Saturday, 9 October 2010

From music sheet to MIDI (second round)

Yesterday I tried PDFtoMusic Pro and Audiveris for getting MIDI files out of music sheets. Today I'm trying another software, which looks much more promising: SharpEye.

So, let's start with the easy one, the JoropĆ³ piece, which comes from a PDF file generated with a music notation software. SharpEye gets this:

Not a single mistake for the first seven bars, for all the guitars. Not bad at all. And the generated MIDI file can be loaded into Rosegarden without any trouble.

How does SharpEye cope with the old scanned document at Well, the side-by-side view of the original document and the music recognized shows that there is still plenty of room for improvement, although it does work much better than Audiveris.

But it is true that the quality of the original is a bit poor, so let's be a bit nicer with the poor silicon brain, and let's compare Audiveris and SharpEye with a nicely scanned piece (I scan a random piece in one of my books at 600 dpi, though put it back to 300 dpi when transforming it to JPG (for Audiveris) and TIFF (for SharpEye)), and the first 9 bars of the scanned document look like:

What Audiveris gets is this:

You can see that many of the notes are correct, but this would definitely require some time to tidy it up. Worse is the fact that the MIDI created out of this seems to be broken, and when trying to load it in Rosegarden it simply refuses to do it, showing the message: "Attempt to read past MIDI file end"

SharpEye does a much better job:

For the first nine bars, it looks like SharpEye has done an excellent job. Actually, for the whole piece (24 bars), I counted only three mistakes, which is very good, but we shouldn't get too carried away... When the created MIDI file is imported into Rosegarden, the first nine bars look like this:

A lot of mistakes now... More or less OK to recognize the piece, but given the quality inside SharpEye, one would like to get a better MIDI file...

The quest for the perfect sheet-to-MIDI tool is still on!

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