I get lots of comments asking how I make the video of the transcriptions with the beat guide marker, so I thought I’ll make a quick tutorial.

Requirements

  • notation software (Sibelius, MuseScore)
  • video editing software (Premiere Pro, Sony Vegas, Final Cut, iMovie)
  • a lot of time

How-to

Exporting the transcription as images

After transcribing the piece, we first need to change the page layout in the notation software to be the size we want in the video.

Adjust the page layout so that each page is the desired size

I make the page as I can to reduce white space and decrease the margin sizes too. Make sure to disable page numbers – you do this in the Style menu in MuseScore and can search for this in the Sibelius search bar.

Once you’ve created the pages, export the pages as PNG/JPEG image files. Some notation software, like Sibelius and Dorico, will export transparent PNGs so that there is no white background. To fix this, convert the PNGs to JPEGs.

Export pages as image files

Now, you will have an image file for each page of your transcription.

Using video editing software

I will assume you already have a basic understanding of video editing software. If not, there are many tutorials online.

Load the video/audio and your transcription images into the video timeline.

Premiere Pro video timeline

Line up each image with what is being played so that the transcription is in sync with the video. You will probably need to resize and reposition the transcription images so that they fill up the width of the frame and are positioned where you want them to be.

If you don’t want a beat marker, you can stop here and export the video. If you want the beat marker, continue!

Beat marker

My solution here is pretty ghetto. If there’s a better way of doing it, I haven’t found it.

First, I create a thin rectangle within the editing software to act as the marker. Resize/recolour it as appropriate.

Then, use position keyframes to animate the position of the beat marker. On the final frame of one transcription image, it should be positioned next to the final barline of the page, and on the first frame of the next transcription image, it should be next to the first note (assuming you’ve synced the images to the audio/video properly).

Repeat this, adding keyframes at the start and end of every single transcription image in your editing software.

Last frame of the first transcription image
First frame of following transcription image

However, we still need to keyframe the middle section of each transcription page. At the moment, our beat marker will move at a constant speed from the start of the page to the end/left to right, but different bars have different widths so it will not follow the audio exactly.

Add additional position keyframes at the start of each bar so that the beat marker position lines up with what the performer is playing. You may need to add extra keyframes within bars. The more keyframes you add, the more accurate it’ll be, but it takes loads of time so you need to find a balance that looks good enough for your use case.

Once happy, export and share!

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