August 17, 2010 in Music and Recording (E)
[prMac.com] London, United Kingdom - Seventh String Software today is pleased to announce Transcribe! 8.10 for Mac OS X, an update to their digital audio player optimized for transcribing music by ear. Using the app's sophisticated marking, shuttling, looping, pitch, speed, EQ, filtering, transposition, and waveform analysis features, the musician can hear any aspect of an audio track repeatedly. This helps greatly with identifying all the tones present, speeding the process of transcribing songs into standard musical notation. For the casual or professional player, Transcribe! offers a complete solution for transcribing music when fake books or sheet music are unavailable or inaccurate.
Over 10 years old, the application has improved slowly over time. With version 8.10 it offers a balance of simplicity of use plus a wide variety of optional features. The GUI itself strikes an ideal balance between graphical detail and utilitarian controls and displays. Working in landscape orientation there are two long windows, one above the other. The top window displays dual waveforms of a stereo audio track, the playback head, and any user defined markers. The waveform display scrolls left as the music plays, and can be scaled to encompass several minutes to a few seconds. The bottom window displays a simulated piano keyboard, and current spectrum analysis over the keys. The spectrum analysis reveals the various tones present at the paused playhead, and displays their frequency and amplitude above the corresponding notes on the keyboard.
While Transcribe! contains numerous hi-tech features, its most important function is to allow the user to make a selection consisting of a few measures, and play it again and again. This basic function is flawless and intuitive, allowing the user to control pause, play, and rewind through any of several convenient means: screen button, keyboard shortcut, foot pedal, and more. The control panel contains 5 buttons which select the speed of playback: 100%, 70%, 50%, 35%, and 25%, and speed can be manually adjusted from one twentieth to double speed. Choosing any speed other than normal alters the tempo with no change in pitch, making it easier to hear notes, chords, instrumentation, and technique.
Musical transcription is sufficiently complex that no computer software can yet perform it accurately. As an aid to identifying difficult chords and progressions, Transcribe! includes a spectrum analysis feature which suggests several likely possibilities for any displayed waveform (in standard form such as "Am", "E7#9", etc). The frequency and amplitude appear above the corresponding notes on the piano keyboard, and the keyboard can be played aloud to reproduce reference notes. This, and all other digital sound processing are done in real-time. Transcribe! also works with video files and will display the video synchronized with the audio at any speed. This is very useful as there is an enormous amount of music video and instructional material currently available. The user can listen to the music at slow speed while watching the player's fingers move.
* Digital audio player optimized for playing selected measures repeatedly
* Performs all digital sound processing in real-time
* Makes transcribing music by ear more natural and convenient
* Scalable, stereo waveform display with markers and annotations
* Piano keyboard style display and integrated spectrum analyzer
* Adjustable pitch, EQ, speed, and tuning during playback
* Displays video when present, synchronized with the audio at any speed
* Hands-free control using standard typist's dictation pedals
* Imports and exports: audio and video files
* Excellent learning tool in music education classes
* Perfect transcription assistant for the professional or casual musician
* Can be used to accompany a live instrumentalist
Also included is a graphic equalizer function with optional presets to help emphasize or filter out particular instruments, frequencies, or harmonics. A karaoke feature helps to remove vocals from stereo tracks. The audio waveform window accommodates a variety of markings and text notations, and a digital elapsed time meter is accurate to one-hundredth second. The tuning feature allows the user to tune the playback to exactly match the tuning of their piano or other instrument. For musicians transcribing for instruments not in the key of C, such as horns, the application will display notes in transposed form. Also, it will record and play back audio, as well as import and export audio files.
"Transcribe 8.10 is the result of the slow evolution of a program I wrote for my own use in 1998," commented company President Andy Robinson. "It's now in use by thousands of casual musicians, as well as many professionals such as Pat Metheny."
* Mac OS X 10.3.4 or later
* PPC or Intel based Mac
* 10.5 MB
* Also for Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7
* Also for Linux/x86
Pricing and Availability:
Transcribe! 8.10 for Mac OS X is priced at $50 (USD), and available directly from Seventh String Software. A fully enabled, 30-day free trial version is available for download. Review copies are available upon request.
Seventh String Software is based in London, England and was founded by Andy Robinson in 2000. Transcribe! is the company's flagship product, and it also offers several free applications for musicians. Their website includes a variety of educational resources for those interested in transcribing music. Copyright (C) 2010 Seventh String Software. All Rights Reserved. Apple, and the Apple logo are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.