Several weeks ago, Paul Shimmons (ipadmusiced.wordpress.com) and I talked to Micah Blouin from PreSonus about the new version of Notion 6 and other offerings from PreSonus for music education on the ME&T Podcast. Check it out if you haven’t already done so!
One of the things Micah discussed was “pinning” a WAV file audio track to a Notion score, and using their feature called N-Tempo, where you can “tap” a tempo into a score to sync it to the WAV file. He mentioned that this feature was great for transcriptions.
I recently contacted an artist about the possibility of transcribing a song of theirs so my 8th grade students could sing it in our spring concert. I received permission today, and since I am still recovering from a bad cold that hit two days ago, I began working on the song.
In Notion, I suggest creating a separate instrument to “pin” the WAV file to, and if you don’t have a WAV file, there are plenty of web-based sites that will convert existing audio to a WAV format. Just keep in mind that WAV is an uncompressed file format–so a audio recording is easily ten times larger than other popular formats (mp3 or Apple’s m4a). Then you make a N-Tempo instrument track, and you plan the rhythm you want to tap to. If you are working with an artist that shifts tempo freely, it can be better to make the N-Tempo track the same as the melody part. Then you enter Notion’s N-Tempo recording tool (it looks like a joystick) and tap the tempo using any key on the “A” row of your keyboard. To stop recording, hit space or ESC.
Side note: I have used “tap tempo” in Finale, which requires the space bar. It took a look in the manual to realize that the space bar was NOT the entry method for Notion.
It helps if your WAV file starts with the downbeat…so use an editor to trim your audio before importing it.
At any rate, using this method made the transcription easy and fast, and I would definitely recommend it to any one. I will certainly be using it again!
P.S. “O Hanukkah, O Hanukkah” was NOT the score I was entering today. I just used it as an example as it is in the Public Domain.