September 27 2023
London — StaffPad, the innovative and acclaimed composition app from Muse Group, launches a new Piano Capture tool set to permanently transform how composers notate scores.
Powered by advanced AI, Piano Capture listens to real piano performances and converts them into readable sheet music. For the first time, any pianist with StaffPad — or any keyboardist with a piano preset loaded — can capture any musical ideas instantly without microphones or complex set-ups. Composers can also import, edit and transcribe previously recorded audio performances into scores.
Arriving alongside Piano Capture in this update comes realtime MIDI Capture, allowing composers to connect a MIDI controller and notate performances directly into the app. Film clips can now also be imported onto any score, with new Video Staffs.
These tools mark a sea-change in digital composition, lowering the barriers to scoring music for aspiring composers, and expanding the creative freedom of experienced professionals. In particular, StaffPad is now essential for film, TV or game soundtrack composers, who can sketch ideas with Piano Capture, while watching Video Staffs in real time.
On-device machine learning (ML) is behind StaffPad’s latest groundbreaking development. David William Hearn, composer and StaffPad founder, describes the process of building Piano Capture’s artificial intelligence engine:
“We built a special training pipeline — called Pianola — able to generate thousands of hours of music, recorded through digitally-controlled acoustic pianos and sample libraries. This simulated all kinds of real-world scenarios and environments, resulting in a huge collection of output recordings. Pianola then analyzes each performance in reverse, learning to recreate the audio input. Over many hours of training time, the system learns to recognize what note pitches and durations look like, even within chords. And from there, it learns to transcribe piano performances it hasn’t heard before.”
“As a final and crucial step, the AI then tidies the score to make sure it's easy for other musicians to read. The entire process runs directly on your device. So your audio remains private, and you don't have to be online for it to work. For pianists, it's a magical feature. We think you're going to love it.”
Winners of the 2020 Apple Design Award, StaffPad is designed by composers to speed up workflows for both professionals and aspiring songwriters, whether they prefer to sketch ideas by hand or behind the piano. Its elegant engraving tools and seamless digital pen integration make StaffPad the most advanced and intuitive tablet composition software available.
Watch StaffPad founder David William Hearn craft a soundtrack with Piano Capture, MIDI capture, and more.
- Notate musical ideas instantly with Piano Capture. Just press record and the microphones inside your tablet device will convert any piano tone into notation. There’s no need to pause to notate — or even look away from your piano keys.
- Spark your creativity by composing in your own preferred way, combining piano playing with handwritten notation (with a digital pen) in the StaffPad app. Or connect to a MIDI controller and capture your performances directly into the app (MIDI Capture).
- Stay in time with StaffPad’s inbuilt metronome. Or craft and tempo map your perfect piano recording on an audio staff, then convert into sheet music.
- Transform recorded piano chords into fake sheets with just a tap — as part of StaffPad’s auto-chord feature.
- Import, edit and export video with the new Video Staff, helping you intuitively compose to film.
- Compose parts on your piano, then hear them played back by any number of orchestral instruments and beyond with StaffPad’s selection of high-quality preset packs.
- Share and edit any recorded scores in real time with other composers or instrumentalists with the paired StaffPad Reader app.
Piano Capture is currently optimized to listen for piano tones. Grand Piano presets are also compatible, performed on a standalone synth or MIDI controllers paired with a software synth. New AI models to capture other instruments and timbres are in development.
A digital pen (such as Apple Pencil) is essential to unlock many StaffPad features.