MP3 to MIDI (Windows Only)




This is a demo for converting an MP3 to MIDI. BUT a big disclaimer...this worked for me with 1 instrument. I recorded live piano music into a digi-recorder. Then processed the MP3. This process is a handy way to transcribe music (see limitations).

This Instructable requires that you install two freeware applications. This is a Windows-centric project (sorry to non-Win people). It may be possible to do this Instructable on another O/S. There are some optional applications for printing the MIDI file as sheet music or for editing the MIDI file.

One thing I don't get into is how rip one instrument/voice from an MP3 with more than one. If you know how to do this please post an Instructable. I would love to be able to isolate an instrument or voice from an MP3.

As mentioned above the MP3 can only have one instrument/voice.
The sheet music is often a more complicated version than you expect. You may be able to quantize the MIDI file to make it more readable.
The sheet music only displays a treble or bass clef not both.
(Please report limitations that you discover.)

Step 1: Install Software (mostly Freeware).

Download and install the following Windows software:

Audacity (v 1.3)
Audacity is a really great open-source software. It is handy if you want to record via your laptop/desktop to MP3. It has a lot of effects.
OR get a Portable version at...

Amazing MIDI (v 1.7 )
This is also very cool software. It takes a single instrument input as WAV file and transcribes/converts the music to MIDI file. This software has not been updated since August 20, 2003.


MIDI Notation (v 2.1.2)
This software takes a MIDI file displays it as sheet music which can be printed.

Anvil Studio (v 2007.12.01)
This software takes a MIDI file and allows the user to edit the music. The basic software is free but you can add on some components for a modest price.

I included the version number for the software that I used. In other words, I got this Instructable to work using these versions. But it is usally better to work with the latest stable version.

Step 2: Audacity

Convert MP3 to WAV

Launch Audacity
File > Open
Load your MP3 file.
File > Export as WAV

You can play around with Audacity in order to get a shorter clip or try out some filters. But on your first pass, I suggest doing the basic conversion (MP3 to WAV).

Step 3: Amazing MIDI

Convert WAV to MIDI

Launch Amazing MIDI
Tone File
Map this to a WAV file that will be serve as your instrument. Amazing MIDI ships with a piano and sine wave but you can find some other WAV files to use.
Input File
Map this to the MP3.
Output File
This will autopopulate when you enter the MP3 file. Modify as needed.
Run Transcribe (from the Menu). Before it runs the conversion it will display some settings. I have not tweaked these; I just used the defaults.
Voila!!! Your MIDI file should appear where it is mapped in the Output file

Step 4: Optional

Launch Notation Player (Player.exe) and map to your MIDI file.
Now you can use Notation Player to view/print the MIDI as sheet music.
You can also play the music and follow along with the sheet music.

***One problem I have had is piano music is displayed with one staff. You can toggle between treble and bass clef but not both. I think this is a limitation of Amazing MIDI.

Step 5: Optional 2

Launch Anvil Studio and open your MIDI file.
In Anvil Studio, you can modify the music. It also has a bunch of features to play with.

Step 6: Conclusion

This technique is something I have wanted to learn. I hope it is useful to you. Please post comments and add ideas that enhance this project.



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    20 Discussions


    2 years ago

    aku suka


    2 years ago

    The piano tone file isn't there. What do I do?


    3 years ago

    Is amazing MIDI polyphonic?


    Reply 3 years ago

    audacity is not converting in midi files.thata why we are using amzing midi


    3 years ago on Step 3

    how do u get this amazingmidi?

    tania novitra

    4 years ago

    Hello. Can anyone help me? In the AmazingMIDI step, it says "modify as needed". How do you that?


    4 years ago on Step 3

    Hi - Can anyone help? I have followed the instructions but only end up with a a file ending in the word Tempomap..... it only shows parallel vertical bars when opened in Protools. Where is all the rest of the data - i.e. the notes etc? Thanks

    OMG! I love you!

    I downloaded Amazing Midi about 12 years ago, forgot what it was called, and have been looking for it ever since!

    There is another one I've been looking for, for a while now, but it still eludes me. It was one where you could sing into the microphone, and it did a pretty decent job of recording the notes. My baby brother at the time talked into the microphone, and the result was pretty hilarious.

    But yes, I totally agree on all the above applications... I generally install most of them on any new computer I get.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Can anybody tell me why when he says
    Input File
    Map this to the MP3.

    The program (AmazingMIDI) only allows me to map it to a .WAV file? Somebody please hlep me. I'm very confused.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    I've found that MuseScore is a great free program to import your midi into sheet music as well.


    9 years ago on Step 3

    For step 3, you could also use Intelliscore instead of AmazingMIDI.  Intelliscore is nice because it has many different instruments to choose from, not just piano and sine wave.  It also creates MIDI files on several staves.


    not going into details about it, but if you can acquire Sound Forge, just record the Stereo Mix and play your midi file. That way any audio coming through your sound card is being recorded. Sound Forge isn't free, but I'm sure most freeware audio editing/recording programs can perform this same function.


    This technique works for any sound file winamp's input plugins can handle (pretty much anything) Winamp has an output plugin (hit ctrl+k). Default is DirectSound, which goes to your speakers. 1. Change it to 'disk writer' or some similar name (I forget). 2. Under config for that plugin, set the options for your mp3 (bitrate, naming, etc). 3. Go back to winamp main page, turn off looping and shuffle. Then just play your midi. It will play silently, at about 20x speed. Once its done, wherever you told the plugin to save the file it will be saved! Remember to set it back to the default 'directsound' output, or every file you play will be trans-coded somewhere in your save directory!


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    That's hard. I haven found a way to eq out all remnants of the other voices or instruments, (drums) that i want to eliminate from the midi transcription, what are some basic guidelines for accomplishing this?


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Smart, smart. I use Audacity all the time, but I never knew this. Thanks for showing!