, there is no greater way to spend your time on this earth than playing Bach, but you might want to do something in the style of Bach, mightn't you? But then, I really think it would be time to start working out your own chords. Although I suppose harmonizing in the style of Bach would be something computers would be rather good at, given a clever programmer.

But it would always be second rate Bach.


Bach didn't do chords, he made individual melodic lines. So software that is chord-based will always fall short somehow. It would have to be programmed in a more linear way, creating counter-melodies to the main melody.
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#2237331 - 02/25/14 11:08 AM Re: Software X [Re: doremi]
toddy Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1687
Loc: Portugal
True, he wrote harmonic counterpoint of one sort or another which is not chordal as such. But he would always have a chord progression in mind. In fact, I think he sometimes would not bother to write parts out at all and just write figured bases, which, in harmonic terms, is a precise indication of the intended chords.

And, in any case, if you think about it, he did write lots of chords. Don't the chorales count as chord writing? He wrote hundreds of those.
_________________________
Roland HP 302, Yamaha SY85

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