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MMD > Archives > February 2005 > 2005.02.20 > 04Prev  Next

TallStick Audio-to-MIDI Computer Program
By John A. Tuttle

Hi All,  As one who has always been interested in converting audio to
MIDI, I bought the TallStick TS-AudioToMIDI program in September 2004.
I tried for about six hours to get it to work acceptably.  The 'test
case' was a relatively simple audio recording of a piano solo, and the
piano was tuned to A-440.

Looking at the graphical representation of the music as it was playing
and being converted, the problem seemed pretty clear to me.  While you
could often hear that there were only three or four notes playing at
any given moment in time, the chart indicated that there were dozens of
notes being played.  As I played with the filters and level controls,
which are relatively straightforward, it struck me that a central
problem with the program was that it was listening to the music 'from
the ground up'.  In other words, it was listening to even the slightest
bit of noise (or sound), so it picked up every single harmonic.

What I found somewhat interesting was the volume (or db) level of the
harmonics.  I thought that I would be able to 'see' the notes fairly
clearly as they played, but such was not the case.  So, I tried another
test.  I took a MIDI file and converted it to an MP3 file.  Then I
tried to convert that file back to a MIDI file.  My figuring was that
perhaps there wouldn't be so many harmonics.

Unfortunately, the results were even worse.  I could only figure that
with a real piano, being played by a real person, the volume of each
note is slightly different, so they stand out a bit more.  With the
converted MIDI file, the notes were all identical in volume, and the
blending of the notes still created numerous harmonics.

Bottom line: I gave up on the program.  I suppose I should have read the
license agreement before making the purchase.  Anytime a manufacturer
states in capital letters that something is sold "AS IS" and that
that there is a problem somewhere.  So... Buyer Beware!

John A Tuttle
Brick, New Jersey, USA

(Message sent Sun 20 Feb 2005, 12:25:33 GMT, from time zone GMT-0500.)

Key Words in Subject:  Audio-to-MIDI, Computer, Program, TallStick

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