[Draft discussion] Audio to MIDI converter

Wouldn’t MIDI output from Bitwig Grid be better? You could very easily implement audio-to-MIDI that way, as well as generative modular sequencing.

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I’m not familiar with audio to MIDI converters, so please bear with me. I see two potential use cases:

  1. You have an audio with a drum loop or any other type of sound-silence-sound sequence. You pass the converter, you get MIDI notes in the arranger at the points of time when there is sound in the audio file. I guess this is what @AModularSynthType says that can be achieved already now in Bitwig?
  2. You have an audio with a guitar or whatever instrument with pitch. You pass the converter, and you get the notes as above but also the pitch values somehow. This looks more complicated already for simple melodies one note at a time. I have no idea whether a harmony could be extracted to MIDI.

It would be useful to know specific examples of DAWs or VSTs to look at in order to define this feature request.

The Grid has a Zero Crossings module that is pretty decent at extracting pitch with many monophonic audio sources. For better pitch detection it takes something pretty heavyweight like Melodyne.

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Ableton has this feature. You can right click an audio file, and you get 3 options for converting to midi:
1-convert to harmony (Polyphonic)
2-convert to melody (monophonic)
3-convert to drums (converts rhythm to a midi file on a drum rack)

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I just want to throw in that Reason also has this feature. It’s not as in depth as Live. When I first switched over/started using Bitwig, it was one of the first features I went looking for. Case in point below.

Yes, there are plugins and other more complicated methods(so I heard)within Bitwig that do this. But let’s say you have a melody floating around in your head. Hit record on my mic and sing or hum away… Like most people, I don’t have “perfect pitch”, and could not tell you what the notes or scale is without noodling around for a while on a piano.

Or let’s say you are working in a remake or remix and need to do the same as above.

It would just be a massive time saver to have it built right in.

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Any volunteers to write the description? Anyone willing to adopt this request, currently orphan? This is one of the most voted #drafts , and we seem to have all the content needed here in the comments.

Now this is the most voted draft. If nobody takes ownership in the next 24 hours I’ll give it a shot.

Alright, so we have three types of conversion. The simplest one is the conversion of drums or any trigger sound.

Right now we have the Replacer device, which can generate MIDI notes at a set pitch and velocity. It’s a start, but as far as I understand it could not differentiate between a kick, a snare or a hat. There are some videos demonstrating the possibilities of this device. Twi very different examples:

To detect different drum instruments in one audio file, I guess pitch detection is needed. This brings us to the conversion of melody and harmony.

I’m going to check this. Thank you for the hint, @AModularSynthType.

The Grid’s zero crossings can work for monophonic material. But, it is kind of inconvenient, and I think I think it might put off some Bitwig users who switched from other DAW’s, and just want simple ways to accomplish things like this.

I think the polyphonic conversion is probably the more useful feature also.

As for the drum replacement. Maybe, a way to get the individual hits would be to split the audio into 3 tracks, with eq’s isolating the frequencies of the drum hits, and putting replacers after each one. I haven’t tried it, but it could be a work around.
Again though, it is inconvenient. I think people who use Audio midi probably want a simple option for the 3 types of conversion. It would make sense for it to be available when right clicking an audio clip.

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Zero Crossings module in action here:

Also, I found this video interesting to understand the very basic concept of pitch detection:

Is there anything else available in Bitwig that is missing? Bitwig seems to have the very basic building blocks, but clearly there is some / a lot of work to do until having an easy to use Audio to Midi converter for (pitched) triggers, melody and harmony.

Does it also offer the same three types of conversion for triggers, melody and harmony?

I just did a quick write up for a starting point, if you want to use it.

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Please check. If there are no objections, I will promote this draft to #features in 24 hours.

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I looks good to me.

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