Music Transcription Resources

I’ve been asked about the different tools that I use to transcribe trumpet lines from audio recordings. So here they are!

Follow the links to learn a whole lot more about these resources.


I’ve only recently taken to using this tool, and I like it a lot. Before using Transcribe! I used Audacity in much the same way, but this tool is just a little handier for the sole purpose of transcribing from an audio file. It lets me isolate a section of the recording that needs close examination, reduce the speed, loop it over and over, and a whole bunch of other things that I’m only beginning to explore.

The audio tools that are buried under menus in Audacity are lying right on the surface in Transcribe!, making it a tool that is custom-built for this task.

AnytunePossibly the only app that makes me wish I had a Mac or iPad, as it’s not yet supported by Windows. Instead, I use Anytune on my iPhone.

While Anytune has many of the same features as Transcribe!, its “ReFrame” feature is especially valuable for isolating the exact instruments I am otherwise straining to hear. Other applications allow me to adjust the EQ to highlight the sounds I want to focus on or ignore, but no other tool that I’ve found can achieve this so effectively and so easily.

I was fortunate enough to be born with a good working pair of these. I’ve found them invaluable for holding my glasses on my face and also giving me somewhere cool to put my headphones. My set has a special add-on feature called tinnitus, which I think I picked up in my developing days of playing the trumpet. But if I was getting a new set of ears I wouldn’t select that option next time.

I have found my ears to be such an invaluable resource for transcribing, that I can’t imagine doing it without them.

This free, open-source music scoring program is hard to beat. I’ve compared it to the trial versions of its hefty competitors, and I’m yet to find a serious shortcoming.

It’s amazing, and it’s free.

In addition to these tools, my transcription efforts are aided by a trumpet on my lap and an old keyboard within reach behind me. Can’t get by without those!

2 thoughts on “Music Transcription Resources

  1. Where the software and good ears are certainly important in transcribing parts from a densely orchestrated piece, you mustn’t forget your vast knowledge of music theory being a sizable factor in transcription. When notes within harmonies get so blended, knowledge of music theory is a necessary skill to decipher many of those buried parts! Bravo to you on your amazing catalog of transcribed parts for trumpet and so many other instruments, including complete orchestrations….an amazing feat!

    Liked by 2 people

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