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Lead Sheet editor?

Posted: Tue Sep 30, 2014 3:48 pm
by nate
I'm not quite sure what to search for on this one. I think I'm looking for something like a lead sheet program. Most of what I'm looking for right now resembles sequencer software, except that I have no MIDI tracks at all.

I'm wanting some sort of tool to sprinkle lyrics across my rhythm notation and tweak lyrics and beats to fit emphasis, tweak rhyme schemes across verses, etc.. all the hard parts of song writing. I'm sure that some tool already exists that will help with what I'm doing, even if I'm not using it as envisioned, I'm just not sure what. I've seen some guys use spreadsheets for this, but that seems clunky, as it has no concept of grouping of measures, beats, verses.

Anyone using something for this, or just buy paper and erasers in bulk?

Re: Lead Sheet editor?

Posted: Tue Sep 30, 2014 4:04 pm
by varpa
You can use Musescore for leadsheets:

Re: Lead Sheet editor?

Posted: Tue Sep 30, 2014 4:38 pm
by nate
Thanks, that looks interesting. I guess where I'm paddling upstream is that I have an audio sketch, and I want to go make a lead sheet from it. So I need to be able to import a track, and transcribe it basically.

Re: Lead Sheet editor?

Posted: Tue Oct 07, 2014 5:18 pm
by nate
Ok, I took a look at MuseScore, as well as figuring out how to attach audio in Rosegarden. Rosegarden comes close to doing what I want with this capability. But I still have an issue, in that it appears that I need melody notes to attach lyrics. I was hoping to plop in lyrics, then move syllables around as needed. Since I have no native MIDI out instrument (ok, I have a keyboard with a USB midi out but my keyboard skills suck, and the latency was HORRID), I looked at a few methods, including singing the vocal part and pushing it to waon (didn't work at all), playing the melody on guitar, and exporting the single note guitar track to waon (vastly better, but still not usable. Maybe this method will work better when I get the GK-3 pickup for my guitar. I already have a Yamaha G-50 guitar midi converter, but it doesn't work with my piezo saddle pickups).

Note entry with the mouse is teeedious, and while having a melody on my leadsheet is nice and admirable and eventual, right now I just care about pushing syllables around to beats first. I'm starting to wonder if I just need to revise my workflow a bit.

Re: Lead Sheet editor?

Posted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 6:28 pm
by asbak
nate wrote:Note entry with the mouse is teeedious

Take a look at Denemo.

The binary package.

Re: Lead Sheet editor?

Posted: Sat Oct 11, 2014 2:23 am
by nate
OK, wow - now we're gettin somewhere. The audio part looks like a big help in turning my scratch raps bludgeoned into a composed melody. Thanks for the link!

Re: Lead Sheet editor?

Posted: Thu Nov 06, 2014 11:08 am
by GordonS
Another tool worth a look look is Impro-Visor.
It's a kind of cut-down Band-In-A-Box, but also enhanced in that it offers advice on improvisation. Very lead-sheet oriented.
It works pretty well on its own, but in my modest experience with it, it seems not to integrate well with jack and with other midi-players so as a play-along tool to practice.

Personally I tend to generate my leadsheets using Musescore and export to .pdf and xml then run the musescote-to-improvisor plug-in on the xml. That, though, is miostly because I was already familiar with Musescore, not necessarily because it's the better chioice for input. Your preference may differ.

Hm, I should add that I hadn't previously tried printing from Impro-Visor as I use the Musescore .pdf for that. I just tried and on my machine, printing didn't work. That might just be a local problem, but....


Re: Lead Sheet editor?

Posted: Thu Nov 06, 2014 2:38 pm
by DepreTux
Have a look at lilypond and frescobaldi (a lilypond's UI). They are the best in terms of final layout, and once you get used to the workflow, they really shine.

Re: Lead Sheet editor?

Posted: Thu Nov 06, 2014 8:49 pm
by Broomy
+1 for Lilypond and Frescobaldi.

Re: Lead Sheet editor?

Posted: Sun Dec 14, 2014 8:26 pm
by bvdp
I use MUP from

Generates really beautiful sheets and can do very complex stuff. I've tried to use lilly but can't seem to wrap my brain around its complexities.