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PDF to midi and eventually to MuseScore
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BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
December 24, 2016 - 10:24 am
Member Since: March 22, 2014
Forum Posts: 2192
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OK - having spent ages looking at some Ian Hardie fiddle tunes (sheet only, as .pdf files) and being able to "hear" some of them in my head - I really wanted to hear some kind of playback - you'll find the link to them in my earlier post - here -- http://fiddlerman.com/forum/ir.....es/#p83539

Of course, fiddle tunes "as-scored" are rarely played with the precise timings on the score.  Score sheets for fiddle rarely give hints on "expression", and usually entirely omit any embellishments such as turns, cuts or trills that an individual player may choose to use.  

Nonetheless - sheet is often a helpful starting-point - especially when from just looking at the sheet you can't QUITE hear it in your head.

In the past, I had looked for a ".pdf to midi" conversion program.   I found a few, but they were generally useless.    THIS ONE is quite different, and, so far, I have found it pretty darned good.   It WILL have limitations - I doubt it will handle "scanned" scores, but, for the few .pdf scores I've just tried so far - it's perfect.   I'm using the free version, limited to a single page - which most fiddle tunes are !   I also have NO idea how good it would be with multiple parts - but here's where you can find it - http://www.myriad-online.com/e.....omusic.htm

 Here's a step-by-step walk-through of what I did to get some music that was only available as a score in a .pdf format file, all the way through to a fully featured and editable score in MuseScore ...

OK - here we go - 

(1) Download the PDFtoMusic application from the link above

(2) Find, online, a .pdf formatted score of a tune you want to "mess with" - for this demo I'm just using Ian Hardie's "The Black Hag" - it can be found here - http://www.ian-hardie.co.uk/sc.....g.mscz.pdf - and this is it ( the link to "black-hag.pdf" - the ORIGINAL .pdf file ) 

(3) Now run the "PDFtoMusic" program and "import" the .pdf file - the application renders it like this ( and indeed will play it using a piano-voice - but you can change that - and the tempo ) - blackhag-pdftomusic.JPGImage Enlarger

 

(4) OK - so now - in the app - select "File/Export/As Midi" and you get a .mid file created....  fine so far...  this is it - ( the link to black-hag.mid )

(5) Now (and if you don't already have it - download MuseScore, it's free) open MuseScore and import the .mid file

(6) I changed the tempo ( it defaulted to 80 ) and I changed the instrument to violin - here's the score ( exported as a .pdf from MuseScore  - the link black-hag-as-musescore-output.pdf), a .mp3 version of the MuseScore variant ( the link black-hag-as-musescore-output.mp3 ) and finally, if you have MuseScore, the .mscz file

 Black-Hag.mscz

OK - it sounds complicated - it's not really.   If you have a score sheet in .pdf format and want to get something you can play with, change, edit, vary the tempo etc etc etc - then for the moment - this is my "path of choice"    

Ahhh - note this - Some ".pdf" files ( not the Ian Hardie ones ) have scores as embedded images - I rather suspect THESE WILL NOT WORK with the PDFtoMusic app - just saying....

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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Elwin
Houston
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February 3, 2017 - 8:48 pm
Member Since: January 3, 2017
Forum Posts: 99
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You use MuseScore? Wow! So do I. On the .org and .com site, my username is the same.

As for converting from pdf. Keep it in mind that unless the pdf was made from MuseScore, it's going to NOT convert well. As for midi files, in general, they don't turn out well in MuseScore. Trust me, I've tried it many times. The best thing to do would be to copy the notes manually into MuseScore. One thing to look forward to is that for MuseScore 3.0, there will be a pdf converting assistant to where it will sync the file with the pdf.

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BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
February 4, 2017 - 12:09 am
Member Since: March 22, 2014
Forum Posts: 2192
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Ha !   Another aficionado of MuseScore !

Yup - clearly there are limitations on interpreting pdf files dependent on the creation tool for the .pdf sheet - and it's certainly never going to work on a pdf where the embedded score is actually a scanned image

As for midi files - well - yes I would in someway agree with you - more complex files appear to encounter difficulties during import to MuseScore - often with the timing quantisation, and I have resorted on occasion, to just manually entering the score.   However - to be fair about this - I have to say - many of the files I import are very-much simplified fiddle tunes - and - largely they have been fine.

Much of the stuff I mess-around with is from http://www.thesession.org - and there, they often have tunes scripted in ABC notation!   There's a plug-in for MuseScore for ABC file import as well !  That is usually perfect (largely because of the relative limitations and simplicity of what can be notated in ABC format I suppose....)

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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Elwin
Houston
Advanced member
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February 4, 2017 - 8:27 pm
Member Since: January 3, 2017
Forum Posts: 99
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A Plug-in for ABC notation. I think I've heard of it before. I haven't tried it out since I have never used ABC notation before. Now, as for MuseScore, the sound is actually quite horrible. If you use their Default sound. I recently acquired one SoundFont for orchestra nerds, which sounds great, but it's massive. 

I'll go ahead and say try it and see if you can get the playback you want.

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