ABC Sortware ~ Update!?

ABC Sortware ~ Update!?

Someone asked me about ABC Software, but the last time I did a trial, of about half a dozen packages, was a few years back and I didn’t like any of them and haven’t been back since. The only notation software I have and use is ‘dots’ related. BUT ~ I know things progress, and hopefully that means ‘improvements’. I also know quite a few of you are using currently available packages ~ so ~ what’s out there and what do you like, and what will it do.

I must confess, without naming and shaming, I did recently download and try one of the current packages. I don’t think it has changed at all since it was first concieved ~ still a pain-in-the-arse, and very poorly designed and unfriendly… It put me off looking further. So, PLEASE, convince me otherwise…

One query I recieved recently was someone wanting software that would scan the dots and turn them into ABC? There didn’t use to be. I have software that will scan sheetmusic, but not to convert to ABCs.

What do you like, what don’t you like ~ in the area of ABC software ~ recommend and/or warn ~

Re: ABC Software ~ Update!?

Sortware? ~ damn brain cells, I did mean SOFTWARE… The ‘r’ and ‘f’ are so near one another, and the ‘r’ is just an ‘f’ without the elve’s hat… 😏

Re: ABC Sortware ~ Update!?

Scanning dots on paper to turn them into WAV/MIDI/ABC may be theoretically possible but would be horribly difficult to implement reliably. What can be done, though, is tp convert sound (i.e. a music file in WAV format) to a MIDI format and printed dots. I believe there are a few implementations available, ranging from freeware such as AmazingMIDI on http://www.pluto.dti.ne.jp/~araki/amazingmidi/ to more sophisticated (and pricey!) applications such as IntelliScore on http://www.intelliscore.net/product.html (I’ve checked these links - they work).

Once you’ve got a MIDI file then converting it to ABC would be a relatively trivial programming exercise. A Google search for MIDI2ABC will throw up dozens of possibilities.

I haven’t used any of the above software, but what occurs to me is that you’d have to be very careful and precise with the WAV file because the software will treat it literally and you’d end up with an unreadable gibberish of dots on the screen. In particular, a tune on a fiddle, flute or whistle is never played precisely in tune, so the software would try to put some sort of interpretation on a note that isn’t quite F or F#, for example. And what would it make of a box with slightly wet tuning?! For the best results it would seem that playing the tune as a single melodic line (no chords, etc) on a fixed pitch instrument such as a piano would be best.

Again, unless the playing is metronomically precise the software will try to reproduce the timing and rhythm exactly, ending up with something looking like a composition by one of the madder modern classical composers. To be fair, though, I suspect that the software may have ways of “smoothing out” rhythmic complexities arising out of natural playing.

To summarise, the route for producing ABC from a played tune would appear to be a 3-step process: record as a WAV file --> WAV to MIDI --> MIDI to ABC.

BTW, although it’s not strictly relevant for the purposes of this discussion, the well-known ABC application ABCMus will convert an ABC file to MIDI.

Re: ABC Sortware ~ Update!?

I use Melody Assistant:
http://www.myriad-online.com/en/products/melody.htm
It reads ABC files, plays them as midi, edits, changes key, does tab for all fretted instruments and harmonica - any tunings. You can write, edit and print out sheet music. Free to download trial version. 20 euros/dollars updates free.
Less than 10 seconds after clicking to download an abc file here to listening to it playing the midi and watching the music score.

Re: ABC Sortware ~ Update!?

The best source for information on various programs is still Chris Walshaw
http://www.walshaw.plus.com/abc/software.html
Abc is very straight forward - especially if you read music.
Personally I think typing {or dare I say it} cut & paste is a most compact system. Why use abc software at all if you are scanning the music? There are some costly music notation programs if you want to try them.
What software do you use now? It is a fair question.
We discuss this at great length on the abcusers tech group
http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/abcusers/messages

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Re: ABC Sortware ~ Update!?

For Mac users: BarFly. ’Nuff said. Best part is that it’s free!! Well, you need to pay about 20 ish for the full version, but I’m pretty content with the available features.. I think one of the advantages of having the complete version is that you can print multiple tunes at once, but that’s about.

Cheers,
Armand

Re: ABC Sortware ~ Update!?

That Melody assistant looks pretty nice, but maybe too much capability for me. For Mac…I agree, BarFly. But I use 5 Line Skink to print--BarFly is pretty pixellated, and I find Skink is much smoother and has complete printing control. I’m not quite happy with either of their playing capabilities; they both sound like one of those old tiny casio keyboard toys. But, then again, that’s why I play with real people I suppose.

Re: ABC Sortware ~ Update!?

I use ABC Navigator available free from http://abcnavigator.free.fr/abcnvgt.php?lang=eng
Good package for writing/playing/printing with the added advantages of being able to build tune sets and printing tune books not just single tunes. Only down side is the lack of any help files but it follows most XP rules and the rest is not too hard to work out

Re: ABC Sortware ~ Update!?

I totally agree - ABC Navigator is brilliant. For the request of a programme to scan in music and convert to abc, abc is very quick to learn and you can write out the tunes yourself with only a little practice.

Re: ABC Sortware ~ Update!?

Walshaw’s site is a regular visit, but ~ there is nothing critical about his site, where software is listed, that’s all it really is ~ a list. That’s OK, objectively speaking ~ but the input of those that have suffered or benefited from the laudable and the damnable is more what I’m after, and those that have asked my out-of-date brain, on this subject, for assistance. Those experiences are what I need as well to motivate me to give the choices another try… Since such things started I’ve probably given a few months, at least twice over time, to ABC software, and only been disappointed and frustrated. So, recommendations may get me to give some of them another go. I need your cheer leader skills to motivate me, and your critical accounts so I avoid wading through shight again… Please!? ~ Help?!

Thanks for the input so far all, much appreciated…

I have offered the main motivation for starting this thread, a couple of acquaintances and friend, all consideration for helping them learn the ABCs…

Re: ABC Sortware ~ Update!?

Is there a software that converts sheet music to ABC?

Re: ABC Sortware ~ Update!?

Asking what one likes & dislikes, in Abc software, is a bit like asking which musical instrument is best & which is worst.
It depends on personal taste & how effectively you spend your time with the instrument.
Experience is key to getting the most out of abc notation It takes time to learn any program. It can be frustrating for any of us.
Trial & error, referencing the guides, & asking experts is the only effective method I have found.
Programs:
Phil Taylor’s Barfly receives high praise from Macintosh users.
Phil is very helpful on many abc questions.
Henrik Norbeck’s Abcmus is widely favored by PC users. Excellent playback features.
AbcNavigator is considered intuitive. Regrettably it lacks any help files.
Abc2Win is a bit dated, especially for playback. Most longtime abcusers have at least tried it.
I mainly use 2 programs.
AbcEdit because it has a simple text editor & can convert Abc files to very good looking music scores (.PDF format)
I have spent a great deal of time with this program. Be prepared to invest some time for the learning curve. I think that is a fair disclaimer.
I also use Bernard Parkin’s Mid2Abc. It produces no score. If you can read abc this is a straightup text editor.
It imports & saves Midi files. Transposing keys is very simple.
So there you have it.
2 strong recommendations: Barfly or Abcmus
2 recommendations w/noted concerns:Abc2Win or Navigator.
One which I use but might not recommend to anyone just starting out: AbcEdit
One for playback only: MID2Abc

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