MP3 to MIDI: Easy Guide, Best Tools, How it Works
Looking to quickly convert an audio file to MIDI? (This can be anything from MP3, WAV, AAC, WMA, AIFF, FLAC) We talk through the best online converters and free tools to use. We also tell you how to convert MP3 to MIDI in Logic Pro, Ableton Live, and FL Studio.
Despite being around for decades, the MIDI protocol is still the number one when it comes to computer use, studio recordings, and making music in general. It is a universal music format, which is a perfect way to store music scores.
Therefore, a good converter is an essential piece of software for every musician or producer these days. In this article, we will talk about converting your audio files to MIDI. These audio files can be anything from MP3, WAV, AAC, WMA, AIFF, FLAC, or others) The thing about this format is that it stores music in a super compact size while keeping the quality at a pretty high level.
On the other side, MIDI files are even smaller, while the convenient transfer is another strong point of it. MIDI files are like digital sheet music, rather than the actual music sound, which in practice means super-concise information about the actual piece of music, which is something producers really appreciate.
These days, there are so many pieces of software that can convert MP3 files to MIDI. Some of them are more precise, others are rougher and quicker to use. There are free tools that you can use for this. Some of the most popular converters are built into DAWs, such as Logic Pro, Ableton Live, Pro Tools, FL Studio, etc.
Online MP3 to MIDI Converters
If you don’t have any DAW software installed on your computer, or you simply don’t want to convert files through it, a fast and convenient alternative would be to use an online converter. There are numerous converters of this kind online.
Bear File Converter is one website that comes to mind, and it is completely free.
Online converters like this can be pretty useful, especially when converting simpler melody lines. On the other side, these converters usually aren’t as accurate as those found in DAW software and VST plugins. If you want to edit the MIDI file, you will need to use a separate MIDI editor or DAW.
Free Software for MP3 to MIDI Conversion
This is not just free, but also a quite simple way to convert MP3 to a MIDI file. The first one that comes to mind is Audacity, the legendary free and open-source audio editor. It has all kinds of features, including this type of converter, which is actually pretty decent.
On the other side, Intelliscore is a specialized software that can convert any kind of music file to MIDI with ease and which is one of the rare ones that can convert multi-instrument MP3 files with great accuracy.
AVS Audio Converter is also a good solution too. This free software offers conversion between all kinds of music files, as well as music to MIDI conversion.
How to Convert MP3 to MIDI in Logic Pro
Logic Pro is much more than just a converter. It is one of the well-known DAW software products, which has been around since 1993. With this piece of software, you can convert any kind of music file, and that includes MP3 as well.
This DAW software is great in many other things as well and looks like a perfect tool for producers. The only drawback is that it is available only for Apple products.
Despite the company has released so many versions during all these years, the converting process is pretty much the same on each one and requires just a couple of steps.
The first step in converting is to select the MP3 file. Then, you have to activate the so-called Flex Pitch function. Once you do that, just select “Create MIDI Track,” and you will get a MIDI file at once.
This looks pretty simple and convenient. Though this converter isn’t 100% accurate, you can instantly fix any mistakes in transcription.
How to Convert MP3 to MIDI in Ableton Live
This is yet another popular DAW for both live performances and music production. Among many features, you can also convert all kinds of music files to a MIDI file.
All you need to do is to right-click on the track and select “Convert Harmony to New MIDI Track.” In a couple of moments, you will get a quite precise MIDI file. If your file consists only of the single-notes melody line, you can select “Convert Melody…” instead of “Convert Harmony…” option in order to get an even more precise MIDI file.
Another good thing to mention about Ableton Live is that the software is available both for Windows and macOS.
How to Convert MP3 to MIDI in FL Studio
Developed by the Belgian company called Image-Line, FL Studio is also one of the popular DAW products that have been around since 1997. Of course, we have seen numerous updates during all these years, and the latest version was launched just a couple of weeks ago. This software works both on macOS and Windows operating systems, and among numerous features, you can also find MP3 to MIDI converter.
Things are pretty simple here, as all you need to do is to import the desired music file and click on “Edit Sample.” Once you do that, the so-called Edison, which is an audio editing and recording tool, will open. The next you need to do is to click on “Tools” and then select “Convert to score.”
Types of MIDI Conversion
There are actually numerous kinds of MIDI conversion, which we can classify by different criteria. In this article, we will stick to the types referring to the audio-to-MIDI conversion. Those would be melody, harmony, and drum MIDI conversion.
This transcribes the main melody or top-line of an audio file to a MIDI file.
This converts the harmony of the track to MIDI. This may include keyboards, pads, guitars, or backing vocals.
A very useful tool for music producers. This allows you to easily import the drumline from the track and then make some modifications of specific beats, strokes, etc., if required.
How accurate is MP3 to MIDI?
All these are pretty convenient methods to convert MP3 to a MIDI file. Still, keep in mind that things are almost never 100% accurate. Things can be pretty messy sometimes, especially if a music file is a little bit more complex.
You will often get a lot more notes than you expected, including bum notes and random notes that don’t seem to make sense. They can also come out with some timing issues.
When converting MP3 to MIDI, expect to do a lot of chopping and changing on the MIDI file to make it usable.
However, it can be VERY useful as a baseline and save you a lot of time when you’re looking to transcribe an audio file to MIDI.
It is such a great thing to know that there are different choices when it comes to MP3 to MIDI conversion, free and paid. If you’re not a producer or professional musician, it doesn’t make sense to spend hundreds of dollars on professional DAW software just for this purpose.
Therefore, free options would be a great choice in this case, especially those pieces of software that are specialized for this kind of conversion. However, don’t expect perfect precision. Audio to MIDI converters are almost never fully accurate, and you often need to do some chopping and changing.