Using Melodyne to Extract Midi Information from an Audio Source

by Jon Martin.

Tutorial Overview

In this tutorial I will demonstrate how midi information can easily be extracted from any audio using Melodyne Editor 2 for the use in virtual instruments or for musical analysis.

Melodyne Overview

Melodyne is an audio manipulation tool that allows for the adjustment of several parameters of a sound including pitch, timbre, formant development, timing, and envelope. It can also be used as a creative analysis tool. Typically Melodyne is used for correcting out-of-tune or out-of-time vocals, but it’s ability to analyze and extract individual pitches from within program material makes it particularly useful for many other purposes. For this tutorial we will only focus on the midi extraction capabilities of the program.

Using Melodyne to capture audio information

1. Launch your DAWof choice (for this example I will be using Logic,but the process can be easily extrapolated to Pro Tools, Nuendo, etc).

2. Create a new session in Logic
a. File > New
b. Select “Empty Project”
c. Create one new “audio” track and change the format menu to “stereo”
d. Click the “Create” button

3. Import the provided testaudio.wav (or any stereo audio file) in the Logic project
a. File > ImportAudio File
b. Locate testaudio.wav, select it and click open

4. Load the Melodyne plugin as an insert on the Audio Track
a. Click on the firstinsert of the track
b. Select Audio Units ~ Celemony ~ Melodyne ~ Stereo

5. Once the Melodyne plugin is loaded, you can arm it for recording by clicking the flashing orange “Transfer” button in the top left corner of the window so that it remains solid orange.

6. Pressing the space bar will begin the audio transfer process. The file should be played in it entirety while the “Transfer” button is solid orange.

7. Once the audio file has been played completely, press space bar again to stop the process.

8. A circular processing meter will appear to indicate computation. Wait until the processing meter d~sappears. This may take severa] minutes depending on the speed of your computer and complexity ofthe audio.

9. The audio is now ready for manipulation and midi extraction.

Exporting the midi data

10. In the Melodyue plugin window, export the midi data.
a. Settings ~Save as Midi
b. Name the output file and choose a location for your midi file.
c. Click “Save”

11. You now have a midi extraction of your audio file.

Using the midi data

The midi data may be employed in any means that the user desires, for instance, it can be quantized or modified when loaded back into your DAW,opened in Finale to create a traditional notation of the audio, or used as the input material for a virtual instrument to harmonize or support the original performance or audio file. There are also many, many, other uses for the midi information, but they are out of the scope of this tutorial.

In some cases, a visual representation of sound represented by defined pitch values may help the user to identifY harmonic relationships or compositional aspects of a piece of audio in a quick and easy manner.