Transcribing MIDI Recordings

Traditional music notation is only an approximate description of the musical content in a piece. The actual performance depends heavily on the interpretation of notes by musicians. Quarter notes, for example, are hardly ever held for exactly one beat.

The rhythmic interpretation of MIDI regions (recorded in real time, to a metronome click) presents a similar problem, especially when you consider that Logic Pro records MIDI events at a resolution of 960 ticks per quarter note. Nobody will play a downbeat at the exact time of the metronome click.

The Score Editor’s display parameters allow you to adjust the appearance of notation, without changing the playback (and feel) of the original MIDI region. You can use different display settings for each region.

As such, it’s important that you have some idea of what your printed music should look like. This will help to determine the display settings that will best fit your music.

If you can’t seem to find the appropriate display parameters for a particular MIDI region, divide the region with the Scissors tool. This leaves MIDI playback unaltered, but allows you to assign different display parameters (display quantization) for each of the shorter regions that result from the Cut operation.

Even though these divided regions are separate, they adjoin each other, and are displayed as a continuous staff in the score.

As a general working tip, you should merge MIDI regions (or insert blank regions) to fill the gaps between MIDI regions before altering the display settings. The Score Editor displays nothing if no region is present, resulting in blank spaces in your score.