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Supported notations in PDF uploads

Our PDF upload feature is still in beta, and there are several notations it doesn’t import. Here’s a guide to what’s unsupported and how you can quickly fix problems using our editor.

Standard notation

Notation Supported? Notes
Accidentals Yes Each note’s accidental is detected. For cautionary accidentals, the fact that they’re cautionary is detected. Parentheses are detected. See how to change note pitches and accidentals.
Alternate endings Yes We detect the ending numbers and place them over the appropriate bars. See how to change alternate endings (voltas) if things need to be tweaked.
Arpeggio markings No Use our editor to add arpeggio markings.
Articulations No Use our editor to add staccato, staccatissimo, accents, heavy accents or tenuto.
Augmentation dots Yes We detect dots, including double dots. See Using augmentation dots if things need to be tweaked.
Barlines Yes We detect barlines. In the rare chance a barline wasn’t detected, you can add or remove bars as needed.
Beams Yes We detect beaming and preserve it in your slice. See Beams if things need to be tweaked.
Breath marks No Use our editor to add breath marks (commas).
Chord names Yes We detect chord names. At the moment we assume chords are always above the staff. See Chord names/diagrams if things need to be tweaked.
Chord diagrams No See Chord names/diagrams for info on how to add chord diagrams. Note that diagrams are currently only supported in instruments that have tablature enabled.
Circle and plus No Use our editor to add circles (used to indicate harmonics, or open strings, or percussion effects) or plus symbols.
Clefs Yes We detect all modern clefs, including the percussion clef (the one that looks like a pause button, not the rectangle one yet). See Clefs if things need to be tweaked.
Clef changes Yes See Adding an inner-bar clef change.
Colors No Everything comes in as pure black for now. See Setting note colors.
Cross-staff notes/beaming No The notes will be imported and assigned to the proper staff, but they won’t be beamed across staves. Our editor doesn’t yet support creating cross-staff beams.
Cue notes No Cue-sized notes will be imported but will be treated as full-sized noteheads. Use our editor to set them to cue-sized.
Directions (jumps) No Directions such as “D.S. al Coda” or “Da Capo” aren’t yet imported. Use our editor to add them manually.
Doit/fall/plop/scoop No Use our editor to add these symbols.
Double barlines Yes We detect double barlines. In the rare chance a double barline wasn’t detected, you can add one as needed.
Drum sticking No Use our editor to add sticking.
Dynamics Yes Commonly used dynamics are detected. Use our editor to add or remove.
Fermatas Yes The standard fermata symbol is detected; others aren’t yet. Use our editor to tweak.
Fingering Yes Both numeric fingering and right-hand fingering (e.g., p, m, a) are detected. Use our editor to tweak.
Font No All imported music will use our standard notation and text fonts.
Ghost notes No Use our editor to add parentheses for ghost notes.
Grace notes Yes Use our editor to tweak as needed.
Grand staff bracket Yes We detect a grand staff bracket and make the appropriate optimizations to your music.
Hairpins No Use our editor to add crescendo/decrescendo markings.
Instrument names No Currently the instruments are labeled “Track 1,” “Track 2,” etc. Use our editor to rename them.
Instrument sounds No Currently all instruments use our piano sound by default. Use our editor to change an instrument’s synthetic sound.
Key signatures Yes Use our editor to change the key signature as needed.
Line breaks Yes Your slice will use the same line breaks we detected in the image (assuming you’re in Paged layout). Use our editor to change break locations.
Lyrics No Use our editor to quickly enter lyrics.
Measure numbers No Your slice will start at bar number 1. Use our editor to change bar numbering.
Multi-bar rests No Use our editor to add multi-bar rests.
Note rhythms/durations Yes Use our editor to change note or rest durations as needed.
Noteheads Some We detect some, but not all, special noteheads such as “X” noteheads.
Ottavas Some We detect 8va markings but may not detect other styles. Use our editor to add ottavas. Note you’ll likely want to move note pitches up or down an octave as well (search for the “Move down an octave” or “Move up an octave” commands).
Pedal markings Some We detect the classic “Ped” and pedal star markings, but we don’t detect the newer-style horizontal lines. Use our editor to tweak.
Pick-up bars No We don’t yet detect whether the first bar in your slice is a pick-up bar — which means its staff lines will be red if it rhythmic duration doesn’t match the time signature. Search for “Mark as pickup bar” to resolve this.
Pick/bow direction No Use our editor to add pick/bow markings.
Repeat barlines Yes We detect start-repeat and end-repeat barlines, but we don’t detect text such as “3x” or “Play 4 times.” Use our editor to set the number of repeats.
Similes Some We detect one-bar similes but not two-bar similes. Use our editor to add these.
Single-line percussion Yes We detect single-line percussion staves. Use our editor to tweak as needed.
Slash marks No We don’t yet detect slash marks/noteheads. Use our editor to add them.
Stave/page width Yes If the music in your scan is significantly wider than our default page width, we will change the slice’s stave width accordingly. Use our editor to tweak the stave width as needed.
Stem directions Yes Use our editor to tweak as needed.
Metronome/tempo markings No Use our editor to add tempo markings.
Text No We don’t yet import text in the score, such as directions, section names or expressions (with the notable exception of fingerings and chord names, which we do import). Use our editor to add text.
Ties Yes Use our editor to add/remove ties.
Time signatures Yes We detect numeric time signatures as well as the common- and cut-time symbols. Use our editor to tweak as needed.
Title No We don’t detect the score title, composer, arranger, lyricist, copyright information or any other ancillary text that’s outside the notation. Use the slice settings to enter this information if you’d like.
Transposing instruments No At the moment our system assumes C transposition. We don’t yet support music that was written for non-C instruments. Use our editor to create transposing instruments and enter notes manually if you’d like.
Tremolo No Use our editor to add tremolo markings.
Trills/ornaments No Use our editor to add these markings.
Triplet feel No Use our editor to add triplet-feel markings.
Tuplets Some We import tuplets with any number (3, 5, 7, 9, etc.), as long as the number is displayed in the notation. Many publishers omit tuplet numbers in case of repeated tuplets; we don’t handle this yet. Also note that Soundslice itself doesn’t support nested tuplets. Use our editor to tweak.

Tablature

Our importer supports tablature, with a few major limitations:

  • Tuning: We only support two tunings: standard tuning for guitar and standard tuning for four-string bass. Adding support for alternate tunings, plus more/fewer strings (mandolin, ukulele, etc.) is on our to-do list. For that music, we’ll import the standard notation but it’ll omit the tab.
  • Corresponding staff is required: We only support tablature if it has a corresponding standard-notation staff directly above. If it’s just tab (with no notes), the system won’t work.

Here are more notes on specific tab notations:

Notation Supported? Notes
Bends No Use our editor to add bends.
Capo No Use our editor to set an instrument’s capo location.
Hammer-ons/pull-offs No Use our editor to add hammer-ons and pull-offs.
Harmonics No Use our editor to add harmonics.
Let ring No Use our editor to add “let ring.”
Palm muting No Use our editor to add palm muting.
Slides No Use our editor to add slides.
Vibrato No Use our editor to add vibrato markings.