How do I convert guitar audio to midi?

Written by james highland
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How do I convert guitar audio to midi?
Some programs will convert your guitar audio to MIDI. (Guitar player #1 image by Warren Millar from Fotolia.com)

Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) is a way of recording performance data, including pitches, note durations and loudness, in a common computer format. To play MIDI music, the data is sent to a sound source, such as a synthesizer, for playback of the information in the MIDI file. While converting MIDI to audio is common in this way, it is sometimes necessary to do the reverse. If you record audio from your guitar, you can convert this audio into MIDI information using special software. You can then route the notes you played on your guitar to another instrument.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Guitar audio
  • Audio-to-MIDI software

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Download the AKoff Music Composer software. This program is not free, but you may install the software before you pay to see if it meets your needs. The AKoff Music Composer converts audio into MIDI. The audio may already be recorded or you can trigger the MIDI recognition in real-time by playing your guitar into your computer. The program supports polyphonic audio recognition, which means that it can analyse multiple simultaneous notes for conversion into MIDI. Thus, if you play chords on your guitar, the program converts the entire chord. You can view sample results of this conversion process on the manufacturer's website.

  2. 2

    Install the WIDI Audio To MIDI VST program on your computer. This application is available for a free trial and then requires a payment to continue using. As a VST plug-in, you integrate the program with any other audio software on your computer that supports the common VST platform. Thus you can add the plug-in to existing guitar audio in the other audio software, or to a live audio signal sent through that software. The application allows you to edit the MIDI data in the plug-in to correct any errors in the conversion process.

  3. 3

    Download the 7 Canaries Professional software to convert guitar audio into MIDI. As with most other software on the Internet, you can download a free trial of the software before you decide to purchase it. This program includes features for filtering the audio data so not every note gets converted. For example, if your guitar audio is already mixed with other music, and is the loudest signal, a volume filter can convert the guitar audio to MIDI while ignoring the other musical parts. Additionally, you can have the software tune the MIDI output to the same key as the original audio, if necessary.

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