Record notes with an acoustic instrument

In FORTE Premium you use an acoustic instrument to enter monophonic melodies in live time. You find this function in the tab "Record" under "Score". To use this feature, you need a computer microphone that is connected to your computer and available as a record device (default case).

The most accurate transcription can be achieved when you play at a slow tempo and most accurate as possible to the metronome. Before you start recording, select the "Record" tab, set a slow and comfortable tempo and one or two lead-in measures.

Click on the button below to prepare recording notes with your acoustic instrument via microphone:

The following dialog appears:

Figure 1

Recording Options:

  1. Instrument – select an instrument you are going to play. Available options:
    1. Guitar
    2. Flute
    3. Piano
    4. Voice
    5. Other

2.        Shortest Note Value – MIDI recording quantization. Available options:

    1. Quarter note – rounds up recorded note to 1/4 of tempo measure
    2. 8th Note - rounds up recorded note to 1/8 of tempo measure
    3. 16th Note - rounds up recorded note to 1/16 of tempo measure
    4. <don’t quantize> - records without note quantization

3.        Metronome Tempo – select desired recording tempo

Microphone Level:

Before recording, input microphone sound level shall be adjusted to avoid sound clipping, yet to enable decent level of incoming signal.

Figure 2.1 – Elements  

Figure 2.2 Good level

Figure 2.3 – Sound too loud


  1. Clip LED, indicate that incoming sound is too loud, and that slider (c) shall be adjusted to lower positions
  2. LED METER, indicates incoming Microphone sound level
  3. Microphone Level Slider – adjust microphone sound level

To obtain best recording results, follow the procedure:

  1. Connect your microphone, adjust 2/3 of Microphone Level Slider (c) and play something with your instrument, like you are going to record it
  2. Look at the LED METER (b), to verify you have decent sound level while you are playing
  3. Good setting will show green, yellow and red led, but Clip LED shall not be activated (Figure 2.2)
  4. If Clip LED turn red (Figure 2.3), user should reduce Microphone Level Slider to lower positions, and to repeat the procedure, until Clip LED is not activated again
  5. To reset Clip LED, left click on it.

Advanced Options:

Before recording we need to adjust a few more parameters, to achieve best recording results. These parameters you can adjust by pressing “Advanced” button.

Figure 3

Latency Compensation:

Sound latency is unwanted recording delay, introduced by sound hardware and operating system audio drivers. To eliminate this effect, we need to measure and compensate latency.

To automatically measure and compensate latency, follow this procedure:

  1. Connect your microphone and place it near your speakers, close as possible
  2. Press “Measure Latency” button
  3. Following dialogue will appear

Figure 4

4.        Press OK, and wait until test sound finishes

5.        If recording latency was measured properly, you will see this message:

Figure 5

6.        If something was wrong, you will see this message:

Figure 6

If you are not satisfied with automatically measured latency, you can correct this value by entering new one into “Latency Compensation” text box.

Recognition Sensitivity:

This setting will adjust the NOTE ON and note OFF thresholds:

  • values closer to Low will record only loud played notes
  • values closer to High will record both loud and silently played notes

The trick with this slider is to improve recording reliability. Silent tones may be silent enough to be polluted with noise, thus leading to unreliable results. Sometimes you may play one note and it will appear as 2 or 3 consecutive notes. Then it make sense to move slider to the left and to resolve this issue.

Best practice is to follow this procedure:

  1. adjust Microphone Level to avoid clipping
  2. Play loud and well defined notes
  3. Set Recognition Sensitivity slider close to High, and if you get some unexpected results, move it to left until you get reliable results

Boost Lower Octaves:

Certain instruments may exhibit unreliable results for tones in lower octave range. Sometimes Piano and Guitar tones will appear as one octave higher, although we played lower octave notes. The background explanation is that these sounds contains more than one frequency, sometimes higher frequency content may be dominant. To solve this behaviour use Boost Lower Octaves slider.

Best practice is to follow this procedure:

  1. Place slider to the Left position (Less) and perform recording. This way you will record note without any corrections
  2. If you notice that some tones appear one octave higher than you actually played it, then move slider to the right, for example to the middle position
  3. Continue to move slider to the right until this unwanted behaviour stops
  4. Sometimes, for low piano and guitar notes, values very close to “More” will correct your recording

Once all the required parameters are set, you can start recording, by clicking “Start Recording” button.

Useful tips:

  1. Supported recording range is form G2 ( MIDI Pitch = 43, f = 98Hz) to B8 (MIDI Pitch = 119, f=7.902 KHz)
  2. You should play as exactly as possible in accordance with the metronome and the required notation. It is not yet possible to analyze a dynamic play and convert it into notes.
  3. If you experience latency delays, after proper Latency compensation, you can correct Latency Compensation text box manually
  4. Use at least 1 or 2 Lead In Measures, to enable preparation time form Start Recording to your actual instrument playing
  5. If you plan to record simple melodies, without fast tone changes, it is advisable to use Quantization (Shortest Note Value)
  6. Transcription parameters will be stored once you press “Start Recording” and will be restored next time you start Transcription.
  7. If you notice one tone to appear as few consecutive tones, try to move “Recognition Sensitivity” to the left
  8. If you notice tones appear to be octave higher, try to move “Boost Lower Octaves” to the right
  9. Recommended settings:

    1. Recognition Sensitivity – close to “High”
    2. Boost Lower Octaves – close to “More” for Piano and Guitar

  10. Avoid “Listen to this device” Windows setting, as it may lead to audio feedback problems. It is located at Control Panel->Hardware and Sound->Recording->Microphone->Properties->Listen