Transcribe! A Brief Review

This post is a review on this piece of software that so many professional musicians have been talking about. Every musician knows that transcribing is a crucial step in the process of learning music, both improving your hearing and equipping you with knowledge on how the masters work.

I of course have been transcribing for many years using my sequencing software, despite countless recommendations by fellow musicians to use Transcribe!. I finally decided to try it out for myself, just to see what all the fuss is about. So to put it to test, I chose a piece by Bill Evans, Waltz for Debby, due to his reputation for laying out some nice harmonies in his playing.

Here’s some of my view on this software.

Spectrum Analysis

This must be one of the coolest feature in it. Seeing which frequency is peaking at a particular moment, and having them layout on a piano roll view, is definitely a big help when it comes to breaking down those hard to get inner voices of left hand piano comping, or guitar chording, etc. They may not be all correct, considering all the other sounds occurring in the music, even snare hits may sometimes show up in certain frequencies, and also taking into account the presence of upper harmonics of notes. But despite all that, it still gives a very helpful hint every time for me, on certain notes I might be missing, or sometimes just to get a second opinion . And on top of that, when I wasn’t certain what I was hearing was a real note being played, or just the harmonics of another note, double clicking on a frequency above a certain note on the piano roll will display all the possible harmonics, thus helping me rule them out.

Transcribe! spectrum view


Looping capability may not be a unique feature in a piece of software these days. But doing it in Transcribe! Is certainly much easier and helpful. Its easier simply because the software will straightaway loop any highlighted region in the wave. Its helpful when you are trying to get those short little chord hits that tells you so much about what the musician is trying to do.

Moreover, transcribe will display the spectrum analysis of the region you are looping. Altering the looped region by just holding down the shift key and dragging it is certainly a big convenience.

Octave Change

Changing the octaves in the spectrum analysis has also been a big help for me when it comes to getting those low muddy bass notes, especially when being played on a double bass, where the frequency might even be a bit off due to the fretless nature of the instrument.

Slowing It Down

I personally rarely find the need to slow down most of the music I’m transcribing. But it certainly does come in handy when you can slow down a fast passage with literally just a click of the mouse, even when the music is still playing.

All in all, this software may not solve ALL the problems you face when transcribing, but it certainly is at the top of its game, and it certainly makes your transcribing work easier and faster.

Transcribe! from Seventh String Software is amazingly wonderful and you ought to try it.

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Click here to download for a free trial

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