Top 10 Free Transcription Tools For Music Enthusiasts

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Transcribing melodies or chord sequences of a song is one of the challenges tackled by music hobbyists. Fortunately, there are tools and applications that can be helpful for this purpose. Transcribing will be quicker and easier using the following free transcription software applications:


10. Encore


Encore is a comprehensive transcription software application that offers a free trial to users. You can use it to transcribe MIDI files and print them afterwards. Using Encore, you can extract music parts and transpose them for different musical instruments then play the music as you compose it. It can play and graphically display repeats, dynamic marks, pedal marks, multiple endings and MIDI controllers.


9. Roni Music Slow Downer

Roni Music Slow Downer

Roni Music’s Slow Downer is another transcription software application that has just the basic features for music transcription. Its main purpose is to slow down music without changing the pitch. This program can play music of different formats including MP3, CD, AIFF, WAV, WMA and others. It also has the capability to increase the speed, adjust the pitch and set-up loop points of an audio file.


8. TwelveKeys Music Transcription Software

TwelveKeys Music Transcription Software

Developed by NCH Software, TwelveKeys Music Transcription Software is one of the most comprehensive applications for transcribing music. One of its best features is its ability to detect notes from single or complex polyphonic recordings. It has a tool that can play recordings as the notes are displayed in real time, and another tool that can analyze and create graphs of audio recordings. Additionally, it has a tone-enabled keyboard which is useful for identifying notes.


7. Finale


Finale is a free transcription software application that has numerous powerful features including the ability to make up to eight staves of orchestrations. It will enter notes in a music piece once you import any MusicXML or MIDI file. This application is also multi-functional because you can use it for transcribing, composition and music arrangement in many musical projects.


6. Crescendo Music Notation Software

Crescendo Music Notation Software

Crescendo is another free application for music transcription which has also functionalities for composing music and arranging professional music sheet. It has an intuitive user interface that simplifies the transcription process. It contains a wide range of transcription symbols as well as time and key signatures with text that can give you a lot of control when transcribing music.


5. Musink Lite

Musink Lite

With Musink Lite, you can now write music and compose scores, snippets and MIDI files with more confidence. It has basic functionalities for music playback, quick writing, auto-layout, exporting drum loops, and support for multiple file formats. Additionally, you can also avail of its premium Musink Pro edition which has more advanced features that allow you to record using MIDI devices, import MIDI files, design template, and playback loops among others.


4. Capo


Capo can be your best friend if you’re an aspiring musician. It can automatically detect the chords of a musical piece when you open it. It also has quick editing features so that you can edit the chords with just a few clicks or by entering some strings. Aside from that, it also has tools for easy transposition, looping, metronome and counting-off, tuning, and modification of panning. You could also use it to generate tablature by simply swiping over the notes.


3. Audio Chord Wizard (Band in a Box)

Audio Chord Wizard (Band in a Box)

The Audio Chord Wizard of Band in a Box is a software application with nifty features for analyzing chords. You could use it for transcribing as well as for analyzing imported audio files. It has several useful tools such as Instant Preview for analyzing different music styles, RealDrums which you could use for auditioning your songs, and UserTracks which allows you to make and add real tracks to your songs.


2. Sibelius


You can easily write, share or play your music using Sibelius, an application designed for creating scores, lead sheets and tabs. Among its top features is its automatic collision avoidance when scoring elements as well as its capability to add lyrics, text, graphics and chord symbols in your composition. It also contains tools for transposing, editing and printing PDF files or scanned printed music sheets.


1. Transcribe


Transcribe is an invaluable software application for professional and amateur musicians. It is a specialized application for playing audio files that allows users to loop any section of the audio track with just a few clicks. It also identifies and annotates sections of an audio file so that you can easily jump between them. You could also use this software to instantly transpose, increase or decrease the speed of an audio and identify notes and chords of a song at any point in the track.

Many of the applications listed here are free transcription software while others are premium software that offer free trial versions.

Feel free to try any of these applications when transcribing music and let us know how it works for you.


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