1. #1

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    Hey all,

    So my friend Vic Wong had turned me on to Soundslice, and posted a transcriptions of Allan Reuss's chord-melody intro to Harry James's 1945 recording of "I'm Beginning to See the Light". After a couple weeks, I finally tried my hand at using to post some things I'd already transcribed in Finale, which is what I use for all of my arranging work with my bands. Importing the xml files was super-easy.

    But then Vic mentioned, he actually loves it most not to share arrangements per se, but for the utility of being able to use the platform to do the transcription in the first place. Huh....

    My friend Tommy Harkenrider happened to comment on one of my transcriptions, and while we were chatting, he brought up working on George Van Eps's solo on "Cherry", recorded by Jess Stacy in 1950. I recognized the opening lick from another of his solos I have a transcription of, and I though I might actually be able to make some headway on it.

    See... for as much I do a LOT of this historic, 1930's style chord melody playing, I hadn't actually been able to properly transcribe one of the original solos from scratch myself. I was lucky that I've found pretty much every extant transcription of Allan Reuss, and some earlier Van Eps stuff, etc., and of course the Mel Bay "Masters of Plectrum Guitar Book".

    But this time around, using the soundslice interface to do the transcription, I actually found it way easier than anything else I've ever used. And I was able to transcribe, fairly confidently a whole George Van Eps solo.

    Now, playing the solo... at tempo... and clean... is an entirely different challenge. I'm afraid I haven't been able to get it past 90% speed without wiping out, but I'm gonna keep working on it. I only started about a day and half ago, so there's time.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/CMLz47Dppec/

    I'm not gonna be sharing this transcription just yet, because I want to work on it a bit, and I'm trying to suss out whether I can get some kind of online curriculum going through Soundslice.

    That said, here's a transcription I did share for reference...
    Barney Kessel's solo on "Jammin' the Blues" (1944)
    "Jammin' the Blues" 1944 - Barney Kessel | Soundslice
    Last edited by campusfive; 03-09-2021 at 01:50 AM.

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Interesting stuff!

    For those of us who have never used it, is the advantage that the source sound file is somehow linked to the music staff you are using in a way that makes comparisons between your input notes and the recording more seamless? Quicker to work through each bar because everything is in one UI? Or does it actually suggest notes on the staff through some kind of computer magic?

    Adrian Holovaty, the computer genius behind Soundslice (for those who don't know him already), seems like a cool guy. I've enjoyed his solo guitar arrangements on Youtube, and he named one of his big computing projects "Django".

  4. #3

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    So, the syncing to the sound source is the big thing.

    So, you choose the sound source, add as many measures as you need. And then you sync it by playing the sound, and tapping "T" on every downbeat. It doesn't even need to be that precise because you can adjust it later.

    Once you do that you control where you start the playback from your cursor in the notation, rather than on the waveform. And slow it down. Or repeat specific section... all tied to the notation. And you can switch back and forth between the sound source, and synth engine to confirm your notation. (I actually wish there was a way to have the synth play OVER the sound source, but I don't think it does that.)

    And I suppose having the recording control and the notation UI all together means I don't have to bounce back and forth between my audio player and my notation program. So, yeah the workflow is also really great.

    And no, doesn't have anything to detect the pitches that I'm aware of.

  5. #4
    I agree that it's a substantial resource. But beyond the video transcription aspects, I also feel that the interface itself is much easier to use than traditional notation software . The ability to "incorrectly" notate given measures rhythmically and adjust on the back end is one of the best features I've ever seen. I think eventually, all notation software will utilize this feature.

    Makes transcribing melody much more simple. You can block out measures at a time and adjust rhythm. Hard to describe just how effective this is in text form, but if you realize that the last note in a measure should be a half note ...traditional software won't let you change the quarter to a half note , without first going back and fixing previous rhythmic elements to "make room". This allows you to tweak that, while also indicating that it's still not right technically.

    Just really speeds things up and can be much more like using pencil and eraser.

  6. #5
    It's also pretty easy to sync up existing transcriptions you've done in notation software. You can sync to video after the fact.

  7. #6

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    Looks great
    can you export the notation as a pdf ?

  8. #7

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    Hey, thanks for the nice words about Soundslice! I'm the person who started it and now work with a small, full-time team continuing to improve it.

    Jonathan, you hit it on the head — this simple/unified approach to transcription is exactly why I started Soundslice in the first place. I was too tired of constantly switching between tools when transcribing old jazz guitar solos.

    Also, given how much effort transcribing takes, I wanted the end result to be a genuinely useful "artifact" — an interactive transcription that's synced with the original recording and has practice tools built in. If you spend two hours transcribing something, it seems a real pity for your entire output to be a PDF that's not even synced with the original recording.

    I should also mention my personal favorite Soundslice feature, which is the ability to sync *multiple* performances to the same notation. Here's Django's famous I'll See You In My Dreams solo, synced with five different performances (switch by clicking "Django" under "5 performances" at bottom).

    To answer the comments/questions raised here:

    * "A way to have the synth play OVER the sound source" — there's no way to do this at the moment, but it's something we plan to add!

    * Detecting pitches — we don't do this now but (again) it's something I'd love to add in the future.

    * "can you export the notation as a pdf" — yes, you can enable printing. With that said, if you're making something for formal publication, I recommend exporting from Soundslice in MusicXML format, then loading that into engraving software such as Dorico. Soundslice deliberately doesn't focus on letting you make engraving tweaks, though our automatic engraving is pretty damn good, considering we automatically re-render your music based on the screen size.

    * "The ability to 'incorrectly' notate given measures rhythmically" — thanks for articulating this so well, @matt.guitarteacher. I totally agree, and I always get frustrated by the rigidity of the "traditional" desktop notation editors. The Soundslice philosophy is "we're all consenting adults." If you want to put five quarter notes in a 4/4 bar temporarily, no problem.

    Adrian

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by adrianh;[URL="tel:1105366"
    1105366[/URL]]
    * "The ability to 'incorrectly' notate given measures rhythmically" — thanks for articulating this so well, @matt.guitarteacher. I totally agree, and I always get frustrated by the rigidity of the "traditional" desktop notation editors. The Soundslice philosophy is "we're all consenting adults." If you want to put five quarter notes in a 4/4 bar temporarily, no problem.

    Adrian
    thanks very much for creating this software Adrian
    I too have been very frustrated with traditional
    notation softwares ‘auto-correcting’ the note values as described
    so annoying .....
    so much so that I gave up with them !

    next time I will try sound slice ...
    cheers man

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by adrianh
    Hey, thanks for the nice words about Soundslice! I'm the person who started it and now work with a small, full-time team continuing to improve it.

    Jonathan, you hit it on the head — this simple/unified approach to transcription is exactly why I started Soundslice in the first place. I was too tired of constantly switching between tools when transcribing old jazz guitar solos.

    Also, given how much effort transcribing takes, I wanted the end result to be a genuinely useful "artifact" — an interactive transcription that's synced with the original recording and has practice tools built in. If you spend two hours transcribing something, it seems a real pity for your entire output to be a PDF that's not even synced with the original recording.

    I should also mention my personal favorite Soundslice feature, which is the ability to sync *multiple* performances to the same notation. Here's Django's famous I'll See You In My Dreams solo, synced with five different performances (switch by clicking "Django" under "5 performances" at bottom).

    To answer the comments/questions raised here:

    * "A way to have the synth play OVER the sound source" — there's no way to do this at the moment, but it's something we plan to add!

    * Detecting pitches — we don't do this now but (again) it's something I'd love to add in the future.

    * "can you export the notation as a pdf" — yes, you can enable printing. With that said, if you're making something for formal publication, I recommend exporting from Soundslice in MusicXML format, then loading that into engraving software such as Dorico. Soundslice deliberately doesn't focus on letting you make engraving tweaks, though our automatic engraving is pretty damn good, considering we automatically re-render your music based on the screen size.

    * "The ability to 'incorrectly' notate given measures rhythmically" — thanks for articulating this so well, @matt.guitarteacher. I totally agree, and I always get frustrated by the rigidity of the "traditional" desktop notation editors. The Soundslice philosophy is "we're all consenting adults." If you want to put five quarter notes in a 4/4 bar temporarily, no problem.

    Adrian
    Yeah, I should say that not only was it transformative for getting the transcription down, but also for learning to PLAY the transcription you've just done.
    I got the Van Eps solo above up to speed by the next day, and since then I've taken down 6 new Allan Reuss solos, including his tour-de-force on "Bye Bye Blues" with Peck's Bad Boys - something I literally never though I'd ever be able to figure out.

    I think you've already got the most important suggestions taken into account. Though I might add two more:
    - 1) I would kill for a microtuning feature, because I've super surprised with how many of the recordings I've tried to transcribed are up to 3/4 step sharp or flat. I know this Jack Teagarden Orchestra tune from 1939 isn't in B, so it has to be a recording that's sharp. Even if such a feature only applied to to recordings/videos one uploads themselves, it'd be super helpful, and especially if one could compare it to a reference pitch in the program.
    - 2) this is small one, but "Swing" isn't in the genre list, and considering "gyspy-jazz" and "western swing" are, I think you can do better than shoe-horning me into the "jazz" genre. Ha!

    I just figured out where the export xml functionality was, and I'm looking forward to being able to export them for posterity's sake, and perhaps lay them out extra nicely, and offer a print version at some point.

    But, yes, Adrian THANK YOU for the platform. What a game-changer for me, personally.