MIDI to Sheet Music

Recently I've decided to finally "go legit" with my music, which involves removing/replacing uncleared samples and focusing on the administrative aspects of my productions, including copyrighting.
In regards to finished recordings of songs the copyright process is very simple, however MIDI files aren't considered a fixed and tangible medium.
I understand that copyrighting the sheet music separately could possibly be redundant since "a musical composition and a sound recording may be registered together on a single application if ownership of the copyrights in both is exactly the same" according to the US Copyright Office - this may be disputed, not always successfully, if someone contests and has documented the composition as sheet music and the owner of the copyrighted recording has not. I'm thinking long term here, building a library of personal recordings and their documented compositions, copyrighted and cataloged, to last beyond my lifetime.

Can anyone here please provide some suggestions, preferably based on experience, for converting the MIDI files in an NS2 project into sheet music?

Are any of you doing something similar with your music?

So far I've found some websites and free converter software which look like they could be promising, but I'd prefer some advice from anyone experienced with this matter before getting in too deep.

Thanks in advance.

Comments

  • I have absolutely no experience with this, but I'm interested in the outcome you figure out. Good luck!

    Quick question though, midi files aren't copyrightable even though they are basically digital sheet music, which is copyrightable? If so, Thats crazy!

  • edited March 11

    Good to know others are interested, I'll definitely post progress here.

    MIDI files can be submitted with a recorded audio file on the same application (they're listed as acceptable data file formats), but I've not seen any official documentation which equates MIDI composition to Sheet Music in regards to music copyrighting. The official stance of the US Copyright Office isn't very clear and has been contradicted in various court cases since 1976.

    As far as I can gather from my personal research, a MIDI file only pertains to the sound recording it accompanies, while sheet music applies to the entire underlying musical composition (so sheet music is the only definitive way to protect musical composition). It's kind of logical if you consider that the MIDI data can be used to reproduce a copy of the sound recording, where as working from the sheet music it's nearly impossible to create a duplicate but the underlying musical composition would still be present. To add to the confusion, I'm not sure if a streaming only release is considered a "published phonorecord" or if it remains "unpublished" until it's a physical release.

    I can confirm that both the sound recording and musical composition can be registered together on a single application if ownership of the copyrights in both is exactly the same.

  • @3sleeves said:
    Good to know others are interested, I'll definitely post progress here.

    MIDI files can be submitted with a recorded audio file on the same application (they're listed as acceptable data file formats), but I've not seen any official documentation which equates MIDI composition to Sheet Music in regards to music copyrighting. The official stance of the US Copyright Office isn't very clear and has been contradicted in various court cases since 1976.

    As far as I can gather from my personal research, a MIDI file only pertains to the sound recording it accompanies, while sheet music applies to the entire underlying musical composition (so sheet music is the only definitive way to protect musical composition). It's kind of logical if you consider that the MIDI data can be used to reproduce a copy of the sound recording, where as working from the sheet music it's nearly impossible to create a duplicate but the underlying musical composition would still be present. To add to the confusion, I'm not sure if a streaming only release is considered a "published phonorecord" or if it remains "unpublished" until it's a physical release.

    I can confirm that both the sound recording and musical composition can be registered together on a single application if ownership of the copyrights in both is exactly the same.

    Very interesting!

    We used to do the 'send your music to yourself in the mail' and keep the envelope sealed trick when we were to poor or lazy to file officially, lol; I wonder if the same could be done on a CD or thumb drive with the midi files

  • I use Cockos Reaper to turn my midi songs into music sheets.

  • How do you get the midi files out of NS2 and into Reaper?
    I think FL Studio can export midi to score sheets too. Guess I could find a way to record the midi output from the iPad...any suggestions?
    Can’t find a way to export midi files, only .nsa or audio files, am I missing an obvious option?

  • Double tap the background. This highlights all parts on all tracks. Press Actions, then Export.
    The file will have a .mid file extention. Save the file to your Library, then move it with WebDav program to your computer of choice.

  • There are some iOS Notation apps that import .mid files. I haven’t used them, but the reported issue is that none of the apps are perfect. That means that you will get a bit of sheet music that is say 90% accurate. You’ll need to go over your score and adjust as necessary. Like any AI software, it’s not quite the BladeRunner-esque quality that we’d like. But it would be worth a try. Notation Pad and Symphony Pro are two that I recall have decent reviews.

    I didn’t know that Reaper can funtion like a notation program. That would be cool too.

  • @SlapHappy Thanks! I couldn’t find that in the manual and that’s the one screen I didn’t think to look for an export option.
    I figure since I never use quantize it may be tricky to transcribe to sheet music. Also not sure how to accurately translate a sweeping synth pad with modulation and reverb 😄

    Thanks for the advice guys, I’ll try to post an update once I’ve done some experiments with score sheets.

  • I was thinking about generating sheet music a while ago, but was stopped by some of these issues. Some things just don’t get captured by sheet music. Sheet music evolved for a pretty stable set of instruments, not the constantly changing sound of the synthsizer. It would be interesting however to see a score for NS2 with Obsidian patches and Slate kits specified. I can imagine a long note tied over several measures and details on modulation & reverb written along the tie. Sounds crazy & fun!

  • “Also not sure how to accurately translate a sweeping synth pad with modulation and reverb 😄”

    If you export sheet music to PDF, you can open it up in Preview (on a Mac) and draw something that identifies sweeps, modulation,etc.

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